The SHOT & SHELL BATTLE SERIES recreates battles fought during the mid-nineteenth century at the brigade level. Each brigade is represented by an ID counter and several Step Counters so as to model the gradual attrition of combat strength over the course of a day's fighting. Divisions are Activated in alternating impulses, with each Activation (or Elimination) degrading its ability to activate and coordinate with your other Divisions. The game is of moderate complexity, with five kinds of combat and three kinds of Intrenchments, but play is quick and relatively streamlined.
The first game in the series, Seven Pines or Fair Oaks recreates the actions fought on May 31 and June 1 of 1862 during the American Civil War. A complex Confederate battle plan hatched by Joseph E. Johnston that called for coordinated flank attacks devolved into an unsupported frontal assault, resulting in the largest battle of the war up until that time, and one of the bloodiest. Beyond the historical scenario, there are scenarios which allow players to explore the feasibility of Johnston's actual plan, as well as what might have resulted had he been opposed by a more aggressive Union general than George B. McClellan.
There are special rules for crossing a swollen river over a soon-to-be-collapsed bridge, the strange case of General Casey's Division (whose conduct was either heroic or disgraceful, depending on who you were talking to), and the command confusion that beset both sides. But at its heart, it is a simple and straightforward game that provides an excellent opportunity to explore this exciting new system.
Game design: Tom Russell
Map artist: Ilya Kudriashov
Hex number: 17
Duration: 60-120 minutes
Solitaire Suitability: High
Shot & Shell Battle Series: 1
Base postage cost: £5.00
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