FightingBuckeye wrote:EAST: Here I will look to take Harpers Ferry and eject SA from West Virginia if he tries to contest this. I probably won't get too frisky here early unless I see an opportunity. I will simply lack for good commanders and will face some stiff competetion in leadership in this front to be thinking too aggressive. I will build up my forces here so that I can take advantage if SA leaves me something tasty to go after. It also will help safeguard my capital from an early aggressive confederate push for a quick win.
I have to count this as a big check yes. I didn’t take Harper’s Ferry after I goofed on sending an inactive general to take command of the attack. I eventually pulled back when it became apparent Arrow was there in strength. I may not have taken Harpers Ferry until 1862, but I was able to use a series of maneuvers into forcing Arrow into attacking me mostly on ground of my choosing. It wasn’t without risk and it got a little hairy at Winchester, but I’ve inflicted a lot of casualties on Arrow’s eastern forces and managed to notch several positive NM swinging battles in this theater. Not a bad accomplishment with a 2-2-2 3* two 1*s at 3-3-1 & 4-4-2 and a bunch of 3-1-1s facing a bunch of 4-2-4 3*s and a whole slew of great generals in Jackson, Longstreet, Magruder, etc. Things should improve as I should be getting some better generals sometime in 1862.
FightingBuckeye wrote:WEST This is where I'll try to make some advances early. I'll be looking to marshall forces in Missouri with the intention of ejecting SA from Springfield posthaste. This will deprive him of the force pool in MO. Additionally, it'll be harder for him to conduct deep raids if I can deprive him of Springfield and the forts to the west. Getting Lyons promoted will definitely be a plus as well. I don't know how SA plans to play this area and he can definitely stall me out here if he really wants to. In addition to Missouri, I will look to take either or both of Ft Donelson and/or Island ten. A lot depends on what happens with Kentucky and also what SA does.
This one gets chalked up as another success. I’ve taken all three primary objectives that I listed. Depending on my opponent, I don't always manage to grab all three positions by 1862, so I'm always pleased when I do manage to get all three. Although Donelson almost didn't happen in time for the New Year due to a streak of bad weather. I didn't mention it at the start of the AAR as it can be a bit of a stretch if a CSA opponent defends Springfield and Fayetteville well, but I did have Fayetteville as a secondary objective. I made a valiant attempt at it and came up short. Still, it would've been a reach. The major goal of Springfield is in my hands, which will make holding StLo that much easier without having to worry about a fast moving force operating out of Springfield. Plus taking both Island 10 & Donelson have helped secure against any amphibious landings of raiding parties and has allowed me to start moving into Tennessee.
FightingBuckeye wrote:FAR WEST I will look to establishing my supply lines from California to my forward position facing El Paso. I'm not planning on committing too much in this area from the east. I should be able to eventually advance once all my starting units out here are concentrated. I will buy those rangers, militia, and mounted volunteer units to give me better mobility and cannon fodder. I'll either burn forts to deny their possible use as staging points for rebel raids or otherwise secure them. I definitely don't want rampaging raiders going after Colorado, Nevada, etc. We'll see if SA plans to reinforce this front with artillery and line infantry or if he'll leave this theater to it's own devices.
HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. "My forward position facing El Paso" HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! "advance" HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! *breathe* HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! Oh boy, how funny that sounds now. Little did I know the commitment Straight Arrow was prepared to make out here. Because of the threat on Santa Fe early, I never was able to take Tucson with builds from NM like I sometimes do. Because of the major buildup for this theater, I lost a lot of irreplaceable line units, batteries, and a supply unit. I'm currently in full flight towards Colorado. Colorado was never really going to be in danger in 1861, but the stage is well set for Arrow to threaten it in '62!
FightingBuckeye wrote:COAST I do plan on having a division afloat and possibly hitting easy targets by the end of the year. As I can, I will add more forces and start taking bigger targets as my reach strengthens. Early on though, I will see if I can divert moderate/serious rebel resources to building up garrison forces early. In line with this thinking, I will start operating brigs as early as I can along the coast at various important southern ports. I'm thinking 2-3 brigs along both the Gulf areas and the Atlantic seaboard for a total of 4-6 brigs. I'll start doing this early too. I want to accomplish several things with this brig operation. First, let's see if I can cause SA to start developing these garrisons earlier than he intended. The rebels only have so much and their coast means they have to defend an additional theater that the North simply doesn't have to worry about. I'll have greater chances of making headway elsewhere if I can force SA to siphon significant troops and resources to building forces in these coastal cities.
This one is a partial fail, but there's an asterisk to that. I did have an earmarked division ready to set out on amphibious operations and would’ve likely followed that one up with a second one. But events in Virginia overtook my plans. I needed the strength those divisions gave me to successfully mount my offensive in Virginia. I have 14 divisions currently operating in the East, I could've simply held the line with 1-2 fewer divisions which would've landed somewhere. I did not foresee the East being a major theater in ’61, so I can’t begrudge the success I enjoyed there. As much as I'd have liked to have landed guys somewhere, Virginia's a major component of the CSA economy and any movement towards Richmond is laudable. Plus my brig scouting operation has given me valuable intel on Arrow's dispositions. It's harder to tell relative strength with divisions now formed up. I also couldn't tell you how much of the major buildups I did observe would've normally occurred and what (if any) occurred because of those scouts. But I did see direct reactions to my brigs on at least two occasions and that was part of my goal here.
Of my major goals I set early, I was able to meet most of them. It wasn’t all success though as Arrow managed to surprise me in New Mexico with a strong buildup I didn’t see coming. And although the opportunity I saw in Virginia did account for most of why I didn’t mount any naval invasions, that was not the sole reason. Arrow was seen putting a lot into his coastal regions before the divisional structure made strength estimation harder to track via my brigs. And over the past couple of turns, I’ve noticed that Arrow has started doing a better job of closing any weaknesses in his positions.
What this all means, is that 1862 will see some new challenges. Can I stop Arrow from translating his success in New Mexico into a grey Colorado? Can I continue the momentum in Virginia with additional battlefield wins and additional gains despite the leadership disparity I currently face? Will Grant be able to continue the success he’s had in Tennessee?
For 1862, I would like to end the year either in possession of Richmond, or more likely subjecting it to legitimate danger of attack. Much like Alexandria and DC were weights that always tied me down and limited my flexibility, I want Arrow to have to deal with worrying about defending an objective he simply can’t afford to lose. I probably won’t look to do any major amphibious invasions if I can keep the situation in Virginia fluid and keep gaining ground. Although I might land in Norfolk or Suffolk. In Tennessee, I would like to end the year in possession of Memphis, Corinth, and Nashville. I also would like to limit any CSA deep raids as much as possible. Arrow's posts in the forum lead me to believe I'll see more raiding in 1862. Arrow will enjoy having better cavalry leaders, but I'll hopefully be operating on my home turf and already have some cavalry forces building and will build more as the spring weather approaches. I'll take Fayetteville if I see a shot, but I'm not going to divert much if any from Tennessee or Virginia to do it. I don’t know if I can really retake Santa Fe short of committing major additional forces out there which I won't be doing. But I will settle with keeping Arrow out of the Colorado gold. Lastly, I want to end the year with higher NM than the South as well as keeping CSA casualties greater than Union losses.