I'm in early may 1864, as the CSA. I'll report what I've experienced so far.
I'll start with screenshots of how I'm doing overall:
As for the progress of my campaign:
- In the west, I've taken Denver, and all forts close to the Southern border.
I have 3 200+ stacks over there, and it rules.
As the CSA I try to inflict casualties on those smaller cav forces the Union sends out.
It works great.
- Cairo was captured after the start of the war.
A few months back, I captured Saint Louis.
There was a big Union force there trying to attack Rolla and Jefferson City.
I held them off, built up my Army there, and moved the Army next to Saint Louis.
When the Union force moved, I attacked and took SL in 2 turns, capturing an Ironclad in the process.
The Union tried to recapture and lost some 15.000 troops in trying to do so.
- In 1861/1862 I moved forces from Cairo to Metropolis, Evansville, Rome and Albany to attack Louisville
by the time the Kentucky theater was open.
When it opened, I was close enough to take Louisville in 1862, just as Harodsburg and Lexington.
From there, a raid campaign was launched with these armies into Indianapolis and Illinois.
Vincennes, Columbus and Indianapolis fell, close by in IL, Salem was taken.
Also in IL, Springfield, Bath, Tolono and Bloomington were also captured at the end of that campaign.
Further West, Cincinatti and Dayton were taken.
I wish I would have had the option to burn the cities and everything in it, and then retreat.
Since we don't have this option, I tried to occupy them as long as possible.
Shame the depot in Indianapolis can't be destroyed, not even by a big army.
Rather quickly the Union reacted quite swiftly, having me withdraw back to the line
Salem - Vincennes - New Albany - Madison while Union troops briefly captured Lexington.
The campaign really hadn't done much damage except kill some Union troops.
There should be a mechanism in the game to give the CSA more options to really hurt the Union
with these kind of raids. CSA should be able to burn infrastructure.
The scorched earth cards don't seem to cut it.
I damaged some rails.
I reacted to the capture of Lexington, with sending withdrawing forces there to recapture it.
I relaunched an attack on Indianapolis, while wrecking havoc to rail lines and depots there with partisans.
My forces had to retreat before they did real damage. Luckily for the partisans and the partisan raid
to destroy some depots and rails.
It sufficiently hampered the Union operations to allow me to dig in and wait for the forces.
A couple of assaults where executed by the Union on Salem, Vincennes and Madison, with no effect.
One rather curious thing happened: the Union marched a few divisions south past Lexington to try
and reach Knoxville. Huh? Progress was slow, and on top of that, the weather changed. Snow...
All divisions were lost. I haven't counted but I guestimate the Union lost at least 20.000 men.
That was the reason why I would like to be able to track the deaths by attrition/illness.
They also count, and as the CSA, I try to kill 2 men for every CSA man so to level off the 2 to 1
advantage the Union has in men.
The VA theater is pretty much locked the same in 1864 as it was in 1861.
I dug in at Manassas, and took Alexandria a while later and dug in there.
To the North I'm dug in at Fredericksburg after I went north the wreck havoc beyond the lines.
The troop distribution was pretty even here, about 10.000 power total for the CSA, and 15.000 power
for the Union. Since 1863, I pretty much only can afford replacements, almost no new troops or very little.
It's a constant drain. I have conscripts enough through the drafts and mobilization totaling 1235.
WS is ok, but money is a real problem. I'm not sure if it's historical or not.
I can't even build support units like engineers or pontoons.
I wanted to block some strategic river points so I could use less troops to defend certain positions.
Not doable as I simply don't have the cash.
By the time you can print money again or get war bonds, I have to many troops that need replacements so most
of the money again goes to the replacements, and train/river transport that has lowered by then.
Good thing is the Union defended Washington with a lot of troops. As the CSA, I usually win the game end 1861,
or somewhere in the 1 part of 1862 by taking Washington and a few other strategic cities.
Not this time.
Another beef I have with this theater, is the low number of casualties when troops assault the multilevel trenches.
The Union attacked me with about 50.000 troops to my 55.000 troops.
I was entrenched at level 8 in Frederickstown. Joseph E. Johnston (3-3-5) leads the Army there.
Longstreet (7-5-7) was there as well with a big corps under the Army of Lee (7-5-7).
The general stats were slightly randomized.
I also had more artillery than the Union troops, better generals, entrenched and they had to cross the Monocacy river.
Result was 1500 casualties on my part, about 3500 for the enemy.
Seeing as everything was in my favor, they also had to walk to the battle, this is a ridiculous result.
I then redid the battle a few times and the casualties where about the same.
1 time, the Union even drove off my army ! Casualties were then about CSA 3000 vs. 10.500 Union.
On the seaboard, I have made a couple of divisions in New Orleans. 3 times already, I had to divert these
to plug holes in KY or MO. Last time, I had to deal with an invasion via the Mississippi in Vicksburg.
The Union launched attacks on Galveston, New Orleans, Fort Jackson, Pensacola (from Ft. Pickes, which I then
took), Savannah, Charleston and Norfolk.
In took Ft. Monroe, and can now bombard the Union fleets.
I've had a couple of really big (750+ pw) fleets hit my forts. In the end, the garrison and fixed guns are destroyed.
The Union can take the beating, my forts and guns can't. I have again, no money to replace them.
I assembled all river forces in a big stack with G. Hollins. It has 2 river ironclads, 1 cottonclad,
5 gunboat units (10 elements) and some transports.
I captured another river ironclad when I took Saint Louis.
I have 4 ironclads guarding New Orleans.
That's about it. No money to build anything. I only built the cottonclad.
Rest was via events.
- Naval shipping
I invested in industry form 1861 & 1862. I think I selected between 8 to 10 armories/arsenals options
in the first 2 years of the war.
I have 11 Brigs (I did count the individual elements, not the units) in the Gulf blockade,
4 Brigs in the Atlantic blockade.
In the shipping lanes R. Semmes has a fleet consisting of the CSS Florida, CSS Alabama,
Plymouth squadron, and 10 transport elements (5 transport units).
It hampers union shipping (25 money, 450 WS per turn), and brings in supplies.
The Gulf of Mexico has 6 transport elements (3 units).
Because of the low money, and the constant need for replacements, I can't add Brigs.
Conclusions and questions:
- Not enough money as the CSA to do things except buy replacements from 1863 onwards.
WS suffers too because of the drain, you can't by industry nor brigs to enhance the money flow.
It also seems all the brigs don't bring in a lot of money. It does feel correct though.
It doesn't seem worthwhile to invest in them as the return is about 11 money for 15 Brig elements.
- Because of the low money, I had an abundance of conscript companies.
In 1864, I even haven't used my mobilization option yet. I don't see the point, I can't build units anyway.
- Casualties are simply not high enough when attacking multilevel entrenchments.
If the Union decides to attack a larger, more powerful, entrenched and better lead force while crossing a river,
a 2 to 1 casualty rate is way to low.
- I wondered if it would be useful to build a redoubt in a strategic position like Fredericktown or Saint Louis for
instance? Or is hiding a full corps in there not practical?
If you have a redoubt with forces in there, and troops sitting outside. Do the redoubt forces also help the forces
outside when they are attacked?
- I have transports in the gulf of Mexico and shipping lanes to bring in supplies. Not sure if this is a good move,
and if it works. I think it does.
- Not being able to promote leaders when they are inactive really bites. It happens more then not, that next turn,
when the troops are active again, that you can't select promote anymore. The opportunity is gone.
I really hope this gets fixed.
- The Union (AI set at Lieutenant) does do several invasions where I have to divert troops to deal with them.
It makes the game more interesting. It does a poor job of defending or attacking the far west, and IT.
- I saw a couple of death marches. It would be better to really stop the Union from attempting those.
Do not wander across the wilderness in KY or WVA.
- The Union fleets are big and powerful, as they should be.
- When dragging a unit to a region, it might happen the unit passes a enemy position that is able to fire at you.
A lost a couple of captured supply wagons this way before I realized it.
It happens when you select transport by rail or river. It really should try to avoid these kinds of routes.