Friday, September 2, 2011

New Arrivals - Rules (Part 1)

Well this week proved to be a boon when it comes to new rules - but proved to be a bust when it came to health! I have been "something" all week. I think it was allergies because I didn't feel "ill" just miserable with the throat and sinuses. The wife says I was sick, she's probably right.


My copy of the new Foundry rules "Bull Run to Gettysburg" arrived on Thursday. I got it on Amazon from one of their resellers. Foundry has it marked for like $55 and the Amazon reseller now says $41. But, when I ordered it it was only $23.98! What a steal! What intrigued me is that the rules description mentioned "simultaneous" actions - which sorta reminded me of those good ole days of Johnny Reb. So, I took a shot and ordered them.

As I was home in bed yesterday instead of at work, I did have a chance to read through them...and...whatever. They look fine. The turn sequence sorta is like Legends of the Old West: I move then you move. I shoot then you shoot. Then we melee. Then the next turn begins. However, unlike those rules (and, again, reminding me of JR) charges by both sides are handled first in the movement step - and - all shooting is considered to be simultaneous. So, essentially IGOUGO, but a better. Those that know me know I like to have less than total control over my "command ability". But, hey, I not a zealot on that point. These are games we play, not simulations! Show me some fun and let me make some cool decisions on the battlefield that matter.

Before I get off of the JR similarities, let me mention that this is a "casualty counting" game. When a unit loses a figure, you mark it off. When a stand loses all of the figures, take it off.

Some of the things that popped out at me as things to like are (1) the basing matches my army exactly! 40mm squares with 4 figures per stand. (2) the effects of long term shooting is to degrade the shooting of a unit. (3) artillery is represented in sections - 1 to 3 per battery. (4) The account for "green", "experienced" and "veteran" morale levels. (5) the main maneuver element is a regiment, and for infantry they are 3 to 6 stands.

There are lots of other neat ideas in the rules, some presented as "optional rules". At first glance, I like the shooting/melee and morale tables - but I will say that first of all, I must try them out in a game and secondly that the list of morale modifiers is quite lengthy - not that this is bad - just lengthy.

Of course, as seems the trend today, there are lots of awesome images of beautiful Foundry miniatures with professional paint jobs and sections devoted to painting and modelling and all that jazz. It is a very, very nice hard-cover book very much on par with the production values found in Black Powder.

Before I make any other comparisons to Black Powder, I'll have to play a game or three. Black Powder's combat system works - and it works well. Like Black Powder, the author of Bull Run to Gettysburg has developed these rules over the last 25 or so years from games played - so that bodes well. I'll post on this topic again after having played.

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