Saturday, February 11, 2012

Gaming Report A House Divided

     I've actually two games to report on this time. Earlier this week my good friend Dallas came over for dinner and afterwards we spread A House Divided on the kitchen table. We played and shared historical facts about the War Between the States for several hours but were not able to finish. So we recorded the position of all troops on the board and packed it up. I am glad to report that I've learned from past battles, and made it past the game turn in which Dan won his stunning victory. 
     Today I continued with my game with my son. We're half way through 1864 and it is still an even match, but I think that I barely have the upper hand. I've posted a few new pictures to illustrate what I'm talking about. I've kept the western front very lively, and St Louis has changed hands several times in the last two years of game time. Currently I have three units of Crack infantry (the best unit available) entrenched in Quincy, west of St. Louis but close enough to strike. In response, my son has piled an enormous force up in the Ohio Valley & Indiana, intending to force me out. (See photo 2) This suits me just fine. As half of the Union army is distracted with the St. Louis campaign, there have been very few forays into the Confederate states, and the ones that have happened have been blunted or turned back. Meanwhile, over on the East Coast, the Army of the Potomac took the plunge and attacked Richmond. Now, the loss of Richmond would be a serious but not fatal blow to the Confederacy. But the attack was thrown back as the mix of Militia and Veteran Union forces had to contend with the entrenchments and the presence of Crack defenders. A timely reinforcement from Petersburg added to the Union woes. The Army of the Potomac, having been drubbed and smarting, headed back to Washington.There we stopped for today.
     After this game is finished, my son and I will have a lot to talk about. He allowed himself to get distracted from what was really important in the West (taking and holding Confederate cities) and has effectively taken out of play probably a dozen units trying to get at my three. In the East, he developed a plan for conducting a naval invasion of the deep South, but that plan was contingent upon rolling a six for his allotted marches at the start of his turn. After a 'year' of not rolling sixes, he impetuously turned the forces on the shore towards Richmond, with the results I described. Here, while his plan was solid, and was holding to the objective of capturing Confederate cities, he was I think too focused on that goal and could not wait, or adapt. His lack of focus in the West was probably directly related to his stalled plan in the East.  It was frustration not planning that led to the Battle of Richmond. Whether in war or in anything else, making a decision to act out of frustration, anger or impatience will usually lead to trouble. 
     In my work, I often find myself distracted and frustrated by several projects all competing for my attention. Often I find that I stall out fretting over which project should come first. As a result, after a period of spinning my wheels I pick one at random and, from the desire to 'get something done' I dive into it without taking the time I should to plan. So far I haven't caused any disasters (it's not like I work with explosives in a library) but I'm sure I've caused myself extra work that I could have avoided with proper planning. Alternately, proper planning could have given better quality work. So I shall talk with my son, and at the same time try to take my own advice about planning and working towards a goal.

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