Posts: 135
Joined: Mon Aug 04, 2014 3:39 am
Location: Jackson, Georgia

Harper's Ferry

Tue Nov 07, 2017 9:09 pm

Apparently there is absolutely no way to hold this in the beginning of the war as Confederate. My Shenandoah Army just does not activate quick enough and by the time it is, Harper's Ferry is already taken, reinforced and dug in. If i try to bring more troops over to attack it takes 2 turns to achieve (due to no rail lines) and the Yanks see every move. Once i reinforce my Army in Winchester they will see it and can easily rail in reinforcements to support them by the time i attack. So im asking veteran players, is it worth all the sacrifice in only potentially taking the town?

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Gray Fox
AGEod Guard of Honor
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Joined: Wed Aug 22, 2012 7:48 pm
Location: Englewood, OH

Re: Harper's Ferry

Wed Nov 08, 2017 1:33 am

As the Union player, I never try to hold HF. I blow the depot and then leave the armory to the CSA. The region is on the wrong side of the Potomac and Shenandoah rivers for the Union. If a Union force is under seige in HF, then a relief force would have to cross one of those rivers at a severe disadvantage to even get there, unless you somehow went all the way around to Morgan WV. MTSG doesn't come into play until spring '62, so it's just not worth trying to hold it. A stockade in Montgomery and perhaps Carrol MD are much better defensive positions for the Union line to protect D.C., IMHO.

Stay in Winchester. The CSA is better off with a stockade in Clarke and Stafford VA (raze the town in Stafford to build the stockade). A redoubt can be built in Manassas with a Regional Decision Card in '62 to complete your defensive line. Lee's army can MTSG to these points from Culpepper.
I'm the 51st shade of gray. Eat, pray, Charge!

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AGEod Grognard
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Location: Austin, TX, USA

Re: Harper's Ferry

Wed Nov 08, 2017 4:43 am

HF is nice to have as either side, but it isn't decisive, and is not worth sticking your neck out for. If the Union player wants it enough to commit early, you probably can't stop them.

I have heard that in real life it was a less defensible location than its representation in the game: once either side can occupy it in force they can keep it fairly easily as it is difficult to enter the region from the east, north and south, and the western approach presents logistical challenges.

From HF the Union has a secure forward position to advance down the Valley, but must fight their way through several easily defended chokepoints. Assembling enough troops to force their way down the Valley risks leaving Alexandria or even DC dangerously exposed.

From HF the CSA can theoretically strike into Maryland, but this is rarely successful unless they are already winning, as the Union can easily counterattack with much larger forces, potentially trapping the CSA on the wrong side of the Potomac and destroying the army altogether. You could conceivably push into WV, but nothing is actually valuable there until you get to the Ohio river.

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General of the Army
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Re: Harper's Ferry

Sat Nov 11, 2017 9:17 pm

Ya ArmChair, i've been to HF a few times. Lovely little spot down on the river surrounded by ridges on all sides. Get cannons up there, and there is no way to hold the town. (Which is what Jackson did in 62)

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