With ACW2 apparently coming soon I wanted to bring up two quibbles I have with the map in ACW.
1) Cairo is in the wrong place altogether. It's really on the Ohio, but close enough to the Mississippi that it's guns should clear cover both rivers. I hope it can be moved for the new game.
(See both rivers! OK the courses are slightly different today, but still!)
2) The North Carolina Outer Banks have a couple of issues as I see it.
2a) First you can sail directly into Albermarle sound from the Atlantic. Today that is impossible as there are no passages through the banks (Bodue island). In the 1860's there were two (Carrituck Inlet and South inlet), but both were very shallow and carried no oceangoing traffic, and were never used by the Union fleet. Here is a map from the era. Carrituck inlet was said to be unsafe for ships drawing more than 3 feet in the colonial era, and it was more often used than South Inlet.
The game map sort of implies that Oregon Inlet is what is allowing passage from the Ocean to Albermarle sound. But as the image here shows Oregon Inlet gives in to Pamlico sound.
If the Union could have reached the south end of the Dismal swamp canal so easily it's hard to see how the 1862 North Carolina campaign would have been needed.
2b) There is no representation of Roanoke Island, which in reality controlled access to Albermarle sound (from Pamlico sound). This was the most strategic point in this whole sector and union control of the island was decisive in blockading all of NC north of Wilmington. I'd like to see an island that could be fortified to control movement between
2c) The Union can blockade Moorehead City without taking Fort Macon. In reality Fort Macon had been built to control access to Morehead City - I'm not sure if it could actually stop ships from accessing Pamlico sound.
Today it looks like this
The inlets were different then, but Fort Macon still controlled access to Beaufort and Moorehead City. In principal I suppose one could argue that ships could pass through Bogue sound, but while that might have worked for very shallow blockade runners there is no way ocean going vessels could get through there.
Not sure how far the map development is (if release is in SEP I imagine it is close), but interesting points. I really like the pic of Cairo, fascinating to see the different colors of the Ohio and Mississippi and how they retain as the rivers merge. Must be different sediments, runoff etc into the rivers upstream, I wonder how far downstream before the waters truly merge?