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Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Longstreet Biography Cards (1)

This is the first in a series were I am going to look at various Biography card options and evaluate their pros and cons.  Sam Mustafa did a great job creating a range of balanced options and all of them are useful but some are more useful than others especially when you factor in your play style. All card images are used with permission from the author.   I am going to start with the cards I  and my opponent john are am using in my current campaign.
For effect on the battle field Artillery Officer may be the most useful card option available. It gives you a +1 to hit with one of your batteries at long range (no effect on canister fire) Best of all it does so without exposing your officer to wounds (loss of action cards).  Moreover by the second Battle of 1862 most players will have at least one battery with guns that can fire 24 base widths meaning the card can probably start getting you hits in turn 1 or 2 of the game.  Forcing you opponent to loose action cards or bases early on helps win victories.  John also uses this card so I have seen it from both the giving and receiving end.
Who doesn't want a Friend In The State House?  Having your minimum army size raised by 4 bases doesn't sound like much until you realize that being one base short nets you a 6 base unit of infantry or cavalry recruits. For a Confederate player it helps equalize the numerical odds and a Union player well there is that old saying about God and the big battalions.  The extra d6 when checking for promotion that's just gravy.
My First two cards picked by me this last one was random draw as a result of getting the "valuable experience" campaign card.  It's not one I would have picked.  Political Savvy provides a handy bonus on the promotion roll which is great  if you care about being the highest ranking guy on your side for group games. The main advantage in most games is you can discard a campaign card you don't like an draw a new one.  That's a great option to have but not an essential one all of the campaign cards have their uses so at best your getting rid of a sub-optimal card in exchange for one that might be better.  That said from a Role playing stand point this card especially combined with the "friend in the state house" card makes my General a political operator a man of influence in both the political and military spheres.
From muarchives.missouri.edu
John picked Drill Master as his second card choice.  I think it may be second most useful battle field card in the deck.  It has two application and neither involve risk (loss of cards due to a wound).  1st one infantry unit per turn can execute a flank march(or march to the rear) up to its full movement rate(normally you flank march at half your movement). This doesn't sound like much but it really improves your armies foot work over that of your opponent. John has frustrated many a flank attack in this manner.   The second option is you can move one infantry unit through another without having to pay the extra card cost for disorder. This is very handy if you have a damaged unit in front of a larger and fresher unit and need to one out of and the other into the fight.
John also got the Valuable experience card and picked Fire and Brimstone Preacher.  This Card lets you add 2d6 to one unit that is defending in melee which may be just what you need at a critical moment.  The card does come with Risk so every time you use it you are rolling 1d6 if you roll a 4+ your fine but if you roll a 1,2 or 3 you loose that many cards. If you don't have enough cards in your hand your hand is reduced by one card (from 6 to 5 if this is the first time for example).  John's not a big fan of this card but it has been useful to him a few time.

One of the problems with any card that has risk attached is you try and save it for when you need it and the risk seems acceptable... but that means players may forget they have the option.