Author Topic: the Longstreet campaign at CanCon 2018 - one person's perspective  (Read 991 times)

KEEFM

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Well; where to start ? As in the threads above, the idea was to play through the grand campaign in over the course of 3 days. You can watch the basis of the campaign structure here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WXSgqAGg4s8
 
The House Divided game provided the overall map and that was used to determine which battles were being represented by which games. In essence, each side (USA and CSA) got a number of “attacks” to place on the map for each campaign move – the total number of attacks was equal to the number of games being played each round. Thus, the result of each pair of player’s games determined the result of an “attack” on the game map. If an “attack” was successfully defended against in the game, then nothing changed on the map; if an “attack” was successful won in the game, then the map territory was given to the attacking side.
 
Otherwise the campaign proceeded according to the Longstreet rules. (Well, not precisely; there were a number of house-rules for how the game was conducted, AND, due to time limitations we only managed to complete the campaign through into 1864. But more on that later.)

So, how was it ?

The various house-rules took a bit of getting used to – particularly the major changes to the use of the card deck. I, for one, found that made the actual game play a lot less challenging than playing the rules as written. But, did it make a blind bit of difference to enjoying the games or the campaign ? Heck no !!

With 20 players involved, there were 10 games per campaign turn. Accordingly, there was quite a bit of organisation to get the first (1861) games up and running. From then on, the campaign process utilising The House Divided went much speedier.

I’d originally turned up aiming to play a Union force through the campaign; but as I was borrowing an army I wasn’t really ever going to be that picky (beggars and choosers and all). As it turned out, myself and another “Union” player were required to change sides and play for the Confederates due to there being a surfeit of Federals on the day.

My first game wasn’t my best effort – indeed, it was the only one I lost.  I’d tried to be too clever and split my force just allowing me to get gang-tackled on one side of the table. Lessons learnt … but alas, Mobile, AL fell to the Federals.

Even so, at the end of the first campaign turn, we Confederates had won 3 of our 5 attacks, and the Union only 1 of theirs (Mobile). For 1862, the CSA re-attacked Mobile to reclaim it, and used our springboard of gained territories to launch more attacks into federal territory.  For their part, the Federals seemed to focus on regaining ground.

My second game generated a good win for the rebel cause, and we CSA had gained yet more wins while blunting Federal gains. From memory, even at this early stage, the Confederates held 4 territories to the Union 1. The campaign cards were extremely kind to me and I had managed to gain a good array or promoted units and some more guns. Oh, and my 2nd promotion in two games !

Onto the second half of 1862, and the other rebel/Union player and I devised a “cunning” plan for the Confederacy to attempt to reach Canada through both the mid-western and Ohio approaches. And when I say “cunning”, I really mean him and I merely coming up with that as something to direct our efforts towards. I wouldn’t want you thinking that there was some great masterplan for the Confederates to win The House Divided campaign. Far from it, our collective discussions around the map seemed to only produce a lot of noise and little strategy (bearing in mind that this was a committee of 10 players !). From observation, the Union efforts didn’t seem any better coordinated. Still, what we Confederates lacked in strategy, we seemed to make up for with good game results in our favour.

Yet again, Mobile fell to the Union in the last 1862 (3rd) game - though not by my hand this time !! This to/fro exchange over Mobile seemed to characterise the balance of The House Divided campaign territories. One turn the Union would gain Mobile; the next, lose it back to the CSA. And, yet again, the CSA enjoyed enough successes to keep a territory edge over the Federals. For my part, my campaign cards continued their good fortune and I scored my third promotion. Erk.

The start of 1863 saw yet more Confederate successes. By now, the sub-plot to reach Canada was a mere two steps away from being complete – and down both routes !

And so the campaign rolled on. By and large, the Confederates managed to chip away any Union territory gains while adding to our own. In each of the first 3 games I gained a promotion in the campaign; thus, by now, the ranking Confederate general (me) is a Union player ! Go figure.
And so to the last day. With a number of players wanting to get away from Canberra early, the decision was taken to play one last round of the campaign. The House Divided map showed the history-changing story of the war (as fought in Canberra anyhows !): the Confederacy held a massive superiority in territories of 8 or 9 to just a single gain by the Union (yep, you guessed it: Mobile !).

Two large multi-player games were set up: the battles of Baltimore and New York (the last bastions of the Union). I took charge of the Battle of Baltimore as the group of the players on a shorter time limit for those wishing to leave early. At the Battle of Baltimore, I can say that the Union prevailed. Well, “ish” anyhows. Given the constricted nature of the tables and the large forces involved, we were never going to get the battle to a conclusion in the timeframe. Still, the Union were definitely ahead when we called time.

And you could sure see how the campaign process had ravaged some of the forces present, and how some had fared much better than others through the extended campaign. A good tribute to the campiagn card process in Longstreet.

To this day, I have no idea how the battle of New York turned out. Not that the outcome of the campaign could have been altered: the CSA players present changed the course of history.  Indeed, as I said to the players on the CSA side at the start of the Battle of Baltimore, we’d already won the war so this was merely about post-war positions in government. I’d even been so kind as to offer the opposing commander in chief a cushy job in the new Confederated States of America should he choose to change side mid-battle; to his personal credit, he declined !

It was a fabulous weekend of gaming. Everyone played in great spirits and a good time seemed to be had by all. I played 7 games in all (including the Battle of Baltimore); on 7 different tables, against 10 different opponents. Everyone I played was fantastic.

All thanks to all the players; thanks to Mike and Ken for setting this in train and the rest of the club and folk who contributed armies for us to use; and most especially, thanks should go to Dave who laboured tirelessly right throughout to get each round of games up and running, even while trying to get in the odd game or two himself.

So … it’s Gettysburg next year then ?


cae5ar

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Re: the Longstreet campaign at CanCon 2018 - one person's perspective
« Reply #1 on: March 07, 2018, 01:16:13 AM »
I was quite surprised to see this offered at Cancon and had I been able to commit to 3 days I would have been there in a flash. Very jealous, sounds like a terrific event.

KEEFM

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Re: the Longstreet campaign at CanCon 2018 - one person's perspective
« Reply #2 on: October 04, 2018, 07:05:57 PM »
Hey all !!!

It's back on again this year ... check out the Cancon 2019 Tournaments page: North vs South mini campaign.