Saturday, December 8, 2012

Guns of Gettysburg heads for a Kickstart

Evidently the long-awaited Guns of Gettysburg is going to be published by an outfit by the name of Mercury Games instead of under Bowen Simmons' own Simmons Games imprint and it's going to be financed via Kickstarter, probably in January or February.

This is good news for those of us waiting for the game, of course, although on a personal note, it implies that the health problems that have delayed Bowen Simmons from getting the game published (it's apparently been basically finished for more than a year) are not expected to get better any time soon.

Some people don't like the new cover, shown above, preferring the old one, at right. I don't have a strong opinion. I think the old one is a little more period evoking and classy, but it was really geared towards the existing fan base. Kickstarter means exposing the project to a larger audience that is unfamiliar with Simmons' groundbreaking earlier work with Bonaparte at Marengo and Napoleon's Triumph and therefore the cover will have to "sell" the game more than it did before.

On the other hand, I think this means that the initial print run for the game will be much larger than what we saw for BaM and NT.

The game, itself, is the sort of groundbreaking, paradigm shattering work we've come to expect from Simmons. The basic fact about Simmons is that unlike nearly every other wargame designer out there, he doesn't work off one of the existing wargame models, whether hex-based or area-based, whether CRT or bucket of dice, whether counters or figures, etc. He starts from first principles of terrain, order of battle and combat effects and designs a system from the ground up, as it were. So far this has resulted in a couple of elegant and outstanding games that are often pretty hard for the traditional hex-and-CRT-familiar wargamer to wrap his head around. Once you do, however, you're well rewarded. Both games really make you think as a player, intensely and deeply. Guns of Gettysburg looks to be much the same. Can't wait.

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