S. Craig Taylor Jr. and Mort Künstler are two of the preeminent artisans on the American Civil War. Both men have spent their lifetimes creating magnificent vistas into the defining battle - Gettysburg.
The Divisional Game of Rally Round the Flag contains standees for each division and markers for the brigades in the division that are deployed to the battle-board. Combat factors can change in scenarios and during the game. These are tracked on coated roster sheets using a dry erase pen. Scenarios cover the First Day, Second Day, Pickett's Charge, Campaign and the "What if" scenarios that are unlocked during the project.
The Brigade Game of Rally Round the Flag contains standees for each brigade. Scenarios cover the “Hold at All Cost,” First Day, Second Day, Pickett's Charge, Campaign and the "What if" scenarios that are unlocked during the project.
The Regimental Game of Rally Round the Flag contains standees for each brigade and regiment at Gettysburg. It also includes the full topographical map that is used to zoom into the battle. In addition, the regimental game can be set up and played in detail (playing time is usually 24 to 40 hours at this level – quite fast seeing how you are tracking ammunition, losses fatigue and driving the largest land engagement in the history of North America.) Scenarios cover the “Hold at All Cost,” the Railroad Cut, Culp’s Hill, the Bloody Angle, Peach Orchard, Devil’s Den, First Day, Second Day, Pickett's Charge, Campaign and the "What if" scenarios that are unlocked during the project.
Rally Round the Flag uses the card system as a way to influence game play rather than control game play. The design uses Combat cards as a way to shift the odds of battle after action is joined. This means an apparently weak defender may have reserves or unexpected tactics that seize initiative or blunts a well-designed attack.
Who is in command is critical in all levels of Rally Round the Flag. The leadership, military skill, heroism and rank all effect play. The Leadership of a General or Officer affects his influence on events – represented by the cards he draws and his ability to get troops to execute his plans when under fire. Both of these factors change the rapidity of an attack and its effectiveness. The Leader’s military skill effects his ability to move his forces and deploy them for combat. And his heroism inspires his troops to endure the fight and press the attack.
The work of fate and chance are, at best, capricious on the field of battle. Turns of weather, a confused order, the sudden arrival of reserves and the effects of supply, change the outcome of battles and sways the course of nations. In Rally Round the Flag both the Army of Northern Virginia and the Army of the Potomac are destined to endure these momentary events.
Rally Round the Flag is played with several types of troops: Infantry, Cavalry, Artillery Leaders, and optionally Supply. Infantry, Cavalry and Artillery units have Fire and Troop Quality values on the stand of troops, as well as one of the basic postures for the unit. Also, the Cavalry has replacement stands for mounted and dismounted troops including the Horse Holders.
Leaders have Command, Leadership and Heroism; all three values are printed on the leader’s base. The shape of the base indicates the level of command held by the Officer. Squares are Brigade commanders and are used when playing with the regimental troops. Circles are the Divisional commanders and are used with the Brigade and Regimental games. Pentagons for Corps along with the Heptagon for the Army commanders are used in all of the games.
Finally, supply and transport is an important part of the Regimental game play, so we include supply wagons to provide the ammunition and stores needed to keep troops in the fight, and caissons for artillery in trail.
To win Rally Round the Flag players vie for control of the critical areas of the Gettysburg battlefield road network - represented by the victory points printed on the Grand Tactical Map. In addition to scoring victory for critical areas of the battlefield that are held, players score victory for shattering enemy brigades. This is done by shattering a brigade during a battle or the brigade failing a troop’s quality check once they have reached a breaking point.
Commanding Generals and other officers provide command points that are used to move and fight the brigades and regiments. Play consists of activating one officer, drawing cards based on his leadership and playing out the actions under his command. After all the actions are used by that officer or passed, play proceeds to the opponent to activate their officer. This continues until all the officers on one side are activated, ending the turn. Even with this system of activation there is no guarantee as to when a turn will end since both card play and events can change the length of the turn.
Movement in Rally Round the Flag uses area movement on the Grand Tactical map, and “movement arrows” tied to the troop’s quality when playing on the Tactical Map during combat resolution. Brigade or regiment movement, requires activation using a command point. Once activated a brigade may move to a new area, or engage in combat in an area they occupy. Regiments can either place a march (red arrow) or advance (black arrow) to move or make a facing or realignment of the line in place. In all cases, a command point is needed to move a unit in any manner.
Combat in Rally Round the Flag allows players to pick the detail for each battle.If a battle is unimportant or a foregone conclusion the resolution of the combat can be completed in less than a minute for a small battle.
When the moment of decision is at hand, the combat can be expanded to cover as much as an hour of play time. By giving you, the players, control of the pace and scope of the gameplay, the epic battle of Gettysburg is playable in the richest of detail and most expeditious resolution.
Rallying broken or shattered regiments and brigades requires either leadership or safety while in command control. Officers can rally broken units in areas where there is an enemy presence by spending a command point and passing a modified troop quality check. The officer's heroism is added to the number needed to pass and other broken units are subtracted from the check. For example, if the legendary Iron Brigade is broken in the face of General Heth’s division on the first day of battle it would need a 9 or less on two six-sided dice in order to rally. If General Reynolds was present in the area he would add a +1 for heroism making the number needed to rally 10 or less on 2 six-sided dice. But if there were 3 other Union brigades also broken and in the same area then the roll needed to rally would be 10 - 3 for a 7 or less on 2 six-sided dice.