Gaming Conventions

Gaming Conventions

Another new feature for, the Gaming Convention calendar will make it a snap to keep up with all the latest gaming conventions in your area. But we need your gaming convention information, so please contribute.

Gaming Clubs/Organizations

Gaming Clubs and Organizations

Please check out our new (and growing) database of gaming clubs and organizations world-wide. Please let us know of your gaming club, or any other clubs that you know about so we can make this a truly useful resource.

Spotlight Articles

Outstanding articles that are not necessarily linked to one particular game, but may have broad appeal to gamers.

The Last Dice

Spotlight Article Graphic

"...the new series documenting part of the career of a man who was so good he is almost a myth." Prufrock is up to something…! Perhaps a directorial debut? Who is the mysterious "Ear Bevan"?

Poster: Doug Holt
Post Date: 5/25/2020

The Wargamer's Guide to Heraldry, Uniforms & Flags in Tabletop Wargaming

Spotlight Article Graphic

"...pageantry is one of the reasons I do historical miniature wargaming." Bill Gray brings us a fascinating look at the how and why of the way armies looked before things became nationalized and regularized in the past couple of centuries. Which is why Bill particularly likes games where "…you need to stop thinking like a 21st Century humanoid, at least understand why generals long ago thought the way they did, and then do likewise."

Poster: Doug Holt
Post Date: 5/22/2020

Empire of the Sun: Full Campaign PBEM Tournament

Spotlight Article Graphic

Now registering for the "Empire of the Sun: Full Campaign PBEM Tournament". Check the site for details of tournament rules and requirements. Registration will be limited to 16 participants or no later than August 31, 2020.

Poster: Mark D.
Post Date: 5/20/2020

Book buying spree

Spotlight Article Graphic

"It was only right, meet and good to go there and splurge in votive thanks as soon as I was able." Prufrock brings us his first post-full-lockdown thoughts, centered on the pleasure that his local secondhand bookshop has reopened. And he didn't leave empty-handed: "Fortunately, there were three cracking coffee-table hardcovers with Prufrock written all over them…"!

Poster: Doug Holt
Post Date: 5/18/2020

More Spotlight articles...

Grognard News

Grognard Game Plan

New Grognard Game Plan application is a free tool provided to registered site visitors to help organize convention play and other gaming sessions.

Gaming Conventions

New Gaming Conventions calendar. You can see all upcoming gaming conventions worldwide.

If you are sponsoring a board gaming convention of some type, or know of one that is not listed on, then please contact us and let us know!

Gaming Clubs/Organziations

New Gaming Clubs/Organizations listing. You can search for existing gaming clubs worldwide.

If you belong to a gaming club, or know of one, please drop us a line and let us know so we can get it listed on!

New Search Features

Now you can search for specific games (or games by publisher) using the new Game Search feature, located at the top right corner of the this page. In addition you can now harness the power of Google to search the entire site for any specific information you'd like. Just enter a search word or phrase into the Google box labeled "Search All of" and click magnifying glass button. Search features will continue to be improved and enhanced going forward so check back often to see the latest stuff.

Grognard Originals

In addition to our links to great content all around the internet, expect to see more "originals" in the future.

Falling Sky - Perfect Opening Moves - Roman

Is there such a thing as a "Perfect Opening Move" in any of GMT's COIN Series games? Mark D. shares his idea of a "perfect" opening turn for the Romans in Falling Sky. Enjoy.

Battle for Russia - Game Turn Restrictions Summary

I'm finally getting to play this game, and am looking forward to it. There are a decent amount of "special rules" and restrictions that apply to either the Axis or Soviet player, depending on which turn it is. Rather than flipping back and forth in the rule book, I made a quick & dirty cheat sheet for myself which I have been using, and thought I'd share it. If anyone sees anything that's incorrect, please let me know via email at mark at grognard dot com. (updated 4/11/2020 to include rules for ignoring Rivers - Axis only on Turn 1; both sides on Turn 2)

French "Low Density" Blues in Ici c'est la France!

Brief strategy article written by Mark D. that explains the concept of "Troop Density" and examines how that level can have a big impact on French and FLN play in the early stages of the game. Ici c'est la France! was designed by Kim Kanger and published by Legion Wargames in 2009. Outstanding game!

Alone Against the Soviets

Brief review of VentoNuovo's title "Stalingrad: Inferno on the Volga" shared by Mark D. for Discusses the game mechanics that provide the game with the Stalingrad "feel"...

More Grognard Originals...

Grognard Challenge

Latest Challenge

Have a look at the graphics for the latest Challenge and see past solutions and contest winners.

Recommended (archives)

Wargaming - General Info

Board Wargames

Miniatures Wargames

Computer Wargames

Academic Gaming

Board Games

Internet Based/PBEM Games

Individual Wargamer Blogs

Wargaming Magazines

Asst Software/Player Aides

In Memoriam

Grognards Lost

Revolution Games Advertisement - please click here
Please support by supporting our site sponsor, Revolution Games
Legion Wargames Advertisement - please click here
Please support by supporting our site sponsor, Legion Wargames
Charles S. Roberts Awards - 2019 - please click here
Please support the resurrected Charles S. Roberts Awards for outstanding board gaming achievements in 2019

S T U V W X Y Z 0-9

The U.S. Civil War: War Game Replay

Can the South Win? - Game Replay

The U.S. Civil War - Board Game Replay
by Mark D.  *  9-Jan-2016


Buy from
Noble Knight Games
Buy U.S. Civil War from Noble Knight Games

As I mentioned in a previous article, this game initially elicited a less than favorable reaction from me when compared to the Victory Games original. It was pointed out in a Reddit post that no one at GMT ever said anything like "this is a re-make of the old game", other than to say it adopted bits and pieces from it (and from "For the People"). And that's true. But I think that everyone who was familiar with the old game had certain expectations. Just look at the game board, the game counters, the game mechanics. In my opinion this is, and was always expected to be, a re-make of Eric Lee Smith's Civil War game. I doubt many people who bought the game said "Gee, I hope this is wildly different from the VG original". Quite the opposite. People love the VG version and I suspect that people who bought the game (like me) were hoping that it was going to be a more attractive and slightly "improved" version... not a totally different animal.

But it's *not* a simple re-make. And I've gotten over that now. So, I cracked open the rule book again and decided to give the game a fresh look. I wanted to play it again with the intention of viewing it as a gaming experience separate and distinct from the Victory Games title. I'm curious to see if I enjoy it once I shed my bias for the original. Last week I recruited two gaming buddies, Harvey Mossman and Gary Andrews, to join me for a new campaign game.

Harvey and I have both played the game before, but Gary has not. So I agreed to play the Confederates while Harvey and Gary will team up to play the Union.

My plan is to provide a very brief summary each week on the progress of the game and possibly interject some commentary from the participants. We all know that the real world tends to interfere with our "best laid" plans, but I will do my best to keep this up.

Game Turns 1 and 2 (Summer of 1861)

The Trans-Mississippi Theater

Not a lot going on here, as you would expect. Knowing that Union General Lyon was destined to die after the very first game turn, the Union players set him in motion immediately so that he might do the maximum damage possible before his untimely (but anticipated) demise. He moved south and attacked Confederate General Price in Springfield, MO. To everyone's surprise, he lost the initial battle and had to come at Price a second time to drive him out of Missouri.

During the rest of the first turn, Lyon kept up the pressure on Price, but Price still held Fayetteville, AR at the end of the turn. He was replaced on turn 2 by Union General Curtis who, although not as effective a general as Lyon, defeated Price in battle after battle, driving him back to the outskirts of Little Rock, AR, by the end of turn 2.

(Correction: I mistakenly referenced "General Thomas" instead of "General Lyon" in the paragraph above. Hat tip to Daniel Berger for pointing it out).

The U.S. Civil War: Trans-Mississippi Theater at the end of 1861

The Western Theater

Not much going on in the West either. The majority of the conflict has been occurring in the East. However, the union has built up a decent sized force in Cairo, IL, at the confluence of the Mississippi and Ohio Rivers, and appears poised for some action in 1862. The Confederates have invested little in this theater either, preferring to place subsistence forces in Entrenchments along the rivers.

The U.S. Civil War: Western Theater at the end of 1861

The Eastern Theater

The East is where all the action has taken place. Right off the bat Harvey and Gary sent Union General McDowell, with a good portion of the 9 troops in Washington DC, across the Potomac River to capture Aquia Station and its Port. This ensures (at least temporarily) that the lines of supply will remain open regardless of any Confederate moves short of taking down Washington itself.

After McDowell's (pre-ordained) relief of command in game turn 2, McClellan took charge of the forces invading Virginia. McDowell was given command of another force that is also pressing south, directly alongside McClellan.

Burnside, commanding the first amphibious assault of the game, landing and taking control of the Port at West Point, VA, is helping to close the noose around Richmond, VA, by pressuring from the east.

Union Generals Fremont and Patterson have secured all the Objective cities in West Virginia, giving control of that state to the Union.

The U.S. Civil War: Eastern Theater at the end of 1861

So, other than having to pace themselves so as to not outrun their supply lines, there's nothing to stop McClellan and McDowell (neither a "ball of fire" historically) from "blitzkrieg'ing" across the Virginia landscape. Nothing other than Joe Johnston, A.S. Johnston, Longstreet, and a few other outstanding Confederate leaders... in charge of very few troops.

After counterattacking at Manassas Junction and winning the first battle, the Confederates were unable to hold the position and had to retreat to prevent encirclement, thus also dashing any hopes of a sizable raid into Pennsylvania. By opting to not risk encirclement and destruction in the North, Mark has been able to put together a sizable army of 9 SP (Army of Northern Virginia) under Joe Johnston just north of Richmond. But it looks like it may be too little, too late. The Union forces in front of Joe Johnston outnumber him and it's likely that more pressure on Richmond will materialize from Union Amphibious assaults.

The best case scenario for the Confederates is to hope that the Union fail their Interception roll, allowing Johnston to crush one of the Union forces in Virginia, sending the other one scurrying back to bolster the Washington defenses. If anything should go wrong with that plan, the Union army will be in Richmond before the end of the turn.

Final Thoughts

All three of us did a "rules review" in the days after we finished this session, just to clarify some odd situations that popped up, and we uncovered a few things that we were doing incorrectly (mostly Supply rules). We don't believe our mistakes will have a major impact on the game, so we're not going to reset; we'll just keep forging ahead. But, FYI, the rules must be read carefully...

So, after 2 turns of play, the Union has accumulated 7 Victory Points:

  • Fredericksburg (1), Strasburg (1) and Harper's Ferry (1) in Virginia.
  • Grafton (1), Charleston (1) and Wheeling (1) in West Virginia.
  • Fayetteville (1) in Arkansas.

If the Union can capture Richmond (4), Petersburg (1), Lynchburg (1) and Staunton (1), all in Virginia, along with four other points worth of cities out West or along the coasts (via amphib assault), that will make a grand total of 18 VPs, which is 12 more than the Benchmark Number of 6, resulting in a Union Automatic Victory at the end of Fall 1861 (Game Turn 3)!

Lots of pressure on the Confederates, for sure. Maybe too much for this early stage of the war? We'll see how things play out after both sides have a chance to reinforce. Until next week...