Works in Progress from Moves and S&T
tracking the development of the GBACW
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||From Moves, Issue 54 (December/January, 1981)
This item appeared in Designer Notes column, page 34:
Great Battles of the Civil War
I have had a chance now to look over two more recently submitted games on the TSS system, New Market and Corinth. In addition, I have sent two other games back to the designers for additional work. Brice's Crossroads was sent back so the designer could wrap up a good set of Victory Conditions for the game, and Belmont was sent back for a re-design of the naval and map exiting mechanics. Neither game has been rejected; rather, both are still very much in contention for the three slots available to TSS games in the production schedule. The three games chosen for production in the spring/summer will be decided upon soon.
This game, designed by veteran designer Mark Herman (of Stonewall and Mech War fame) originally came in as a TSS system capsule game. I sent it back to Mark several months ago, and he has brought the game more into line with the Standard Rules of the Great Battles system. It remains a capsule game, but is very close in design to the basic system. We tested it recently, and the testers did not know quite what to do with it. It is a strange game, because the Confederates have only six (count'em) regiments of infantry and a smattering of artillery. Add to this a nifty skirmisher rule, and the Confederate force nears 20 counters. The Union begins play with no more than 10 counters on the map. The two armies face off, and the Confederates attack. The attack pushes the Union down the length of the map until Union reinforcements arrive to stem the tide. This game is the most difficult one I have had to evaluate because of the small number of units and the tendency of small games to "explode" (i.e., chance is critical). I will take my time with evaluating the game, and I have the sneaking suspicion that it will turn out to be a real player and that we will publish it in some form or other. Don't hold me or SPI to my word however. More on this game later.
Corinth was originally designed over a year ago by Rich Berg as the follow up to his Bloody April game. He has recently redesigned the game to bring it into line with the Standard Rules. The game's main features are hidden entry of the Confederate forces, a nice set of solitaire mechanics, and 200 combat counters! The game is big. It is too big to fit into the standard 200 counter limit of the series. If we accept it, we will issue a special game in the series which would include 300 counters and would probably cost an extra dollar or so. The game itself is a very bloody affair with lots of units running head on into lots of other units. The situation is such that the Confederates, who are on the offensive, will almost assuredly advance almost the length of the map before the game ends. Thus, the game has lots of combat combined with considerable maneuver. The game is in the early stages of evaluation but appears to be the most sound of the initial designs I have received, as one would expect from the System's designer, Rich Berg.
In conclusion, the project is sailing very smoothly, and I am awaiting the arrival of several reworkings of previously submitted work before making my decision. By the next issue of S&T, the primaries should be over and the development campaign begun in earnest. Eric Smith