Discretionary Activation - a suggestion for improvement

From the legendary team at 2 by 3 Games comes a new grand strategy masterpiece: Gary Grigsby’s War Between the States. Taking gamers back to the American Civil War, this innovative grand strategy game allows players to experience the trials and tribulations of the role of commander-in-chief for either side. Historically accurate, detailed and finely balanced for realistic gameplay, War Between the States is also easy to play and does not take months to finish.

Moderators: Joel Billings, PyleDriver

Post Reply
Posts: 56
Joined: Thu Jul 27, 2006 4:32 pm

Discretionary Activation - a suggestion for improvement

Post by Nibelung »

I don't know about you, but the Activation Rule, while doing a fair job in reproducing the ACW, itch me on some aspects. Most notably that independent leaders in enemy territory has a far too low chance to do something. Remember Sterling Price for example ... You just can't do what he did in-game.

A poster suggested that non active leader get a bonus as time passes, until they become activated (where the bonus is reset to 0). I find this suggestion really good. Also, as indep leaders don't activate at the same time, attacks remains uncoordinated and thus don't detract from the Army Activation concept.

I would like to suggest another possibility: Each turn a side get some 'Discretionary Activation' rolls, depending perhaps of the aggressiveness of the theater commander. These rolls have a high chance of activating one single, non army, commander of your choice. You would get various modifiers, including being in supply and having too much troops (say -5% chance for each troop attached, we want this kind of activation to favor small to medium forces, not large indep corps).

This rule would too allow a bit more of fluidity and even realism in the game, while keeping the Army Activation concept core to the game.

Overall, what we want, is a game where actions are not done only by Army commanders. The big actions were done by them, sure, but I find that WBS forget far too much the numerous and various engagements at a lower level, because of a too hard activation rule.

You'll also want to recheck how reaction is done against small forces too. This is simply abnormal that there is a 100% chance of having an adjacent infantry leader support any attack against your position, in effect you know that even with only roads, all adjacents enemy forces can potentially counter your attack. This is far too generous and really kill the fluidity of the game. WBS here too has the tendency of considering that the ACW was only '1864 at Petersburg' kind of battles. I remind you that World War I style of combats did not happen everywhere in the ACW, and surely not in 1861...

These two aspects, Activation and Reaction, are perhaps the only things that I don't find 'falling well' in this game. There is not much to have them fit perfectly. I do understand that the authors really wanted to show how it was for the North to mount offensives, but perhaps some more fluidity, advantaging the South too (because we don't want a game where the North is rolling over the South either), would be needed for a perfect reenactement of the ACW.

With respect,
User avatar
Posts: 1235
Joined: Wed Nov 24, 2004 3:59 pm

RE: Discretionary Activation - a suggestion for improvement

Post by madgamer2 »

these two points as you call them are along with luck(who dies,goes sick etc) are what make the flavor of this game.
I have had Lyons next to Vicksburg and Grant next to Atlanta for 6 or 7 months without moving. I had a single militia retreat in to a mountain region in AK and the army chasing him could not get the movement pts to attack him and it never did die but it kept me from taking the state. It was near the end but I kept thinking it would die soon but the game ended.
It might be true that many like yourself want some kind of change in these 2 rules but I see no advantage to what you are suggesting. nor will I till I see a better way. If its the Civil War you like perhaps one of the other 2 strategic level games would be better for you.

If your not part of the solution
You are part of the problem
Post Reply

Return to “Gary Grigsby's War Between the States”