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The Guns of Gettysburg» Forums » News

Subject: July 22 Design Diary Entry rss

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Rachel Simmons
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http://www.simmonsgames.com/products/Gettysburg/diary/Entry2...
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Pete Gerardy
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Wow, another one! Thanks Bowen.
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Chris Montgomery
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bowen wrote:


Great entry, Bowen. Keep up the excellent work. Looks like the game is shaped up to be another hit.

Cheers.

Chris
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Stephan Tourville
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Can't wait!
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Keith Anderson
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Thank you for taking the time to write these essays. It is very interesting to get some insight into the reasoning, creativity, work, refinement, research etc that goes on during your design process.

Do you have a feel or goal for the game's play length? 3 hrs as listed in this game's entry?
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Russ Williams
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Cool!

Heh, I noticed one map has "Cemetary Hill" and another has "Cemetery Hill". Please be sure to spell it right on the real map.
 
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Doug Epperson
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russ wrote:
Cool!

Heh, I noticed one map has "Cemetary Hill" and another has "Cemetery Hill". Please be sure to spell it right on the real map.


I saw that too (maps 2-3), but it appears to have been already addressed and corrected on the near final map.

Sweetness...this is going to be so cool when this hits the table!
 
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The system of engagement for battles combined with the line of sight mechanisms sounds really fascinating.
 
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Rachel Simmons
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russ wrote:
Cool!

Heh, I noticed one map has "Cemetary Hill" and another has "Cemetery Hill". Please be sure to spell it right on the real map.


The latter spelling is correct. I had a couple of people pointing that error out to me when I first posted illustrations of the map. (Over a year ago now.) Embarrassing that I didn’t notice myself, but at least it never made it into print. I only hope that some equally embarrassing error doesn't lurk uncaught somewhere else...
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Samy
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I feel like I'm at the cutting edge of board game design when I read these diaries.
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Rachel Simmons
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GamePlayer wrote:
Do you have a feel or goal for the game's play length? 3 hrs as listed in this game's entry?


Nothing in the information or description sections on the BGG page comes from me. They are all somebody's guesses; I'm not even sure whose. Don't assume any of it is correct. I haven't bothered to submit any corrections to BGG because the game is in development and I'm content to wait until it is done (and I have final information myself) before fixing it up.
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I am curious how the different areas in the map were defined. In the first model the circles represent obstructed terrain. In the second model, I believe they can represent obstructed terrain or the top of a hill, but in the third and fourth model how are they defined ?

You mention they are the result of the fields of fire

I can see a model where the different areas and shape can be determined by the topography of the battle field, but I do not quite understand how you come to the specific design on the areas, unless the battle positions are fixed at the start - meaning that the shape of the areas (influenced by fields of fire) is determined by historic battle positions in the map.

Anyway fascinating to read how the game is being designed !!

brgds
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Barry Kendall
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Fascinating stuff, Bowen. I think I see why the previous entry hinted at a reason why artillery units were not pictured.

One minor question . . . at the south end of Cemetery Ridge (north of Little Round Top) two sections show one gun symbol each--not much artillery concentration available there.

Harry Pfanz' book on the second day at Gettysburg suggests that a gun line cobbled together in that area was critical in stopping the Confederate penetration in that area late in Longstreet's second-day assault.

Perhaps the capacity shown on your map already accounts for the proper potential of artillery in that area--in fairness, you have not yet spelled out the combat mechanism or the specific impact of one or more gun symbols--but compared to the concentrations shown in several other areas of the field (such as the Peach Orchard, facing south), artillery potential might be a bit under-represented in the area in question (in the vicinity of the John Sedgwick statue and a bit north).

The Park Service has recently done significant deforestation in that area, which now offers quite a nice field of fire with enough frontage for multiple batteries.

Apologies if you've already considered all this.
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Rachel Simmons
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Barry Kendall wrote:
One minor question . . . at the south end of Cemetery Ridge (north of Little Round Top) two sections show one gun symbol each--not much artillery concentration available there.


The number of guns doesn't represent capacity; it represents a defensive fire bonus. The fields of fire at the south end of Cemetery Ridge were not very good* so the positions there don't get much of a bonus.

* That in fact is why Sickles was so dissatisfied with the position and moved off it. Sickles judgment has often been called into question, but Randolph, who commanded the III Corps artillery, agreed with him about the position.
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Barry Kendall
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Actually, the field of fire in the area I'm referring to is pretty darn good at canister range which, if the focus is on the defensive benefit of artillery in position, is relevant. Harry Pfanz seemed to think that the cobbled-together "gun line" drawn up after the III Corps line disintegrated was just enough to stall the final bit of momentum of McLaws' brigades in that area for the day (though the echelon attack continued to progress north of this position, culminating in the First Minnesota's spoiling attack and the coming of dusk).

Sickles didn't like the ground III Corps first occupied because everything in front of him rises to the Emmitsburg Road and he didn't want to be "dominated" by higher ground--which isn't actually that "high" or "dominating" relative to his original assigned position, though a political general with little practical training would be understandably spooked at the unaccustomed experience of being lower than ground before his position.

Ironically, his advance to the Peach Orchard salient left him with a much shorter field of fire to his front due to the tree line across the level ground to his west. The field of fire was longer to the south (in the area where Sickles refused his left) but also occluded by falling ground toward Devil's Kitchen and Plum Run south of the Wheatfield.

You've probably visited Gettysburg and seen this for yourself. I have had the good fortune to live there for three years and to be an hour away most of my life, so I've traipsed it a lot (and have the tick horror stories that go with such traipsing). The tree clearing all over the ground covered by the Federal left and left-center has been truly enormous in the past four or five years. Vistas have opened that were never available in the twentieth century, as the whole area is being returned to the much more open 1863 state.

I understand that the Park Service is hoping to address the Federal right-flank (fishhook) area in a similar manner if funding holds for the project. It's rather involved since biologists first have to investigate areas to be deforested to make sure no endangered species are present (a friend and I saw a guy doing this a couple of summers ago and thought he was a renegade souvenir-hunter until we came upon his car with the permit prominently displayed on the dashboard).

Anyway, given the careful analysis you're giving the ground and your already-stated sensitivity to lines of sight, rolling ground and fields of fire, I don't doubt that you'll get it right. Thanks for the effort that goes into your diary entries and design work. Really looking forward to this one!
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