Clash of Dice

Clash of Giants: Civil War is Ted Raicer‘s new game about the battles of Second Bull Run and Gettysburg during the American Civil War. Published by GMT games, the system is an ACW adaptation of his Clash of Giants system which covered several World War One battles in a couple of much earlier GMT releases.

Inside the box you get one standard backprinted map with the two battlefields done by the excellent Charles Kibler. Second Bull Run is done at 500 yards per hex, and Gettysburg at 270 yards per hex. There are separate countersheets of larger, well printed counters, for each battle with different variations of Blue and Gray, making it less likely you will get the wrong units appearing in the wrong battle. I like that. Continue reading

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He’s the daddy

GMT did make one slipup in their 1914 production.

You will recall the designer is Ted S. Raicer.

The game includes this (touching) dedication:

“To my father, Theodore Racier, whose birth in 1914 started it all.”

Oh dear. The son is Raicer, and the father is Racier? I don’t think so. Shame, because Ted’s suffered more than most from people getting his name wrong. I bet he’s not happy about them getting his dad’s name wrong.

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1914

One recent wargame arrival is the World War 1 Dual Pack, being two Ted Raicer games – originally published in Command magazine – from GMT Games: 1914 Glory’s End covers the opening three months on the Western Front. When Eagles Fight covers the campaign in the East, from Tannenberg to the downfall of the Tsar.

1914

I took advantage of the availability of Vassal* modules, and tried out both during the Sukkot break.

[*Vassal is “a game engine for building and playing online adaptations of board games and card games. Play live on the Internet or by email. Vassal runs on all platforms, and is free, open-source software.” See here.]

I really only dabbled with Glory’s End because there’s a hidden setup which is core to the challenge, and I wasn’t able to split my personality sufficiently to retain any of the fog of war.

I played through several turns of When Eagles Fight and had a blast. It’s a cracking package that gives you an excellent flavor of the campaign without a heavy rules overload. I’ll be giving that another tryout after I finish up this post…

Both games get the best of GMT’s physical production treatment. (The poor lads suffered a disaster with their other recent release Won by the Sword, so it is good to report that it does appear to have been a blip.) The maps are clear, easy to read, and include all the key information. The counters are chunky and impressive. The rules were straightforward and I had no issues that got in the way of playing.

The one part I do not like is that each game’s map is on the reverse of the other. I would have preferred separate mapsheets, but understand the economic arguments in favor of one sheet.

Both games are a great introduction to this period of history. And they are sufficiently accessible to be a worthwhile gift purchase for a potential gamer.

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