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Subject: My review after my first and last play rss

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M@tthijs
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A friend invited me to play this game. A 16:00-01:00 session, so no idea if we could finish, but at least a fair chunck of quality face to face wargaming time.
With my ACW knowledge mostly limited to The Bluecoats and A House Divided, I was looking forward to this gae.

Rules
When I checked the rulebook I was pleasantly surprised by the only 11 pages of rules. Due to real life constraints I'm trying to limit my wargaming to games with less than 25 pages of rules. I think a great wargame could need less and I'm not willing to invest in reading 48 pages of rules which I can't remember for a game I'll probably play once and with luck a few times. It'll just mean I spend more time paging through the rules and thus less playing the game.

As usual GMT provides a PDF manual, which is great because it let me prepare for the game my friend bought. Also, during play it's great you can use a search function on the rules on any device and find the answer you're looking for in a second. Kudos!

I was less pleased that it wouldn't be possible to play the game without reading a substantial chunk of the playbook. Feels like cheating; "look what a thin rulebook". But even after reading that, I would still be under my 25 pages, just.

The rules (and playbook) were not as clear written as I would've hoped. Several times we found things we were looking for in the rulebook, in the playbook and vice versa. Also, when you attack a cavalry unit, it can retreat before the fight starts. But is that prior to or after the opponent declares artillery support? Since the chapter cavalry comes after artillery, I assumed after. Reading the rules, it's before. These sort of small things were the rules are just a bit counterintuitive.

What's also counterintuitive is the misuse of terms generally accepted in wargaming and redefining them to another meaning. When some says "flank attack" to me, I expect to be attacked from a side. Worst case, two. However, in this game a flank attack is when you attack an opponent from 4 of the 6 possible sides. Or 3, if there are hexes between all three. Or two, if it's from opposite directions. Say what? There I was, thinking that's called an encirclement...

Player aids
I was not impressed by the player aids. When you play a turn, you basically have a preparation part, a phases part and a cleaning up part. In the preparation you place your commanders (Union and CSA) in one cup. And in the phases you draw them one by one, determining which part of which army is going to move. I love this chit pulling mechanic! New here (for me at
least), is that when a commander is drawn, you'll roll a die to see how much movement points his units have. For one commander that means rolling a 1 is 4 MP, 2-3 is 6, 4-5 is 8 and 6 is 10. On CSA and Union player aids, each formation has his own row with 4 squares. So rolling a 3 here, you'll put the command chit at the 6 MP square, also marked with a small 23 for easy reference. What's weird, is that about half of your formations only need 3 squares, like 1=4, 2-4=6 and 5-6=8. Still, the dice are depicted under 4 squares. Not a biggy, but we both felt it's sloppy and GMT could've just as easily made 1 player aid with both CSA and Union on it. In total a lot of lost space on those cards, not only because of the over abundance of squares.

The other player aids show Sequence of play and Combat Results and the entire back is the Terrain Effects Chart. We found those lacking too: for instance, the Combat Procedure mentions the Defending Cavalry Retreat. But that retreat is always 3 hexes. Always. Since there are other retreats which are always 4 hexes, or determined by a calculation, we had to look that up in the rules. Instead of "(see section 14.3)", why not write "(3 hexes, see section 14.3)"? More info and it'll probably save a lot of players the effort of grabbing the rulebook at all.

The rules, map and player aids (TEC) left us wondering what exactly was a steep hill. A level two hill next to ground level? Which happens a few times on the Gettysburg map. Or the hill stripes which were a little sharper and darker marked - which was only at one place. It should've been easy to make either the rules, the aid, the map, or preferably all three clearer in that regard.

Gameplay
I like the basic game concept. You pull chits and in random order formations are moved. However, each player can only declare one combat phase. So do I move 1 formation and attack, before my opponent retreats or repositions or wait till I have more formations in a good attacking position? Hard choices. And an elegantly simple and effective concept.

Where it falls flat for me is oversimplification: units don't have strengths,they have steps. Most infantry has 2 steps, a few 1 and very few 3. Units also have morale. Most have 3. Some have 4. Very few have 2 or 5. That's it. Then, there's a stacking limit of two units, if they are from the same overarching formation. With some exceptions. So far so good. Winning: step losses are VPs. Besides that, there a some map points which are worth a few VPs and sometimes extra scenario rules like exiting the map.

But then: "looking at the historical use of cavalry means cavalry can (almost) only be used to delay opponents.", so cavalry as a fighting force is out. The very few cavalry units can't stack with or attack infantry so there is literally no other use for them as standing in the way. Regrettably, sometimes (due to the chit pulling) they'll stand in your own way. "Sir, the CSA is advancing to that strategically important hill. Our cavalry is guarding it, but they can never hold it. Should I send one or two of our brigades to defend it?" "And order them to those horses? You know our men can't be near horses! Wait for our cavalry to leave or the CSA to take that hill. I don't care. But don't send our troops to our own cavalry!"

And finally, "looking at the historical effects of artillery..."... OK, so no artillery either? Artillery are a bunch of chits in a second cup and each turn half of them are randomly drawn. The rest is abstractly busy in artillery-artillery duels or plain nose picking. This means you're left with an infantry only game. The artillery gives you a max of plus-one for odds-ratio counting. so if I attack with 5 steps of infantry vs the 1 step infantry of my opponent on a hill (also +1), I'm at 5:2 = 2:1 odds. Using artillery would make that 6:2 = 3:1. This, in combination with the steps and stacking, means artillery works better for defenders than for attackers. Because you can stack 2 till 6 steps together. Mostly you'll have some 2-4 steps defending (3-steppers are rare!) so you'll increase your step strength with 50% till 25%. As attacker, when you attack 2 steps with 2 steps it's a 1:1 and adding artillery doesn't change that a bit. So mostly you'll need 3 steps at least, meaning a 33% improvement. And if you attack with 8 steps it's a 13% increase. This also means that the more troops are involved and the more densely packed the hexes are, the less effective the artillery is - which seems to be a weird effect.

So in all, what you're left with is a game where you have almost nothing but 2-3 infantry units, which can stack 2 high. Since the game uses ZOCs and odds, it's better for combat to make a line of 4 steps, empty hex, 4 steps, empty hex, than it is to make a line of 2 steps, 2, 2, 2.

Combats
Bull Run detail
Then, the combats. In this game, you don't roll for the damage you inflict, you roll for the wounds you suffer. Say, I attack at 1:1 odds. Not so strange; in any situation where I ca'n go around his flank I'll probably limited to two hexes to attack from. So attack with my 8 steps max and he defends with four. He's either on a hill or using artillery, or both, so he's 5 or 6 and I'm 9 with guns. Still a 1:1. Now we both have to roll for all our units, without modifier. When we roll below our morale (mostly 3) we're fine, above we suffer a step loss.

Let's simplify things. So we have all these 2-step, 3-morale units.
I have one unit, he one. Forget hills and artillery, it's a 1:1. So he has 1 chance of 50% to take a loss, me too. So there's a 25 chance I'll loose a step and he doesn't, 25% for the other way around and a 50% chance it's a draw, VP wise (0/0 or 1/1).
I have two units, he has one. Probably a hill, anyways, still 1:1. Now I have 13% of loosing 2 steps more than he, 38% of loosing 1 more than he, 38% draw, 13% he'll loose one and I zero. So by attacking with more units in the same odds scenario, I actually decreased my chances of a draw result or win result.
I have two units, he has two. Now I have a 6% in loosing 2 steps, he 0. 25% of loosing a step more than he. 38% draw. 25% he looses more than me, 6% he looses 2, me 0. So by increasing the number of defending units (without changing the odds) the possible outcomes for the attacker are a lot better.
Somehow, the rolling for losses per unit didn't feel good to me... Even though it's topped: in a 2:1 attack the attacker rolls for 4 units max (but hey, that's 2 fully stacked hexes) and in a 5:1 for only one.
Most combat we saw was pretty low odds, as with the 2 stacking and 2 steps you can only muster so many steps while the defender can more easily improve his step count using terrain and artillery. Since it's quite hard to get an encirclement 'flank' bonus (deteriorating morale significantly) for the most part we didn't feel attacking was... useful. Why fight over a 2 VP hill when you have a significant chance of loosing more VPs fighting your way towards it?

Night turns
During night turns, units can move, but they can't move next to an enemy. There's no fighting. At all. Then, when the night's over, any units surrounded by enemies is dead. The Werewolves of Miller's Hollow, anyone? In my game, I was busy surrounding an entire formation. However, determining which units are removed is simultaneously. So my opponent used the night to move his units in and, using my line of "4 steps-empty hex" and his surrounded units as hinge pin, he was able to mark a number of my units for death. Since you can't fight or move next to an enemy unit, I had no way to counter that. I was able, however, to use my surrounded troops as linking pin and order another formation to surround his surrounding party. The rest of the night, we saw a number of Go-like moves, where the object is do surround the other. Daybreak came and a fair chunk of both our troops were gone, probably to the nearby woods to catch up on some sleep! There was an earie wide open battlefield between us...
So where the day turns encourage you to stack, the night turns punish you for that.

In all
Concluding all this we were left with a game with very little unit diversity, were attacking is discouraged, artillery no use to attackers, cavalry no use at all, the map is unclear, the player aids messy, night turns a weird subgame and the rest determined by luck.

My first game
Playing Gettysburg I started with little more than 4 cavalry units on the board with which I was supposed to slow down the CSA. 3 of them missed their first roll coming in contact with the enemy, (1:3 chance to miss), the last one his second. Then the cup with artillery pieces. We were supposed to draw seven out of a group of 5 of my Union artillery chits and 10 of his. Result: 1 chit for me, 6 for him.
I vented my frustration by attacking a lone unit of his at high odds; 5:1. My unit had a 5 morale so I had to roll 1-5 to not loose a step, he had to roll a 1. Promptly, he rolled a 1 and I a 6... I know, a 1 in 36 chance, but still: a 5:1 result leaving the enemy unscathed and with a +1VP result - not to mention my best unit had taken a beating.
And on and on this went.
Anyway, later in the evening even my opponent (who had this huge stroke of lucky rolls and draws) said: "yeah, I don't see the point of attacking in this game." and we decided to put it back in the box.

Thank you.
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Marc Hanna
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Great review touching on many essentials.

After a couple of solitaire playings this week I don't find the gameplay with cavalry too annoying, but the issue with artillery remains so.

The reviewer is spot on about it being better to stack defenders than spread them out (as is done to increase unit firepower in other CW brigade level games). Big defending stacks on hills with artillery support are hard to get more than 2:1 odds on. Supporting attacking artillery, since at most one point can be added to any attack, can rarely affect the odds in a positive way when big stack defenders are sitting on top of Cemetery Hill.

If the designer wanted to minimize the effects of artillery, it could have been done in a much less cumbersome way than all this chit pull for artillery that is ineffective 90% of the time for the attacker. If the artillery was indeed not so effective in the war, don't mitigate, make the design decision to remove it from the game entirely. But this was not done; there is an artillery system which simply adds a lot of time to gameplay for very little game player enjoyment. Such design mechanisms should be avoided.

I think a variant can be developed for using this artillery on the basis of applying DRMs. If a player commits an artillery unit to support his attack, he gets an extra -1 drm on the rolls for unit survival. Likewise, an artillery that supports defense does the same. If both players send in support, they both get a -1 drm for survival. Thus, artillery never changes the odds here and there, but enhances unit survival in any given attack

Alternatively, the variant rule could read that artillery supports attacks with a +1 DRM on the enemy survival roll, but the game already seems bloody enough that improved survival is a better outcome.

I'm normally against house rules that balkanize how games are played around the world, but this game seems to need it wrt artillery.

Night turns: surrounded units only surrender if adjacent to enemy units during the special Night surrender. Players can't move in adjacent at night, so they would have to plan this kind of maneuver in the previous daylight turn to hopefully then be able to manuever at night to surround such enemies. I think the reviewer has overstated this problem (that's usually not a problem at all).

Basically, I can understand why the reviewer would box up this game for posterity unless something is done about these artillery rules. Right now it's just not fun messing with these artillery counters.

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M@tthijs
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Thanks.

It wasn't just the artillery.
The blandness of combat, the undeciphering of the map, the lacking aids, to name some. It all weighed in.

I do agree that the "go-subgame" probably won't happen often, as it needs
A) Enemies you've already surrounded, so they're behind your line
B) You're not able to 'unstack' your surrounding formation (enough) to make continuing lines for the night.
Still, fact is the game allows this absurd type of gameplay, in fact: rewards it, due to an (unforeseen) combination of rules.
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Ben Bosmans
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I don't like the tone of this review.

Example:

"Our cavalry is guarding it, but they can never hold it. Should I send one or two of our brigades to defend it?" "And order them to those horses? You know our men can't be near horses! Wait for our cavalry to leave or the CSA to take that hill. I don't care. But don't send our troops to our own cavalry!"

So the Cav can not hold that hill with Cavalry alone against an Inf assault...

Logical. Cav and Inf can not stack at the end of a movement phase in a zone... So actually the Inf can relieve that Cav unit from its task.



--- What appears to be a smart talk about faulty mechanics is actually a not so amusing way to try to trash talk things.

The same about the combat. I think it is rather logical there are just a few levels of training, we don't talk about a Rambo elite training Corps but just a few different levels of trained troops, from rather good to rather poor..

As to the combat results, it worked for me in WW1... Combat is the draining of troops ... I think we played too much Combat odds at 29-8 and then simply roll dice.

This system was surprisingly fresh in its earlier WW1 games.


I didn't play this game yet, and I am not in the mood either for the moment, but I simply wanted to add a few comments since the OP's arguments I could control FAILED in what I could experience in other games in the series myself.

Odd, but I don't think you played the game with an open mind as the designer is a rather well known person within the industry. Reading your post, I am almost certain you didn't read his designer's notes either...

I am not a fan of all his games btw, but this review was not very sincere either.





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Marc Hanna
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There is already too much reliance in this hobby on 'people being well-known in the industry,' as if that makes up for poor design decisions and bad rules decisions. It's amazing how people let go of their critical thinking skills because some personage is involved.

Also, if someone hasn't played a game, they are hardly in a position to realistically criticize a review by someone who has played it, and has also taken the effort to put together a decent commentary, whether the tone is appreciated or not.

So, come back and critique the review whence you have played the game and experienced some of the mechanics described. The review is pretty accurate although I don't find it a big deal in a GB game that cav and infantry can't stack. There is hardly any cav in this battle anyway.
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Honosbinda wrote:
There is already too much reliance in this hobby on 'people being well-known in the industry,' as if that makes up for poor design decisions and bad rules decisions. It's amazing how people let go of their critical thinking skills because some personage is involved.

Also, if someone hasn't played a game, they are hardly in a position to realistically criticize a review by someone who has played it, and has also taken the effort to put together a decent commentary, whether the tone is appreciated or not.

So, come back and critique the review whence you have played the game and experienced some of the mechanics described. The review is pretty accurate although I don't find it a big deal in a GB game that cav and infantry can't stack. There is hardly any cav in this battle anyway.


LoL. I played the Clash of Giant system more than the OP with his "one" play through.

This system was used in 4(!) WW1 battles and actually they use for 90% the same rules like in Cav, Combat mechanics, Experience rating etc...The EXACT same things he talked about... Even the CRT's are the same...

So please I think I made it VERY clear that for these EXACT reasons I could comment the OP's review is simply a personal negative opinion which IS NOT IN LINE with most other opinions of the same SYSTEM and games that were published 10 years ago.

As such I think you should reREAD my comments and not browse some words.

friendly greetings...

PS I commented on his style btw. You can have a negative opinion on ANY game or system, but do it with respect to the designer and not go into destruction mode.

Btw Just read his comments on ... Twilight Struggle, a game which stood on number ONE on BGG in ALL categories for 8 years straight. He gave it a 2 with remarks you would think it was broken beyond belief , like having 5 scoring cards in one hand... (that would be like 1 chance in 6 million)..,


TLDR ..................

Nope, too many GOOD games were shred to pieces by people playing just ONCE a game.

In both cases - Twilight Struggle and this game - the author should at least read the designer's goals and play more than once before destroying them in public.
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In regard to my writing:
Ben_Bos wrote:
I don't like the tone of this review.[..]What appears to be a smart talk about faulty mechanics is actually a not so amusing way to try to trash talk things.
OK, dear Benny, I'm sorry your feelings are hurt because because you didn't like the tone of my review. However, it is my review and it expresses my opinion. I respect that you don't agree with my views. Perfectly fine for me - but don't try to lecture on what I should think or how I should write. Trash talk, I think, is in the eye of the beholder. IMO, you do, I didn't. I'll get to that.

I could've written the 3rd review praising the game, but for people looking for info and doubting whether or not to buy it, I wanted to give a different angle. When I consider buying a game, I'll always look at all reviews and then make up my own mind. I feel in no way obliged to write positively about a game I disliked. That's what the fans are for, and I respect their opinion.
Ben_Bos wrote:
the OP's review is simply a personal negative opinion
Now you're catching on. It is.

In regard to the game:
Ben_Bos wrote:
[..]Logical. Cav and Inf can not stack at the end of a movement phase in a zone... So actually the Inf can relieve that Cav unit from its task.
You think so? Since cavalry has its own command chit in the draw cup, all you can do is evacuate the hill and then hope your infrantry command chit will be drawn before the enemy's, or you'll loose that hill. Logical for me would be, for instance, allowing overstacking till the end of the turn, not the phase. Walk that infantry in whenever you can and the cavalry out. Even then, you must hope for the right sequence. But suppose you're overstacked and under attack, you could get a penalty for disorganization. Would for me work better than clearing a hill and hope for the best.
Ben_Bos wrote:
we don't talk about a Rambo elite training Corps but just a few different levels of trained troops, from rather good to rather poor..
That's all fine, but my point is to highlight there is little unit diversity in this game. That's not an opinion, that's a fact. And that might be historically totally correct, but I think it's something you should know before you buy the game.

In regard to your assumptions
Ben_Bos wrote:
Odd, but I don't think you played the game with an open mind as the designer is a rather well known person within the industry.
I think you're right, I think I wasn't open minded. In fact, as it is a Ted Raicer game and Paths of Glory is my most PbeM'd game, I was expecting probably too much. But, as Honosbinda already pointed out, each professional, be it a game designer, a movie director, a writer, is just a human and can make something people really like while a new project can be appalling to a large part of that previous audience. Look at how divided opinions are on the works of Quentin Tarantino.
Ben_Bos wrote:
Reading your post, I am almost certain you didn't read his designer's notes either...
You assume too much. I did. And I understand the why. I just don't like it.

In regard to your trashing of my review
Ben_Bos wrote:
What appears to be a smart talk about faulty mechanics is actually a not so amusing way to try to trash talk things.
I think the cavalry part you're referring to, it'll be clear for most my tongue was in my cheek. Sorry if you didn't like the joke.
Ben_Bos wrote:
[..] this review was not very sincere [..]
Who are you to decide?! I assure you my review was very sincere.
Ben_Bos wrote:
PS I commented on his style btw. You can have a negative opinion on ANY game or system, but do it with respect to the designer and not go into destruction mode.
I suggest you reread your own posts. You'll find you didn't just attack my style, but my opinion a numer of times. And also, I made no remark on the designer, all my comments are about his game.
Ben_Bos wrote:
Btw Just read his comments on ... Twilight Struggle, a game which stood on number ONE on BGG in ALL categories for 8 years straight. He gave it a 2 with remarks you would think it was broken beyond belief , like having 5 scoring cards in one hand... (that would be like 1 chance in 6 million)..,
OK, so ad hominem now? Are you trash talking me to disqualify me as reviewer? The pot and kettle. Pandemic Legacy: Season 1 is nr 1 on BGG since it took Twilight Struggle's place, almost 2 years ago. You rated it a 3 and commented "Clearly some internet stooges for the industry hyped it [..] A strange case of orchestred [sic] hype on BGG." Golden. I never played it, but it strikes me as very hypocritical to highlight my different opinion of a #1 game, while apparently your negative opinion of a #1 game is acceptable.
Ben_Bos wrote:
Nope, too many GOOD games were shred to pieces by people playing just ONCE a game.
I don't know where this personal frustration is based on. At least I made very clear my review was based on 1 play (it's in the freaking title), so people can weigh it how they want.

In conclusion
Ben_Bos wrote:
This system was used in 4(!) WW1 battles
...which means it's a system a lot of wargamers like. I voice the other group.
Ben_Bos wrote:
I didn't play this game yet, and I am not in the mood either
Well, I did play it. And for the rest, that makes two of us. Common ground after all!
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Marc Hanna
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Evidently, some people don't want to acknowledge the substantive difference between playing a game and playing a game system.

Even though I could be considered an expert on Advanced Squad Leader over many years, I generally don't comment on a scenario's (lack of) merit without having played it, at least. That goes double for someone's commentary about a scenario they have played. I owe them at least a play before telling them off

cheers



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Honosbinda wrote:
Evidently, some people don't want to acknowledge the substantive difference between playing a game and playing a game system.

Even though I could be considered an expert on Advanced Squad Leader over many years, I generally don't comment on a scenario's (lack of) merit without having played it, at least. That goes double for someone's commentary about a scenario they have played. I owe them at least a play before telling them off

cheers





I commented on the game SYSTEMS the OP was talking about. And that system I played numurous times. I said that in my first reaction.

That's why I said REREAD what I commented on. Obviously you didn't even bother.

His disdain of the system - in its various forms as I described could be easely tackled in this respect.

In the SAME style he wrote about Twilight Struggle with its "broken" mechanics and giving it a 2, just like this game. Playing it one time ..'

Anyone who speaks about a number 1 game for 8 years straight on BGG and calls it broken, well he is the jury member that is set aside in the next jury for Gymnastics.

And please OP do not compare my 3 given to LEGACY games. That's clearly explained: I do NOT like boardgames which need to be stickered, cards shred to pieces or other manipulations to destroy my mint boardgames. That's a commercial comment, not even talking about a game issue ...


--- the HUGE problem is that with Twilight Struggle the "broken" 2 vote is meaningless as thousands upon thousands ranked players know this game is NOT broken and rated it properly...

--- with a thin wargame base of players though everyone giving such a rating has a MUCH bigger impact on such a game.

And I regret that even though I played the other games in this system more than a decade ago I found HUGE holes in the OP's attacks on the same system thatwas quite unique and gained praise at the time.

That's why I reacted and that's why anybody reading this review should be warned.

Tongue in cheek or not. It is the tone and the evident lack of interest throughout the review that made me react.

Too many games are dropped for these kind of rather fast written reviews without doing some proper research on why and how the system was chosen.

And that's sad really.
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Ben_Bos wrote:
Honosbinda wrote:
Evidently, some people don't want to acknowledge the substantive difference between playing a game and playing a game system.

Even though I could be considered an expert on Advanced Squad Leader over many years, I generally don't comment on a scenario's (lack of) merit without having played it, at least. That goes double for someone's commentary about a scenario they have played. I owe them at least a play before telling them off

cheers

I commented on the game SYSTEMS the OP was talking about. And that system I played numurous times. I said that in my first reaction.

That's why I said REREAD what I commented on. Obviously you didn't even bother.

His disdain of the system - in its various forms as I described could be easely tackled in this respect.
See game comments:
mcdeans wrote:
CoG:CW is full of fiddly little rules to force it onto the CoG system where it doesn't really fit. Due to the lower level it needs lots of changes for leaders, terrain, command, etc. Variable entry for delay/location, but still have to fight over pre-determined VP locations based on the historical battle, which rather strait-jackets the attempts at variability. The TEC layout is very poor with the real MP values in notes rather than displayed. Found several rules holes that demonstrate a lack of play testing and development. In my view the weakest of the CoG series.
SpeartheTurtle wrote:
I understand Gettysburg sells, but it's not a great fit for the system. It worked well with the original, started to go off the rails with II, and now, its just sad to watch the designs become a modern day R

Apparently of the people who played the entire system, not just WW-I like you, there are a few who consider this not a great fit. Maybe you should play it after all before you defend a single game you never played based on your love for the system you played a lot.

Oh, btw, Ted Raicer logged in to BGG yesterday. He didn't bother to comment here. Either he doesn't care for his game, which I very much doubt, or he disagrees with you and thinks everybody is entitled to his own opinion, and he's not so easily offended by a review.

Now excuse me, I have a game of Paths of Glory to play.
 
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_Kael_ wrote:
Ben_Bos wrote:
Honosbinda wrote:
Evidently, some people don't want to acknowledge the substantive difference between playing a game and playing a game system.

Even though I could be considered an expert on Advanced Squad Leader over many years, I generally don't comment on a scenario's (lack of) merit without having played it, at least. That goes double for someone's commentary about a scenario they have played. I owe them at least a play before telling them off

cheers

I commented on the game SYSTEMS the OP was talking about. And that system I played numurous times. I said that in my first reaction.

That's why I said REREAD what I commented on. Obviously you didn't even bother.

His disdain of the system - in its various forms as I described could be easely tackled in this respect.
See game comments:
mcdeans wrote:
CoG:CW is full of fiddly little rules to force it onto the CoG system where it doesn't really fit. Due to the lower level it needs lots of changes for leaders, terrain, command, etc. Variable entry for delay/location, but still have to fight over pre-determined VP locations based on the historical battle, which rather strait-jackets the attempts at variability. The TEC layout is very poor with the real MP values in notes rather than displayed. Found several rules holes that demonstrate a lack of play testing and development. In my view the weakest of the CoG series.
SpeartheTurtle wrote:
I understand Gettysburg sells, but it's not a great fit for the system. It worked well with the original, started to go off the rails with II, and now, its just sad to watch the designs become a modern day R

Apparently of the people who played the entire system, not just WW-I like you, there are a few who consider this not a great fit. Maybe you should play it after all before you defend a single game you never played based on your love for the system you played a lot.

Oh, btw, Ted Raicer logged in to BGG yesterday. He didn't bother to comment here. Either he doesn't care for his game, which I very much doubt, or he disagrees with you and thinks everybody is entitled to his own opinion, and he's not so easily offended by a review.

Now excuse me, I have a game of Paths of Glory to play.


What a sad reaction to this thread...

Out of 68 people giving scores to this game half of them give it an 8 or more...,

Only 2 dudes out 68 gave it a 2... One of which is you... I guess your "broken game"comment and 2 scores could be easely transferred to the ratings of Twilight Struggle too....

As I stated above in my latest reaction ... you clearly would be the jury member taken out for the next ratings in the Olympics...

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Ben_Bos wrote:
Out of 68 people giving scores to this game half of them give it an 8...,

Only 2 dudes out 68 gave it a 2... One of which is you... I guess your "broken game"comment and 2 scores could be easely transferred to the ratings of Twilight Struggle too....

As I stated above in my latest reaction ... you clearly would be the jury member taken out for the next ratings in the Olympics...
Last time I checked, Olympics use a set of rules to as objectively as possible determine who's best in a contest.

Where as BGG uses a rating system which is without rules by design, to let every user rate games however he likes.

I find it hard to understand you don't grasp the difference. And for all the excuses you make, there's still no difference between my under par rating of a BGG#1 game and yours.
 
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Ben_Bos wrote:
[

That's why I said REREAD what I commented on. Obviously you didn't even bother.



You really said that again? I didn't comment on that because I was trying to be polite, but since you insist on being acknowledged:

your initial comments were barely worth reading the first time.

How about this? Try being less obtuse initially, then you might avoid the temptation of overly explaining yourself in a snide and hubristic manner.



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Rereading your comment, it seems to boil down to this:
Quote:
I didn't play this game yet, and I am not in the mood either for the moment, but I simply wanted to add a few comments since the OP's arguments I could control FAILED in what I could experience in other games in the series myself.
...with the addition that you didn't like my tone, I wasn't sincere, I didn't read the designer notes and trash talked.

And I think you meant "check", not "control".

So let's break that down:
- you didn't play the game
- you don't want to play the game (now)
- you checked my comments versus another game with a similar system
- you claim my comments fail, but you don't say why.

My comments were about
- how the stacking rule in combination with the chit pull can lead to weird situations. You answer with basically "it can work", without addressing that it can also not work.
- the blandness of the troops. You agree but you say that's how it's supposed to be. I merely state that doesn't attract me to play. To each his own.
- the combat. I prove by calculation it's a fact that the system rewards attacking with less units (as long as odds stay the same). You parry with "it worked for me. Combat drains. We play too much other stuff. The system once was fresh". No substance there which actually counters the fact I'm stating. Apparently you like how it plays, but I don't.
- the artillery working better for the defender than for the attacker. All I can find is your "it worked for me".
Hardly proof for my failing here. It's on you. You failed to disprove my points so far.


You know what?
You live in Mechelen, I live in Venlo. Meet me halfway. December 17 there's a small wargamers gathering in Eindhoven. Come there and we'll play this game. You show me that the stacking rule in combination with chit pull always gives logical (your word) results, the game is a joy regardless of the blandness of troops, the combat does not reward using less units, and the artillery works as good for the attacker as for the defender.

When you do, I'll promise you I'll buy the game!
But if you don't, I want to burn your copy of the game.

Ted Raicier wins either way, since he'll sell a copy either to me or a replacement to you, so that's covert too.
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This thread is becomming disappointingly personal.

I have the game on my shelf waiting to be played. It looks a nice game and I am hoping it gives a good game.
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normsmith wrote:
This thread is becomming disappointingly personal.

I have the game on my shelf waiting to be played. It looks a nice game and I am hoping it gives a good game.


That starts when people go out of their way to imply others don't know how to read their hallowed pontifications

Maybe there's a trend here: people are spending too much time being disappointed, saddened or annoyed in this thread and just need to get back to doing some real gaming instead of thinking about it, yeah?
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Honosbinda wrote:
normsmith wrote:
This thread is becomming disappointingly personal.

I have the game on my shelf waiting to be played. It looks a nice game and I am hoping it gives a good game.


That starts when people go out of their way to imply others don't know how to read their hallowed pontifications

Maybe there's a trend here: people are spending too much time being disappointed, saddened or annoyed in this thread and just need to get back to doing some real gaming instead of thinking about it, yeah?
I actually played a 2-player game of 1775: Rebellion right before my last message. Was great fun. meeple

@ normsmith : I do hope you'll enjoy your purchase. Different strokes for different people and there seem to be a lot of wargamers who like this one. Happy gaming.
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_Kael_ wrote:


@ normsmith : I do hope you'll enjoy your purchase. Different strokes for different people and there seem to be a lot of wargamers who like this one. Happy gaming.


Thank you. I have played previous games in the series. We are lucky that there is so much choice that there really is something for everyone. I do appreciate your opening post. Good Gaming to you.
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I disagree that stacking units every other hex is THE way to defend in CoG: it very much depends on the terrain, the TERs and the forces available (as well as the chit draws and SCMs available). As for the artillery rules, I not only stand by them as historically accurate, I'm particularly proud of them since they capture the advantages of artillery on defense, ammo limits, counter-battery fire, and at Gburg the importance of the Union artillery reserve all in the chit pull mechanic, while doing away with cumbersome los rules. Finally on the cavalry, their extremely limited use in these two battles (the Gburg cavalry battlefield is off the map) reflects the reality that these battles were essentially an infantry fight, with artillery and cavalry very much in supporting roles.

Having said all that, I'm sincerely sorry you don't like it. But nothing works for everyone, and I long ago gave up on the idea I could design something everyone would enjoy. So I just design what I like, and hope enough other gamers share my tastes to keep the publishers happy.
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tdraicer wrote:
Having said all that, I'm sincerely sorry you don't like it. But nothing works for everyone, and I long ago gave up on the idea I could design something everyone would enjoy. So I just design what I like, and hope enough other gamers share my tastes to keep the publishers happy.
And so you should and a lot of them do, for this game too. Paths of Glory is IMO an awesome game, this one for me the opposite. I can't for the life imagine my review offended you and I think by now it is clear that that is not my intention. I respect you for defending your design decisions, though I don't like them for this game. It'll be interesting to see how next time I try a game by you will unfold.

Thanks for the post.
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To be clear, I was certainly not offended by your review. Different strokes-it is why we have so many different games covering the same topics in our hobby.
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Yes indeed" attacks are seemingly at a disadvantage unless you can push the odds at or above 2:1.

To illustrate point, I'll briefly mention One very important item about hills (higher elevations) that I did not notice until more than 2/3rds into Bull Run. This was the Retreat phase requirements (4 hex spaces); versus the "mandatory attack" requirement. Both are tied together by the very same configuration requirements. This one simple and easily overlooked nuance, is a good example of protracted and extended tactical links that reward solid cat & mouse maneuvers.

Back to the attack odds thing, this too is tied into that cat & mouse tactical bit. The cavalry is a very effective tool in this formula, especially with Buford's ability to activate with any unit once per turn.

Anyway, I won't go into the details but I will say you certainly appear to have overlooked the rich tactical flavors of this game's design. Granted, I can't fault anyone for missing all those tactical nuances. I would suggest you play it again with an open mind and watch for the linked tactical flavors; look further than you immediate activation.

Good luck.
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