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Jason Russ
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Last Chance for Victory just arrived for the Wargame Depot shelves and I'm about to tear open the shrink on one for myself. Can't wait! Which prompts me to ask a question here that I've been meaning to pose for some time....

How would you compare and contrast the various American Civil War game systems?

I personally don't have enough experience with enough of them to have much of an opinion. And also, I have a (good) disease that makes me play any game that Dean Essig designs. So I've pretty much stuck with his games with a few of the GCACW titles under my belt as well.


Cheers,
Jason
Wargame Depot
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Chris
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Hessen
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I find it difficult to have fun with something like Glory, compared to the time I have spent with CWBS. I am missing the narrative and to a certain extent the 'class'.
I have yet to play both GBACW and LoB, although I have read both (only the latter extensively), but I guess LoB is a clear step up from CWBS (which lately had a certain feeling of fatigue to me, maybe I should not have used the optional fatigue rules). But no wonder if one rushes through those titles.
However, due to the completely different approach (written orders, loss sheets) it has some 'gentlemen's club' thing to me. I feel a bit noble playing it, just missing my pipe, or more fitting cigar. And it changed the way I perceive and play other games. I always make up general plans and orders in my head for other games. I stopped thinking in 'Oh, this unit here, and that unit there, and something random down here because there is a gap' gaming style and made me stick with formations and groups, which I very much welcome. It did, therefore, improve my overall enjoyment of wargames.
GCACW is of course also very interesting, as it gives me the opportunity to do the manouvering I often miss in CWBS, and I love the changing initiative.
I am not too interested in the Columbia games. Don't know if much more fog of war would add anything for me. I like the level of fog of war that I have with the brigade series.
And I am currently playtesting Raicer's new Clash of Giants, but I do not really measure it as a 'serious' wargame, rather something fast and easy for after finishing a big game (which of course is no bad thing). This is as well a consequence of having played something so engaging and time-consuming as CWBS.

I am always confused as to my level of interest into the Civil War. I think the fascination is something difficult to grasp for non Americans, as a Civil War is always something culturally very intrinsic, still I think it is one of the most intriguing and exciting conflicts in history, and one which I can identify with from a tactical point of view (= I just like lines of muskets running into each other). Again, it has this 'gentlemen's club' approach of the 19th century. It has long trumped any other period I like(d).
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The most direct comparison is GBACW.

SPI GBACW is well known - the mechanic is move, defensive fire, fire, assault. The leaders kept people in command radius, and nothing more, usually, except influencing melee. The command system was IGO/UGO All In.

It morphed into the current system GMT published.

It is fiddly - a typical Berg game, many bases covered, and fiddly - the combat system is detailed as is the morale system.

The Chit Pull mechanic is the star, and is used to simulate command. Chaos rules.

Messy in larger games - you often have no idea what is going to activate and you typically "dance and dash" your attention all over the map performing small fights.

Players can lose focus, and in team play, you might find you have little opportunity to 'simulcast' your co-play with your team.

Messy and Fiddly comes to mind.

However, it is a good system; TSS set off the whole genre.

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Nick Rusch
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Jason thank you for asking this question! And gentlemen thank you for the responses. I found them very informative. I've just recently found that I have a big interest in ACW. I've got both of the LOB games and two of the GCACW series. Now to get them on the table and play a few!
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武士に二言無し
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kypros wrote:
I have a (good) disease that makes me play any game that Dean Essig designs.

I tried to treat me with antibiotics based on Italian wine, but it did not work ... indeed, I have had a relapse.

F.
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Jason Russ
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ElFluppe wrote:


I am always confused as to my level of interest into the Civil War.



I feel the same way and I go through spurts when it comes to the American Civil War - both for games and reading the history. Right now I'm on an upswing...


Cheers,
Jason
Wargame Depot


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