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Subject: 1st Bull Run and Pea Ridge rss

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Chris Rush
United States
Virginia
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It had been a little while since I played this in my "Strategic Gaming Club" at school, so I was glad to play it again. I convinced a friend of mine who doesn't play wargames to come over and give it a try. He seemed to have a good time. I was the Confederacy both times. He won the 1st Bull Run battle, thanks in part to some bad dice rolls from me toward the end. The other issue of this first game was my failure to remember how to play the game completely, despite having the rules right in front of me: for some reason, I thought the flag side of the dice meant "attacker retreats." There is no excuse for this, except for the fact I had been studying a lot of CRTs for older manual wargames. About halfway through the game I realized the error, but my opponent had no problem switching play in the middle of the game. Toward the end, he missed a sharpshooter with 4 flags, then I failed to get my sixth flag in one of those "but I outnumber him three figures to one" situations. This put me in rather large trouble, since I had most of my forces on the left flank and center and only one unit on the right, with a handful of "right flank" cards. He came back with a couple of right flank (for him) attacks, about which I could do nothing, and he won.

Pea Ridge started out with the same flow of momentum: he started out with his voluminous numbers and won a few flags rather quickly. I failed almost all of my rolls in the first few rounds. He even forced one of my units off the back edge on my right flank. Somehow, the dice started favoring me, as well as the woods defenses. I failed to utilize my bombardment card wisely, even with my multiple cannons. I wasn't able to move my other units out of the way in time, and soon my cannons got destroyed by his multiple crossed-sabers rolls. Eventually, I made it into the trees and was able to use my generals in the center to override his defensive posture in the buildings and ridges. With my generals in the center, I came back to tie at 5 flags each, after a remarkable holding pattern for much of the middle of the game. It came down to a cavalry battle in my left flank. I drew a hit-and-run card just in time to make some use of my cavalry, but he held on to his flag. He was down to mostly single units, but my cards weren't helping too much, until I drew a much-needed left flank attack card. My cavalry, which had been sitting adjacent to his cavalry for a couple turns, just staring at each other and having a nice chat, finally finished off his lone cavalry flagbearer, and I won 6-5.

Certainly the best part of the day was potentially converting another player to wargames.
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Christopher Hill
United States
Wilmington
North Carolina
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Nice write up, Chris. Battle Cry has been one of my favorite games for years. You are right that it is a great system for indoctrinating new war gamers!
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Chris Rush
United States
Virginia
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Thanks for the kind words. Sadly, I must admit I got this game about a decade ago, and it sat in my closet for 7 years until I got it out for our Strategic Gaming Club I started at school. I'm glad I had it, since it was the most popular game we have played since the club started.
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United States
Norwood
Massachusetts
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My GF loves this game, and plays fairly competently in it. It's a good game to get wives and GF's intro'd into wargaming.
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