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Stonewall Jackson's Way II» Forums » General

Subject: I cannot decide whether to buy this or not. rss

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James
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Hello. Sorry to post a fairly self indulgent thread here, but I am struggling to decide whether or not to buy this game. There is not a great deal of information on BGG about this game so I am appealing for your help.
Why should I buy it? Why shouldn't I buy it? What are your thoughts about it?
It would be my first ACW game. Good? Bad? Help!
 
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Patrick Pence
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Tallahassee
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Since we're all being self indulgent, head on over to the video section of Battle Above the Clouds, and you can get an overview of the game system.

For me, this series represents the perfect marriage of operational maneuver and critical planning. Because of the random nature of movement and combat outcomes, it is imperative that you plan for multiple outcomes, and when that fails, sometimes you take a chance and just charge the guns.

While the rules look complex, the basic mechanics are fluid and easily learned. Most of the rulebook is written to cover situations that arise for every eventuality, so that adds a bit of length, but those are mostly scenario dependent.

Give it a shot, you will not be disappointed!
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Lawrence Hung
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Wan Chai
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What makes you struggling? I am not an American but this series really pulls me into their history. This is the best opreratonal level wargame of American Civil War. Think no other but this. Besides, this is the first in the series on Bull Run - a campaign that emphasizing maneuvering on which the system models particulaly well.
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Todd Pytel
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I'm no expert on the GCACW series nor on the ACW in general, but I played a bit of the original release of SJW several years ago.

Why should you buy it? Because the game's scale and ruleset presents you with the same key decisions you read about in any large-scale military history of the war. It's a game about leadership and logistics rather than counting up big stacks of firepower. There aren't very many operational ACW offerings - tactical games on single battles or strategic games treating political and economic concerns seem more popular.

Why shouldn't you buy it? Well, it's a fairly complex system, though the rules are solid. (I think there used to be a "Basic Game" you could play as well - I don't know if that still exists.) But it's not the kind of game that you just whip out on a whim or with casual opponents. And if you want a game that tells a detailed story of a particular battle ("so-and-so's regiment charged the hill at 3:00pm"), then you'll want a smaller-scale tactical offering instead.

I don't have that much wargaming time nor opponents who are big ACW buffs, so my GCACW games have gotten little play. But if I were to go on an ACW kick, this series would be my choice to do it with.
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olivier R
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It is definitely a great serie, tons of goodies in the box, dozens of scenarios, two campaigns and coupled with the random movement gives it an excellent replayability. Finally the maps are some of the prettiest ever designed for a wargame. So there is plenty of bang for your bucks here.

But, and I say this with no disrespect, looking at your list of games, it might be a case of biting more than you can chew. The rules are very well laid out and clear, however there are often plenty of special scenario rules. They add a lot of flavour and historical chrome but it is probably a heavier game than any of those you have in your collection.
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James
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Thank you all for your responses.
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G. Harding Warren
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It needs to be pointed out: this is a great game for those who play solo.
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Doug Adams
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UHB1 wrote:
It needs to be pointed out: this is a great game for those who play solo.

Indeed it is.

I have all the games, but am really torn about picking this up. I did not like the eyesore the unit counters became in Battle Above The Clouds. I see these are more of the same.
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Chris Montgomery
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Joliet
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dougadamsau wrote:
UHB1 wrote:
It needs to be pointed out: this is a great game for those who play solo.

Indeed it is.

I have all the games, but am really torn about picking this up. I did not like the eyesore the unit counters became in Battle Above The Clouds. I see these are more of the same.

I think this is the standard from here on out.

I like the new counters.
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Rich Payne
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I'm also on the fence about this game, and just wanted to ask: are all the scenarios one map? That's about all the space I have

Thanks
Rich

EDIT: Apart from the ones needing the HCR map. Obviously whistle
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Rich Payne
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Just had a look at Mr del Rio's excellent scenario DB spreadsheet, I make 11 one-mappers between the two modules. Added to Xmas wishlist
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James
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I am well up for this game now, having mulled it over for a bit. Just need a spare 50 quid now.
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Rich Payne
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One other thing... does it solo well? And what is average playtime like? I'm guessing 3-4 turns per scenario translates to about half hour per turn?
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John Smales
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vulcan558 wrote:
One other thing... does it solo well? And what is average playtime like? I'm guessing 3-4 turns per scenario translates to about half hour per turn?

The system is great for solitaire IMHO--the problem is keeping the cat from massacring the belligerents before the campaign ends! shake
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