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Civil War Express» Forums » Sessions

Subject: 1st try of CWE (3rd edition) rss

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Dave Heberer
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Lake Stevens
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Boy, that escalated quickly. I mean that really got out of hand fast.
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Chris and I sat down to play Civil War Express. I'm a medium weight war gamer, and I'd peg Chris as a little heavier of a war gamer (I call the crossing over when you tell me that you've played ASL).

I has read the rules and assembled the kit that I was sent. I added some cavalry and infantry pieces instead of the counters that were supplied. Other than that I used what I was sent. Since this is prototype stuff I can't really comment on the components. The rules are pretty straightforward and there were no questions. We picked random sides and Chris got the Union. After reading the rules, I thought the game favored the Confederacy and told Chris so. He said no problem.

1861 and 1862

Chris started off with the only initiatives drawn in the first few turns, and used it to boot me out of Washington, transfer troops to the western theatre and then drive down the Mississippi. I tried to threaten to cut off his supply or hit St. Louis by moving some of my retreating forces east into the Kentucky mountains while leaving a screening force in the horde's path. In Spring of 1862 I drove on St. Louis and kicked out the Federal troops, but the naval expedition into new Orleans made supply available from there so it wasn't as critical as I hoped.

1863 and 1864

Chris responded to the fall of St. Louis by wheeling around the very large army hanging out on the Mississippi and punching north. I withdraw mostly but in the summer I threw a guy back into St. Louis as a delaying action. Here's a photo at this point in the game:


But Chris had learned and important lesson in the first couple of years of our war and instead of driving a slow line against mine he punched through the middle and then threatened to cut off my troops (destroying them in retreat) forcing me to use my actions to pull back my troops. He began to push my guys around, driving back down the Mississippi and taking all western strategic areas except Shreveport. The 1863 naval expedition landed on Charleston and we forgot to land the 1864 expedition, and this might have mattered to the outcome of the game.

End game

1864 ended with 16 points to the confederates. Chris had nowhere to pull out 3 points for the win in 1865 lame duck session and rolled a 1 when he attacked so that's how it ended. Here's a picture:


My thoughts on the game:

I thought it was a pretty good time. It played quick, about an hour as advertised. I liked the combat system, how cavalry and leadership factor in, and the relatively bloodless combat. I think it's a hard road for the Union but not overwhelmingly so. The system seems well thought out, and is easy to learn and play. I think the initiative-event-turn structure is really cool.

I felt like the public opinion track had a lot of things mention in the rules, but in the end it doesn't matter that much. I wanted it to do something for the victory conditions. I thought that there were a couple of things you can do that seem really rare to do or not awesomely useful. Manipulating the public opinion track in exchange for your actions seems not a great way to spend your time, but perhaps you'll literally have nothing better to do since you are a defender and don't want to move.

Overall, I had a good time and I'm going to try and get Chris to try again, maybe switching sides. He said that he enjoyed it much more than he thought he would when I explained the game. He specifically said that it made him want to play a more deep game about the civil war. I asked him what he thought the game lacked and he said that he wanted the Mississippi to be more of a highway for the union and that he wanted to zoom in a bit more. Specifically he said he wanted more areas to move around in, I'm guessing to add more maneuver to the game.
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Pete Belli
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Thanks for the CWEx report!
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Dave Heberer
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Lake Stevens
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Boy, that escalated quickly. I mean that really got out of hand fast.
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One last thing to note, that is production type stuff only, it would be nice if the card had what the events effects were so we didn't have to look it up.

Also, there were a few extra counters that I couldn't figure out what they were for in the play test kit. 2 were to mark the public opinion track, but that still left me with like 1 or 2 rebel flags and 2 or 3 union flag markers spare.
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Pete Belli
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Quote:
...it would be nice if the card had what the events effects were so we didn't have to look it up.


Good suggestion.

The information will be added to the event cards... as soon as I stop changing the rules!

Those extra flags are relics from the earlier edition. They are not needed for the updated version.
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