an update to the scenario from Here Comes The Rebels to improve competitiveness
designed by Kenneth Lee
Most players who have tried the original Scenario 2 of Here Come the Rebels - "Harper's Ferry / Crampton's Gap" have come away disappointed. This stems mainly from the fact the scenario is almost impossible for the Union to win. Theoretically, the game sets up the classic tactical situation of a besieged force attempting to hold out until reinforcements arrive. Unfortunately, the scenario suffers both from the fact that the beseiged force has no hope of holding out for more than a single day and the fact that the relieving force has almost no hope of reaching the garrison.
Despite its original flaws, I always held out hope that the Harper's Ferry scenario could be salvaged both because of the interesting tactical situation it presents and because its short length offer it as a possible alternative for tournament play. Much to my satisfaction, with but a few changes to the rules, I found that the game could be turned into a well balanced struggle in which the Union has a real chance of saving the Ferry from capture or, at the very least, saving the garrison and preventing the ANV from getting to Sharpsburg.
The changes to the rules are as follows:
1) Place a permanent Union fort in Harper's Ferry (see advanced game HCR rules for rules of use).
2) Allow all Union units to move on Turn 1.
3) Begin all Confederate Units at a fatique level of 2 and allow them to move on Turn 1.
Although these rules will most likely produce an historically altered result, it is not hard to imagine a situation where the above rule changes would have been justified. Specifically, the Union certainly could have spent more time preparing the Ferry from attack thus justifying the permanent fort. Add to this more vigorous marching on the part of Franklin and a delay in issuing orders to Jackson and you have all the factors necessary to justify the above changes.
As far as victory points are concerned, I believe that the Confederate still has an advantage. Accordingly I would shift the VP levels 5 points in favor of the Union or, in the alternative, leave them where they are and let the players bid for sides.
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