Sunday, 24 January 2016

SHILOH : APRIL 1862.

Shiloh cover art.

For me January tends to be a quite month on the gaming front. I have however managed to get a learning play through of "Shiloh" with fellow grognard Al. As you can see from the photo above the box art by Don Troiani, a painter well known for his highly accurate historical and military paintings mostly from the American Civil War and American Revolution, is wonderful. The image depicts the moment Confederate Commander Albert Sidney Johnston rallied his troops for an attack on a Union position near the "Peach Orchard". Johnson was killed at the battle of Shiloh. It is probable that a Confederate soldier fired the fatal round, General Johnston was the highest ranking fatality of the war, 

Game components

This game depicts the American Civil War battle of Shiloh. It is named after a religious meeting house located on the site of the battle. Ironically "Shiloh" is a Hebrew word meaning peace.  The game comes with a light card map, two army set-up player aids, blue and gray blocks, rules and four dice. I also printed out and laminated player aids and a battle map (below). The rules are light, only eight pages long. If you have played a Columbia Games block war-game before then you will be familiar with the usual concepts of hidden movement and ABC combat system.

Battle map player aid.

This game has received mixed reviews. It is recommended that a number of house rules are added to improve play, in particular the inclusion of simultaneous combat after the first round. Following our introductory play through it is evident that positioning and terrain are vital. The time factor also adds the impetuous for Johnny Red to drive hard against the union positions as the clock is ticking and Northern reinforcements are on the way.

In researching a little about the battle, I came across the excellent "The Civil War" podcast. The podcast creators, Colorado couple Rich and Tracy are undertaking the epic task of detailing chronologically the conflict, covering most of its key events and individuals. Well worth a listen.
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