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BattleVonWar
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Buckeye vs Battle

Mon Jun 29, 2015 8:58 am

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E6akJutA-ak

Battle: CSA
Buckeye: Union

Grant, goes off the map after having settled down in Kentucky awhile into the Summer of '62, as late Fall approaches and massive build ups happen in Maryland I ask myself, would Buckeye attempt a Naval Invasion of Richmond proper? I move Jackson there with an elite corp to defend but he is relocated a turn as I settle myself in thinking that it's an impossibility. The last thing my opponent would do is shift the weight to this maneuver. To my surprise and demise, Grant missing for several turns turns up right outside of Richmond with probably 100,000 Union Troops or so...

Since my stronger Army are dislocated this is pretty much my death nail. Up until this point the CSA is holding the Missippi Line/Arkansas Line and in the 120s in NM... This totally pushes the game into hyperdrive.

I know I will likely lose that or fall back well out Richmond and be defending in North Carolina and Western Virginia at best... So I dash for one last hopeless maneuver my troops out of place to attack anywhere else at the moment to answer this brilliant hidden move.
For every Southern boy fourteen years old, not once but whenever he wants it, there is the instant when it's still not yet two o'clock on that July afternoon in 1863 ~~~

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FightingBuckeye
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Mon Jun 29, 2015 1:36 pm

Just a little more background. Battle did an excellent job of preventing me from grabbing Fts Henry, Donelson, OR Island 10 before Kentucky became involved. So my plan was to wait for Kentucky to join and then large Union forces would crash through Kentucky and eventually use that state as my invasion route. Well, that didn't work out so well and Grant's stack got absolutely blasted by a corps and army stack commanded by none other than Lee and I want to say Polk. We're talking 7 NM swing from one battle, Battle just took the heart out of one of my two massive Union stacks in Kentucky.

Meanwhile, I'd also been stalled out in Virginia. Battle prevented me from meeting the criteria of getting 40 elements within two spaces of Richmond by having Jackson's corps kick out my attempt out of Williamsburg before I could stay there for two turns. My NM fell 17 points in the space of about 2 turns from the 10 NM hit from failing to threaten Richmond and the -7NM from the battle in Bowling Green. The extent of my gains in Virginia was HF, Leesburg, and Falmouth. So here we were late summer of '62 and I'd gone nowhere fast and my NM was sitting in the low 80s while Battle's was up in the 120s range.

Facing the prospects of a long and bloody game, I decided to go for the win. My corps on the peninsula fell back to Ft Monroe and I kept a decent sized fleet there and then I just left them there hoping it'd be a case of out of sight out of mind. And I sent a handful of monitors up to Richmond were I watched and waited. Meanwhile, I abandoned my forward positions in Kentucky and and started garrisoning StLo, Cairo, Evansville, and Mumfordville while starting to build forces up to also put a decent garrison at Louisville and Cincy. Then I took Grant's mega stack of 35K of the best troops under the best leadership the West had to offer at the time and sent them East. I had to skirt Lake Erie as Battle had some partisans operating near Cincy as well as Pittsburgh and Wheeling. But I was able to avoid detection even if it added another couple weeks to my travel time. By the time they got in range to form a corps under McDowell, I had already changed the name to remove Grant's name from the stack and used General Buell as a front to hide Grant's portrait (Grant being the lowest 3* after his bloody loss in Kentucky).

At one point my monitors spotted a corps in Richmond, but they turned out to be a corps falling back from Williamsburg that were responding to a limited offensive I kind of fell into in the Shenandoah Valley. I meant only to kick out an independent division in Morgan and accidentally started a ruckus that pushed out a CSA corps that had been sitting in HF. That led to me taking Winchester and pulled a substantial portion of Battle's strength to the valley. Like I said, that small offensive wasn't really intended but it did fit into the strategy I'd settled on by causing Battle to shift his forces.

The stage was set and all my forces were in place for my attempt at Richmond. The problem was my very average general at Ft Monroe was inactive on the crucial turn so I couldn't assault Richmond in one fell swoop. But the pieces were all in place and Richmond was open and thanks to my monitors I knew it had been for a couple turns. I also knew that his forces at Suffolk and Norfolk didn't have orders to bombard. Not wanting to miss the chance and not knowing how long I could keep Battle in the dark I kicked off the campaign. I landed a full corps in Richmond which was able to defeat the locked forces there and left Richmond held solely by an auto garrison and a pontoon unit. At the same time I bypassed Fredericksburg to the East and pushed 2 corps and McDowell's army stack down and on to Richmond. I also landed all the sailors I could in order to add to the confusion and also help secure a supply source as I planned on moving all four stacks involved down to Richmond and its surrounding regions and cutting them off of the rest of my army.

The turn ended with one corps in Richmond, another corps already in MTSG range just north of Richmond, and two additional stacks that would continue marching the next turn. So I had 4 corps/army stacks within 2 spaces of Richmond to Battle's single corps. And if he wanted to contest Richmond, he'd have to shift a lot of bodies by rail and also possibly attack over a small river. Lacking the rail to move enough troops Battle instead chose to try for my capital. Had the evade combat orders worked out for him, it could have gotten real interesting.

I'm including a link to the game file the turn I landed in Richmond in case anyone wants to take a gander.
http://s000.tinyupload.com/index.php?file_id=09399397923627346913

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Cardinal Ape
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Tue Jun 30, 2015 10:19 pm

Huh... What was that? Sorry BattlevonWar, that was quite the throw. Things looked to be going your way, then you made the mistake of leaving Richmond undefended. Buckeye jumped on it and then it looked like you panicked. You managed to avoid the worst by moving your capital in time, it didn't seem like game over to me, a tough spot but not over.

It hurt to see Jackson get mauled like that.

I don't think one can evade through a region with a fort like you tried. Even so, you sent him alone! If you decided that you were going to put your balls on the table and go for the gold, then why did you leave the rest of your VA forces idle? Jackson corps wasn't even connected to the one in Manassas. Was that Jackson's punishment for leaving Richmond?

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BattleVonWar
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Wed Jul 01, 2015 4:04 am

It was may very well appear like self-flagellation :P as I really was upset for about 2 or 3 turns I went to sleep on Buckeye. I really kind of expected with 4000 combat power/Rosecrans-Grant(2 of the best) in Kentucky that was where he would strike. He added to this confusion by moving his Navy and his Stacks around to Missouri. I will be honest with you with actual Rail Points, I would have a very difficult time building an Eastern Front of the game. I perhaps should have tried as I bothered to move the Capitol but when I saw near 9000Combat Power about to tear through into Tennessee and North Carolina.. Buckeye had switched 1/3rd of his combat Power and leaving Falmouth open. While I had stuck the best of my Army in Kentucky Recruiting. I knew to withdrawal in time to move back if this eventuality came up. As it would be game up if I didn't have the needed Rail Points at that particular point. It would take 3 to 4 turns to reset Lee Army. 3 to 4 turns to Reset Virginia Army. It is something my CSA was not prepared for(I didn't max out rail early, I maxed out Industry and Cannons/Plus Brigs) Which by the way paid off Handsomely... great to have bunches of Cannon Divisions but no Rail to move them :P or have them buried in Tennessee and Kentucky!

That's why the CSA Economy is up but game up... Never fall asleep at the wheel. Union power with it's Navy/Rail can do so much more maneuvering. Buckeye would have been fighting into 1864 easily if I had also planted Cavalry Scouts and Partisans Scouts up North.. They were resting regaining strength at the time of his maneuver.

~Buckeye's Army is 2 Xs that of mine in Eastern Theater(not watching that cost me) You will lose land fast at that rate and if your Corp aren't lined up to defend.


Cardinal Ape wrote:Huh... What was that? Sorry BattlevonWar, that was quite the throw. Things looked to be going your way, then you made the mistake of leaving Richmond undefended. Buckeye jumped on it and then it looked like you panicked. You managed to avoid the worst by moving your capital in time, it didn't seem like game over to me, a tough spot but not over.

It hurt to see Jackson get mauled like that.

I don't think one can evade through a region with a fort like you tried. Even so, you sent him alone! If you decided that you were going to put your balls on the table and go for the gold, then why did you leave the rest of your VA forces idle? Jackson corps wasn't even connected to the one in Manassas. Was that Jackson's punishment for leaving Richmond?
For every Southern boy fourteen years old, not once but whenever he wants it, there is the instant when it's still not yet two o'clock on that July afternoon in 1863 ~~~

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FightingBuckeye
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Wed Jul 01, 2015 4:21 am

You definitely would've pushed me into '64 as the campaign season for '62 was rapidly coming to a close. But you could have withdrawn your forces safely even if it'd been a slower process without the rail points needed. I basically created two wings of my army and couldn't really afford to go after you too hard at that point. My northern 4 corps were needed to ensure DC held while my southern 4 corps were in the process of securing Richmond and ensuring you didn't have the strength to counterattack there. Once Richmond was mine, I could have started to spread out, re-establish a linkup with the other half of my army, and started pushing you out of the rest of Virginia. But that delay would've given you time to secure a route south and start setting up a new defensive line. And there was no danger to Kentucky/Tennessee without an army structure or Grant's stack out there, so you could have held your line there or even withdrawn forces for the eastern theater. Your economy was humming and you had the NM to continue the fight into '63 and see what you could do there and likely continue into '64 as well. But HAD Jackson been able to slip past my fort & forces in Alexandria *shudder*

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BattleVonWar
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Wed Jul 01, 2015 11:52 pm

I definitely should have respected your Naval Strength and Flanking ability in two separate games I had witnessed what you can do. I think I envisioned a more fixed front in Kentucky. That you would rail in a corp or two and for a few turns you seemed to follow this by rebuilding in Cairo and bolstering The Union River Fleet. Also a big error was not remembering how well you are at flanking.

I was getting ready to run a simulation on my own vs the AI to see how well a Unionist Opponent can capture all of Richmond and I have read AARs where Gray Fox and another opponent had fought strictly from a Naval Invasion of Virginia. I knew it possible(and began to rail in Divisions 2 turns too late for any possibility)

~~My Dream was to have you head butt Lee and Polk... two fully outfitted Corps, with 2 more Corps coming on-line gaining WS and NM~~ You did not error here

like a Boxer in this game if you're not shifting your weight constantly on both feet(unless your opponent wants to brawl) which you did not... You will get caught weak on one foot. I think what people do not get here is that giving up Norfolk/Richmond/Manchester is a huge hit to the CSA economy. I think as a player I needed to take St. Lo and Kentucky~~~Threaten USA in Cairo but my forces just stood there...fell asleep for several vital vital turns!
For every Southern boy fourteen years old, not once but whenever he wants it, there is the instant when it's still not yet two o'clock on that July afternoon in 1863 ~~~

seathom
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Thu Jul 02, 2015 3:13 am

Buckeye, I've noticed that you have played as the Union in your last two games. Do you plan on playing the CSA in PBEM? It seems like it would be a greater challenge for you?

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Cardinal Ape
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Thu Jul 02, 2015 4:54 am

Yeah, your small rail pool really limited your options to respond to the Union maneuver. If you had enough to move two corps adjacent to Richmond and then two more to attack on the following turn you might have been able to retake it. Considering that a fort will maintain a minimum of 5% MC, and depending on when Buckeye assaulted, you might have been able to sneak some passive troops into Richmond itself.

Game mechanics wise I am pretty sure that evading through an enemy fort is impossible. Hitting Butler in Falmouth and then going into Port Tobacco to D.C. may have been your better option. Assuming you had the rail pool, the way to take D.C. via Alexandria would have been to divide the entirety of your VA forces into three groups. Force A sits in Manassas to MTSG. Force B would assault Alexandria. Force C would walk through Alexandria to assault D.C. Timing the arrival of force C is critical, it needs to arrive late enough to miss the assault on Alexandria so that it enters a CSA controlled region and is able to freely move onto D.C. Ideally you would want Lee in charge of the Alexandria attack group so that his cohesion recovery trait gives his men an extra bit of strength in case he needs to MTSG to help take D.C. when Jackson arrives from some far off place like Willamsburg.

I do agree that this game allows for quite a bit of mind games and trickery. Same thing with your boxer reference. Sitting still as either side, but even more so as the CSA is a very dangerous thing. I find myself getting very anxious. You know the Union is preparing to hit you with a hammer, if you maintain a static line the hammer will hit you square in the forehead.

One can try to gauge the strength of unseen forces by looking at the power comparison in the objectives ledger page. It is a bit difficult and you can't get any solid numbers. Though you might be able to fish out if a large naval invasion is imminent. If the ledger says that you have 75% of the forces that the Union does then take a look around the map, do you see 25% more Union forces than your own? If you can't account for a large number then it is probably safe to assume that they are planning something nefarious.

I'd guess Buckeye playing the Union three times in a row has less to do with him and more to do with BattleVonWar's commitment to the South. Lots of people around here seem to really like playing the South. When I have made posts looking for opponents saying that I will play either side, not once has someone asked to play the Union. Which is understandable because the South is more fun to play and more rewarding when you finally do win against a human.

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FightingBuckeye
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Thu Jul 02, 2015 5:19 am

I've played two CSA PBEM games and have just started game number 3. And Cardinal's correct to an extent. I wanted to play the Union in the first game against Battle as it was also my first PBEM game and I didn't know what to expect and figured my chances were better as the North. But then Battle wanted rematches for games 2 & 3 and he also prefers playing as the South. Sometime in the next couple of weeks when Battle's schedule frees up we'll have a game with flipped sides. And towards the end of the month I'll be doing another AAR but as the South. Having said all that, I guess maybe I'm in the minority in preferring the North. Although it is awesomely fun to roam around with all those good cavalry generals the South gets . . .

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BattleVonWar
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Thu Jul 02, 2015 6:07 am

Yeah, Cardinal Ape definitely has a firmer understanding of all the game mechanics. I have been learning with the more advanced settings that things like Veteran Activation will change the game also, as well as historical attrition. The latter is almost surreal in that in two other games I am in I have seen whole Corps go from 1000 combat power down to 50 in the backwoods of a region in the wrong weather. There is so much you can learn and do with one side. I haven't even learned to play the CSA after 5 PBEM games. I think that playing the Union will definitely give me a firmer understanding of the complexity of the game. Each General's individual qualities. I definitely intend to see if he can use the same strategic decision making for the South.

FightingBuckeye, is a quicker study. When we started I thought I had him. You really have a hard time destroying armies. In this last game I thought I had him again. Though he is very enduring. The Union Side is a tough side to beat. I also learned that long games as the South are unlike any other games, historically, you should lose but just when and how. I prefer to go out in a blaze of glory but will employ more tactics like Ape suggested. More often. The complexity of the Corp System and MTSG can be so very tricky on a player. Also you have to lose a lot to understand a lot! I prefer to lose close then to win big, more entertaining.

(In Both my other games as the CSA, 2 other opponents are approaching '63, 1 nearly lost his Capitol and openly admits it with much much larger army now. The second is nearing mid '62 and has yet to take Missouri-lost HF-parts of Maryland and feels Alex Threatened) These games long and grueling. I would not have given up so easy if I knew it was another opponent, Buckeye never surrenders easy)

FightingBuckeye wrote:I've played two CSA PBEM games and have just started game number 3. And Cardinal's correct to an extent. I wanted to play the Union in the first game against Battle as it was also my first PBEM game and I didn't know what to expect and figured my chances were better as the North. But then Battle wanted rematches for games 2 & 3 and he also prefers playing as the South. Sometime in the next couple of weeks when Battle's schedule frees up we'll have a game with flipped sides. And towards the end of the month I'll be doing another AAR but as the South. Having said all that, I guess maybe I'm in the minority in preferring the North. Although it is awesomely fun to roam around with all those good cavalry generals the South gets . . .
For every Southern boy fourteen years old, not once but whenever he wants it, there is the instant when it's still not yet two o'clock on that July afternoon in 1863 ~~~

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