Thursday, June 6, 2013

Rebel Raiders Replay  (Turn 6)
Designer Mark McLaughlin as CSA; Naval Historian Brandon Musler as USA

When we left off last time, the Union blockade had become so formidable that nearly half of the vessels trying to run it were caught - most with their cargo.  The net suitably tight, now the North is starting to send out packs of screw sloops to hunt down Raiders....

Four more Blockade Runners go down --- Brandon is capturing them faster than the South can build them.  Twelve victory points are acquired by the South this turn, bust mostly from Raiding, not Running.  Memphis is strengthened by the Gunboat the South built last turn (which was built in Vicksburg, as I failed to mention, as an Ironclad appeared in Memphis last turn and the South may only place one ship per port per Build Phase, other than through card play).

Beauregard (Card 88) again appears, with that blessed third battery, and Nashville and Memphis are now brought up to full strength with three batteries each, and another is placed in Richmond, just to safeguard the capital.   The South builds four Blockade Runners, one for each lost this turn, and builds a Gunboat in Memphis.

Brandon decides it is time to start chipping away at the Atlantic, and goes for an Amphibious Assault on Wilmington.  His fleet of four Gunboats and the Screw Sloop Brooklyn (Card 13) gets a surprise as the Ring of Fire (Card 101) adds a second battery to the defenses…although Mark rolls horribly (even with the bonuses from the card) and sinks only one Gunboat, Brandon backs off rather than take on two batteries with his under-gunned force.

Diplomatic Pressure  (Card 55) is applied through the card of the same name, which sends the Trent and Royal Navy (Cards 83 and 62) to the Discard Pile - this frees up the three screw sloops that were on the later card, giving the North yet more big warships to go a'Raider-hunting.

Brandon buys an extra Attack for next turn, as well as another Ironclad and some Gunboats.   Turn 7 apparently is going to be the start of the "big push," as it will be 1863 - which means the North increases its attack dice from two to three - giving it the edge on the South, which remains at two.  The Union is learning the art of war...and how to use its massive industrial base to powerful effect.

Images below:  The big map situation early in Turn 6, before the Union play...

...and some of the cards played on Turn 6....

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