One of the interesting things about Civil War is that turns can go by either really quickly or drag on for ages. For instance, last week, it took over two hours to get through turn three. Last night, over a little over two hours, my dad and I knocked out three turns.
The game has some built in balancing mechanics in regards to turn length. The game isn’t a straight up contest for who has the most victory points but a measure of the spread between the Union’s VPs and the Confederacy’s VPs. Part of the reason behind this is that the Confederacy isn’t really going to doing much rampaging conquest unless something goes dreadfully wrong for the Union player; they’re trying to hold onto what they start with, eking out a few extra points on the margins, while the North is trying to rack up enough points to end the war. Therefore, the Confederacy benefits from relatively short turns during which the Union can make as few actions as possible and waste what Command Points they have left. To compensate for the edge the Union has with longer turns, the Confederacy gets points for each re-roll on the command table (which results in additional command points for each side and more chances for the Union to take advantage of having greater numbers, more rail capacity, and a Navy). In the long-run, you’re probably better off with short Union turns than the 1-3 extra point you get from extra command table rolls.
I’m continuing to have issues dealing with the naval incursions. Robert E. Lee has been forced to waste his time chasing Curtis’ raiders about in North Caroline, and Stonewall Jackson has built a fortress in the middle of the swamp just outside of New Orleans where the Army of the Mississippi is dug in deep to prevent further nautical incursions. With the Union forming the Army of the Cumberland in New Orleans, we’ve reached a bizarre stalemate tying up several talented generals, ships and thousands of men. I have no idea what I’m going to do in Arkansas, with no 3 Star to form and lead the Army of the West (I could always send Lee!). The only bright spots are Virginia and Tennessee. The Generals Johnston are dug in deep, Jo keeping McDowell inactive on his side of the Potomac and Albert Sydney keeping Grant & Lyon on the Kentucky side of the Cumberland. Despite making the west his primary theater all three turns, my Dad never got around to doing anything useful with Army of the Tennessee. Oh, and the Texas and New Mexico militias shot at each other in the middle of the wastelands and both deserted, closing, for now, the battle for the far west.