hiram ulysses wrote:New to the game and still learning, I am continually frustrated by loose elements/divisions/etc. that I am simply unable to chase down, catch and smash.
Firstly, the concept of completely destroying an enemy force, although very satisfying, is not really what the game is about. Chasing them out and keeping them out is the goal.
But once they have sneaked in you will want to catch and hit them as much as you can. How well this works will depend on what the unit/stack contains. If it contains infantry that does not have a special fast mover trait or a leader with the same they will still have a slight advantage over you in moving. Aside from being at least one region ahead of you, they can also be in defensive posture--the blue Rules of Engagement (RoE) button--which means that they lose less cohesion than you. However, if they are chasing around in your territory, they will also constantly be hitting regions that you control, which will cause them to automatically go to offensive posture, thus negating this advantage. Therefore, if you can, put units into regions behind your lines over which they have gained Military Control (MC) as there is a good chance that they will try to return to these, especially if there is a harbor there where they can quickly pickup supplies.
Also, once they hit some obstacle--a major or minor river, rough terrain(moutains, swamp) there is a good chance that you will catch up to them as they take longer to leave the previous region before entering the next. Be aware though that if they are near a major river they have the option to use river movement and suddenly sail away leaving you with the bag.
If the unit/stack is pure cavalry or raiders things get a lot tougher, because they are especially adapt at evading and especially if they are lead by a general or leader with raiding traits--Quantrill, Forest, Mosby, etc. In this case it is probably a rather small unit/stack and the chances of running them down and catching them are very small. The best thing to do is cover all the places that they might frequent--ungarrisoned towns, harbors(especially, because they can pickup supplies here), railroads, regions through which your supply is moving. Once you have these covered, one or 2 stacks of 2 cavalry rgt.s can be used to chase them and keep them moving. Raiders will take a while to run short of supply, especially indians, but cavalry will run out of supply on their third turn out and will have to have returned to a supply source by the end of that turn or start taking hits for being unsupplied.
hiram ulysses wrote:For example, I use gunboats/ironclads to "block" the rivers of northern TN, from Cairo to Nashville. But, eventually, a CSA division will creep into central KY from eastern TN.
You need 4 combat elements--gunboats, ironclads, brigs, but not transports--to interdict movement across rivers. Less than that will do nothing AFAIK. They do not have to be in offensive RoE to interdict and this interdiction will also prevent them from using river movement through those river regions.
hiram ulysses wrote:It then becomes a rambling fox-and-hounds chase through KY. Is he going for Lexington-Louisville? Is he going to punch north into OH? Or will he just wander around until he ends up in southern Indiana? He is always one step ahead of me!
Keep him from supplies and he will quickly tire of this game.
hiram ulysses wrote:How do I catch and defeat these small-to-medium units that cause such a distraction? Is a fast-moving infantry, cavalry, cavalry-artillery division the answer? Or, do I need two or three corps (of 2-3 divisions each) to pin him down, corner him and finally hammer him? OR, should I throw a few brigades around each strategic city and let him starve to death from lack of supply.
. He needs either a very large force or lots of time to siege a town garrisoned by even one militia rgt. The most trouble he can make is damaging rails and blocking supplies. As I stated above, use a couple of small cavalry forces to chase him off your supply lines and hinder him from damaging rails. You will spend an unbelievable amount of resources and time trying to nail down a couple of cavalry regiments and Davis can sit back and smile, while you sweat and moan.