Thursday, September 12, 2013

Rebel Raiders Replay Part III: 1864 Loose the Fateful Lightning

Rebel Raiders Replay:  1862 Jump Start Part III:  1864 Loose the Fateful Lightning

The Developer & A Naval Historian Team Up Against the Designer in the 1862 Scenario

Parts I and II of the replay describe the initially successful Confederate defense, followed by the sweeping of the seas of all things Gray and “The Nightmare Year” of 1863 in which the South was gutted.  Undaunted, the Rebels counterattacked, thus making Union victory far from certain…

With more ships than it had jobs for them to do, throughout 1864 the Union spent most of its builds on buying extra attacks, thus enabling it to make four assaults a turn. Play of Loose the Fateful Lightning (USN Card 34) added yet an additional attack for EACH remaining turn.  The Union used these well, driving still deeper into the South, and then responding to desperate if successful Rebel counterattacks by regaining for the Union what the South had but briefly taken back.

The game was still hanging in the balance in December 1864, normally the final turn of the game.  With five attacks the Union had to conquer three key cities.  Mark played the General Pierre Toussaint Beauregard (CSN Card 88) card to build a battery in newly recaptured Richmond and also deployed the cream of Confederate leadership: Lee, Jackson and even Longstreet! (CSN Card 79), giving the South a total of six dice to defend the ruins of the capital.   He also got Memphis back.  Now, to win, the Union would have to once again take Richmond and the diminished Memphis as well as the very heavily fortified city of New Orleans.  

Fred and Brandon had drawn If It Takes All Summer (USN Card 36), which gives the Union a chance for a possible 13th Turn.  That led a debate as to whether to go for the game-winning hat trick or attempt to storm Savannah and Charleston from newly captured Augusta.  They were held by three and two Batteries each, respectively, but possession of those ports would greatly improve the Union’s chances to add an extra game turn through play of that card.

Wary of pinning everything on a single die roll to get that extra turn, however, Fred and Brandon decided to go all-out for the three key Confederate cities in a final offensive surge.  One of those attacks was stymied by the Rebel play of Mud-Bound (CSN Card 59).  Undaunted, with Sherman, Grant and other cards in hand, on to Richmond, Memphis and New Orleans they came….

 Damn Yankees – they won all three fights, winning the game with but one attack still left in hand…

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