Friday, 18 November 2016

On to Washington!

No, not a leftover rallying call from last week's election, but a playtest of a new game to be published by PSC.  The designer is our old friend Martin Wallace whose games are always worth a look.
This is very much a 'working draft'.  The components of the published game will be much glossier.

 The board is pretty clear.  For the playtest, Jerry officiated while Graham and Martin skulked in Washington.  John and I represented the gentlemen of the South.
 Rather than bugger about waiting for the Yankee blockade to bite we decided on an all-out attack on Washington.

It went rather well but Jerry reckons that we got some of the rules wrong!  A promisingly straightforward game, I'm sure it'll do well when it goes on sale.


Archduke Piccolo said...

I vaguely recall playing a SPI type ACW game way back about 40 years ago. It had a peculiar combat system in which the losses taken did not necessarily reflect the odds in any given battle, but often the numbers involved.

At any rate, I had the South and found (a) that an attack on Washington DC was from the outset out of the question on account of the number of reserve troops the Union always had in that part of the world, and (b) even conjuring up the forces for an attack tended to lead to single battles (even when successful) rather than a series as in a campaign. Successful battles in terms of immediate results could be costly in manpower, too. I had to admit I was a bit careless in that regard.

But the overall feel was that South was continually being pushed back, and really administering checks of a purely local nature. It was not an encouraging experience, even though, come the Union elections of 1864, I was better placed strategically, and held more territory, than the CSA did at the same point historically. I think I had done enough that the CSA was held to have survived, and Lincoln 'lost' the election. It didn't feel like a win!

One felt that it was a game one might not revisit very often...

The game being looked at here could just about translate into a 'logical campaign' advancing or retreating from space to space in the respective theatres.

Kaptain Kobold said...

Sounds like you're describing 'A House Divided' by GDW. I rather like that game, although it's an exercise in just holding on until the clock runs out if you are the Confederates. Or wait for the Union to make a very stupid mistake.

Trebian said...

I played a version of that year before last at COW against Will Whyler. Captured Washington and won the war for the South in short order. Interesting mechanisms and ideas.

Archduke Piccolo said...

Could have been that GDW game. Don't recall the name of it.

That Washington could not be taken early was due to a special rule that that city had to retain a large reserve in the locality - really a super-sized garrison. I don't think Washington's capture was an automatic win even then.

Having said that, the game would have been the basis for a fine figures campaign, when you could substitute the combat CRT with an actual war game.

Thinking about the PSC game illustrated here, suppose the Union army marches from Manassas upon Fredericksburg, where awaits a Confederate Army. What sort of battle might ensue? We could have Fredericksburg, or a Chancellorsville, or even the proposed - and rejected - attempt to cross the Rappahannock River downstream, at Little Falls, say, or even further (and that could be done as a 'Battle of Ellivsrollecnahc')...