Fred Schachter
United States
Matthews
North Carolina
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Greetings!

It was but last week that I attended the PrezCon Convention in Charlottesville, Va., luckily missing some of the worst of the winter weather plaguing the area, to attend this storied gathering of gamers to demonstrate two games I'm developing for GMT: Hitler's Reich: A Card Conquest System Game and The Seven Years War: Frederick's Gamble.

A fun time was also had by those attending a demo and then playing Rebel Raiders on the High Seas.

Alas, cirumstances were such that a final game could not be played. The participants of the two games leading to that final had other competitive events to attend, which does happen at conventions such as this and WBC where folks allocate their time between multiple gaming interests.

Consequently, I had to adjudicate a winner from the two Rebel Raiders on the High Seas games played which would have led to that final contest. However, what games they were! Both were exciting and entertaining to watch Union victories using the "Hunt's Artillery" optional rule.

The first game was between Joseph Powell (Union) and Stephen Squibb (Confederate). Joe took the novel approach of largely ignoring Raiders and instead used his Steam Sloops and Gunboats to launch Amphibious Attacks along the Confederate Coast. While many of these were repulsed, enough got through, particularly during the end game when Admiral Farragut with the "Grand Fleet" coming north from the Gulf and Admiral Porter coming south fought an epic huge naval attritional battles with two full "fleets" of Confederate warships.

These naval battles took place during the December 1864 Turn, although Joe had won an additional April 1865 Turn through the "If It Takes all Summer" Event, after both Richmond and Atlanta fell in the usual Rebel Raiders on the High Seas dice-fest battles.

When the last Confederate warship was sunk, the final of three Rebel New Orleans Batteries blown away, and New Orleans captured by the north, the game was over without the April 1865 Turn being needed. Joe had captured The Mississippi, Atlanta, and Richmond for a Sudden Death Union Victory with nine (9) Confederate Cities taken.

The second game was between Paul Hendricks (Union) and Jay Czarnecki (Confederate). In this game, the Union made increasing efforts to suppress Confederate Raiders so by the latter stages of the war they were impeded from fully effective raiding and more than one of them found their way to 'Davy Jones Locker'.

Paul found a novel use for the "Coaling Station" Event, rather than use its extra 6MP's to move a stack of Steam Sloops from the Key West Blockade Station to another location (this is usually the Gulf in most games I've played and/or observed to surprise the Confederates defending New Orleans with a full stack of six Union sloops "materializing" from the south), those 6MP's were used for two Sloops to intensively search for a couple of Blockade Runners in the Key West Station. Interesting!

The Union's Amphibious Assaults, including a remarkable early game capture of Key West, resulted in inland exploitation attacks to leave the Rebels with but a single East Coast Port, New Berne, when the game concluded. Paul also started "buying" extra Assaults early during the contest to keep the Rebs under pressure.

Jay's's Confederates fought hard, buying Counter Attacks for most turns to seek impeding what seemed an inexorable tide of Union blue and by 1864 still was in position to win the game.

However, the Mississippi's three cities (Memphis, Vicksburg, and New Orleans)fell as did Atlanta from which the North launched Assaults to capture Montgomery and Mobile.

Although Paul won an additional April 1865 Turn through the "If It Takes All Summer" Event, it wasn't needed. For in a close-fought December 1864 battle Richmond fell and with it a Union Sudden Death Victory for capturing The Mississippi, Atlanta, and Richmond acheived.

This Union Victory was distinguished by the map being covered by Blue Control Markers. Paul had taken fourteen (14) Confederate Cities and therefore, I adjudicated, be declared winner of PrezCon's Rebel Raiders on the High Seas Event.

Both games were close with numerous Confederate Cities being lost by Events using re-rolls and by razor thin high Battle Die differentials. Use of the "Hunt's Artillery" optional rule, the players agreed, makes the game more balanced.

Although disappointed not to see Joe and Paul face-off in a final game; both Rebel Raiders on the High Seas contests were entertaining and fun to watch. Congratulations Paul for a fine PrezCon accomplishment!
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Paul H
United States
Virginia
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Thank you Fred for the excellent write-up but even more so for your outstanding coordination of the tournament. For those not there, Fred was always nearby during all of the games offering rules interpretations when needed, providing background on the cards (e.g. Loose the Fateful Lightning card) and going so far as to buy a round for the participants afterwards during a de-briefing. You sir are top notch!


I too was sorry not to play in the final round as the game is very intriguing. I have found myself thinking on new strategies and counter-strategies since that tournament and very much look forward to my next play.

All the best,
Paul


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