Whaaa? The Second Edition is out of stock already? They just got it in. Wow.
I have the historical campaign set up and will begin playing shortly. Going to use the optional Move to the Sound of the Guns rule. Some people have said it’s very difficult for units to arrive at their historical positions on the battlefield without it. I’m also going to use an unofficial rule about leaders getting killed that requires at least one unit of that leaders command to be within 3 hexes of an enemy unit for the death to occur. I don’t want any leaders getting killed riding off a cliff or into a tree!
Finished the 9:00 AM turn in my A Most Fearful Sacrifice game. A unit of Archer’s Brigade managed to take the VP hex on McPherson’s Ridge. They were then able to repel a counterattack by a unit of Cutler’s Brigade with some heavy defensive fire. Union units of Wadsworth’s and Schurz’ Divisions are marching north on the Emmitsburg Pike and Taneytown Road respectively.
I made a mistake by forgetting to include Reynolds Corps activation card in the draw pile. Not going to replay the turn so I’ll assume he lost track of time while at the Dobbin House Tavern just south of Gettysburg. Who knows that might have saved his life! No doubt I made some other mistakes as well.
It feels like the game does a good job straddling the line between simulation and playability. There is quite a bit of randomness in the activation cards that might bother some people who want more control of their forces. However, after my first turn it felt like the events were all plausible and added a lot to the enjoyment of the game.
Nice! It’s great that you got it to the table right away; that’s a good rule to live by.
Is this caused by the event cards or do the leaders have some independent agency?
There is a Fog of War card that is in the activation deck each turn. When it is drawn you roll a black and white die, reading the black die first. If the dice roll is 51-55 then you consult the scenario chart for a Corps General casualty. If the roll is 56-66 then you check the chart for a Division General casualty.
In historical scenario #12 that I’m playing the first General KIA will always be Reynolds, and the second will always be Heth. After those two are dead then there is a roll on the chart that decides who the Grim Reaper takes next, depending on the day.
As mentioned above, I’m using an unofficial house rule that a unit of the General has to be close enough to an enemy unit to make the death more plausible.
Great to hear the update! I did get a sense that the designers were trying to capture some unpredictability and fog of war with the activation deck cards and organizing. I think this will add a good bit of replayability too.
I’m enjoying your reports! Please keep us posted. I’m especially curious how well you think it plays solitaire.
The 10:00 AM turn did not go well for the Rebels. Heth completely fumbled his activation check and was unable to issue any orders to his brigades. Two units of Archers brigade got initiative from drawn cards and attempted to assault a battleworn unit of Cutler’s brigade supported by a two strength unit of Tidball’s artillery on The Ripple, southeast of the Railroad Cut. They were repulsed by the Bluebellies and skidaddled back to McPherson’s Ridge. Meanwhile there is a steady stream of Union reinforcements heading to the fight.
I may have messed up that assault as it seemed like a sure win for the Rebels. Will have to RTFM on that.
The card activation system lends itself very well to solitaire play. You get information that you wouldn’t get playing two player regarding some cards that the other side chooses to hold rather than play immediately. Not a big issue for me so far.
I am a bit worried about what could happen if Heth completely fails another activation. That may give the Union an overwhelming advantage on the first day with so many forces closing in. Looking forward to seeing what happens next turn.
Nice! I still need to figure out where I will be setting up games for the long term. Not having basements here in Arizona sucks for gaming. Being in Arizona also means the garage would not be a possibility for a decent portion of the year unless I created a rom out there with some AC.
Why no basements? I would think digging into the ground would be good in a desert!
I always thought it was strange, but I guess there are a couple of reasons.
- The ground doesn’t freeze here, so the foundation doesn’t have to be dug down below a frost line.
- The other reason is caliche , which apparently is a pain to dig through, so the costs can be expensive and unpredictable. Yet, they still often will dig to put in a pool.
Convert the pool! Big ping pong table in the centre, some kind of heat-reflecting canopy…
Wrestling with Plexiglass here today. Instead of buying two 22x34 sheets, like a normal human being, I bought one 22x34 and one 44x34. The big one is going to be a nightmare to keep clean. They scratch so easily! And I need to find some clamping solution other than the technical drawing clips I have it temporarily fastened with. I think once I make my peace that it’s gonna get scratched, I’ll be ok.
Nice setup, @Ironsight! I assume the table is 4ft wide? Great to have space to walk around it too.
It’s about 4 feet wide. The map just overlaps the inside edge by about an inch on each side. I put CD’s underneath the map to hold it up in the middle and the far end. It wouldn’t work if the map wasn’t mounted.
More fighting along The Ripple during the 11 AM turn. The Rebels assaulted along the road again. They were beaten back, again, but General Reynolds was killed while trying to unsuccessfully inspire a unit of Cutler’s Brigade. They were Broken at the sight of Reynolds falling from his horse.
Meanwhile more of Reynolds Corps occupied positions on Seminary Ridge. The plan will be for Buford to withdraw to that position.
Heth was able to get Davis’ brigade to move forward and threaten the Union right although they only advanced about half as far as ordered (Union played the Rebel March Fatigue card).
Both sides are getting more reinforcements at Noon. There is a large stack of Confederate units on the map edge. Somehow Heth needs to get them into the fight quickly. Maybe there are cards I can add to the draw deck to increase the chances of them getting orders to move.
The Noon turn saw Heth’s men finally get moving. The brigades of Lane and Perrin in Pender’s Division smashed into Buford’s forces and sent them packing back to Seminary Ridge. Unfortunately Heth was killed while urging them forward. Not surprisingly his replacement is even worse than he was (Poor) and is rated Inept.
Rodes Division will be making an entrance next turn which will present a new set of problems for the Union.
It sounds like leadership is important in this Gettysburg game, as it should be. Are you finding it matters a lot?
Can’t wait to hear more. And please don’t be shy about posting more photos!
Sounds like A Most Fearful Sacrifice is making great progress, @Ironsight, glad to hear it.
I’m in the same war, different game and battle…
Antietam, start. Going to explore what might have happened if Union Gen. McClellan had been more aggressive.
Leaders are abstracted in AMFS. There are no leader counters on the map. My comments about Reynolds and Heth inspiring their troops was just me role playing them to justify them getting killed (see below). There are no such mechanics in the game.
Corps General cards are added to the draw deck on the turn indicated in the scenario rules. A die is rolled when their card is drawn to determine what part of their Corps can be activated. Division Generals are placed on the Command Display in priority order each turn. Their priority order is used as part of the activation procedure with lower priority Divisions being less likely to be activated. Each General has a rating, with a better rating making it more likely they will get a better activation result.
Example: Reynolds is rated Superior which gives him a good chance (66%) to activate his top two priority Divisions when his card is drawn and a die is rolled. He has three Divisions under his command. Robinson is rated Good; Wadsworth and Doubleday are rated Average. Robinsons thus has a better chance of activating more of his Division when he gets orders from Reynolds, or by play of other activation cards like Redeployment or Fast Courier.
Example: AP Hill on the other hand is rated Poor and can never activate more than one of his Divisions in a turn. In fact he has a good chance (66%) of only activating one Brigade of his #1 priority Division each turn. He has three Divisions in his Corps with Pender being rated Good, Anderson rated Average, and Heth rated Poor. So the Confederates have to rely on other activation cards for more than one Division in Hill’s Corps to get activated on any given turn.
After doing some more reading on Generals I see that they are considered casualties rather than killed when their number comes up on the scenario casualty table for the first time. So they are not automatically killed as I first thought, but they are out of the game at that point. It is possible that they can recover from their wounds and get back into the fight if their number comes up again on a subsequent dice roll.
Will post a pic of the northern part of the map at the start of the 1 PM turn later today.
Start of the 1PM turn. Note that Rodes is ready to come on the north edge of the map. If he activates before Buford, who is on the Union right, it could put the Yankees in a very bad situation. You can also see Alexander Schimmelfennig’s Brigade just south of Gettysburg but it’s unlikely they can get through the town fast enough to be of much use this turn. The town streets were too narrow be be afforded the major road movement bonus.