Ok first of, this will not be a review of the game mechanics in detail since that has been done before. This will merly be a list of pros and cons and a conclusion at the end.
I have been a wargamer, minatures gamer and a board gamer for 15 years. Minitures games are my estethic part of the hobby, Board games are my limited time and play with friends part of the hobby and hex and counters wargames are my learn about history part of the hobby.
So what does this game brings to the table for the ACW and hex and counter genre?
- I love chitpull systems, it really adds tention and gives replay value. This system has it and does it well.
- Love how you have minor controll over your reeinforcements. Also adds tons to replay value and tension
- This games add an aspect which I love. The importance of manouver. Not being able to attack more than once (Twice with SCM) makes you foucus on manouvre and timing. I really think this abstraction works so well in the ACW genre which were so much about manouvering.
- the abstracted artillery is fantastic in my opinion. Artillery is hard to deseign game wise and they often become to OP or useless. This systems abstraction of the AM really makes sence to me and is brilliantly done.
- The game has Gettysburg which is a huge plus in my ACW book.
- Easy to learn but not simplifistic
- A lot of history is put in to the system. I like Hex and counters game to be more of a simulation than a game but this game makes it both which I think is stunning.
- retreats after ending up in a bad position is perfectly potrayed in this game with an easy to remember rule. really good representation of the ACW
- I would like to have more battles
- I think the rule book is ok. very informative but there are very importan details that need to be found and read carfully. I think these exeptions should be more outlined.
- The battle book could be outlined more carefully. Information seems a bit spread out.
- Even though it is an easy game there is a lot of small details to remember in each battle. I am glad that they are there but it really takes several readings of each battle in the battle book to remember them all. To me it does, cannot answer for anybody else.
I am really happy with this game and I might get into some trouble here but this will really be my go to game for ACW I think. I have played a lot of them. I think that a game that is simple but not simplistic, have good represantation of history and is replayable is the winning games for me and this is defenetly a winner. It has seen some hate for from a few people and they are entitled to their opinion as well as I am and my opinion is that they are wrong and I am right;)
Thanks for writing this and I'm really glad you enjoyed it. The artillery system is very abstract, but I think it results in very historical effects. I'm especially glad you noted the "retreat under the enemy guns above you" rule, which is actually another example of how artillery effects are shown in the game.
Totally agree a fast paced quick and enjoyable game with a lot of replayability built in. Especially liked 2nd Bull Run Battle and how the Union just have to get that tantalisingly close last victory hex. Tried prepared attack, almost got there but for a brilliant counter attack from Taliaferro, then fighting withdrawal as Longstreet arrives.
Gettysburg is interesting and can feel a bit like a WW1 battle as after the first day they form defensive lines and then race to outflank. Took Cemetery and Culp on second day but the Union reserve artillery stopped the CSA from making further progress.
Liked artillery abstraction. Its strength is that it allows the defender to use terain and artilery to disrupt attacks, reflecting the birth of the defensive mindset that grew in this conflict without complicated entrenching rules etc. Makes attacking at high odds rare rather than the norm which feels right and forces you to try to out flank prepared positions.
It is also a game of luck and uncertainty (but so is war) as die roles go against you, but if you just want to refight the battle and get the same historical result just don't use the variable reinforcements.
Extreme slopes on map could be better defined
Had no problem with cavalry rules, though Buford can be in trouble if Ewell arrives early and takes the town. Dont use units at night as panzers to surround enemy!
An enjoyable addition to my Civil War colection.