Jim-NC wrote:I will add general moves.
What would happen if Lee had gotten army command in TN in 1862 and not Virginia. Johnston was a great defender, but not much on attack.
What if Jackson went went west?
Doomwalker wrote:My favorite "what-if" is Britain and France fighting on the side of the CSA.
Getting FI to fire is always one of my goals. Granted Athena doesn't try to fight me too much on this issue, not like a human player would in PBEM.
Stauffenberg wrote:I had one Athena game as the CSA with the French and Brits both activated but I decided not to play them. I wish I had in retrospect, just to get a feel for their capabilities. I get the feeling their addition is not terribly decisive one way or the other. I'd like to hear from people who have played that out.
colonel hurst wrote:I will also agree with Captain Orso's strategy in making Missouri a priority. Taking it as CSA pretty much secures the left flank of your country and to get it back, USA would have to tie up a fair amount of resources to do it.
Chaplain Lovejoy wrote:An intriguing what-if: Henry Clay fails in one or more of his compromise efforts. This results in the ACW being fought 10 years earlier, 20 years earlier, etc. Fewer RRs. Different generals.
Jorje Vidrio wrote:Speaking of the Mexican War, what if Mexico tried to take advantage of the US Civil War to retake some of the southwestern territories lost during the Mexican War?
Neither the Union nor the Confederacy would have been in a position to stop Mexico if it really wanted to retake Arizona or New Mexico for instance.
Longshanks wrote:Most of you know that Bory and Joe J proposed an invasion of the North to Davis after Manassas. Bory would take 50,000 men to Wheeling and move North to take "the strip of land between Eire and Wheeling". Davis was too worried to say yes to this all or nothing strategy.
While a legitimate historical option, such a move would have little impact in the game. So, we might conclude that the game is not well-designed to capture known historical alternatives, rather than the conclusion that Gen. Banks provides ( I am not criticizing his post, which is very good). However, we have no idea what would have happened if this CSA plan had actually occurred. Perhaps they would have gotten to Wheeling and then had to react to a move by McDowell (which Johnston was supposed to guard against). Since Bory would have had to strip the coastal defenses, perhaps the Union would have taken some or many of the coastal cities quickly, or lost MO or KY even more quickly. But perhaps Bory would have taken Pittsburg, Alleghey, and Cleveland, and the North would have sued for peace. But IN THE GAME, taking these places gets you very little. You get an adrenaline rush, and deprive the US of some production, but you are definitely NOT going to break their NM, at least in the game. There's no affect with the French and British IN THE GAME. And so on.
The game does a fantastic job simulating historical and near-historical strategic options, but who knows HOW to simulate such radical strategies as Bory proposed?
Banks6060 wrote:Love this thread. My compliments to the OP because I do have some thoughts on the topic.
I believe the only "western" city of any REAL consequence is Atlanta. All (rail)roads lead to Atlanta and taking that city is ACTUALLY what puts a dagger in the CSA's heart.
Stauffenberg wrote:I'm going to respond to your thoughtful post at length when I get some time; for now I wanted to second your thoughts on Atlanta. I also see it as an excellent second choice for a confederate capital since it is beyond the reach of an instant Union coastal landing. However, I am hoping a future patch can move the capital of Alabama from Mobile back to Montgomery where it belongs, and thus give a second choice of inland capital for the CSA, and one with its own interesting features (also tough terrain to the north but with the addition of a major river that can be beefed up with a strong riverine presence and supporting forts).
Banks6060 wrote:As much as I enjoy talking about the different "what-ifs" possible with a game like AACW...its interesting to note that history seems to play out the way it does for a reason. And the alternative strategies possible in the game don't seem to work as well as the ones used in history....some might correct me on this.
2. NOT defending Richmond (or Virginia) heavily is just, in my opinion, not a sound strategy. Virginia in the game (as in history) is basically the biggest muscle in the South's entire economy. Losing the Mississippi River is very bad, don't get me wrong, but any economy is only as good as the number of people fueling it and Virginia was the South's most populous state, contributing the most to the economy.
Stauffenberg wrote:It's a good point but I am going to contest it somewhat.
New Orleans was the largest city in the Confederacy and generated a comparable income through trade to Virginia.
As for population, Tennessee in the west alone was comparable to Virginia: 826,722 to 1,047,299, and if you subtract the population in west Virginia who were destined to counter-secede, they are almost par. If you look at the population for all the southern states along the Mississippi (only) they have double the population of Virgina.
But none of this is to argue that Virginia is not a must-have for the south, politically and economically. Davis loaded all of his eggs in one basket, Richmond, and as a result the Confederacy fell shortly after Richmond was finally lost, but it need not have done so. It's one great 'what-if' I am keen on exploring with this stellar game, and I don't think it's a stretch to imagine the ANV engaged in a fighting retreat from Virginia finally, down through the Carolinas.
This was not possible historically for the simple reason that the "Virginia First" policy had entirely bankrupted the West with predictable results. Lee had nowhere to retreat to with Sherman at his back. This combined with the fact that Davis and his government had made no effective plans whatsoever to transfer the capital west to, say, Montgomery once again, spelled the end of the Confederacy.
One of the things I am concerned with (as a beginner/intermediate player on the learning curve) is whether there is some way to make New Orleans an incredibly hard nut to crack--or is it essentially untenable against a skilled and determined union assault?
This may be the case, in which case a long-game goal for the CSA player would be to fight like hell for Virginia, as long as possible, while holding on to the West far more effectively than was the case historically, and to build a final defensive redoubt for the Confederacy in the inland capitals of Atlanta or Montgomery.
Philippe wrote: Of course, if you did a survey in 1782 of the population of what was to eventually become Washington D.C. you'd be even more shocked (it was essentially the small river port of Georgetown and a bunch of swampy, open fields bisected by a really deep gully).
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