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Thursday, April 17, 2014

Longstreet Biography Cards (2) In game offensive cards

Today I will look at games that have offensive effects in the game. 
When I first looked through the Biography cards the one that immediately caught my eye was Mexican War Hero.  After all many of the most prominent Civil War commanders could claim this card Jackson, Longstreet, Grant, and even Robert E Lee himself would all have this in their deck.  In addition to associating one self with such august person the card lets you add 2d6 to a single infantry unit during a charge.  This comes with risk but one would expect that leading a battalion forward sword and revolver in hand (or taking the flag) would be risky and as you use this on the offensive you can pick your spot.   More over Charges are how you win Fame and Glory in the American Civil war (if you want to take issue with this remember Pickett is a name every school child in the US knows while only true grognards know of a man like Patick Cleburne).  Fame in Longstreet is tied to Epic points and you get one every time you order a charge with 10 stands or more... having a little extra edge to ensure a good out come makes you more likely to order those Charges.

I used Cleburne (as in exact as the example is, since he new well how to drive home a charge when needed) because he would carry our next card European Service (Cleburne served with the 41st Foot in the English army).  This card provides one infantry unit with a +1 too hit in Volley fire.  This can be especially valuable when you have a large unit in line and a menacing unit closing in with the bayonet.  The card comes with risk so while it wold be tempting to use this every time you shoot you'll probably cost your self a lot of cards in the process. The key is to figure out the right time and then remember to use it. Shooting doesn't earn you epic points directly but a well timed effective volley can turn the tide of battle.

J.E.B. Stuart

 The rebel Cavaliers gallantly lead by game-cock officers with plumed hats is one of the most enduring romantic images of the American Civil War. If following in the foot steps of the likes of JEB Stuart, Wade Hampton and (on the other side) Custer then Cavalry Officer is the card for you.  The card has two effect (which may be combined).  The first is you may have one Mounted unit move through other units (infantry or cavalry) with out causing disorder. Unlike Drill Master (see the first article) this can be done in either the movement or the charge phase (this movement does not require a risk roll when done by it self). This leads us the the second option if you use this option to charge the charging cavalry unit rolls two extra d6 (up to a max of 10) when it attacks. Cavalry has a hard time charging frontally but as our campaign has shown flank attacks by cavalry can be devastating.  In the campaign as written you start with one cavalry unit. Since you get to pick your recruit you could after a battle or two have a good cavalry brigade supported by infantry rather than the other way around.  Should that be your plan this card is a must, other wise its a good card to have but as Longstreet is mostly an infantry game not an essential one.
I love The Scout as a background from a roll playing perspective. Who wouldn't want to play a general who is also an explorer of the old west (the really old west, since most westerns are set after the Civil War). Its also a great battle field card because it makes you immune to the Poor Surveying Card (the one that lets your opponent place a swamp or rocky ground).  This is a powerful effect in one-on-one games (you must be the CinC to use it in multi-player games).  You also have taught your men something of Marksmanship because one unit per fire phase can skirmish at a range of 8 Base Width.  Shooting at some one who can't shoot back is always good but its subject to risk. I classify this as an offensive card because of the skirmish effect but its the protection form Poor Surveying that makes this card a strong selection.