A Visual Approch to Learning SPI's TSS/GBACW System











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Russ Gifford's TSS/GBACW discussion pages
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Joe Beard's SPI Analysis pages  Click here





 The Terrible Swift Sword  / Great Battles of the American Civil War is a great system. In use over 40 years, the original system still has its adherents, and I am one of them.

These visual tutorials can help you learn how to play all of these great original SPI games. Originally these were audio visual programs, but the basics are on the slides. Give these PDF versions a try as a quick start to learning the GBACW system!

These are free downloads of the PDF versions of the training videos for "Learning the Great Battles of the American Civil War." No audio or automation, but ... the notes are still solid.

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  Training Sessions -

bullet0. Introduction Link
Overview of the Great Battles series of games.
bullet1. Sequence of Play Link
Step-by-step discussion of Sequence of Play.

2. Units & Formations Link
Outlines the combat units (Infantry, Cavalry, Artillery) and their different formations.


3. Facing & Zones of Control Link
Explains facing for different units and formations, and their ZOCs.


4. Command & Leadership Link
Detailed review of the Leaders and the structure of command in the GBACW.


5. Movement Link
A look at movement, formations and terrain in TSS/GBACW.


6. Line of Sight Link
Terrain and sighting, plus a discussion of how heights work.


7. Fire Combat Link
Arms, ranges and the effects of facing, formation and terrain.


8. Melee Link
How it works, retreat before melee and the results.


9. Final Items Link
Leader replacement, ammo supply and other details.

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  Examples of Play, Using Cedar Mountain

bullet1. Cedar Mountain, Getting Started! Link              (Link to Flash Version here)
Step-by-step discussion of setting up Cedar Mountain. Exclusive Rules, Victory Conditions

2. Cedar Mountain, Examples of Play! Link           (Link to Flash Version here)
Examples of movement and Formations.


3. Cedar Mountain, Examples of Combat Link     (Link to Flash Version here)
Examples of Firepower and Weapon Types, Arty, and Melee.

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Other helpful GBACW tools - player aids, scenario cards, and more   Free GBACW Stuff!  

Discussions of GBACW rules and tactics  Tactics Menu Page

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This site was last updated 02/07/19