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Subject: You Can't Always Get What You Want . . . rss

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Drew Ames
United States
Harrisburg
Pennsylvania
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. . . and sometimes you don't get what you need either.

I recently finished an epic game with my son -- our third session. This time I played as the Union forces and John had his chance to attack and try to drive me off the map.

Things started slowly. It seemed that everyone's reinforcements were taking their time, and enjoying the early July weather (low 70s, gentle breeze and cloudy sky, apparently see: http://www.gdg.org/Research/Other%20Documents/Newspaper%20Cl...). Who wouldn't enjoy a nice hike through Central PA on a day like that? Anyway, as the morning wore on Rebel soldiers trickled in and Buford's divisions did an admirable job delaying the enemy and giving me a chance to move my objectives back to good, defensible positions.

I actually squandered two objectives moves. I pulled the right flank objective in too far to legally place the center objective where I really wanted it (due to the required spaces between objectives), so I had to move it back. In the end, all three objectives were about one area away from where I really wanted them. As the title says, you can't always get what you want.

By mid-afternoon, I had a good-sized force arrayed on Seminary Ridge. (As a bit of personal history, my father-in-law attended that seminary.) John tried a series of attacks on my line but was repulsed each time. He lost one unit as completely eliminated. My advantage was that he attached the Iron Brigade, and I had slightly better artillery. I then surprised him by withdrawing south of town and setting up much closer to my objectives on Cemetery Ridge, near the Round Tops, and near Culps Hill.

As second player, John had control over the turn duration. He took advantage of a couple of multi-hour turns that first day and into the morning of the third day to gather and prepare to assault my flanks. I, in the meantime, fortified my center and tried to maintain a mobile reserve behind my lines.

And then we turned all the pieces face down, put a large piece of Plexiglas over the board, and neatly stacked all the blocks and tokens. The next day we shipped John off for a week at Camp Nawakwa, which is a couple of ridges northwest of Gettysburg. With my wife's permission, the dining room table remained mostly unusable for a week.

John came back the following Saturday. We picked the battle up again on Sunday.



At that point, John dictated the pace of the game using multi-hour turns to get into position for an attack and then another short multi-hour turn followed by another attack — all through the afternoon of the second day. He first went after my left flank, but Sedgwick arrived in time to bolster Sykes in defense of the left flank. The totally obstructed terrain right in front of the objective, combined with fields of fire from Sykes and Reynolds to Sedgwick’s right thwarted the Confederate assaults, but not without loss.

The John turned to my right flank. At the end of the first night, I entrenched in the center. At the end of the second night, I entrenched on the right. It was a good thing too. The right flank had a clear area to its north that was like an open invitation to an assault. I moved my reserve there. It helped that Kilpatrick showed up very early on the third day, and more reinforcements arrived from the Baltimore Pike while the Confederates were moving to position. It was a bit less bloody than on the left flank, and the Confederates were repulsed. I even managed to do a brief sortie, pivoting from my line southeast of town to attack the rear of John’s right-most unit on my left flank.

Finally, having tried both flanks, and still having strong units left, John tried his luck on my center. He had little artillery left, and I had lots. And, I was on a ridge with excellent defensive artillery bonuses. The results were predictably bad for the Confederates. That was it for this battle. We called it halfway through the third day.

When I flipped my blocks down for John to see, he was amazed at how many 1-strength blocks I had. He was _this close_ to victory at a few points, but always ran out of artillery or full-strength blocks to finish things off.



The next morning, as we were getting ready to head out the door, he said without preamble, “Dad, I should have been more patient.” I know he was thinking about the game.
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Edwin S
United Kingdom
Bristol
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Nice report. Love this game. I always seem to run head first into the Iron Brigade at precisely the wrong time.
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Fred Buchholz
United States
Middleton
Wisconsin
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Ilikegames wrote:
Nice report. Love this game. I always seem to run head first into the Iron Brigade at precisely the wrong time.
We union players love to play cat and mouse games with this unit, I think one time I had the confederates sure it was hte iron brigade so they attacked elsewhere - I got Reynolds late but bluffed my way through that one.
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David Martin
United States
GENEVA
Illinois
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Ilikegames wrote:
Nice report. Love this game. I always seem to run head first into the Iron Brigade at precisely the wrong time.
Love this game too, but I can never seem to get the Iron Brigade to the right place at the right time. It's like my opponents have a sixth sense as to where I put it, and simply attack elsewhere.
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