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Banks6060
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Tue Jul 07, 2009 9:38 pm

A big thanks to everyone who's stuck it out :thumbsup: . I've decided to give you readers out there some content to hold us all over until Soundoff gets back into the swing of things. I'm guessing we probably won't get another turn processed before the weekend...but we'll see how his trip goes.

With that....

[color="Red"]Turn 53: Early June, 1863:[/color]

First things first...an amazing and bloody bit of fighting south of Atlanta. Johnston saves the day!

Image

As you can see...the initial fight on June 4th was a tight one. It happened just southwest of Atlanta in Paulding, Georgia. Robert E. Rhodes, newly arrived from Atlanta, was sent forward on June 2nd. Rhodes made contact with a rear-guard setup by one of Milroy's 3 division commanders. Rhodes manages to quickly overwhelm the defenders and force Milroy to turn and fight or be taken by Johnston's entire army and destroyed from the rear.

The resulting battle lasted from midday till dusk. A meeting engagement in rather open terrain. Johnston and Milroy, each equipped with long range field Columbiads tore holes in each others ranks as each side probed...advanced...assaulted and then retreated in turn. June 4th ended with a stalemate and with both sides accumulating heavy casualties. It was some of the bloodiest fighting of the war with respect to the number of men fighting.

As morning dawned on the 5th...Johnston realized Milroy had escaped overnight. Dummy campfires kept Johnston in place as Milroy's tired troops scurried away to the south, bound for Columbus. Johnston sent Rhodes forward once again to seek out the enemy. On June 6th, Just as Milroy's troops were crossing the river runnning north of Columbus...Rhodes' troops ran headlong into another rearguard. This time it was Milroy's unused reserve from two days before, well rested. The blueclad troops pushed back wave after wave of Confederates, who came forward all day long. Johnston's army took grievous casualties in the effort...but managed to severely batter Milroy's reserve division.

Milroy's troops completed their crossing and took the supply depot at Columbus, Georgia on June 7th and took time to rest. Johnston, spurred on by a desire for redemption, let his army rest on the 7th and pressed across the river...broke Milroy's pickett line and arrayed his battered army across the hilly plain on the 8th. Milroy could hardly believe what he was witnessing. The ragged Confederate troops...low on both supply and ammunition...were preparing for yet another assault. It was just after 8am on June 8th when Milroy sent his troops forward in a counterattack. Johnston's weary soldiers wavered....but as he had the entire campaign...Robert E. Rhodes and his division turned the tide with a daring assault on the Union right flank. The rebel yell rang through the air as Rhodes troops surged forward. It was too much for the exhausted Union troops and they began to waver. At first it was a trickle...and when Rhodes troops stopped within 50 paces to unleash a deadly volley....each of the brigades on Milroy's right took to the rear. Rhodes pressed forward while Johnston's other division, under Bushrod Johnston, kept the pressure on Milroy's center and left. June 8th ended with Milroy's blueclad troops pouring back across the river to the north and Confederate troops back in control of Columbus.

In 5 days of marching and fighting...Johnston's small Army of Mississippi had lost 66% of its original strength. Milroy had lost closer to 50%. As casualty rates go...it was the most costly campaign of the war to this point. And likely one of the bloodiest. Casualties from both sides totaled just over 14,000.

A final battle took place when John Hunt Morgan's cavalry brigade caught up with Milroy's tired troops back near Paulding on June 9th. Morgan's troopers, eager for a fight, attacked headlong into Milroy's line without dismounting. They suffered dearly for it. But left Milroy's army in shambles.

Image


More to come in the next update. Plans for the coming turn in all theaters of operation...and of course some of my own thoughts on how things are going. Stay tuned...
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MrT
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Wed Jul 08, 2009 6:30 am

ah glad ur back into this aar, its a great read. If i can make a reader request can we have a zoomed out veiw of the total active map, i would just like to see everything together.

Regards

MrT

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Banks6060
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Wed Jul 08, 2009 9:18 pm

@ MrT: I'll try and get a "bigger picture" up in the next update. As it stands I'd already put just about everything together for the current AAR when you issued the request. A fine request it is too! It will be good to see where the "front lines" lie across the country.

Back to the current turn however!

Some other goings on in Early June of 1863:

[SIZE="2"]Buchannan repulses Foote at Battle of Friar's Point!![/size]

Image

A pretty key battle for control of the Mississippi. If he hasn't already, I think Soundoff may be starting to realize that he's currently outmatched and will need to bring up several more ironclads to defeat me. Union ironclads are about half as potent as Confederate ironclads when taking all factors into account...so he will probably need close to between 10 or 12 of them to really give me a beating. However, on the flip side, Foote has pretty considerably worn down Buchannan's fleet over the past month.

[SIZE="2"]Fort Gaines falls to Union assault!![/size] (Hooker didn't do what I thought he would. Though it was a "good" thing for me and the defense of Mobile...it could also turn out to be a bad thing. Mobile's communication line via water is now completely severed.

Smith left alone to face Grant in Goldsboro! (This was one of those near fist pounding moments...Soundoff did just what I was worried he'd do. He didn't move with as much strength as I thought he would (only two of Grant's Corps instead of all three, but he made his move on Goldsboro none-the-less). I suppose I hardly blame Lee for retreating in the face of 2 to 1 odds. Lee's army apparently got to Goldsboro in time to meet Grant's army. Lee had around 32,000 troops in the field to Grant's 70,000 or so (G.W. Smith's troops were INSIDE the fort and wouldn't have been much help in any battle.) If I'd been able to at least stand against Grant, I'd have more troops in close range with which to help defend Goldsboro. Grant did not assault though....It's got me scratching my head for sure.

Jackson storms down the Valley; splits Federal Army!! (You'll see the screenie in a moment, but quite frankly I don't think this could have turned out any better than it did. Franklin AND Hamilton, plus another division have been sucked north to counter Jackson...and none of them are able to support one another. AND I still manage to hold the flank and the initiative. This will be a critical turn of movement in the Valley.

To orders...and I'll start with the aftermath in Georgia:

Image

So here is where things stand in Georgia. Both Johnston and Rhodes were congratulated for their victories. (Johnston has attained the all powerful "1" seniority...Rhodes is only one more battle away from a promotion.) Polignac has been assigned command of a small division to guard Atlanta...Talliaferro has come up to reinforce Johnston's army. Johnston sits comfortably in Columbus and Morgan (who I mistakenly call Mosby in the screenie) is situated just west of Paulding, GA.

NOTE: You'll notice there IS no "river" north of Columbus as I'd mentioned in the "Five Days" narrative. Apologies, but I was going totally off memory. We'll say there was a larger "creek" there :) .

Soundoff looks to only have a brigade guarding Montgomery.

Milroy's in a tough spot here. He's VERY low on ammunition, in fact I doubt he has any at all. I would follow up my success with Taliaferro or Polignac, but neither are active. And Johnston's army is far too bloodied to do any real fighting for at least another month. So, it appears Soundoff will be able to get away. He has three obvious choices for Milroy...and one daring (albeit less likely) choice. 1. He could attempt an attack on Atlanta and seize the depot again. 2. He could "retreat" north toward Chattanooga in hopes of causing further trouble. 3. He could do the "smart thing" and resign Milroy to Montgomery...or 4. He could make a move for Augusta, GA and its depot to the east...this last move would certainly give him the initiative again...but I don't think Soundoff will try it...besides...with his cohesion so low...he troops would never make it all the way there in one turn.

With all this in mind I've decided to let Milroy go and focus on concentrating my strength for a possible counterthrust into Alabama before summer is out. Talliaferro will rail to bolster Johnston's army in Columbus. It would put Johnston in command of a total 16,000 or so troops once all replacements are collected. Unfortunately for Milroy...the only avenue for replacements lies all the way back near Pensacola...and without the replacements...he hasn't enough to break back into Georgia. I think, at least for the rest of the summer, Atlanta is safe from a southerly attack.

On to the Valley...where Jackson's troops are preparing for one final sprint:

Image

As you can see, Soundoff opted to protect his nearest depots instead of react directly to Jackson's army. It's left Franklin (and nearly 30,000 troops I wager) BADLY out of position. Hamilton with three divisions looks to be making his way north in reaction to Jackson's thrust...I'm resting on the hope that Soundoff thinks I'm going to attack Amherst again. Soundoff also has a division under Wadsworth's command guarding the depot. None of his troops are mutually supporting and like I mentioned before...I still hold the flank and the initiative. Stuart's cavalry SHOULD be off Soundoff's radar...I'm hoping it's been giving him fits. John Walker made it to his objective without incident. Jackson and Johnston's troops are tired...but they've made it this far...now it's time for the final push. Mannassas here we come.

I flirted with the idea of attacking Charlottesville and continuing north with Jackson's Wing to Mannassas...but I thought better of it. Hamilton's Corps is too close and could become engaged and right now, I don't want a major battle to drain Jackson's strength. I want to be able to fight on my terms if at all possible...so instead Jackson and Johnston will swing around Charlottesville to the west and make straight for Mannassas, where only a small brigade is defending. Johnston won't be able to make it all the way...but can get to Culpepper if Soundoff doesn't get there first. Both Jackson and Johnston are set to "defend and retreat if engaged" and "evade combat"...I need to get to Mannassas and take time to rest before I deal with Hamilton.

Stuart's troopers will attack north and retake Harper's Ferry. The move is two fold...I want to solidify my control of the lower valley so I can hide Jackson's army later if I want to (and if Soundoff lets me). Having the Harper's Ferry arsenal won't be bad either...for VP or for my ammunition needs. John Walker will be responsible for taking Mannassas. I'm hoping his troopers can defeat the small garrison there. They are orderd to assault "at all costs". Once I take the depot....there should be a WEALTH of supplies waiting for Jackson's tired troops. Mosby's troopers (Who I also mixed up and called Morgan)...will move to Alexandria to take a look at how strong Washington's defenses are next turn.

All in all, a pretty good situation for Jackson. If I get REALLY lucky...Soundoff will leave Franklin at Milboro and thereby split his force in two and leave Hamilton alone to deal with Jackson. It might afford me a chance to do some damage down the line...but right now the focus is simply to keep as many Union troops OUT of North Carolina as possible. Currently Jackson has tied up nearly 60,000 troops...perhaps I can keep them tied up for awhile longer.

Speaking of North Carolina...I believe this is where things will get very interesting in the coming turn:

Image

Soundoff's advance with Grant and two Corps and Lee's subsequent retreat from combat has put me in a real tough spot. Grant has enough troops to break G.W. Smith's defenses at Fort Pickett...it'll be bloody...but he's above the 4 to 1 threshold. So an assault is fully expected. Soundoff's cavalry...which I have highlited with arrows...concerns me too. Soundoff should now be able to see just how little I have defending Raleigh and COULD make a move in that direction as well. It's left me concerned enough to split Lee's army anyway. More on that in a minute.

Crittenden remains at Fort Morgan...resting I presume...while I continue to bring more ironclads to the front. I've opted to retreat and set up a defensive ring of ironclads to protect Fort (Macon?? I think). My coastal defenses continue to improve...the only trouble now is waiting to see what Soundoff does with that large fleet to the east.

After processing all of the above information...I've decided to try and protect BOTH Goldsboro AND Raleigh. I've split Lee's army in two, sending 2 divisions with Longstreet to react to Grant's likely assault at Fort Pickett and 2 divisions under Lee to join Beauregard at Fort Jones. Now...here's the kicker...no matter what happens. G.W. Smith will be forced to defend Fort Pickett alone for 3 days while Longstreet takes the time to march to his aid. These will be possibly the 3 most crucial days of the war....because if Grant attacks...and is able to breakthrough before Longstreet arrives...he could bag nearly a fourth of my army in one stroke...not to mention break my line. Smith is ordered to hold at all costs...as is Longstreet when he arrives.

Lee's troops will waste no time railing over to Fort Jones and should arrive in plenty of time to assist Beauregard should the Soundoff choose to attack there. It'll be a VERY tense turn for sure. Fingers crossed in this theater.

Moving now to Tennessee...where things have slowed down considerably:

Image

Polk's withdrawal went off without a hitch...the army now sits in a strong position to defend Chattanooga from all directions. It's pretty much "dig in tight" all along the line now and wait to see where Soundoff decides to take Meade's army. If I had to wager a guess on where that would be...again I would think Soundoff will try and maneuvre around Bragg's left flank...but we'll have to see. Meade looks to have about 4 Corps in central Tennessee...probably some 70,000 troops in all. Thomas and Rosecrans make-up the western advance...Sumner the eastern...and Stevens sits in reserve.

I believe with my retreat...I've fallen back off Soundoff's radar and so I don't suspect any aggressive thrusts in this theater for the remainder of June. Now...with that said...I will note that next turn is draft time...and Soundoff may be looking to put as much pressure on as many of my armies as possible for the simple purpose of attrition. But I don't see him as that kind of player...he'd be using up plenty of his own troops in such an effort and it could come back to bite him if he causes me few casualties.

Speculation is about all I can muster for this theater. I have no idea what Soundoff will do...he doesn't know where Bragg's army even IS specifically...so like I mentioned...I will just focus on getting a good defense set as quickly as possible and wait to see what Meade decides to do. I'm also keeping a keen eye on Knoxville.

Back down in sunny Mississip:

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Well I managed to retake Jackson and Vicksburg...but it doesn't appear it will have been for long. Sheridan's troops are very nearly debarked at Vicksburg and so the town will fall into Union hands once again.

With Hooker's unexpected move to Fort Gaines...it's left Quantrill with a safe road to Mobile. He'll arrive in 3 days, bringing the total defense force to a little over 10,000. With my entrenchments...and the marshy terrain...and my wealth of cannon...Mobile will be a VERY tough nut to crack.

Banks, with around 20,000 or so troops now sits in Fort Gaines. He's in a good position to cross the channel and assault Mobile from the south if Soundoff so chooses...but I have a feeling that won't happen. Soundoff has some very token support east of Mobile in the form of Asboth's bloodied division and a brigade under Blair at Pensacola.

I don't know what Soundoff plans to do in this theater, but the initiative is certainly his for the taking. I suspect he may try and blow back my ironclads to open the way for a stronger landing through Mobile Bay...but other than that I haven't the slightest clue where Soundoff will go from here. Only thing I can do is continue to force the issue as best I can in Georgia and put pressure on Soundoff to either make something happen...or find another port to attack (New Orleans). Hopefully Soundoff hasn't found some other wiley way to get into Mobile...judging by his talent...he may have. But Banks's troops will need rest before they do anything and it leads me to believe this may be a quiet turn in the Gulf.

SO

Will Grant breakthrough at Fort Pickett?? Can Jackson take Mannassas and threaten Washington?? What will Meade's next move be in Tennessee?? stay tuned....
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slimey.rock
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Thu Jul 09, 2009 4:28 am

Wow, things are really heating up in N.C. I've never seen a large scale attack on a level 2 fort before. I have a feeling they're a little stronger than I imagined.

acme
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Thu Jul 09, 2009 10:11 am

good to see u continue the aar.
all the best for jackson!

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Banks6060
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Mon Jul 13, 2009 8:03 pm

@slimey.rock-Honestly, I've never seen someone attack and carry a level 2 fort before so this turn should prove to be a learning experience. As you'll note, Soundoff has Grant in an even better position to attack and possibly overwhelm one of my forts.

On with the AAR!

[color="Red"]Turn 54, Late June, 1863:[/color]

[SIZE="2"]Grant approaches Wilmington; Fort Bee prepares for onslaught!![/size] (A very good move by Soundoff, my hats off to him :hat: as I didn't see this one coming so soon at all. Grant's well positioned to take Fort Bee this turn, but I've got a little something planned which I'll go over in more detail in a moment.)

[SIZE="3"]Jackson stopped dead by Manassas defenders!![/size]

Image

(Here was a real gut wrencher. I could have orchestrated this a bit better and I'll tell you why. While the battle report shows ALL of Jackson's army assaulting the town...in truth...as you may remember...I'd only set John Walker's cavalry on "assault posture" and so his troopers were really the only ones that went in. His cavalry did an effective job of cutting up the Union troops under Couch, but several days of hard riding were just too much for the boys in Grey to push the assault to completion. Jackson is furious...as was I when I saw the battle. I probably should have had Jackson in assault posture as well, but had been concerned about Hamilton bringing Jackson to battle before he arrived...and thereby kept him in defensive posture the whole way there. In hindsight, a bad decision...but so goes war, my friends, so goes war. This was only the beginning of a turn that did not go well for Jackson's troops.)

[SIZE="3"]Stuart's Cavalry repulsed by Harper's Ferry guard!![/size]

Image

(A continuation of the horrible luck I mentioned above. How this attack failed I'll never know, but it's probably well that it did since about 6,500 Union troops showed up at the end of the turn to paste Stuart's cavalry against the West Virginia mountains. I count myself lucky to have Stuart's troopers in a position to get out at all.)

Natives thrown back in bloody Paducah!! (A relatively smaller action I'd ordered from two of my Native American units...and forgotten to mention in my last AAR :D ....they did surprisingly well against their better equipped enemies, but ultimately couldn't win the town. Had they managed to succeed....Paducah's depot would have been a nice prize. Destroying it would have put a nice little dent in Soundoff's supply line.)

Meade's army enters Alabama!! (Well at least part of it. As I'd guessed, Soundoff is feeling around my left flank for weaknesses. He may have found one.)



On to orders...starting with Jackson in Virginia:

Image

Quite the perdicament here indeed. I'll say there is one saving grace though. Jackson WON'T have to face Soundoff's entire northern army at once...and some of Grant's Corps...MAY in fact end up suffering from some combat penalties since they're so far away from his headquarters all the way down in Wilmington, NC.

Jackson, as you've noted by know, made it to Manassas, but couldn't take the depot. So his troops are really in a very tough position. I'll discuss that in a moment. To add insult to injury...Edward Johnston's troops have lagged behind somewhat and remain a 2 days march from Culpepper. Stuart retreated to Frederick just in time to avoid Rosseau's counter thrust...and Mosby has discovered that merely and understrength division now defends Washington.

With the addition of Rosseau's small Corps...Soundoff has added to his reaction to Jackson and now faces him with around 70,000 + troops...which tickles me to death. At least THAT part of Jackson's mission has been a success. Hamilton, by virtue of the replay, appears to have forced marched all the way to Aquia and is now headed directly for Jackson at Manassas. Franklin was left to defend the Amherst depot.

SO...At first I felt the latest turn may have doomed Jackson's tired army, but a look at a few things helped encourage me that things may well be ok.

1. NONE of Soundoff's Corps will be able to support one another should he attack Jackson in the first few days of the next turn (likely with Hamilton)

2. If I CAN take the depot this time around...and hold it...that'll take care of my supply issues. Now of course I need to take before Soundoff blows it...which wouldn't be a bad move on his part. He has the material to replace it easily.

3. If Hamilton attacks...I'm betting it will take at least 2 more days for him to reach Manassas...which means E. Johnston will be able to MTG to Jackson's aid and even the odds a bit.

4. If Hamilton attacks...it will be against a pretty ragged collection of troops...but I've noticed Hamilton's recent marching to have taken a bit of a toll on his divisions' power levels as well...indicating some cohesion problems of his own.

In conclusion. Jackson will stand with and fight. He has two divisions...that will benefit heartily from his "7" defense stat...(and a subsequent "3" def. fire stat for his division commanders) and all of his troops are very well seasoned. If Hamilton makes his move straight at Jackson...there's a chance Jackson could hold. I'm moving everyone to Manassas as well because if Jackson DOES hold...those supplies will be essential to continuing the campaign.

Now...considering all of the above...there's every opportunity that Soundoff will consider the threat to Washington to be too great and move Hamilton to defend it...or at least move a division there and thereby weaken Hamilton's total attack force. My guess though is that Soundoff will try and find a way to coordinate an attack that would include all three of his Corps in the area...Franklin, Hamilton, and Rosseau.

You can see by the pink arrow that I'd considered another forced march to take Richmond...but I couldn't believe that Soundoff wouldn't have covered that angle...so I cancelled the operation.


In North Carolina:

Image

Soundoff, damn his initiative, put one past me, but I'm rather encouraged by one thing here. Grant left his supply train behind...so at least I know what Soundoff's intent was for this operation...success...or death. Back to that in a minute.

My moves didn't go off as planned....Longstreet retreated yet again in the face of Grant's overwhelming advance...yet another grrrr moment. Lee's move went off without a hitch. Soundoff looks to have split his Corps to cover the approaches to his rear from both Forts Pickett and Jones and at the same time cover Grant's rear. Neither of the Corps...one under Whipple, the other under Berry...have enough strength to take the forts. But would certainly stop any attack of mine. Soundoff also has landed Crittenden's Corps in a position to support Grant it appears.

Grant has about 45,000 troops I'd wager...and I'm betting everything that Soundoff plans to assault the works of Fort Bee this turn. I've decided to react with a pair of maneuvres. By land, I've ordered Longstreet to forced march east...until he nearly reaches the coast...and then turn Southwest and either defend against Grant if he doesn't take Fort Bee...or attack him if he does. This will be combined with a rail/march move by Lee and Beauregard...who will rail east...then march south upon Grant's position. Both marches will be timed to arrive in Wilmington on day 9 (assuming Longstreet succeeds in his forced march). The goal being...to use Longstreet to shield Crittenden from joining Grant's army...and to approach Grant's troops after they've spent a bunch of their cohesion attacking Fort Bee. I'll have around 32,000 troops in the field against Grant's 45,000. Decent odds...cohesion will likely be the deciding factor. What I'm really hoping is that Fort Bee holds until day 9...and both Longstreet and Beauregard can arrive in defensive posture...and thereby have a much better chance of "catching" Grant in assault posture. Otherwise...I'm hoping Grant's troops have such a hard time of it trying to take Fort Bee that they're spent by the time they do....and Lee and swoop in and rout them.

With the land operation...I also have a water operation. I'm sending my 9 ironclads outside Fort Macon to bombard Grant's troops...hopefully helping in Fort Bee's defence...and at least aiding in Lee's advance. crossed fingers on this turn....I think we'll get to see how effective Level 2 forts really are.


Moving to Georgia:

Image

This is probably the most promising theater of the war at present. Milroy is in dire straights. His troops are low on food...they don't have ANY bullets and they're still a full turn's march away from Montgomery. Soundoff sent a small detachment of one brigade, I wager to peak into my Columbus defenses. I have three divisions with Johnston's headquarters there. Two of them still recovering from the "Five Days", the third...under Talliaferro is fresh. I'm guessing Soundoff will try and find a way to sneak past me...but I'm going to attack anyway. Talliaferro will be detached from army command and ordered to advance all the way to Montgomery. I need to keep the pressure on here and force Soundoff into a hasty attack at Mobile...or possibly force him to abandon Mobile altogether.

Speaking of Mobile:

Image

Well nothing happened here...but as you can see, Soundoff is in a prime position to attack EITHER Mobile or New Orleans. He's a very patient player...I've learned that over time. There are a couple of things I see happening in this theater. McClellan and Sheridan reside in Vicksburg with about 20,000 men. Banks and Hooker with another 20,000 still occupy fort Gaines. Soundoff could either split his force and go after BOTH Mobile and New Orleans...or try and combine Banks and Sheridan and make a heavy assault on Mobile in a few turns. No telling what he'll do now...but I'd be willing to throw some money down on Soundoff waiting...and joining Sheridan with Banks' army. Hopefully....with a little more pressure from the east...I'll throw Soundoff's schedule off a bit.

In Tennessee:

Image

Well all evidence points toward Soundoff trying for the end-around in Tennessee. Rosecrans is nicely positioned in Decatur, AL...and JUST within a 15 days march to Chattanooga. Thus I must honor this move. Chattanooga must be held at all costs...otherwise the northern gateway to Atlanta is thrust open to Meade's army.

I see Soundoff applying pressure to my front with Sumner and Thomas...perhaps a probing attack on Polk's troops....and Rosecrans making the run around my flank. I've decided to withdrawal again...well into the mountains. Johnston's troops will march south and set-up around Chattanooga itself...Polk will rail east then cross the Tennessee River and head back west and set up to block Rosecrans should he make his move. Both moves will take 7 days to complete. Both Polk and Johnston will remain in support of one another. One final note....Polk will detach one of his divisions...under Taylor...to march and join Bragg's headquarters. Holding the northern bank of the river will be important...denying Soundoff that rail-line helps slow down his frontal advance.

Wheeler will also begin a small raid....to sever the line running between Rosecrans and Nashville....Soundoff's Tennessee supply line is already stretched...hopefully cutting it further will slow Meade's army down even more.

And of course this turn came with some Government Action...

Image

At this point in the war...Victory Points are about all that matters. My hopes of taking Washington all but vanished...I've got to maintain a lead in VP's in order to stay in this one...and so my financial selection this round reflects that. I went with Exceptional Taxes...which will force -1NM hit and some increased inflation...

I also paid for another 19,500 volunteers. Southern men are noticeably less eager to take up the call this time around.

I've invested in some light industrialization in the Southeast...you may have noticed all those empty supply depots in the west. Bragg's army is putting a severe strain on my supply network for sure.

SO

Can Jackson hold at Mannassas if Hamilton attacks?? Will Grant break the defenses at Fort Bee?? Can Talliaferro destroy Milroy in the deep south?? Stay tuned....
[SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]Have you ever stopped to think and forgot to start??

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rattler01
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Mon Jul 13, 2009 8:30 pm

This AAR is so full of win. :thumbsup:

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Jim-NC
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Soundoff's question

Tue Jul 14, 2009 5:46 pm

Banks, did you follow through on your plan to move Lee by rail? I ask as the rail line runs through/past Ft. Pickett (and Berry). This could be the reason for your "attack" of Berry. I do not understand why Winder's picture would be on it. I bet that is what happened.
Remember - The beatings will continue until morale improves.
[SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

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Banks6060
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Tue Jul 14, 2009 8:11 pm

No, Lee was orderd to rail just one region...then march south with Beauregard. Also...Lee's force wouldn't have been able to rail into Goldsboro anyway...too much Union MC.

I think Soundoff may soon post the conclusion...but what he and I have discovered is that my wayward cavalry may have been what caused the entire engagement. Call it another "Gettysburg" style meeting engagement if you will. Neither of us intended for there to be a battle there...nor did we expect there might be....but low and behold....that's how it happened.

Just goes to show how good this program can be...and at the same time...where it needs a little work. And I'm referring to the After Battle Report of course.
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Prussian Prince
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Mon Jul 20, 2009 2:23 pm

Is this AAR over or are you guys enjoying the summer :D
Player of many Ageod Games : AACW, ROP, BOA2 and PON!

Beta Tester for EU2 and HOI3:thumbsup:

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Banks6060
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Wed Jul 22, 2009 10:46 am

Hey there everyone. Very sorry for the delay. I'm just getting back from a long vacation and will post the latest update as soon as possible.

And yes...it would seem I'm enjoying the summer to the utmost :) .
[SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]Have you ever stopped to think and forgot to start??

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Banks6060
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Thu Jul 23, 2009 9:03 pm

Alright everyone...so sorry for the delay on this update. It is a lengthy one so get ready to do some reading and some study along with me here.

[color="Red"]Turn 55, Early July, 1863:[/color]

[SIZE="4"]Grant repulsed by Picket, 10,000 yanks fall in bloody assault!![/size]

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This was a victory I had NEVER expected would lean so heavily in my favor. I had thought Grant would eliminate Pickett's command while suffering heavy casualties. But it appears we have learned much about the strength of a level 2 fort against all out assaults. It didn't help Grant's army that he was attacking in marshy terrain. Altogether a great victory for the Confederacy...cheering in the streets of Atlanta (not to mention Wilmington) could be heard for miles after the news spread. June 16th, 1863...being called by southern newspapers the "turning point of the war in favor of the revolution".

[SIZE="3"]Lee offers Grant knockout punch at Sampson[/size]

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This was a strange battle that was the subject of so much investigation earlier. As I've outlined...it's been determined that one of my cavalry regiments, attempting to make its way back to my lines after a raid, ran into a largely Union controlled region in Sampson, NC and changed to attack posture. The resulting combat would have attracted G.W. Smith's Corps from inside Fort Pickett...which in turn would have pulled Lee's entire army from surrounding regions as they marched south toward Wilmington. The battle likely also involved Berry's Corps and either some or all of Whipple's nearby Corps. So some 60,000 Confederates and 40,000 Union troops. Not a battle either Soundoff or I intended to fight...but one that took place anyway...and one that meant more bloodletting that I can ill afford. With that said...the final dispositions of mine and Soundoff's forces in this theater provide some very interesting opportunities for me...and very pressing problems for Soundoff. More in a moment.

[SIZE="3"]Longstreet repulses Crittenden's follow-up advance!![/size]

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After fighting an exhausting battle outside Fort Pickett, Longstreet's tired troops were able to push back a follow up attack on Wilmington by Crittenden's Union Corps. As I'd guessed...I believe Soundoff intended Crittenden to provide the "knock-out punch" to Grant's assault on Wilmington. Longstreet is congratulated (not by the game, but by me to set up a transfer...FORESHADOWING!!) by politicians in Atlanta and local leaders in Wilmington.

[SIZE="3"]Milroy's Army destroyed by Talliaferro in Alabama!![/size]

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Yet another in a string of victories that made late June, 1863 an encouraging turn for the Confederacy. Talliaferro was able to catch up to Milroy's tired and hungry army and defeat it outside Montgomery. Talliaferro pressed his attack home and Milroy's command, with only minutes worth of ammunition, was thrown into dissaray...his soldiers retreated in good order, but soon dispersed into the countryside. Hundreds of prisoners were taken.

[SIZE="3"]Jackson's army victorious at Mannassas, no supplies found!![/size]

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This was a very dissapointing result. Yet another crazy battle that was triggered by attacking cavalry on my end. You'll remember that I placed John Walker's Laurel Brigade on assault posture to take the Manassas Depot, which he did. Well...I was right about Hamilton advancing on Jackson's position in Manassas...and when Hamilton entered and engaged...John Walker's cavalry were caught in assault posture and were massacred. It prompted Jackson to retreat from the region. SO....despite the fact I took the depot...Hamilton's troops retook it and used up all the supplies by the time Edward Johnston was able to come back up and retake it several days later.

Then we have another smaller battle involving a few thousand troops under Union General Dodge in Culpepper. Dodge was repulsed at a high cost. But Jackson has been left with little supply and few options. More in a moment.


....Sadly I must retire and head to work for the time being. I will finish the update within the next 24 hours. Stay tuned!!
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enf91
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Thu Jul 23, 2009 9:31 pm

Interesting... George Pickett inflicted more casualties than he had soldiers.

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MrT
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Thu Jul 23, 2009 9:56 pm

I may have to reconsider Pickett for major command after this sterling performance normally he gaurds Atlanta or so with his silly little beard!

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slimey.rock
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Thu Jul 23, 2009 10:10 pm

It's amazing what he can achieve when not the one charging :D
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Banks6060
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Sat Jul 25, 2009 6:39 am

Indeed. Pickett was in a very good defensive position...and Grant was in a very unfavorable attacking position. With the marshy terrain...his frontage was probably reduced considerably. Add the fort's frontage limitations to that and just about any general would probably have been successful. Bummer is that Pickett isn't promotable. Ah well...it DID give his troops a LOT of experience and increased his defense stat by 1.

On to orders...I want to start in the theater which caused me all KINDS of headaches. Virginia:

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Well...not a pretty picture. As you can see, Soundoff has just about every depot within one turn's marching distance well defended with at least 2 divisions and Hamilton's strong Corps has Washington all locked up. Had I managed to carry the Manassas Depot and its vital stash of supply...I would consider a further push north, but low and behold...Jackson's small army is starting to run out of supply and it won't be long until his troops are forced to live off the land and possibly even starve.

Jackson was forced to retreat from Manassas after Johnnie Walker's cavalry put on a brave rear-guard assault against Hamilton's troops...for 14 days Jackson's two divisions were able to rest and recover. They are now in good fighting shape. Edward Johnston's Wing is another story. Magruder's division is in pretty dire need of rest. The good news being that E. Johnston has at least another turn worth of supplies to consume. I might be able to save his command after all.

Stuart's troopers are another story altogether. I suspect they may end up blown away by the summer breeze. The cavalry assault on Harper's Ferry failed, there is no outlet for supply and he has little option but to make for the nearest supply source and recover.

So...to my thoughts in this very difficult theater of operations. Being that my supply situation is so dire...and being that Soundoff knows it. I suspect now is the perfect time to high-tail and make for home as swiftly as possible with as many troops as possible. Were it that I could make it back to friendly territory with even three quarters of Jackson's original number...I would call the entire operation a resounding success. Jackson has managed to attract nearly 80,000 Union troops away from the main front in North Carolina and getting he and his army out alive will put the final touches on a very productive campaign. NOW...with that said...I know Soundoff will do everything he can to ensure Jackson's troops starve...so I don't expect this to be an easy task.

My choices were numerous.

1. A forced march to Richmond and following assault. NO
(There are too many troops there dug into Level 4 trenches with plenty of artillery in support. It would be too bloody an affair to warrant taking the depot.

2. Assault south to Burkeville. NO
(Same reason as above).

3. A rather wiley move down the Rappohannock river by boat followed by an assault on Hampton Roads, placing me in perfect position to take Fortress Monroe next turn. NO
(Jackson's supply would run out before he had the chance to make the final assault and Soundoff would easily be tipped off to what I was doing and likely be able to corner Jackson on the Penninsula in later turns. This is, however, something I have not ruled out for Johnston's Wing.

4. A forced march and subsequent assault on the Milboro Depot. YES
(It's really the only viable option. Griffin has a division entrenching there, likely into level 3 trenches by the time Jackson reaches the outskirts...14 days...and the depot is stocked. Which would take care of Jackson's supply troubles for at least a little while. Jackson outnumber Griffin by about 2 to 1...the Mountains will make the assault tough...but I'm confident Jackson's troops will prevail. Besides...at the very least it will put him closer to the Cumberland Mountains and a quick train ride home.)

So an assault on Milboro it will be. Doubtless Soundoff sees his weakness there and plans to counter with the only force he has available to him...Franklin's Corps. I suspect Franklin will be ordered to march north and beat Jackson's troops to the punch...and I suspect Franklin will make his main thrust in the direction of Lexington...then on to Milboro. I've prepared for this by ordering Jackson to remain in defensive posture all the way through Lexington...(you can't see it, but I have 47% MC of the region)...if he meets Franklin's troops...it will be on favorable defensive terrain...in defensive posture...while Franklin's troops will be forced into attack posture by the Confederate controlled regions travelled between Lynchburg and Lexington. If Frankline DOESN'T forced march...it will take him 10 days to reach Lexington....if he does...it will take him 9. Jackson will reach Lexington in 11 days regardless. Jackson will "defend at all costs" the entire way...thereby allowing him to throw off Franklin if he comes...and then press home the advantage once he reaches Milboro and is automatically switched to attack posture. Here's to luck going my way...let the race begin.

This leaves me with the problem of Stuart and E. Johnston's troops. Johnston went and decided to deactivate this turn. So movement will be slow going for his men. But move they will. I've ordered a small regiment detached to blow the Manassas Depot while the rest of Johnston's Wing marches southwest to Culpepper to prepare for...well whatever I decide to do with him next turn...much of which depends on the success or failure of Jackson's march. Stuart will take a parallel route to Jackson...making his way to Milboro by way of the valley road. Hopefully Stuart is able to outpace Rosseau...who I assume Soundoff will have in hot pursuit of the grayclad horsemen.

Again...this turn will be crucial for Jackson's entire operation. If his troops can get out alive. He may well have saved the south for another season.

In North Carolina:

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This is a theater that really had me scratching my head. What to do...how to follow-up such a successful turn. Perhaps you can see Soundoff's dilemma...Grant's army retreated into unfriendly territory...Berry was booted out of Sampson, NC...thereby allowing G.W. Smith to regain full control of the region...subsequently shutting the door to Grant's northerly line of retreat. On top of that. Grant's army has no supply in tow...and will starve if locked in place. Which is exactly what I intend to do.

First...an explanation on the absence of General Longstreet, who so brilliantly performed against Berry at Sampson...and so stoutly defended against Crittenden outside Wilmington. After his victories...Longstreet, "The Rock of the Confederacy" was put up for an immediate transfer to a theater much in need of his particular skills. The Gulf....more on that later though.

To my plans...as you can see, Hood's, Loring's and Ewell's divisions were badly mauled while fighting against Berry's troops at Sampson and so are not in good shape to do any fighting unless they get at least a few days rest first. However, Pickett's troops...fresh off their victory...as well as the division under E.K. Smith are in relatively good shape. These two divisions will be tasked with locking Grant in place north of Wilmington. It will take them 2 days to march north to their objective. Once there they will simply be ordered to "defend and retreat". If a large battle is joined and Grant manages to get away...so be it...destroying 29,000 yanks is hardly worth another 9,000 Confederate lives...being that Soundoff is able to replace his losses at 4 times the rate I am. However I do expect Soundoff will join a rather large battle in the area if he can. Crittenden's and Whipple's Corps are still relatively fresh and COULD march to Grant's aid. I believe Berry will be withdrawn north to Garysburg to rest and take on replacements. Should a large battle occur in the region...Beauregard's troops should be aided by Lee's Wing as well as G.W. Smith's Corps....some 41,000 troops in all (against Grant's approximately 56,000). What I'm hoping is that Lee's divisions will be rested enough by the time battle is joined to be of some real help...and I certainly hope Smith's Corps is up for the challenge.

If all goes well...I'll be able to throw off all of Soundoff's attempts to break Grant loose and cause Grant's 29,000 remaining troops to starve. That will put a nice little dent in his invading army and hopefully force him to spend a significant amount of resources replenishing his losses. And it could delay any further advance until after winter. Enough time for Lee to replenish his weary army as well.

On to the west...not much happening in Tennessee:

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Little action on this front. Soundoff didnt go for the end around as I'd thought. In fact he did almost the opposite. He retreated. I haven't the slightest clue why, but I'll take it. Soundoff DID, however, send Grierson's cavalry on a very annoying raid south to Rome, GA. This is not good as it will sever a very important supply artery for at least a turn. Bragg's army is already struggling with supply...the rail line running south through Georgia will be paramount to his troops maintaining supply. So Iam forced to react to this move. More on that in a moment.

Meade's Army of the South West is now spread way out. Again, I haven't the slightest clue what would have prompted such a withdrawal...but for just a moment, I was tempted to sally forth with Bragg's army and cut Meade off from Nashville for good. However, I got to thinking that perhaps that is just what this "withdrawal" was meant for. By now Soundoff knows of my aggressive nature...and may be trying to use it to his advantage. Well I surely won't bite this time anyway. We'll have to see whether or not Soundoff bring's Sumner's Corps back out of Nashville to reconnect his line...for now I will wait.

Back to Grierson's raid. Wheeler, in completing his own raid, will be called upon to deal with Grierson...who could either swing back around to his own lines...or continue further into Georgia...tearing up track as he goes. I suspect he will occupy much of my cavalry's attention for the next month or so...that's sure.

Moving a bit further south to Atlanta...

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And it is Georgia where I get to appease my offensive "sweet tooth". Having destroyed Milroy's army...secured Atlanta and Columbus from any further threat..,It's time to begin what I expect will be a tough operation to completely throw Soundoff's entire operation along the Gulf Coast into dissaray...re-taking Pensacola, FL and it's nearby depot. More in just a moment.

First a note on dispositions. Hooker, with two divisions looks to be aiming for more trouble. Will he attempt a similar assault as Milroy's?? doubtful now that I've reinforced the area, but not completely out of the question. Hooker is a VERY good commander and could probably defeat any one of my divisions toe to toe. It's why I've decided to call one division down from Tennessee to reinforce the capitol. Breckinridge...with his understrength division will rail, hopefully not hindered by Grierson's rail-break, to Atlanta this turn. Once there....he will hopefully be able to gather replacements the next few turns.

I've reorganized the various formations under A.S. Johnston's perview...Johnston, with the main Headquarters in Columbus will be left with a reserve of about 4,000 troops while Robert E. Rhodes is detached to conduct operations against fort Gaines. Bushrod Johnston will act as Rhodes' aid de camp. Talliaferro, faced with a superior enemy in Hooker's command...will withdrawal. It will sacrifice Montgomery...again, but it's a sacrifice I must make in order to prepare for the eventual push into Florida. Talli will join Johnston and the main HQ in Columbus...bringing the total strength there to over 10,000.

Finally, Rhodes with around 3,300 troops and 22 guns will steam down-river and assault Fort Gadsden, re-taking it...and thereby securing Columbus from the south....(and possibly earning himself a promotion :) ).

To the rest of the Gulf:

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Well here you can see the aforementioned transfer of General James Longstreet. With Gardner suffering severe command penalties...there was a dire need for a 3-star General in the area...and what better man than Longstreet to hold what could arguably be called the most important city in the south other than Atlanta at present. Mobile is essentially the final piece to Soundoff's Gulf Coast puzzle. If he can take it...like I've mentioned before...he gains access to all of Alabama unhindered...and opens himself up to operate against Atlanta unmolested. As it stands...Longstreet has close to 11,000 troops with which to defend...he has VERY strong earthworks, marshy terrain and over 24 batteries of artillery in place to repel any attack by either Banks, Sheridan, Hooker or McClellan.

Holmes...in a slightly weaker position...but bolstered by the swampy terrain he has surrounding the all important economic center of New Orleans.

You can see that Sheridan and McClellan are on the move...I would suspect they are headed toward Mobile...but there's no telling for sure. I will have to wait and see. Sheridan is off in no-man's land. I'm at a complete loss as to where Soundoff is sending him...but I'm sure he has SOMETHING clever up his sleeve.

With the absence of Hooker's troops...it would appear that any major offensive action in this theater will be put on hold for some time. Both Mobile and New Orleans, at present, would be VERY difficult for any less than 30,000 troops to take without a significant loss of life. I hope to add to both cities' defence soon enough.

Buchannan's fleet should be able to make it back to New Orleans this turn to repair. His ironclads will be of high value in coming months.

A look at Government action...I'll let the screenie to most of the talking:

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SO

Can Jackson take Milboro?? Can Lee lock Grant's army in place and cause it to starve?? Can Wheeler catch Grierson?? Stay tuned..
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It's a Trap

Sat Jul 25, 2009 9:11 am

I might have missed it but whatever amounted to the raid into California? And what is the current state of the MO/AR border? That is often a nice way into Little Rock. Of course with him having Vicksburg its a mute point.

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Banks6060
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Mon Jul 27, 2009 1:32 pm

Ah! You mention the California raid just in time my friend. More on that operation to come in the next update. San Francisco may be a tougher nut to crack than I originally thought.

Stay tuned friends...
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acme
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Mon Jul 27, 2009 1:51 pm

great job with the AAR.!
Im really curious how it goes out in NC.

KevinStorm
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Wed Jul 29, 2009 4:19 am

I just started reading this AAR a few turns ago, but I'm really enjoying it. THis may be a stupid question, but how do you get the estimates for yours and the opponent's troop numbers?

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Banks6060
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Wed Jul 29, 2009 10:03 am

Kevin Storm! Welcome aboard friend :) .

Troop numbers are really just an abstraction in the game as you probably already know. But having played this great game for as long as I have...I'm able to break down approximate troop numbers based on a formation's "power rating".

I usually break it down as such:

1. When looking at Corps stacks with FULL intel
Each Pwr of 500 = about 8,000 troops

2. When looking at Corps stacks with less than full intel
Each "Leader (unit)*" = equals one division...which in turn equals about 6,500 troops on average.


I will also refer back to old battle reports to get some of my numbers for Soundoff's various stacks...or just go off of memory.
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MrT
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Wed Jul 29, 2009 10:31 am

Banks, how do you cope late on with the lack of fresh conscript companys, do you purely into replacement invest, or do you ignore them and just buy new units?

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Banks6060
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Wed Jul 29, 2009 1:04 pm

Yeah. Later in the game and especially considering the amount of casualties I've taken in this particular game. I, quite frankly, don't have the men to build new brigades.

I will use my conscript companies mostly for replacements...and the occassional artillery battery/support unit. Which is what I have done in this game with Soundoff.

By this point, CSA players generally have reached the 30 division limit anyway...and so making more brigades only becomes an overall CP hassle.

If I make it into winter and the next draft...I'll likely experiment with some different reinforcement options...possibly going heavy on the cavalry to wage more of a guerilla war into 1864. At this point, I see it as just about the only way I will be able to hold Soundoff at bay and possibly keep a lead in VP's.

Hope that addresses your question and follow on my friend :thumbsup: .
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enf91
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Wed Jul 29, 2009 6:50 pm

Wow. You've suffered 50,000 more casualties than he has, even with that lopsided assault on Pickett. All I can say is... you're in trouble.

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gchristie
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Wed Jul 29, 2009 8:31 pm

enf91 wrote:Wow. You've suffered 50,000 more casualties than he has, even with that lopsided assault on Pickett. All I can say is... you're in trouble.


Only positive vibes coming your way from me, Banks :p ompom:. Go get 'em!
"Now, back to Rome for a quick wedding - and some slow executions!"- Miles Gloriosus

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Banks6060
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Wed Jul 29, 2009 10:33 pm

Enf91--Tell me about it :) . Although in my own defence I've outpaced Soundoff in casualties the entire game (since that debacle at Annapolis all the way back in 1861...that really put me against the ropes in the east.)

The simple fact I've been able to SURVIVE to this point is certainly something I'm happy with.

But you're absolutely right...I have no illusions about coming out on top in this one. Really...all it's about at this point is survival. What is it they say in boxing?? "A puncher always has a chance"...in this bout between Soundoff and I...I can guarantee you...the LAST thing to go before he can claim victory will be my "punch"!

Besides...and this is VERY wishful thinking...give me 4 more great blockade and embargo rolls...and I might have an 80,000 man british expeditionary army to play with. :coeurs:
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acme
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Tue Aug 04, 2009 10:48 am

update demanded! :wacko:

enf91
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Tue Aug 04, 2009 7:18 pm

relax. he's probably very busy doing more productive things than writing a report on a computer game.

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Banks6060
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Tue Aug 04, 2009 9:44 pm

Yes, I want to apologize for the delay. I've been slammed lately with work and haven't been getting as much sleep as I should. Then there's the poolside revelling on the weekend...followed by more sleeping :D .

As it was mentioned before...when I'm not working...I'm still trying to enjoy the summer as much as I can.

I hope to have another update ready in the next 48 hours. Thanks for staying tuned everyone!
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acme
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Wed Aug 05, 2009 9:27 am

enf91 wrote:relax. he's probably very busy doing more productive things than writing a report on a computer game.


oh really?
u relax pls.
it was a sarcasm 'demanded' indicated by the :wacko: .
which is also an appreciaton.

i cant help i enjoy this AAR so much!

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