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The U.S. Civil War» Forums » Rules

Subject: Action phases rss

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Chris Stimpson
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As a new purchaser (aren't we all?) with one entire set of action phases and one end-turn under his belt, I make this observation from my position as a veteran TUSCW player...

Each action phase allows each player a variable number of action points to be used. The initiative winner spends all his action points first, checks for supply, then the other player spends all his action points,etc.

I wonder why this mechanic wasn't designed so that players alternated in using up their action points? This would have moved the game (slightly) in the direction of simultaneous movement.

Or was the thought that, in this era, it actually took armies some time to react to their opponents' moves? (Think of the time it took McClellan to react to Lee's invasion of the North in 1862, which ended at Antietam, or the Army of the Potomac's response to Lee's invasion of 1863, which ended at Gettysburg).

Another picky point:

On the board (top right corner), Missouri is described as being in the 'Trans-Mississippi', while Indiana, Ohio and Illinois are described as being in 'the West'. Not a big one; the rules have it right, and most of us know one from t'other.
 
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Peter Walsh
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Can't speak to the first few points which are matters of taste, but the picky point about the map: "Transmississippi" is the territory that is "on the far side of the Mississippi." To people of that era "the West" *did* refer to Ohio, Illinois and Indiana. If you wanted to discuss places like New Mexico, or California that was the "Far West". The map is correct.
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Rich James
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cstimpson wrote:

On the board (top right corner), Missouri is described as being in the 'Trans-Mississippi', while Indiana, Ohio and Illinois are described as being in 'the West'. Not a big one; the rules have it right, and most of us know one from t'other.
That's correct (actually, top right corner has St. Louis in Trans-Miss, but Missouri is in Trans-Miss). The Trans-Mississippi area is everything west of the Mississippi. Indiana, Ohio and Illinois are in the West as they are West of the red dotted line (west of all the East Coast states).

Am I misunderstanding your comment?
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Bill Koens
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cstimpson wrote:
As a new purchaser (aren't we all?) with one entire set of action phases and one end-turn under his belt, I make this observation from my position as a veteran TUSCW player...

Each action phase allows each player a variable number of action points to be used. The initiative winner spends all his action points first, checks for supply, then the other player spends all his action points,etc.

I wonder why this mechanic wasn't designed so that players alternated in using up their action points? This would have moved the game (slightly) in the direction of simultaneous movement.

Or was the thought that, in this era, it actually took armies some time to react to their opponents' moves? (Think of the time it took McClellan to react to Lee's invasion of the North in 1862, which ended at Antietam, or the Army of the Potomac's response to Lee's invasion of 1863, which ended at Gettysburg).

Another picky point:

On the board (top right corner), Missouri is described as being in the 'Trans-Mississippi', while Indiana, Ohio and Illinois are described as being in 'the West'. Not a big one; the rules have it right, and most of us know one from t'other.
Can't speak about the way action points are spent as a simulation of the war, but one thing it does for me as designed is encourages caution. If I lose initiative and move second, I don't know if my opponent is going to move next and how many moves he'll get. So I play it close and assume the worst...
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Mick Mickelsen
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I really like the action phases as is. One has to be cautious in light of the possibility your opposing forces may get a double move before you can respond. I imagine it would be much easier with this version to replicate Lee's invasion of the North for example.
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Chris Stimpson
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Multiple apologies, messrs. Walsh and James. Mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa.

yuk

I was misled by the thought that 'west' just meant 'the stuff to the left of the map board if your belly is hanging over the Gulf of Mexico'. I should have remembered my Latin at school, in which 'trans' meant 'across', as in 'trans-Mississippi'. (Hey, at least I can spell Mississippi, I just don't know when to stop...)

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John Steidl
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cstimpson wrote:
Each action phase allows each player a variable number of action points to be used. The initiative winner spends all his action points first, checks for supply, then the other player spends all his action points,etc. I wonder why this mechanic wasn't designed so that players alternated in using up their action points? This would have moved the game (slightly) in the direction of simultaneous movement.
The mechanic you propose would have several interesting effects. First, it's pretty much equivalent to not having action phases; players just alternate individual actions. This would remove any real sense of initiative or ability to do something nasty to your opponent since you can only ever spend one action before he can respond. That alone, for me, would make the game vastly less interesting. That's personal preference of course; I know some folks prefer more control without unpleasant surprises.

Second, it would make the game much longer to play. (Try playing any Igo/Ugo game by having players alternate the movement of individual units...)

Finally, it would create issues when trying to combine naval with ground or special actions with normal activations.

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