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A House Divided» Forums » Sessions

Subject: My first game of A House Divided rss

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Endre Fodstad
Norway
Oslo
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Growing up, getting a job, and starting to plan for a family has, strangely, given me more time to play board games than my last three student years. It helps that the girlfriend finds it amusing, and that most of my old gaming buddies live nearby. Anyway, I'm taking this opportunity to play some oldies I never got the chance to play when I was much younger, this time the victim was A House Divided. My old married-with-one-child-who-is-only-three-months-old pal HÃ¥vard lives just over the street, and he had bought an ancient and played-to-pieces copy of AHD from the estate of deceased gaming legend Johannes Berg. Three militia pieces are missing from the South, but what the heck, that's what grey cardboard from an old pizza box is for.

We played with Supply, and that was pretty much all the extra rules. First game and all.

The game started with the North (me) attempting to clear the southern militias grouped around Washington. When this was only semi-succesful, the eastern front froze in place, only interrupted by the occasional naval invasion that the South only now and then bothered to contain, and a single Southern militia that over the course of the war would turn into a Crack unit defending its solitary position against several bloody failed assaults while the rest of the war went its merry way.

Over the course of the next five months, action ensued on the Kentucky front, where the south massed its forces and scored an impressive victory pushing into the north's earlier gains in the region. Simultaneously, the South pushed from the west, reaching the gates of St.Louis and sweeping the Union armies away. Only a few lucky oversights by the South that made it possible to cut their supply saved the northwestern front at the last second.

To relieve the pressure, the North, having built up forces in Manassas Junction after an early victory there, force-marched its now rather large stack of troops to Richmond and stormed the Confederate Capital that had been left weakly defended in a recent southern attempt to liberate the besieged Crack unit holed up west of Front Royal. While the North managed to stabilize its shaky western and Kentucky Front, the victorious army that had taken Richmond was able to mop up the Confederates defending the East Coast quickly, and with the aid of a few timely Naval Invasions the Eastern Seaboard was almost entirely under Union control.

Unfortunately, things now got out of hand in the west. While the Kentucky Front was now frozen solid, early 1862 saw a succesful Confederate push on St.Louis agains Union entrenchments there that were thought to be impregnable combined with deep cavalry action aimed at the Union heartlands east of Chicago, the Union defensive lines shattered and the western army was to regroup against the onrushing Rebs. The Confederates then noticed yet another chance for the Union to break their supply lines and tried to plug this gap with an assault to the 2-milita box north of St.Louis, but this turned out to be a grave mistake: while the Confederate attack was conducted with a 2-1 superiority and better troops, the Union was able to reinforce the battle with a reserve of Crack and Veteran troops that had survived the fall of St.Louis. In a massive meatgrinder battle the Union decimated the Confederate western army and retook St.Louis.

At the end of 1862, it was 00.34 and we had to quit, but things looked grim for the South and the Rebel player agreed that he was well on the way to defeat: the eastern seabord was lost, their western offensive had been beaten badly while draining Confederate reserves on the Kentucky front, and the second Union draft was appearing on the horizon. A thin grey line held line in the east bug a large stack of Union Crack troops were rushing toward Atlanta. He might have saved himself there by sending in some cavalry to cut support, but the Union had more cavalry than the Confederates, so likely, that would not have worked.

Next time I get to be the rebels!
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Leo Zappa
United States
Aliquippa
Pennsylvania
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Good report. I just played this game for the first time myself several months ago (session report on file). I love a game where the outcome is not predictable. In your game, the North, after being on the ropes, appears to have rebounded and crushed the South, whereas in my game, my Johnny Rebs were able to successfully defeat the Union at Gettysburg and sweep to victory in the Northeast. The game gives the players a feel for the Civil War without being bogged down with too many fiddly rules. A real classic!
 
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Gotthard Heinrici (prev. Graf Strachwitz)
Germany
Düsseldorf
NRW
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Reallynice to see an 'old' game to reappear so vividly. I actually picked up a new copy for 10 euro's a few weeks ago and it is so much better than I expected!!

A really nice report of a game game that is so simple and yet so deep.
Highly recommended!
 
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