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The Civil War» Forums » Rules

Subject: Hats Off to the Unofficial Third Edition Rules rss

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Matthew Rauh
United States
St. Peter
Minnesota
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Just a compliment and "hats off" to all those who put together the "Unofficial Third Edition Rules." Thanks for what is, in my opinion, one of the greatest attempts to fix a few problems without changing the original game. One command point to enter a confederate naval unit. Perfect. Non-army reaction. Excellent.

And the "Red Tape" rules for leaders and armies. At first I thought it wasn't enough. I thought you should need leaders not only for combat (can't use uncommanded strength points in combat), but also for movement. But you know, the simple change for combat only is so subtle. Any more and you are making a new game. It forces you to use those leaders without a huge change to the rules. The more I use these rules, the more I appreciate them.

It is tempting for gamers to tweak anything and everything. These rules tweak just enough without altering or writing a whole new game. Many thanks.

I am even tempted to try these command rules with the old 1776 games!

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Paul Franklin
United States
Albuquerque
New Mexico
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I haven't tried this game yet, but I might have to finally get this one to the table.
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Dave Turansky
United States
Shreveport
Louisiana
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Matthew, thank you for your comments. They are much appreciated.

It took a great deal of time, and the efforts of quite a few people to complete the rules revision. If this wasn't such a great game, it wouldn't have been worth so much effort.

Over the years, house rules developed in areas where there were problems with the game. The advent of the internet created opportunities for remote play. Virtually every group of players had interpreted at least some rules differently from other groups. There are an incredible number of vague areas, and some loopholes in the original rules that can be exploited.

In putting this together, I started with a product that was begun by K.G. Bast (who Eric Smith called "The Man"). Eric gave K.G. wide latitude to revise the rules, and he came up with some really valuable stuff. However, the majority of long-time players wanted to fix as little as possible, while retaining the original design. Much of K.G.'s work ended up in the optional rules. We owe him a great deal of credit for his content in areas such as the Variant Leader System (rule 22).

I requested input from the players who post on Consimworld for many years. Work-in-process versions of the rulebook were posted to BGG for over a year, but there were only a few comments originating from this site. The final result is built on known errata, including every Q & A that I have been able to locate. Otherwise, there has been a collaborative effort. Nobody (definitely including me) got everything that they wanted or thought, but everybody who had a hand in it has pretty much agreed that the overall final product was fairly arrived at.

Eric Smith recently wrote that using Non-Army Leader Reaction (optional rule 21.9) is a must. Once you try it, you will never go back to playing without it. The original version of the Red Tape rule was written how you first thought it should have been. But K.G. agreed that Peter Walsh's views were better and should be adopted. I playtested both versions. The optional CSA Navy rules (21.6) are an amalgamation of ideas of a number of players. Under the original rules, much of the CSA navy is never entered into play. I don't recall hearing any complaints from players who have actually used these rules.

Many of the solutions advanced are helpful to the CSA, so bear in mind that some play balancing could be required. The more experienced player should be playing the Union. I find that using the additional leaders in rule 22 really helps the Union. Union leaders have to be used to command troops, and they tend to have more demands and get shot more often.
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Dave Turansky
United States
Shreveport
Louisiana
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It is probably better to have as few optional rules as possible for new players. I have soured on using optional rule 21.2 (declining the initiative reinforcement,) unless the CSA player needs a handicap. I would recommend non-army leader reaction even to new players.

It is a very good idea (Warren Bruhn's idea) to add a swamp hex (to replace an all-sea hex) south of Savannah. We could have said more about Ft. Pulaski and Savannah in the rules revision. Possession of Ft. Pulaski (if occupied and/or supplied) blocks supply routes to Savannah and up the Savannah River. The map is poorly drawn, making it appear that Savannah could be assaulted from the south, without involving Ft. Pulaski. Ft. Pulaski can draw supply from rail lines in South Carolina, assuming they're not blocked.

We could have added one more thing to the optional CSA Navy rules. NSP's should have the optional capacity to aid in the defense of a hex which is attacked overland, as they did during several battles (Baton Rouge, Malvern Hill, and Shiloh come to mind).
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Shannon M
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California
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I'm very impressed with the optional rules as well.

Thanks, Dave.

Best,

Shannon
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Davis Stringer
United States
Mississippi
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I just started a thread the very question of relevance of Fort Pulaski and whether or not Savannah is a coastal hex. Fort Pulaski seems useless with a look at the map. Sure, holding it blocks the PORT, but Savannah's hex looks to be a coastal hex and why not just attack it amphibiously from 4326 as you mention? In fact, then any Confederate SPs at Fort Pulaski are basically trapped there as long as there is a Federal SP in Savannah. If Savannah is not in fact a coastal hex, then that can open up the argument for any hex "along the ocean" to start being construed as "Oh, well that's not really meant to be a coastal hex" should it suit a players fancy. What is the designer's intention?
 
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