American Civil War introductory level games?

What are some of the low level complexity American Civil War games that are good for beginners? I now play Gettysburg '88 (125th Anniversay edition) and really like it…I prefer hex & counter games…thx

Baltimore MD

On Mar 18, 2010, at 3:01 PM, severn8212 wrote:

I haven’t played this one, but I think that Victory Games (VG) “Across
5 Aprils” is a pretty good introductory game. It is, unfortunately,
out of print though. GMT Games’ “For the People” is a card-driven,
point-to-point (area movement) game that also has a good fan
following. I haven’t played that one either.

An old favorite is VG’s The Civil War. It has a thriving game
community. It is also out of print, though. This is a strategic level
game, and does quite well, especially with a few house rules to cure a
couple of the minor warts.

At the complicated end there is The Gamers’ Civil War Brigade Series
(CWBS) and GMT’s Great Battles of the American Civil War (GBACW)
series of tactical games. They both do good jobs of simulating
individual battles. The brigade series is a bit more playable in some
ways because the scale is higher. GBACW is at the regimental scale.
There is a regimental variant that The Gamers offers as well. CWBS
does require more of a cooperative/historic style of play because of
the way the game system is set up. It will not work with hyper-
competitive rules lawyers.

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Thus spake Thomas Russ:

As someone who has played games in both series, I should point out
that the experiences are way different. The GBACW games are in some
respects more complex than the CWBS games—but, I tend to feel the
complexity a lot more in the CWBS games, due to their orders system.
The first few times you play a CWBS game, you will be frustrated
because your divisions will never be where you want them to be, when
you want them there. Writing orders is a great mechanic, but not
something I would call “introductory-level”. Nor would I really
call the GBACW games introductory-level either, though.


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On Mar 18, 2010, at 3:36 PM, Joel Uckelman wrote:

I agree with Joel.

I guess I wasn’t clear enough with my introductory sentence. I wanted
to bring up these games, but note that they really aren’t an answer to
the OP’s request for introductory games. These are complex games
which often take a fair investment of time to play.


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Across 5 Aprils can be found here: