Friday, August 31, 2012

Podcasts (sorta) for Gamers: Ken Burns' Civil War

Netflix on the iPhone with unlimited data is pretty sweet. I noticed that Ken Burns' "Civil War' was available on Netflix instant view, and having found the Civil War almost too large to grapple with (Burns' Civil War is like 18 hours long, and it's just a brief overview!) I had avoided learning much about it.  Even with the streaming option, I didn't' feel I could commit the huge amount of time necessary to work through the entire series, but once I realized I could stream it wirelessly and listen to it during my commute it became much more manageable. Relying on still photographs and interviews, the "Civil War" is largely and audio experience anyway, and while I may have noticed more nuance by actually watching it, listening to it proved highly rewarding.

I found it a great introduction to the war. It illustrated the personalities involved, showed the various offensive and defensive moves by both sides, and was able to draw distinctions between the battles. I toyed with the idea of getting into ACW for real with Black Powder, but the large number of troops required for the set piece battles, and the  rather bland uniforms put me off.  I might do some ACW skirmishing with An Uncivil War from Architects of War though.

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