The Games of Eric Lee Smith
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Fag an bealac! Riam nar druid ar sbarin lann! Cuimhnigidh ar Luimnech agus feall na Sassonach! Erin go Bragh! Remember Limerick! Remember Ireland and Fontenoy!
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This is going to be the first in a series of geeklists featuring respected wargame designers. For the first list, I'll be discussing the games of Eric Lee Smith, a designer with several classics under his belt and very few failures. What really impresses me is that Smith made most of his games in the 1980s, when the hobby was on the decline and overly complex games were the norm.
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1. Board Game: The Alamo [Average Rating:6.14 Overall Rank:9153]
Sean Chick (Formerly Paul O'Sullivan)
United States
New Orleans
Louisiana
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Fag an bealac! Riam nar druid ar sbarin lann! Cuimhnigidh ar Luimnech agus feall na Sassonach! Erin go Bragh! Remember Limerick! Remember Ireland and Fontenoy!
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Well, I'm afraid it'll have to wait. Whatever it was, I'm sure it was better than my plan to get out of this by pretending to be mad. I mean, who would have noticed another madman round here?
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Not the best received of Eric's games, it is accused of being bland and dated. It is simple, which was refreshing in the 1980s.

UPDATE: According Mr. Smith this was his first design. I'm not one to argue with the man, so here it is.
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2. Board Game: Citadel of Blood [Average Rating:6.45 Overall Rank:5904]
Sean Chick (Formerly Paul O'Sullivan)
United States
New Orleans
Louisiana
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Fag an bealac! Riam nar druid ar sbarin lann! Cuimhnigidh ar Luimnech agus feall na Sassonach! Erin go Bragh! Remember Limerick! Remember Ireland and Fontenoy!
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Well, I'm afraid it'll have to wait. Whatever it was, I'm sure it was better than my plan to get out of this by pretending to be mad. I mean, who would have noticed another madman round here?
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Eric's first game was a fantasy dungeon crawler, with the tiles laid out at random as the dungeon is explored. Not really on anyone's radar now, but it does have its fans. This is the beginning of his short designer tenure at SPI.
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3. Board Game: Pea Ridge: The Gettysburg of the West March 7-8 1862 [Average Rating:7.24 Overall Rank:4779]
Sean Chick (Formerly Paul O'Sullivan)
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New Orleans
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Fag an bealac! Riam nar druid ar sbarin lann! Cuimhnigidh ar Luimnech agus feall na Sassonach! Erin go Bragh! Remember Limerick! Remember Ireland and Fontenoy!
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Well, I'm afraid it'll have to wait. Whatever it was, I'm sure it was better than my plan to get out of this by pretending to be mad. I mean, who would have noticed another madman round here?
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Released in the same year as Citadel of Blood, this game covers the important but lesser known battle of Pea Ridge, which insured that Missouri would remain a Union state, while opening northern Arkansas to Federal troops. It uses the respected Great Battles of the Civil War system. It is among the most popular titles in the series, being praised for its balance and relative playability.
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4. Board Game: The Sword and the Stars [Average Rating:6.36 Overall Rank:7690]
Sean Chick (Formerly Paul O'Sullivan)
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Fag an bealac! Riam nar druid ar sbarin lann! Cuimhnigidh ar Luimnech agus feall na Sassonach! Erin go Bragh! Remember Limerick! Remember Ireland and Fontenoy!
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Well, I'm afraid it'll have to wait. Whatever it was, I'm sure it was better than my plan to get out of this by pretending to be mad. I mean, who would have noticed another madman round here?
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Another SPI title, using the classic system from Empires of the Middle Ages in a scifi universe. Like the parent game, this was about managing an empire, making it far ahead of its time when you consider Twilight Imperium (Third Edition).

Here is a popular review of the game: http://boardgamegeek.com/thread/412979/a-classic-revisited
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5. Board Game: The Battle of Monmouth [Average Rating:6.57 Overall Rank:7205]
Sean Chick (Formerly Paul O'Sullivan)
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New Orleans
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Fag an bealac! Riam nar druid ar sbarin lann! Cuimhnigidh ar Luimnech agus feall na Sassonach! Erin go Bragh! Remember Limerick! Remember Ireland and Fontenoy!
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Well, I'm afraid it'll have to wait. Whatever it was, I'm sure it was better than my plan to get out of this by pretending to be mad. I mean, who would have noticed another madman round here?
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Eric worked on this well received issue for Strategy & Tactics. Many praise it for clear rules that still simulate the spirit of the battle. The system here is a reworking of Wellington's Victory: Battle of Waterloo Game – June 18th, 1815, which is more playable at this small scale.
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6. Board Game: The Civil War [Average Rating:7.67 Overall Rank:1055]
Sean Chick (Formerly Paul O'Sullivan)
United States
New Orleans
Louisiana
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Fag an bealac! Riam nar druid ar sbarin lann! Cuimhnigidh ar Luimnech agus feall na Sassonach! Erin go Bragh! Remember Limerick! Remember Ireland and Fontenoy!
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Well, I'm afraid it'll have to wait. Whatever it was, I'm sure it was better than my plan to get out of this by pretending to be mad. I mean, who would have noticed another madman round here?
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Eric moved over to Victory Games and soon put out this classic. It is still the most popular and respected strategic game covering the American Civil War. The map is excellent and holds up quite well. The activation system, while abstract, works like a charm in capturing the ebb and flow of the war. Personally, I love this game and hope to get a session going in the summer.
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7. Board Game: Ambush! [Average Rating:7.41 Overall Rank:759]
Sean Chick (Formerly Paul O'Sullivan)
United States
New Orleans
Louisiana
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Fag an bealac! Riam nar druid ar sbarin lann! Cuimhnigidh ar Luimnech agus feall na Sassonach! Erin go Bragh! Remember Limerick! Remember Ireland and Fontenoy!
badge
Well, I'm afraid it'll have to wait. Whatever it was, I'm sure it was better than my plan to get out of this by pretending to be mad. I mean, who would have noticed another madman round here?
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1983 was certainly Eric's best year, because in addition to The Civil War, he gave us this classic. A solitaire game set in World War II France, this title centers on an American squad facing an unknown German foe as they try to accomplish a mission. To get a handle on how popular this game, simply look at the first page of comments: http://boardgamegeek.com/collection/items/boardgame/1608?com...
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8. Board Game: Panzer Command [Average Rating:7.19 Overall Rank:4582]
Sean Chick (Formerly Paul O'Sullivan)
United States
New Orleans
Louisiana
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Fag an bealac! Riam nar druid ar sbarin lann! Cuimhnigidh ar Luimnech agus feall na Sassonach! Erin go Bragh! Remember Limerick! Remember Ireland and Fontenoy!
badge
Well, I'm afraid it'll have to wait. Whatever it was, I'm sure it was better than my plan to get out of this by pretending to be mad. I mean, who would have noticed another madman round here?
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A game of World War II tank battles. It features heavy fog of war and chit pull mechanics. While respected, the game does not have much of a current fanbase. I love the over the top box-art.
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9. Board Game: Mosby's Raiders [Average Rating:6.60 Overall Rank:3787]
Sean Chick (Formerly Paul O'Sullivan)
United States
New Orleans
Louisiana
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Fag an bealac! Riam nar druid ar sbarin lann! Cuimhnigidh ar Luimnech agus feall na Sassonach! Erin go Bragh! Remember Limerick! Remember Ireland and Fontenoy!
badge
Well, I'm afraid it'll have to wait. Whatever it was, I'm sure it was better than my plan to get out of this by pretending to be mad. I mean, who would have noticed another madman round here?
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Eric's next foray into solitaire wargaming was this gem, covering Mosby's guerrilla war in northern Virginia. It has a narrative feel, but apparently the game has not aged as well as other titles, with substandard graphics and a relatively ineffective Union foe.
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10. Board Game: Battle Hymn [Average Rating:7.50 Overall Rank:2547]
Sean Chick (Formerly Paul O'Sullivan)
United States
New Orleans
Louisiana
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Fag an bealac! Riam nar druid ar sbarin lann! Cuimhnigidh ar Luimnech agus feall na Sassonach! Erin go Bragh! Remember Limerick! Remember Ireland and Fontenoy!
badge
Well, I'm afraid it'll have to wait. Whatever it was, I'm sure it was better than my plan to get out of this by pretending to be mad. I mean, who would have noticed another madman round here?
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Ambush! comes to the Pacific Theater (ever notice how the European theater games always come out first? It would be cool to see the opposite). Not as popular, but still well received, with many liking the increased difficulty.
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11. Board Game: Battle Hymn: Leatherneck [Average Rating:7.84 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.84 Unranked]
Sean Chick (Formerly Paul O'Sullivan)
United States
New Orleans
Louisiana
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designer
Fag an bealac! Riam nar druid ar sbarin lann! Cuimhnigidh ar Luimnech agus feall na Sassonach! Erin go Bragh! Remember Limerick! Remember Ireland and Fontenoy!
badge
Well, I'm afraid it'll have to wait. Whatever it was, I'm sure it was better than my plan to get out of this by pretending to be mad. I mean, who would have noticed another madman round here?
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An expansion to Battle Hymn, featuring four new scenarios and increased difficulty. Gotta love the cover art; it looks like Wolfenstein in the Pacific.
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12. Board Game: Across 5 Aprils [Average Rating:6.98 Overall Rank:2864]
Sean Chick (Formerly Paul O'Sullivan)
United States
New Orleans
Louisiana
flag msg tools
designer
Fag an bealac! Riam nar druid ar sbarin lann! Cuimhnigidh ar Luimnech agus feall na Sassonach! Erin go Bragh! Remember Limerick! Remember Ireland and Fontenoy!
badge
Well, I'm afraid it'll have to wait. Whatever it was, I'm sure it was better than my plan to get out of this by pretending to be mad. I mean, who would have noticed another madman round here?
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After a long pause, Eric produced this American Civil War tactical game in 1992. Covers the battles of 1st Bull Run, Pea Ridge, Shiloh, Gettysburg, and Bentonville. Chit pull handles movement and combat. Certainly one of the best received tactical Civil War games, but the lack of sequels probably killed its potential for becoming a classic series.
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13. Board Game: The Alamo [Average Rating:6.14 Overall Rank:9153]
Sean Chick (Formerly Paul O'Sullivan)
United States
New Orleans
Louisiana
flag msg tools
designer
Fag an bealac! Riam nar druid ar sbarin lann! Cuimhnigidh ar Luimnech agus feall na Sassonach! Erin go Bragh! Remember Limerick! Remember Ireland and Fontenoy!
badge
Well, I'm afraid it'll have to wait. Whatever it was, I'm sure it was better than my plan to get out of this by pretending to be mad. I mean, who would have noticed another madman round here?
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Eric's last game, before his retirement from designing, was this 1995 retread of The Alamo for Decision games. Better received than his original foray, and his only game still currently in print.
 
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