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Subject: Designer's Rules Revisions 1975 (Victory Conditions) rss

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Pete Gelman
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Excerpt From: The General Magazine Vol 12 #3. Sept-Oct 1975. I added some paragraph breaks and the bolding below.

“CHANCELLORSVILLE: FIRST AND FOREMOST, A GAME-PLAYER'S GAME

By Randall C. Reed”


***
“A limiting circumstance in any game design is that, given even a very long play test period, no game can be played enough times prior to release to guarantee that the results from the playtest games will be the same as the results from the consumer games. Only after the game has been played literally thousands of times by consumers do many of the 'hidden' crock-situations surface.

"During the later stages of the Chancellorsville playtest, players complained that the game was too imbalanced in favor of the Union side. Since the game had been in the playtesters' hands for a reasonable length of time, this designer had to assume that this meant that a situational imbalance was coming to light as the player's skill in maximizing the game mechanics increased.

"With much reservation, an eleventh-hour change resulted in the Victory Condition ratio changing from 3-I to 4-1, In light of consumer comments received after publication, this was a mistake.

"The original ratio of 3-1 will be restored in the next edition of the rules folder.

***

“One of the biggest criticisms of the game to date has been the lack of constraints placed upon the Confederate player to avoid having his forces surrounded and cut-off from the southern edge of the mapboard. Many end-game situations find the Confederate forces 'holed-up' in the Fredricksburg area behind a wall of fortifications with the Union Army in complete control of the rest of the board.

"In reality, it is doubtful whether the Union Army would have galloped off to Richmond with a largely intact Confederate Army across its line of communications. On the other hand. General Lee would have avoided at all costs the possibility of having the bulk ol his army pocketed by an enemy at least twice as large. Fortunately, both sides of this problem can be handled quite nicely by a simple addition to the Victory Conditions:

"For the purposes of determining the ratio of respective Combat Strength Points, Confederate units are counted ONLY if they can trace a contiguous path of hexes from their location at the end of the game to a hex on the southern edge of the mapboard. Such a path may be of any length and contain hexes of any terrain type. It may NOT, however, consist of hexes occupied by, or adjacent to Union combat units under any circumstances."

"This should prevent the Confederate player from employing a 'Fortress Fredericksburg' strategy, yet still not require him to defend the entire southern edge ol the mapboard. As a side benefit, it should also increase game-flow which is important in this type of game.”
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James D. Williams
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"Confederate units are counted ONLY if they can trace..."
The above solution seems to be a very correct fix.
Lee isn't necessarily forced to leave his Fredricksburg entrenchments as Hooker may have desired. Lee does not "withdraw".
 
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Craig Champagne
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Can anyone with a copy of the September 1979 Rules tell us whether there are any other changes?
 
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Craig Champagne
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I have obtained a scan of the September, 1979 rules. There are no further changes to those outlined in the Design Analysis previously posted here.

The Victory Conditions ratio of 4 to 1 was retained and not changed to 3 to 1, as was hinted at in the Design Analysis.

CSA units do not count for Victory Conditions unless they can trace a line of communication to the southern board edge.

Thanks to Mr. John Ellsworth for his generosity.
 
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