Rebel Raiders Replay (Turn 9 –December 1863) Part 2: The Night They Drove Ole Dixie Down
Designer Mark McLaughlin as
CSA; Naval Historian Brandon Musler as USA
This will be THE Night They Drove Ole
Atlanta, the biggest naval battle of the game so far…and off a Raider-hunting we go!
Half-singing the title and key line from Joan Baez’s classic folk tune as noted above,
pulls off many of the Screw Sloops from the outer ring of the blockade to go
hunting Raiders – and puts no fewer than FOUR off Spain,
where Alabama will begin her
The South now has Five Raiders, including Alabama, and while Brandon fails to find any of the four at sea, each is now covered by at least one Screw Sloop and most also have a Screw Sloop in one or more sea zones around them – this makes raiding much more chancy of a profession….as every time a Raider moves into or raids, it triggers a speed roll by any Screw Sloops present.
Forts Jackson and St. Philip
Despite sending so many big warships out into the
Brandon still has enough in the
Gulf that he can muster SIX to attack Forts Jackson and St. Philip. The South plays Mosquito Fleet (Card 81) and
doubles the size of the Rebel flotilla there (to TWO gunboats), and with the Battery
makes a desperate and heroic – if sadly, doomed – stand. The Gunboats are sunk, the Battery
is destroyed, but they take down two Union Screw Sloops with them.
The blue-water Navy actions done with,
turns the Army on to Atlanta. The South rolls a modified 8 on the dice (a
“6” plus three ones – and triples add 2 to the high die total). The Union Tactics play also yields an 8 – and
Brandon decides NOT to risk a
re-roll with Grant (as it would be both pointless and would only give the South
victory points from the difference in dice). Since the Confederacy wins ties, the first Union assault on Atlanta is repulsed!
Mark is visibly relieved, and picks up the dice assuming
will come at Atlanta again with
another assault – but he doesn’t!
Switching focus, he has Thatcher gather up SIX Ironclads and sends them
The Biggest Naval
of the Game - Battle ! Memphis
Six Union Ironclads oppose three Rebel Ironclads with a Gunboat and three Batteries.
admits this is a “battle of attrition,” and pins his hopes on Yankee Guns (Card 3) and its re-rolls for one round of naval combat as selected by the Union to clear the way, if not for an Assault, then
for a second wave of ships to come down the river.
Mark has several options here.
-(1) Hide the Fleet behind the Batteries.
If he does this, the Rebel warships will not fire but neither will they be fired upon. The North can NOT make an assault along the River if ANY Rebel ships are present. This would bring about a nearly even fight (six Ironclads, with one die each, vs. three Batteries, with two dice each, both sides needing “6s” on dice to hit), although with Yankee Guns the North would get one re-roll per ship ..giving it effectively twice as many shots.
While the Batteries might lose they would weaken the Union fleet, which would still have to take on the Rebel Navy if an Assault is to be carried through on the city.
-(2) Hide the Batteries behind the Fleet.
If he does this, the three Rebel Ironclads and single gunboat are surely facing doom, being outgunned in dice by three to one (six Ironclads, one die each per ship, one die each per re-roll) but it could knock one or two Yankee ships out, and leave the Yankee ironclads to face the Batteries without their re-rolls (each ship can only use
re-roll per battle with Yankee Guns).
Unfortunately, should the Rebel ships go down, the North can still launch its Assault – although
would surely go in for at least one or two rounds to try to take out the
Batteries and thus improve his odds of hitting the city.
-(3) All on the Line.
This third option puts every Rebel piece into the line. It maximizes Rebel firepower and gives the Yankees more targets than they can hit, although as they can still pick and choose. It gives the North the option to go all in for batteries or put everything against ships. This is Mark’s choice.
man-o-war a man-o-war Battle
In Round One, with Six initial dice and five re-rolls,
manages to sink only 1 Rebel Ironclad.
The South, with Ten dice (two per each of the three Batteries, one per
each of the four ships), returns the favor and sinks 1 Union Ironclad.
Round Two sees the
entirely, and lose an Ironclad.
With three Batteries still intact, that is three dice to add to the normal two for Confederate defenders. The
Union has only three dice (it is still
1863)….the result is a tie; the Union is repulsed.
“Live by the dice, die by the dice” murmurs Brandon, who spends his builds to replace the two Ironclads and one of the Sloops he lost, and to buy a third Assault for next turn.
To be Continued….