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Subject: Playtest game, July 2012 rss

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Michel Boucher
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(This will be crossposted to Consimworld at John's request)

USA: John Poniske
CSA: myself

On turn 1, Price and McCullough were booted out of Springfield MO by Lyon, Curtis and Buell. Price counter-attacked but was unable to dislodge the Northern bandits. Lyon was killed (somewhat historically) in Springfield MO by a sharpshooter although it could have been a "dullshooter" and still would have killed him ;-)

By the end of turn 2, the situation was as follows: 2 ESPs removed from US track, 1 per turn, due to successful naval raiders, CSA fleet unscathed, North missed his obligation in the Eastern theatre, CSA attacked Kentucky using a Campaign card. Buckner and Pillow went to Paducah and Beauregard and A.S. Johnston went to Bowling Green with Forrest who had earlier railed up to Nashville. The Partisan (Irregulars) card was played to place Morgan in Kentucky, and he went with Beauregard to strengthen the defense of Louisville. The US amassed an army in Cairo composed of Sigel, Grant and McClernand. Beauregard took Louisville and A.S. Johnston took Lexington. By the end of the turn, only one two-star unit of transition troops was left in Henry and Donaldson (after a retreat from Paducah), Buckner was dead and Pillow disgraced.

In the Eastern Theatre, Macpherson, with McClellan, Hancock and Stoneman, attacked Spartanburg (with a pointless cavalry skirmish) but lost the push, and much to his chagrin, lost McClellan in the process. Pope and Butler moved from Columbus towards Charleston. Ashby stood firm to boost the defense. Stoneman moved out on CSA's last card and failed to do any damage.

CSA ended turn 2 with 29 PS to 15 for the US.

Notes will sketchy from here on, as some time has passed since I started this AAR.

By turn 4, Morgan was gone, having been eliminated by Rosecrans and company. Beauregard escaped to Lexington. Sigel was still sitting in Paducah facing Pillow in Henry & Donaldson (across a river). A strong force, including Hood, was shaping up in Memphis. Price and McCullough, outside Springfield MO, were joined by Cleburne, making it difficult for Curtis and three stars of transition troops to push on ahead. Except for Pope having captured Charleston WV (and Ashby having retreated), not much had happened in the east. Generals were piling into the capitals with each reinforcement. By the end of turn 4, New Orleans was in Union hands, with Wallace and McDowell (1 star each) under Reno (2 star). At sea, the South still had three cruisers and they were scoring at least one point on Union ESPs per turn, having lost only the Alabama so far. In the dead pile were: McClellan and Buell (1 star), Lyon, Buckner and Ewell (2 star), and one CSA star of Transition troops was lost due to excessive ITs (9) at the end of the turn.

At the end of turn 4, the situation in PCs had reversed, with Union having 25 for 17 to the Confederates.

Turn 5 saw changes in the deep South. Polk, railed in to Baton Rouge to prevent the collapse of the Mississippi region, was reinforced by Bragg and Wheeler, and the force withdrew from Baton Rouge to Natchez where, at the end, Bragg was disgraced due to excessive ITs. Four raiders, now unopposed as the North had shifted to a policy of blockading, were able to reduce Union ESPs. Kentucky had all but fallen to Union hands Lexington still held with A.S. (S for Stonewall) Johnston in charge facing Fabian Strategist Thomas in Louisville. Hood, supported by Van Dorn, Pillow and Forrest (2-stars) and other 1-star generals in Henry & Donaldson facing Grant, Sigel (2-stars) and two other generals in Paducah.

At the end of turn 5, the Union had 17 PCs to the Confederates' 7 PCs.

During turn 6, there was finally movement in the East: Burnside moved against Richmond, the South very nearly got Recognition from Europe however Burnside decided to stand instead of running. By the end of turn 7, the blockade had imposed ITs on every southern army, although the effect was muted by the removal of 4 out of 5 Northern ESPs by a stupendous action by the still unopposed cruisers, each one scoring a perfect hit on turn 7. The south had 5 ESPs to the North's 1, making attacks precarious. In railing on turn 7, Grant inadvertently becomes a subordinate of Sherman. Polk's army in Natchez, now led by Pemberton, was forced to retreat, but managed to stop an invasion of the Mississippi.

The South had to stay the chance to buy the Assassination card to remain afloat on turn 7.

Many good generals left out standing in their fields due to lack of useable cards.

Not many campaign cards were played.

The South was beaten to a pulp in last two hands...not much action, minimal PCs and ESPs and plagued with seditionist. Players emptied both decks on the last draw.

VPs

Total PCs remaining US - 3 CSA - 0
City supply points US - 11 CSA - 1
Total blockade US - 6 CSA - 5
Control KY and MO - US - 5
Raiders in Play - CSA - 4
CSA army in Northern State - CSA - 1
No emancipation Proc. CSA - 2
Control Mississippi - CSA - 4

US = 25
CS = 17

Conclusion: The game was a loss win for the South, but not by much, given the advantage the North had with blockading 11 supply points and imposing that many ITs on Southern armies each turn from turn 5 onwards. On the whole, the South lost enough to use the Assassination card, but still had fight left in it at the end. Few generals were dead (3 USA, 2 CSA, and all in the first turns), two cruisers out of 6 were lost. The CSA heartland was untouched. I would say that if the mission of the CSA was a delaying action, it would be deemed quite successful with this result.
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