All battles are good, also all are different and fun, after playing them all, over 200+ times now, i'd still go for my first choice, as the map scale and units involved adds to longer play, while saying that, the smaller ones are fun to do when you want a quicker battle, but for me if i was advising others on what to play first, start small and work your way up, as the mechanics are the same in all of them, but with less troops to use in the smaller ones, it's not so hard to manage, not that the larger ones are harder as such, just takes longer per turn as you have more to do...
as with all games, read the manual, or like me play first and loose, then play again and loose, then read the manual, then study the maps, read the books, then re read the manual, then you win some and laugh as you understand now why you lost the first few, it's not complex, it not rocket science, it's a game, which also can be a sim if you look and want to go that deep, in the manual are the menu functions, leaving it as it is, while be fine for most, altering it after a few plays to suit yourself is your choice and call as again it's your game if you buy it, to play it how you wish to play it, like history, that's fine as it caters for you, have no idea about Civil war history like me, also that's fine it caters for you and me also with a few menu changers, so it's as deep and rewarding as you want it to be, see and what almost every bullet fly, if that rocks your boat, can be done, or skip past it all and go straight into the action,it's you call and your choice...
all you need to do is buy it and make the call, game has more options than most game, mind you there easy to use, but also easy to forget so i still use the manual from time to time as well
Mill Springs and Wilson's Creek has hard terrain but also many choices of attack and in defence, so are good for smaller scale strategy and learning on how to use and plan attacks, while Williamsburg which is imo should be second best has a totally different place in the game as it has fixed defences in it, so plans and plays different depending on which side chosen to play, but Manassas is the mother of all battles and is the icing on the cake, can be played any number of ways so is good for any level of player, but in the end like all of them, give multiple choices and places to attack and defend...
all maps are great in single player against the AI, on either side, some have a slight advantage to one or the other, regarding troops involved, terrain, morale or history or a combination of all 4 tbh.
head to head opens up them all to a totally different prospective altogether with PBEM being again another step up, i played 200+ battles before i even tried to do one head to head, and still only done a few PBEM ones.
what i'm trying to say without writing a book is, it's a game, it's fun, play it, it's a sim or can be, replay history or make your own, just play it, then replay it, then replay it some more, it won't be the same, unless you can remember where you place 200 units each 20 minutes for 8 or so hours, then add in random factors in, either way it will be different and still fun next year, and the year after that, 5 years in the making, 5 years in the playing...
< Message edited by zakblood -- 4/16/2015 7:15:24 AM >