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System Notes

Battlefields are Chaotic

The Devil to Pay system reflects the experience of commanders in the heat of battle; the noise, chaos, and struggle to accomplish desired actions.  Units may respond promptly to an order or they may not.  Orders can be misheard, misunderstood, or simply lost.  The Devil to Pay's card system reflects this quite well; a commander may be able to accomplish an action before the enemy does another.  Or he may not…



The WHISKEY (end-of-turn) cards add uncertainty to the game.  Players can assume that the game will not end on the first or a subsequent card if no WHISKEY card has been revealed.  But you never know.  That is why after the first WHISKEY card it becomes important to seize the moment to take an action.  This is especially true when an opposing unit has expended all its orders, and your unit still has orders to play.



American units do not have the inclination to stand and be shot to pieces unless they are completely committed to the act.  Examples are the 1st Minnesota and 37th Virginia which took more than 50% casualties and retained the field.  For the most part American units do not willingly take casualties when they serve no purpose.  Thus the skedaddle allows units to flee deadly and undesirable situations. 


Disorder, Rally, and Reform

Disorder is a result of the chaos of melee or skedaddle.  Individuals are lost, others lose formation, and there is general confusion.  The way a regiment regained its cohesion/ organization was to have the unit "Fall in!"  The troops fall into a line, dress and cover, and count off.  This is represented by the REFORM order.  The unit is now organized to fight again.   Getting troops back into the firing line is represented by the RALLY order. 


Command Radius

The influence of a commander was one of the sticking points we encountered in developing The Devil to Pay.  That the commander should be able to move his entire brigade with a brigade order was a solution.  But what happens when a brigade breaks apart due to terrain and combat?  We decided that a commander could give one order to one unit in the time represented by a card.  Adjacent units would be able to follow the order as well.


Turns and Time

Because The Devil to Pay is very fast, players are encouraged to play in real time.  Therefore reinforcements enter at a specific point in real time (example: after 2 hours of play).  Reinforcements enter on a new turn after the designated time has lapsed. 


Higher Command

When we designed The Devil to Pay we thought of it as a brigade-level game with the division commander as some shadowy figure.  He is represented by the players getting together before the game to make a plan.  After that the players attempt to carry out their plan without intervention of an overbearing command figure.  This situation was mirrored on actual Civil War battlefields.  Division commanders had diminishing influence as battles progressed.



Dangerously Exciting Rules for American Civil War Miniatures

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