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Stopping CSA Leakers

Fri Nov 02, 2018 6:16 pm

Hi everyone. It’s been awhile since my last post but still trying to get better at playing this great game.

I was wondering if anybody had a strategy for preventing the small CSA units that periodically go north burning & tearing things up and occasionally capturing an important location. It seems impractical to build a continuous line of border units but it is frustrating to divert units to chase down the leakers.

Besides DC are there “must garrison” locations that need more than just a few militia units, and what mix of forces do you station in these places?


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Re: Stopping CSA Leakers

Sat Nov 03, 2018 1:44 am

First assure that your game settings only give the AI a small detection advantage. The AI plans with what it "sees", and if it sees a bunch of un-garrisoned locations way back in your hinterland, Athena is likely to go for one or two, which is actually illogical, unless it's maybe Pittsburgh.

So, if Athena's detection advantage is small, and you are still seeing infiltration into your hinterland, you will need to be ready for this.

First off, be proactive. Scout! Don't let yourself be surprised by the enemy. Use cavalry to locate and track them. Give your cavalry the Evade Combat SO (Special Order), and Green/Green (Posture/RoE (Rules of Engagement) = Passive Posture (they will basically do nothing but detect enemy stacks)/Retreat (if engaged - higher chance of getting away from the enemy if caught)). Your scouts don't actually have to enter the region in which an enemy stack is located to detect its content, but if the enemy has cavalry in the region, their cavalry may screen their forces from exact detection (you won't see details). Remember, your cavalry carries only enough GS (General Supplies = food) for 2 turns, which means, one turn to sortie out, and one turn to return to a supply source, which can be a City, Harbor, Depot, Fortification, or a friendly stack, especially if the stack has a Supply Unit). You can actually send out a stack to rendezvous with a returning scout if the scout got delayed through an attack or poor weather and won't make it back in time. You scouts must be in the same stack as units with supplies at the start of the third turn for them to get supplies shared with them.

If you see the enemy gathering a stack in an area where they might lunge around your front line, look for where they might be targeting. Often such targets will be obvious. Understand that to infiltrate, the enemy needs to either bring enough supplies with them to operate for more than two turn, or find access to your supplies. If they bring a Supply Unit, they will be greatly slowed down. If not, them MUST gain access to your supplies. Prevent them at all costs.

Often it is enough to garrison the target with enough troops to prevent them from taking the location immediately. But that is to buy you time to send a force strong enough to push them back out. If they didn't bring a Supply Unit after their second turn away from supplies, they wills start taking heavy cohesion losses, which will weaken them considerably. This can be a great opportunity to actually destroy an enemy stack, or at least cause heavy casualties, which must be replaced and are costly in time and money.

In the worst case, if they've gained access to a lot of supplies, you will have to ferret them out, possibly besiege them, if they move to inside their captured location. If you have to besiege them you will need as much offensive artillery as possible (10lb-ers, siege artillery, etc, not 6 and 12lb-ers, although every little bit helps, but you might need those elsewhere to defend).

Be quick and be flexible. Don't fight piece-meal, even if you have to take time to gather forces. Contain and destroy.

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Gray Fox
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Re: Stopping CSA Leakers

Sat Nov 03, 2018 6:32 pm

The Union starts in 1861 with a mix of brigades that have embedded 6-lber cannon. I prefer heavier guns in artillery Divisions and these brigades actually interfere with this strategy. The number of guns able to fire is finite and the light guns may be randomly chosen for use leaving the big guns idle. So I divide up these brigades into garrison Divisions and fill them out with militia volunteers. These Divisions form a "shield" along the major rivers dividing the North and South. I entrench one Division inside the cities of St. Louis, Cairo, Evansville, Louisville, Cincinnati, Ashland, Parkersburg, Wheeling and Pittsburgh. I use a flatboat to create a depot in each of these cities that don't already have one. A reserve Corps can rail in to operate against any incursion. Gunboats can block retreat back across the rivers. I also use a Regional Decision Card to create a stockade in Carroll and Montgomery MD where a garrison Division's enhanced Zone of Control can stop Confederates from penetrating on the east coast. Good luck!
I'm the 51st shade of gray. Eat, pray, Charge!

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Re: Stopping CSA Leakers

Sat Nov 03, 2018 10:04 pm

Thanks CPT Orso and Gray Fox. I appreciate your insights! Hopefully I can put them to good use.

Rod Smart
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Re: Stopping CSA Leakers

Mon Nov 05, 2018 5:11 pm

2 volunteer units (merged into 1 unit) garrisoned in every town with a depot throughout Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, and up the Missouri River.

This is enough to stop any partisans or single regiment cavalry raiders from capturing a town/burning a garrison. It's enough to force a battle if a small brigade of late-cavalry wants to attack, which slows that unit down and allows someone to easily come and defeat them and re-capture that town.

Having little small units all over the map allows them to leave the town when the threat has passed and repair rail lines. While it's annoying to have those little red broken rail dots all over the map, the North has enough rail lines that half a dozen busted lines doesn't matter, as long as you fix them eventually.

To stop larger raids, you'll need a mobile fighting force that can track down and destroy those raiders.

Note: do not use this strategy with border towns that may get in the way of corps sized stacks. If a garrison surrenders, you lose 1 NM. Don't accidentally lose NM because you didn't want a raider sneaking through Harpers Ferry or Bowling Green.

Gray Fox's plan is ideal along the rivers. Even a little 6 pounder is enough to destroy a partisan trying to sneak up-river. Do not attach generals to these units. While it looks cool to have the CP increase, having an inactive general means those river guns are also inactive.

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Re: Stopping CSA Leakers

Mon Nov 05, 2018 8:03 pm

Note important looking depots and rail junctions. Build some militia in these depots and create small groups of cavalry to respond to rail junction attacks.

The map is really clear about what areas are important luckily.

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Location: Jackson, Georgia

Re: Stopping CSA Leakers

Wed Nov 07, 2018 4:57 am

Anybody know how to stop Union leakers?

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