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Subject: A grinding victory for the Union rss

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Chris Milne
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On the table last night at the King household, Blue vs Grey. First time through for both of us, but we finished it in about 3.5 hours despite the fact that the 1864 elections came right at the end and (as the Union player) I was going through my deck very slowly.

Opening stages rather desultory. Kentucky went over to the CSA and I had very few Union commanders in my first few turns. Buell was put in charge in the West, but did very little other than taking Island no 10. Leslie was content to stay defensive early on, but had a cavalry superiority and so was raiding away happily.

My leader problem ceased abruptly as I picked up both Grant and Sherman in the same turn. Grant went to the east, where he faced off against the mighty Bragg, who promptly defeated him several times in the Wilderness and the Shenandoah. In the west, the CSA launched two attacks at Cincinnati, and managed to capture it briefly. Most of the map was out by now, but mostly played by Leslie, so I was getting rather concerned at the total lack of progress.

Sherman therefore took command in the West when Buell was sacked and, although I had problems finding any commanders to serve under him, he made progress down the Mississippi. Burnside was engaged with some strong corps to launch invasions along the coast and proved to be one of the more successful Union generals of the war (a tendency to roll 5s and 6s when he was attacking helped!)

Grant meanwhile continued pounding away in the east, as RE Lee was nowhere to be seen. The Shenandoah and the Wilderness fell in quick succession, though he was rebuffed at the gates of Richmond. The south launched a memorable offensive into the Wilderness with Hood in command of a relatively weak army; memorably mainly for the loss of all three divisions and the consequent dismissal of Hood and Jackson.

At this point I should say that Leslie had terrible luck with his leaders. Not only did Lee not come out until near the end, but he must have lost six or seven leaders to combat results, compared to my one (and that was Buell!)

As the late war approached, I began to grind a path to victory. New Orleans fell, was recaptured, and fell again; Vicksburg fell quickly, and the Mississippi was secured by Sherman. Grant captured Richmond and then drove inland towards Atlanta, while Burnside continued to pick off the coastal ports. Repeatedly good rolls in combat resulted in heavy CSA casualties, and it was soon a question of how quickly I could grab my objectives.

By the time the 1864 elections came up, I had 5 objectives (as needed, since Habeas Corpus had come out as the last early war card, well after both Emancipation had been proclaimed and the Copperheads started causing problems), and Sherman was marching on Chattanooga. I nabbed the sixth objective the following turn when Chattanooga fell, severing the CSA railnet, and we called it at that point (with my deck exhausted and only the free turn to go).

Our verdict was very positive - nice to get a game finished in an evening for once. We both had flaws in our play; Leslie was probably insufficiently aggressive in the early game, while I didn't use Grant as well as I might and was guilty of a lack of focus early on. Definitely a game I'd like to play again.
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Daniel Val
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I just cannot find an opponent for this one, but I´m really willing to try it!

Nice session report, BTW
 
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