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Subject: 1861 Deck; Fair Deal rss

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John Griffey
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Houston
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Prepare the 1861 Deck by removing both Major Campaign cards, Emancipation Proclamation, Foreign Recognition, and these thirty three cards:

Blue 3 OC cards.
#9 Clara Barton
#14 Red River Campaign
#30 Glory Hallelujah
#45 Food Shortage
#110 Gettysburg Address
#114 Frederick Douglas

Blue 2 OC Cards
#16 Grierson's Raid
#18 Confederate Inflation
#108 Richmond Bread Riots
#124 Confederate Desertions
#111 Wilson's Raid
#93 Strategy Board card

Blue 1 OC Cards
#1 Empty Haversacks
#25 Confederate RR Degradation
#64 USS Kearsarge Sinks CSS Alabama
#126 Valley Devastation

Gray 3 OC Cards
#17 Confederate Purchasing Agents
#49 Commerce Raider CSS Alabama
#101 Chickamauga
#106 British Clydeside Shipyards
#117 Clandestine Blockade Runner Port
#118 Mexican Supply Pipeline

Gray 2 OC Cards
#2 Copperheads
#13 Missouri Guerrilla Raids
#37 Confederate Scientist
#39 Draft Riots in New York
#77 Stop the War
#129 USS Cairo Hits Mine

Gray 1 OC Cards
#15 Mosby's Raiders
#55 CSS Tennessee
#56 CSS Hunley
#97 Davis Tours the South

Blue/Gray 1 OC Card: Quantrill's Raiders.

On Turn 4 add the above 33 cards to the unplayed draw deck cards and shuffle.

Then divide the shuffled draw deck into a USA draw deck and a CSA draw deck.

To the USA draw deck add one Major Campaign card and Emancipation Proclamation, and shuffle.

To the CSA draw deck add one Major Campaign card and Foreign Recognition, and shuffle.

When either player runs out of cards, all cards, including those in hand, but excluding those which have been played and removed from play, are reshuffled for a final War End Deck common to both players.

The thirty-three events I selected to removed from play in 1861 were events not thematic for 1861. Guaranteeing each side one Major Campaign makes balanced cards more likely.

The blockade made rapid progress in 1861. The seven blockade cards are all in the 93-card 1861 deck, making their draw in 1861 a bit more likely than when drawing from the full 130-card deck.

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Fred Finkenbinder
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Nice variant - I am always looking to try things like this "for fun," even if the game's design means that balance from a game perspective may be skewed (as is the case in the 4-deck variant).

The only thing I immediately notice is that by Turn 4, Foreign Intervention may or may not be realistically possible for the CSA.
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John Griffey
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Good point about the Foreign Recognition card. If the Foreign Recognition card is kept as is, which most players would prefer, I would substitute Quantrill's Raiders (1 OC Blue/Gray) for it.

But I'd rather change the card. Prime Minister Palmerston was toying with the idea of recognition before Sharpsburg/Antietam, despite the South's loss of Missouri, Kentucky, West Virginia, western Tennessee, New Orleans, and Norfolk, all before September 1862. Demanding SW 110+ for recognition of the CSA seems too much.

Foreign Recognition occurs at CSA SW 90+ in 1862, or at 80+ in 1863 or later, and USA is not 10 SW higher than CSA SW. EFFECTS: +5 SW to CSA. USA must decide now whether to declare war on Britain and France. If USA does not declare war, -10 SW from USA and Blockade Level is permanently reduced by 1 (to a max of 4)for the remainder of game. If USA does declare war, then +10 SW to CSA and +10 SW to USA but War Weariness now reduces USA SW by -10 SW each Fall Turn. Blockade Level is permanently reduced by 1 immediately to a max of 4. Blockade Level is further reduced by 2 point every three turns, still at a max of 4. Immediately on declaration of war, USA reinforcements in the East (Washington DC) are permanently reduced by 2 SP per turn. In 1862, USA reinforcements in the East and West (Ohio/Indiana and Illinois) are each temporarily reduced by 1 SP extra.

The USA player should have the option of declaring war on Britain and France. The USA was threatening war in retaliation for recognition, and there would have been massive public pressure to do it. The Democratic Party still identified Britain as America's principal enemy. Declaring war would have united the North in a burst of patriotic fever. The full consequences of such a rash choice would be felt later. In 1862 USA was still importing large quantities of British rifles and cannon==thus the extra penalty for 1862. I think it's unlikely Britain or France would have sent significant land forces to the CSA, and these could be represented by the greater number of SP surviving the Blockade rolls.

The game is a bit off on the effects of the Emancipation Proclamation too. Lincoln's dilemma: don't emancipate and risk losing the '64 Republican nomination for refusing to be hard enough on the South, OR, emancipate and gain African manpower and hope for the long shot of a massive Southern slave rebellion, but lose support among conservative Northerners for the war, and spark fiercer CSA resistance. In fact, the CSA's Strategic Will was not weakened by Emancipation Proclamation, it was hardened. There was a surge of Southern support for the war in early 1863, and a corresponding decline in Northern recruitment and support.

Emancipation Proclamation:
A. Frederick Douglass and Glory Hallelujah may not be played as Events until EP Event is played.

B. -7 USA SW, +7 CSA SW.

C. Roll two dice, one State at a time, for Slave Revolts in each CSA State containing a USA SP. On a roll of "3" (1/18 probability) pick any CSA controlled space not containing a CSA SP or Fort and convert it to USA controlled.

D. On next Reinforcement Phase only, CSA receives 1 SP extra in each of three different CSA controlled States, and may remove four USA control markers from Border State spaces which have neither USA SP nor Forts.

E. Beginning the USA Reinforcement Phase after next, USA receives 1 SP extra per Reinforcement Phase in any standard reinforcement location if it controls at least two of these and they are in Supply: Richmond, Charleston, New Orleans, Memphis, Mobile.

F. If EP is unplayed at end of Summer 1864, the Republicans replace Lincoln with an unabashed Radical Republican nominee. Then at end of Fall 1864, if USA SW is below 50, McClellan and the Democrats win the election and negotiate to restore peace, slavery, and Union. The game is a Draw if CSA SW is below 40 (slavery preserved but state sovereignty and secession quashed). It is a CSA Victory if CSA SW is at or above 40 (independence or recognition of state sovereignty within the Union).

G. If the Democrats do not win the 1864 election, the Republicans win. The game ends at end of the Fall 1866 turn and victory is determined by Rule 17.3. Each side plays only 6 cards in Summer 1865, 5 cards in Fall 1865, and 4 cards in each turn of 1866. (Flagging strength). In 1866, USA draws three fewer SP each turn, CSA draws two fewer SP each turn.

H. Emancipation is still playable after Summer 1864.


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Bob Gibson
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I have seen quite a few card variant suggestions to make FtP somewhat more historical. I've always wondered why Mark Herman hasn't endorsed an option for this approach. I like this particular idea and will try it out the next time we play the game. Thanks for the post!
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Fred Finkenbinder
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I am sure Mark will chime in here eventually - but I already know the answer.

Mark likes the game to be open-ended - we get the initial starting positions, then it is up to we as the players to assume the roles of Lincoln or Davis and direct the war. It almost always won't play out historically - but it is also a game. There is a level of abstraction here that is very difficult to see. It took me a long while to see it - but Mark has his defense for why things are what they are in the game, which I agree with in part.

All that said, I am all for trying different variants. They may not be balance- or tournament-friendly, but they can be fun to play with. I played with the 4-deck variant and enjoyed it.
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Bob Gibson
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I've ready Mark Hermah's thoughts on this, but what I suggesting is that a secondary variant offering, such as what is described in this post, be added to the game. Other games, like Unconditional Surrender, give the players a choice.
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Mark Herman
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Bob.Gibson wrote:
I have seen quite a few card variant suggestions to make FtP somewhat more historical. I've always wondered why Mark Herman hasn't endorsed an option for this approach. I like this particular idea and will try it out the next time we play the game. Thanks for the post!

Bob, I am not picking on your post, but some of the other ones were long and would have extended this into a second page. So, these comments are in response to all of the above.

First off, you own the game and should play it anyway you want, so give these variants a go and let us know how it plays out.

Second, more historical than what? If you have ever seen my various c3i articles, the historical participants could not and did not know what was possible. The knowing is what makes it in my mind less historical. If you want a more scripted environment then give this or another variant a try, but the notion by following the historical narrative more closely is in my mind just a desire to script and not more historical.

As far as lowering the Foreign Intervention to 90+, give it a try, but you will see far more games with the British in. If that is more historical, well ok. Let us know how that goes.

As I have said before, I have my own thesis of what Lincoln and Davis were experiencing. That is what I was going for, but if you want to align the events to the historical timeline, then you will introduce all of the things that make PoG and other games more popular than FTP, so clearly I am on the wrong side of this argument from a market perspective. If you believe that card counting and knowledge of what events are possible makes it more historical, then have at it.

The most important thing to me is that you have a good time, so whatever makes that happen for you is what you should do.

Mark
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Fred Finkenbinder
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MarkHerman wrote:
[q="Bob.Gibson"]

The most important thing to me is that you have a good time, so whatever makes that happen for you is what you should do.

Amen to that!

As for PoG, it is scripted, but requires even MORE scripting (ala the WBC variant) to push it into historical timelines. Otherwise most games (to my understanding) are won in Italy even if France and Russia collapse...
 
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