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Rebel Tide: The U.S. Civil War, 1861-65 is a two-player strategic level game that places you in command of either the USA (Union) or CSA (Confederacy) during the Civil War. Each turn consists of a year, during which multiple card plays occur. These give the players movement, combats, entrenchments, and other actions. At the end of each year, players must make critical decisions on which cards to re-buy in an attempt to win the war outright or to win by placing the other side in a disadvantageous position by 1918. Rebel Tide is based on the popular, action-packed Imperial Tide/Pacific Tide game system by Gregory M. Smith, with many combat and strategic decisions to challenge players in just a single evening’s game.
The core of the game is the unique card re-buy system, in which players take their annual production (adjusted for blockades and blockade runners) and decide which cards they need for the upcoming year. Cards not only provide for reinforcements, but allow for movement, combat, and entrenchment. Which cards to rebuy is without question one of the key decisions the player must make to prepare for next year’s operations.
The game has infantry units for all of the major participants, cavalry, and artillery units. Naval operations are mainly abstracted, although the Confederate player must worry about Farragut invading a port from the sea.
Besides the focus on card play, the game features a small footprint (one standard map) and also is designed to be played in just a single evening – estimated at 3 hours for experienced players to fight the entire war.
One new mechanic in Rebel Tide is the Political Track, which is an abstract measure of the support of England and/or France to the Confederacy. If this track reaches the maximum early in the war, it can trigger an early CSA victory.
Another new key mechanic in the game system is the addition of historical Leaders, who range in ability from excellent (5) to poor (2). Bad leaders may be “sacked” and removed from the game and randomly replaced by the expenditure of a movement action. Leaders are vital in advancing after combat and also can add strength to an attack’s total combat power.
A continued mechanic that was very successful in Imperial Tide is the use of Resource Points. Each nationality has a set amount, and there is an option to buy an extra point each year. Although mainly intended to replace infantry strength, they are extremely flexible in that they can be used in limited amounts for movement and combat operations. They can be thought of as a sort of “operational reserve” and should be used judiciously by players.
This game is highly accessible to those familiar with Imperial Tide or Pacific Tide, both designed by Gregory M. Smith. The game system lends itself very well to capturing the bloody and numerous battles of the U.S. Civil War. While Rebel Tide is designed as a two-player gaming experience, an additional option for solitaire play is provided with the inclusion of a Solitaire Bot. This “bot” creates action priorities for the non-human player, and has the advantage of being simple enough to implement without spending an inordinate amount of time as the non-player.
|Casa Editrice||COMPASS GAMES|
|Numero giocatori||1 - 2|
|Età Consigliata||16 +|
|Durata||180 - 240 min.|