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Subject: Impressions and first full campaign rss

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bob lawblaw
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I just finished my first full campaign of TUSCW and I just really love the game and wanted to share some thoughts for anyone who cares to read them.

This is my first non-CDG wargame. I've made the transition from eurogames to wargames over the last year or so through a fairly common gradual path (I think) of Twilight Struggle -> Labyrinth -> COIN series -> "hey this shit is really cool, what else is out there?" I wanted to get a Civil War era game to add to my collection this holidays; I saw For the People (which I also bought but have not yet fully dove into), but needed one more game to meet CSI's free shipping (a great excuse to purchase "one more game" in my estimation) so I decided to try this too. I end up playing a lot of these games solo anyways, so I figured a lack of cards would actually provide a better experience in that respect. With the long holiday weekends (and lackadaisical holiday work schedule) I had the perfect opportunity to spend a whole lot of time learning and playing TUSCW. After a few choppy check-the-rules-every-30-seconds single year scenarios, I felt like I had a smooth grasp on the rules and was ready to try the full campaign.

The game stayed very close for a long while, and the Union was even falling behind their benchmark almost to the point of collapse in 1862 and early 1863, but then they finally broke through some key locations and started steamrolling through the CSA, forcing their surrender at the end of turn 15.

Strategy Impressions:
Union Issues - while fighting through TN in the west, I didn't capture enough towns to be able to use strategic rail movement to keep the flow of troops to the front line at a torrential level. I could only rail them in as far as Nashville, or use my 3 river SPs to Memphis and get a few towns farther from there. Later in the game I decided to start dropping off single SPs along my moves to help "fully convert" territory, which seemed like a good trade-off. In the east, Richmond was a stalemate for most of the game, with the Shenandoah Valley resources swinging back and forth due to small break-offs from the 2 main forces. I suppose I could have transferred 4-star grant there and really bore down on Lee with an endless stream of SPs, but the action point cost seemed better spent elsewhere.

Union Strengths - one of the big turning points in my game was, after taking Memphis, I amphibious assaulted an empty Little Rock AR (in future games this will need CSA protection for sure). From that point forward, the Trans-Mississippi theater was completely redefined. What was before just a back-and-forth battle of maneuver in MO, with little to be gained by either side, suddenly transformed into a nightmare multi-front battle for the CSA where they only were receiving 1 reinforcement a turn. It took a while to clean it up completely, but by the end of the game the Trans-Mississippi theater was essentially closed. In the west, transitioning from the TN resource hex targets to the deep south was awkward, but when I did finally push 4-star Grant with 18 SPs through the Smokies, man did Georgia feel the pain. A couple of big fights between Grant and Bragg around Knoxville/Chattanooga (with Grant victorious) were pretty much the death knell of the CSA with all of arsenals and 2-resource hexes then left undefended in GA.

CSA Issues - I think my biggest problem as the CSA was probably playing too passively. I was trying to fight a defensive war (which I think is obviously always going to be the case), but I rarely if ever found opportunities to go on the offensive at all. My MO felt like fight and fallback, and hope that slows the Union down enough that they fall behind their benchmark (they did for awhile, until they didn't...). I think in a lot of ways, my game played out like the actual history, with the glaring exception that I never felt I had the opportunity to invade the North with a real army a la the Gettysburg Campaign. As mentioned above, not protecting Little Rock was also a major oversight that won't be repeated.

CSA Strengths - man oh man are those CSA cavalry generals a pain in the ass for the Union to chase down. When I was learning the game, I thought it was a peculiarity why cavalry generals take 2 turns to return from displaced boxes. About half way through the game, when I finally started to get the gist of how to use them effectively, I started wondering if it should be 3 turns lol. So fast, so easy to avoid battle continually, and practically immune to attrition outside of the winter. As the CSA I repeatedly sent them North across the Ohio in action phase 4 to grab a couple VPs and make the Union waste piles of action points chasing them down. Late in the game, I started to wonder if, as the Union, it would make sense to build F1 forts on each of the blue state objectives along the Ohio to help neutralize these cavalry raids.


So that's just a small overview of my first impressions and strategy thoughts about the game; please feel free to comment. Especially since solo play can sometimes be void of novel strategies, I'm eager to hear anyone else's thoughts on things that do/don't work from either side's perspective. I haven't tried the advanced naval rules yet, so my plan is to play another full game with the advanced naval rules sometime soon now that I feel like I have a pretty strong grasp on all the main rules.
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Dave Langdon
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Rebels should always be cutting and thrusting, don't underestimate the ability of a plus 1/2 leader and a card plus 2 to crack a position even if a smaller army.

Threatening with the cavalry on its own...can work a lot better under a good leader and 3-6 infantry, screen this force with cavalry,suddenly you have a campaign as opposed to a raid.

A good tip, don't underestimate an entrenched militia, they have a decent chance against a 3sp force to hold them off. So make sure you never give away an objective without at least entrenched militia defence.

I think as solo it's easy to lapse into reacting to Union offence. You must stop at times and force the Rebels onto the front foot, plenty of times you'll face a one action choice to shore up a defence or attack elsewhere.

Attack elsewhere!
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Chris Cramer
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Cavalry is amazing. They can swing behind enemy lines and liberate unoccupied resource hexes and town and really mess with Union supply lines.
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Phil C
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As OP said, attempting to take an objective hex with Cav at the end of a turn to put the pressure on the Union benchmark is a big part of CSA strategy. The fallout of that, just in distracting Union plans and moves alone, is a massive boon nevermind the two VPs.

Had a lot of fun as the CSA in my last two campaigns, its a challenge but a much more creative one too.
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Grant Linneberg
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codelish wrote:
As OP said, attempting to take an objective hex with Cav at the end of a turn to put the pressure on the Union benchmark is a big part of CSA strategy. The fallout of that, just in distracting Union plans and moves alone, is a massive boon nevermind the two VPs.

Had a lot of fun as the CSA in my last two campaigns, its a challenge but a much more creative one too.


Fun? Ha! Phil is being too modest. His CSA beat me twice in a row by being very aggressive and pushing into the north. After the first game I thought I'd learned my lesson. I'd bottled him up pretty good and pushed Grant south in western Tennessee and sent Sherman south in east Tennessee. He had a cav unit in the north that was causing a little trouble but I was dealing with it. I had retaken all the objective hexes in the north, I'd made some landings on the eastern seaboard, I'd taken quite a few resources in Virgina. Then bam! Lee storms back through VA, takes back enough resource hexes that I lose the auto-victory again. An agressive CSA player can be successful, at least against me. (And this was before the recent rule changes that favour the south. Yikes.)

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Jim Dauphinais
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Bob:

Thanks for the nice report. It is always great to hear the stories of those just discovering these games for the first time.

Did you play with the 3-3-16 Living Rules and the Fall 2016 Update Summary?

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bob lawblaw
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Played a second campaign game today - this one ended a little prematurely; the Union was able to put down the rebellion in 7 turns. I decided to see what would happen if the CSA played very aggressively in 1861 by moving J. Johnston and Beauregard both up around Washington through the Shenandoah Valley to capture some Union objective hexes. This "worked" initially, in that it garnered the CSA about 6 VPs by the end of turn 2 (and due to cavalry raids across the Ohio, they stayed right around the 5-7 VP range for the game). However, making that aggressive of a move early ultimately was a large contributor to the early defeat, because 6ish confederate SPs got eaten up by attacks, attrition and surrender that were then unavailable to defend VA in 1862. Not that VA was where the majority of the Union VPs were coming from, but the CSA reinforcements that were able to keep the Union somewhat at bay last game all along the Atlantic and Gulf coasts dried up a lot faster since I needed to basically rebuild the Army of Northern Virginia from scratch as quickly as possible. An early fall of Memphis broke open the Western and Trans-Mississippi theaters way quicker than the CSA was ready for, and again reinforcements that went to New Orleans last game were needed seemingly more urgently in TN, so New Orleans fell in 1862 as well. By turn 7 the Union was trampling the CSA everywhere on all fronts, and the 6 VPs from Johnston's initial offensive into PA were mostly irrelevant. I think this was the quintessential case of the rulebook's advice that invading the North is the quickest way for the CSA to win, but also the quickest way for it to lose too.

I also was trying out the advanced naval rules this game for the first time. Generally didn't have any problems with them. I did feel like the advanced naval rules gave the Union an additional boost as well, although this game was a slaughter so I'll need more time to confirm that. The part that I found particularly hard on the CSA was that they didn't even get to pick where their one naval reinforcement was built, let alone what it was. I ended up with a pair of ironclads in VA that had no way to relocate away from the Norfolk area, with very little ever spawning to defend the Mississippi river. With the Union getting Naval leaders, a fixed reinforcement schedule and Naval replacements, I felt like the CSA shouldn't need to roll random states for placement, and they would still be quite outgunned on the water. What are other people's thoughts on this?

Either way, I definitely need to work on my confederate strategies; I don't know if I'm subconsciously favoring the Union, but I definitely feel more comfortable piloting the boys in blue for sure.

One other question if experienced players want to chime in:
Are there other valid Union game strategies other than what amounts to essentially variations on the Anaconda Plan? I guess you could put a lot of SPs into VA early rather than spread along the coasts, but that just seems like a clearly inferior strategy. Anybody regularly employ alternative Union war plans?
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bob lawblaw
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jimdauphinais wrote:

Bob:

Thanks for the nice report. It is always great to hear the stories of those just discovering these games for the first time.

Did you play with the 3-3-16 Living Rules and the Fall 2016 Update Summary?



Ya. Even playing for the first couple games, I can totally see why the changes to Ocean Naval Transporting were made.
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Dave Langdon
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I always roughly match the Union around Strasburg and Washington, that generally means at least a 4 vs 6 stack...or matching them if they move upto the 7 plus column.

It's very important not to be outmatched facing one leader defending versus a two leader attack force. My current game has just been decided because I was allowed to create a disparity at Strasburg, Lee fought and won two battles because both times it was Lee plus card and extra general with two dice versus an entrenched single leader with one dice. I've retaken Strasburg and Harper's and the union player will not have enough time to rebalance.

Don't throw away Confederate sp's anywhere, they can't afford to lose them to attrition or surrender by poor placement. I was on the back foot in this last game when I lost a battle 3/0 at Nashville, and then a follow up 2/0 due to demoralisation, those 5sps hurt me badly.

Plan on always having a defensive front through all three theatres. If you commit to offence build the rebel force outside your defence. Generally you'll need a minimum of 4 and upto 6 sps to launch a campaign to take 2-3 objectives. Should be led by a +2 and always supported with cards, +1 leader can do it but you'll need a bit of luck.

Work hard to sustain a 12 or 11 rebel reinforcement schedule, it's goes a very long way to winning the war. So think about those border states, invade Kentucky early, push past Springfield and keep a foothold in West Virginia. A thin but entrenched coastal defence.

If the Union player begins to establish a foothold, use Jackson to crush it...and oppose Grant with a two star Hardee.

P.s. I've never use the advanced navy rules so can't comment on that.
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Devin McCane
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Just recently played my second game with a second player who had not played the game before and although we only got through 4 turns before he had to leave, I was pretty much winning as the Confederates. I agree with all the comments about picking and choosing when to play aggressive as the Confederate player. On the first phase of turn one I won the initiative and immediately tried the high risk/high payoff strategy of combining Beauregard and Johnston to attack Patterson's force at Harper's Ferry and it went better than I anticipated with a 2 to 1 casualty result which forced Patterson north and demoralized. I also got lucky with low dice differential rolls of 1 or 2 combined with my friend's somewhat cautious (he plays his wargames like the board game version of McClellan) play and conducted a follow-on attack on Patterson's demoralized force that finished him off. My friend was able to mount a decent response and wasted APs chasing me all around northern MD for the next two turns while I assembled a new army with reinforcements west of Richmond.

While I may have had the benefit of good differential rolls and going up against an inexperienced player, I've played a lot of solo games and have determined that the Confederate player has to play somewhat aggressive to make the Union player react to your moves instead of reacting to them. When playing as the Union in my solo games, it's very easy to get tunnel vision and just focus on pushing south in a linear fashion in both the West and East theaters, but amphibious invasions along the coast (harder to pull off with the new rules) are still necessary to pull away some Confederate SPs from the main armies. Attacking Dover is also important once KY joins Union or on the turn Confederates invade. It's very difficult for the Confederate player to build forts and adequately defend all three key locations (Columbus, Dover, Nashville) to prevent the Union from breaking through TN, so the Union player must exploit which of those three places are weakest by Turn 4.
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bob lawblaw
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dm1985 wrote:
Just recently played my second game with a second player who had not played the game before and although we only got through 4 turns before he had to leave, I was pretty much winning as the Confederates. I agree with all the comments about picking and choosing when to play aggressive as the Confederate player. On the first phase of turn one I won the initiative and immediately tried the high risk/high payoff strategy of combining Beauregard and Johnston to attack Patterson's force at Harper's Ferry and it went better than I anticipated with a 2 to 1 casualty result which forced Patterson north and demoralized. I also got lucky with low dice differential rolls of 1 or 2 combined with my friend's somewhat cautious (he plays his wargames like the board game version of McClellan) play and conducted a follow-on attack on Patterson's demoralized force that finished him off. My friend was able to mount a decent response and wasted APs chasing me all around northern MD for the next two turns while I assembled a new army with reinforcements west of Richmond.


This was basically what I did to open my game, but what first seemed like an opportunistic offensive quickly turned into a suicide mission. Which based on the results, I think this becomes great advice:

Quote:
Don't throw away Confederate sp's anywhere, they can't afford to lose them to attrition or surrender by poor placement.


Also -

Quote:
When playing as the Union in my solo games, it's very easy to get tunnel vision and just focus on pushing south in a linear fashion in both the West and East theaters, but amphibious invasions along the coast (harder to pull off with the new rules) are still necessary to pull away some Confederate SPs from the main armies.


Maybe it was the limited amount of history I remember from 8th grade, or the little bits and pieces of strategy I'd read on the forums before I started playing, but the 'forward to Richmond' style linear push south has not generally been my MO. I'm always trying to land forces along the coast and then use the 3 SPs from Ocean Strategic Naval Movement to reinforce the position the following turn, thus opening more and more fronts that the CSA needs to devote at least a couple of his reinforcements to hold back the Union from getting into the juicy (mostly undefended) southern heartland. In both full games I've played, the Union will dance around Northern Virginia and grab a few VPs in the Shenandoah Valley, but the Army of the Potomac's main purpose has been to threaten an attack on Richmond that never actually happens.
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Ken
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Cage wrote:
Plan on always having a defensive front through all three theatres. If you commit to offence build the rebel force outside your defence. Generally you'll need a minimum of 4 and upto 6 sps to launch a campaign to take 2-3 objectives. Should be led by a +2 and always supported with cards, +1 leader can do it but you'll need a bit of luck.


I'm a total of two games in, but this seems dead-on to me. But I'm running in to two problems with this:

1. The impact generals have is nowhere near as large as it was in VG The Civil War, which dramatically limits the CSA options and forces them towards a far more reactionary/responsive strategy throughout.

2. The combination of Union reinforcements and huge strategic movement capacity makes it just about impossible to achieve even a temporary superiority over the Union to put any pressure on them. This leaves the CSA incredibly vulnerable to amphibious attacks, which are much easier to win than they were in VG The Civil War (no intrinsic strength points, for example).

The Union advantages I expect to see in a strategic ACW game are all there, but feel magnified to levels that suck a great deal of the interest out of the game for me right now. The limitations on CSA reinforcement placement, for example, make it nearly impossible to manage anything close to parity with the Union, and the leadership rules make mass very, very important (that 7th SP is huge, the 9th even more important).

Thus far, I'm missing the attraction for the game. The CSA feels so hamstrung and overmatched out of the gate that I seriously wonder whether or not the Union can even be seriously challenged without series of disastrous die rolls. If the Union keeps pressure on the CSA, options appear to be pretty much limited to harassing the Union with cavalry raids with few to any true options to maneuver forces and engage in field combats that could be telling.

Granted, this is only a second play, so I may be missing something. I'm just not seeing this as engaging or interesting strategically as some of the other games covering the period. Happy to hear suggestions/corrections/etc.
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Richard Cuccia
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----- [1] First, I have played both GMT CW & Victory Games CW. GMT CW is a darn good game. However, despite 30 plus years of wargame technology since the 1983 publishing of VG CW available to it, GMT CW is not a better game than VG CW, and further GMT CW is not a better simulation than VG CW.

----- [2] """The impact generals have is nowhere near as large as it was in VG The Civil War, which dramatically limits the CSA options and forces them towards a far more reactionary/responsive strategy throughout."""
This is correct. Real life Civil War leaders were incredibly important, & they made a gigantic difference in real life initiative, movement & battles. VG CW reflects this difference, but GMT CW does not. In GMT CW, the top notch leaders, like Lee, Grant, Sherman, Jackson, Thomas, & Longstreet are barely more useful or better than utter dregs leaders, like Banks, Fremont, & Sigel; & those somewhat less bad leaders, like Burnsides, McClellan, Polk, Bragg, & Rosecrans. In VG CW, the good leaders will dominate the dregs leaders, & will have clear advantage over the somewhat less bad leaders.

----- [3] """The combination of Union reinforcements and huge strategic movement capacity makes it just about impossible to achieve even a temporary superiority over the Union to put any pressure on them. This leaves the CSA incredibly vulnerable to amphibious attacks, which are much easier to win than they were in VG The Civil War (no intrinsic strength points, for example)."""
This is basically correct. In GMT CW, union amphibious invasions are easier than in VG CW. However, this GMT trait does reflect the historical facts that Union amphibious invasions, especially against lightly defended areas were most difficult for the South to succeed against the initial invasion. However, the GMT CW amphibious invasion follow up & inland exploitation are far to favorable to the North. In real life, due to leadership & especially logistics problems, the Union was truly unable to advance more than a few miles inland, as VG CW correctly reflects.

----- [4] I could go on, but I will not do so now.

Slainte, Richard
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David desJardins
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PiggDogg wrote:
In GMT CW, the top notch leaders, like Lee, Grant, Sherman, Jackson, Thomas, & Longstreet are barely more useful or better than utter dregs leaders, like Banks, Fremont, & Sigel


I have to completely disagree with this. The difference between move 3 and move 5 is enormous, not to mention the combat bonuses. I really don't see how you can believe this after playing the game.
 
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bob lawblaw
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Ya, I've gotta say that I think the generals have a fairly large impact on the game. Saying Jackson at 2-2 Atk/Def and 5 move isn't much better than a cautious Fremont or Halleck at 1-1 Atk/Def and 3 move (that costs 2 action points to activate for an attack) is a little bit shortsighted.

I've never played the VG Civil War, so I can't really comment on the comparisons, but the impact of generals feels of an appropriate magnitude here to me. I'm no civil war historian by a long shot, so I could be way out of touch on that I suppose.

The only thing I find a little counter-intuitive is the fact that DRMs lose value as the number of dice rolled increases with how the CRT scales. e.g. a 6 SP force with a +4 DRM will likely beat a 7 SP force with a +4 DRM because of the scaling of the 2 dice columns compared to the 1 die columns. I can see an argument for how this makes some sense (bigger forces need more leadership infrastructure to run properly, don't all fit within fortifications, etc), but it does feel a little loophole-ish sometimes to me too (e.g. especially with 5/6 SPs in F2/F3 forts on defense; a automatic result of '2' is tough to beat).
 
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Ken
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bob654 wrote:
Ya, I've gotta say that I think the generals have a fairly large impact on the game. Saying Jackson at 2-2 Atk/Def and 5 move isn't much better than a cautious Fremont or Halleck at 1-1 Atk/Def and 3 move (that costs 2 action points to activate for an attack) is a little bit shortsighted.


It's not clear who you're replying to, so I'm replying as though you're responding to me.

I'm definitely *not* saying that the better leaders don't provide advantages, and sometimes significant advantages, over their less useful counterparts. One of the key differences between this game and VG's The Civil War is the use of a leader initiative rating in the older game. Where every general (that isn't cautious) costs 1 AP to activate in this game, leaders had different values that you spent CP (the equivalent to AP) to activate them. Good leaders (Lee, Grant, Thomas, Jackson) cost less to activate than bad ones (Fremont, Halleck, Banks) and thus can take more actions (move, attack, rally). This can lead to absolutely huge swings in the situation on the ground that work both for one side or against them. For example - the dice difference may mean that Lee gets the opportunity to move into PA or MD and start inflicting damage on the Union at breakneck speed. But then an unlucky dice difference allows the Union to turn the tables, even with a less talented general (simulating something like finding the ANV's orders for a battle, perhaps).

The way combat modifiers are applied when armies are in play is also a significant difference - there's a limit to the DRM you can receive, but every general with an army will contribute to the combat (good or bad) when present. There are some (very good) optional rules that require armies to have a certain number of SP present for generals to come into play, but even these aren't particularly onerous with the overall rules and flow of the game.

My concerns with the combat tables have a bit more to do with the difficulties that the CSA will have mustering 7+ SP (or worse, 13+) and even bringing multiple generals into play in combat. The mechanics of the game would appear to make this far more difficult for the CSA to accomplish than the Union, which dramatically reduces the relative benefits of better generals.

Again, I'm only two plays in, so I'm happy to be corrected. It just seems like the Union is an unstoppable juggernaut that can, at best, only be slowed by the CSA with very little opportunity to achieve even a local superiority in forces or position if the Union player is smart. As a result, this game isn't "hooking" me as being as interesting to play as VG's The Civil War (which I highly recommend - I wrote an extensive review of it).
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David desJardins
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perfalbion wrote:
It's not clear who you're replying to, so I'm replying as though you're responding to me.


He's agreeing with my response to Richard, who said the leaders don't matter much. You didn't say that.

It's not clear to me, in your posting, if you're playing with the latest rules and balance adjustments, or the original rules.
 
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Ken
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DaviddesJ wrote:
perfalbion wrote:
It's not clear who you're replying to, so I'm replying as though you're responding to me.


He's agreeing with my response to Richard, who said the leaders don't matter much. You didn't say that.


True, but I did say they matter less than VG's game.

Quote:
It's not clear to me, in your posting, if you're playing with the latest rules and balance adjustments, or the original rules.


We're using the latest rules.
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Richard Cuccia
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"""The difference between move 3 and move 5 is enormous, not to mention the combat bonuses. I really don't see how you can believe this after playing the game."""

Let me clarify. In GMT CW, there is a fair difference between the top-notch leaders & the dregs leaders. It is my fault for overstating in my original statement.

However, in real life & without any doubt in VG CW, the difference between the top-notch leaders & the dregs leaders is much greater, much more dramatic, & has much larger effect in the game than the same difference in GMT CW. This VG CW difference between the top-notch leaders & the dregs more accurately reflects historical reality.
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Dave Langdon
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I've not played the other games.

It's very attainable early to hold a 12sp reinforcement schedule for the CSA. That really offsets union numeric superiority.

The key to offence comes from having exact parity of activations/cards, the union can mass in a few places under bad leadership...the rebels have better leaders early. You cannot just match the union move by move, but you can absolutely make him react to rebel moves.

A key to a 6sp campaign is to use say Jackson, target a force you can break, then attack again with continuous movement and destroy completely with demoralisation. If the union starts rallying and entrenching, well good luck having enough activations elsewhere to wage progressive war. Killing those extra sps via demoralisation is key.

The rebels have enough strategic move and transfer of generals to counter threats on internal lines. That 3sp invasion that gives you a foothold can quickly turn into a death trap that you cant escape. There are spare rebel generals like Mcgruder who are great at defending the coast. Generally the Union will need to use a card to break him, and that's an important card that's not used elsewhere (and possibly two cards if amphib, that's a whole turn of cards in one op).

The difference in this game between...0/1/2 modifiers is enormous, and the same with move 3/4/5. You must back battles with cards, it's a very risky business fighting without them and should only be done if you have certain superiority.

You cannot wage effective war with move 3 and 0 attack mod, a leader with 1/0 is very susceptible to counterattack, and is best used in an army to provide extra offence.

1/1/4 is what I deem needed for taking ground, enough movement and acceptable mods.

2 mod is powerful either on offence or defence. Spear tip and shield, they should always be your primary focus of attack and defence.

5 move is a blitz, it's a heck of a way on that map and allows the crossing of a +1 move mod likes it's free. A 3 move leader is like sludge if they have to cross a river, and honestly if you are using a precious activation on a 3 leader or let alone a cautious leader...you're way off on where your focus should be.

West Virginia is a great example for learning the leaders...Little Mac can take the whole thing if he gets a bit of luck (assuming he doesn't get delayed by the dreaded entrenched militia). Post his promotion, you can lose the whole war by trying to continue with him.
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Dave Langdon
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A disclaimer to all my above posts.

I'm commenting from having played this game solid for ages. It's very deep and the rules are actually quite difficult.

So early on I really think you can get unbalanced games which stem from a player's innate ability to either attack or defend.

I think I learnt best playing it solo, it forced me to appreciate both sides.

I've probably had upwards of 50 games now.
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Jim Dauphinais
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This has been a good discussion. Thank you to all of the contributors.
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Ken
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Cage wrote:
A key to a 6sp campaign is to use say Jackson, target a force you can break, then attack again with continuous movement and destroy completely with demoralisation. If the union starts rallying and entrenching, well good luck having enough activations elsewhere to wage progressive war. Killing those extra sps via demoralisation is key.


I guess this is the part that I'm struggling with - it would seem to me that it will be difficult for the CSA to peel off 6SP without dramatically weakening another position. The way that combat results work in this game, it's very difficult to have a Chancellorsville type result where the Union casualties dramatically exceed the CSA casualties, which means that they will typically be able to maintain at least parity, if not superiority. And, given the nature of Union generals, they will tend to be most effective on defense early in the game.

I can see the merits of the strategy, I'm simply struggling to see how the numbers will end up working out in such a way that the CSA can realistically mount or sustain such a campaign without exposing themselves dramatically in some other area.

This certainly may be a result of insufficient play experience and needing to switch up the sides that we're playing (so that different strategies get tested out). But as I see it now, this seems predicated on the Union making moves that enable a Shenandoah-style campaign by being insufficiently cautions and smart.
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bob lawblaw
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jimdauphinais wrote:
This has been a good discussion. Thank you to all of the contributors.


Yes, I agree, this was exactly the kind of dialogue I was hoping for.

Quote:
it's very difficult to have a Chancellorsville type result where the Union casualties dramatically exceed the CSA casualties, which means that they will typically be able to maintain at least parity, if not superiority


This is true, but I think if you can keep it at parity, and not superiority, you're on the road to victory as the CSA. Theoretically, keeping the Union at a stalemate is a winning game for the CSA because the Union will fall behind its benchmark (we'll see if I can make that happen when I can a new game set up this weekend...)
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Ken
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bob654 wrote:
jimdauphinais wrote:
This has been a good discussion. Thank you to all of the contributors.


Yes, I agree, this was exactly the kind of dialogue I was hoping for.

Quote:
it's very difficult to have a Chancellorsville type result where the Union casualties dramatically exceed the CSA casualties, which means that they will typically be able to maintain at least parity, if not superiority


This is true, but I think if you can keep it at parity, and not superiority, you're on the road to victory as the CSA. Theoretically, keeping the Union at a stalemate is a winning game for the CSA because the Union will fall behind its benchmark (we'll see if I can make that happen when I can a new game set up this weekend...)


I agree. It's just not a particularly engaging game. With the numerous opportunities for (relatively easy) amphibious assaults, I'm also not sure that it's a good long-term strategy. But I need to play more - limited experience does not informed commentary make. Thus far, our games have been the Union rolling over the CSA at a fast enough pace to avoid a benchmark loss, but with relatively little urgency or real chance for the CSA to punch back meaningfully.
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