Wayne Hansen
United States
Springfield
Missouri
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Battle of Pea Ridge, Day 2. Van Dorn, realizing the battle is lost, begins retreating the Confederate forces. The Confederate player's goal is to retreat off-map using Huntsville road (see the large "B" on the right side of the map). The Union must eliminate as many CSA units as he can, and/or keep the CSA from retreating before the last turn.



I believe this was turn 3. The Union has kept solid pressure on the Confederates every step of the way.



The Confederate forces that were able to retreat have done so, while the Union moved to block the route of retreat leaving the CSA Texan cavalry and Hebert's infantry brigades trapped.



End game. The CSA was able to retreat 29 Strength Points off the map, which equates to a Confederate Substantial Victory (the best victory the CSA can have in this scenario).

After some counter pushing here and there, and finally completing an entire scenario, my initial impressions of the game are very positive. First off, I love the look of the game. From the incredible maps to the eye catching counters (both units and informational markers). Everything just looks fantastic, kudos to the artists and everyone who worked on the graphic design. Second, despite some grumblings I read (on another forum *ahem*) about the possible difficulty of managing SP and Demoralization markers under each unit, I found it to hardly be a problem at all. I've certainly played busier games with larger stacks. A combination of the 5/8in counters, and only really having to manipulate the stacks during the two combat turns, kept me from ever feeling like they were hard to manage. Third, the combat itself just feels right. The approach fire mechanic shows the risk to the attacker by moving to engage defenders. The back and forth of combat itself, with the onus being put on the attacker to either cause the defender to retreat (and thereby advance after combat and take the hex) or have to retreat themselves? I love it. The combat also feels substantial without being bloody due to morale and demoralization of SP's. During combat you never know if your "hits" on the opponent are going to actually cause losses of strength points, just demoralize them, or both. I more often than not had brigades "shatter", meaning they were completely demoralized and fled the field of battle. They weren't actually wiped out of strength points. During a campaign game with night turns, I would be able to attempt to rally those demoralized brigades. Another big win for me. And finally, the chit pull mechanic of the game makes playing it solo a breeze, and keeps things tense without artificial command and control rules.

I have a feeling I'll be playing this game for a long time.
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Eric Smith
United States
Albuquerque
NM
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Thanks for posting this fine replay.

I hope you play it again, most of the time this is a nail-biter.

Historically, the CSA troops that didn't make it off via the Huntsville road retreated North instead, some going around Pea Ridge, some not. It was a real mess.

Cheers,

Eric
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David Corbett
United States
Illinois
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Enjoyed your review; just finished playing it and will resume another game tonight !
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Wayne Hansen
United States
Springfield
Missouri
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ericleesmith wrote:
Thanks for posting this fine replay.

Eric


And thank you sir for what is shaping up to be an excellent game. I'm going to get my money's worth out of this one, and look forward to any future games in the series!
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