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Battle Cry: 150th Civil War Anniversary Edition» Forums » Variants

Subject: BattleCry150 Leadership: Shiloh rss

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Jon Snow
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Having tried out Michael Bayernkini's two new card decks for BattleCry150,--based on his early posting of the C&C Napoleonic Leadership Expansion rules and that games upcoming two new card decks--in my favorite Battle Cry 150 scenario(Wilson's Creek)--I now took up my trust first draft of my new BC150 Commander Tactician Rating Chart,and (also based on Michael's CCN postings) and decided to try it out on a very even scenario--Shiloh. Combining these new cards with some ratings for American Civil War generals would therefore prove pretty interesting. I note that generals with my Leadership Rating of 4 or better are considered "Famous" Generals for the sake of these games. Not having time on Draft 1 of my Ratings Chart for each of the 90 battles I now have for BattleCry150, including many from the fan site www.ccbattlecry.net, I made up general ratings for these generals that would not vary by period of the war or battle for now. (See the background to Michael's new Command and Strategy Decks for Battle Cry 150 and my general's chart on other recent discussion threads).

This is not a regular session report, but rather an abbreviated game commentary to show how the cards now make Battle Cry 150 different. Some of these observations will hold true for Napoleonics when the game's Expansion #5 when we get it in September. Others show, I think, why you might want to try this out yourself. Let's call this variant "BattleCry 150 Leadership."


BATTLE CRY 150 LEADERSHIP SHILOH

Looking at the Commander Tactician Chart for C&C Napoleonics Leadership, we see ratings from 6 to 2, the number of cards these generals get there. A different marker (I just used a plastic colored "stone") will distinguish "Famous" Generals, who get an extra hex on the new Corps Command Command Cards (increased from the General and 3 adjacent hexes to 4). Napoleon gets 6 of course, as does Wellington. Wellington as his early incarnation as Wellsely only gets 5, as perhaps should our Union Commander here, but we'll overlook that for now for playtesting purposes.

Let's see how this works in our game. At Shiloh the Union with Grant gets 6 Tactical Cards (TC), and Albert Sidney Johnston (Confederate Side Commander) only 4. CSA's Bragg, who would generate 4 himself were he commanding his side, will however, being on the board as one of the Leaders, gets the "Famous" status, which gives his side a small bonus. Each side still gets the basic 5 Command Cards, although we're now playing with a different Command Deck, with more of the original cards and 9 new Command Card types, plus an entirely new deck of 25 Tactical Cards.

Note that these are what I call "Level 1" Tactical Cards, because like the Memoir 44 Urban and Winter second decks, they cost nothing. I'd call Tactical Cards "Level 2" if they cost something, to purchase or use, or if you had to sacrifice counters to get them, as in Richard Borg's Battle Lore or Samurai Battles.

1. Observations

Two of the initial six TCs drawn by Grant seemed useless: Cavalry Attack (no Cavalry) and Veteran Infantry (no buildings). However not so, both were used later for the default ability all TCs offer; to reposition a General up to 3 hexes (in one case to set up a later use of a Corps Command Command Card. No TC is "useless."

Short of Supply is different from Out of Ammo, the latter affecting an enemy (only) just before his attack. Like many other TC's they are used in addition to Command Cards (CC). We shall see later that a CC card that usually draws groans when picked was decisively helpful as a TC!

Ironically, although the CSA had the "Famous" General, it was the USA that got three Corps Command cards in the initial draw! This was somewhat compensated for when the CSA used the TC Cavalry Recon to find that out, and then drew one of its own. it used a regular CC to set up its use, and then used its Corps Command CC to hurry its Right flank group along. So the interplay of TC's with each other and with CC's was already heating up the standard format game in a fun and challenging manner on Turn 1.

The South initially moved up its huge force on its Left (all references are to the side's own left or right flank) including all three artillery units. The Union shied away on its own matching Right Flank. Then the Corps Command CCs made it possible for the Union to reshuffle its units and move an artillery over to that threatened area while moving other units up quickly as well. Of course, a Corps Command card can be Counterattacked by that card as well as any other, and the Union did that to save one of their own for later.

The Confederates moved up on their Right through the thick woods. The USA used an Artillery Combat TC to hurt a CSA artillery battery, but the CSA played Battlefield Smoke to rescue one figure of it. Sometimes one TC can cancel another.

The Confederates used the thick formation of the Union in its defensive Woods against itself by playing the TC Out of Supply on a Union battery, forcing it behind and apparently blocked by other Union units. But another Union Corps Command CC shifted it back closely, while getting the other artillery from the Center now online on the Right Flank!

You can see already that this is no longer your mother's Battle Cry (aka that so basic Hasbro version never to be upgraded). But now you have other options.

The Union played Recon In Force, moving up a new infantry reinforcement unit after that card resulted in same on its Right Flank, and others, while at the same time now getting a new TC.

On the Northern Left, the Construct Fieldworks TC now allowed the Union to build on on the isolated Woods on its far Right Flank, and fortifying two artillery units on its Left, making its position quite strong, while filing units into them at the same time, now that CF, a card that often wastes a turn in many games, has been transferred from the first to the second deck. The Union is pulling off some nice organizational redeployments, which usually take great patience and much time to achieve, much like the M44 'On The Move' cards do for its Breatkthrough format.

The Federals now open fire finally on their threatened Right Flank, smashing the Confederate major assault, and gaining 3 Flags (of 6 required for Victory)! The USA at this point have played 6 TC, having 1 left (the replacement), the CSA has 1, having played 2. The CSA, who had formerly moved forward on all three sectors, now became passive and defensive.

The Yanks now move artillery and infantry from their entrenchments to take the fight to the enemy, and the Rebs refuse their Left and take cover in the Center woods. Having moved up their big guns, they now play the Bombard card and scatter their opponents even more.

There follows several turns of minor card use and stalemate, while both sides rotate to get better cards. The Confederates fall back in the Center, as the Union advances there as well.

But the game is not yet over, for on the Rebel Right, an interesting new combo of cards has made a new attack possible with an inferior force! For the first time, the extra CCs make it possible to play not only new combinations, but multiples of the same card right after each other. The Confederates benefit from two Rally cards; the USA by two Force Marches. The Confederates have manged to knock out a Union artillery, but the Union keeps punching, so the score is now Union 5-1.

Suddenly, the Confederates strike using only one stack at a time on their Right Flank. First one infantry attacks, making itself an easy target to soak up Union follow up attacks. It is eliminated. But then Bragg's stack hits home with first Leadership attack with a Heroic Leader Charge (which gives a second attack after the first target unit is retreated or destroyed. The Union target is retreated, and then destroyed. But the USA draws Battle Cry , and pushes the gray clad stack backwards.

Finally, on the Union Left, an advancing blue artillery hits a weakened gray artillery on its board edge back hex and wipes it out, for a 6-2 victory.

2. Conclusions

First, the game was a bit longer and more complex than a regular Battle Cry 150 game. Which for me is a good thing. Without changing its nature, BC150 may now take its place honorably with other C&C games in development, and with all the fan site scenarios, as much more complete from 1861-1865 in the East, West, and Trans-Mississippi.

Second, You now have more control over your C&C Civil War Army, and can maneuver it more as you wish, rather than accept the original deployment as given, or take forever to change it. You can also react to the enemy in a more deliberate way, rather than praying and rolling the dice.

Third, there are fewer turns when you feel like you can do little with your hand of cards.

Fourth, you can accomplish these maneuvers more quickly, as TC cards supplement your CC play simultaneously.

Fifth, many new card combinations are now possible by augmenting the Command Deck and adding the Tactician Deck. So if you've left your Battle Cry 150 on the shelf too long, take it down again, make up the new decks, print out some of the new scenarios and get to playing!

Sixth, I'm sure you realize its much too early to say anything about how the Tactician Cards affect the balance of the game. In my first use at Wilson's Creek, without the General Ratings, I just gave each side 3 cards to start, as per my basic allocation. Did the two extra cards give the Union their victory at Shiloh? I don't think so, because the Northern player (in this solitaire game) pulled much better cards in the three Corps Commands, which were new Command Cards. The matrix of new cards will take a while to evaluate. But in the mean time, they are fun to use, and can give us an idea of what to expect when the C&C Napoleonics game comes out next month.











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Mayor Jim
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+1thumbsup Excellent review and AAR. You've piqued my interest in adding these cards and trying this version of BC150...one of my favorites.
 
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Michael Dippel
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If you notice things, which should be clarified/changed,
post it here

http://ccbattlecry.net/index.php?option=com_kunena&view=topi...

I have add already 2 clarifications about Short Supply and Call for Reinforcements

And i agree, any TC deck pimps up BC much and makes fun (without changing the easy way of BC).

As i said, it could be, that some TC must still adjust a little, but this will be seen by time and more games
 
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Jon Snow
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Michael,

Sure will! I'm only using 25 Tactician Cards (one of each), but you mention there that you have duplicates in the 'final' deck. Can you list the full mix you are using here, as I haven't found it on the other site, or provide a link to it? I'll be glad to make up some more to conform to what you are using now.
 
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Jon Snow
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goo Mayor Jim,

Thanks, brother! Just for some general Battle Cry love over the years:

*When the original version came out, a pal and I spend a whole weekend playing through the scenarios, stopping only for sleep, food, and etc.

*I was the Second Place winner in our large Brooklyn club's BC tournament, so I got to play in all the rounds.

*After Richard Borg told me what was different in the second version, I got BC150--which he autographed--but partly so I could make up rules for two-board games ("Epic," "Overlord," "Grand Bataille" etc.), and you can find those rules in the Files section below, with my own set of second deck cards.

*This year I printed out and played around 60 more scenarios from the fan site (mostly solitaire).

At www.heroscapers.com we have a certain attitude about Hasbro after they dropped that game, which I won't repeat here. Now I'm buying Magic TheGathering: Arena of the Planeswalkers so I can Port it into Scape, so I guess they win after all. But I see it more as a continuing dialogue with common designer Craig Van Ness, as some are calling that new game "Heroscape 2.0". But I did get rid of my copy of Battlship Galaxies when they dropped that one. With Planeswalkers they have already announced expansions due in January, and they will be on Scape model rather than blind packs! Maybe they are finally coming to care about the hobby community, as well as mass marketing--which I'm sure will be profitable for them in the long run.
 
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Battle Cry 150 Leadership: First Bull Run Setup

Let's see how this new system sets up for an Eastern battle. This original scenario, in fact the first one, gives the Union the first move, but the Confederates the terrain. Each side gets 6 Command Cards in a battle that easily could have gone either way, and that stays the same.

I've given the USA's Commander, Irvin McDowell, a 3 Tactician Card rating. The CSA's Beauregard gets a 4. (The ratings are based more on what they actually did in the Civil War than their exact ability. McDowell was competent, but his amateur army lost the first battle, and he was removed from command for good. Beauregard got to continue in action throught the war in several theaters and command levels, although he ended up more or less shelved as the garrison Commandant of Charleston, S.C.). So the Confederacy gets one more TC than the USA does.

David Hunter, the Union Commander of this sector, is not on my rating table. I could put him there, but since he'd be rated less than 4 anyhow, he simply is not rated as "Famous," which is fine. Ditto other lesser known ACW generals who might appear in scenarios with no particular game effect unless they are in command. Which could happen, given that BC150 has different scenarios at different levels of operations. So since he is not in command of a scenario I've seen yet, but say Shields is, Shields gets a minor rating in my chart (see other thread).

For First Bull Run, this all sounds reasonable, and adds something new without changing the scenario much. There are too many scenarios (about 90 now including most of those on the fan site, just in regular rather than Epic format) to go over right away, but it seems like the system will hold in general, with perhaps some further adjustment along the way.

P.S. The Confederates won 6-4, and the Tactician Card action was wild, but not decisive.
 
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BattleCry150 Leadership: Gettysburg (Second Day) Set Up

The CSA gets 6 Tactician Cards (Lee), and the USA 4 (Meade). There are no Famous Generals on the board.

In the initial draw, although using a deck of only 25 TC in this fourth game using them, a number appeared not yet seen in previous games!

This is the game where I'd say the TC made the most difference. The CSA used their better TCs drawn quickly. For example, the Engineer Corps got them into Devil's Den--extremely fortuitous! Their general momentum continued, and although the Union combined Infantry Skirmish with Infantry Volley Fire to take the Woods hex on their far Right Flank, the CSA soon took Little Round Top, while defending on their Left Flank. (Edit: I now realize this latter was illegal, as only one TC can be used on the same unit/leader per turn).

Later they retreated the USA out of the Peach Orchard, although never taking it themselves, and toward the end, their two advancing artillery units in the Center forced the Union to also vacate the Wheat Field.

The Northerners had taken massive infantry casualties, twice that of the South, and at the end had almost no army left! Their pluck was shown by the fact that the Confederates won only 6 to 4!

Hint: I put a marker below the card rack under cards that will generate another TC when played, so that I remember to take them.

(Edit): Michael has now posted a larger Tactician Deck, now in the Files section below, with some cards having more than one each--the deck now goes from 25 to 50 cards. I'll be using that from now on.
 
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Baattle Cry 150 Leadership: Chickamauga Set Up

This will be the first time using Michael Dippel's full 50 card Tactical Deck and my Second Draft Tactical Rating Reference Chart.

Both sides get 3 TC. Longstreet (CSA) and Thomas (USA) are Famous Generals. So both sides start potentially equal, leadership wise.

The parameters of the game changes immediately, as the Union initially draws two "Ammunition Shortage" TC cards.

Although the Union used these two cards to break up the first Confederate assault, the CSA scored a stunning upset victory banner shut out 6-0, which almost never happens. Nevertheless it was a longer and exciting game. The CC/TC card play was very entertaining, and Thomas held out to the last, even refusing to be hit when alone and out of troops!
 
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Battle Cry 150 Leadership: Gettysburg Second Day Set Up

I've never liked this scenario, because its so historical that the Confederates don't have much of a chance. Would Leadership make any difference?

The CSA gets 6 Tactician Cards for Lee, the USA 4 for Meade. There are no Famous Generals.

The Southerners drew a Forced March CC initially, with two helpful TC: CIC Order (to move up an artillery as well as the infantry) and Short Supply (to send an enemy gun back 2 spaces out of the front line. Now usually I play the CSA cagey, trying to maneuver on the flanks for advantage or at least bringing up the back units before making the main attack. This time I decided to just go for it, moving the CSA up two spaces--halfway to the fence line! Wah-hoo! Moving up 5 infantry looked good, and the resulting combat forced most of the Union units back near their board edge, although not causing many casualties.

Then both sides ran out of Center cards, and the game froze, with both sides out of effedtive shooting range, but without the ability to move up anything but isolated units which would in turn be in trouble. So nothing much happened for a while, and the image of both armies firing while, as in the movie Gettysburg, officers keep yelling "Keep up your fire," as both sides tried to get flanking units up or closer to the Center. Very few casualties were caused by those who could hit anything, and the game seemed stalemated.

After some time, the CSA was clearly taking more hits, even though it had brought up its entire army. The Union ran up all three of its artillery, although weakened, up to or past the fence line. The next turn its own Forced March brought up the infantry to support it. With CSA fire mostly still ineffective, the Union was finally able to get in serious attacks, and win the game in yet another shutout, 6-0.

The new Leadership rules had made the turns lots of fun, but not decisively changed history. Still, both sides had more control of what they did. The Confederates, for instance, had been able to use the default option on some TC cards to reposition a leader to take more effective command, and use two succesive Leadership cards well, even though they had no Corps Command cards, except one needed to shore up a weakened Left Flank.

So once again, the Leadership made the game more interesting, without dramatically shifting the historical bent of Mr. Borg's scenarios. Of course, with different cards and dice the game could have been very different (the case indeed for most of them), and the great replayability of these games makes it much too early for any general conclusions.

 
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Battlecry 150 Leadership: Fort Donelson Set Up

Now it's time to try a very different battle, and one to which Leadership rules will apply the maximum one sided result in TC card allotment. Grant gives 6 TC to the Union, poor Floyd only 1 to the Confederates! Forrest will be on my Draft 3 Chart as a 4, so he's the only Famous General.

One can argue, of course, that a cavalry commander should only be able to lead that type of unit. I'll cite the occasion after Stonewall Jackson's death when JEB Stuart took over his Corps and did a creditable job. Certainly, given the situation in this scenario, any Confederate officer would have been glad to follow Forrest's orders to break out, rather than surrender as his superiors proposed (while they themselves got away, leaving Buckner--who I'll rate a 3--to hold the bag!) Of the terrible political generals, I've rated only the Union's Ben Butler so far as low as the ignominious Floyd and Pillow.

The CSA opened with a Force March on the Left Flank against the weakest Union sector. The USA used one TC on its turn and two on its own to blund the rebel attack, but the Southerners threw down their single TC "Fight Back" against the Yanks. The greybacks took casualties and the bulebellies only retreats, but fighting continued on and on, even involving cavalry from both sides.

The CSA was able to use a Cavalry Attack and soon it was Confederates ahead 3 to 0! The USA moved two infantry from the Center into the fight. Finally the Union made a six die attack with Leadership and the TC Infantry Close Combat against Forrest and his cavalry, which only took one hit and a retreat! But the CSA was now only ahead 4-3. Out of troops and alone, Forrest had to use a Corps Command TC to get himself out of the mess! Since the forces of both sides were rather fragmented at this point, several of these cards were later used to move just one unit or lone general.

With the first long lasting CSA assault finally repelled, both sides moved more troops into the Center, but engaged little there. The Union started firing on the Fort Donelson outer fieldwork line, and the CSA had to pull back.

With the Union ahead 5-4, the last gray infantry started to pull back from the Fort's front works into the citadel where their artillery was positioned, after taking two lossed from two Union 1 die attacks from one infantry and one artillery shooting from the woods. Against the odds once more, they were wiped out for the game point when the same type of attcks again killed their last two figures.

Union victory 6-4.

Certainly although the combination of the two new decks and the Famous Generals (using an augmented Corps Command ability for an extra hex of command) were fun, but again did not break the game. At one point the Union had a Corps of four units including one artillery, and infantry with two Generals moving across on one Corps Command Card! All kinds of interesting combos and moves were made, and the joy of discovery makes the new cards very worth trying for a game that had gone stale a bit.
 
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Mayor Jim
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Two nice AARs...thanks.
 
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