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Battle Cry: 150th Civil War Anniversary Edition» Forums » Strategy

Subject: Where Have All the Generals Gone?! rss

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Gil Hansen
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Where Have All the Generals Gone?!


As a crusty Battle Cry veteran of six months, I have found myself pondering the relative absence of strategic and tactical advice on this game. I love war-gaming, especially board-style wargames, and often frequent a number of other game sites for some my favorite genres. While there is usually a wealth of constructive “military doctrine” for most of them, such is unfortunately not the case for Battle Cry. As I considered this apparent discrepancy, I realized two things:

First, there actually is good strategic and tactical advice to be found, only not where you might expect to find it – in the Strategy forum. There is a small handful of exceptions which have generated some helpful conversation, but, by and large, they represent only a fraction of the total. One has to read posts from other forums, i.e. Reviews, Sessions, General, Rules and even Variants, in order to pick up valuable military “secrets” and tid-bits. It doesn’t appear that much effort has been made to systematically codify any working Battle Cry strategies or tactics. Amidst the volumes written, there is a woeful dearth of strictly strategic or tactical threads. One has to dig deep into the crux of wide-ranging posts to find what he is looking for.

Second, the nuances of the game itself make the pursuit of “sound military doctrine” a bit difficult. No scenario will play exactly the same twice, and so, trying to come up with a consistent approach to each scenario can be challenging, if not impossible. Compounding this is the fact that the Commands and Colors game system, of which Battle Cry is just one version, has an incredibly diverse interest base with each version sporting its own variations and alterations. Successful strategies and tactics for Battle Cry may not work so well or may even be forbidden in another C&C game.

All of this aside, however, certainly there must be strategies and tactics that have been successfully employed by experienced gamers. Maybe it’s a mindset or strategic philosophy. Perhaps it is an approach to a particular scenario. Maybe someone has found a better way of deploying their units, when feasible, or a better way of making the most of a specific card. I don’t know what might be out there in the fertile minds of experienced Battle Cry gamers but I’d sure like to find out.

You may ask, “why all the fuss?” I mean, who really cares whether anyone writes a new thread on the Battle Cry Strategy forum? The answer is simple: I like to win. When I play a game, I like to master it, and if someone can offer me a strategic or tactical advantage that might enhance my play, I am more than willing to listen…er, read. Right now, I would classify my Battle Cry game play as definitely mediocre. The nuances of this game both frustrate and entice me. I have certainly suffered my fair share of humiliating defeats. “Was it the cards I drew, or perhaps the lack of them? Maybe it was the cold dice I was forced to use? Of course, my opponent always has a better starting position and invariably gets to go first.” To the casual reader, these statements may seem to be nothing more than excuses and “sour grapes”, but to the more astute reader, it will become quite obvious that these statements are…nothing more than excuses and “sour grapes”. But I’m hooked! I must continue to play!

So, if there are any Battle Cry generals out there who have any strategic or tactical advice they would care to share, let the Strategy forum and its little threads roll!
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Mark McG
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I'd offer a few brief considerations
- infantry fire gets better as it closes, therefore infantry tend to close together rapidly
- units attack at full strength to the last figure, so where possible, concentrate on eliminating entirely a unit, both for the banner and the prevention of any return fire
- pull your own weak units to the rear or into cover.
- concentrate on infantry targets as the easiest to hit
- but do the math.. 3 dice on artillery gives a better hit chance that 1 die on infantry
- terrain helps defense, but tends to hinder attack.
- hand management. If you are attacking, concentrate your cards to move attack units several times.
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Gil Hansen
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Thank you, Mark. Your bullet points are easy to read and digest. Some of them confirmed my own thoughts and others made me think: duh! why didn't I think of that?!blush
 
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GodRob
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While primarily used for killing vampires, a wooden stake to the heart is also highly effective against most other opponents.
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- Cavalry are brittle vulnerable. Almost any use of them will cost you their flag. Hit and Run only.
- When you need one more flag to win, Don't Rush!

edit: Cavalry are now vulnerable
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Gil Hansen
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robertg611 wrote:
Cavalry are brittle. Almost any use of them will cost you their flag. Hit and Run only.

Personally, I prefer the word "vulnerable". I have read another poster in the Review forum reference cavalry as "executioners". When engaging under-strength enemy units, cavalry can be very effective in quickly delivering the knock-out punch. If used in coordination with another unit, it can also be effective by rapidly moving support in for a decisive blow. Otherwise, the OP is correct: you can loose your cavalry very quickly.

As far as rushing things goes, that is often my error. Getting impatient and suffering the consequences.

For what it's worth (FWIW).
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Jon Snow
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Here are a few more:

*If you don't like your set up, be patient and redraw your cards while shuffling units around, if you have the time.

*When you don't have the cards you want, use them as a feint at start to draw attention away from where you really want to attack, while pulling new cards that may improve your hand.

*The "Reverse Slope" defense is often useful in defending terrain. Rather than defending on it, where you can be shot at, stand behind it and counter attack your opponent, hopefully after he's lost a block or two, when he lands on it with your fresh unit.

*Play your opponent, as well as the game. Especially if he/she is not a patient person.

*Use the Longstreet Plan: first defend in terrain and cause casualties, then counter attack the enemy's weakened units.

Finally, a full volume Strategy Guide for Memoir 44 was written in France, and is (or was) available in English a few years back. Many tips for one game are applicable to the others. Here's my review of it:

https://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/1608756/review-memoir-4...
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Gil Hansen
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Thank you, Jon! Excellent points along with an historical flair (i.e. the "Longstreet Plan"). Also appreciate the link...good stuff.
 
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Brett Pierotte
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Whenever possible, try to keep units on the dividing lines between sectors. Since units on these lines are considered to be in both sectors simultaneously, it increases your chances they can be activated.
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Gil Hansen
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Incidentally, does anyone have any scenario-specific advice for a particular scenario that you have found helpful? Doesn't matter which one or if it's USA or CSA. Those "generals" with more play-experience with a specific scenario might have learned a few things.
 
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