Monday, 30 January 2017

AAR; ACW (Longstreet) 9th Battle

This was the final battle of our Longstreet campaign. I had an unassailable 4EP lead, so I volunteered to take the attacker role in our final game (Walled Farm) because, to date, no game has been won by an attacker. In previous games Ian tended to mount ‘balanced’ attacks, using a combination of firepower with limited charges. In this game I decided to ‘go all in’, no stopping to shoot, and to charge at the first (and every) opportunity.
Union attack to the flank of the farm
We both opted for fairly open terrain although Ian did add some walls to the farm. I stacked my forces against Ian’s left flank, with a screen of small units out front supported by my larger ‘Eager’ Coloured units behind. I planned to pass these through the screen for a decisive charge, turning the enemy flank and take the objective. I stuck to the plan but lost heavily on my approach. My charge had mixed results; I forced a unit of Texans back, but was repulsed by the rebel artillery battery. I did force Ian to re-shuffle where he lost +4 cards due to my ‘Sabotage’ campaign skill and another 3 cards due to my play of ‘Rebel Shortages’ card. Ian did look shocked to discard 11 cards, but it was too little too late because my losses resulted in a clear Victory for Ian.
Texans forced back

So, the final score for the campaign was Union 33EP versus Rebel 29EP. I had 6 wins versus Ian’s 2 wins (and 1 drawn game). Both commanders reached the 4 Eagle rank, and Ian achieved this goal a couple of games ahead of me, due to his ‘Political Savvy’ characteristic. In every game, the defender won! I was able to pick to be the defender in most games due to my ‘Indian Wars Veteran’ characteristic, and this single card effectively won the campaign for me!
Depleted Union forces try to press home

To conclude, I think we both enjoyed the mini-campaign and the games it generated. Neither of us could figure out what to do to win when playing the attacker. The balance seems to favour the defender, but we cannot put our finger on why this should be the case. We both like the card draw and play mechanism, and it certainly makes you think about your actions each turn. I do feel a few cards are a bit over the top; for example, I don’t like the frequency of the surprise appearance of marshy ground right in line with the attack you have planned! The rules themselves are nice and simple and give a playable game in the afternoon timeframe of a club setting. Although I have thoroughly enjoyed using Longstreet in the mini-campaign format, I cannot see me using these rules in a pick-up, stand alone ACW game. The campaign system allows unit stats to develop as the games progress, whereas deciding unit stats and strengths for a single game would be difficult without a points system.

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