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Subject: Clash of Giants: Civil War - Game Replay Gettysburg Day 1 rss

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Michael Wilding
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Clash of Giants Civil War (COGCW) is a brigade level game that uses random chit draws to determine unit activation order. Movement rates and reinforcement arrival are variable (you can use historic reinforcement arrivals if desired). There are 5-6 turns per day of battle. Combat is simple – a d6 roll is compared to the unit’s Tactical Efficiency Rating (TER) and if the roll exceeds the TER the unit loses a step. Most units have just two steps. Combat odds introduce die roll modifiers to the equation. There are no artillery units and artillery is abstracted into chits that can used to improve the odds of selected combats. One interesting design element is that each side has one main combat round per turn. A player may initiate their one main combat between adjacent units at the end of any of their chit activations during a turn. The complication is that if you wait to draw the chits of all the units you want to advance into combat the other player may draw chits that allow them to withdraw first or make spoiling attacks.

Command and control is simple – to be in command units of the corp whose chit has been drawn must be with 4 hexes of a selected unit of the corp. Additional command and control flavor is introduced by giving certain generals extra chits. Some of the chits – the SCM chits – allow the general’s formation an extra combat. The core rules are only nine pages long (plus TOC and designer notes) and the game plays quickly (three days of Gettysburg can be finished in about 6 hours if everyone knows what they are doing). There are two scenarios – Gettysburg and Second Bull Run. The Battle Book contains battle specific rules which are each about 5-6 pages long. You don’t need to memorize these rules– you can review them and look things up as situations occur. The games map and units are attractive and up to GMT’s usual standards.

I played Gettysburg face to face last week and had an enjoyable time. I decided to play another game solo using historic reinforcement arrives times and locations and here is the replay.

Figure 01 – The Gettysburg Map

Red outlined hexes are Confederate entry point. Union entry points are blue. Victory hexes are denoted by red stars. The right side of the map is North.

Figure 02 – Unit Formations Color and Insignia


Counters are coded by color and/or Corp insignia to indicate the formation (Corps for Union and Division for Confederate). The Confederate Divisions are also divided into three Corps (I, II, III).

Turn 1 – July 1 – Late Morning -

Heth division’s Archer and Davis brigades advance on Chambersburg Pike pushing back Buford’s cavalry which successfully retreats before combat. I Corp gets two chits in a row and deploys on the ridges to delay the Confederates. Heth’s entire division activates and advances against Buford’s cavalry destroying one unit. The IX Corp moves rapidly using reinforcement road movement and reaches the town of Gettysburg.

Figure 03 – End of Turn 1



Turn 2 – July 1 – Early Afternoon -

I Corp is joined by Doubleday’s division and pulls back its left flank to Seminary Ridge. Heth’s moves all of its brigades onto McPherson’s Ridge which the I Corps has just abandoned. Early activates and moves up Harrisburg Road to threatening positions behind the Union.

Note that new reinforcement formations have the option to place their chit into draw cup at the start of the turn or delay the chit until the end of the turn (after all formations already on the map have moved). In this case the Confederates placed Early’s chit in at the start of the turn hoping that it would be drawn before any Union units could deploy into delaying positions on Harrisburg Road.

Buford’s cavalry units move to interpose themselves between Early and Gettysburg. IX Corp activates and the Union decides to aggressively attack the lead brigade of Early’s column. The Union uses its Turn 2 main combat to make the attack. Four IX Corps units flank the Gordon Brigade (flank attacks effectively reduce the defenders TER by 2) which is supported by an artillery chit. 2-1 combat ensues and Gordon takes a step loss, cannot retreat and is destroyed. One Union brigade takes a step loss.

Figure 04 – Attack on Early’s Column


Figure 05 – End of Turn 2


Turn 3 – July 1 - Afternoon -

Buford activates and takes up positions to protect I Corps right flank. Heth activates and advances into position to attack I Corps left flank. Early activates and decides to use the SCM chit which will allow him to move and attack. He hopes to drive off Buford’s cavalry and expose I Corps right flank to Rhodes’ division. Two of Buford’s cavalry units retreat before combat but one fails the retreat roll and is destroyed. The Union I Corps is exposed but if it activates first it will be able to withdraw to safety.

But … Rhodes activates and rolls a 6 for movement (8 MP)– this is what the Confederates were hoping for. Rhodes outflanks and surrounds units of I Corps and initiates the Confederate’s Turn 3 main combat – there are three flank attacks on the Union I Corp. Three Union brigades are destroyed (6 steps) at a cost of 3 Confederate steps. The Union position is now very precarious.

Figure 06 – Three Flank Attacks on I Corps



I Corp activates (finally) and pulls back toward Cemetery Ridge. IX Corps activates and uses the Howard chit to help its movement roll but only rolls a modified 2 – only 4 MP. IX corps moves back toward Cemetery Hill and Culp’s Hill. Pender moves up (slowly – only 4 MP) toward Gettysburg but leaves Chambersburg Pike free of units to allow Anderson to move up quickly used Reinforcement Road Movement (units using this rapid movement cannot move adjacent to any other unit). Anderson moves aggressively to occupy Gettysburg. Usually it is best to avoid exposure to attack in the town because defenders will be penalized one strength point but it seems unlikely that the Union will attack.

Figure 07 – End of Turn 3


Turn 4 – July 1 – Evening

The Union receives 7 new brigades of infantry this turn – almost doubling their remaining force. The Union must create a defensive line on Cemetery Ridge and Culp Hill before the Confederates can take these heights. The ridges and hills add 1 point of strength to the defender in combat. Again, activation order will be very important.

The Union starts the turn with a lucky Artillery chit draw. Every formation has an artillery chit and each turn one half of the artillery chits are drawn randomly and available for use. There are twelve chits in the cup at the start of Turn 5 – 8 Confederate and 4 Union. All four Union chits have been drawn plus two confederate chits

Heth activates first and rolls a 2 giving his units 6 MP. The Union line is too far away to engage so Heth moves to night positions on Seminary Ridge. Next Anderson activates rolling a 2 – 4 MP. Anderson moves to attack the Union IX Corp on the outskirts of Gettysburg. A higher MP die roll might have allowed Anderson to make a major assault on Cemetery Hill. Anderson has to decide whether to use the Confederate’s main combat now or wait and hope that the Union IX does not activate and move away. Anderson attacks with two pairs of two brigades each attacking one Union brigade. Both sides lose two steps. Pender activates and moves up to Seminary Ridge. Union I Corps activates and moves up onto Cemetery Ridge. Early activates and moves adjacent to Buford’s cavalry North of Gettysburg. IX Corps activates using the Hancock general chit – this adds 1 to the movement die roll giving IX Corps a dr of 5 allowing 8MP to retreat back to Culp’s Hill. At this point the Union must hope that Buford’s cavalry gets a chance to retreat before Rhodes is activated with the Ewell SCM chit. But Rhodes is draw and the Ewell SCM chit allows him to move and attack. Another of Buford’s cavalry units is destroyed. Too late, Buford is drawn and his remaining unit scampers toward Cemetery Ridge. Both sides left their new reinforcement formations for last and these units move up toward the battlefield.

So far the Confederates have lost 8 steps of units while the Union has lost 12 steps. One of the automatic victory conditions is losing 40 steps.

Figure 08 – End of Turn 4


Turn 5 – July 1 – Night (last turn of July 1)

No combat is allowed on night turns and units may not move adjacent to the enemy. If a formation does not activate it may replace one lost step. The turn is spent positioning units for the next day with the Union taking up defensive positions and the Confederates planning for attacks on July 2.

Rhodes, Heth, and Andersen do not activate and take replacement steps. After adding back replacements the Confederates have lost 5 steps while the Union has lost 12 steps. McLaws and Hood use Reinforcement Road Movement to rapidly advance onto the battlefield. The Confederates seem to be massing to attack the Union left wing. The Union is drawn up on the ridges from the Peach Orchard to Culp’s Hill.

Figure 09 – End of Turn 5 (Night)


To be continued ... - Day 2 Replay
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Barry Roy
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Mike - i would enjoy an opportunity to learn this one, perhaps some Friday evening at Time Warp?

Barry
 
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Terry Lewis
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Nicely done, Michael! I look forwards to your next installment!

I have not yet had a chance to play my copy of COGCW, but have both of Raicer's COGs from WWI and have enjoyed them greatly -- hence my acquisition of COGCW. Your AAR is extra added incentive!
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Michael Wilding
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Hi Barry. That would be great. Not this week but maybe next. Michael
 
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Brad Swinson
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Nicely done. I just finished my first solo of the full Battle of Gettysburg. The Confederates won by inflicting enough casualties, 40+ VP, I think. The XI Corps was decimated, I should have swung Buford's Cavalry around to protect them from the Confederacy's II Corps like your example.

P.S.
Anyone noticed the Union Movement Card has the XI(11)Corps incorrectly listed as the IX(9)Corps? I emailed GMT.
 
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Tom Stearns
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I played a ftf game of Gettysburg. Actually we played1.5 games. We reset after halfway through first game after realizing we were doing combat action wrong in relation to operational phase. Before we reset Confederates were pounding Union to tune of about 4-1 casualties. The second game didn't go any better for the Union. There was a big discrepancy in quality of die rolls for sure. However there were some things that didn't set right with me. Movement allowances of 8-10 mps seemed to high. Way to easy to swing units from one end of line to other. Too easy to flank units. Stacking is based on units not size of units. Puts Union at distinct disadvantage with over double the number of 1 step units than the Confederate. Also over 50% of Confederate units are TER 4-5. Union is under 50% Units with TER of 4-5. Union has 6 units with TER of 2 vs Confederates having only 1. Confederate flexibility due to organization is also off the charts. Only units of same division can stack. Confederates organization is by Divisions so they can stack any of the 5-6 units of a division together. Union organization is by Corps. Union Divisions normally have 3 units, one of which is usually one step. Stacking really works against Union. Confederates have 9 formations, Union has 7. The 6 Corps units which arrive last are worth double vps to Confederates. Special Command Markers for Confederates are also much better. The only 2 areas the Union have the advantage are number of units and number of available artillery after starting turn 7 (Artillery Reserve). The number of unit advantage is minimized by the issues discussed above regarding quality, steps and stacking. Artillery advantage is minimized due to Confederate having more artillery available to drawn and the limit of artillery effectiveness to defensive use.

I really don't think the game is very balanced. I also didn't feel like I was fighting a civil war battle. I'll be selling mine.
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Steve Carey
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Enjoyed the Day 1 replay, thanks.

Quote:
Rhodes, Heth, and Andersen do not activate and take replacement steps.


FYI, each side is allowed to only hold back 1 CM at Night, so only 1 step can be replaced (not three as done here).
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Marc Hanna
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Nice AAR very helpful to understand how this game works!

Coming to the party a bit late....

First comment -- it looks like I have been overlooking the fact the SCMs for Howard and Ewell on day 1 can allow for [edit]an extra combat possibilities should the chosen formations still be in a position to attack a second time (they will only be able to move once since their CMs are pulled). This gives more power to the SCM activations than I have been taking advantage of while learning this game.

Second comment -- the OP claims 3 flank attacks on 1st Corps on day 3. But according to the rules 12.12, my understanding is that defenders on higher elevations that all attackers are immune to flank effects!

This would mean 2 of the 3 attacks were not flank attacks considering the positions of these attackers and defenders on the diagram.


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