Rating: 10
Plays fast, exciting, well executed design. We are having so much fun playing the game, can't wait to get to Prezcon in 2014 to play this and GBoC!
Rating: 9
You'd think that Shiloh would be a situation that easily lends itself to gaming. However, no game on the subject is a classic, and while Columbia's take might be the best, it still falls short, because while it is a damn good game, it is a questionable simulation. Gladden is given the wrong Corps, the historic deployments are impossible, and some of the brigade battle ratings have me scratching my head. Bowen fought well at Shiloh and his unit was well armed but here they are a mere C1. The system is effective and reliable, but without some tweaking, the history is shaky. That being said, I give this a 9 for gamplay and being the most fun of all the Shiloh simulations. It is a blast to play.
Rating: 9
Das beste Block-Game zu einer einzelnen Schlacht des Amerikanischen Bürgerkrieges. Wertung eigentlich 8,5.
Rating: 9
Preorder version with the mounted mapboard.
Rating: 9
Columbia Games; Tactical area game using simple but effective command point system.
Rating: 9
This had been sitting on my shelf for ages - it got some lukewarm reviews when it first came out, so it took a while to get on the table. But once I got to play it, I thought it was pretty good! The Confederates are strong early and going to do some pounding for most of the first day, but it's not a cakewalk and the Union has more than enough firepower to give them a bloody nose. The Union is a bit hamstrung by their awkward command, as they are in all the games in this series, but they have good units, several very strong divisions, and enough of a numerical advantage to give the Confederates a lot of problems if they don't win on day 1. I don't know if it has a huge amount of replayability, but I quite enjoyed it and look forward to playing it some more.
Rating: 8
My father took me to tour the Shiloh battlefield when I was a young boy. This brings back a lot of memories ....and recreates the battle quite well.
Rating: 8
Enjoyed my first play. Lots of opportunities for both players to attack and counter, and fun to compare yourself to the historical result. I am a bit surprised that no cards were used, that small deck with a few events adds entertainment value.

After two more plays it does appear the Union has the advantage. Terrain restrictions don't favor the attacker. One possible small change is to allow fords to trump over ravines for movement (just like they do for rivers). That would aid the Confederates.
Rating: 8
Das beste Block-Game zu einer einzelnen Schlacht des Amerikanischen Bürgerkrieges. Wertung eigentlich 8,5.
Rating: 8
A good, solid game that plays well, plays fast and is capable of a great amount of tension. One of Columbia Games rules light publications which provides a very confrontational situation as it's meant to.

I find the caveat is the Confederate must deploy thoughtfully initially and must be aggressive immediately, or risk losing the battle on Turn 1.

Whilst it games well, I find two things missing historically and thematically. 1) The surprise factor for the Union, as the defender always gets first fire in the A/B/C system. 2) The chaos that Shiloh actually represented - the game is "too organised" in that I know when and where reinforecments will arrive.

A solid 8 from me however.
Walt Mulder
Rating: 8
Nice mounted board. Game changed to area movement rather than hexes. More like HotS than the previous Gettysburg. Probably a good choice given the high amount of wooded terrain in this battle.
Rating: 8
Solos better than the other Columbia games. With two players: not as accessible as Hammer of the Scots, but my wife likes it a little better because you can't get screwed by a crappy hand of cards like in Hammer.
ric manns
Rating: 8
I liked this version of the system. Shiloh rewards the player that uses the tactics and strategy of the Civil War most efficiently.
capt yid
Rating: 7.8
Now that I've color coded all the units
(using dots made w/hole punch) and been
using Myrdin's player aids, Shiloh is GREAT FUN!
Rating: 7.5
Pre ordered - arrived 13 DEC 2010.

The rules are a bit rough, but workable. The game is wonderful.
Jan van der Laan
Rating: 7.5
Shipped 22/12/10 and received 10/1/11! Nice, areabased game with the usual high quality CG components (including a mounted mapboard!) With only a few pages of rules this game plays quick but offers lots of tension.
Cleitus the Black
Rating: 7
Not bad, but the command seems too organized, and I'm not sure that play won't be scripted. Large flanking moves seem not to work, the Confed just have to barrel ahead on turn one and keep killing Union soldiers. Some minor but annoying errata and omissions.
Rating: 7
I'm not a massive ACW buff so the subject matter doesn't really grab me. I'm not as keen on the Columbia single battle games as I am on their other games.
Rating: 7
I very much enjoyed this, my first and so far only block war game. I have a couple of ACW games at about this level of depth and (historical) strategic level - Wallace's Gettysburg, and the action dice driven Yankees & Rebels. Can never decide which one to play and end up playing something else. The system here is easy enough to pick up, works, and provides a challenge. Not sure whether there is a lot of depth of strategic options for players or a lot of replayability, but for what it is, it's a decent game. I do appreciate little mechanisms added to games for historical colour - in this case literally historical colour, as there's rules for a rebel company (brigade, whatever) dressed in blue uniforms at risk from friendly fire. Eventually I will find another gamer with about the same level of mild enthusiasm for the ACW as me to play these games with...
Rating: 7
Block Shiloh . . .
Rating: 6.5
The blocks and dice combat works for this game. But the situation at start caused too much combat and exhausted both armies quickly.

Will try again soon
Charles Vasey
Rating: 6
The limits to crossing boundaries and the defender fires first give little of the feeling of a surprised Union army.
Rating: 6
[1 play, incomplete day one] I'm going to be brief, and maybe expand later. Shiloh is interesting and nicely made, but the intricacies of the command system in a battlefield level block game, much as I felt about Gettysburg Badges of Courage, may simply be more complicated and onerous to maneuver than whatever slim feelings of historical accuracies they provide. While I wasn't feeling bad about the time I was spending on this game, I wasn't feeling enlightened about the battle or feeling the pure enjoyment a simple game of Battle Cry could have offered in a Shiloh scenario.

To sum up, I love Columbia games, but I think for me, the block games work at more of a macro level. Hammer, Liberty, Napoleon, and War of 1812 are wonderful. But I think I'm through investing time and money in Columbia's battlefield level games, despite the fact that I _want_ to like them.

Most recent play June 2012 with Garrett.
Rating: 6
Faster and more playable than Columbia's Gettysburg game, but not an especially distinguished design, and after two plays the odds are pretty long that we will get back to this one any time soon.

Columbia has this whole fire A/B/C & area-move system dialed in pretty tight, and this part of Shiloh works well. The rules are stripped down to the bare minimum but there is still plenty of complexity in play, as you assess your available commands, and try to come to grips with the enemy while reading the very clever map for the best lines of approach on the unknown strength of your foe. So for a simple ACW system what we have here works pretty well.

The problem is that I'm not sure this is Shiloh. I felt the command system afforded me entirely too much control over my forces -- neither while defending as the Union nor while pressing on all fronts as the Rebs did I get the sense of a raging battle cauldron spinning out of control. The game needed more murder and less maneuver, and maybe a less flexible regroup rule than this one that let me avoid the command tangles that seemed such a part of the battle.

Another pitfall is that the game is fragile at start -- if the CSA doesn't deploy thoughtfully and immediately bring the Union to battle, then those blue blocks are going to consolidate their position and the Rebs are going to have a tough job ahead of them on the first day ... maybe too tough for a game simulating a battle where the Union initially all but broke and ran (there are no surprise rules in this game). My Rebel opponent got off to a slow start in my first game and because he didn't attack and pin me all along the line I didn't feel like I was husbanding a thin blue line and rounding up stragglers to plug holes at the front -- instead I was sitting back in good defensive terrain, knowing to the hour when my reinforcements would arrive, and able to exploit the system's defender advantage go wear down steps of an increasingly desperate CSA force. This isn't a problem but it is an advisory -- if you are the Rebs, you must plan your first turn like the first move of a D-Day game or a Bulge game ... blow that first move and you may blow the game.

Don't use the optional flaking "advantage" rule, either, as it breaks up attacks and magnifies the defender advantage by allowing them to engage (and reduce) the attacker piecemeal -- the +1 advantage to flanking forces isn't nearly so important as having those same steps available to fire in the first round of battle, and the defender advantage in this game is already pronounced enough that they don't need this piled on top of it.

alfredo lorente
Rating: 5
Once upon a time, Columbia Games produced amazing games with very good art and quality components.

Now they produce cookie cutter games that, sadly, are unsatisfying.

I wanted to like this game. I was happy to see an area map (even though the graphics are sub-par). But the rules are clunky, the game is... needy, and it uses the same mechanics games set up in the Middle Ages, antiquity, and World War 2 use. They are no longer creating new games. They are like Marge Simpson modifying the same dress every time she went out with the socialites.

And the socialites knew it...

Is Shiloh bad? No. But make no mistake, Shiloh isn't good, either. It is pedestrian, ugly, and perfectly average. From GMT, sure, what would you expect? But from the makers of Napoleon (3rd Edition) and the Front series, I expected greatness. Not this.
Arkobla Conn
Rating: 5
This one isn't clicking with Colin and I
Rating: 5
OK game to push blocks around and roll dice. Not much beyond that. April's Harvest is much better and cheaper.
Rating: 4.5
Pre ordered - arrived 13 DEC 2010.
Rating: 4
Very unsatisfying game.....straight-jacketed system ensures little game variability.
Rating: 4
The basics:

Unlike most of the block games released by Columbia over the past 10 years, Shiloh doesn’t use cards for movement. Instead, HQs are reduced by one strength point to move units in their corps/division.

Victory is checked at the end of each day, and is based on differences in the number of eliminated blocks (USA-CSA). There is the possibility of a sudden death win by either side at the end of day 1, and there is also the possibility of a draw after two full days of combat if neither side achieves a win.

Movement and logistics:

Shiloh runs on defender-biased stacking limits, so just because it’s theoretically possible to launch a dozen attacking units into a well-defended area doesn’t mean that it’s permitted. Additionally, since attacks follow strict border limits and can only be conducted against adjacent areas, the attacker must plan and implement multiple-turn maneuvers so that the size of the attacking force is maximized when the attack does eventually occur. This assumes, of course, that the would-be defender doesn't gain initiative next turn and move away before the attack commences.

Things you ought to know:

The optional “Frontline limits” rule, which limits the number of blocks that can be moved out of an area that is adjacent to enemy units, should be considered 100% mandatory. If this optional rule isn’t in effect, it is uncomfortably easy for the USA to pull back and establish a consolidated and secure line early in day 1. Also, the 2-4 hour advertised playtime (for “both days”) is amazingly inaccurate - at least for my ancient brain. In our games, we’ve burned through 3+ hours just on day 1, which is only the first half of the game.

Other comments and impressions:

The dice-driven player order injects a refreshing touch of luck into an otherwise deliberate logistical puzzle. (Edit: Too much initiative-based luck may not be a good thing. The optional initiative rules may be preferable.)

If you find can find satisfaction in the unit coordination inherent in this class of leader- and HQ-driven block game (Gettysburg, EastFront, etc.), then Shiloh will appeal; if you find it tedious, then you should play one of Columbia’s other recent games (Richard III, Hammer of the Scots, Julius Caesar) instead, since those games are more free-flowing and less molasses-like.

Stacking limits have been criticized in both Victory: The Blocks of War and Wizard Kings as overwhelmingly favoring the defender, which leaves me surprised that the designers would effectively repeat the same mistake in Shiloh.

I don't understand why the victory conditions have been structured such that the game can result in a draw - especially since the game can last 5+ hours. The "draw" aspect bothered me about War of 1812, and it's equally as problematic here. Why not use graduated victory conditions instead? Marginal victory, decisive victory, etc. - although I suppose they have problems of their own.

In summary:

Shiloh is an evolutionary curiosity that improves upon certain ancestral mechanics from the Columbia line, but repeats the folly of others. And since its chimeric splicing of "new and improved" bright spots with certain gameplay disappointments and a potentially loooong play time (5+ hours if a decisive victory isn't forced on day 1), my opinion is that the game may not develop a strong following.

So what does that make Shiloh? A game that I’ll play and enjoy occasionally, but few others will. Darnit.


I'm now convinced that Shiloh is a flawed game. Rating lowered accordingly.

Lots of problems here: (a) The game is far too long for what it is (if the number of units were cut in half the playing time might be reasonable), (b) the "draw" possibility continues to inspire anger and disappointment, (c) it's too easy for Union forces to consolidate, (d) the Union forces can win by perpetually staying on the defensive and never attacking, (e) the stacking and border limits are terribly biased against the attacker (the CSA, typically), (f) cavalry can be used to endlessly delay the CSA advance, and (g) the optional Frontline movement rule creates as many problems as it solves, as the rule makes it too tough for the Confederates to push forward.

It also appears that the stand-alone Day 2 scenario is completely broken when cavalry delay tactics are used.

Final word: Shiloh needed more testing and development.

Possible variants:

One problem with Shiloh is that the sides are too symmetric, which means that the defensive (Union) player has the advantage on Day 1. Possible fixes - one at a time, not all at once - to address this issue:

Starting with the second combat round, combat is simultaneous by initiative class: all A blocks roll simultaneously (both sides), then all B's, then all C's. Retreats are announced by initiative class (attacker first, then defender) before rolling. (This system is borrowed from Prussia’s Defiant Stand.)

Attacking units can overstack a battle hex by 2 blocks.

When a cavalry unit retreats instead of fighting on the first combat round, it has a 50% chance of taking a 1-SP hit.

Units don't roll for movement without command; hits are automatic.
Rating: 3
another half baked effort, showing clear signs of lack of development and/or playtesting. no union surprise rules???
Rating: -
Rating: -
SOLD @ BGG.Con 2014.
Rating: -
On Preorder
Rating: -
For sale (preferred) or trade. Looks good but I lost my Civil War gaming friend and am reducing my American Civil War game collection. Might be a good game, but seems a little too much of a slow-moving tactical slugfest (just like the real battle) than the more fluid type of game I prefer.
Rating: -
With deluxe board.
Rating: -
preorded at 28 10 2010 (and paid)
version con mapa montado. (mounted map)
Rating: -
Columbia Games
Dr Alchemy
Rating: -
Rating: -
Played. Stickered.
Rating: -
2 player block wargame with a number of scenarios and variants.
Rating: -
American Civil War > Western Theater > Battles
Rating: -
Might be a good game, but seems a little too much of a slow-moving tactical slugfest (just like the real battle) than the more fluid type of game I prefer.
Rating: -
02.02.2011 von Columbia Games (vorbestellt).
Lawrence Hung
Rating: -
One of the hardest battle in ACW history in the woods. I have been reading "Shiloh" as Seen by a Private Soldier and it has been a jolly good account of the battle!
Rating: -
Acquired 2011-06-27