Calvin809 wrote:So I have started my very first full campaign (the early beginning April one, union side) and I am no McClellan. I need some advice for raising and organizing an effective army. What are some of the things you veteran players do to raise/recruit an army and how do you fit a naval recruitment into that? Also how do you get things organized? Do you use theaters to organize and ship units to different places? Also it seems like units appear that I have not ordered does that continue to happened or is that just the first few turns?
I need some advice for raising and organizing an effective army. What are some of the things you veteran players do to raise/recruit an army and how do you fit a naval recruitment into that?
Also how do you get things organized?
Do you use theaters to organize and ship units to different places?
Also it seems like units appear that I have not ordered does that continue to happened or is that just the first few turns?
Gray Fox wrote:"If he defends everywhere, then everywhere will be weak." Sun Tzu
The CSA cannot properly defend both Manassas and Alexandria. The Union cannot properly defend both D.C. and Alexandria. If the Union takes Manassas, then Alexandria must be abandoned without a fight or you will be trapped there when I take Fredericksburg. If the CSA takes Washington, game over. Troops don't magically fill every gap. The economy of force that Clausewitz described dictates that you absolutely do those things that you must, to the exclusion of all other things.
Harper's Ferry already has a depot and an armory. A Union army in HF threatens Manassas from the CSA side of the Potomac. It is a base of operations for the capture of Winchester and the Confederate depot in the next region. Holding these regions removes the base of operations the CSA has for an attack against the underbelly of PA, i.e., any CSA army stack will then need to take enough supply wagons to get from Manassas to PA and back or starve. Once the Union has these, you can concentrate on Manassas and get Alexandria for free.
Alexandria is neither extremely important nor advantageous to hold. It doesn't have a depot or anything else. Even if it did, the South already has a base of operations for a strike across the Potomac with the depot at Manassas (as I believe I've demonstrated). The fact that artillery in Alexandria can shoot at occasional ships going into D.C. harbor is not a strategic concern. Besides, I base the whole Atlantic fleet in Long Island. Yes, I start with Alexandria. I'll finish with it too, but on my own terms.
I'm not a mathematician or an economist or a Civil War buff. I spent half my youth as a soldier. This is what we do.
A mere nine mostly militia Divisions hold defensive strongpoints so that the Union player can concentrate on what is important back east. If a CSA army wants to tour the Midwest, then it won't be available for the defense of Richmond
Do that against ArmChair, I flat out dare you.
I don't have tons of faith in Militia.
ArmChairGeneral wrote:Me either, but this is a better use for them than most. While one of those division won't stand up against multiple well trained CSA Divisions, having to stop and do it gives the Union plenty of time to put together a counterattack, whether it comes by rail or by river. I won't be able to go around them because the river is a highway to bring in all the other Depot divisions in behind me to cut me off.
The landlocked depots won't be pumping supplies in from Cleveland and Chicago, but the river depots would pump them in from Pittsburgh, St Louis, Wheeling, Cincy, etc. and it will be difficult (nothing is impossible though) to break that chain because supplies can come in from either direction.
Using the railnet is an appropriate response to CSA invasion as well. OTOH an invader has a lot of tools to make this more difficult (destroying tracks, establishing MC along the approaches, etc.) while it is generally harder to interdict river mobility. (Tangent: you can spot land forces a lot better than river ones; usually only 2 or 3 detection on river hexes).
I'm sure I would come up with something, but it certainly would present an extra set of problems to solve. There may be some obvious thing that makes an Ohio-River-Line vulnerable, but I am looking forward to getting back home and trying it out for myself.
ArmChairGeneral wrote:Yeah, lots of us only play the AI (according to the polls on another thread most of us in fact).
Thanks for your confidence but I sincerely hope he does not try to do that against me, it would present the CSA player with a host of problems.
A Depot line along the Ohio and Mississippi I think is a good trick and would certainly give the CSA problems in trying to storm the Midwest (which is currently MY favorite exploit against Athena). I am trying to capture the rails and use the depots at Salem, Vincennes, and Indianapolis against the Union. Instead Fox denies these by destroying them and putting the Depots along the river where they are much easier to defend. I can't move around freely even if I capture all the rails because the river lets him quickly bring in troops from far away to deal with my aggression. He is in good supply with freedom of movement and operating from strongly held depots. I have to build my own depots, and the rails I am relying on for mobility and supply are very vulnerable to interdiction. Ick.
Also, guns along the river won't do much to stop the flow of supplies, there are huge supply sources on either end of the chain (St. Louis, Pittsburgh) and some of the depots will still be connected to the rail-net.
One Division won't make a depot impregnable, but it would be expensive and time consuming to take, and it wouldn't be safe to bypass the line and leave one of these things in my rear near the river crossing. (Did I mention you can't starve/force-surrender them without establishing riverine superiority?) That is a lot more use than I have ever been able to get out of militia.
Whether there are enough conscripts, wagons and cash available to complete this in a reasonable time frame without letting DC fall is something I can't speak to, I hardly ever play the Union. But it wouldn't have to be completed to be effective. Three or four such positions between Metropolis and Cincinnati would be pretty effective all on their own, and there is no need to use whole divisions anywhere upriver of Cincy.
While I am sure I could figure out something to counter it, and it would probably be difficult to execute in each and every game, but speaking as a CSA player, an Ohio-River-Line sounds like a pretty reasonable defensive scheme for the Union in the Midwest. Lets see how it works in practice!
ArmChairGeneral wrote:A) Yep, lots of ways to win.
B) Because Fox blew them already.
C) Not sure what you are saying here. All those union cities I listed produce a lot of supply that could move down the river just as easily as across the rail net. You can't blow up the river; you have to emplace guns or have riverboats, and you have to do it in multiple places because there are supplies entering the chain all along it as well as at both ends. That's all doable, but costs, and slows down the steamroll.
Saying just take Cairo and Cincinnati doesn't make any sense; the whole point of the OH line is to try to STOP me from easily seizing those very cities. If I can still do so then the tactic, by definition, doesn't work. If it does work, then I will NOT be able to do it easily. The best counter to any tactic is for the tactic to have failed in the first place.
D) There is more than one way to mess with the Union's midwestern rail network, but it is complicated and I gotta get to the airport. Let's just say I have an intimate familiarity with every inch of track between Columbus OH, and St. Louis.
Will the OH-line actually work? Who knows? But I find it plausible, especially if done on a more limited scale.
Probably the best way to put a stop to any CSA nonsense in the midwest is to invade Tennessee or not lose KY in the first place.
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