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Subject: Are there simpler rules??? rss

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Jon Gautier

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aro246 wrote:
So my question is: is there somebody out there that has developed a simpler and yet still enjoyble set of rules that are more approachable, with the complexity level of something in between a "Twilight Struggle" and a "We the People"? That's a complexity I could manage...Andre


You wouldn't really have the same game in that case, would you?

In any event, there is no "simple" FtP rules set out there that I know of. Moreover, this is not a game that can be easily scaled back. It is very finely balanced as it is, and every game mechanism is an important part of the whole. Sorry. The good news is that like most other wargames, the rules are not nearly as daunting once you have played a few turns.

If it is any consolation, you have a lot to look forward to. FtP is a great, great game. I've probably played more games of it than all other games combined. There is also a significant online community of gamers, so you needn't rely on your friends for face to face play. In fact, I bet if you post here or on CSW, you might even get an old hand to play an online teaching game with you. Good luck.
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Chris Montgomery
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Andre, if I were you, I would solo the 1861 campaign a couple times. Deal out the card hands to each side, face down, and randomly pick the cards when each side moves. You will not get optimal card plays, but you will at least be consistently surprised by card plays and you can take your time looking up rules.

Once you feel comfortable after a couple plays, do some more rules look-ups and then try the full campaign solo. These rules really only begin to make sense when you are moving pieces around the map and rolling dice.

As for saving time - if that is the issue, once you feel comfortable with the rules (and you will make plenty of mistakes), try to invite a friend to play just the 1861 scenario, which should be able to be completed in an afternoon.

Cheers.

Chris
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Chris Montgomery
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Forgot to say, also, that you can find plenty of players on ACTS:

http://acts.warhorsesim.com/home.asp

(This is a card-management website).

You will need the Cyberboard game box downloadable on the BGG For the People File page.

Or you can try wargameroom.com:

www.wargameroom.com

Though the odds of finding an opponent there are slim, and generally the game is for playing in real time.

If you get the rules down comfortably, I would be willing to play a beginner game with you on ACTS/Cyberboard. Just geekmail me. I've only played the full game against opponents twice.

Chris
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Eric Brosius
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Needham Heights
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My favorite 18xx game for six players is two games of 1846 with three players each.
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In particular, go to this particular ACTS game:

http://acts.warhorsesim.com/dynamic/journal.asp?id=34368

Set up your map and follow the players' moves and the explanations given by Don Chappell. This is a good way to learn.
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Randy C
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If you want something simpler, get Price of Freedom.

If you want to learn For the People, use ACTS and Cyberboard/Vassal and play on line. It takes too long for face to face play anyway. You will not be disappointed. The game is very, very fun.

I owned the game for many years without playing. After I found ACTS, a couple players on ACTS taught me the game. I have played many since.

If you want to, I offer to play a game with you, explaining the rules as they come up. No pressure.






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Mark Herman
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aro246 wrote:
I wanna love this game. I really do.
Even though I was born and raised in Brazil, North American history in general fascinates me. And the ACW is an event that particularly interests me.
That's why I bought this game. And I can see it's a great design.
But I am living a period in my life where it's difficult to invest the kind of dedication this game requires due to the complexity of its rules. Well, it looks complex to me.
So I'm keeping this (apparently) fantastic game stored in my "game cellar" as you would store a bottle of wine to let it age until the proper moment comes and you can finally savour it as it deserves.
The problem is... I can't wait!
I wanna play it.
Now.
But with this much chrome and complexity I won't even find a friend willing to dedicate himself to experience this with me.
So my question is: is there somebody out there that has developed a simpler and yet still enjoyble set of rules that are more approachable, with the complexity level of something in between a "Twilight Struggle" and a "We the People"? That's a complexity I could manage...
I know it's a long shot and this question probably sounds like a sacrilege to some of you, but I really wanna enjoy this game before I retire...
Thanks anyway,
Andre


The problem with the rules is they attempt to capture every situation that has ever occurred over a decade of being on the market. That said, it is not that difficult a game, but I can appreciate that it can be difficult to get into if your method is to read the rules until you understand them fully before you play. I would offer that this is one way to learn a wargame, but not my personal choice.

Here is what I would suggest. On my website: www.e-markherman.com there are a set of tournament scenarios that Don Chappell created. They are a free download and offer a small piece of the game to play, but they are very well balanced and very challenging one hour sessions. I play them all of the time in ftf play, they are that good.

Recently I learned a very detailed set of rules called the Battles for the Age of Reason. I set up the game and just started rolling dice. In most of these battles it takes a while before you are in range to shoot at someone so I did not have to read those rules for about a day while familiarizing myself with the basic sequence of play and the movement/formation rules. This is a good model for any wargame, just start pushing the cardboard around and the first time you have a battle, read the battle rules right then and there, sort through it and so on.

I would also use the illustrated example of play, which I spent an enormous amount of time creating. It plays out the first year of the war. Please avail yourself of this particular labor of love. What I am saying is do not read the rules. Just set up the game (marked on the map), deal out the cards shown in the example and then physically go through it. One playthrough of the example will teach you the rules of the game. The details can come later, but the example of play covers just about every situation at least once.

Good luck,

Mark
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Andre Oliveira
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Wow!
You gotta love wargamers!
Guys, thank you so much for your suggestions and offers of help.

Montgomery,

That's a great suggestion. I've never thought about tackling wargame rules like this, toes first, than the foot, etc. That's very smart. And the 1861 campaign just might be the best way to try and learn the mechanics.
And many thanks for the offer to guide me through the rules in a beginner game. I would never have you pass the ordeal. Maybe after I'm comfortable with the dynamics. But thanks anyway!

Eric,

I'll try that. Seems very easy to follow.

Randy,

Thank you also for the offer. As I said, I would never accept the offer before I'm at least a little comfortable with the mechanics. But thank you again for the kind offer.

And Mark,

Thank you for the suggestion. Don't read the rules, just set it up and go through it. Never tried that before, but it might actually work.
And congratulations on a fantastic design. If "Washington's war" is half as brilliant, I'll be just as anxious to play it when my preorder arrives.

And I thank you all for the time you took in answering this post. You guys are great.

Cheers,

Andre

PS: A BGG member from my city in Brazil just sent me a geekmail offering to teach me the game in person. As I said, you gotta love this community.
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WAN CHIU
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MarkHerman wrote:

I would also use the illustrated example of play, which I spent an enormous amount of time creating. It plays out the first year of the war. Please avail yourself of this particular labor of love. What I am saying is do not read the rules. Just set up the game (marked on the map), deal out the cards shown in the example and then physically go through it. One playthrough of the example will teach you the rules of the game. The details can come later, but the example of play covers just about every situation at least once.

Good luck,

Mark


Once in a while Mark will post something that reminds everybody of why he is one of the most popular designer of all time. Time to crack open my copy and give this a shot
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Lawrence Hung
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Wan Chai
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Another great game on ACW is Blue vs. Gray, a card game which illustrates all the important historical developments during that war.
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