Grognard Wargamer Thread!


@Brooski is Eric Smith still a part of Shenandoah after the merge with Slitherine? I never really understood if Shenandoah still exists in anything but name after that. Would be nice to have people like him and some of the designers for the other titles still coming up with designs for the engine.


My understanding is that, no, Shenandoah sold their IP to Slitherine, and Eric got another job (not in the game industry). Shenandoah Studio no longer exists. It would be great to have designers like him designing games for the engine (I was playtesting a game designed by Ted Raicer about the Stalingrad encirclement when Shenandoah folded) but I don’t think that’s going to happen.


Not looking for a fight either and I said I would not post again, but I’m confused. Are you saying I am praising the system in Gettysburg while also complaining about it? If so then no I’m not praising the totally random activation at all.

Agree with you completely that there was much confusion on the Civil War battlefield, or every battlefield for that matter. IMHO they could have simulated the confusion more realistically by giving each general a simple historical leader rating. When you want to move/fire a unit you roll against the leader rating and one of three things happens. He got his orders and can move/fire as desired. He gets late orders and the unit can move half it’s movement rate, or he got no orders for the turn and the unit can do nothing except maybe defensive fire.

Anyway, that idea won’t happen. They missed the opportunity to have a simple mechanic that would have been much more realistic, in my opinion of course, without adding a lot of complexity to what is meant to be a very simple game.

Thanks for the discussion. I don’t want to rain on anyone’s parade and it’s good that people are happy with the design.


Installed this, played a few turns of the day one scenario, and it locked up in the advance after combat phase a few turns in. The southrons were in the town and pushing up the hill, and it was heating up nicely.

For being in development such a long time, the game needs a fair amount of work IMO. Mostly UI stuff, from my initial experience. You have to go into the menus to see, for example, the date and time; it would be nice if each turn the main display showed you what hour you were on, as that is a key part of the game with its activation system. The graphic representation of the units looks nice in a sort of classic battle map in a history book way, but I’d like a bit more, I dunno, cohesion in the presentation. The little elements of a brigade move separately, or in chunks, and then form up into lines, but are these actual battalions? Is there a rhyme or reason to the movement patterns? I do like the way the formations line up and set their facing, in a relatively organic and aesthetically pleasing fashion, and I don’t mind not having control over facing, as the colonel or brigadier in charge would definitely do that on his own, and really, their usually isn’t much question about it.

A bigger issue in the interface is that, as far as I can tell, and I may have missed it somewhere, there’s no way to auto-center on a unit? Moving in reinforcements on multiple axes makes it necessary to scroll around a lot, and it would be nice if you could have a unit list to click on and center on the selected unit. Or something like that to aid map navigation. The combat info panel, pulled up from the bottom of the screen, looks like an afterthought tacked on; it’s fugly at the very least, though basically functional. I’d also like the formations that correspond to activation chits to have better highlighting when a component unit is selected, and it would be really nice to have perhaps flags or some other color differentiation between formations.

I have no idea how combat actually is calculated, nor do I really care; the few battles that occurred before my game crashed played out pretty well in terms of what I would reasonably expect. Units attacking up hill against artillery and infantry died horribly, but if there were enough of the attackers and the defenders were disrupted somewhat, the attack could still gain ground. The AI flanked and responded to flanking fairly well also.

The game is definitely a budget title. It lacks little things like leader portraits, information interface elements, overall refinement. The core seems pretty intriguing though.


This is a nice mechanic, I agree. It’s a fun one, and focuses on the personalities in a war full of personalities. I question whether it’s any more realistic, though. As it stands, if Heth’s chit is drawn, Heth’s units do their thing. If it’s not, they sit and drink chicory coffee and chew tobacco all day. To me, not much different than rolling against a leadership rating. The key would be, of course, that with your system, you would focus the game on quality of leadership, while the current system sort of lumps everyone together. Though you could just add a second chit for a good leader I suppose, or have each leader get one to three chits, etc.

I guess my feeling is that any of these systems is fine. To me, there’s no one system that really captures the nature of command in the Civil War, especially in a game that gives you unit by unit control like most do.


I played it as well, found it a touch underwhelming. Also, having played Simmons’ guns of gettysburg, I can’t go back to a non-randomized gettysburg.


Nah, I was saying that you were deriding random activation as being akin to craps, and wishing they had just transferred the original system (Bulge) to Gettysburg, so I assume you must like the Bulge system, but Bulge’s combat system is very “craps-like” in that you just roll handfuls of dice.


OK, I see what you meant. Well to me there is a big difference between the two activation systems. In Bulge I get to prioritize who moves and who attacks in what order up to the point where the day ends. Granted some units may never get to do anything by the luck of the dice, but in the games that I played I almost always had enough time to do all the important stuff. In Gettysburg if you pull the combat chit with nobody in range then you are done with combat for the turn as I understand it. Anyway it just comes down to personal preference and from what I’ve seen the system in Gettysburg just doesn’t appeal to me.


The Tide Turns might be a good MP game, but unfortunately it doesn’t look like the AI knows how to play the game. I’ll see if some patches improve it, but for now I’ll put it aside.

This had me at “Napoleonic Command Ops” - the great new map and counters mod sealed the deal.


I’ve seen hints that Frank was at one point working on a title dealing with 1806 campaign as well. I’m wondering if the latest patch is an outcome from that work. We can always use more Napoleonic titles.


Did he ever finish his ACW game?


I don’t know if he has had a title released since Guns of August. He was the person that did the old From Sumpter to Appomattox right?


Has anyone picked up the version of Up Front sold by wargamevault?


Piercing Fortress Europa is one of his. Not sure what he’s working on right now.


This one?


Yeah PFE is actually pretty good as well.


Yes he was.


Expensive but tempting, I loved Up Front in grad school. Luckily my lack of a wargaming friend will save me money.


Up Front was a great game to play. LIke Madmarcus,I lack any one to play this sort of thing with, but back in the day I loved the rather elegant card system.


I did. I have it in the garage. Still haven’t played it. Cards look good but beyond that I cant say. I bought it just in case it disappeared again. Happily that does not look likely.