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Cruel Morning: Shiloh 1862 by Tiny Battle publishing  The Battle of Shiloh is considered by most to be the turn...

Cruel Morning: Shiloh 1862 by Tiny Battle Publishing Cruel Morning: Shiloh 1862 by Tiny Battle Publishing

Cruel Morning: Shiloh 1862 by Tiny Battle Publishing

Cruel Morning: Shiloh 1862 by Tiny Battle Publishing

Cruel Morning: Shiloh 1862


Tiny Battle publishing

 The Battle of Shiloh is considered by most to be the turning point of the war. Up until that time there had been battles, but this was the first one with a horrific casualty list. To add to the frightfulness was the fact that it really didn't affect the situation at all. True, it was a tactical win for the Union, but because of it the Union almost lost Grant (and Sherman). It was a blood bath that had no real conclusion, except that Americans were now really at war, and the bloodshed was only going to mount. Tiny Battle Publishing has been making a few Civil War games lately. I recently reviewed their 'The Devil's to Pay' about the first day of Gettysburg. That one was designed by Hermann Luttmann, one of my newest favorite designers. This game was designed by Sean Chick who I also like, and whom I have a fair amount of games from. So let us see if Tiny Battle Publishing can pull off another smaller or better coup. This is a blurb from Tiny Battle Publishing:

"Rally 'Round the Flag! is a brigade grand tactical system that combines old school hex and counter maneuvers with rules for command and control, leader personalities, and a CRT that favors quality and firepower over raw mass. For Shiloh the series will feature rules for the 47th Tennessee, Lew Wallace’s variable arrival, and Union gunboats among other things. The game comes with multiple scenarios, including a better Confederate attack plan, the battle starting on April 5, and the second day of battle. In addition, rules are included to modify each scenario with a variable arrival for Don Carlos Buell’s Army of the Ohio and part of the Fort Donelson garrison escaping and taking part in the battle. For those wanted to be even more adventurous, units are included from Earl Van Dorn’s Army of the West, and the brigades involved in the siege of Island No. 10."

 This is what comes with the game:

One beautiful 11"x17" paper map
One two-sided 8 1/2"x11" Player Aid Card
One single-sided turn and point tracking card with Random Events Table
One full-color 24-page rule book
121 two sided unit counters
Two Command Point markers
Two Victory Point markers
Ten Out of Command markers

One Game Turn marker 

 So you can see that for $22 you really do get a lot of gaming in a small package.

 The map is small, but entirely adequate for the job. The terrain features for each hex are easy to discern. Shiloh, like some other battles, was actually fought in a very small area so there is really no need for a larger map. The counters are large and very easy to read the information needed off them. The Rulebook is in black and white, and the rules themselves are only nine pages long. The other pages are filled up with four scenarios. To add to the replayability the designer has added eleven different options for the player to choose from for each new game. Some of these favor the Union and some the Confederates. These are the scenarios:

Historical Battle
Better Confederate Plan
Attack on April 5th
Day 2: April 7, 1862


Fort Donelson Division
Earl Van Dorn Crosses the Mississippi River
Island No. 10
Confederate Flanking Forces
Pittsburg Landing: Headquarters Army of the Tennessee
Henry Halleck in Command
Charles F. Smith in Command
Nelson Arrives
Lew Wallace Takes the River Road
Don Carlos Buell at Crump's Landing
Army of the Ohio and the Transports

 These help or hinder each side as far as the Victory Points etc.

 The Sequence of Play is:

Initiative Phase
Random Events Phase (if triggered during initiative)
Artillery Bombardment Phase
 First Player Phases
Activation Phase
Movement Phase
Combat Phase
 Second Player Phases same as First Player
Recovery Phase
Victory Phase

 The Units also have their quality listed as one through 5.

1: Green
2: Trained
3: Experienced
4: Veteran
5: Elite

 There are also Optional Brigadier Personality Rules. Each leader has his personality listed as:

(A) Aggressive: Brigade must be moved toward the nearest enemy; if equidistant the acting player chooses.
(C) Cautious: Brigade must move away from enemy and cannot enter an Enemy Zone of Control during movement.
(P) Prudent: Brigade cannot move.
(W) Wild card: No restrictions.

 The above effect play only when results of 2,3, or 10 are rolled on the Random Events table.

 Speaking of the Random Events table, it is exceedingly brutal at times and a complete game changer. If during the Initiative Phase the die rolls are a tie, the Random Events table is looked at. On a die roll of 1-3 it is a Confederate Event, and on a die roll of 4-6 it is a Union one. We will look at #2 as an example:

2. Grand Blunder: On a 1-5, move 1 enemy corps as if it were under your control. On a 6 you command that enemy corps in the following turn as well.

 The game functions on Command Points. Each Player is given a set amount of Command Points per the scenario rules. At the beginning of the Activation Phase the Acting Player rolls a die to see if they receive extra command Points.

 This is a great little game that has plenty of 'big game' glitz and rules. The amount of scenarios and options to play are really amazing for the price. A lot of work was put into the game by the designer. There is nothing wrong with small games, but you almost wish the ruleset was used in a full sized game of Shiloh. Thank you Tiny Battle Publishing for letting me review this small wonder.

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