Bargus
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Using the Union Navy

Tue Feb 25, 2020 5:47 pm

Hi all,

I've got a couple newbie questions on using the Union Navy properly.

1) I know the blockade squadrons go in the blockade boxes (as a single stack with transports, yes?). Should anything else go in the blockade boxes? In general, is it advisable to build more blockade squadrons?

2) What should I put in the shipping boxes? Frigates, brigs, steam frigates? In the same stack as the merchants? All set to green-green, right? Worth it to have an admiral in there?

3) The rest of the ocean-going navy: in a stack or two for taking forts/coastal cities? I've read about people scouting with brigs. Is there a good way to blockade a coastal city without getting chewed up by the forts? Do you generally build any more ships? Ironclads, maybe?

4) What's a good unit composition for taking forts? Siege mortars, marines, and regular line infantry divisions? Is it generally necessary to strongly garrison the forts you take?

5) River-based ships: I've been trying to use them to block or interrupt river crossing. Sometimes my ships get mauled pretty badly by unit-based artillery (I think?...all I know is, I'm near forts and my ships are sinking). Anything else useful I can do with these boats? Better in a couple big stacks, or spread out to cover more area?


Thanks for any help anyone can give. I apologize if some of this should be self-evident :bonk: I'm loving the game and want to get better!

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Citizen X
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Re: Using the Union Navy

Tue Feb 25, 2020 7:12 pm

There is only my two cents. Out of my head though.
Brigs in the blockade boxes generate income for the South, merchantships in the shipping box generate income for the North and distribute supply.
Transports hold supply and carry troops.
Frigates interrupt merchants.
Steam frigates are not worth building imho
USN Battleships in the blockade boxes disturb coomerce of the South, but I don't remember which ones are most effective in that regard.
Best blockades are brown water blockades. Start using the Navy for blockading harbours.
Brigs are good scouts because they are dispendable for the North and can go nearly everywhere on water.
Build durable ships like ironclads to controll the Mississippi etc and blockadefleets/transports fot brownwater blockades.
Landing in a region and assaulting structures in that region are two different things and sieging is yet another thing. You need marines for the first, experienced infantry for the second and mortars for the third.
Artillery behind fortifications of any kind can fire on passing ships. You can't get around that. Build more and better ships.
Assaulting forts is only needed to train officers or to get an object quickly. Most forts are near useless for either side and not worth putting resources into them, with a few exceptions.
They make a supplychain for the NOrth and thus are important in certain positions or from the perspective of the South interrupt movement and supply of the opponent. Forts between Cairo and Vicksburg are something you want to hold or those around capitals or the Potomac. I usually ignore most others, unless they are in my supply lanes.

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Durk
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Re: Using the Union Navy

Wed Feb 26, 2020 4:08 am

Citizen X has pretty much explained all.
You are not going to take forts from the water. You need to land and siege. You can block a river, but it takes a lot of ships and is not really important to do so except for supply.
I pretty much use ships for transport and to defeat the opposing navy.
A brown water blockade does not put your ships at risk. Wooden ships are fine, but one ironclad in each blockading fleet helps. (Brown water blockade is when you sit at sea next to the port and it says you have enough ships to blockade. Richmond can be blockaded from Hampton Roads.

Think of the naval war as fun, and do not worry too much more than General Scott designed. Distance blockade with some strength full blockade close in. Take the Mississippi, if you can take New Orleans, go for it; otherwise, grind down from the north. Otherwise, the naval is not so much war winning as limiting CSA resources and enabling landings all along the Atlantic and Guff coasts. Conceptually, I think of the naval game as presenting a threat to all CSA ports, busy taking as many as possible, and otherwise requiring the CSA to defend all ports. A landing in Texas can be a nice diversion.

This game so accurately recreates the naval war. You will not win against forts, you win by bypassing them and taking the cities, then going back and taking the forts by siege.

Bargus
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Re: Using the Union Navy

Wed Feb 26, 2020 4:03 pm

Thanks, guys! Appreciate the help!

2 follow-up questions:

1) So in general, it's better to siege forts than storm them?

2) If you park ships outside a harbor, but there are forts there, will your ships get whittled down and sunk after a few turns?


Thanks again!

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Citizen X
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Re: Using the Union Navy

Wed Feb 26, 2020 11:58 pm

1. Unless you have a substantial surplus in troops. It can give commanders experience and make them promotable. Many use Hooker to take the forts outside North Carolina. Other than that, yes, simply siege them down.

2. Bombardment, afaik, only works while moving. The can be worn by supply lack though.

Bargus
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Re: Using the Union Navy

Thu Feb 27, 2020 3:22 pm

Thanks again, CitizenX!

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Gray Fox
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Re: Using the Union Navy

Sat Feb 29, 2020 12:07 am

Here's point #21 from the thread Union Points to Know:

viewtopic.php?f=331&t=43074

21. Here's one way to use the Union Navy units that you get for free.

a. Make sure that you always fill out each of the ship units to full strength. Some of the Brig, Sail Frigate and Blockade Squadron (BS) units need replacements. Send them to a major port with a naval engineer like Philly, NYC or Boston. Set them to Green/Green and make sure that you have replacements in the pool for their ship type. The next turn, they should be locked in place until the replacements arrive. You can even do this with under-strength units that start the game locked in one of those ports.

b. I get 5 BS in each of the two blockade boxes set to Green/Green. This way they can stay on station for a year or more without resupply. Their priority is to enforce the blockade.

c. The last BS goes in Hampton Roads to isolate Ft. Monroe (92% chance to block overland access) from ground assault and to help enforce the blockade of Richmond. So it's set to Blue Green. Eventually I send the Monitor and an Admiral there to counter the Virginia ironclad.

d. I build all of the Ocean Transports and place them in the Shipping Lanes box in one stack with the Merchant ships. This quickly pays for the investment. These are guarded by 4 Steam Frigates and a sail Frigate set to Green/Green, Evade Contact under the command of one of the 3-1-1 Admirals.

e. Finally, to prevent an assault on D.C. over the bridge from Alexandria, I place two Brig or Sail Frigate units (4 ships) in the Potomac river zone set to Blue/Green. Again, this only leaves an 8% chance for the rebels to get across.

f. I make and then send the 4 Ranger elements to Philly. There they embark on 4 brig units as my CW SEAL teams. You can split these up into 4 brig+Ranger combos to scout the CSA coast or land the Rangers to twist up RR lines or destroy depots. I use a flatboat to build a depot in the FL keys. Based there, these teams can operate rapidly against the entire CSA coast.

g. This leaves enough ships to assign Farragut, Foote and Dahlgren each a Task Force (TF) consisting of 4 Steam Frigates and a sail Frigate. Set to Orange/Orange, they can hunt CSA runners and raiders in the Atlantic/Gulf/Shipping Lanes boxes. Also based in the keys, they can quickly react to CSA sightings. According to several posts by Captain Orso, the TF gets a contact check when it enters and again when it leaves the box. So that is 3 extra chances per turn to locate the enemy.
I'm the 51st shade of gray. Eat, pray, Charge!

Bargus
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Re: Using the Union Navy

Mon Mar 02, 2020 1:47 pm

Thanks, Grey Fox! Good stuff.

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Gray Fox
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Re: Using the Union Navy

Mon Mar 02, 2020 2:40 pm

You're most welcome! Good luck!
I'm the 51st shade of gray. Eat, pray, Charge!

pob303
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Re: Using the Union Navy

Sun May 10, 2020 7:54 pm

What is the return in investment for placing CSA Brigs in the blockade box?

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Gray Fox
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Re: Using the Union Navy

Sun May 10, 2020 9:40 pm

From my experience, if you build a Brig and use it as a blockade runner, then it never pays for itself. The blockade ships will eventually catch it, causing damage, before you break even. If you leave it out, then it can be sunk. If you put it into port for repairs, then you must also pay off the repair investment. So it just never works. You can use the free Brigs you start with for blockade running and that's about it.
I'm the 51st shade of gray. Eat, pray, Charge!

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AlessandroD
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Re: Using the Union Navy

Sun May 10, 2020 10:06 pm

I'm taking notes in my game (see AAR) and at the moment the return is 1.5/1.75 WS per Brig, of course they are still untouched.

After 10 turns I can give you a better statistic, but as Gray Fox said maybe they are not worth to build because can sink, or even if damaged they will stay out of business for a while.

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