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The Price of Freedom: The American Civil War 1861-1865» Forums » General

Subject: Some toughts about this game. rss

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Nuno Gonzalez
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After several plays, We considered this title a very good game.

I think the lack of understanding regarding the management of the generals created a negative opinion of this title.

After two games and understanding well the importance of the commanders the game is extremely fun and simulates very well (in Our opinion) the real historical situation.

Being a strategic game, each player represent the political leader of each faction (Lincoln - Jeff Davis). Besides the operational aspects of the allocation/movement of armies, attacks, logistics, etc., players should be extremely aware of the range of generals who have at their disposal, ranking (Army Commanders and Teatre Commanders), historic entrance and geography in which these generals should operate.

Another important issue in The Price of Freedom concern the rules of logistics and supply causing obvious constraints to the advance of any invading force in enemy territory (more costly for CSA). Any advance of a USA Army in the deep South must maintain a path of vulnerable garrisons.

Once you understand all these items the game runs smoothly and with a lot of fun.

Unlike other reviews in this forum I never felt that the Confederate "had nothing to do" during the game, on the contrary, against an aggressive northerner, the Confederate should counterattack the various landings made by the US player and delay the US penetration on the Mississippi, organize and prepare well his army (wise use of the battle cards) and try to get a Strategic victory that delay or avoid Grant's entry in the game and gain Vps.

In one of Our games, the Confederates were reduced to 3-4 Corps and with the territory cut in half and still managed to get a win.

As I say before, this is a strategic game and we will not see much operational movement in the Eastern Front (or on any front). In the Washigton-Richmond Front the USA must try to strategic outmanoeuvre the CSA and put his Capital out of supply, any direct attack on their respective capitals may represent the immediate destruction of the attacker.

I recognize that the rules for generals are not "user friendly" and easy perceptible in a first superficial approach. Hence it is important to know those rules relating to the use and utilization of commanders to enjoy this game.

This is a game to be played in 1:30-2:30 hours maximum.

Before starting playing will be convenient to print the aid player on the files detailing the management and maintenance of the generals.

Cheers

















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Rauli Kettunen
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agripa wrote:
try to get a Strategic victory that delay or avoid Grant's entry in the game and gain Vps.


Grant's entry into the game can't really be delayed or avoided, not by the Confederate player at least. He becomes available turn 2, at which point the Union player can bring him out, nothing CSA can do about it. Getting Grant to Western Theater Commander and on to ETC, those the CSA can work to hinder, hell, killing Grant works nicely as well.

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In one of Our games, the Confederates were reduced to 3-4 Corps and with the territory cut in half and still managed to get a win.


Yep, you just need to hold the key spots (to have sufficient War Effort). Although at 3 Corps, Union only needs 9 Corps for Military Victory (3x Corps deployed), which they can achieve easily enough.

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In the Washigton-Richmond Front the USA must try to strategic outmanoeuvre the CSA and put his Capital out of supply, any direct attack on their respective capitals may represent the immediate destruction of the attacker.


I don't think this approach really works. Blocking the Atlantic Coast and taking Shenandoah accomplishes this IIRC, so it's not by any means out of the question (probably quite normal over the course of any game), but the modifiers for Attrition are still in favor of the Rebs (mere +2 for being in a capital region still leaves +1 to roll after getting -1 from out of supply), they can keep 2 Corps defending Richmond and never lose one of attrition. But beyond that, even if they keep Beauregard and 1 Corps to defend Richmond (usually CSA spends 1OP on the first turn for just this action), the modifiers for attacking an enemy capital make it really hard to take it, even with 4-1 odds (CSA will have +3BDRM, Union -3, with the numbers going to +4 and -2 once Meade enters the fray, Union gets to -1 with Sheridan on turn 7, not to mention there are far more combat cards with modifiers for boosting defense than offense). With all the manpower the Union needs out West, getting better odds can be achieved, but generally this means the CSA will have room to pull in more Corps to defend Richmond as well.
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Nuno Gonzalez
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Good points Rauli.

Grant entry in the Game can´t be delayed by the CSA, but not give him chance of a Victory as Field Commander (1-2 Corps) prevents the progression of his career as Western Theatre Commander and posterior Eastern Theatre Commander.

With only one or two Corps is relatively easy to eliminate Grant. Even in Corp against Corp battle (with good modifiers) it is possible to eliminate the commander.

Attacking frontally Richmond or Washington, is (in my opinion) virtually impossible and never a good proposition. The best way to USA win the game is by attrition, conquering territories and download the WE CS level, suffocating the military capacity of the South as historically succeeded with de Anaconda Plan.

Confederate should try to delay the execution of this plan. It is relatively easy to open the naval blockade with cards, a CSA Corp with a mediocre commander and with good defense cards can stop and give a "blody nose" to an invading USA army (the Union need be allways attacking).

The resolution of battles with the fog of war provided by battle cards and the Events full of ACW flavour, gave us moments of great fun.

As I say before, I think this is a beautiful under-rated game that features plenty of options to both factions to make it interesting and bring it several times to the gaming table.
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Rauli Kettunen
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agripa wrote:
Grant entry in the Game can´t be delayed by the CSA, but not give him chance of a Victory as Field Commander (1-2 Corps) prevents the progression of his career as Western Theatre Commander and posterior Eastern Theatre Commander.


True, I think in my 55 plays of PoF, Grant has never made it to ETC, even getting him to WTC is tricky, requiring a bad roll by the CSA. What usually happens is Grant makes an attack against Polk (A. Johnston as CSA WTC tends to command the Army of Tennessee with 4+ Corps, tough to defeat him with just 2 Corps), 2 vs 2 Corps. But even if he wins, CSA can easily play a 3OP card to give Polk a new Corps, refresh his troops and attack Grant back, with Grant now being spent and possibly having less Corps (and fighting on CSA territory), thus reducing his wins down to 0.

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With only one or two Corps is relatively easy to eliminate Grant. Even in Corp against Corp battle (with good modifiers) it is possible to eliminate the commander.


That doesn't really eliminate him, if all his Corps are eliminated, he goes back to the force pool, ready to replace the next sacked commander. Only way to remove him for good is "Shot From the Saddle" card.

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Attacking frontally Richmond or Washington, is (in my opinion) virtually impossible and never a good proposition. The best way to USA win the game is by attrition, conquering territories and download the WE CS level, suffocating the military capacity of the South as historically succeeded with de Anaconda Plan.


Thing is though, in game terms, as Union, you can basically ignore the Eastern Theater and still win (maybe take Shenandoah with Army of the Potomac to kick in Emancipation unless the CSA obliges and attacks, "You Must Attack" can help). Blocking the coasts and taking control of the Western Theater is usually enough for Union Military Victory (3x Corps) to be within fairly easy reach. Just need to watch out for CSA playing Draft offensively or War Weariness.

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Confederate should try to delay the execution of this plan. It is relatively easy to open the naval blockade with cards, a CSA Corp with a mediocre commander and with good defense cards can stop and give a "blody nose" to an invading USA army (the Union need be allways attacking).


CSA is at a disadvantage with both of these. Blockade cards give Union 2 Blockade tokens, one for each Coast, while CSA can only remove 1 token with their play of Blockade. Similarly, I'm not sure the CSA has commanders to spare for defending the coasts from naval invasion, more possible if Kentucky stays closed for long, but once it opens up for eitehr side, CSA will have 2 commanders in the west tied up, one fighting for Memphis, other for Nashville, that's 5-6 Corps between them, very likely half the CSA WE tied up with those two commanders, throw in defense at Richmond and Shenandoah, WE could be all used up. Not to mention CSA doesn't have exactly stellar commanders among the lower ranks (non-star commanders). But re-opening a Blockade for a critical turn end by freeing up a coastal region from Union Corps/garrison is a key tool in the CSA arsenal.

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The resolution of battles with the fog of war provided by battle cards and the Events full of ACW flavour, gave us moments of great fun.


It's funny, I've been playing A Study in Emerald quite a bit of late and have been thinking it is giving me a similar vibe, especially from the art aspect, cards in both games evoke the theme, Double Agents can screw up a key assassination/hiding just like combat cards can in PoF.
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Nuno Gonzalez
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Regarding the cards and their use, with four pulses per player and a hand that can go 6-10 cards and the ability to use multiple cards for fighting battle, each battle can be a surprise; the army / force that is on the map is not necessarily all that the enemy has.

Most Event cards also affect movement, efficiency, capacity of armies and their commanders and can ruin any preconceived plan.
 
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Nuno Gonzalez
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Quote:
I think in my 55 plays of PoF, Grant has never made it to ETC, even getting him to WTC is tricky


I don´t have played POF so many times!

It was about six months ago the last time we played POF. And now we are thinking placing again in our gaming table.

In fact, the last time we played POF also do not recall seeing Grant as theater commander on the eastern front. But we just only had 4 games
 
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Nuno Gonzalez
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I'm not sure the CSA has commanders to spare for defending the coasts from naval invasion, more possible if Kentucky stays closed for long, but once it opens up for eitehr side, CSA will have 2 commanders in the west tied up, one fighting for Memphis, other for Nashville


That's the fun of being confederate! He can carry an army and strike a blow against any USA invasion in New Orleans or Mobile.

The defence of Savannah or Charleston becomes more complicated forcing some tough decisions.
 
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