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In the fall of 1863 the Union Armies of the Tennessee and Cumberland moved south against Atlanta, only to be met by the Confederate Army of Tennessee and reinforcements sent from Virginia. The Rebels stopped the Northern advance, then laid siege to the Union supply center of Chattanooga. But in the "Battle Above the Clouds," the Yankees broke the siege.
Chickamauga & Chattanooga is a game based on these two hard-fought battles, and includes a combined campaign game. Units represent infantry divisions, cavalry regiments and artillery batteries. The game pieces come in two sizes. “Long” pieces are 1 and 1/3 inches long and 2/3 inches wide, a very large piece. These represent infantry brigades. Other pieces are squares 2/3-inch across each side. These represent cavalry regiments and artillery batteries. Units are rated for combat strength and morale, losing both as they take losses in combat.
Each battleground is recreated as a topographic map divided into irregular areas rather than the hexagons used in traditional board wargames. These are not chosen randomly, but rather conform to the lie of the land to channel movement the same way folds, rises and gullies do on an actual piece of ground.
A unit must fit in the area it occupies, in the direction it faces. If the area is too narrow for one of the large pieces, it’s not allowed to occupy the area, or at least not stay there and face the direction the player might like. Thus troops are placed along ridge lines, for example, not across them. Flanks become even more important; if you leave a unit “hanging” in a position where it can’t turn to defend itself fully against an approaching enemy because it can’t be placed in the area facing that direction, be prepared for serious losses.
Combat can take the form of assault, cavalry charge or bombardment. Each player rolls a number of dice equal to the total combat strength of his or her units involved. For each result of 6, one hit is achieved. For each hit suffered by a unit, it loses one “step,” or level of strength. But before it can make an attack or move, a unit must be activated. Better leaders are better able to activate their units more easily, giving them a significant edge.