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I was eleven years old when I played my first MB American Heritage board game, Dogfight! I was immediately hooked and went to get the rest of the series, Broadside, Battle Cry, Hit the Beach and Skirmish. While they are a bit dusty and dog-eared, I still own all of them. They ranged from no luck (Broadside) to pure luck (Hit the Beach) with the other three falling in the middle. While I hate to rain on the accolades of this current Battle Cry, it simply has too much luck involved and weak victory conditions.

The production values are gorgeous, but it is not an out of the box and play game. It took me over an hour to snip the pieces from thier molds and then fold the little flags around them. The multiple terrain features are beautiful, and my rules say it comes with 46 terrain tiles (which it did) but try playing the "Gaines Mill" scenario. You come up needing nine straight river tiles, and it only comes with eight!

Unlike other reviews, I have no problem with cards dictating actions. Command Control, battle orders lost or intercepted were very much a part of the Civil War, and there are enough cards to fairly level the battle (remove the "all out offensive card" though, it's simply TOO overwhelming) My concern is the victory conditions. Capture six opponent's flags and win. This pretty much forces both players to simply charge forward and blast away, hoping for luck to rule the dice. There is no sense of manuevering, flanking, holding positions, i.e., pretty much what went on during the war. I would like to have seen more "territorial" victory conditions like the "Shiloh" scenario where the "south" player gets points for advancing his troops forward.

Overall, I love what Hasbro's new Avalon Hill series has done for classics like Acquire, Diplomacy... and look forward to more quality games, but when creating new products like Battle Cry, put some teeth in them.
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