I started Wargaming with "Terrible Swift Sword" being the third game I owned. I bought it in July and then for Christmas I received "Bloody April" as a present. I soon after bought "Stonewall". My S&T subscription started with #76 "The China War", so I did get "Wilson's Creek" soon, as well. I got to play all of them with my Wargames Society in high school. Many, Many Times.(well, "Bloody April" we only did once since all the record-keeping was a chore, but we made up for that with playing TSS about 50 times. At Least 50 times. Around the 20th time, in order to avoid stereotyped play, we began to develope new and wildly ahistoric strategies. We called those games "PanzerGruppe Gettysburg". Which worked out very well for us. When we went to a Chicago Wargaming Alliance Spring GameFest (at the College of DuPage,. Glen Elyn Ill. in spring of 1981, I and my friend got to play the Union in a 24hr-a-day TSS game. Actually, we wanted to be the Confederate side, but all the 'grown ups' (I use that term very loosely) all wanted to be the Rebels. Since my friend and I were 17 yrs old, they stuck us with the Union side and another player who, although being a great human being, was 'looked down on' by the CSA players (he was a large, kinda goofy guy, He turned out to be a very good friend, but he wasn't as "sophisticated" as the rest of the 'grown ups' considered themselves. We could guess the South's plan: Beat up on the Teenagers and Goofy.
Too bad for them we had played TSS around 40 times by that point (the "PanzerGruppe Gettysburg" games now came into thier own). Not to mention my friend always had great luck. Need a '1'?, he rolls a one. A '6' is the worst possible result for you? He rolls the '6'. AND not to mention, all of the Southern players were Grade-A Jerks. I mean, real, total A$$40les. And when we started beating them....badly....they began to devour each other. It got to the point that they were SCREAMING at each other over whatever bone-headed move was just carried out and mis-fired on them. I had the Cavalry, my friend was Reynolds with I Corps and 'Goofy' had the XI Corps. I...ME, I took out Heth. Brockenbrough, Archer and Davis BCE'd, Pettigrew almost there. For some reason the CSA Players thought it would be smart to send two CS Artillery Bns to block Doubleday and 3/I. (After they got over their shock at my friend bringing on 3/I at Blackhorse Tavern; None of Them EVER played that way!) So MacIntosh and Pegram went down to face Doubleday. Just the Arty, no infantry. And for the cost of 100 men, my friend bagged BOTH CSA arty Bns. That was when the 'grown-ups' started screaming at each other.
We started at 4PM and went until midnight, at which point, We, the Union side were all replaced. We eventually did manage to get another 'shift' on the game on the last day of the convention, but by that time the situation was utterly unrecognizable. It did sorta resemble Saratoga. Sorta. I recall we had to spend about an hour just discovering where all the troops were at on the map and trying to find the ones that hadnt been BCE'd.
I have all the latest games: 3DoG, "River of Death", and "Red Badge of Courage", and also "Gringo". Sadly, I havent been able to play them as much as I would like. " Gringo" is one game I can easily pick out and set up and play.
I'm only a year late on replying to your sory, but after seeing your name and the picture, I recall one of my favorite areas of history from my childhood. I read all that I could find on the wars with the Native Ameicans, part of that being part Osage (only 1/16) anyway I recall the boast of Captain Fetterman during the Powder River campaigns of the late 1860's. I would say that you and your teammates gave the arrogant opposition a "Captain Fetterman".
Kudos to you and your friends, albeit a bit late.
Red Badge is my favorite. Probably because it is the one I played first and I got have Richard Berg Kibbitzing and answering questions as I played Rob from Cali at one of the first Consimworld Expos. Wonder whatever happened to Rob..he came to two expos and then fell off the map...
I may be two years late but I want to add my thanks to Daniel Red Cloud Brown and his TSS story. Fabulous. That was the kind of game that brought people together and then drove them apart. My first experience with TSS involved a large staff with three commanders per side. And no talking between commanders. Orders were handwritten and left on strings hanging from the ceiling. Try and figure out what your senior commander or fellow officers wanted; that was the order of the day! Then the kibbitzing began. I remember that from my days on Staten Island and TSS was often played at the Metropolitan Wargamers Club in Brooklyn. Those were serious fellows and their loft space was an excellent venue. Yes, the 80's. Heyday of gaming?
The beat goes on with TSS replaced by 3dog and I'm still playing it with two other diehards. It gets my vote in this series.
I've tested and competitivily played them all from TSS 1976, Kernstown and right on through to both Gringo games and Austerlitz. End result, I'll play any one of them anytime and almost anywhere,(location restriction). There all GREAT. I just wish they would work on a multi map like GMT's Eastern Front Series,(Barbarossia). Maybe the Peninsula Campaign 1862 or Fredericksburg/Chancellorville 1863. regimental scale of course
thomas acw nut
Yes, it's hard to characterize the best game in the series as there are so many good ones. I do wish for smaller games on the GRINGO model--and the idea of bringing back some of the older titles like PEA RIDGE and CEDAR MOUNTAIN and reworking them into the new system would be fantastic. Those games are great training venues for the larger efforts and hold a lot of interest on their own.