Reinventing the wargame ...
In 1982, while visiting Saratoga National Battlefield, I found
myself at the famous "boot" monument. This nameless,
tombstone-sized, granite marker is embossed with a bullet riddled
boot and is dedicated to, "The most gallant soldier of the
Revolution." The honor being paid is to Benedict Arnold.
I had adopted the revisionist view of Arnold's contribution to
Independence long before it became chic. Had he died at Saratoga
he would have become immortalized, second only to Washington,
as many scholars now concede. It was a gray, late autumn day.
Only the ghosts were around to witness the
pledge I made. I would find a way to share what I knew of Arnold's
In 1994, I sized up the climate of the market this way. Our
hobby is deficient in Rev. War titles. Those who enjoy pre-mechanized
linear combat might be ready for an alternative to the glut of
Civil War and Napoleonics options. Saratoga, specifically, has
been woefully underrepresented considering its stature as one
of the 12 most decisive battles of Western
History. Furthermore, the year 2001 will mark the 225th anniversary
of Independence. I forecast that after the millenium, there will
be a renewal of interest in our heritage as we approach that
milestone. One year later I took a prototype to Avaloncon where
Andy Lewis took the time to play several turns. He came away
not only impressed, but also convinced the game met
several of GMT's criteria for new game submissions. Gene Billingsly
also saw merit in the project and thus was born the GMT Rev.
Game features include Initiative, Momentum, and Diversion.
Initiative governs player order. One never knows when either
player may get a back to back turn. Momentum allows players to
re-roll adverse close combat die rolls or possibly effect player
order. Diversion enables players to avoid the fictional "soak
off" which hampers many game systems.
In addition to the accumulation of modifiers for terrain,
leadership, and morale, the players have a set of eight tactics
from which to choose. Four of them can be used at anytime. The
more sophisticated options require the presence of leadership.
The non-sanguine CRT faithfully recreates Revolutionary War
combat where demorilization and capture were more frequent than
overwhelming casualties. This is accomplished without sacrificing
the tensions and anxieties of a tight combat system. Leader casualties
and pinned results are possible, while fire combat is handled
on a separate results table.
The whole package is wrapped around the Army Morale Track
which measures the tenacity and will to fight of the opposing
forces. This is the heart and soul of the game system. Where
you are on the sliding scale, (High Morale, Fatigued, Wavering,
or Demorilized), impacts upon the morale of your individual units,
as well as on your ability to influence Initiative. Sleek
and subtle, it has rightfully been called a game within a game.
... designer Mark Miklos