Turn 1: Spring 1861
The starting setup in the East. McDowell(3-1-1) sits in D.C. with 5 SP, facing Beauregard(2-1-1) in Manassas with 3. J. Johnston((2-1-2) holds the mouth of the valley with a skeleton force of 1 SP. Butler(3-0-0) commands a small force in Ft. Monroe to present a possible future threat to the rebel’s flank.
Opening situation in the Western theater. Four tiny, spread out Confederate forces with 2 forts VS. equally scattered Union garrisons. Those forts are vital to the Southern defense as losing them would open the rivers to Union naval superiority. This would practically cut the South in half and cause the Confederates all sorts of headaches trying to move forces around in the area.
Note Polk(3-0-0) in Memphis. He has the singular distinction of being the worst general in the Confederate army. No other Southern leader has stats of 3-0-0, but the Union has 3 of them.
Not pictured are Price(2-0-1) in western AR with 1 SP and several more 1 SP Union garrisons.
Strategic Will: Union 100- Confederates 100+
Reinforcement Phase: Not performed on Turn 1.
Deal Strategy Cards:
Union Hand Turn 1
Mark: Wow! I’m pretty happy with this hand. However, it presents a tough choice. Do I want to be aggressive on land or use the Strategy Board card? The AoP is not strong enough to do both. Also, there are no good fort building cards in this hand. I have an embarrassment of riches, but a dilemma in terms of how to use them.
Confederate Hand Turn 1
Lucas: My top priority is getting a fort in Manassas. Glory Hallelujah is the (3 Op) card I need to do it and Quaker Guns will keep him from using the AoP to drive me out of position before I can build it. The ironclad should help me close off the Mississippi delta with any luck. I’ll need to put an SP with it in Fort St. Phillip/Jackson next reinforcement phase to seal the deal so he doesn’t get a +4 DRM for attacking an ungarrisoned fort. I’ll figure out something to do with the extra 1 Op card; probably place a PC marker.
Union plays first.
Union plays Dixie Land
for 3 Ops
Going to try for it all by knocking out Joe Johnston with the Dixie Land 3 card, keeping the Anaconda plan for the last move. If all goes well, the AoP will still have enough for an unopposed landing using the Strategy Board card.
Confederate interrupts with Quaker Guns
“Play as an interrupt to cancel the activation of any Union general with a strategy rating of 2 or 3.
He started with a 3 Ops card, as I figured he would as long as he had one. I knew the AoP was probably his top priority. Now he’s burned a 3 Op and it’s back to me.
Confederate plays Glory Hallelujah for 3 Ops
Now I build my fort. Glory Hallelujah! (Was that out loud?)
Darn! He used Quaker guns to cancel the AoP’s activation! The good news is, I will now get to go last this turn and most likely first next turn. What a turnaround, the AoP move cancelled and now a Reb fort in Manassas. It’s going to be a long, slow slog in the East. <Sigh>
Union plays Nathaniel Lyon for event “Union places or flips three PC markers in Missouri. The spaces may not contain Confederate SPs or forts.“
At this point I have to think about DC safety, and the safest play for me now is Nathaniel Lyon – sure those PC’s were added in KY instead of MO! I place PC markers in Springfield, Ironton and Greenville to block South’s approach to St. Louis and open my route by land to New Madrid Island 10.
Confederate plays CSS Tennessee for the event “Confederate may place one Ironclad in a controlled port or coastal fort space.“
I place the C.S.S. Tennessee in Forts St. Philip/Jackson as planned. She’ll add a handy +2 DRM to the +2 for the fort itself. I still need to get an SP in there ASAP.
Union plays Anaconda Plan
for the event “The Union player may either increase the Blockade Level by one or increase the Amphibious Assault modifier by two
I’m going to bluff, playing the Anaconda Plan 3 Op’s card for the event now, hoping my opponent will fear I still have a 3 card left. I increase the blockade level to 1.
Confederate plays Kansas admitted to Union
for 1 OP.
I don’t want to just hand him MO, so I go ahead and grab Kansas City with my last card. It may be more important to convert KY, but we haven’t started fighting for that state yet, so I’m gambling that I can grab both as I’ve managed a couple of times in the past.
Union plays Strategy Board for the event “Union player may make a naval move with up to three SPs plus one general.”
Whew! He only had a 1 ops card left! I play Strategy Board and take 2 SP’s from the AoP to land in Fort Gadson, FL.
I took 2 SP’s lost one and Fort Gadson is mine. SW Changes(both flip): Union 103+ Confederate 96-
End of Turn Notes: Very different, of course, from anything I expected. The Rebs mounted no actual threat, although my heart nearly stopped when Lucas cancelled my AoP activation. My plan was to leave a point in DC, march through Frederick, go to Harper’s Ferry, pick up one of those two points, then attack Joe Johnston. With great than 2:1 odds, assuming I won the battle, I would have enough movement for the AoP to return to DC. The SP left in Frederick would eliminate any threat of interception on the way back.
As it turned out, I’m pretty happy. I have an unexpected head start in Missouri, and Fort Gadson has fallen, creating a threat to the “soft underbelly” of the Confederacy. Even more important, the blockade has begun. However, Kentucky remains untouched…
Overall, I’m pleased with how the turn went. I fortified in Manassas and should be able to hold him up indefinitely in the east. I still need to move J. Johnston over to Manassas and use him to form the Army of Northern Virginia.
I was less happy with him grabbing Ft. Gadsen, but at least I built the ironclad to guard the Mississippi before he got around to playing Strategy Board. It would have been much worse if he’d opened the South’s main artery!
Political Control Phase:
Union places PC marker in Ft. Gadsen, FL.
No states convert.
Union loses 1 SP, Confederate loses 1 SP