Recommend
4 
 Thumb up
 Hide
4 Posts

The Guns of Gettysburg» Forums » General

Subject: Why not use roads for march movement? rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
Barry Miller
United States
Saint Charles
Missouri
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb

Hi all,

I'm not exactly fluent in anything doing with the Civil War... a subject that never really grabbed me, but this game certainly has! My primary wars of interest are the American War for Independence, and WWII. So excuse my question if it's based on ignorance...

From a design philosophy POV, why aren't the roads allowed to be used for march movement?

I wondered while playing a solo "learning-the-rules" game... considering how far a unit can move along a road during a reinforcement movement, why isn't the same degree of travel allowed for a march movement? For the ACW, how are the mechanics/realities of a unit marching on the battlefield so different than those of a newly arrived reinforcement unit, so that the reinforcement unit can travel several miles in one movement while a marching unit only a fraction of that?

I'm sure the answer lay in Bowen's exhaustive design diaries... but just looking at the amount to read exhausts me!
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Scott Muldoon (silentdibs)
United States
Astoria
New York
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Forming road column in the presence of the enemy was generally a bad idea.
4 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Rachel Simmons
United States
Los Altos
California
flag msg tools
designer
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Scott certainly has a big part of it correct, but there is a point I should add.

The unlimited road movement distance in particular is connected to the fact that the armies at Gettysburg generally had very little visibility into the enemy rear. The unlimited distance actually is a game abstraction to depict units that had been on the road for some longer time but whose presence was unknown to the enemy until they suddenly appeared on the front line. The unlimited distance preserves the possibility of such surprise.

In the historical battle, the most famous instance of this was the initial collision between Heth's Confederate division and the lead elements of Reynold's Union I Corps. Heth, who had already been surprised once by the presence of Union cavalry where none had been expected, was surprised again by the sudden appearance of Union infantry even as he had already begun his attack against the Union cavalry.

As side benefits, the unlimited distance abstraction of rear-area road columns both reduces complexity by avoiding more complex road movement rules (such as both Bonaparte at Marengo and Napoleon's Triumph possess), and reduces playing time by not forcing the players to inch reinforcements up a road. These are just extra benefits, however, and were not the motivation for the rule.
19 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Scipio O.
United States
California
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb

From a non-philosophical game-play POV, I appreciate the lack of road move rules. They are a cause of much complexity in Marengo and Napoleon's Triumph.
5 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.