A face-to-face game today between me as the Confederates and John Leggat handling the Union. We played the 1861 Basic Game with no Optional Rules.
The Rebels immediately seized Louisville and built up defenses along the Mississippi. A Raider found the Whaling Grounds and scored some valuable VP's before being hunted down and sunk. Blockade Runners began their Cargo journeys, and generally found success (especially with the 2 VP tokens from Europe).
However, disaster struck the rebellion as the Federals boldly went on several against-the-odds offensives which resulted in Richmond being seized and the Mississippi's defenses penetrated with just single die roll Assaults (and a few helpful cards)!
The Union focused on ship builds, and had a decent fleet by year's end. Union Gunboats begin picket duty in the Blockade Stations on the East Coast.
A solid Union blockade along the eastern shores diverted numerous Blockade Runners to the more friendly waters of the deep South. Memphis was seized late by the Federals, and they could make no further progress along the Mississippi.
Rebel Runners continued to thrive out of Europe, with the 1 VP Neutral Ports also seeing lots of commerce. The Rebels sortied Gunboats to poke some holes in weakly patrolled Blockade Stations to facilitate the Runners safe trips home.
The Union tried several Assaults overland, but had no luck.
The blockade was strangling the Confederacy, and Blockade Runners suffered heavy losses as their duties became more hazardous.
The Union made multiple attempts against a heavily defended Vicksburg, which held out each and every time, becoming the bastion of the South. Louisville was finally re-captured, but by this time its significance had diminished.
Meanwhile, the Union started to chip away at the Rebel Coastal Ports, including taking several via the backdoor (overland) method.
Screw Sloops were placed in the High Sea zones around Europe to deal with newly build Raiders. The strategy was generally effective, but did tie up some Federal resources.
The fall of Atlanta looked like it was going to signal the end of the rebellion. However, Blockade Runners kept feeding VP's into the rebel treasury to keep it in positive territory.
Meanwhile, Confederate Raiders finally slipped around the Union defenses and Raided the High Seas to great effect.
Stonewall Jackson was surprisingly ineffective in battle, and he died in his third campaign. Desperate Confederate attempts to retake Memphis all met with defeat.
Vicksburg finally came under Union control, with the Federals setting up for the last march to New Orleans. Rebel VP's plummeted to -5, so the stage was set.
The Union failed to draw the card (#36) to extend the contest into 1865, so the Confederacy held on for the narrowest of victory as New Orleans was still flying the Rebel flag at game's end.
Losing Richmond early almost ruined the Confederate cause as the extra die roll's worth of VP's (13.2) hurt them all game, not to mention getting just 1 Battery build per turn. Fortunately, several cards helped the Rebels out with some extra Battery and free Ironclad builds to pick up the slack.
Indeed, I was ready to throw in the towel early in 1862, but the game taught me a valuable lesson - never give up, because one never knows how things are going to play out over the duration.
Working together, John and I were able to remember most of the special cases and exceptions scattered throughout the rules, but more reminders (either map notations or denoted counters) would have helped out greatly.
An important strategy item for the Confederacy is to build some Blockade Runners in Europe and Neutral Ports (14.24) - since they are already in place, they can load up first thing next turn and then make their dashes into Rebel controlled Coastal Ports.
The Union did an excellent job purchasing extra Cannon (Assault) tokens to keep the initiative because the clock is ticking and the Federals just cannot afford to fall behind schedule.
Another strategy item for the Union is to try and contain the enemy Blockade Runners in Port, after they've delivered their cargo and stacked up in a single safe location. This makes it much more difficult for the Runners to embark out of Port for their next voyage.
All-in-all, a lot of fun after some initial rules frustration, the game tells a terrific narrative, and I am definitely up for another game soon.
Never play block wargames with a dentist, they have those little mirrors to peek behind the block.
In the last game I remember this the most. The Union rolled a six for their highest die and had a +1 to give them a seven. The Confederates only could roll two dice in defense. Then they rolled "box cars" for a seven too. I really like RR.
The Rebels launched a Counterattack on Memphis, and after card plays each side had 4 dice plus the Confederates had two re-rolls ("Rally, Men!").
The Union rolled 3 sixes and a five, for a high die of 8. The Confederates rolled (and re-rolled twice) for a high die of only 7. The Union thus prevailed at the Battle of Memphis.
Memorable and fun...
Greetings Steve and John,
I am glad to learn you had a memorable and fun game of REBEL RAIDERS ON THE HIGH SEAS and surmounted those problems encountered with rules editing so the preceding AAR focused on game play and the decisions the game poses its players.
As you continue to experience REBEL RAIDERS, I suspect your perceptions of what constitutes best strategies and tactics for both the Union and Confederacy will evolve.
That no REBEL RAIDERS player should ever give up during the game's early years and often until the final turn is oh so true... particularly in light of the role fate can play (luck with the cards and dice) The game can be chess-like in that players know how many successful assaults the Union needs to pull out a victory).
When you feel comfortable with the game's mechanics, try the 1862 set-up for a very different experience from starting the game in 1861.
Enjoy REBEL RAIDERS ON THE HIGH SEAS!
- Last edited Wed Sep 18, 2013 5:18 am (Total Number of Edits: 1)
- Posted Wed Sep 18, 2013 5:17 am