Gameplay[edit | edit source]
Candidates[edit | edit source]
The only playable candidate is Abraham Lincoln, the incumbent President from the Republican Party. He has overseen three years of civil conflict, after his initial election in 1860 precipitated a secession crisis and ultimately all-out war between North and South. At the beginning of the scenario, it is late 1863.
Running Mates[edit | edit source]
Lincoln's historical running mate is Andrew Johnson, the military governor of Tennessee and a Democrat. Historically, he was chosen to replace the incumbent Vice President, Hannibal Hamlin, in an effort to unite partisans on both sides in the North, and pry away "War Democrats" from their party. There are four alternative selections: Hamlin himself, New York Senator Daniel Dickinson (a Democrat), Speaker of the House Schuyler Colfax, and General Benjamin Butler.
Johnson provides a historical experience, giving Lincoln an advantage in the moderate border states of the Upper South. Hamlin orients the player more towards the mainstream Republican bloc, but sacrifices geographical advantages among moderates in exchange for bolstering support in the Radical-leaning Northwest. Dickinson is a New York-focused candidate, helping the player to deliver one of the closest states of the election, but can stir trouble if not handled correctly. Colfax is an olive branch to the Radicals should the player want to focus on consolidating that faction and neutering Fremont's candidacy. Lastly, Butler is a chameleonic populist who brings heavy baggage to the campaign, but this can be turned into an advantage if handled correctly. With the notable exception of Butler, no alternative running mate alters the course of the campaign in a noticeable way.
Campaign and strategy[edit | edit source]
Lincoln[edit | edit source]
The mod opens with the delivery of the Gettysburg Address in 1863. With the only use of RNG being in simulation of battlefield events, a historical path to victory can be found in following Lincoln's real decisions as closely as possible. The optimal strategy is to do so; however, other paths to victory can be taken. Veering too hard into abolitionism, or too sharply against it, will inevitably alienate crucial demographics. The most important states to win are New York, Pennsylvania, and Ohio. While all three seem out of reach at the game's start, the course of the war over the year will improve Lincoln's standing with every battlefield victory. Typically, Ohio will move into the Republican column if the player can convince Fremont to withdraw; New York and Pennsylvania are harder sells, especially in the former case if the possibility of a riot in that state is not quelled.