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Aaron N. Tubbs

Dragon chaser.

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Cracked open and played my limited edition (signed, even) Waterloo Wednesday. A lot of war games have complicated rules, but these rules are straightforward, streamlined, and in the interest of creating realism. Wallace chose to make a game that has no particular desire to be realistic, yet still has an absurd number of special rules and exceptions.

But, what I really realized, is that as lovely as giant wooden cavalry are, wargames use chits with unit specs on them for a reason. I’d prefer to play this game with some cheap ASL chits to the wooden figures just for this reason. Memorizing what each color and shape combination means or constantly looking up its modifiers in a CRT with a shift chart is a pain in the ass.

Wallace did include a rather clever rule with the hidden action round selection mechanism; I don’t know if this is the first time it was used, but it’s the first time I’ve seen it, and I think it’s a work of art for a war game. Otherwise, I think the system is way too fiddly and disconnected. It’s visually very satisfying but not built for playing. With more special rules and exceptions than Brass, this is one for the shelves, and not the table. A quick skim of the successor, Gettysburg, tells me that it’s unlikely to ever hit the table either.