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Subject: Review and session high points rss

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Chad G
United States
Overland Park
Missouri
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Played the 1862 scenario last night in Bobby Lee. I was slightly ahead as the confederates but not enough to qualify even for a minor victory.

Session notes;

Jackson stopped the federals at the top of the valley and was basically at a stand off.

The army of NC stopped the Peninsula advance after a few battles in one big battle and the federal player started withdrawing divisions from there to reinforce the North.

The North came through Culpepper (West of Fredericksburg) as I had weakened my force there to reinforce Jackson and Lee at Fredericksburg.

The union also landed at Port Royal with two divisions but Lee eliminated both of them in my next move. But had to fall back to fight off the federal advance through Culpepper and east between the South Anna and North Anna rivers. But the Federals left no units behind and I was able to sneak a cavalry and an infantry unit behind them to cut the rail lines supplying him in two places and they were forced to fall back to spread their units out so they could forage.

At this point Summer ended and we didn't get into the winter turns.

GAME REVIEW;

Forgot how good it is. Bidding on how many HQ activations to move first. Run out of HQ pips and you're in trouble. Monthly turns but there are variable number of moves each month, players can go as long as they continue to bid HQ moves. You can bid 0 to try and wait till the enemy has used up their HQ pips so they can't respond to your attack but if they also bid 0 then the month ends.

The supply and HQ operational limits are key in this game which in many ways makes it more realistic, enforcing the need for planning, yet it's all handled in an extremely easy and playable way.

The North has big advantages in strategic movement and overall reinforcements but their infantry and cavalry blocks don't get as strong, so works out. Better command ranges (2 hexes) for Confederates help them out too, especially Lee who has a 3 hex range as opposed to all federal army HQ's which have a 1 hex range.

The battles have key tactical decisions that make sense too. I've read the comments on the artillery tactically not working correctly and can see where that's possible (all artillery advancing) and I'd like to see someone post what the original rules were that required an infantry unit be present with artillery for it to function normally.

I also think the idea suggested that artillery causes half hits as per double defense at long range is interesting but I would worry that this could unbalance the game in favor of the confederates as artillery is the one arm that the federals are superior in.

I have played both the eastern (Bobby Lee) and western (Sam Grant) theater games and prefer Bobby Lee, Although Sam Grant does a great job historically representing that front and I would encourage any who like Bobby Lee to play it as well. But in the east (Bobby Lee) the units are so close and the terrain so interesting (rivers and mountains channelizing things) that there are really important decisions to make each move.

Of course there are no nice event cards for historical flair but the North and South can call for a drafts which have implications and the North can declare the emancipation proclamation (after a big victory over the south) which revs up the confederates short term but also helps the North.

One thing, it doesn't have possible European intervention like House Divided. Although the odds of that was probably low anyway.

Overall I think this game is underrated and compares well to it's more contemporary counterparts.
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Niko Ruf
Germany
Schönaich
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Budrou784 wrote:
The battles have key tactical decisions that make sense too. I've read the comments on the artillery tactically not working correctly and can see where that's possible (all artillery advancing) and I'd like to see someone post what the original rules were that required an infantry unit be present with artillery for it to function normally.


I've looked it up: the 1st edition rules had a simple exception: if no friendly infantry or cavalry are present in the same battle column, artillery only fire at F1 at engaged units. Actually, that rule does not even seem enough to prevent abuse, as a single infantry unit can cover for any number of artillery units. Maybe each friendly infantry (not cavalry) unit present should allow one artillery unit to fire at F3?

Quote:
I have played both the eastern (Bobby Lee) and western (Sam Grant) theater games and prefer Bobby Lee, Although Sam Grant does a great job historically representing that front...


We found Sam Grant horribly unbalanced in favor of the Confederates. In the 1862 scenario, the US have to take the initiative vs. an opponent who has them outnumbered, in difficult terrain. Didn't work, and didn't look like the war in the west at all. I do have a homebrew scenario for SG though, that I believe does a better job. It's posted in the SG file section if anybody is interested. It would be nice if CG could redo the SG scenarios officially, the game system itself is quite good.
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