By Fred Manzo:
AAC is a variant of the “Blind Swords” system that uses brigades as its maneuver element. Similar games include White Dogs’, “Duel of Eagles II“, and, of course, Revolution Games’ “Stonewall’s Sword: the Battle of Cedar Mountain” and “Thunder in the Ozarks: The Battle of Pea Ridge” and its upcoming “Longstreet Attacks: the Second Day at Gettysburg.”
This game depicts the Metz campaign of the Franco – Prussian War, which always reminds me a bit of the Vicksburg Campaign in the US Civil War in that both defending commanders, French Marshall Bazaine and CSA general Pemberton, were given conflicting orders that placed them in impossible positions.
In the Franco-Prussian war, Bazaine was told by Napoleon III to get to the safety of Verdun but under no circumstances risk the army. But getting to Verdun was itself risky. Of course, staying in Metz was also risky. In the US Civil War, the Confederate general Pemberton was told to save the army, but make sure Vicksburg was not captured. Well, the only way to save the army was to abandon Vicksburg, and the only way to make sure Vicksburg wasn’t captured was to let himself be besieged there. See the problem?
The game also reminds me of the Eastern Front during World War II, in that in both one army (the Prussians in AAC and the Germans in WWII), consisted of a few high-quality units, while the other was made up of a large number of slow-moving and average (or below average) formations.
As I’m a big fan of both East Front games and US Civil War games, this combination was irresistible.
(For the record, Hermann Luttmann is its designer and I’m its developer.)
At Any Cost: Metz 1870 GMT home page