[color="#008080"]FIGURING OUT THE WEST:
[color="#008080"]"WHOEVER HAS THE GOLD MAKES THE RULES"
There is so much more to consider and so many more pieces at play in this theater, but the above should really be the only true objective. I can't say I'm all too worried about losing ground way out west, but it's a part of the upcoming conflict I can't neglect. The simple fact of the matter is that two tiny mining towns and one California city are literally sitting on mountains of gold.
Golden City, CO (west of Denver), Sacramento, CA and Virginia City, NV would be difficult for any Confederate expedition to reach, but I know it COULD be done. The wealth from gold produced in these cities (a total of +50 Money per turn between them, Sacramento yielding the most) would certainly be a nice prize for Soundoff and a real bummer for my own war economy (those gold mines will produce roughly 18% of my money!!).
When I was playing as the CSA, I conducted a unsuccessful invasion of California. CW2 would make it a much more complex operation.
Territorial control is a patchwork to say the least, especially in New Mexico Territory. There are Native American villages interspersed everywhere across the map with U.S. controlled forts, towns and cities. The simple prospect of random attacks by native tribes near an important city like Santa Fe makes some nominal investment in its defense appropriate. With that in mind, I will do my absolute best to reinforce this area using volunteer infantry, a battery or two of artillery, and a very healthy mix of mounted troops.
Overall, My stance in California, Airzona, New Mexico Territory and Colorado will be very defensive. I may push into Eastern Arizona and take Tucson and depending on how much I can muster in Santa Fe, I may set out to destroy the native villages nearby. Other than that, I will leave it to Soundoff to take the initiative in this theater of war. There may also be some interesting things to do in terms of development using strategic decisions. It might be worth spending some resources on increasing the civilization level of Golden City and Virginia City with the chance of increasing the amount of wealth produced by both.
I don't quite fully understand the benefit of increasing a region's development, I'll be honest. I'll need to figure that out unless one of you kind readers would prefer to educate me.
[color="#008080"]"DON'T GET DISTRACTED BY KANSAS"
Well this area of the map is just a simple booger bear (As a work buddy of mine would call it). At first glance, there is a whole lot of "plain" in the plains theater. I had to sit a the computer and just examine the details and information about many of the regions in Kansas and the Indian Territory (Oklahoma). I managed to learn that among all of the bigger cities in Kansas, including Leavenworth, Mound City and Lawrence, there are some 36 supply points produced each turn. That is not enough to supply a very large force, but it COULD feed a potentially threatening one.
I began to think about possible ways of pushing forward to threaten Arkansas from the west (since I will obviously be quickly pressing it from the east).
This is the part where I refer back to this title of this particular section; "Don't Get Distracted By Kansas". While I don't consider this to be of high priority, I think an operation way out here could make for some really interesting gameplay. So, just for shits and giggles....let's explore the possibilities:
I will say first that the appropriate number of troops for an operation like this would need to be somewhere around 6,000 to 8,000, including infantry, cavalry plus a little artillery. I would also need several supply units.
[color="#00FF00"]1. WHAT WON'T WORK --[/color] I'll take you through my thought process on the option which, as you can see from the picture below, won't work at all. I considered building a depot at Leavenworth which would attract supplies via road from across the region. I would then equip my plains army with a half supply wagon moving forward to Ft. Smith then south and east to Ft. Belmont and Ft. Baxter before marching east and then striking south toward the Confederate held Ft. Wayne and eventually on to Fayetteville, AR.
This won't work, or at least not for me, because once you get south of Ft. Smith, KS -- There are no roads. Even in the height of summer, I wager supply would be pulled no further than one region by an army with supply wagons. The travel distance between Leavenworth, Kansas and Ft. Scott, KS is four regions if you take that yellow invasion route and that is simply too far.
[color="#00FF00"]2. WHAT COULD WORK --[/color] Setting up a supply depot in Mound City, KS. Now, at first, I'll just say I arrived at this solution in a round-a-about way and it took me a little time, but I found it. First, after accepting the fact I just wasn't comfortable with the risky "Leavenworth" option, I decided that it could still work, if I just marched from Leavenworth south to Mound City and then directly south from there instead. But....then I figured.....why not just build the depot in Mound City??
There are no roads south of Mound City, to be sure, but the number of regions to Ft. Wayne is reduced by HALF if I send my imagined Plains Army in this direction, using Mound City as its main supply base. At the very worst, I could push all the way forward to Ft. Scott. Having a large force in situ at that location would be advantageous and could pose the kind of threat to Arkansas I'm looking for.
NOW, I stressed in that second option that it "COULD" work. That is very important because even if I were to assemble a big enough force to take Fayetteville from the west, it would be difficult to keep it property supplied.
[color="#FFFF00"]BACK TO NOT BEING DISTRACTED:
What I definitely know I want to do, is push as far forward as possible with some smaller, more mobile units that could wreak havoc on the native villages and towns in the Oklahoma Territory. I will probably seek to beef up defenses at Ft. Arbuckle and Tallasi. Garrisoning both of these locations and posting cavalry regiments at each would be much more realistic. Also, in West Kansas I plan to post one regiment of cavalry to serve as a guard against any nefarious activity in this region by Soundoff.
There are plenty of new and interesting prospects in this particular part of the map. Quite frankly, in the process of writing this strategy review, I am rather tempted by the prospects. This would naturally be an effort to support my goal of taking Springfield and holding it over the first six months of the war. What is most wetting my appetite is the thought that Soundoff may devote most of his resources attacking in south and central Missouri. If his attention is focused squarely on my forces from St. Louis, I may be able to surprise him with a concentrated invasion south and west out of Kansas. I could muster my army by rail to St. Joseph, MO and then march it south to Lawrence and on down my planned invasion route through Mound City, possibly without even being seen for most of the journey (although Soundoff does mind his recon).
All that said, I will have to take time and think on it. And I think this is an appropriate stopping point for now. I mentioned Missouri a moment ago. That will be the focus of my next strategic review. It is a theater which could receive more attention from me than it did by Abe in history. We shall see.
Till next time -- Stay tuned!!