Mayhem at Gettysburg

This month’s Mayhem Monday saw me guiding newcomers Ben and Roy through Chris Harding’s publication of the Jim Zoldak game, Battle for Gettysburg – The First Day (reviewed here).

Ben has some experience with wargames, and Roy a bit more. However, both know – or rather, knew – almost nothing about the Gettysburg battle. And although I explained, in rough outline, the strategic situation and the flow of forces on to the battlefield, it was probably a bit too much information for them to take in at once. The consequences were a wild and woolly battle which was nothing like any of my plays of the game, and thoroughly intriguing.

These guys pushed the boat out a bit, and had fun doing so. For example, both sides were keen on attack (and flank attacks at that) and damn the consequences. So, the Union forces got caught early on, too far forward, and probably only got their defensive line together – eventually – by a combination of a little luck, a little good play, and some poor die rolling at key moments by the Confederate attackers.

Although we had to call the game at the end of turn four – with the casualty bill almost even – it was a useful exercise. (I blame the Singleton and the Glenfarclas and the gamer chat for the glacial pace of play.) First, they both now have a good handle on the rules. Second, they also better understand how the flow of forces, victory points, and opportunities on the table, interact. Finally, I have two new potential ftf opponents! And whisky fans…

Thanks for coming guys.