Oskar Kawecki
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Hi!

I’m a huge Civil War fun and I’m looking for a good game that simulates the battle of Gettysburg. I’m not a newbie in war games so it can be complex – the more realistic than better, but since my friends don’t like playing for a few days it must allow to play the whole battle in less than 10 hours. I was thinking about “Three Days Of Gettysburg” ( GMT ) or “Badges Of Courage” ( Columbia ). I would prefer Three Days Of Gettysburg” but I think it is a loooong game… What would you suggest? Do you know other games that simulate other Civil War battles, also playable in less than 10 hours?

Thanks for help!
 
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Hunga Dunga
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My favorite ACW games are from The Gamers, now owned my MMP. They don't have the Gettysburg game, Thunder at the Crossroads in print, but you might find it on eBay.

http://www.multimanpublishing.com/theGamers/cwbs.php

Some people hate this system. I love it. You actually have to write out your orders and use a die to roll for whether or not they get accepted. The more complex the order, the harder it is for all of it to get accepted - sometimes only part of the order is accepted. So players move very quickly towards simple orders. It's a very realistic system. Eg. "Go there" is simple. "Go there and do this" is complex. "Go there and do this only if" Is even more complex!
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Mark Christopher
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Marlo wrote:
Hi!

I’m a huge Civil War fun and I’m looking for a good game that simulates the battle of Gettysburg. I’m not a newbie in war games so it can be complex – the more realistic than better, but since my friends don’t like playing for a few days it must allow to play the whole battle in less than 10 hours. I was thinking about “Three Days Of Gettysburg” ( GMT ) or “Badges Of Courage” ( Columbia ). I would prefer Three Days Of Gettysburg” but I think it is a loooong game… What would you suggest? Do you know other games that simulate other Civil War battles, also playable in less than 10 hours?

Thanks for help!

In my copy of Three Days of Gettysburg, it says that playing out the whole battle will likely take 75+ hours. Longer than the battle itself. I haven't played it yet, but yes, it is a long game. I don't have any suggestions for a short one, as I haven't played any of those yet (I'm waiting on a friend to sticker his copy of Badges of Courage).
 
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Mark Mahaffey
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Well "Roads to Gettysburg" from Avalon Hill is the highest rated game on the topic. I've never played it specifically, but other games in the series are superb, and the maps are some of the most beautiful in wargaming.

http://boardgamegeek.com/game/4206

 
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Eric Brosius
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Technically, I'd say Roads to Gettysburg is a game about the Gettysburg campaign more than just the battle. Each turn is a day and each hex is about 1 mile. It will help you understand why there was a battle at that location, but not so much about the battle itself (which would be represented by just a few die rolls.)
 
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Mark Mahaffey
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I'd say more than a few die rolls, but yes, that's fair and true to point out...
 
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Brian Morris
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Re: Looking for a good game simulating the battle of Gettysb
A man after my own heart. I've been studying the Battle of Gettysburg for years. I currently have over 100 books on the battle in my library and I am always in search of a new game to simulate the battle.

Of the two games you suggest, I recommend Three Days of Gettysburg. It will give you the best simulation of the battle itself. Now your complaint about it being a long game is not exactly ture. The campaign game itself is long but you don't have to play the campaign game. In fact don't play the campaign game but play the scenarios. The scenarios allow you to recreate specific areas of the battle over the three days and that is where the fun in this game truly lies. The campaign game is fun but you will in the long run get more out of the game from the specific scenarios (recreating the defence of Little Round Top, The fight for Culp's Hill, ect.) than you will trying to recreate the entire 3 days in one long game.

Another series you might take a look at is the Gamers series. While both it's games on Gettysburg are out of print they are worth picking up if you have the chance. They are Thunder at the Crossroads which covers the battle at the brigade level and This Hallowed Ground which coveres the battle at the regimental level, same as Three Days at Gettysburg. Either way you go you will have a good game system to recreate the battle with.
 
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Lance Wilkinson

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Re: Looking for a good game simulating the battle of Gettysb
Aren't the scenarios in 3DoG pretty long in their own right? For example, how long does the 1st day scenario take?

I like the GBACW system, but couldn't imagine playing it for Gettsyburg--it would just take so long.

OTOH, I haven't found that good brigade level game on the subject. I read good things about Across 5 Aprils, but never have grabbed it off ebay.

Avalanche's Gettysburg was a disappointment...could have been better with more development.
 
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Adam Starkweather
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You don't have any games listed on your profile so I don't know your experiences or preferences but since you are asking about 3 Days of Gettysburg, I assume you are looking for a pretty big and meaty game.

There are 3 big dogs on Gettysburg that all have their pros and cons...

3 DoG is the GMT game. I happen to think this is the worse of the three. Narrative is off and rules are dreadful. It looks good enough but if you really want to play it, look elsewhere. YMMV. But the game is in print and well liked - you can probably still find other players...

Summer Storm by Clash of Arms is the second game of choice. It has some pretty nice graphics (although that sort of thing is subjective - have a look since this is a primary draw) but the rules are sort of opaque and hard to understand. It can be played, and shares much mechanistically with 3DoG (but the system is better), but expect a hard learn. This game is also in print but amazingly unpopular...just not many sales and I don't know anyone playing it.

Leads me to my first choice - This Hallowed Ground by MMP. It is OOP - but worth finding and paying a decent chunk for...great narrative and tons of fun - and the rules are not undone (like 3DoG) or hard to figure out (like SS)...only drawback on this game is that the game can hinge too much on very few die rolls. Thousands of units and tons of hours of play and one lucky roll and the game is blown...but you can always take it back. Lots and lots of people play the system and finding someone to help you learn it and play it will be the easiest of the three.

Adam
 
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Mike Pranno
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Let's see how the three people who have rated all three games average out:

This Hallowed Ground (8.83)
Summer Storm (7.33)
Three Days of Gettysburg (6.00)

While I agree with most everything Adam had to say, I think he was a little harsh against Summer Storm. The rules are not the best (borderline "horrible"), but I believe the system to be just as sound and just as fun as This Hallowed Ground.
 
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David Brauner
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Re: Looking for a good game simulating the battle of Gettysb
I recently got into The Gamers' Civil War Brigade System (Series? -- CWBS) and really like it for Malvern Hill. I have 1st Ed. of Thunder at the Crossroads, but have yet to try it out.

Roads to Gettysburg was excellent and I highly recommend it.

I wasn't thrilled about Columbia's Badges of Courage. I just didn't like the system.

I didn't play Avalanche's Gettysburg, but it's sister game was terrible and the map for Gettysburg was atrocious.

I have Summer Storm, but have not really gotten a handle on the rules there (I know there is a good game hiding in there somewhere).

I've played 3DoG's sister game, Red Badge of Courage and the system is good, but it does take a long time to play even the "short" scenarios.

 
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Gotthard Heinrici (prev. Graf Strachwitz)
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I can recommend Gettysburg: Badges of Courage.
I like the game very much but can't comment if it is good as simulation. It is playable and exciting and in about 9 hours you can play all three days. I like the system and the fog of war here and the components are excellent.
 
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Barry Kendall
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Right now there seems to be a lull on in-print Gettysburg brigade-level games, which I guess means that in a year or two we'll be inundated with them.

I'll join the chorus of horror at Avalanche's Gettysburg game, which is just plain bad; I wish the design concepts had been more widely vetted before being fixed as there are some bizarre conclusions there.

Several out-of-print games come to mind.

Simulations Canada's "Lee at the Crossroads" features two-hour daylight turns and a scale of 350 yds/hex. Although the counters are basic blue and gray, the map is a good clean representation of the ground )though by no means of Charlie Kibler quality). The best thing about the game is the command system, which shows why only one major attack by a large formation could be accomplished in a day. If you can find it, it's worth grabbing.

One of the first brigade-level Gburg games was Phoenix Enterprises'
Gettysburg: High Tide of the Confederacy" designed by Peter Bertram. This game had a nice map with neat hand-drawn farms and other landmarks, butternut or blue counters, step reduction, and was just good bloody fun. In fact, it was so bloody that in the second series game, Chickamauga, the CRT was modified slightly. This game can sometimes be found at convention flea markets and is well worth hunting down.

The XTR folks published a "playable monster" Gettysburg game, regimental-level but with hexes scaled for more ground than the usual three-or four-map regimental games. This game (the title escapes me) had a lot of "chrome" (the counter icon for the 51st--or was it 151st--Pennsylvania has Color Sgt. Crippen shaking his fist at the Confederates who are about to capture his flag) but is very playable. Units die and are reconstituted out of the dead pile (shades of John Hill's old "Bar Lev" here) and the game has an epic scope to it without bogging down in bookkeeping. I'm pretty sure it can still be found for sale at places like "Christopher's Corner" in S&T. It came in a ziploc bag, not a box.

One brigade-level Gburg game to stay away from, unless you like reinventing the system, is the single-map brigade level game in "Across Five Aprils." It looks wonderful, but the move/fight system is flawed--the combat phase occurs randomly in amidst unit activations, and this encourages "gamey" tactics like running units up to a line AFTER the combat phase to compel the other guy to attack at a disadvantage in the next turn's combat phase, or retreat. The system seems fun at first, but after a bit your mind starts to say, "Hey, wait a minute . . . "

There was also a Gettysburg game using the South Mountain system included in a large-box set which included the original West End Games South Mountain, Shiloh, Chickamauga, and (new game) Gettysburg. I haven't played this Gburg, but the South Mountain system was well-received when it first appeared. Some of these might still be found in a distributor's warehouse or at a con flea market.

I keep waiting for Bowen Simmons, or somebody, to take his "Bonaparte at Marengo" system and apply it to Gettysburg. I think the results would be fabulous.

Strange as it sounds, I kind of liked the Avalon Hill "Smithsonian Series" Gettysburg. Lovely board--I use it when I take friends to the battlefield for tours--and the system, while simple, is fun to play. Not brigade level, though, and very small.

It might help to know that CoAs' "Summer Storm" game has a simplified rule set available on web-grognards. It's still on the shelf awaiting my attention but this might help overcome some of the trepidation at taking it on. I think it has the best battlefield maps of Gettysburg anyone has ever done, and I've walked the ground for years (as has Rick Barber, the artist).

I do think "Thunder at the Crossroads" is a good design, and once you get past the mental laziness of writing orders it becomes rather satisfying to maneuver units in (attempted) obedience to your written directives.

Well, I see I went on at length again. This might be a good thing as I have to go finish my Sunday sermon now and the people may be blessed with a shorter one since I've got some of the wordiness out of my system. Good luck and good hunting.
 
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Jean-Claude Ranise
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Re: Looking for a good game simulating the battle of Gettysb
I love the Command magazine game
Lee greatest gamble. Big game, I mean in term of simulation, "merveilleux" system. And not too long.
 
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Lance Wilkinson

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Re: Looking for a good game simulating the battle of Gettysb
Gettysburg: Lee's Greatest Gamble is a brigade-level game from Command Mag.

Fateful Lightning is the regimental-level "playable monster" (from Command) mentioned by Barry Kendall.

I haven't played either game, so I can't comment (sorry).
 
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