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Subject: After Action Observations rss

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Gilbert Collins
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Post Game Observations

Now that I have two games played, I can make a few comments about strategy and tactics that both my opponent and I noted.

1.) We are really wondering how Carson can possibly win this thing. That isn't important to us however since I'm more interested in 'historicity' than game balance. I think the situation that Carson got himself into is inherently unbalanced and it's almost a miracle he got out alive.

2.) In 'game terms' we found that whatever Carson could inflict in casualties on the Indian forces were easily countered by what the Indians could inflict on his forces.

3.) That didn't leave a lot of opportunities for other game points. True, you can get the 5 Vps for merely passing through 'Adobe Wells' itself but we questioned the 'historicity' of this. There is no reason why historically Carson has to go there. We thought it might have been an incentive mechanism to get his forces to the east, closer to the Commanche village.

4.) In both games Carson was able to get at least a force adjacent to one village but to enter it would have been certain death as we found the Commanches are easily activated and can easily deal with whatever Carson has.

5.) We are finding 'melee' far too easy. From all that I have read of Indian warfare, melee by them was extremely rare. With the new evidence we have of the Little Big Horn fight we now know that Custer's forces were largely destroyed at long range. The 'last stand' was a short melee of a handful of men (less than one company) at the very end of the battle.

6.) We didn't like the mechanism of the large stacks and the ability of both sides to be able to pick out a single unit and destroy it in fire combat. I think the casualties should have to be distributed. This will make it a better game in my opinion. We both felt guilty at being able to pick out a unit that had been reduced to a '1' combat factor, destroying it in fire combat and ignoring a '7' size unit in the same stack. Now, with 440 yard hexes the whole game is really operational not tactical and I think this should be addressed.

7.) Our main concern though is with melee. It is just too 'easy and free' for the Indian player. Once again, from the sources that I have read melee was rare and if it did occur was certainly not co-ordinated.

All this not to cut down the game. I really like 'Adobe Walls' but would like to see some 'tweaks' for future volumes. I have been working on my own tactical Indian vs Cavalry game for some time now and thus have come across some of the design decisions that Michael must have already faced. Although what I am working on is much more tactical, and will be able to handle some of the anomalies that occur on this scale.

In closing though, I do recommend the game if players want to explore the Indian Wars conflict. For my part, the real challenge is playing Carson. I don't think the Indian forces have a lot to worry about in this scenario. They seemed destined to win.

If somebody has come up with a 'winning' Carson strategy, I would love to hear about it.
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mark feldman
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post falls
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Well, the boss isn't always right. But, he's always the boss.
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This hole battle hinges on the 2 howitzers. They are what prevented this from becoming Carsons last Stand. That and Carson digging in at Adobe Walls and letting the Comanche and Kiowa come to him after the attack on the Kiowa village. But in the End both sides claimed victory.
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Steve Herron
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Which side is Dobe the elf on, the Indians?
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Gilbert Collins
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Somehow I can't see how the whole game depends on the howitzers. If the Indians attack in mass (as they do in the game) the most the guns can get of is two shots in the defensive fire phase. Then melee goes in and they are gone.

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Mike Taylor
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The guns get another shot in melee, which can be pretty devastating. The trick is to not allow the Indians to attack in mass. The odds are too uneven (in the game and in real life). If you allow Carson to get surrounded, or stop too long in any one place, you will lose, and lose badly.

Get to the fort, see the main Indian camp, realize it is way bigger than you thought, and get yourself out of there. The challenge is getting yourself out of a bad situation!
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Gilbert Collins
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Yes, but how do you prevent melee? You can't. All the Indian units have to do is get adjacent to you. And, no matter how much defensive fire you get at them, you can't stop them all.

As for the howitzers, ok they get another shot in that I had not calculated for but still you can't stop them all. Besides that, if you are totally on the defensive at that point how can Carson 'be winning' the scenario but by casualties alone I'm thinking.

 
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