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Mansfield: Crisis in the Pine Barrens
In early 1864, Union Gen. Nathaniel Banks led a small army
up Louisiana's Red River. His objective, in conjunction with an overland
campaign through Arkansas, was the Confederate Trans-Mississippi capital at
Shreveport. Poor coordination of the two columns enabled the Confederates to
concentrate their slender resources against each in turn. Banks was first, and
in early April his spearhead was hit near the crossroads of Mansfield.
Historically, the Union forces, strung out on the march, were routed piecemeal,
but the battle could have gone the other way.
Mansfield uses the simplified QuickPlay version of the
Musket & Saber system of warfare during the muzzle-loading era. Combat is
based on unit quality rather than raw numbers, and rewards use of historical
tactics. All units are susceptible to rout when weakened, so players must
maintain reserves. Leaders enhance unit capabilities. Winning the battle
depends on deployment, thoughtful maneuver to concentrate at the key points,
the proper coordination of arms, careful use of leaders and special units, and
an understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of each army.
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