Fort Sumter - A Five Second Board Game Review

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Fort Sumter Board Game

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Fort Sumter is a game I’m somewhat conflicted about.  I don’t quite understand the process that led to such an abstracted design that still felt like it had weird restrictions as concessions to the source material.  It feels like it would be too abstract to please the grognards. but too stodgy to please casual gamers. 

The cards themselves are fairly “samey” which prevents any truly exciting turnabouts from occuring. And yet, I had a decent time across my several plays.  It has some tense back and forth, a few unique twists on the 2 player card driven formula and doesn’t overstay its welcome.

My understanding is that GMT's goal is to create a series of “lunchtime” historical games, and perhaps it succeeds in exactly that niche.  I certainly have a hard time recommending this one outright, but I can’t quite write it off entirely either as I’d gladly sit down for another bout if someone asked.


Mason Sokol
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Mason plays games and has opinions.

Articles by Mason Sokol

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Msample's Avatar
Msample replied the topic: #299589 12 Jul 2019 05:00
Not having played it, my sense is that it is incrementally deeper than THIRTEEN DAYS, which is a clever design but not that interesting after a few plays.
Michael Barnes's Avatar
Michael Barnes replied the topic: #299590 12 Jul 2019 08:10
I’ve only played the app version, which is a 1:1 port...but man, this game sucks. The subject matter is boring, which robs the game of any engagement or tension. The gameplay feels like a second or third tier VPG title, and it really is just about shifting cubes around. I’ve tried to like it a few times but it just falls flat every game.

It’s a slightly over complicated “simple” game with historical pictures, which makes it seem like there is more here than there really is.
charlest's Avatar
charlest replied the topic: #299591 12 Jul 2019 08:15
I don't believe it sucks, but I do think 13 Days is the better game.
Michael Barnes's Avatar
Michael Barnes replied the topic: #299594 12 Jul 2019 08:55
13 Days pulls this kind of thing off MUCH better.
jpat's Avatar
jpat replied the topic: #299600 12 Jul 2019 10:39
I'm not sure why the subject matter wouldn't be interesting--it is to me, anyway--but I've had a hard time giving a care about this game after a play or two of the physical copy with my older daughter. Just ... nothing about it seemed particularly interesting or well executed. But I have it and should give it another try with a more committed player.