On March 1, 1845, the United States, under the banner of Manifest Destiny, which expansionist sentiment referred to as the right of the U.S. to "spread over the entire continent," annexed Texas as a state knowing full well that such a move could mean war. The situation was further exacerbated when the U.S., and Texas, claimed her southern border as the Rio Grande River, whereas Mexico contended it was much farther north at the Neuces River. Thus, purposefully provoked by the government of U.S. President James Polk, Mexican troops, on April 25, 1846, crossed the Rio Grande into what they still considered Mexico. General Zachary Taylor, sitting in the area with a small army as a further threat to Mexico, stole a march on the advancing army and attacked it at Palo Alto. The Mexican War was on, especially when the U.S. Congress officially declared it so on May 13, 1846. By May 24, Taylor had attacked and taken Monterrey, but then got stripped of most of his regulars for Scott's southern invasion. His depleted army was then surprised by Santa Anna at Buena Vista, where the two armies fought to a tactical draw, which meant a Mexican strategic defeat as Santa Anna was forced to withdraw to the capital. In the meantime, Winfield Scott landed a large army of regulars at Vera Cruz and marched inland, defeating the Mexicans at Cerro Gordo, Contreras, Churubusco, and, finally, El Molino del Rey (of which Chapultepec was a part), capturing Mexico City on Sept. 17, 1847. The Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo ended the war on Feb 2, 1848.
Now that the legendary Great Battles of the American Civil War system has been polished to a fine edge with v.4.3, we've taken the opportunity to both fulfill gamer requests for smaller, quick-playing battles as well as taking the system into an area virtually untouched by the hobby, The Mexican-American War.
Gringo! is easily the most unusual, and colorful, game in the entire quarter century of the system. Those of you used to the woods and creeks of the ACW will marvel at the incredible variety of terrain for the Gringo! battles, from the rough mountains of Cerro Gordo, to the moon-like landscape of Buena Vista, to the remarkably detailed city of Monterey, all producing a departure from old series battles.
The GBACW system for Gringo! will be pretty much as you have with the v.4.3 of Red Badge of Courage. However, with the Mexican Army being rather more Napoleonic than anything else, and the forces being much smaller, the command rules have been greatly reduced in terms of breadth and complexity. And what a colorful (often literally!) lot these leaders are, from the stolid, bayonet-oriented Zachary Taylor through the comic-opera cast of characters that riddled the Mexican Army, to the wily Santa Anna.
Best of all, though, are the great gamers' battles in Gringo!. They run the gamut from mountain assaults to street-fighting, all allowing the gamer to see some of the differences between ACW-era tactics and those of the Napoleonic era. The battles included are:
- Buena Vista, the classic battle of the war, with Zach Taylor's decimated army making a valiant stand against Santa Anna and a force three times Taylor's.
- Monterey, with the North Americans launching a three-pronged assault against, into, and through the beautiful city of Monterey, complete with huge fortifications, high peaks, bull rings, cathedrals filled with ammunition, even a telegraph system.
- Cerro Gordo, Scott's first meeting with Santa Anna, on the dangerous mountain roads leading towards the heart of Mexico.
- El Molino del Rey, where Santa Anna makes a last, well-entrenched stand outside Mexico City. Will that Mexican cavalry division ever move?
- Chapultepec, a mini-battle, in which the gringos have to scale the precipitous heights of this immense fortress guarding the roads into the Mexican capital. "Stonewall" (pre-nickname) Jackson, hidden mines, wall-scaling, and those courageous Mexican pre-teen cadets.
Gringo! is easily the most playable, colorful and challenging of the GBACW series games to date.
2 maps (Back-printed), 2 countersheets, plus the usual rules and charts.