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Most of the SPI Games website keys off the game. But what if you are looking for tips to play the games better? These are the articles I have found that address specific tactics within a game. 

Some are specific to a game, but realize many of these points are transferable to other games. Clearly, the first articles are all about the old  standard move Fight games, and most of the tips revolve around games with a ridged / sticky Zone of Control. Well, there are a LOT of those games out there!

Further down, we see Tactical tips for Armor, using military doctrine of the time - but much of that translates well to other ranged fire armor games.

And below that, we get to TSS/GBACW - but realize many of the points could be used in any game with leaders and porous Zones of Control / Facing. And there are a WHOLE LOT of those after TSS showed us the way!

I hope you will enjoy these. (Also don't overlook the Replay pages and the Video pages, listed on the main menu. Many of these feature easy-to-see strategic choices with these games.) 


Tips on Better Play  
Basic Tactics

Tactics of the Advance

Formation Tactics

Broad Front Strategy

Defense / Offense Strategy
Frederick Georgian provides four articles - with lots of pictures - to teach basic tactics in simulation games.  He uses Blue & Gray and the Napoleon at War Quads for examples. In doing so, he shows players tactics developed from the cold reading of the rules - a concept all players need.

Thus in the early article on Basic Tactics, you will see the use of Artillery bombardment to create a diversionary attack, meeting the Zone of Control requirement for attacking adjacent units. You'll see how that will allow cutting off retreats by staging your attacks; and the use of zones of control to impede an enemy who need to overcome your forces to reach a victory point hex guarded by your troops. 

But as you can see from the titles, these articles go on much further than that!

In the fifth article, Frederick moves from tactical play, to using game objectives to develop strategy. This of course is the difference between good players and great players.


Conservative Tactics Joe Angiolillo, a master gamer, explains how you can play effectively and still conserve your forces! It is a subtle, but important concept, and will go far in making you a much more competitive gamer!
Military Tactics P1

Military Tactics P2

Military Tactics P3
Thomas Pratuch reports for training duty to serve you three articles drawn from the Army Tactical manuals, and see how to translate that doctrine from reality to the simulation.

These three tactical articles use real life examples for simulation games, drawing on Pratuch's experiences.  The article is all about use of armor in the (then) modern day military, by a (then) serving soldier. The game he uses to demo tank tanks? Mech War 2.

Match Play Guide No other than Redmond Simonsen himself offers these insights on conducting match play in wargames!
Arnhem: Which Way? John Hertz gives us a look at a strategic choice for the German Turn 5 Reinforcements, with turn by turn pictures in Arnhem!
Battle for the Ardennes Quad  
Notes for Battles for the Ardennes A few 'Player Notes' for the Battles for the Ardennes Quad. These are courtesy of Paul Sheppard.
Battle of the Wilderness  
Notes on the Battle of the Wilderness Thoughts on the basic opening points of the Blue & Gray II Quad entry of Battle of the Wilderness. Paul Sheppard give insight to the particular problems of a successful campaign in the Wilderness battles!
Cedar Mountain  
Winning with the Union Project manager for GBACW, and developer of Cedar Mountain and Corinth, Eric Lee Smith gives us his evaluation of how to win with the Union in Cedar Mountain!
Strategic Considerations on Cedar Mountain A big problem for most gamers when new to a game - understanding what you are trying to achieve. Here is a look at the Cedar Mountain, from the GBACW system. By Russ Gifford
Tactical Considerations on Cedar Mountain Now - with the troops on the board, how do you make those strategic goals happen? That requires tactical expertise, which means, understanding the nuances of the rules. This is a look at the use of guns and LOS in Cedar Mountain, from the GBACW system. By Russ Gifford
Evaluating the Rules

Setting the Strategy

Making the Move

Considering Options

1. Considering the Exclusive Rules for Cedar Mountain.
2. Rules Determine Strategy
3. Making your Move - seeing command control in action.
4. Understanding LOS.

These tips use a visual approach - Lots of pictures. by Russ Gifford.

Open for Discussion: GBACW Tactics Below is a series of short tips and discussions of actual on-the-map tactics used by good players in the TSS / Great Battles of the American Civil War system. Many of the points may apply to any tactical level games, though, from the original TAC games to Prestags and on! 
Movement Strategies and Tactics in GBACW Tactical Maneuver in GBACW
Using Artillery Well in GBACW They are powerful weapons - but how do you use these guns wisely in GBACW?
Effective Cavalry Tactics for GBACW Perhaps the most challenging units to use well in the GBACW system!
Melee Mastery for GBACW Is melee a wise move in TSS/GBACW? Often it is the only move. How do you know the difference?
Leadership Lessons for GBACW Best practices using leaders in GBACW.
Pea Ridge  
The Union Left in Pea Ridge

A Visual Demo

So, what's YOUR plan for the Union left in Pea Ridge?  Russ Gifford and Greg Laubach have a lengthy discussion on the use of Bussey in what may be the best of the GBACW games.
Pea Ridge Strategies - the Big View Once Pea Ridge starts rolling, then what? Gifford and Laubach's discussion on how Pea Ridge develops offers a deeper review of the game.

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This site was last updated 12/13/23