Updated 041103
  1. TITLE: Terrible Swift Sword
  2. PUBLISHER: Simulation Publications Incorporated (SPI); A 2nd edition was published by TSR in the post SPI era.
  3. SCOPE: The Three Days of Gettysburg
  4. RULEBOOK VERBAGE: TERRIBLE SWIFT SWORD is a grand tactical, regimental simulation of the Battle of Gettysburg, July 1-3, 1863. The game enables the Players to recreate the encounter between Robert E. Lee's Army of North Virginia and George Meade's Army of the Potomac.
  6. YEAR PUBLISHED (EDITIONS): 1979. Only one published edition by SPI. Published errata SPI from the SPI edition was taken from on Web Grognards. The second edition applied more colorful graphic <divisional units are color coded> and likely incorporated the 1st edition errata. However it too has its errata TSR.
    • Game System & Development: Richard H. Berg
    • Physical Systems and Graphics: Redmond Simonsen
    • Playtesters (Union): Marty Goldberg, Oktay Oztunali, Eric Goldberg
    • Playtesters (Confederates): Dave Robertson, Mark Burden, Rick Umbaugh
    • Acknowledgements: Tom Eller, Steve Peek, Joe Seliga
    • Graphic Production: Manfred F. Milkuhn, Linda Mosca, Larry Catalano, Kevin Zucker.
  8. NUMBER OF PLAYERS: 2+ (multiplayer teams)
  10. TYPICAL PLAYING TIME (HOURS): Scenarios include The First Day, The Second Day, Battle for Little Round Top <6 turns>, The Third Day (Pickett's Charge), and the Grand Battle Game: The Three Days of Gettysburg <149 turns, approximated at 50 hours>.
  11. MAP SCALE: 120 yards per hex.
  12. UNIT SCALE: Regiments, gun batteries, leaders.
  13. TIME SCALE PER TURN: 20 minute day turns, 1 hour night turns.
  14. NUMBER OF GAME TURNS: The First Day<29>, The Second Day<40>, Battle for Little Round Top <6 turns>, The Third Day (Pickett's Charge)<21>, and the Grand Battle Game: The Three Days of Gettysburg <149 turns>.
  16. GAME INVENTORY: 2000 counters (two combat unit counter sheets, three identical marker counter sheets), one 32 page rules booklet, one historical situation briefing booklet, three unmounted 22" x 32" game maps, one die.
  17. WBC & AVALONCON HISTORY: Not Applicable
    • No Java application VASSAL module at this time.
  19. PBEM OPPORTUNITES: Contact Wargame Academy if interested. A Group effort would be required to create a VASSAL module.
  20. WARGAME ACADEMY COMMENTS: As Gettysburg is the dominant Civil war battle represented by numerous computer game simulation, TSS can be considered the patriarch. I have been involved in two team TSS games (1st edition) and found the game simple enough for high playability yet with lots of room for maneuver and player strategy. It is well suited for team format due to relative low unit density, segregation and arrival of units in distinct Corps, and ability to battle on different map section simultaneously to speed up play. In this format it is easy to assimilate new boardgamers into the hobby as inexperienced decisions are not catastrophic to the group effort and newbies can apply common sense without need to know nuances common to other simulations. Team play also brings out personality friction within a team which is likely realistic as well. When communicating by delayed brief written orders from the team commander, this only further simulates warfare in this period. Given the volume of articles in a variety of publications, TSS was well received and played by a wide spectrum of gamers. Relative to modern Civil War titles (i.e. For the People, etc), TSS stands out as a highly playable game, low on the complexity scale, and its rulebook is the patriarch of Bloody April and the Great American Civil War series.
  21. WARGAME ACADEMY GAME TOOLS: Java module planned as this is the civil war title which has my greatest interest. (Note, the VASSAL module for the Great American Civil War series is complete).
  22. ACCOLADES: 1976 Charles Roberts Award Best Tactical Game winner. 1976 Charles Roberts Award Best Graphics and Physical Systems nominee.

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