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 Post subject: FOF vs WBTS
PostPosted: Tue Jul 12, 2011 12:35 pm 
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Joined: Sun Jun 19, 2011 8:26 pm
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Location: Caroline, VA
Does anyone own both games? I own FOF, HPS, AGEOD,and others and I'm considering WBTS. There is no demo so I was wondering how in depth is the strategy in the game, is it more in depth than FOF? I like games with a plethora of options and choices. Reviews go both ways some say it is less in depth than FOF some say more. I believe the combat is similair to AGEOD but if not please correct me. Comparisons between this game and others (particularly FOF) would be most welcome.

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Gen. Dane Rosell
AOG 3/3/II


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 Post subject: Re: FOF vs WBTS
PostPosted: Tue Jul 12, 2011 6:56 pm 
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Dane,

I personally like FoF. Been playing it for a little while now. I have not played WBTS in a while, but will install it this weekend and give you my thoughts.

FoF is like Crown of Glory in many ways and has a rich aspect to it I feel. There is diplomacy side that is somewhat basic, but the British, French & other European Powers as they are defined can enter the war on the CSA's side if they get enough favor.

There is a very rich economic model, as you have a bunch of basic resources you use to build your units & build up your cities. There are about 20-25 different types of buildings you can build in your cities that lend to a variety of aspects for the war effort. Some for supplying resources, some of tech & some for building units. The CSA also has blockade runners that can go into the Atlantic and get supplies in different parts throughout the game and of course the US needs to build up the navy to blockade.

There are also "firearms" that are built, certain buildings in cities help produce them and they are used in conjunction with the other good to equip your armies with various historic weapons for the infantry, cavalry, artillery & navy. There are also many historic units that appear throughout the game.

There is railroad movement, via railroad points, the more rail you build, the more movement that can go on.

The leaders aspect is very rich. Starts off with a whole host of historical leaders and they have direct impact on your men's performance. You can use historical traits for them, or you can randomize them. You can also promote & demote them from brigadier general to four and sometimes 5 star generals. The higher the rank, only a handful of men can be those ranks. When you promote & demote it has an impact on how a governor of a state feels about you. (Get to that in a second). It is always good as the Yanks to demote McClellan from 4 star to 2 and promote Grant at the beginning of the war, but usually Mac will quit. When they quit, they are removed from the game. They can be killed or wounded in battle too. They can train the quality of your units. Units also gather certain traits, like good foragers, swamp runners et al that have various helpful benefits for them. More leaders appear as the game goes on.

The governors aspect is your support network. It is costly to build units outright, especially early off, so in the states, you can call for a volunteer muster, impress (force) men into service and/or impress goods & supplies. There is also a ratio of how successful it would be with a chance of unrest in that region. Also you should do it in a state that a governor supports it, otherwise you could have big issues. Governors will go into elections every once in a while. First couple turns there is one. They will have a support factor for you. Not everyone will like you. Also they will from time to time make requests for certain buildings to be built in a city in their state, this improves relations when you build them. They can also support certain industries that will yield more production & manpower. This will randomly change in the course of the game.

The CSA also has a whole host of forts across it and the Union has to besiege them. Forts can be besieged. The states are broken into regions and some regions have cities in them where you do your main work. Every state has at least 1, most have multiple. There are control aspects to the regions that affect what you can do with them. You don't own a regons right away after capturing it. It has to be subdued over time.

Combat can be instant, quick level or detailed. Combat will take a heavy toll and networks to supply fresh recruits via camps & hospitals to get the wounded back to the war will be sparse in the beginning and you can go quite a few turns without action as your armies lick their wounds, much like the actual war.

Turns are on I think a weekly or monthly basis, can't recall, but there is a lot to do each turn.

There is a supply, attrition aspect and all sorts of other aspects. The optional rules are very rich when you setup the game and you can choose any setting you want.

The south can create raiders & partisans that can harass Union armies and do damage behind the lines.

PBEM is a breeze, creates a file for every turn with turn numbers. Results from the turn are posted in an events read out.

There are a few other things I think I am missing. But the game is a good strategic game to get into, without a huge, huge burden on micromanaging…..I’ve been playing a yank for a little while now in it.

Either which way we need to grow the number of players that play either of these games. I think they are a lot of fun, especially FoF and everyone should consider the games!

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General Scott Ludwig
Commanding Officer & Chief of the Armies (CoA) of the Confederate States of America (CSA)

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 Post subject: Re: FOF vs WBTS
PostPosted: Wed Jul 13, 2011 8:55 am 
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Location: USA
AGEOD's ACW is probably the most detail and complete strategic simulation. It isn't difficult to play but is very difficult to master. Part of the problem is no central documentation. The manuals that come with it tell you how to play the game but don't give you enough insight in the internal mechanics of the game to make some of the decisions needed. A lot of information is available but it is scattered throughout their forums.

It's been a while since I played these but here is my general impression of the three primary strategic games:

AGEOD's is the most detail, comprehensive and complex.

Forge of Freedom is the next in complexity but is significantly simpler than AGEOD's. Also has an interesting tactical game for solitare play which I understand they are trying to issue separately as standalone game.

Grisby's War Between the States is the simplist of the three. Good quicky strategic game.

For a little more information go to:
http://www.wargame.ch/wc/acw/sub/vmi/CSA_War_College/Default.htm
The Strategic section in Shared has some more information.

AGEOD's game is the one I play and have a better understanding of.

The reason I said it is difficult to master is that key information for comparing choices are buried deep in the system. You can figure it out by playing the game a lot but it is difficult sometimes to determine cause and effect in a game with so many choices. For example, deciding whether to make siege guns. You know they have an effect on siege operations but you have no idea whether it is worth the higher cost of the guns. There are people on their forums who have analyzed the weapon factors but you have to search for them. Meanwhile you usually take the lasy course and build the cheaper weapons rather than worry about whether the 20lb Parrott is a better investment of resources than the 10lb.

The one thing that makes AGEOD's game shine over the others is a very detail supply system. It is the only game that you can stop an overwhelming army from advancing by striking at its logistics tail. The resource production end is for the most part hidden. The various regions you control product war, food and manpower supplies. These are available threw the supply net which consists of the rails, roads and water ways. The armies act as sinks for these supplies drawing on them through the supply net. You can enhance the net by putting supply wagons with the armies and building depots along the net. These act as sinks that will attract supplies. It's a push/pull system where the military units are pulling supplies they need and regions are pushing it out on the net. Many things affect this movement of supplies including the distance the supplies have to travel, the number of paths available, the status of the regions pass threw (whether they like you), the spacing of depots, the number of wagons with your force, etc.

The result of this is the Union player has to plan his operations based on how large a force he can maintain in the field and he must garrison his lines of communication to keep that force in the field. The Rebel player has alternative strategies. He can resist the enemy force and/or he can strike at his supply tail. Sherman's march to the sea is extremely risky if their are still significant Rebel forces to stop him.

AGEOD also makes a good multiplayer game since it's a simultaneous execution turn game. This has the drawback of only one player gets to see the full execution of the game, the others only can see a limited replay, but it allows the game to move pretty quickly because both sides can prepare their orders at the same time. One side's player is the host and is the one that actually executes the turn. He then sends everyone a copy of the turn so they can prepare their orders and look at the replay. Here it works like other multiplayer in that each side circulates the orders file to that sides players. Each adding their forces orders to it and passing it on. When both sides orders files are completed they are returned to the host player to execute.

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General Kennon Whitehead
Chatham Grays
AoT II/1/3 (CSA)


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 Post subject: Re: FOF vs WBTS
PostPosted: Thu Jul 14, 2011 3:26 pm 
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Joined: Sun Jun 19, 2011 8:26 pm
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Location: Caroline, VA
Thank you both for the great reviews ! They both are great reading for anyone considering purchasing the games.

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Gen. Dane Rosell
AOG 3/3/II


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 Post subject: Re: FOF vs WBTS
PostPosted: Mon Dec 05, 2011 12:03 pm 
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I would say that WBTS is an excellent game and very much a fun flowing experience that captures the falour of the civil war fairly well. It does suffer a bit due to its small map scale, meaning its regions are quite big geographically yet easy to hold with a few brigades so it does limit the moevement that occured in reality in the early war particularly in the eastern theatre.

You will find it broadly captures all the key problems of the civil war, the Union struggling to politically find the will and Generals to fight a long war and the South struggling for resources.

Some of the concepts in the game take a while to understand (such as reaction moves, troop commitment and leader initiative) but once you understand these you'll find it good fun.

It's not perfect as no game is and could really do with some improvements to ampibious landings, map scale and command structure (armies and brigades are represented but corps and divisions are sort of merged into one concept) and also could do with more scenarios and "what if" options (it lacks any european intervention).

I don't have FOF yet and only just got AACW. Latter looks quite complex and harder to follow but much more options and better command structure. When I get into better I'll be able to compare the two.

If any AACW owners want to give me a tutorial PBEM then get in touch

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Lt Jon Moore
United States Volunteers
Army of the Tennessee
4th Brigade, 1st Division, XVI Corps
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