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Author Topic: Comparing 4 ACW rule sets  (Read 608 times)

Offline Norm

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Comparing 4 ACW rule sets
« on: April 18, 2021, 06:28:57 AM »
I have taken a few ACW rule sets for a spin, jut to compare the 'in game feel' of the fire / charge processes.

It's just a bit of fun rather than serious analysis.

More info on the blog. LINK

http://battlefieldswarriors.blogspot.com/2021/04/acw-rule-comparisons.html

Offline Hu Rhu

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Re: Comparing 4 ACW rule sets
« Reply #1 on: April 18, 2021, 06:26:41 PM »
Thanks for taking the time to compare rule sets. After reading your thoughts I might give Picket's Charge a go and see if my wargaming buddy and I prefer it over our current ruleset Black Powder.

Offline Roo

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Re: Comparing 4 ACW rule sets
« Reply #2 on: April 18, 2021, 07:52:03 PM »
Interesting read cheers. 

Offline vodkafan

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Re: Comparing 4 ACW rule sets
« Reply #3 on: April 19, 2021, 08:23:43 AM »
That was really a very useful exercise and a very enjoyable read! Thank you.
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Offline Easy E

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Re: Comparing 4 ACW rule sets
« Reply #4 on: April 19, 2021, 03:36:58 PM »
A very useful analysis for someone like me who is very new to the genre.   

As a game designer, it is also interesting to see how each designer "executed" on the process of combat, and what they choose to streamline and to speculate on why they chose to streamline or not streamline various parts of the action to get the result their games were designed for. 

For example, you say that Pickett's Charge gave the best result or feel, which makes sense as the focus of the game (based on the name) seems to be just the situation you described.  Meanwhile, Black Powder is a "larger scope" game where they needed to streamline the process for a quicker result.  Firepower also indicates it preference right in the name (as does Pickett's Charge).  Therefore, they chose to highlight different aspects of the time period in question.  Interesting.

Thanks for the analysis.

« Last Edit: April 19, 2021, 03:39:47 PM by Easy E »
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Offline Norm

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Re: Comparing 4 ACW rule sets
« Reply #5 on: April 19, 2021, 04:13:32 PM »
Thanks all. Putting four rule sets side-by-side in a single afternoon for a single situation did highlight some design connections and differences in a way that I was not expecting.

In fact, what I brought away from it was more the fall-out an interrogation of design and process rather than getting a ‘which is the best’ result. Before I rolled the first die, I thought the opposite would be true.

Offline Hu Rhu

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Re: Comparing 4 ACW rule sets
« Reply #6 on: April 20, 2021, 06:52:50 PM »
As I said before your analysis of the 4 rulesets was excellent but your 'scenario' was a single specific part of an action.  Had you planned to do any other analysis, such as on morale, shooting or the orders sequence?

I have to say that when I look at rulesets, like you I am looking for both the feel of the period and also the likely historical outcomes (as your example shows).

My pet hates are an overly complicated turn sequence, having to consult numerous tables to determine different factors and rules which pander to the 'killer unit/equipment'.

« Last Edit: April 21, 2021, 01:36:24 PM by Hu Rhu »

Offline Norm

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Re: Comparing 4 ACW rule sets
« Reply #7 on: April 21, 2021, 05:41:24 AM »
The Pickett's Charge rule set includes a scenario for the Sunken Lane part of the Antietam battle of 1862, it has roughly 17 regiments and a couple of artillery batteries per side.

I have just put this on the table, to explore the rules as a holistic whole. At 5 brigades per side, this is also ideal Black Powder territory. So far, I am finding a very engaging game, though strip away some of the period terminology and I am feeling that Black Powder might closely do a very similar thing, they are just dressed up differently.

At the moment a powerful Union centre is pressing the Confederate line,  but they have taken very heavy losses, but have also put the Confederate line under strain. Things are tight and the next couple of turns will tell. It would certainly be interesting to either re-run the whole game or even just this middle section with Black Powder, just to see whether the game delivers both sides to the same tense and uncertain point.

Offline Hu Rhu

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Re: Comparing 4 ACW rule sets
« Reply #8 on: April 21, 2021, 01:40:13 PM »
That sounds an ideal test and one I might follow up in due course.  The numbers you quote are easily doable with our collections. By a coincidence he already has a set of Pickett's Charge and we are meeting tomorrow for a socially distanced chat about our ACW project.

Offline Norm

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Re: Comparing 4 ACW rule sets
« Reply #9 on: April 21, 2021, 06:54:43 PM »
I am putting up the Sunken lane scenario (Antietam 1862) from the Pickett's Charge rule book and running the game with them.

I have put up a short video clip showing the battlefield and opening positions. LINK

http://battlefieldswarriors.blogspot.com/2021/04/preparing-for-sunken-lane-1862.html

 

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