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Subject: Death Valley follow on game rss

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Ryan Schultz
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I was excited to see the GMT announcement for the next game in the series called Death Valley.

My thanks and admiration for the devoloper and play testers taking the system to new levels. This is on my preorder list for sure!

One question. What, if anything, will change in the series rules?

I post here as I do not see a page for the recently announced game.
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thomas fernbacker
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Thomas - play tester
A few things you'll see are on the map, ridge's & gully's
A lot of the series rules have been fine tuned
You'll see abandoned guns, arty withdrawal, arty reaction to movement, etc

I've post our first test play session of Cross Keys on the original page
More will come

Here's taste



I blew the map hexes up

There's also a session report using new series rules on Twin Peak, Cedar Mountain page
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Randy Mauldin
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Bill Byrne mentioned in the CSW folder that there is also something called "Open Orders" in the new game. He didn't elaborate about what it means though.
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thomas fernbacker
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Open Order - Not specific to to series rules, 1864 battle book, by late in the war experienced cavalry commands would order this type formation
Similar to in front of battleline skirmishing

I haven't used it yet in any of my test plays but will soon for Cedar Creek
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Roger Mark
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Will enlarged hexes be part of the published game?
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William Byrne
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No bigger hexes, as far as I know.

As for Open Order, Thomas is right; it's 1864-style, eastern theater skirmish lines. By then we see formations as large as brigades abandoning shoulder-to-shoulder lines of battle in favor of "thick" skirmish lines (with intervals less than the textbook 5 paces from man to man). You'll find descriptions of such lines in action in Shock Troops of the Confederacy by Fred Ray, p. 176-185. Scott Patchan's book on the battle of 3rd Winchester also covers this action near Charlestown, VA, on August 21st, 1864 (see p. 121 & following). Death Valley does indeed limit the use of such formations to quality troops.

Even more significant are the sharpshooter battalions of the Army of Northern Virginia. Ray's book focuses on these units, and Death Valley's 1864 games will include what I hope is a comprehensive set of rules for their employment. They are crack troops, and together with the defensive advantages of Open Order, appear to constitute Lee's response to the Union Army's increasing use of repeating rifles and carbines. Of course, the latter are also much in evidence in Death Valley's 1864 games, particularly in the Union Cavalry.

In other words, by 1864 Civil War armies were apparently getting smarter about battlefield tactics. The 1914 armies would have to relearn these lessons.
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William Byrne
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oceanweather wrote:
I was excited to see the GMT announcement for the next game in the series called Death Valley.

My thanks and admiration for the devoloper and play testers taking the system to new levels. This is on my preorder list for sure!

One question. What, if anything, will change in the series rules?

I post here as I do not see a page for the recently announced game.


Hi, Ryan. If the rules revisions we've developed appear in the published game, they'll feature the following major changes:

-- Artillery must be at the top of an artillery/non-artillery stack to fire. It no longer disorders due to any d, d-x, or d+x Fire Table result, but UDDs like any other unit. There are no more Super stacks allowing fire by 7 SP of infantry plus a battery. Instead, the 7 SP per hex fire cap applies uniformly. Artillery moving legally within two or three hexes of enemy small-arms is liable to "Opportunity Fire", much like the old version's Withdrawal Fire versus unlimbering batteries. Artillery is not automatically eliminated if shocked; an abstract crew dukes it out, as in the earlier GBACW version. If it loses, the guns either retreat or are abandoned and can be retaken, again as in certain games in the older series. Artillery does not disorder if it rolls an adjusted 5 when firing; instead, it ammo depletes like infantry. Lastly, artillery can "Reaction Retreat" like cavalry; the idea is taken from TSS2's "Retire by Prolonge".

-- Breastworks will take two turns to build, rather than two activations.

-- Return Fire and Pre-Shock Reaction Fire privileges have been expanded to non-targeted units adjacent to an enemy firing unit, provided they themselves are not in the frontal hex of another enemy unit. This remedied my pet peeve about the system, which allowed a phasing unit to move into a hex adjacent to two or even three units and pick its Fire target without regard to the non-targeted units. A given non-phasing unit does not get extra Return Fire, but it has more choice for using it. Pre-Shock Reaction Fire, however, does indeed give the defender extra fire. Our premise was that non-targeted units adjacent to an enemy shocking unit would not simply stand by while their comrades were ground to dust. You'll find the precedent in "Charge Fire", a rule featured in Rebel Sabers and in the TCT version of GBACW.

-- Units under Advance Orders are eligible to Refuse their flank.

-- We're taking a crack at revised LOS rules.

In addition are numerous clarifications based on years of CSW posts and on the system's inner logic (provided we understand it ).

The guidelines for all changes were to let GBACW-style solutions cure what fans of the system claimed were its ills. With only one exception I can think of, we consciously resisted importing solutions from other systems.
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John Curley
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I like all those changes and will use them even if they don't get into the final rules.

What's the deal against importing ideas from other games, as long as they don't create other imbalances somewhere else in the system?
 
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William Byrne
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jmcurley wrote:
I like all those changes and will use them even if they don't get into the final rules.

What's the deal against importing ideas from other games, as long as they don't create other imbalances somewhere else in the system?


Glad to hear the changes look good to you!

My deal against importing ideas from other games is as follows:

-- I regard the opportunity to assist in GBACW's development as an honor and a trust, and seek to pay homage to Richard Berg as Series Designer. When proposing a resolution to a problem, I ask myself how he would resolve it, rather than how some other designer resolved it.

-- I don't think anyone would deny that GBACW is unique. It also happens to be my favorite system. Importing mechanics from other systems would dilute that uniqueness, which is not something I would casually recommend. Thus, imports from other systems are a last resort, to be used only when GBACW cannot provide a solution from its own principles.
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John Curley
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William,
Thanks for your efforts, (and to the playtesters too), for keeping the system moving forward.
John C.
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William Byrne
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Thanks, John, but I take a way back seat to Greg Laubach, without whom there would have been no Death Valley, and to Richard Berg, without whose support we would have dead-ended.
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Dave Johannsen

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I've pre-ordered this and can't wait! Thank you to all who are working on it.
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Over 50 Gamer
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I am really hoping that some revised LOS rules are able to make it in. They work well for relatively flat terrain, but I shelved Twin Peaks because the LOS rules just fell apart for me when there were such dramatic elevation changes as in that game.
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William Byrne
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Petdoc wrote:
I am really hoping that some revised LOS rules are able to make it in. They work well for relatively flat terrain, but I shelved Twin Peaks because the LOS rules just fell apart for me when there were such dramatic elevation changes as in that game.


That is the exact problem we hope to address.
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Leigh Micevski
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Would you recommend picking up Twin Peaks?
 
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