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The Price of Freedom: The American Civil War 1861-1865» Forums » General

Subject: Seeing the PoF elephant rss

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Dan Edwards
United States
Shoreline
Washington
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Veteran ACW soldiers would talk of "Seeing the elephant", a phrase that tried to capture the gulf between thinking about battle would be like and finding out first hand.

I'm keenly looking forward to Price of Freedom, and I started to think about why I'm excited by the prospect of this game, and what worries me about my expectations.

The scale is a big draw for me. I like the idea of having the epic of the whole war play out in one game.

The playing time is another thing that made me preorder. If this puppy can be played in two or three hours, I will be happy to have a strategic ACW game that fits my time budget.

I'm expecting a good looking game. The images on BGG and elsewhere look good, and if it's anything like Age of Napoleon I might spend some time just enjoying the scenery.

The card mechanic should fit this game well. The reading I've done on ACW battles and operations make me think that the card interaction will fit the stroke/counter-stroke nature of the conflict well.

There are some things I'm a little nervous about, however...

I'm hoping that the scale doesn't detach me from the conflict. The corps level units have to be generic, so any flavor in this regard will have to come from elsewhere. I'm counting on the cards and leaders carry the day here.

I love the way Foote and Catton made the war move in bold strokes with stirring prose. I'm hoping PoF sweeps and maneuvers, and doesn't become strictly an attrition contest between big stacks in the few spaces between Washington and Richmond with everything else being a meaningless sideshow.

The leadership simulation nut has always been tough to crack. Lincoln and Davis would have loved to know how their newly minted generals would behave in battle, we of course now all about them. I'm hoping PoF makes the generals fit the game rather than making a game of shuffling generals.

I'll know pretty soon if this particular critter is a a prize pachyderm or merely a white elephant. It will be fun to read the postings on the Geek to see if PoF meets the expectations of others.
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Renaud Verlaque
United States
Shelter Island Heights
New York
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Well, where shall I start?

First of all, there is a "Seeing the Elephant" battle card that penalizes your opponent

There is no doubt at all that you are fighting the Civil War when you look at the map, even though I circumvented the Trans-Mississippi and Florida theaters.

While the game uses generic units, each force of 1-6 corps is led by a well-known general of the Civil War, so you attack with Lee and 3 (fresh or spent) corps, not with 5 SPs.

While artillery, cavalry, riverboat and navy units are not differentiated, cards are used to provide that flavor (Cavalry Raid; Give'Em Some Grape, Boys!; Gunboats; Damn the Torpedoes; Blockade Action).

As for where the action takes place, early play-testing showed that players tended to tip-toe a lot in the Eastern Theater as losing a big battle might have dire consequences. That is still true, to a large extent, but I actually implemented a few more rules (possibility of a "Dixie" victory for the South; permanent loss of Union WE if Washington is captured) to make sure there would be enough early action in the Eastern Theater. That said, the Union still is unlikely to win it does not attack a lot in the Western Theater (which in PoF includes all the States shown on the map but Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia and Pennsylvania -- there is no space in Delaware), including along the coastlines.

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William Gaskill
United States
Bridgeton
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Just waiting till my preorder ships

I can see why the corps were made generic but one of the
things I loved about AoN is the Generals names
tied to the corps.

I have several sets of ACW general counters so we plan
to use them to add some color at the corps level
 
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