I sincerely hope ACW 2 fixes the current crazy randomness of retreats. Just had this happen in a PBEM:
The Union has a small fleet standing off from a Union force which has landed to siege Fort Philips off the coast of Louisiana. A CSA ironclad and gunboat fleet comes out and, after a battle, manages to force the small Union fleet to retreat.
Where does the Union fleet go? Out to sea from whence it came and where safety lies?
The Union fleet retreats UP the Mississippi River, AWAY from safety, TOWARDS hostile enemy held New Orleans, and PAST the guns of two CSA held forts - which rake it and send the remnants to the bottom. Scratch the Union fleet.
Now I understand you can invent some sort of rationale for this, e.g. the CSA manages to get its river fleet to seawards and drove the Union like sheep up the river. But this is the equivalent of inventing a rationale as to why Napoleon's defeated army at Waterloo should retreat through Wellington's Army and towards Brussells.
I understand the retreat routines are this way to help the AI, Athena. Fair enough. But the AI routines should be tweaked for PBEM to be more logical. Everyone has enough stories of mindless retreats by now to indicate its a real problem if this persists in ACW2.