We're only on turn 6 currently, but I thought I'd give you a brief synopses of how these two players have won in the past. I'll begin with my Far West match against Johnnycai in 2009.
Essentially what happened in the decisive match with John playing as USA is efficient use of a quick end around early on (turn 4) to capture Fayetteville and Ft Smith. He was able to capture them because in my inexperience I had also gone offensive and couldn't regroup in time to properly defend them. Although I had recaptured them, I ended up blowing both depots in a panic thinking his main force was upon me and that sealed my fate as my forces starved at Ft Smith and he captured that important region. Match two was him sitting on an 81 point vp lead, which there is nothing wrong with because that's the way the match was constructed. However, that's one of the reasons we play simultaneously now.
Johnnycai being aggressive with two cav waves. The first wave depleted my ammo and the second wave destroyed the elements: http://www.ageod-forum.com/showpost.php?p=114259&postcount=3
The final battle in match two for ft smith.
My final thoughts on match 2:
Final thoughts: I badly muffed match one as CSA by underestimating my opponent and going offensive in an attempt to break his supply. Neither of the attempts succeeded. Watie retreated before battle at Lexington, and for some reason even though I won at Rolla, the depot was in Union hands at the end of the turn with the element that had gotten mauled sitting there dug-in level 4. I suspect it was because I did a drive-by attack where my forces kept moving rather than stop at the region and the militiaI had sent to occupy the depot failed its forced march. In reflection I would have been better served in sending Watie to that depot as Indians apparently can't capture a city unless there is a proper amount of their sides military control already present so Lexington was pointless In any regards, a failure.
I then began a full retreat back towards the strategic points but lost track of the main USA force. Seeing that one of the regions he could have been in due to low detection was within range of lightly defended Ft Smith, I was forced to blow its depot. As it turned out, he was actually at Springfield. Still, this sealed my fate as I couldn't get supply wagons to Ft Smith in time to avoid starvation as they had been bumbling around up by Charleston. He moved in on my crumbling force around early January and easily steamrolled them.. then began to starve as well. Luckily I recaptured the city on the last turn or his point lead would have been insurmountable. Again in reflection, I probably would have been better served not blowing the depot at all - even if he had captured it it would have only provided half supply, and he would have eventually starved, anyways.
Knowing I was down big, as the USA I pushed hard for Ft Smith with the MO cav bde and actually captured it initially, but was told the turn was invalid due to the wrong orders being used... and then my comp died. It all kind of sucked. Attempt number two to capture a strategic objective failed when gunboats forced Lyons to abort a naval attack on Little Rock against inferior CSA forces. It was then just hope an epidemic broke on him instead of me, and try and find a way around his gunboats.
I used some deception by renaming some of my units and using cav screens to decrease my profile. My goal was to make him think I was going Little Rock and draw the GBs there. All a moot point when the river froze and I don't think he bit since he sent three elements up to capture Charleston on the final turn.
Thanks for the match Daxil, you had a tough challenge with the 81 pts. spread to make up. It made my strategic planning much simpler knowing that you would need to take either Ft. Smith or Little Rock to overcome the disparity. FYI, I believe Lyon retreated well, as Price was dugin and well stocked, the losses I suffered were a separate stack (when will I learn) of 2 locked militia on standard defence who took the brunt of Lyon's assault. Price was relatively fresh still with 273 combat strength and would have handed it to Lyon if he continued the assault.
One point with full hindsight, is that this scenario is very one dimensional, so a good margin obtained by either side in 1st game can really dictate the strategy of the 2nd game for the so-called leader. I think it has been mentioned by a few players in this round 1 that once they obtained a 70+ point advantage as USA or <60 as CSA, they were able to play a simplistic strategy to carry the match on overall points. My point being, in this scenario only, there may have been a good case to play both sides concurrently.