Monday, August 19, 2013

How Patrick Kairns Won and Bob Kasabian ALMOST Won as the Union

Two Games, Two Condensed Replays of Rebel Raiders…and a compliment from Hong Kong.

Rebel Raiders is a really great game” says Alfred Wong of Hong Kong.  “My friend and I enjoy every game we play.”

Bob Kasabian’s “Almost” Union Victory (“Both of us love this game”)
-This from Bob Kasbian:

Just finished our second game of Rebel Raiders. This time I had a much more coordinated Union strategy, and with the aid of the card that extends the game one turn, came within a whisker of winning. On the final turn, I took Atlanta and Richmond, despite there being three batteries in each, but Farragut, with an eight sloop Grand Fleet, could not defeat the Rebs in New Orleans. The CSA VP total was negative, but since I had only 12 CSA cities/ports, I needed all three of the above (already had Memphis and Vicksburg) to get the win. We used no optional rules. The one change in Union strategy I would make would be a wolfpack of Screw Sloops to hunt down Raiders. They roamed free much of the game, and earned lots of VPs. Both of us love this game.

Patrick Kairn’s “Emotional Rollercoaster” – or when the Union is down, the only way is back up…to victory

-This from Patrick Kairns in Montreal

An emotional roller-coaster
My nephew and I played Rebel Raiders last night for the first time face-to-face. We had played a couple of times using the Vassal module. We started with the 1862 scenario with no optional rules, although the play book advised using some optionals. We wanted to see how differently the 1862 scenario would play from the Basic Game (1861). Did we EVER find out!! I was the Union and he was the CSA.

The game was an amazing roller-coaster ride! All the way through 1862 and half way through 1863 the
Union could do NOTHING right and the CSA could do NOTHING wrong! My dice rolling was atrocious through that period or if I did get a good roll my nephew would get an exact same roll, therefore winning the assaults, speed rolls, etc. If I remember correctly I must have unsuccessfully assaulted New Orleans (the only city I needed to capture the Mississippi) about 5 times!! I had an amazingly difficult time (dice again) capturing coastal cities as well. So I turned my attention to destroying his Blockade Runners, and Raiders and was quite successful (at last). I had to. He topped-out many times at 50 VPs. He was on top of the world and I was about to burn the game...literally!

Then finally in mid-1863 the cards
AND dice finally turned. His inability to accumulate VPs by sea and my capturing of Atlanta started to bite into his VP total during the CSA supply phase (rolling two dice & subtracting that result from his VPs.) When I did capture New Orleans and he was to roll 3 negative dice in his supply phase, and I had him discard R.E. Lee from his hand hurting his chances of defending Richmond, he surrendered in April 1864. Now the roles reversed completely. I was elated and he was crushed.....emotionally.

The game play was very exciting, at times very frustrating, but immensely entertaining. As the
Union I learned to be patient, forget my bad dice rolling and concentrate on my plan, which was more or less trying to implement "The Anaconda Plan". To my relief it worked.

This was not a complete game, but very close to being one. As stated we played until April 1864 when we both agreed a Union victory was inevitable. I had whittled his VPs down to low 20's, and would have smashed through to
Richmond in the 3-4 turns we had remaining. I was building 2 extra Cannon Pawns/turn availing me of 4 assaults/turn plus his Supply rolls would have done the CSA in.

It was a tremendous game. An exciting time was had by all. If I may add a bit of advice, do not get too high or discouraged with your play. the tables can turn extremely quickly.

Have fun, and if you don't own Rebel Raiders on the High Seas, it is worth the price of admission and belongs in your game collection.

…and then he added:

Thanks to both you and Fred for creating such a great game!

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