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Subject: A Giant Right Hook rss

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Aaron Cinzori
United States
Holland
Michigan
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Isaac and I played A House Divided this afternoon and evening. We played the Phalanx 3rd edition using Alan Emrich's 3.1 ruleset and player aids (both of which I highly recommend). It was about 5 hours of play time for the entire war using all the basic rules, all the basic optional rules (except Extended Game and Helping a Novice Union Player), all the "core" advanced rules, and Coastal Defenses advanced optional rule (but no other advanced optionals).

It was an epic game with Aaron as CSA and Isaac as USA. There was some careful building in 1861 with a few minor probes in each direction in the west. Early 1862 saw a lot of action as the USA pushed into Kentucky, took Fredericksburg, Memphis, and Manassas Junction and threatened Nashville. Things then settled into a cold war in the east, but the Confederates rallied at Nashville to push the Yankees back into Kentucky and out of Memphis.

As 1862 ended, the Union began what would be a massive right hook that would take the rest of the war to complete. They pushed south again through Memphis, on to Vicksburg, and into New Orleans, then they turned to the east. The Confederates held on until the end of 1863 in Nashville with a sizable force, but the Union manpower advantage was becoming evident. In early 1864, the Confederates shifted to Fabian tactics and began a steady retreat through Georgia and South Carolina towards Richmond, leaving token forces in every city to slow the Yankees. Atlanta fell at the middle of 1864 (with the Union demolishing the best of the Confederate army as if they weren't even there), then Charleston in early 1865.

Things were coming right down to the wire as the Union was completing its march across the Deep South and shifting their eyes north along the east side of the Appalachians. Finally the Union forces that had sat quietly for 3 years just north of Richmond moved in, but the Confederates held their capital. In came down to June 1865 as the giant Union army completed their sweep northward though North Carolina and Virginia and arrived at the gates of Richmond. A small, but exhausted cadre of Confederate veterans awaited them, but the Union troops moved in in unstoppable waves. The South fell in June 1865.

A great game that played out quite differently than the war, but still did a credible job of highlighting the differences in the forces, especially the Union manpower advantage and the South's superior leadership in the early war. If the game had ended one turn sooner, the Confederates would have held on for the win (surviving the June 1865 turn with at least one of their major cities is the Confederate victory condition)

We used almost no cavalry units during the game, and I wonder about the situation in which going with cavalry is the right choice. For the south it always seemed more important to get the infantry back onto the board (at least until the maximum army size became restrictive in 1864) and the north never seemed to need them.

Lots of fun.
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Ian James
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As the confederates you use the cavalry to slow the union advance by leaving them in the way of union moves and then retreating before battle. While have confederate infantry is important, you can really make a mess of the union's ability to advance through your territory by putting cavalry down.
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Tom Swider
United States
Harrisburg
Pennsylvania
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Cavalry are also good for cutting supply lines, slowing the USA campaign.
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