I've spent quite a bit of time on this. I can confirm that (Western Scenario):The computer is cheating on victory points.
We can see the points per region (per turn) from hitting F8 (regional census) and sorting on the last column, which is victory points.
For the Confederacy, at the start, 4 points are given for Memphis, Vicksburg, Mobile, New Orleans, and Little Rock. Chattanooga is worth 3. 10 other locations that are shown when '3' is hit are worth 1 each. That should be 33. When the Arizona special event comes then Tucson is worth 1.
The USA starts with 28. Louisville, Nashville, and St. Louis with 4 each and Cairo worth 3; they have 13 one point regions worth 13.
However, in my current game as the CSA the union is getting 32. I quit, and reloaded as the union and I am indeed getting 32 so it is now cheating in my favor. I checked again with F8 and I should indeed be getting only 28.
It also works the other way. If you pay the union, the CSA starts to get 41 points/turn when they should be 33.
This extra points makes playing the CSA pretty much impossible. After a few turns the CSA and USA get the same points/turn; that is with starting cities. It is very hard to hold on to everything.
Playing the union is possible but at 41 points/turn, you need to take 2 major cities to equalize, and you have to do it fast enough to catch up on points. This is doable (but not easy at least for me).
I can see the change to the CSA total being a game adjustment for balance, but playing the CSA, the extra union points seem crazy.
Can somebody explain what is going on? Is this an intentional point total change for balance or is it just a bug?
If it is intentional, is this also happening in other scenarios?