Friday, June 21, 2013

Rebel Raiders Replay  (Turn 12 –December 1864)

Designer Mark McLaughlin as CSA; Naval Historian Brandon Musler as USA

When we left off, the South was burning.  Two Rebel attempts to retake Vicksburg failed. New Bern, Atlanta, Montgomery  and New Orleans fell to the Union, completing the Northern conquest of "The Father of Waters." It is, hopefully, the final turn, and if the South, in the negative victory point range, can manage to hold on to Richmond it can still squeeze out a win.

The Albemarle Sallies Forth!

Just to show the South can still fight at sea, Mark plays the CSS Albemarle (Card 75).  The only Southern Ironclad that can go beyond Blockade Stations and into Coastal Waters, it stands a chance of breaking a hole in the Blockade.  Brandon tries to stop her coming out of Charleston with Engine Breakdown (Card 47) but the plucky iron devil keeps coming, sinks the Union Gunboat on the Blockade Station and engages the single Screw Sloop offshore – which sinks her.   Perhaps Albemarle, too, was built by Acme – Charleston Branch.  (That same Sloop catches the Blockade Runner that was trying to get into Charleston).

Once More On To Vicksburg

The Rebel Counterattack is launched once again at Vicksburg.  Should this counter-attack fail, Baton Rouge, Corinth and Meridan will “wither on the vine” as they have no cities to supply them…and with them will go the Ironclad CSS Virginia, which retreated from New Orleans to Baton Rouge.

Third time, it seems, IS a charm – and the South regains Vicksburg!  Virginia promptly works up steam and goes in to help defend the regained city – which in the Build Phase gets the one Battery the South can still build (losing Atlanta reduces Battery builds from two to one; loss of Richmond would cost the other).

The South is still in negative VPs  but is not dead yet.

One More Push

The North is in a pickle.  It has two ways to win:

-1.  Take 16 of the 20 Rebel cities, which MUST include all three key Mississippi cities (Vicksburg, Memphis, New Orleans), PLUS EITHER Richmond OR Atlanta, and have the South at negative VP.  OR

-2. Take the three key Mississippi cities (Vicksburg, Memphis, New Orleans), PLUS Richmond AND Atlanta – and if the South is at negative VP at that moment the game ends immediately.

Ten cities are in Yankee control, so to get the first it would need Six Assaults – Brandon shows that he has the Sea to Shining Sea (Card 24) that would give him two assaults in ADDITION to the Four he bought – however, the two extras are only good for attacking Ocean Ports in bonus Amphibious Attacks.     It is a great card, but he would need to win ALL SIX battles (one of them Vicksburg) to meet the first victory condition.

Brandon does not bother; he announces he will go for Vicksburg and Richmond – although getting there means he has to take a space adjacent to the Southern Capital.  That means he must win THREE out of FOUR Combats.    Fortunately, however, Brandon has Loose the Fateful Lightning (Card 34), which gives him a FIFTH Assault where he needs it.

Five Battles  - and Bobby Lee

With his powerful Ironclad fleet on the river, Vicksburg, even with Virginia and a Battery, is no match.  It falls in one Assault.

Brandon takes his second attack on Fredericksburg – and runs into BOTH  Bobby Lee (Card 60) and Stonewall Jackson (Card 104).  The dice and re-rolls are too much for the North, and Brandon is repulsed….unfortunately for the South, however, Jackson is killed!

Assault number three is Fredericksburg again – this time, the Union takes it.

Assault number four is Richmond – and Lee holds!

The Union, however, has that fifth and final assault left thanks to Loose the Fateful Lightning….  the Union dice total is higher by ONE than the South…Can Lee pull off one last miracle re-roll to change the outcome.

Sadly, for the South, the answer is no….

On the very last die roll of the very last turn, the South Falls – victory to Brandon and the Union, which holds 12 cities – including the five all-important ones of New Orleans, Vicksburg, Memphis, Atlanta and, finally, Richmond.

 ....The Union is restored....

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