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Subject: A review by a Grognard after one play rss

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Tim P.
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Look at the bottom for a TL-DR review

Background
The game was previewed by the designer at the recent SDHIST con in San Diego. A number of advance copies were available and used in a designer led tournament.


The tournament in action. Mark Herman is standing on the left in the blue shirt.

After the tournament, myself and Mike were handed a copy of the game to play by the designer. Unlike those in the tournament, we learned the game cold from the rules with little assistance.

This Review
It's a small magazine game with counters and a hex map. I am not recounting the rules. This is a gameplay review to see if the game is of interest to you.

Components
12 page rulebook
11in x 17in map
28 counters
- 9 Union unit counters, 1 Sharpshooter marker, and 1 Meade HQ counter
- 10 Union unit counters and 1 Lee HQ counter
Units are Division level and are cavalry or infantry types.
- 6 markers - artillery, game turn etc


Note: Pre-production components shown.

Game Flow
6 game turns, each turn being half a day
Each turn consists of:
1. Place your HQ counter, Confederate then Union
2. Administrative stuff like, get back Blown units (units are Blown via combat), place the Union Berdan's Sharpshooters, flip units to March or Battle formation depending on how close to the enemy.
3. Starting with the Confederates, each side move one unit. repeat until one player passes. The non-passing player then can then move some more times.
4. 3. Starting with the Confederates, each side can attack with one unit that is adjacent to an enemy unit. Repeat until one player passes. The non-passing player then attack some more times.
5. Advance the turn marker.


Movement
The two sides alternate moving units. The same unit can move multiple times. Each unit has a ZOC and a ZOI (Zone Of Influence). It's like a ZOC but extends into a two hex radius. Once a unit is close to the enemy it flips to the Battle Formation side of the counter and has 1 Movement Point. Units that are not close to the enemy are in March Formation and have 4 or 6 Movement Points. Cavalry has 6 Movement Points, while Infantry has 4.

Basically, you alternate moving one unit until you have no units left to move (as they are pinned by being adjacent to an enemy unit), or you don't want to move any of your units. Here is the kicker, once you 'Pass', the other player will get to move some more units. This is dependent on how many of his units are not in contact added to a d6 roll. Now, that is sneaky. Choosing to pass early may limit your opponents ability to maneuver around you.

Combat
Combat is straightforward one unit versus one unit with a differential result.
More details of combat:
work out the combat DRMs (die roll modifiers) for each side, each side rolls a d6 dice and add their DRMs, the loser is the side with the lower roll. A high differential can eliminate units, units can be Blown, lower differential will cause the enemy unit to retreat. No differential is no effect. There is choice on Artillery commitment, units quality is a factor, terrain can help the defender, the attacker can get a bonus for outnumbering the defender. No real shock there.

But, a unit may attack or be attacked multiple times in the same combat phase! Yup, the same unit could advance after combat and attack again and again. You could roll up the whole enemy army with one Division!

Quality Counts
What does Lee have over Meade? A larger HQ range (8 versus 6 hexes) gives the Confederates the ability to be further from their HQ. Units have to stay, or immediately move back to, within their HQs range. The Rebs can flank wider to get around the Union line, that is assuming the Lee HQ marker is placed in the right spot!

The Hook
The ability to move/attack with the same units multiple times is what makes this a fun and tense game!

Your units that are not close to the enemy (and thus are in March Formation) can move long distances. The unit count is small so be wary of your flanks. Reserves are important, they can plug gaps or they can envelope a flank. Pinning the enemy and using a local numerical advantage can eliminate enemy units by blocking their retreat path. The ability to attack multiple time with the same unit means that you can roll up the enemy if you can outmaneuver, outclass, or outnumber them.

Being experienced Grognards we had no problem with the rules once we understood the movement and combat possibilities after the other player had passed. The alternating game play creates great tension as the players try to maneuver around their opponents units. Each player is wary of committing their units too early and being outflanked or out-numbered.

A newbie to wargames is best taught by an experienced player. The possibilities, and pitfalls, of the movement and combat systems will not be obvious to a non-wargamer. It is fast enough to have a demo game, then reset and play for real. Watch them flanks!

It's a fresh twist on Gettysburg. It is playable in around an hour, once you know the rules. It is perfect as a lunch hour game or long filler wargame.


TL-DR (Too long-Don't Read)
It's a small and fast playing game. It is playable in around an hour, once you know the rules.
Having units able to move and attack multiple times makes this game tense and chess-like. If you like a short, fast, portable game, with a neat twist on the hex and counter genre then this is a great option.

Edit: Note added to picture ref pre-production components.
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Darrell Hanning
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Looks great.

Except...

...I hate side nubs.
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Tim P.
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DarrellKH wrote:
Looks great.

Except...

...I hate side nubs.
The counters pictured are from the pre-production prototypes and are not fully representative of the actual C3i counters.

If you look at this pic from Twitter you will see the normal high quality C3i counters with no side nubs.
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Steve Carey
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I was a playtester and assistant rules editor for the game, and agree with Tim. This is a relatively simple, but not simplistic, design that provides strong engagement and tension. Scratches that itch for me in a satisfying way.

A great addition to the hobby and C3i!
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Mark Herman
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DarrellKH wrote:
Looks great.

Except...

...I hate side nubs.
The final counters do not have side nibs. These were special order counters for the convention. Now a collectors item as there were only 8 copies.

Mark
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Ricatoni
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Frankly I was impressed at Mark's ability to distill the key elements of this event in a simple...but not simplistic war game. I was one of the gamers in the above picture and found game play to be engaging, challenging, and credible...all in one hour!!! thumbsupthumbsupthumbsup
I won the game but lost the die roll to walk away with the game demo...cry
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Mark Johnson
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Some interesting ideas in there. Can't wait to get my hands on it.
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Jan Heinemann
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oi_you_nutter wrote:
But, a unit may attack or be attacked multiple times in the same combat phase! Yup, the same unit could advance after combat and attack again and again. You could roll up the whole enemy army with one Division!
I guess, the Combat Result is applied immediately after each combat, then?

Asking because I am trying to find a fix for my Libertadores 1810-1824 copy. There victorious units can not advance after combat, but defending units stay in place untill the end of the activation sub phase and can be attacked again by other units, summing up all hits which are applied together at the end of the activation sub phase. Quite a weird approach, which leads to quick destructions of units.

I actually tried to tweak the system to a multi-unit/hex combat system, with good results, I think.
But I like the fast paste Gettysburg seems to have, therefore I might try to fix the one-unit-vs-one-unit combat system. That's why I ask.

Sorry, for not beeing that much on topic though. :/
 
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Tim P.
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lepetitcapo wrote:
oi_you_nutter wrote:
But, a unit may attack or be attacked multiple times in the same combat phase! Yup, the same unit could advance after combat and attack again and again. You could roll up the whole enemy army with one Division!
I guess, the Combat Result is applied immediately after each combat, then?

...
Yes
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Jan Heinemann
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Thanks!
 
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