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Subject: UKC! will a Yank like it? rss

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michael esposito
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This one really interests me.

I have pre-ordered TACW from GMTs Musket and Pike series. Have Under the Lily banners and pre-ordered Saints in Armor from that series as well. I know these are Tactical games, but I love the operational aspects of UKC!.

I know almost nothing about the English Civil War, never been to England....cry The period of transition from a Military History point of view is what really fascinates me about the timeframe..whistle
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Niko
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I'd say yes, based on your interest in the period and the operational aspects. It's a solid game and based on good history.

The only caveat is that it reflects the ECW's somewhat ineffective command structure and troublesome logistics. This is very accurate but it means that players used to other wargames may miss the same feeling of control - it might be frustrating that you've built a large force but can't bring it to bear effectively.
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michael esposito
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Hi Niko. I love the operational aspects; logistics, desertions, ect. I will probably end of playing solo mostly though. I am more interested in the simulation and learning about the ECW as well.

I also love medieval warfare: MoI from GMT being one of my favorites.
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Kyle Seely
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Your interest in the subject should be enough to make this a purchase. The components are excellent, the cards are interesting, and there's plenty you can do in the game to create an interesting alt-historical narrative.

But the army control, as stated above, can be kind of frustrating. If you're used to wargames that contain a lot of ebb and flow of territorial influence settled by battles, this will definitely not scratch that particular itch. The military aspects of this game are more about avoidance and maneuver, and the occasional siege, than about frequent battles.
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Chris Stimpson
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Disclaimer:

Displaced limey living in the colonies........

UKC is, I think, my favorite non-air combat game. And one big reason, I think, is that it simulates the kind of thing the other posters have said about the limitations of 17th-century warfare in Britain, without making the experience unplayable. Quite the contrary, I found.

I think my reasoning stems from the evolution I've made in gaming, which is from the 'simple' hex-and-counter tactical or grand tactical kind of game - AH Waterloo, Bulge, Russian Campaign...... - to more strategic card-driven games. The latter kind of game allows the designer to give you more of a history lesson - a broad simulation of the period rather than a game of chess with terrain features (that sounded crueler to hex-and-counter than it was meant to. Sorry). And I think this appeals to my tendency to be a history buff.

For instance, there's one apparently over-detailed element of UKC that takes a little getting used to: the recruiting. Both sides get to recruit twice in a turn; the first time it's an identical procedure for both sides, the second time the Royalists and the Parliamentarians have to recruit differently. And it's more limiting for the Royalists. This irked me when I was learning the game, but the difference between the two sides' recruiting ability reflects quite accurately the problems the King increasingly had gathering support as the war went on.

Another example is the infuriating inability of commanders of the same level to cooperate with each other (or even co-exist in the same area of the map!) Drives you mad, but it reflects the fact that, given the way troops were raised back then and the personalities (poisonalities?) of some of the commanders, 'allied' armies just didn't play nice with each other!

So Mr. Vasey has given us what we should all look for in a game - pretty good historicity and great playability. Well recommended, and may encourage you to read more about the period (but even if you know nothing about it, it's still hugely playable).

One suggestion I will make: go get some transparent, colored beads - red and blue. Control of an area is denoted by covering it up with an opaque flag counter, appropriately colored. That's fine for we Brits, but frustrating for anyone who doesn't know where Macclesfield is in relation to Manchester.

happy gaming!



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Jim F
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It's a great game with some unique challenges as already outlined. Nailing the recruiting is key in the same way that supply matters in OCS. Get it wrong and you'll watch your army literally evaporate.

(p.s. I have no idea where Macclesfield is)
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Wulf Corbett
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cstimpson wrote:
That's fine for we Brits, but frustrating for anyone who doesn't know where Macclesfield is in relation to Manchester.
They're both in England. That's bad enough without adding detail.
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michael esposito
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Thanks guys! Anybody play this one solo?
 
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Wulf Corbett
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Yup. It works fine. Takes a bit of getting used to the turn sequence, and, of course, it's as solo-unfriendly as any other CDG, but if you can get over that it's all good stuff.
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Karl Hiesterman
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Red and Blue (or better yet, Orange and Blue) Tiddlywinks pieces are a big necessity.

As to solo, most of these card-driven games don't do terribly well solo, unless you can do well with the "I play one side the best I can, and then play the other side as best I can" style.

But this is a great game!
 
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Chris Stimpson
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Wulf Corbett wrote:
cstimpson wrote:
That's fine for we Brits, but frustrating for anyone who doesn't know where Macclesfield is in relation to Manchester.
They're both in England. That's bad enough without adding detail.


This from a guy from the same side of the line as the Covenanters.

Seriously, the Scots do have something we English DON'T have:

Spoiler (click to reveal)
A road leading out of Scotland into England.....



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Wulf Corbett
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Says the Englishman flying the Stars & Stripes...
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Wulf Corbett
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cstimpson wrote:
This from a guy from the same side of the line as the Covenanters.
Closer than that... I live a couple of miles from Fortissat...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shottskirk
http://www.geograph.org.uk/photo/150345
 
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Jack Smith
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I like the lack of battles and tricky to control armies. It makes a nice change and means when big battles do happen they are important and memorable. I also like the cat and mouse aspects to the game and trying to outguess and outsmart your opponent simply by manoeuvring.

It is really an area control game at heart with the armies there to enforce that. There are other area control game effects as well which add to the fun. This reflects the political aspects of the game really well I think.

The game is heavy in history but manages to include plenty of it while adding to the game rather than bogging it down. A rule which may appear pure chrome or bloated usually turns out to integrate really well during play and adds to the decision making in interesting ways.

As a game it works well in its own right so you do not have to care too much about the history but it certainly adds a lot if you do.
 
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Simon Carter
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I have to agree with this.

I've just put a toe in the water - played a game on Boxing Day with my wife (she Parliament, me Royalist) - and we only managed one turn in the time available, but it led me back to the rules, and the scales fell from my eyes.

I'm hoping tomorrow or Sunday to talk her into another game - all 11 turns - as it's apparent that what I thought was a careful read through of the rules, plus my pretty reasonable knowledge of the ECW, were simply insufficient preparation for the game.

Forget previous games. Forget We The People (except for the most basic mechanic). This is different.
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John Townsend

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karlhiesterman wrote:
Red and Blue (or better yet, Orange and Blue) Tiddlywinks pieces are a big necessity.

As to solo, most of these card-driven games don't do terribly well solo, unless you can do well with the "I play one side the best I can, and then play the other side as best I can" style.

But this is a great game!


I only just started looking at the game and have not started reading through the rules yet. But why do I need to buy Orange and Blue Tiddleywinks ? Is that to say that they have not included all the necessary pieces? Maybe I should ask "how exactly do I used the orange and blue tiddlywink pieces"? In other words how and whan do you place them, what's the benefit of using them? Thanks very much.
 
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Wendell
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applejak_2000 wrote:
karlhiesterman wrote:
Red and Blue (or better yet, Orange and Blue) Tiddlywinks pieces are a big necessity.

As to solo, most of these card-driven games don't do terribly well solo, unless you can do well with the "I play one side the best I can, and then play the other side as best I can" style.

But this is a great game!


I only just started looking at the game and have not started reading through the rules yet. But why do I need to buy Orange and Blue Tiddleywinks ? Is that to say that they have not included all the necessary pieces? Maybe I should ask "how exactly do I used the orange and blue tiddlywink pieces"? In other words how and whan do you place them, what's the benefit of using them? Thanks very much.


You don't NEED to buy them, the game is complete. But some players like to use them instead of the control markers that come with the game; the idea being with semi-transparent tiddlywinks you can also see the space under the control marker.
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Michael
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wifwendell wrote:
applejak_2000 wrote:
karlhiesterman wrote:
Red and Blue (or better yet, Orange and Blue) Tiddlywinks pieces are a big necessity.

As to solo, most of these card-driven games don't do terribly well solo, unless you can do well with the "I play one side the best I can, and then play the other side as best I can" style.

But this is a great game!


I only just started looking at the game and have not started reading through the rules yet. But why do I need to buy Orange and Blue Tiddleywinks ? Is that to say that they have not included all the necessary pieces? Maybe I should ask "how exactly do I used the orange and blue tiddlywink pieces"? In other words how and whan do you place them, what's the benefit of using them? Thanks very much.


You don't NEED to buy them, the game is complete. But some players like to use them instead of the control markers that come with the game; the idea being with semi-transparent tiddlywinks you can also see the space under the control marker.


I suspect the advantage of seeing the spaces is more for us geographically challenged Americans who aren't as familiar with the location of British towns and cities.
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Charles Vasey
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applejak_2000 wrote:
karlhiesterman wrote:
Red and Blue (or better yet, Orange and Blue) Tiddlywinks pieces are a big necessity.

As to solo, most of these card-driven games don't do terribly well solo, unless you can do well with the "I play one side the best I can, and then play the other side as best I can" style.

But this is a great game!


I only just started looking at the game and have not started reading through the rules yet. But why do I need to buy Orange and Blue Tiddleywinks ? Is that to say that they have not included all the necessary pieces? Maybe I should ask "how exactly do I used the orange and blue tiddlywink pieces"? In other words how and whan do you place them, what's the benefit of using them? Thanks very much.


There is absolutely no necessity for these. However, if you use the transparents you can see the name of the space under the control marker, the type of space (fortress etc) is shown by the shape of the space. So it is only if you want to see if it is Manchester or Macclesfield. I never felt the need for that, but I like the idea of the see-thru tiddlies.
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Simon Carter
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"It is really an area control game at heart with the armies there to enforce that. There are other area control game effects as well which add to the fun. This reflects the political aspects of the game really well I think."

That's got it in one. It *is* and area control game, and you certainly won't win without controlling 2-3 regions and all the economic areas you can lay your hands on, assuming you can grind it out to the end of turn 11.

If you're the royalist player it's straightforward - keep up the pressure and don't fight unnecessary battles. If you're Parliament, you have the problem of early war survival - which isn't at all certain - plus the late war problem of having to take those areas, otherwise the Malignants win by default.

I'm still very much in the exploration phase on this game, but my views have already shifted on account of the little gameplay I've undertaken, and the introspection it's induced.

To conclude: for a happy game, play royalist and press hard; for a tough game, play Godly and hope that the Papift fcum overreach themselves!
 
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Charles Vasey
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themightysrc wrote:
"It is really an area control game at heart with the armies there to enforce that. There are other area control game effects as well which add to the fun. This reflects the political aspects of the game really well I think."

That's got it in one. It *is* and area control game, and you certainly won't win without controlling 2-3 regions and all the economic areas you can lay your hands on, assuming you can grind it out to the end of turn 11.

If you're the royalist player it's straightforward - keep up the pressure and don't fight unnecessary battles. If you're Parliament, you have the problem of early war survival - which isn't at all certain - plus the late war problem of having to take those areas, otherwise the Malignants win by default.

I'm still very much in the exploration phase on this game, but my views have already shifted on account of the little gameplay I've undertaken, and the introspection it's induced.

To conclude: for a happy game, play royalist and press hard; for a tough game, play Godly and hope that the Papift fcum overreach themselves!


...and flaughter Hopton!
 
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Simon Carter
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Charles Vasey wrote:
themightysrc wrote:
"It is really an area control game at heart with the armies there to enforce that. There are other area control game effects as well which add to the fun. This reflects the political aspects of the game really well I think."

That's got it in one. It *is* and area control game, and you certainly won't win without controlling 2-3 regions and all the economic areas you can lay your hands on, assuming you can grind it out to the end of turn 11.

If you're the royalist player it's straightforward - keep up the pressure and don't fight unnecessary battles. If you're Parliament, you have the problem of early war survival - which isn't at all certain - plus the late war problem of having to take those areas, otherwise the Malignants win by default.

I'm still very much in the exploration phase on this game, but my views have already shifted on account of the little gameplay I've undertaken, and the introspection it's induced.

To conclude: for a happy game, play royalist and press hard; for a tough game, play Godly and hope that the Papift fcum overreach themselves!


...and flaughter Hopton!


Agreed Charles - he's too good a general to leave on the loose and he's a regional general so can pick up southern brigades with ease. A terrible threat to have around, and he should be your main target in the first few turns (IMHO), since you're not going to off Rupert or Charles, realistically speaking, so bag Hoppers and do yourself (and the Godly) a maffive favour.

Now I've played this a few times Charles, I can see the absolute care that went into UKC. Bollocks to those who want an easier ride for Parliament - IRL, Charles held many of the aces at the start, and lost because of his duplicity as much as anything else.

I will say though, that if you're playing the Godly, you *must* be prepared for the NMA, and preferably have 1 rated militia scum to trade when those lovely veterans turn up. I'd also argue that the LNs that could be NMA generals *should* be made available at that point, even if they've been eliminated as LNs via siege.

After all, doesn't the rule book say that LNs aren't a given person, but the general resistance in an area? Thus, I may squash Massey in Gloucester, but there's no real justification for saying that the 'real' Massey who later pops up in the NMA hasn't escaped to London.

That's one of the few areas that need amendment, although the travails of the Coventanters are only too well known, I'm sure.
 
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Chris Stimpson
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themightysrc wrote:

I will say though, that if you're playing the Godly, you *must* be prepared for the NMA, and preferably have 1 rated militia scum to trade when those lovely veterans turn up. I'd also argue that the LNs that could be NMA generals *should* be made available at that point, even if they've been eliminated as LNs via siege.


Agree! Nothing worse than losing troops/generals because they happen to be too far away from a surviving general/unit when the NMA happens.

And yes, have some militia handy to march with the NMA brigades. Nothing worse (#2) than getting a battle result that invites you to lose a brigade ("militia if available") and find you ain't got no stinkin' militia available and have to waste an NMA unit.
 
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