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Stauffenberg
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Historical 'What-Ifs'

Tue Jan 10, 2012 7:05 pm

The basic yardstick in the development of any historically based scenario is how well it can replicate the actual historical result. Certainly one does not want to force a players' choices towards repeating the historical event(s) every time; that said however, if history can be reliably recreated, then the model can legitimately explore various historical what-ifs. This has always been a major motivation for me in playing these things out. With a WWI campaign game one can explore the Molke Russia-first German offensives for 1914, for example.

With that in mind, I wonder what players here see as the most interesting what-ifs that can be explored with AGEOD’s ACW? I’ll start off with my own idea for a CSA strategy worth exploring, namely a "Mississippi First" strategy that values holding on to both ends of the river a higher priority than hanging on even to Richmond. Main items:

--start building up gunboats and ironclads on the river early on
--Buchanan and Semmes moved to command the north and southern river fleets.
-- forts in Memphis, Vicksburg, New Orleans (possibly Baton Rouge as well); building extra coastal batteries in Georgia asap and moving them to forts on the river
--possible early invasion of Kentucky with the key aim of taking Paducah and fortifying it with coastal artillery from Georgia (and with this in place a major naval-assisted offensive for St. Louis MI can be contemplated).
--capital moved from Richmond to New Orleans as needed
--a grand division with first class general stationed New Orleans asap
--army commands for North and South Miss. established.

I’d be interested in hearing what other ‘what-ifs’ have been tried, or contemplated…

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Doomwalker
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Fi

Tue Jan 10, 2012 7:46 pm

My favorite "what-if" is Britain and France fighting on the side of the CSA. :D
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.
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Tue Jan 10, 2012 8:05 pm

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?
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Stauffenberg
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Tue Jan 10, 2012 8:13 pm

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?


No kidding. Imagine Johnston handling Virginia with Longstreet under him for a purely defensive strategy there. Meanwhile...

...Lee and Jackson invade Kentucky, followed up by a major campaign to take St. Louis and secure Missouri for the South. I think Lee might even have the command range to handle both. If not, Beauregard could be put to good use.
Fascinating possibilities.

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Stauffenberg
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Tue Jan 10, 2012 8:18 pm

Doomwalker wrote:My favorite "what-if" is Britain and France fighting on the side of the CSA. :D
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.


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.

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Tue Jan 10, 2012 8:37 pm

With only 2 games as CSA under my belt and those only against Athena I have a hard time assessing just how much fortifying of the Mississippi you would really need to make all locations impenetrable. My experience as the Union showed me that without Missouri contemplating the Mississippi is a chair with one leg sawed off. You won't sit very easily.

In both my CSA games I played very aggressively in Missouri first taking every available unit close to the Mississippi into Missouri and knocking Lyon and Sumner out as quickly as possible. If you get troops into Jefferson and Rolla ASAP Lyon should bite his teeth out trying to attack before he's ready. If he waits until he's built up a larger force, you should keep pace and threaten Lexington, thus binding his forces to hold it or leave it weakly held. You have more targets than he does, so you can pick which on to take by concentrating for a quick strike an then moving on for the next. Don't garrison strongly; you'll need all the troops you have to push for the next target. If Lyon or Sumner retake Lexington they have to leave St Louis open and that's you ultimate goal. Also remember, if you are quick and fears, by the time the Union has recovered it will be winter and suicide for them to continue their campaign. During winter you consolidate your forces and build up your defenses. By the time spring comes around you should be bolstered up in Lexington, Jefferson, Rolla, Springfield and with a little luck St Louis. Every attack from the Union will now be across a major river and with long supply lines and upper Missouri and Iowa are ideal country for raiding and wrecking rails and supplies.

This is of course, if all goes well. If he really wants to, the Union can strike at one end or the other of the Missouri River and if he's managed to hold onto St Louis he'd be a fool not to push for Jefferson and Rolla, probably in that order. With those gone, Lexington is isolated and can only be supported from Springfield and from Fayette only during the best weather, which doesn't last long in mud-prone Missouri.

Also, once the Kentucky struggle opens, you'll have to divide your forces and expenses. Basically, if the Union is doing their economics right they will put pressure on you through their masses. Quantity has it's own quality. Also 2, the Ozarks are dividing you with only the Arkansas River as transportation line. The Union has their rail lines which work in wind and rain, summer and winter which makes it easier for them to quickly shift from one region to another before they delve deeper into your territory.

The other end of the Mississippi is another question. Since Athena made no attempt what so ever on New Orleans and only a meager attempt on using Ft Pike as a bridge head, which although difficult to squelch still worked. I would not want to invade through there as the Union at all.

As the Union if I really wanted to make a major campaign of the Gulf states, I would say that New Orleans and Mobile have to be your targets. The problem is that they are isolated from each other through Lake Pontchartrain and a lack of roads and rail without going all the way up to Jackson and Meridian. Defending as the South you have the same issues. So if the Union really want one or the other they will more than likely be able to take it. The question is how can they hold it and do anything else if you are prepared to spend enough money to take it back. The CSA has rail connections, but not like the inside-track in Virginia and the Union can use their shipping in lieu of rail lines. So IF you can fight off the Union's navy, they can only operate local defenses and neither location can support the other. But that is a big fat IF and very expensive; especially because all the CSA$ you are investing is for defenses only. You will not gain a cent for all your efforts, not take a city, not raid a depot for supplies, just hold on for dear life.

Okay, that's enough theory for one night. One thing is certain, everything you plan will be obsolete after the first role of the dice ;)

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Doomwalker
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Tue Jan 10, 2012 10:05 pm

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.


Yeah having FI fire will not be a deciding factor. Most of the time, by the time you get it to fire; you have already won. It is just fun to get a decent fleet to harass the US with. :w00t:
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Stonewall Stu
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FI effect

Tue Jan 10, 2012 11:41 pm

Over the years playing as the CSA I've had FI a fair few times. Sometimes if the game is in balance against the union adding the whole British force to the Virginia front will more often than not be decisive in taking Washington. I've also had success using the British as an invasion force creating a second front in North section of Maryland

Attempts to use the British in Tennessee and Arkansas has often led to victory before they have become effective.

You can choose not to use the British though the USA will most liekly contest Canada and if you don't reinforce Canada from Britiain you will lose territory as Canadian forces are too week.

In one case not using the British the union reinforced the mexican army against the french expd. force. combined force was 100000 men strong, after defeating the french they invaded Texas.

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Wed Jan 11, 2012 12:01 am

Interesting. My first priority as CSA is to build a fort at Memphis and put a coastal artillery battery in it. I then send John Pemberton there to command a force of 300Pwr or so. I also slowly build up a full size division in New Orleans or Mobile that I can use anywhere along the gulf coast to repel an invasion. By late 1862, I like to have a division sized force in each of those two cities.

As for the Ironclads, CSA will usually have to wait a little while-like until the summer of '62 to be able to build enough Ironclads in the Mississippi to make a difference.

I usually let the USA invade Kentucky and then I make my defense line stretch from Bowling Green to Memphis, through Ft. Donelson. Doing this, I am usually able to take Louisville though not always able to keep it.

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.

Does anyone know why Louisville does not have a depot at the beginning of the game?

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Wed Jan 11, 2012 11:53 pm

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.


I think many would agree that against a veteran Union player, it will be hard for the CSA to pull off an early Missouri coup. It boils down to a race for Springfield. With some luck the CSA can dig in there for the first winter, but the prospects for a quick advance on St. Louis through Rolla are surely slim against an experienced Union player.

Which leads me to wonder how many CSA players have managed to take St Louis by advancing along the south bank of the Missouri R. from Charleston. Is it worth putting in a depot at Reel (using transports)? My "Mississippi first" what-if proposed putting in a bottleneck at Paducah beefed up with coastal artillery and heavy calibre guns, using this as a shield while Buchanan and a sizable fleet defeated Union riverine units on the Missouri enabling fast river transport of land units for the drive on St. Louis. Another part of this strategy would have deep raiders tearing up RRs to the east.

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Fort Paducah

Thu Jan 12, 2012 1:33 am

Fort Paducah is a very major thorn to the Union, if the CSA can build it. It intercepts FOUR segments of the Ohio and Mississippi, and they are ones that the Union simply must travel.

This is one reason that I invade KY with the CSA - to occupy Paducah and build a fort there asap. The only Union response is to take it, or move units to another theater (well, there may be others, but I don't want to discuss them, and frankly they're not too good). If the Union is taking Paducah, he's not taking Island#10 or Ft. Donelson, so you've set him back badly.

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Henry Clay Fails

Tue Jan 17, 2012 1:27 am

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.

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Tue Jan 17, 2012 3:28 am

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.


I am laughing, not at you, but at what came to mind.
Winfield Scott would have been a general if the war were 10 years earlier or 10 years later.
Just saying.

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Pat "Stonewall" Cleburne
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Tue Jan 17, 2012 4:29 am

Well, I think some of the good southern officers that served under Scott might stick with him due to how recent the Mexican war was.

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Intervention by Mexico

Tue Jan 24, 2012 2:52 am

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? :confused:

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. :cwboy:

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Tue Jan 24, 2012 3:32 am

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? :confused:

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. :cwboy:


This is a great topic and I confess my own personal ignorance about what was going on in Mexico politically and militarily at this point.
I do know that this discrete invasion of Mexico in 1846-48 by the USA cost them fewer casualties than they lost in 3 days against Bobby Lee at Gettysburg in 1863...

Here is a question: we all know about the Trent Affair, the confederate diplomats sent to Britain by Jeff Davis... were any sent to Mexico? With what result?

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Tue Jan 24, 2012 3:43 am

Being an old Winfield Scott fan and appreciating the diversity of talents in Lincoln's cabinet, my take is this.
Napoleon III took advantage of America's distraction to set up a puppet government under Austrian Maximilian in Mexico. Mexican nationalist opposition to Maximilian's government would have left few resources for Mexico to intervene in the, now, American Southwest.

Additionally, many politicians thought they could find a diplomatic solution to the civil war by mutual agreement to attack Britain and France in Mexico. In other words, they wanted a greater European presence so all the State could unite against European "oppression." This war against England and France was a serious proposal to end the internal strife.

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Tue Jan 24, 2012 12:58 pm

Honestly I think that people of the era who thought that the CS and US would unit to fight France and England were about as naive as those who thought that the war was simply a military issue and that when the South realized how small their chance at actually winning their independence from the Union was, they would simply pack up and go home.

When France landed in Mexico there were those in the US who thought that the US should intervene or at least threaten to intervene. Lincoln more-or-less said, one war at a time.

I've also read essays about a political movement--or at least thought--in the South considering taking Baha and Sonora, maybe Chihuahua too, from Mexico, of course after defeating the US and having taken "New Mexico" and California from the US; "New Mexico" at the time meant what is now New Mexico, Arizona and Nevada. I find this idea to be more realistic.

Personally I don't find wild theories about what-ifs nearly as interesting as the reality. You just have to look behind the veneer.

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Thu Jan 26, 2012 5:12 am

Love this thread. My compliments to the OP because I do have some thoughts on the topic.

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.

What I mean is:

1. There REALLY is no better grand strategy than that which the CSA employed during the war. The only way the South was going to win was by winning the political battle. (i.e. getting people in the North so sick of the war that they gave up....or by attracting allies from Europe). The only way to keep the war effort strong enough to achieve either of those goals....was by (obviously) keeping the economy as strong as possible during the war.

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.

3. As for the rest of the south, with the development of railroad infrastructure (good investment in rolling stock in the game)....goods can move almost as easily by land as they can by river. So the cotton being grown in Mississippi can STILL get to port in Savannah, GA and then onto the market. The "wheel oil" provided by the Mississippi River is gone if it's seized, but overall the CSA's economic engine still churns without it. The only economic dent made by taking the Mississippi is the impact it has on the economies in Arkansas and Louisiana (which contribut far fewer goods to the CSA war effort than other states)...AND...the impact on New Orleans' economy.

4. Lastly, this brings me to the economic significance of the coast. This is a big key for the CSA. Keeping as many goods flowing onto the world market as possible is the only way to keep the southern economy alive and breathing for the long haul. Investing in both land and sea defenses for vital coastal hubs like Wilmington, Charleston, Savannah, Mobile and New Orleans (even Pensacola, FL although to a lesser degree) is very important for the CSA in the game (again, as in history)

I DO believe the western theater is important for the CSA and (again as in history) should be defended as well as possible. BUT most of the money and troops just HAVE to go toward defending Virginia and the Coast IMHO.

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.

Cheers!

In summation, heavy investment in defending the Mississippi River just doesn't seem like a "war winner" to me.
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Thu Jan 26, 2012 1:44 pm

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?

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Thu Jan 26, 2012 3:16 pm

The notion of the north and south uniting to annex Mexico and the rest of Central America and possibly South America was an idea championed by Lincoln's Secretary of State Seward. To which Lincoln famously responded, "one war at a time." Lincoln knew this would never fly.

One of my "what ifs" is what if Grant had died when he suffered a bad fall in a horse riding incident in the summer of 1863? No relief of Chattenooga, more ineffective generals in command of the Army of the Potomac? Or, would another equally effective general have been tapped by Lincoln? Such as Winfield Hancock had he not been injured at Gettysburg or John Reynolds had he not be felled there as well.

Guess it depends on whether one subscribes to the "Great Man" theory of history, or not. It certainly would have put a damper on Northern morale.

It might be interesting is to mod a random "general dies of non-battle related incident" event, with a small chance to fire per general but it might lead to some interesting results.

Of course, this may already be in place as I don't delve under the hood like our more inquisitive folks on the forum.
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Thu Jan 26, 2012 6:17 pm

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?


This could be done IF more northern cities were worth NM points. Imagine if Chicago was worth 10 NM? Or Pittsburgh was worth 5NM?

I must admit that in the West, the only real option for the south is defense. There is nothing to take from the union worth anything. I have had several games where I have won great victories in the west, and sat there with my victorious army as it had no where to go. Take Chicago? Maybe Indianopolis? Or Cincinnati? Not worth the fight and possible encirclement of my troops.
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Thu Jan 26, 2012 10:43 pm

Great "what if" books if your into reading, there is a whole series by Harry Turtledove (considered by many to be the leader in Alternative History books) that starts during the civil war with the South winning and then going all the way to WW2.
The series gets slow at times, but all in all, the 9 books are pretty entertaining.

The whole "What If" topic brought these to mind. . . . . sorry if it was brought up somewhere in the past.

CS
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Fri Jan 27, 2012 12:17 am

Coldsteel wrote:The whole "What If" topic brought these to mind. . . . . sorry if it was brought up somewhere in the past.
CS


The Stonewall Brigade armed with AK-47s didn't immediately spring to mind, but thanks for the reminder. ;)

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Fri Jan 27, 2012 12:25 am

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.


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). :thumbsup:

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Fri Jan 27, 2012 1:46 pm

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). :thumbsup:


It should be Montgomery, I agree.

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Stauffenberg
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Fri Jan 27, 2012 6:55 pm

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.


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.

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Fri Jan 27, 2012 7:43 pm

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.


Fair points indeed.

I don't know how much trade was moving between Virginia and New Orleans though. Much of New Orleans success was from all the raw farm goods shipped down the Missisippi and then out to other countries. New Orleans was basically the "New York City of the South" (where the Mississippi River plays the part of the Erie Canal).

Where I will certainly agree....is that a defense of the west is important. But I believe an investment would best go toward defending Tennessee east of the Tenn. River FIRST. With the Mississippi Valley defense coming as a second priority. (For reasons I've already stated).

Keeping Tennessee in play for as long as possible is definitely a good thing. (If for no other reason than it insulates Atlanta.)

But still, as a CSA player....I think worrying too much about defending the Miss. River is like trying overly hard to actually stop Tom Brady and the New England Patriots' offense. It's just not going to work :) . I think the South would be better served by creating as much trouble in Missouri as possible and not worry too much about the river itself.

I also agree with you about Montgomery, AL.

Cheers!
[SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]Have you ever stopped to think and forgot to start??

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Philippe
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Fri Jan 27, 2012 8:06 pm

I believe Montgomery became the capitol of Alabama in 1846. There's a wiki on it. Not sure that it's necessarily guaranteed that a state capitol would become a national capitol, you can argue the point pro and con.

Using Atlanta as a capitol candidate makes me a bit nervous. Atlanta was certainly a strategic city late in the war, but I wonder how much its treatment is being colored by Gone with the Wind. I don't have the numbers readily at hand, but I saw some population figures on Atlanta at the start of the war and was shocked by how small it was compared to other Southern cities. 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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Longshanks
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Fri Jan 27, 2012 8:45 pm

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).


Since I work here every day, I can say (with tongue firmly in cheek) that the swamps are still there - labelled "bureaucratic morass," and the deep gully is now labelled "put national debt here."

On a slightly more serious note, the water table is so high along "the mall" (the area between the Capitol and the Washington Monument), that pumps have to run in all the buildings to keep it out. When the Potomac floods, so do the buildings' basements, even if the river stays in its banks mostly.

Sorry, no more hijacking of off-topic issues.

Back to the on-topic issue: Don't forget Tennessee (and even Alabama) had a very large pro-union chunk of territory in the East that rebelled and was put down by Mr. Davis fairly early in the war. The votes to secede in the part of the state failed miserably. The game starts with 100% CSA loyalty there, which is just flat wrong.

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