Monday, October 30, 2006

Wargaming the Civil War

The reenacting season is about to wind down - what to do to keep yourself in the groove? Sure books and holiday parties are great, but what does one do if that isn't enough?

Wargame!

This is one the realms of American Civil War Gaming & Reading, but I'll cover my experience and goals with wargaming here anyway. I'll leave the reviews and game analysis to the pros at ACW Gaming & Reading. I've already touched on wargaming before, but my gap of experience of gaming on computer is massive. A good long going-to-reenactment discussion peaked my curiosity quite a bit. To the point where I'd like to give it a twirl, actually. The game series my friend plays is John Tiller's series of Civil War campaigns by HPS Simulations.

As an "old-skool" gamer, I learned to appreciate stacks of counters on the mapboard. Also learned that a cat isn't your best friend while gaming, either. But I played several games, Avalon Hill's Gettysburg, Yaquinto Games' Murfreesboro, and the ultimate SPI's Terrible Swift Sword and Pea Ridge. Got beaten into the dirt many times (I just recently discovered the reason why, too), but I always had a blast. Some of my fondest memories of being a teen were the epic battles fought all over the world, and throughout many periods. If you want to really learn military history, wargame.

But my friend sold me on gaming via computer. What swayed me was the "fog of war" functions, which I thought was the single biggest flaw in most board games. So what if I can't touch the pieces? At least my opponent can't see my hidden stuff, read my face, then proceed to knock the stuffin's out of me. I like that.

So hopefully, I'll be blogging here about some battles in the future. Not that I'll trumpet victory mind you, but it's a passion I want to revive and share.

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UPDATE: I downloaded the demo to Combat Mission: Barbarossa to Berlin. It was great, but the time certainly goes away fast when you're having fun! And yes, I was thoroughly trounced by the computer. Russian KV1s are wicked and btw, you can't kill them very well via head-on shots. I should have known that playing 88 by Yaquinto Games.
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