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Stonewall's Sword: The Battle of Cedar Mountain» Forums » News

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HERMANN LUTTMANN
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Hello all!
This game was inspired by Jeff Berry's wonderful article about Cedar Mountain on his "Obscure Battles" website. It was quite a challenge to design this game so as to properly recreate the situation at this strange battle and actually give the Union a fighting chance. But .... I think we did it. At least I hope so!
If you have any questions, please fire away. The game should be done and ready for publication very soon.

Thanks!
Hermann
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Rick Barber
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I just fired off the scans for the final map art to Hermann and Mike, so we'll see if it sticks or slides down the wall! A very interesting battle, with a lot of differing possibilities, depending on whop gets their possible reinforcements and when.
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HERMANN LUTTMANN
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Thanks Rick! We'll get that map posted up here so people can see it.
Herm
 
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Michał M.
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Very nice map Rick!

Hermann, am I right that up to 16 Strength Points can fire? What's the scale then?
I'm very curious about the mechanics of this game - those tables look quite difficult and "multi-step".
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HERMANN LUTTMANN
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Hey Michal!
The game is 150 yards/ hex and 1 SP = 50 men.
The tables are actually color coded for ease of play and do look more difficult than they actually are. You roll four colored D6's all at once - black/white/red/blue. The black and white dice give you the CRT result and are read as "11 - 66". That may give you a type of Cohesion Test to take, the severity of which is indicated by its title and color. The red and blue dice rolls are compared to the unit's Cohesion Rating - the red die tells you if the target unit is flipped to its weaker side or not and the blue die tells you if the target unit retreats any or not. It's all done in one swoop. All those colors are just to make things easier to find.
Let me know if you have any other questions. This is actually the first game in the new "Blind Swords"system.

Thanks!
Hermann
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Michał M.
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Yes, I have!
I see stacking limits, but what about units that are bigger than those limits? 10 SP unit in woods for example? Does stacking limit limits SPs that can fire in this case and nothing more? Or do I have push skirmishers forward (I see Skirmish Order counter, so I guess there will be this option).

It all looks interesting and my inner tactician is looking forward (Boy, I'm jelous of your playtester's chance to play it now! )

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HERMANN LUTTMANN
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There is the "Singular Unit" rule, which says one unit is always allowed in a hex, regardless of SP size. BUT, it can still only fight with the number of SP's allowed by the terrain. So if a 10-SP unit is in a Woods hex, it can only fire/melee with 8 of its SP's.
The Skirmish Order markers are for when an entire regiment is broken into skirmishers and there are special rules for that. Skirmish screens, sent out by formed regiments, are handled abstractly by allowing units to fire beyond their normal range, but on a special Skirmish Table which applies temporary harassing fire effects.
Thanks!
Herm
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Michał M.
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Great!

How you will mark losses? Loss Charts or some counters? I hope for the first way to be honest, since extra counters are always pain in the neck for me.

I'm looking forward to new photos and pieces of information, so far it looks really good.
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HERMANN LUTTMANN
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Ah! That's the cool thing about the system. There are almost no markers. Units are either at Full Effectiveness (front side), Reduced Effectiveness (back side) or Ineffective (off the map and on the Broken Track). This was intentionally done to limit the piles of annoying markers. I don't care exactly how many guys are dead/wounded/missing/cowering/straggling/shaken - I only care about how is that unit functioning overall on the field of battle. So it is again an abstraction of what's going on with the unit, but what we care about is what is the unit's effect on gameplay. The unit's status can fluctuate quite a bit during the course of the game, reflecting its various states of effectiveness while fighting. And note that units on the Broken Track are not eliminated - they have been rendered ineffective but still do exist on the map, they just can't affect gameplay until they get their act together.

Thanks!
Hermann
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Michał M.
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Unfortunately this is way too much abstract given the game's scale for me, so Stonewall's Sword is not on my radar anymore
(And I don't want to imply that this won't be great game - it just my personal bias against some game mechanics)

PS. Hammerin' Sickles will also use this rules, right?
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HERMANN LUTTMANN
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Understood and sorry about that.

Hammerin' Sickles uses basically the same system, but takes it a step further with the addition of a Shaken/Disrupted marker which adds another layer to a unit's condition. So a unit can be on its front (fully-effective) side, but then be nuanced to a "Shaken" condition (-1 SP / -1 Movement / -1 Cohesion Rating) and a "Disrupted" condition (-2 SP / -2 Movement / -2 Cohesion Rating). Same goes for the back (reduced-effectiveness) side. This is because the larger component limits that GMT provides allow me to add that extra layer. So hopefully that will work better for you.

Don't forget - the goal of this system is to make regimental-scale ACW games PLAYABLE, with the addition of Command Control and Fog-of-War aspects that blend right into the gameplay very smoothly.

Thanks!
Hermann
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Michał M.
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Quote:
Don't forget - the goal of this system is to make regimental-scale ACW games PLAYABLE, with the addition of Command Control and Fog-of-War aspects that blend right into the gameplay very smoothly.


I don't have any doubts that regimental-scale ACW is playable already. Line of Battle series is the best proof.

Anyway I will at least check the rules once they are online - some of rules and mechanics look promising and interesting.
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HERMANN LUTTMANN
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Well, to be honest that depends on what your definition of "playable" is! I will never denigrate another designer's system - there's something for everybody. But when a couple of my friends at our weekly gaming group have been playing a popular and well-known regimental-scale game for the last couple of months and completing only one turn a night (at 3 1/2 hours of playing time per night), that to me is "unplayable". And I guarantee you that this game system will get you to the same battle conclusion, in a fraction of the time, in less table space and at 25% of the cost as that other much larger game system. When I play a game, I want to spend my game time thinking about my strategy - not wading through tables, calculating multiple sub-systems or looking for rules exceptions. But that may just be me.

Thanks!
Hermann
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Michał M.
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Quote:
I want to spend my game time thinking about my strategy - not wading through tables, calculating multiple sub-systems or looking for rules exceptions


You are not the only one. And I agree with you, that some regimental-scale games are too slow, fiddly, and with, let say this gently, not too clear or compact rules.
To the extent, that sometimes I use high quality components from one series (with minor alterations) and play the game on the rules of another.
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Kirk Allton
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OK Hermann, just found out about this game. I really like this battle, and would love to get it to go along with Hammerin Sickles. How would we buy it, and when will it be out?
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HERMANN LUTTMANN
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Hey Kirk!
Stonewall's Sword has just finished the graphics stage and is now undergoing editing, review and additonal development by Chris Hansen. So barring any disasters, it should be fairly soon. Certainly way before Hammerin' Sickles, as that has to go through the whole P500 process yet.

I'm actually very happy with the way this game turned out. It's a tough battle to make entertaining considering the circumstances (as hard as doing a Mars-la-Tour game!) but I think we got it right. At least I hope so.

Thanks!
Hermann
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Kirk Allton
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That sounds great, looking forward to it.

Will it be a print and play or a boxed game?
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HERMANN LUTTMANN
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I believe the game will be available in all three formats - pnp, folio and boxed.

Thanks!
Herm
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Kirk Allton
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Oh that's good, folio or boxed is fine. I really dont like pnp games, too much of a hassle.
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Kirk Allton
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Also, are the Confederate units going to have their regimental designations on them? I also like the hat effect on the units.
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Kirk Allton
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Malaggar wrote:
Quote:
Don't forget - the goal of this system is to make regimental-scale ACW games PLAYABLE, with the addition of Command Control and Fog-of-War aspects that blend right into the gameplay very smoothly.


I don't have any doubts that regimental-scale ACW is playable already. Line of Battle series is the best proof.

Anyway I will at least check the rules once they are online - some of rules and mechanics look promising and interesting.


I definately hear what you are saying Michael. Most of us were raised on TSS systems and are used to numbered counters for SPs. I also am not one for a bloodless CRT as found in the old SPI games, and another brigade level system on the Civil War and Napoleonic battles that ruined the games for me.

I like Hermann's other game, and I feel that if done right the combat in this game could be fine. All that is needed is to show a regiment's disintegration from steel into jelly in a fun way. Sure, it would be good to know also how many men are down, but with all the other aspects to this game system I am ready to give it a try.
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HERMANN LUTTMANN
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Thanks Kirk! Yes, every regiment and battery is named for both sides.
As far as unit "granularity", we feel it's in there enough to be felt by the player. Again, this game is designed based on what I - as a game player - like to see in my games. I think all designers basically design what they like to play. And tons of markers or roster sheets or anything else that smells of extra paperwork or record keeping of any kind is something I try to avoid in the games I elect to play.
Hermann
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Michał M.
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Quote:
Sure, it would be good to know also how many men are down, but with all the other aspects to this game system I am ready to give it a try.


And I wish you all the fun!

I'm very specific type of gamer - I can't turn a blind eye when something bothers me. That's why I don't play GBACW series!
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Kirk Allton
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Malaggar wrote:
Quote:
Sure, it would be good to know also how many men are down, but with all the other aspects to this game system I am ready to give it a try.


And I wish you all the fun!

I'm very specific type of gamer - I can't turn a blind eye when something bothers me. That's why I don't play GBACW series!


I totally understand. I am also a huge fan of the RSS/CWB systems, but the sheer size and length of a full RSS battle can get to be a problem. I have found that every system out there have several positives and one negative it seems.
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Kirk Allton
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HORST324 wrote:
Hello all!
This game was inspired by Jeff Berry's wonderful article about Cedar Mountain on his "Obscure Battles" website. It was quite a challenge to design this game so as to properly recreate the situation at this strange battle and actually give the Union a fighting chance. But .... I think we did it. At least I hope so!
If you have any questions, please fire away. The game should be done and ready for publication very soon.

Thanks!
Hermann


Just looked up that website. What great maps!
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