Just started a game of Victory Games Civil War yesterday with my cousin. We're still on phase 1 of turn 1; no doubles rolled (yet) so both of us are running out of command points, reinforcements and generals to put in. Maybe one more turn each and if still no doubles we'll be moving on to turn 2. I started out with 8 DPD (dice point differences), built and stocked up my Army of the Potomac and luckily got Rosecrans and Grant as my commanders (Union leaders are horrible in the early war; Rosecrans and McClellan are about as good as it gets) and knocked the 4 CSA points and Beauregard back while a second attack has him backed into Fredricksburg. I considered an end run to Richmond but fear his army reaction roll will give his ANV a clean shot at Washington on his next turn.
I've always loved this strategic level ACW game. The variable number of turns rule helps keep it from becoming boring. We also use a hidden command setup that allows the commanding officer to be set up secretly from both players. It's a heavily leader-dependent game system.
Yeah, we've played a couple FF scenarios, but they always take longer than we allowed for them. Not sure how much that would improve as we gained experience... but also not sure if we'll bother to find out!
Part of it is because we assumed that seeming on the surface to have so many similarities to Combat Commander, it would also play in about the same time. (This turned out to be a silly assumption to make.)
I like FF better than CC. I like the chaos in CC except that basic actions like moving and shooting are controlled by cards. That feels goofy to me. I like the cards to flavor the game, not drive them. War of the Ring is a perfect example of how cards should be used. JMHO...
Never played CC. Watched the first time my friends played it, and when a random fire appeared out of nowhere in a hex nowhere near the action, I said "No thanks". I understand that it's trying to reflect the lack of control a real commander has over his battlefield, but ASL does enough of that for my tastes, without quite as much gaminess.
FF, like CC, places a strong emphasis on the game over the simulation. It's a very interesting set of game mechanics, and much better than CC's as you point out. But we found that we were still constantly making decisions based on game mechanics, rather than on any sense of a developing narrative of a battle in progress.
Today I played a very exciting game of Candy Land. I barely beat my 4 year old daughter. She was way ahead and beating me solidly until she pulled a card that put her back to the beginning. After that we got in a couple of games of Brown Bear-Panda Bear. We ended the gaming session with two games of Connect Four. We each took away a victory in these hard fought games.
Gaming of any sort's been a bit thin on the ground here lately: only 4 games in April and none yet in May. Still, those 4 games were 3 scenarios of Combat Commander: Resistance- a neat twist on the basic CC system making the partisan faction utterly distinct from the others (more so than in ASL); and 1 game of Up Front. The latter was a new player's first game: he put up a good show and won, which gives me cause for optimism.
Sadly, neither this guy nor my regular CC opponent will ever go near ASL. :OHNO:
I am setting up another scenario from Panzergrenadier. This time from the White eagles pack; sceanrio 28 Tank Battle. i will likely tweet out turn synopsis and post those to my CSW Blog. Foloow Blackcloud66 if you would like.