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Subject: Stopping the French blob rss

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Eric Brosius
United States
Needham Heights
Massachusetts
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My favorite 18xx game for six players is two games of 1846 with three players each.
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The last few games I've played have featured a spreading blue blob south of Paris. Sure, the English have better leaders and better access to longbowmen, but that French blob is hard to stop.

Andy Young and I played a game last night, and he used the blob to beat me by about 10 VP. Here's his Session Report:

http://boardgamegeek.com/thread/446739

I consciously tried to move forces southeast from Brittany to tear into the blob, but I got no further than Anjou. Beyond that, he kept managing to stop me in my tracks.

I can see that there are other ways to approach this situation, which means we have more enjoyable sessions in our future as we figure it out, but it was a tough struggle last night.
 
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Man thinks, the river flows.
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Riva
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    That does indeed seem to be the best way for the French to gain footing, at least in 100yw. I kind of move east and south, and it's up to the English player to take the initiative and drive into the middle of that.

    For the English it's get the coast and hold it as near as I can tell.

             Sag.


 
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Chris Montgomery
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Joliet
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The Coat of Arms of Clan Montgomery - Scotland. Yes, that's a woman with the head of a savage in her hand, and an anchor. No clue what it means, but it's cool.
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When I play England, I use their superior combat abilities to capture the "nearby," high-value areas. Keep in mind that Aquitaine and Flanders are both easy captures for England specifically because the French player will be foraging south and east with his "guaranteed" captures.

In other words, as England, you should concentrate on setting up your own blob. Capturing Flanders and Aquitaine alone will net you the equivalent of FOUR I and II French territories.

After you have created your own English "blob" along the coasts (Britanny, Normandy, Picardy, Flanders, Aquitaine), and possibly after you've captured Wales (don't worry about Scotland, it will go back and forth throughout the game), THEN start hitting the French. The English can usually consolidate quite an area by turn 4 or 5.

Use the superior English armies to keep France away from Flanders, Normany, and Aquitaine. I would go so far as to say that you should garrison Aquitaine with a good leader for offering siege.

Anyway, once established as England, THEN go after France. Generally, I try to wicker-snap the north and south ends of France with Aquitaine as my southern base and Brittany/Normandy as my northern one.

Normandy is a huge launching point for many English armies (again, when I play), since it is accessible for reinforcing up to four areas on the continent, including ANY area that could reasonably be used to invade England (the French could use the Netherlands, but you'd have plenty of time to react and they would probably be leaving a gaping hole to the south, anyway).

So, while the French have the "blob" the English have "the crust"--superiority along the coasts. They also have better military commanders (for the most part) and can usually push the French out of nearly any territory if it comes to a fight.

As France, when fighting off the English, don't be afraid to use sieges--especially if the enemy has to roll a 6 or better, and in many cases, even a 5 or better. You might lose a few leaders, but most of the time you will rebuff the English in a frustrating game of sieges.

That can help keep your French blob intact. Usually, even if the English win the siege, they still have to roll for control with (at best) a 50% chance.

I'm not a great player by any means, just keep in mind that it's ALL ABOUT area control. Battlefield victories mean absolutely nothing, other than its effect on controlling areas.

Hope that helps.
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Severus Snape
Canada
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Pascal said, "The eternal silence of these infinite spaces terrifies me."
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"The heart has its reasons which reason knows nothing of."--Pascal
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Eric,

the first thing you do is bring in Steve McQueen.

The second thing you do is to come up with a better name than the "blob." Seriously. Said the guy signing off in his typical . . . goo

goo

 
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