Gary Grigsby’s World at War: Civil War Style

by Brett Schulte on November 15, 2005 · 3 comments

Gary Grigsby, one of the men most responsible for the excellent Steel Panthers series (I own a copy of every game) and lead developer of World at War, has been hard at work on an American Civil War version of World at War. In his developer’s journal at 2by3Games, Grigsby includes this appetizing little tidbit on the upcoming game:

American Civil War

Work has been ongoing on our Civil War game. We expect to be making a public announcement regarding this game before the end of this year and should have some screenshots to show at that time. The game has been playable for the past few months and we’d like to get it into outside beta testing before the end of the year. If things go well we’re shooting for it to be on sale before next summer. It uses a greatly modified World at War system. The biggest difference is the inclusion of leaders (over 1000 historical leaders are in the database). Units are attached to leaders, and those leaders must gain initiative in order to participate in offensive action. The game has monthly turns and the map consists of over 400 regions. The importance of cavalry for not only reconnaissance but also for disrupting enemy supply lines is addressed as well. Our goal with this game, similar to with World at War, is to create a game that covers the entire war, can be played quickly and without a steep learning curve, yet retains a very large measure of historical realism.

Thanks to Eddy Sterckx over at the comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.war-historical Usenet group for his usual diligence in digging up this type of information.

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{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Drew Wagenhoffer November 15, 2005 at 11:12 am

I would be excited about this game if it had hexes instead of area movement (which I can’t stand) and am definitely looking forward to Frank Hunter’s new Matrix version of his strategic ACW game…whenever work on it finally begins in earnest…

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JZ Temple November 16, 2005 at 6:36 am

Being an old SPI gamer, I am familiar with area movement gaming and it sparked a memory. Anyone remember the game 1812? SPI produced it in both hex and area versions in the same box. Very interesting idea.

I’ve tried World At War but it’s not my cup of tea, I prefer more operational and tactical levels of combat. However, if Grigsby can produce an ACW version I would be very interested to see the final result. The count of 400 regions sounds great, but monthly turns sounds a bit long. It would mean most ACW campaigns would be resolved in single turn or two.

Slightly off topic, but a little while ago I finished Coddington’s “The Gettysburg Campaign”. One thing that stuck in my mind was the way that movement all channeled along the road network. In my gamer’s eye I saw his maps not as hex grids but as a network of nodes. I can’t remember any games that used a node design for movement. Can anyone think of one? Area movement is somewhat like nodes, although it’s harder graphically to define that crossing from region A to region B is harder than from A to C.

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Drew Wagenhoffer November 16, 2005 at 12:30 pm

That is an interesting point and becomes more important in premodern eras where there are relatively few good roads over large areas. It would really only work for operational games, I would think, and not strategic.

Yes, there was a Waterloo Campaign game that used nodes connected by the road network for movement. The units were wooden blocks placed on end so the opponent couldn’t see them. Can’t remember the title or what company published it. I want to say it was an Avalon Hill game.

For computer games, Frank Hunter’s operational Napoleonic games, although they use hexes, really operate on the roads with the cities as nodes.

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