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Subject: Anaconda Plan rss

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L Gravel
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I like A House Divided. But having done a fair amount of reading on the ACW, it seems strange to have a strategic treatment of the subject without allowing for the Anaconda Plan. That is, there is no rules benefit to the Union for completely occupying the Mississippi, or even for taking Vicksburg.

Jim
 
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Ben Vögel
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Golden Valley
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I've been on this site for 15 years now, and I'm far from sick of games, but I think I prefer a better balance of favorites to new games. I'm also tired of playing 4+ hr multiplayer games, but I'll still happily play really long games 2 player.
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loosegravel wrote:
there is no rules benefit to the Union for completely occupying the Mississippi, or even for taking Vicksburg.


I think if the Union is truly occupying the entire Mississippi, and haven't completely neglected the East, then they have won the game in all practicality, if not in detail.

Vicksburg as part of that scenario means a great deal. Vicksburg without the rest of the Mississippi wouldn't necessarily be decisive in the game, nor would it necessarily have been in actuality.
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Chris Valk
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shaveandahaircut wrote:
loosegravel wrote:
there is no rules benefit to the Union for completely occupying the Mississippi, or even for taking Vicksburg.


I think if the Union is truly occupying the entire Mississippi, and haven't completely neglected the East, then they have won the game in all practicality, if not in detail.

Quite right. Occupying the Mississippi robs the Condederate States of 5 recruitment points. Not a game-winner, nor should it be; by the time the river was conquered, rail commerce and the explosion of the North's industrial might had rendered the Mississippi an economic backwater.

The Anaconda Plan is also modeled very abstractly in the game through the Command Table, which shows how the North's blockade steadily frittered away at the Confederacy's ability to maintain its infrastructure.

Rather than being a design weakness, it could be argued that the game accurately models the inherent weakness of the Anaconda Plan. Simply maintaining an economic stranglehold was not enough to secure the total victory Lincoln sought. He had to destroy the Confederate armies in the field, as well as occupy centers of Confederate political and economic power.
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Todd Pytel
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Excellent points all around, Chris.

LaggingEdge wrote:
The Anaconda Plan is also modeled very abstractly in the game through the Command Table, which shows how the North's blockade steadily frittered away at the Confederacy's ability to maintain its infrastructure.

Right. And I would suggest that this is really a pretty good way to do it. I'm not an expert on the Union's naval blockade and the Southern economy, but from what I've read it just doesn't seem like there's much game there. The Union blocks the ports. Some blockade runners slip through, but by and large the South still has lots of cotton sitting in storage. Really, how much is there to play out? Over time, the economy and infrastructure are increasingly weakened, as reflected in the Command Table, but a simple siege can't bring down the Confederacy, as Lincoln and the commanders quickly realized. The Union has to occupy the South to win, and that's where the game is at.

edit: typo
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Derek Dunnagan
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The Anaconda Plan and the Union naval blockade are reflected in the game by assigning inflated recruitment values to the Confederate port cities. This encourages the historical Union strategy of taking Confederate ports to constrict the Confederate war effort.

I agree with the original poster that the Mississippi seems to be de-emphasized. It could be argued that Vicksburg and New Orleans both deserve an extra recruitment point. Of course, since the total recruitment values all add up to 36, those two extra points would have to come from somewhere. Given how well everything else works in the game, I'm sure that Chadwick had a reason for de-emphasizing the Mississippi River cities (and for not making Philadelphia a port), but I do find it curious.
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john f stup
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the war still had to be won on the field.
 
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