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Chickamauga: River of Death» Forums » Reviews

Subject: Chickamauga: Rulebook of Death!!!...or...Not??? rss

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Ricatoni
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Chula Vista
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First time out with the Folio Series. Two Rule Books to work with, one specific to the game, and the other a part of the folio series for Musket and Saber.

The rule book specific to the game had a historical overview...nice, a unit deployment section...practical, and a strategic recommendation section...very nice. There were also small sections devoted to Special Rules....such as Off Map Boxes (okay...some wondering about clarity for when and how to enter but not too bad)...Forrest's Cavalry & Wilder's Lightening Brigade (very clear for special features)...Wheeler and the Union Trains (a bit of a "Say what!?", for a reinforcements box, but okay, wanted more of a background)...Rossville Box (again a "Say what!?", but okay, Union reinforcement movement triggers Confederate Cavalry responses. I get it?)...At Large Batallions and this is where we start saying Insufficient Data! shake

At Large Batallions...there are three each...are available on both sides...and are like zombies as they are available again after elimination! Cool...but how and when do they come in??? Okay, beginning of movement by owning player but "HOW!" Hhhmmm, expending replacement (???) or by a die roll if aided by Thomas....okay... "HOW?".

Here is where I am supposed to refer to the Folio series rule for clarity. So units on the current Turn Record Track box...but wait...we were directed to set the At Large Batallions aside...when were they suppose to be put into boxes on the TRT??? It says that they go from the box on the TRT to an LOC entry point...but am I suppose to put At Large Batallions on the TRT like formations, or do I put them in an LOC to be used whenever it behooves me??? AND what about that die roll by Thomas??? What does he have to roll or what does he add to the roll??? What does anyone else have to roll to bring in an At Large Batallion?

Time for House Rules!!! whistle

Okay...now for the real meat...combat...and that means understanding unit stacking...or not. The folio series says that one can stack one artillery, one brigade, and one battalion for combat purposes (or two artillery and a brigade) but anything else added is over-stacked. Combating units defending and attacking from an over stacked hex get combat factors halved. BUT...in the same section it states that Batallions-Squadrons-Leaders-Headquarters do not count for stacking purpose for movement...but they (battalions) do for combat??? Ok, ok, movement and combat are different no problem. I can put three brigades in a hex but I can only attack with one, slight rules confusion but I guess it makes sense with line up and fire formations. But if there are three infantry brigades in a defending hex...do I add up all their combat factors, or just take into consideration a target brigade??? Since I am attacking the hex I would think that I add up all the defending CFs and halve them...but then again...those units are standing by and not involved in the combat, or are they?

Then there is that rule for Skirmishes...instead of the combat factor I use the movement factor??? Is that from one primary unit or is it cumulative for all the units in the hex? Does that get modified for over stacking?

Then there are those retreat, rout, and morale check details. Believe it or not there is a very specific rule that addresses Morale checks...but I am left with questions. So safe routes are valid routes, but an unsafe route can also be a valid route but with morale checks??? In a retreat or rout through EZOC is it just the primary selected unit doing the morale check or does each stacked unit do their own? Also, if retreating through EZOC does only the primary unit flip to its ineffective side? AND...Brigades don't flip?

When we set up the map we were prepared for an awesome slug it out time. But the rule book proved to be a quagmire that defeated both my gaming buddy and I by turn three. I am left wondering if the Folio Series rules are written so terse as to be explicit yet difficult, or if both my buddy and I were so hell bent on playing that we kept missing rules that were there but not readily apparent. Having played wargames from Avalon Hill, SPI, GMT, MMP, and others I am not unfamiliar with the mechanics involved, but this rule book killed me.

I will come back to this game...I really, really, really want to play it...but this time we folded it up and walked away. Maybe as a result of this some BGGer will clarify our wonderings,but in the meantime...the rule book of death killed the game for us. soblue
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Bradley Fletcher
United States
Maine
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Re: Chickamauga: Rulebook of Death
Like you, I really wanted to like these folio games--interesting range of topics and styles--new titles rolling out, it seemed very exciting. I have tried multiple titles, multiple times--even with the new stream-lined rules and the recent, smaller games, and have consistently been disappointed. I really don't know why they just didn't stick with the old systems of the quad games. Too bad.
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Eric Brosius
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Needham Heights
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Re: Chickamauga: Rulebook of Death
I own the original SPI version of this folio game, Chickamauga: The Last Victory, 20 September 1863, which I bought about 40 years ago, and I haven't had similar problems with it. I think Decision Games sometimes finds that their aspirations outpace their development capabilities.
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Ricatoni
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Re: Chickamauga: Rulebook of Death
Going to the Decision Games site and downloading the Version 6 rules answers some questions...let's start with...

At Large Battalions cool

Cliff Notes...TRT placement and MA out from LOC

DETAILS
These come in from placement on the TRT
Are placed by the owning player before their turn, so some planning ahead.
They can be stacked with other units already on the TRT
If they do not come in on that turn...they are bumped to the next TRT box
No rolls required to bring them in...just movement points.
All other reinforcement/replacement rules apply.

Still no word or specifics on Thomas shake

Someone wrote that the rules are fiddly, and I would agree though fiddly is an understatement and too kind. This makes me think that a better organized rule book and/or player aide card for this system would be beneficial. Let's see if I can get my other questions answered before I embark on that sort of a project.

Who knows...I might actually be able to play this...some time! ninja
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Ricatoni
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Re: Chickamauga: Rulebook of Death
OR NOT!!!

Actually got to meet Chris Perello at the SDHist Convention. cool He was able to clarify several questions. What a guy!!! laugh We played Wilsons Creek and that was able to answer a lot of questions about the Musket and Saber Rule System. His processing of the rules applications were a lot faster than mine ninja, but I was able to get the gist and flow of the folio series. There is a lot to like and consider. arrrh

He is full on committed to receiving feedback and providing support and examples for play based on questions. He even provided some strategic insight to game play that left me more impressed. I hope he brings some of his files and support work to BGG and not just Consim World. goo

I did forget to ask about stacking two brigades in a hex and the half strength if only one is attacking...shake But otherwise the combat system flowed and was easy to follow.
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Darryl Petruska
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That was great that you got to meet Chris! I have been working on a Musket and Sabre Consolidated ruleset that combines the Quick Play and Standard Rules (making choices where there are differences), sorts out some of the scattered opaque rules (due to limited space for publishing), adds some house rules, and provides examples of play. Chris has been very helpful in answering some off my questions and I would love to meet him some day as well - seems like a great guy.

I can take a shot at your unanswered stacking/combat question both from the standard rule perspective and based on what I have adopted in the consolidated rules. From my reading of the standard rules it is as follows:

A hex is overstacked with more than three units (with leaders, HQ, battalions, squadrons excluded) at the beginning of the movement or combat phases. In combat, all units in an overstacked hex are halved on both attack and defense. However, to your question, only the units participating in the declared Combat stack (limited to one artillery, one battalion/squadron, and one other combat unit of any type) are actually affected. So, if you had three brigades, and artillery unit in a hex you would be overstacked. You could only choose one brigade and the artillery unit as your combat stack. Those two units would then defend by computing their individual strengths (1/2 rounded up) and adding them together. All units in the hex would suffer the effects of the combat result in terms of retreat.

My consolidated rules are similar but slightly different. From the QP rules, overstacking is now more than any three combat units (including battalions/squadrons). The penalty for overstacking at the end of a movement or combat phase (also from QP) is disruption of all units in the hex with all associated penalties and effects. Disrupted units are halved when attacking (from QP) but not effected on defense. Thus, in your example, the disrupted Combat Stack in defense would be at full strength but would attack at half strength.
 
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