The American Civil War remains one of the most climactic events in American history and still scars the national psyche. Whereas many other conflicts involving the United States wax and wane in interest, it is safe to say that publishing a game on this topic is usually a “sure bet” with the war gaming public.
As such, The Civil War by Victory Games, at least to my mind, was the epitome of strategic Civil War games and was a derivative of an older Strategy & Tactics magazine game called The American Civil War (also an excellent game but limited by the magazine format) so it was with baited breath that I anticipated the release of GMT’s the US Civil War. I was not disappointed!
The first time you open Golan Heights and lay out the pieces – the starting position for all the counters is marked on the game board – you might be surprised at how simple it looks. There are just seven Israeli counters on the board – six armor battalions and one infantry brigade – to hold off about 20 attacking units. A separate board to hold reinforcements shows what day they come in, and while there are more Israeli reinforcements than Syrians, it looks like the chance of Israel holding off the attackers fits somewhere between slim and none.
When you slide Circus Train out of its protective sleeve, the first thing to catch your eye is its garish, poster-bright red cardboard case.
Open it, and you are dazzled by a rainbow of laser-cut cardboard markers that must be snapped apart to play the game…a kaleidoscope of shapes and colors that will become your clowns and elephants, lions and horses, the human cannonball and the sideshow freaks.
The game is remarkably simple. All you have to do is start your Circus Train out in Canada, then go to different cities
For the last two weeks, I’ve been spending quite a bit of time with Hermann Luttmann’s latest design, Duel of Eagles, which features an August 1870 battle between the French and Prussians during Franco-Prussian War in the vicinity of the town of Mars-La-Tour, France. Two Prussian Corps went up against the entire French Army of the Rhine, commanded by Marshall Francois Bazaine. The Prussians were victorious.
Discussion of South Vietnamese Politics in Victory Games
Besides providing a thoroughly engaging operational and grand operational war game experience, Victory Games’ definitive Vietnam War board game, Vietnam: 1965-1975, also exposes a political dimension. In addition to having responsibility for all tactical and operational decisions, the US/ARVN player must make decisions that I believe would be considered above a theater commander’s pay grade.