Our God Was My Shield is the first game in John Theissen's American Civil War Operational Series (ACWOS). This series of streamlined card-assisted operational sandboxes builds on Mr. Theissen's work in titles such as More Aggressive Attitudes, Objective Shreveport, and Hood's Last Gamble. Those games had slightly different and not entirely compatible rulesets - each one needed to be learned from scratch. But titles in the new ACWOS share a common core ruleset: learn one game, and you'll know how to play the rest of them. This ruleset is flexible enough to allow each game to have its own geographic and temporal scale and Combat Results Table, as well as special event cards unique to that campaign.
Specific units and their strengths are hidden from your opponent as you perform a tense dance of cat-and-mouse maneuvers. When you attack your opponent, there's always a chance they might slip away - or, they might be able to concentrate additional forces, turning what you thought would be an easy victory into a near-run thing, especially if your own forces fail to coordinate. Knowing when to attack and when to hold back, when to run and when to make a stand, are paramount, and as ever, subject to the fortunes of war.
The subject of our first title in this series is Jackson's famous 1862 Valley Campaign, which saw him eluding and harassing three Union armies through a combination of boldness and deception. It is perhaps an ideal subject with which to debut this system with its emphasis on maneuver, bluff, and nerve.
Game design: John Theissen
Map artist: Ilya Kudriashov
Hex number: 59
Duration: 180 minutes
Solitaire Suitability: High
Theme: American Civil War