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After several playthroughs, I've decided that I really like this game and will be buying other titles in the system. My main issue (this could totally be my own misinterpretation and stupidity) is that the Union victory condition is unfair to the Confederate player. My opponent and I have both decided that taking the Edwards farm is a good objective, but we've ignored the second Union condition of not being totally eliminated. The system does not seem quite lethal enough, and the Southern troops numerous enough, to completely destroy or rout all Union troops from the map by game end. To me, this seems like a conflict of strategy for the Southern player, as moving the mounted infantry off of the board reduces the chance the Southern player has of eliminating or routing every Union unit on the map, which is unlikely anyway with all units present. Ultimately, of the 4 games played, the Confederates have yet to win by the rules as written.
I just soloed the game for the first time (struggling mightily with the CRT, and have now printed out the improved version from this Web site, which clarifies a BUNCH). At least from this play, I agree that the automatic victory conditions greatly influence the Union, who won decisively on turn 5. Granted, I played the Confederates horribly wrong, yet I could still see the writing on the wall. The Rebs best bet would appear to be avoiding a Union or Reb decisive and try to win on eliminated strength point.