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GCACW (Great Campaigns of the American Civil War)

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31 Jul 2011 14:57 - 22 Sep 2016 14:31 #100483 by Gary Sax
Anyone want to play a VASSAL of one of the longer scenarios or the campaign in Battle of the Clouds? Or Grant Takes Command or the ones in the skirmisher. Dogmatix? Kingput?

I cut down my PBEM substantially, with no games going on now, so I won't chicken out (like I did when Kingput beat my ass in McClemore's Cove) and should continue turns at a fast pace. I've decided that I can't handle more than 2 PBEM games at a time.
Last edit: 22 Sep 2016 14:31 by Gary Sax.

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22 Sep 2016 14:40 - 22 Sep 2016 14:59 #234787 by Gary Sax
Hey suckas. I've been loving on this system again recently, I ordered the most recent reprint of bull run 1 and 2.

Then, lo and behold, it arrives: MMP put up two (actually three, they combined two old ones) new modules up today to print together. GET THOSE FUCKING WALLETS READY WARGAME DUMMIES. My $200+ is down, fuck kickstarter.

New game on Atlanta campaign:
www.multimanpublishing.com/Products/tabi...tID/345/Default.aspx

Reprint of GCACW treatment of Gettysburg campaign, this time combined with Antietam campaign (which used to be two different games)
www.multimanpublishing.com/Products/tabi...tID/311/Default.aspx

So what's great about something like the Gettysburg campaign is that this is the right way to have fun with a hoary ACW battle. Road to Gettysburg is the CAMPAIGN that led up to and includes Gettysburg. So the actual location takes up like 5-6 hexes IIRC. You won't making the same boring choices that every Gettysburg game presents you with---instead you'll be maneuvering the invasion north with Lee and could have a climactic battle as the Union tries to stop you or you could slip away south having taken and burned a bunch of cities. This scale makes Civil War stuff way, way more interesting---even boring, over gamed ones.

Anyway, here's how I feel about GCACW. Still feel. Enough to pay a shit load of money for the next modules in the series despite not playing it a ton. This is one of my collector's series and I only have a couple of those (FAB, this... dunno what else)
fortressat.com/reviews-toc/1818-great-ca...il-war-series-review

It's an awesome system besides the pretty crunchy/old school battle system and all the tracking of statuses---but the statuses one especially is exactly what makes this system such an awesome campaign system. Anyway. AMA if you've never played one of these.

Also remember MMP has the best preorder system. Only charges when it ships to you.

EDIT: shit,. I didn't realize this was in the PBEM forum. Can a mod move this to wargames?
Last edit: 22 Sep 2016 14:59 by Gary Sax.
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22 Sep 2016 16:29 #234798 by DukeofChutney
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22 Sep 2016 23:07 #234828 by iguanaDitty
Gragh I love this system but do I really need any more than one game of it? That I never play? (That being Battle Above the Clouds).
That Gettysburg pack looks fantabulous.

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23 Sep 2016 00:40 #234833 by KingPut
Over the last month and half I've been helping move my dad. I have a contract on my house in PA and now I'm in the process of moving to Reistertown, MD. So I've packed a lot of boxed. Including packing up 100 games that are now in long term storage. So I need another game, like I need another hole in my head but....

Between online play and tournament play, Stonewall Jackson's Way 2 was one of most played games in 2015. I talked to Ed Beach as he was play testing Atlanta last year. He seemed pretty excited about the number of varied scenarios for Atlanta. I think they learned working on the last games 2 about how you can take a couple of battles and develop it into 20+ scenarios by varying the start and end days of the scenario.

I'm surprised the price has jump so much with both being over $100. Battle Above the Cloud and Stonewall Jackson's Ways 2 are now listed for $83. I think purchased both for about $50 each. I'd hate to say it but It's probably a smart move by MMP they'll double the price and only lose 20% of the sales. I'll end up pre-ordering both games after I move.

iguanaDitty, Reisterstown, MD is much shorter drive for you than my PA house. I'm only about 5-10 minutes from Keith, Bill, Brian and Denise. Now that my daughters are older I've claimed the basement of the new house as the wargame room so I'll be able to keep longer war games out for multiple weeks.
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23 Sep 2016 07:09 - 23 Sep 2016 07:56 #234839 by Gary Sax

iguanaDitty wrote: Gragh I love this system but do I really need any more than one game of it? That I never play? (That being Battle Above the Clouds).
That Gettysburg pack looks fantabulous.


Man, I am totally with you on this, I don't play these often enough to seriously justify the money. And yet this is a series I pretty much collect every game in. It doesn't help that it's MMP and once shit goes out it could be 8

The Antietam/Gettysburg/Road to the Whitehouse package is not super surprising it's so expensive, to be honest. That's a shitload of content. The Atlanta one is more surprising at 100, compared to Battle Above the Clouds but Ed Beach says it's huge since it covers 6 months of fighting and has a huge number of scenarios.

They're also planning some madness where you link up lots of the campaigns which would be one of those "I'd love to play this once in my life" type of things.
Last edit: 23 Sep 2016 07:56 by Gary Sax.

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23 Sep 2016 08:33 #234845 by wkover

KingPut wrote: So I need another game, like I need another hole in my head but... I'll end up pre-ordering both games after I move.


Matt and I still owe you $150 for the WBC room deposit, plus we have a stack of counter trays that's anxious to migrate into your new home. Sounds like destiny to me.*

*For an extra $50, the WBC dealers offered to have a Ravens cheerleader come to your house to clip counters, but we didn't think that you wanted the pom residue on your war toys. Plus the cheerleader might get overzealous and proposition you in front of your wife, which would just be awkward.
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23 Sep 2016 09:02 #234855 by Gary Sax
This is the series that makes me want to go to the CSW con in Phoenix for, I think msample goes there regularly. Get a whole campaign banged out... and Lubbock has a direct flight to Phoenix now, hmmmm.... just don't want to get all that ham radio old man all over me. But I need to embrace my future, I suppose, I'm 35... ;)
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23 Sep 2016 09:03 #234856 by iguanaDitty
I could work out Resiterstown I think, especially on an occasional Friday. Would be great to see you again.

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23 Sep 2016 16:25 #234898 by KingPut

wkover wrote:

KingPut wrote: So I need another game, like I need another hole in my head but... I'll end up pre-ordering both games after I move.


Matt and I still owe you $150 for the WBC room deposit, plus we have a stack of counter trays that's anxious to migrate into your new home. Sounds like destiny to me.*

*For an extra $50, the WBC dealers offered to have a Ravens cheerleader come to your house to clip counters, but we didn't think that you wanted the pom residue on your war toys. Plus the cheerleader might get overzealous and proposition you in front of your wife, which would just be awkward.


Cross my fingers, I'm closing on my house in PA on Tuesday. After that I'll have some time for other things like gaming, Ravens cheerleaders and clipping counters. Maybe I'll see you on Wednesday.
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26 Sep 2016 16:42 #235012 by Msample

Gary Sax wrote: This is the series that makes me want to go to the CSW con in Phoenix for, I think msample goes there regularly. Get a whole campaign banged out... and Lubbock has a direct flight to Phoenix now, hmmmm.... just don't want to get all that ham radio old man all over me. But I need to embrace my future, I suppose, I'm 35... ;)



Actually fucking work forced me to miss it this year, for the first time in 15 years.

Strangely, I don't recall ever seeing this series played there , at least not in recent years. Don't know why that is . Its definitely one of the nicest conventions facilities I've ever been in; if you're gonna sit on your ass for the better part of the week, there is no better place.

You def want to set up/arrange a game ahead of time though. Just showing up and trying to get into a game is not a good plan. People are already figuring out what they want to play for next year.

Best place to talk about it, like it or not, is the Consimworld discussion folder on the topic .
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17 Apr 2018 11:49 - 17 Apr 2018 11:49 #267679 by Gary Sax
Jesus, MMP is sending me like 230 dollars worth of Ed Beach's GCACW.

I'll have to set up an Atlanta scenario and stomp out the confeds around Atlanta solo. Someday I need to find a live vassal buddy for this series, it plays better with some tempo.

The other part of the package is a rebalanced Gettysburg game. It's quite interesting, because GCACW Gettysburg plays out real different than most people are used to since it's operational. The fishhook is like 2-3 hexes or whatever.

I love this series and its maps. I wish the combat system was a little bit better (e.g. encouraged a bit more combat).
Last edit: 17 Apr 2018 11:49 by Gary Sax.

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17 Apr 2018 13:23 #267683 by Msample

Gary Sax wrote: I love this series and its maps. I wish the combat system was a little bit better (e.g. encouraged a bit more combat).


Does the game stifle combat too much, or just discourage it to make it about as frequent as it was in real life ?

I've never played any ACW games beyond For the People and Blue vs Grey ( the card game ) but too many people have sung the praises of this series for me not to be a little tempted....

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17 Apr 2018 13:28 - 17 Apr 2018 13:31 #267686 by Gary Sax
It's something I've thought a lot about. In campaign, it basically discourages any sort of combat with large numbers of units in big static battles. So, most of the largest most devastating set piece battles in GCACW are kind of hard to imagine happening in the GCACW campaigns. Attacker loses a ton of SP just for being big and on the big column. Which is historical? US Civil War was basically a training for WWI (so was Crimea) so it makes some sense. It's just that those battles did happen because the objectives did end up being important enough.

The updates now that Beach has taken over may have helped from a points perspective. Losing SP used to lose you a lot of points which almost never made taking campaign objectives worth it from a points perspective. Also, scenarios are a completely different story.

I go back and forth. By making the attacker as hilariously disastrous (on average) as historical, it does a great job simulating the endless attempted forced marches, end arounds, rushes to a spot, etc that civil war books are filled with.
Last edit: 17 Apr 2018 13:31 by Gary Sax.
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19 Apr 2018 20:30 - 19 Apr 2018 20:31 #267874 by Gary Sax
I wanted to follow up on this and sell msample just a little since I sound a bit down on GCACW. I *love* GCACW as a system. Operational civil war is like fucking amazing. It is by far the best way to game the civil war. And this game captures it perfectly---the roll to move is an amazing way to simulate the kind of uncertainty that the commanders had in real life. Like a ton of shit that makes no sense when you read a history book (WHY DIDN'T HE JUST FUCKING MOVE) makes a *ton* of sense in this system.

Basically, most of the the commanders were worried that they would roll a 1 for movement 2-3 times in a row which would leave them hung out to dry. And then they'd be fired after the campaign was over and they were depantsed.

btw, the originals are solid but definitely go in with one of the post-Ed Beach takeover boxes if you start on this series (Grant Takes Command and after). Beach and his team actually did some serious playtesting in their new games and updates compared to the original games, which were a mess from a balance perspective and had some infuriating Stonewall Jackson hero stuff in them.
Last edit: 19 Apr 2018 20:31 by Gary Sax.

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