Steve Carey
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Great game, great system - I'm really looking forward to the next game in the series Longstreet Attacks: The Second Day at Gettysburg.
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HERMANN LUTTMANN
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All I can say is .... Wow! That is a wonderful piece, Stephen. Thank you so much. I really appreciate your comments and insights into the system. I will try my best to keep the series going strong and true. Longstreet Attacks is indeed the first "big" attempt with the system, but the battlefield is pretty compact. I hope you enjoy it when it's ready. Thanks again for the terrific post!

Hermann
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Fred W. Manzo
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Thanks for your wonderful review. It's greatly appreciated.

We'll be starting back up with "Longstreet Attacks" (I.E., Hammerin' Sickles) in the next few weeks and hope to see it published later this year.

Thanks Again,

- Fred
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Rick Barber
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Excellent and very wittily written review! In my cartographic defense, my maps were done off of the original Park Drawings done back in the late 50's by some unknoen gent named Ed Bearss, who was rather obsessed with getting the little things right... So he can hash things out with Shea and Hess...

I'd point out that the map has already been designed to add in the northern half of Gettysburg and the balance of the two armies at a later date, so we'll have a combined two mapper able to cover ALL of July 2nd and 3rd. (July 1st would require mo mapping to the west, as well as 'fresh' versions of all those who were so damn battered that first day, but still fought on later.) I also just laid out a full sheet covering the ground for both 1st and 2nd Kernstown, so lots more small unit goodies in the future.

sauron
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Jim Ransom
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"Tenacity, Dick. Stay with the bastard until he's on the bottom." LCDR Mush Morton to LT Richard H. O'Kane, USS WAHOO (SS 238)
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Thanks for an entertaining review.

Quote:
...Frogs of war have hopped up to the plate...


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Steve Carey
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elcarto wrote:
(July 1st would require mo mapping to the west, as well as 'fresh' versions of all those who were so damn battered that first day, but still fought on later.)


YES please...
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Steve Carey
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Besty wrote:
Rick Barber’s distinctive hand-drawn, period-style maps certainly divide opinion. Mine is that the heavy woods are a little too cluttered and that a fair amount of work is needed from the player on the contours and firing lines, especially on the Elkhorn Tavern half, but that detail, beauty and a wonderful evocation of time and place make it worth the effort.


Upon first playing Stonewall's Sword: The Battle of Cedar Mountain, there was some confusion on our part regarding terrain and LOS.

With this game however, terrain problems are few and far between - experience and the fact that Revolution wisely located level numbers on the map make things relatively painless.

Rick's maps are aesthetically pleasing and quite playable - I'm very happy to have them as a part of this excellent series.
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Ken Nied
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Fine review, Stephen, but I must strongly disagree with your characterization of the area as "bleak." It's an area of gently rolling hills and fertile farms, several of which played a prominent role in the battle. Strictly speaking, the battlefield itself is on the outskirts of what is generally considered to be "Ozark country," namely, the steep hills and dense woods found in the Boston Mountain and Buffalo River areas nearby or the Mark Twain Forest in Missouri (where Winter's Bone was filmed). True, the battle took place in winter, but the bleakness applies to the season, not the landscape.
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Claude Whalen
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As a solo gamer, I have found the "Blind Swords" system to be the answer to my gaming needs. The old Avalon Hill and SPI games are rather simplistic with absolutely no chance of any surprise (you know the battle's history and you can clearly see where the enemy is going). Even though those games were enjoyable and are still on my shelf, they are getting dusty.

Larger games of the early gaming era, such as "Bloody April", give you so much detail that you get into the "accountant's nightmare" syndrome. As a solo gamer, the paperwork takes up too much time and starts to drag the enjoyment of the game/battle down.

Hidden movement games just cannot work when you are playing alone. Trying to solve that "hidden movement" problem by adding "stupidity rules" lets you play the game historically but then you have lost the "what if" portion of the game. I find this problem to be insurmountable and pass on purchasing such games.

I have the two "Line of Battle" offerings and they provide great detail and so many options that I really cannot skip them. Yet I see post after post stating that people will play the scenarios but doubt that they will ever be able to play the entire battle. As a solo player with other demands on my time, I probably would have to put the game on a table in an unused room and play it over many months. The serious solo gamer will try it but how many of those people are really out there?

With the "Blind Swords" system, I can set up either "Stonewall's Sword" or "Thunder In The Ozarks", play it at a reasonable pace and finish the game rather quickly. The system also solves the problem of battle knowledge and being able to see everything. I know what the Union and Confederate forces want to do, I can clearly see their forces moving and yet I cannot be sure that either of their plans will actually be completed.

The "Blind Swords" system solves almost every problem that I have experienced with war games in the past as a solo gamer. So far, the system has worked so well that I could see it even being able to handle something as difficult as Napoleon's plan at Austerlitz.

The system works for me as a solo player: I can complete a battle in a reasonable amount of time; I can make all the plans that I want but the surprises are still packed into the game; and, I want to play the game again when I am finished! I am still going to pick up "Line of Battle" games but as a solo player, my "go to" games and game system is going to be "Blind Swords". I somehow suspect that there are plenty of solo gamers like me out there just looking for a system like this. Kudos to Hermann, Rick and the Revolution team for realizing a gem when others could not see it glittering in front of them!
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HERMANN LUTTMANN
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Wow - thanks so much Claude!

Herm
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Steve Carey
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I'll echo your same thoughts, Claude - having played Blind Swords both ftf and solo, I can say that both are terrific experiences!

If I recall correctly, Roger Miller at Revolution said that Stonewall's Sword: The Battle of Cedar Mountain was a best-seller for them. So I guess it just depends on how soon that new volumes in the series can be designed, developed, and playtested (quality of product is one thing I very much appreciate about Revolution). I know that I'll eagerly purchase every single one!
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Greg Colgan
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A most well considered review, sir.....salute!
And please DON'T outsource your next review to a sweatshop! :-)
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Fred W. Manzo
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Yes, Roger is very particular about the quality of the games he publishes. He's said that he personally playtests each game in his catalog at least 30 times before he considers it ready to be published.
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I recently enjoyed a play of this over the weekend.

The system, the production quality and the obvious professionalism of it all places this game and series on The Eden War Room Great Wargames List


Remember GMT's Glory? - that was a bit popular, similar scale.

Scrap those and go with these games - Revolution Games has knocked it out of the park with this series.

At this scale and presentation it is what I have been looking for over the years.
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HERMANN LUTTMANN
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Wow - thanks so much! You just made my day.

Good gaming!

Hermann
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Fred W. Manzo
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Thanks for the kind words.

The third game in the series, "Longstreet Attacks: the Second Day at Gettysburg," is in final playtesting right now. It should be ready for the public around October. This is the exact same game as the one called "Hammerin' Sickle" when it was on GMT's P500 list. Obviously it covers the Union left flank battle between Longstreet and Dan Sickles. Another month of local playtesting, then some beta/blind playtesters and then it's off to Roger for his playtesting. But it's as good or better than most published games right now. (We playtested the "Whirlpool" scenario involving The Wheatfield at Origins and it ran as smooth as silk.)
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Rick Barber
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Playtesting on LA is indeed fully thundering along, although my own part is pretty minor - my time is fully occupied on mapping down in the Fortress of Ineptitude, and the testing is being done by far better gamers than myself. I'd have to say that Roger and Company have provided better testing and development than literally ANY other game company I've ever dealt with, and I only wish I had known such folks when I did my Summer Storm 19 years back!

I can't guarantee that when we eventually do the Northern Expansion for LA that will add in the rest of the field for July 2/3 you'll be able to play it in a single session, but certainly far less time than any other regimental system. And yes, Herm and I are already talking about adapting his system in Brigade scale to Gettysburg (and other larger battles), as we've long had a 'Holy Grail' of doing a single map, Brigade level Gettysburg that has plenty of 'meat' and is yet playable in a single session. Dave Powell is already onboard to help with Chickamauga, no matter which scale we use.

Perryville and Champion Hill would each take two maps at the regimental scale, but the countermix would be no large than Longstreet Attacks.
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Andrew Burgoyne

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Here's a vote for a Chickamauga game. That sounds grand.
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Fred W. Manzo
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I'd say it all depends on how "Longstreet Attacks" goes. Right now we think it will be published in 1Q18. The playtesters are finishing up and reporting good things and then Roger has to take a look at the final product. As Rick said, Roger tests games much, much more than any other company. There simply is no errata in a Revolution game.
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Paul Pressler
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Stephen Best's review was superb! Sounds like Thunder in the Ozarks deserves every bit of the 8.1 rating if not more. I would have to rate his review, though, as a 10.0 if we were rating reviews. It was witty, covered in depth the topic, had no grammar mistakes I could tell and used an extensive vocabulary like English speakers of earlier times commanded. I will admit that I had to look up a number of words. Also, I never figured out what to "flog the punters a fugazi" means.

As for the game, this review got my interest up in Thunder in the Ozarks and the Blind Swords system. However, I might start the system off with "Position Magnifique: Mars-la-Tour 1870" by Compass Games because of my interest in the Franco-Prussian War. FYO, this game is a smaller version of "At Any Cost" which is now on GMT's P-500 list covering Metz (and Mars-la-Tour) in the Franco-Prussian War.
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Thomas Chipman
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Zephyrhills
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Steve Carey wrote:

Rick's maps are aesthetically pleasing and quite playable


i think they'd be much more playable with little loss to aesthetics if the density of the wood art was reduced a bit to allow the topography colors to come through better and if the topographical levels were restricted to a single color instead of a range of colors (from the water color effect).

there have been several instances in my plays of stonewall's sword where it was difficult to determine the height of a hex at a glance because of the dense trees or because the random color grading.

i've enjoyed my plays of stonewall's sword, but i think the map could be improved with regard to readability. despite my enjoyment of the game, i don't look forward to dealing with the map, so much so that the experience often causes me to choose other games and has caused me to hold off on investing further in the system, such as thunder in the ozarks or longstreet attacks.
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Paul Aceto
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Wonderful review! It’s the little asides such as the one below, that made it memorable.

Quote:
to offer an alternative to La Bataille (having just one set of rules is a good beginning).
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Jim Brown
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Am I missing something? Did the review portion get deleted?
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Steve Carey
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calbrit wrote:
Am I missing something? Did the review portion get deleted?


The OP (Besty) is no longer a registered user; when that happens (for whatever reason), the person's posts disappear.
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Jim Brown
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Thanks for the quick response.
 
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