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The Civil War» Forums » Variants

Subject: My Take on House/Optional Rules rss

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Chad Marlett
United States
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Wherever You Go, There You Are
With no certain future, and no purpose other than to prevail
Rule 16 / Jackson and Lyon are Not Killed
After playing this rule several times, I am no longer impressed with it. Having armies running around led by Lyon and Jackson is just too ahistorical for me, and I don't think it adds anything to the game. Plus, I think Lyon is overrated, given the outcome of Wilson's Creek. There is no evidence that I am aware of that Jackson would have been given an army command, and certainly no evidence that he would have been successful at it.

Rule 17 / Army Size and Placement
Played this once, and never again. The game devolves into alpha-stacks roving around, and history goes out the window. I also think the Union will be burned by this variant, as the defense becomes much easier - how do you outnumber the AoV or AoM if everyone has the same size armies? As the rules say, the limits are due to logistical constraints of the given theatres and combatants.

Rule 18 / Cavalry Intelligence Gathering
Never tried - how many armies move around with no cavalry leaders and no idea what the enemy army has?

Rule 20 / Random Leader Entry
Never tried and never will. The game has enough luck with leader deaths and random turn length to add in random gaps between Lee and Grant appearing. How about if one side gets cavalry and the other doesn't? Or the Union naval leaders don't appear? No thanks.

Leader Graveyards / Leader Placement
I've read numerous posts on optional leader rules, so I know these are not original ideas, and I can't remember where I got all the ideas from. That being stated, here is what I want to try:

You are Lincoln or Davis - you might know a General's name, but you really don't know what that name means until they get into battle.

1. Make generic counters for the generals - distinguish between admirals, cavalry, and normal, and their number of stars. A generic leader has no name, and is 3o0. A generic counter is replaced with a random leader available leader at the start of non-overrun combat. Only leaders available at the point of game can be used. Note that this is very easy with the Vassal Module!

2. This setup allows you to place a 3 star where you need it, and a 1 star where you need it. It also prevents cavalry from ending up somewhere unneccesary, and admirals from ending up in the middle of Kentucky.

3. A player may, if desired, replace a KIA admiral or cavalry general with a generic counter. This prevents unusual leader losses from crippling one side. A 3o0 is not appealing in these roles, but it is better than having no leaders at all.

4. Promotions - make these face-up - If Lincoln needed a general in Philidelphia for an invasion, I don't think he would accidently promote a general in Kentucky instead.

5. Reduced chance of promotion. I wouldn't try this yet - the Union needs this alot more than the Confederates, and the game is pretty well balanced as it is.

6. Balance. I believe all of the above is going to slow the Union down 1-2 turns via some badly lost battles and inability to move forces because of 4 initiative rating schmucks actually getting army command. I suspect bonus Union VP will be required, and some extra rules to make historical gains still possible on the dates they occurred.

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