Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Rebel Raiders Replay: 1862 Jump Start Part II: 1863 The Nightmare Year

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

As noted in Part I, the South built up a strong crust defense and repulsed almost all of the Union’s attacks in 1862, yet despite an initial “happy time” was all but swept from the seas.  On to 1863:  The Nightmare Year

1863 was a nightmare for the South on land.  The Union broke through the crust defense, playing Three Cigars (USN Card 45) which stopped Stonewall Jackson and any Confederate cards from being played and enabled the Northern capture of Richmond. On the following turn the Union cracked the line at Chattanooga – despite a stout defense of three Batteries and J.E. Johnston – and used Grant and Sherman  (USN Cards 8 and 50) and other cards to dash down to Atlanta.  Suddenly there were no arsenals to build Batteries and very few Blockade Runners to bring in cargo. There were also fewer Raiders to destroy Union commerce for Victory Points – and even if more had survived, each turn’s Supply Roll penalties for losing Atlanta and Richmond, as well as the regular one die roll (three dice in all each turn!) would have rendered their point contributions moot.

Thus, the rest of 1863 and into 1864 were very difficult for the Confederacy but Mark did not despair; he mounted inspired counterattacks to keep the South viable. The Union had built a cordon around Richmond by seizing Fredericksburg, Norfolk and Goldsboro but Lee and Jackson nonetheless staged a whirlwind campaign, first recapturing Goldsboro with a regular counter-attack and then Richmond itself with The South Shall Rise (CSN Card 107) to regain the capital of the Confederacy. After Island No. 10’s capture, successive waves of Yankee Ironclads and gunboats conquered Memphis, which the South successfully retook with a Counterattack.

The Union responded to this last Rebel Western Theatre offensive success by marching west out of Union-held Atlanta to seize Montgomery and Vicksburg via its land approach and then on to capture the Fort of Baton Rouge.   This was complemented, after several failures, by Farragut at long last capturing the fort guarding New Orleans from the Gulf. As the nightmare of 1863 came to an end, the South pinned its hopes on a pair of Virginia gentlemen hunkering down in a smoldering Richmond, and on New Orleans, which with its defense of three Batteries, a Gunboat, and an Ironclad though isolated remained defiant and unbowed. 

Tomorrow: 1864 the year the Union players Loose the Fateful Lightning....

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