Featured Book Reviewer
- Feb 23, 2013
- East Texas
I had originally planned to save this one for a little nearer to Christmas, which is when I first received this as a present from my mother in 1959 and first played it with my friend from junior high school (modern so-called middle school to you whippersnappers!) Mike @mkyzzzrdet . Since posting my recent thread on the Avalon-Hill Company's companion game Civil War https://civilwartalk.com/threads/civil-war-avalon-hills-1961-game.175983/ many of you have responded with at least some degree of familiarity with this one as well, so I thought it was the right time to feature it now. But first a word about this particular title in Avalon-Hill's catalog:
No doubt although some of you still remember Avalon-Hill's Gettysburg, it may not be this particular original version! Note that on the box lid it states in tiny blue print, AVALON-HILL'S TRADE-MARK NAME FOR ITS GETTYSBURG BATTLE GAME COPYRIGHT 1958. Having actually gone so far as to copyright the name Gettysburg, later editions of the game could scarcely afford to abandon the familiar name for the battle; that's the reason subsequent wargames were forced into production with such titles as SPI's Cemetery Ridge or Terrible Swift Sword. (It may indeed have been terrible but it was scarcely swift!) So when, after only a very few years, A-H decided to revise their game, almost everything about it may have changed, including the rules, mapboard, game pieces, and box art, it was still A-H Gettysburg.
THIS was Gettysburg in all its glory as I remember it, although no actual game would EVER have looked like this simulation of Pickett's Charge I have set up: Losses would've prevented so complete a showing at this stage of the
Notice they can be faced in any direction the player chooses; unit strengths are relative to the number printed on them and can be increased if the unit happens to be sitting on a hill or ridge. (Woods and streams have no effect on play) Movement along a road can increase the distance a unit can travel. After enough games with Mike I have the mapboard engraved in my memory; however, I now realize the various terrain maps of Gettysburg themselves vary, and have no idea which one or ones this map is based on - maybe some of our resident experts like @pamc153PA @rpkennedy @Gettysburg Guide #154 or others can say? (Note that, for example, for some reason the Peach Orchard isn't on a hill!) Below is the mapboard denuded of all but the pieces at the opening of the game, 10 pm June 30, 1863: Gamble and Devin's brigades of Buford's Union cavalry division plus four outposts; and Henry Heth's Confederate Division - which of course was neither this close to town nor all present until the following morning. The Union player always moves first and each turn is considered an hour of real time - the game can conceivably last until the morning of July 7, including a day-and-a-half of rain and mud!
Reinforcements for each side arrive by the above schedules; below are examples of rules and situations that may result.