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Lincoln's War» Forums » Strategy

Subject: First play. Need advice on general concepts. rss

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Stephen Slotten
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I'm playing the game solo using the solitaire rules given in the playbook. I've made it to turn 5 and I've noticed things have gotten a bit stagnant. I think there's something I'm not understanding about what each side should be doing.

Missouri and Kentucky are split. There have been active skirmishes there. However, the eastern theater is at a stand still. Prior to the operations phase, I spend darn near all of my PCs doing stuff (collecting CSPs, promoting, etc). Then, when it comes time to play cards, I spend a lot of time banking PCs in fear of carrying zero at the end of the turn. I spend so many card plays, both as US and CS, either banking PCs or depleting PCs from the opponent that I have no operations left to activate forces, conduct battles, raids, etc. Seditious characters don't help either. In fact, they're quite annoying. The minute I bank PCs, a seditious character pops up and takes them away.

Also, the main US army is in Washington, the main CS army in Richmond. I don't see how either side can make a move against the other and have a chance at winning. Therefore they just sit there, staring at each other.

So I need some strategy advice. What should I be doing? The map is seeded with units. All the reinforcements are in play. Do I just ignore the PC situation and concentrate on activating forces and attacking? Are the 1864 turns typically a time when players push toward victory point conditions? I probably need to learn what the historic troop movements were. My knowledge of the Civil War on a detailed level is lacking shake
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Vince U
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Stephen,

I can easily understand the apprehensiveness with "pulling the trigger" during game play. When I first began to play, I was often "afraid" to initiate a move that can, in the end, destroy my whole army and the war with it. What I've learned is not to get too worried about your PC track and focus more on using the card events fight and to take territory. As the Union, you need to focus on penetrating deep into the South and control areas that will give you the victory points needed to win. As for the South, I found that you really need to focus on building up your army/defense to repel the Union from coming south and doing too much damage.

Try to focus on British intervention (for the south) and Emancipation Proclamation (for the north). Also, Don't forget the assassination Plot card!

I found the games that I've played, both side build up forces pretty early in the game at each or their Capitals. I suggest attacking early before such build up can occur, as well as before the city defense gets too high to attempt the attack.

And YES, I hate those Seditious Cards too!! LOL. There are card events that can help with those, as well as a rule 10.6.7 that addresses drawing multiple Seditious cards and what you can do with them.

In the back of the rule book, Victory Determination (21.3) shows the victory point table (if you haven't saw it). Focus on achieving those goals to win. I played a couple games so far and none of them have ended in a political victory (0 PC 0 CSP) YET! So I really try to accomplish what I can on the victory point table.

Hope this helps!

Vince
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Ken
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It's difficult to comment without seeing the map, but if the board is littered with pieces then the odds are good that this should be "Advantage:Union" at this point. You should be looking for ways to use the number of generals the Union has to hit an army with two armies (often, one major and one minor). The first inflicts damage, the second follows up more decisively when the time is right. This is often easier in the West, where the terrain is more accommodating.

But if the situation has stagnated, then it's on the Union to do something about it. The CSA can win by just sitting around. The Union really can't.

You can't ignore the PC situation, but you have to keep in mind that you can earn PCs by winning battles. And taking VP cities. So start putting some pressure on as the Union or you're pretty much toast, regardless of the PC situation.
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Stephen Slotten
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Thanks so much. This advice really helps!
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John Poniske
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Thanks, Vince & Ken. It is heartwarming to see folks "getting" the game. Your advice to Stephen is dead on. The Union MUST make hay when it can. One thing you didn't mention is the Eastern Theater penalty. If the Union doesn't act in Virginia during an Operations Phase it loses PC, whereas if it does act and act decisively Lincoln is rewarded with added PC bonuses. ALSO The Union must concentrate on building and using its navy effectively. If it does not or if it is kept from doing so (see the recent AAR) the Union will be hurting come VP time. Good luck Stephen!
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Stephen Slotten
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As a follow-up, I played two more turns last night and things went much differently. I focused on the victory point goals as suggested and I didn't worry so much about PC. I found out that through battle, each side was gaining a bunch of PC! The US pushed into the south, but I didn't quite do it correctly. Grant made it to Atlanta and took the city, but he was out of supply at the end of the turn. Now he's struggling to maintain his position there while other US troops try to push south.

In the east, Richmond was attacked at one point and Washington was attacked at a different point. Both battles were disastrous for the attacking side. You guys are right, it's too late in the game to be attacking these cities.

Thanks for the help! The game has a much different feel now. It's no longer stagnant, but I still have much to learn.
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Ken
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skslotten wrote:
I found out that through battle, each side was gaining a bunch of PC!


Just to confirm - both sides are earning PC overall, but only one is earning it per battle, correct?

Quote:
In the east, Richmond was attacked at one point and Washington was attacked at a different point. Both battles were disastrous for the attacking side. You guys are right, it's too late in the game to be attacking these cities.


The escalating defense strength of these cities makes them much harder to attack late in the game if you haven't weakened the defending forces somehow. Had you been more active early, you might find the situation very different.
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Stephen Slotten
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perfalbion wrote:
skslotten wrote:
I found out that through battle, each side was gaining a bunch of PC!


Just to confirm - both sides are earning PC overall, but only one is earning it per battle, correct?

Quote:
In the east, Richmond was attacked at one point and Washington was attacked at a different point. Both battles were disastrous for the attacking side. You guys are right, it's too late in the game to be attacking these cities.


The escalating defense strength of these cities makes them much harder to attack late in the game if you haven't weakened the defending forces somehow. Had you been more active early, you might find the situation very different.


Only one side is earning PC per battle, yes.
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Jim Marshall
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I've only played three games, but the biggest impression I've taken is that the North is on a very tight timetable and must take the game to the South to avoid a heavy defeat.

As John noted this will require action in the East and West, and the setting up of a blockade. The blockade may not seem very effective at first but the North doesn't have the forces or time to capture all the southern ports over land which is where the blockade can prove critical in the end of game VP count - which is what it's all ultimately about.
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