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Subject: There is a Great Command System Buried in the Rulebook rss

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Sean Chick (Formerly Paul O'Sullivan)
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Fag an bealac! Riam nar druid ar sbarin lann! Cuimhnigidh ar Luimnech agus feall na Sassonach! Erin go Bragh! Remember Limerick! Remember Ireland and Fontenoy!
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Well, I'm afraid it'll have to wait. Whatever it was, I'm sure it was better than my plan to get out of this by pretending to be mad. I mean, who would have noticed another madman round here?
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War of the Rebellion is an update of the South Mountain system, providing a more advanced leader activation system and other rules. The battles covered are Shiloh, South Mountain, Gettysburg, and Chickamauga.

Gameplay (20 out of 28): War of the Rebellion involves an advanced unit activation system that sense is a step up from the command rules in Chickamauga. Units are activated through army, corps, or division commanders depending upon who is in range of who and how the player wishes to use their men. The commanders make command rolls in order to determine movement and attack orders. This is a great system, giving reasonable variations to the gaming experience. The movement roll is great, as some Civil War generals were infamous for there slowness or quickness. The ability to have a leader take the time to plan, and thus make future dies rolls easier, is a great touch.

The rest of the game is basically South Mountain, but with more cohesion hits leading to more problems. Cohesion hits deflect attrional loses and make the battles less than bloody and in long games like Gettysburg it is not unusual to see a brigade basically rotating in and out of battle with little demonstrable reduction in combat effectiveness.

Gettysburg in Action:


Tactical (3 out of 5): Command rules are a great touch, and bring the friction of musket warfare and command control to the forefront. However, the main fault I had with the original games is not diminished in this title. The attacker benefits because he can withdraw beaten units, reform them, and come again. The problem is if the defender is in a fixed position and under pressure then he'll have a hard time inflicting heavy permanent losses as the enemy falls back to reform. Of course this doesn't mean charging piecemeal is going to work, but it will not usually wreck your formations either. Instead they have only to fall back, which is usually mandatory, reform and come again. By contrast the defender, if his line collapses, will suffer high unit losses in many cases. It is not rare to see the attacker taking smaller losses, which is a bit silly. Thankfully, this is not always a given, so the game still works most of the time.

Accessibility (2 out of 5): The rulebook is famous for being overladen and loopy. I confirm that it is bad but I was expecting worse. However, I find with many games the question is does the system work for you? In this case it does because the command rules made perfect sense. Still, not a well written rule book by any means and the system is complex.

Leader Activation Can Get Quite Involved:


Components (3 out of 5): Units are functional and the maps are fine except for Gettysburg. It seems off. Barlow's Knoll isn't even a piece of high ground.

Close up of the Map and Units:


Originality (2 out of 2): The command system is a real leap forward. Too bad this game's terrible reputation has buried it.

Historical Quality (3 out of 5): As expected command rules are a great touch and each scenario has some reasonable chrome. In Gettysburg reinforcements are variable and that increases the tension a great deal. However, I find the combat, while good for open ended slug fests doesn't work so well in battles like Gettysburg. Pickett won't lose his division: it will just take a lot of cohesion hits and retreat before it takes loses. Thus, as stated before, the attacker is at a big advantage.

Overall (33 out of 50): Honestly my rating of a 7 is for the game using my combat rules: http://boardgamegeek.com/thread/425052 because otherwise the combat system and bad rulebook is what is holding this back. Regardless, the command control system is among my favorites. War of the Rebellion is not a great game, but reports of Decision Games butchery are greatly exaggerated although understandable. If you are a Civil War buff looking for something between Glory and Thunder at the Crossroads (second edition) in terms of complexity, you could do worse.

This Game Packs a Lot of Stuff:
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robert lindsay
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It's also worth nothing that both the South Mountain and Shiloh games abandoned the command rules entirely, which was a major cop-out.
Typical DG.
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Sean Chick (Formerly Paul O'Sullivan)
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Fag an bealac! Riam nar druid ar sbarin lann! Cuimhnigidh ar Luimnech agus feall na Sassonach! Erin go Bragh! Remember Limerick! Remember Ireland and Fontenoy!
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Well, I'm afraid it'll have to wait. Whatever it was, I'm sure it was better than my plan to get out of this by pretending to be mad. I mean, who would have noticed another madman round here?
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Quote:
It's also worth nothing that both the South Mountain and Shiloh games abandoned the command rules entirely, which was a major cop-out.
Typical DG.


True, but Shiloh did retain variable movement which I like. Still, a cop-out for sure.
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Richard Berg
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"...reports of Decision Games butchery are greatly exaggerated..."

Not at all. There was more mutilation than in a week of CSI . . . and all of it without contacting any of the people who worked on the originals.

Lots better stuff out there today . . .

RHB
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Sean Chick (Formerly Paul O'Sullivan)
United States
New Orleans
Louisiana
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Fag an bealac! Riam nar druid ar sbarin lann! Cuimhnigidh ar Luimnech agus feall na Sassonach! Erin go Bragh! Remember Limerick! Remember Ireland and Fontenoy!
badge
Well, I'm afraid it'll have to wait. Whatever it was, I'm sure it was better than my plan to get out of this by pretending to be mad. I mean, who would have noticed another madman round here?
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Quote:
Not at all. There was more mutilation than in a week of CSI . . . and all of it without contacting any of the people who worked on the originals.


Sorry to hear that. I still think butchery is exaggerated here; more like a missed opportunity.

Quote:
Lots better stuff out there today . . .


Anything else besides the Glory series and Civil War Brigade series? I'm not a fan of the latter because it struck me as too much and the graphic presentations are terrible. Still, others love them so certainly many will find that to be a good alternative.

I'm not counting GBACW because they are regiment scale.
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M St
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BROG wrote:
all of it without contacting any of the people who worked on the originals.

Well, actually, the guy who seems to have done much of the work is credited as rules editor on West End's Chickamauga. So they had someone who worked on the originals. (Not, of course, on the design team for that.)
 
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David G. Cox Esq.
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Do what you can, with what you've got, where you are.
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gittes wrote:
War of the Rebellion is not a great game, but reports of Decision Games butchery are greatly exaggerated although understandable.


I think you are overly kind to the game. I really enjoyed South Mountain and was looking forward to War of the Rebellion.

I actually put WotR in the 'unplayable' category as a result of the cosmetic surgery performed by DG. It was butchery, and the kind that puts the DG team up there on the podium with Haig and some of the other WWI commanders we associate with the term 'butchers'.



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Freddy Dekker
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Hm wonder if they are on Sheldon's list.
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