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Subject: First Impressions rss

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June Hwang Wah
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I received my set a few days after christmas, and got down to breaking out the game over the new year.

Physical Components:
Counters are gorgeous, Each represents a division of infantry or calvary, and artillery for a corps. Leaders further have their faces printed. I thought that the non-corps confederate units should have been black instead of sharing a colour with the cavalry, but thats a minor point, as unit designations are printed on the counter. But it is confusing.

The map was a major let-down. It appears that the choice of symbology was not well thought-out. Area boundaries are dashed in almost the same color as the background, and roads are in solid black. Railroads, which play only a minor role in the game are in solid red! It takes constant effort to adjust one's eyes, as it is all too easy to mistake the roads for area boundaries. A better choice will be to use black as area boundaries, and brown for road and traditional hashed lines for rail tracks. Boundaries that are crossed by roads can also be further distinguished by broken/solid lines.



Game System:
Rinella does it again with this game. The meachanics are built upon the area-impulse system that came into its own in Breakout: Normandy. Command control is modelled by limited activation of corps and army leaders. Without leaders, each impulse activated ONE division. Given the limited impulses each player has, it is crucial when he uses his leaders. An army with large numbers of units may not be able to bring their strength to bear if not sufficiently concentrated under its corps commanders. A slight peeve is corps leaders are not differentiated. But I guess in this campaign, corps leaders with a few exceptions performed with uniformed mediocrity.

Overall, I'd recommend this game. Its a pity the map was not done better.
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David Gray
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So Rinella has used a WWII operational system to simulate an ACW battle?
 
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Brian Morris
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Raytown
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graydo wrote:
So Rinella has used a WWII operational system to simulate an ACW battle?


It works wonderfully for the ACW.

As for the original comments in the review above, I agree strongly with the comment on the map lines. It can be difficult to differentiate between territories. Black lines definitely would have been a better choice. Otherwise this game is fantastic.
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Michael Rinella
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I am partial to the map myself. I think area boundary maps are an acquired taste. But after all we're talking only 50 areas so with a few playings I think your eyes adjust and "see" all the boundaries.

As for the game system I would point out that the rules:

1. Were substantially different than either the Avalon Hill area-impulse games, or my Market-Garden game with MMP (which was heavily modeled on the Avalon Hill games for the simple reason it was in fact originally conceived and discussed with Avalon Hill before that company closed its doors). The guiding idea for NWBM was "back to basics" and a more playable game. The rules are a fraction of the length and density of game like Breakout: Normandy or Monty's Gamble: Market-Garden.

2. Were developed by the ATO people. The ATO people are magazine people, and they do one game at a time (leaving aside the free postcard games they slip into some issues). They know how to edit. They know how to develop. So a more playable design was made even better.

3. Game systems are not wedded to a point in time. The area-impulse system is not a "WW2 Operational" *system*. It is simply a device, an engine, that yields a set of game results. That all the previous games released using the system happened to be "WW2 Operational" *topics* is just coincidental. I've already designed a World War One game that uses elements of NWBM, but I wouldn't say the NWBM system is a "American Civil War" system. It is simply a framework to simulate historical events, and the framework itself is quite flexible.
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Michael Rinella
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And now another American Civil War area-impulse game, Birth of a Legend, is out with ATO. In addition the World War One game I spoke of, Breakthrough: Cambrai is out as well (with MMP).

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John Smales
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Please excuse this question if it reflects my ignorance to the rules, but what are the five yellow "D" counters for?
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Michael Rinella
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Blow up the scanned counter sheet here and you'll see: they are counters for another ATO game called The Big Push. ATO routinely adds variant/replacement/supplemental counters to the counter sheets of later issues.
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John Smales
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Thanks for shining a light into the darkness of my ignorance! In my zeal to punch the counters, I never read the fine print. By the way, this is an elegant and addictive game.
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Michael Rinella
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Spread the word! laugh
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Freddy Dekker
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Michael Rinella wrote:
Blow up the scanned counter sheet here and you'll see: they are counters for another ATO game called The Big Push. ATO routinely adds variant/replacement/supplemental counters to the counter sheets of later issues.


Thanks for the warning, it would probably have taken me some time to figure that out.

This is my first ATO game and it may not be my last.

Just wondered about the counter tray that came with my game.
Though I appreciate it, I must wonder is this specifically for this game and have they envisioned a way in which you should put your counyers in?

Or is it just a general tray and just ment to just hold all the counters.
These are not GMT trays, which I really like as they have enough room to sort out the counters in most games, but they are deffinatly good enough to use.

[made this last remark cause someone claimed the plastic was not very good at all. granted GMT's are sturdier, but I still do think these are not bad at all]
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Freddy Dekker
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Haha, I had to laugh.shake

I've now finally found the time to give this game a go.
Asked some, yet unanswered questions and so went to look at other threads to see if I could not find an answer elswhere.

So I stumbled upon this, figured it was good someone aske about those counters cause I'd missed that info aswell, and than to my surprise had to find I'd allready read this post.

Haha, imagine that, memory can be a funny thing.
To prevent further confusing, when next I play this, I'll now ban the counters fron the tray.

Looking forward to getting the hang of this, allread checking out other ATO games.
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