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Great Campaigns of the American Civil War Series Review

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29 Mar 2010 03:15 #269634 by Gary Sax
Strengths
--Narrative Flow
The game plays out in a compelling,...

I started playing a new wargame series late this winter.  Well, actually, not a new series but a very old series.  Great Campaigns of the American Civil War (GCACW) was first published by Avalon Hill and is now published by MMP.  Battle Above the Clouds, covering the Chickamauga campaign, is the most recent release in the 8 game series.  This is a series I overlooked for a long time because it seemed old fashioned in subject and gameplay.  The short and sweet of it is that this is a series wargamers must play.  It is now my favorite wargame series.  Do not let the American Civil War subject fool you as GCACW is a very different animal than the “line up the cardboard, charge them forward up a hill to all get shot” image that probably pops into your head.  GCACW is an operational (i.e. mile size hexes) look at Civil War battles.  That makes it far, far more interesting than a Civil War single battle series.  It features a strong narrative pacing, exceptionally entertaining maneuver elements and fantastic design and development for individual games.  As an older series, it’s also a throwback in many respects, with roll and move maneuver, odds based combat and some clunky elements left over from that era.  Overall, this series pays off for a narrative/story type wargamer such as myself.

Let me run you through the plusses and minuses of the series, as I see it.

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