Posts: 118
Joined: Mon Nov 03, 2008 10:32 pm
Location: Coming out of the attic-- I've finally beaten Athena

pb783 (North) v VigaBrand (South)

Sat Apr 20, 2013 6:39 am

WASHINGTON, D.C., LATE APRIL--- This is an After Action Report for the 1861 full campaign with Kentucky versus VigaBrand. The first few turns are relatively uneventful. I'll be posting this some game months after the events.
The intent here is to share my first PBEM game. I had been playing the game for some years against the AI without success. This past winter I was finally able to defeat Athena. It wasn't just a normal defeat, it was a huge win.
That game set me on the path to seeking a PBEM game. Our house rules include limited raids, limited mobilizations. I'll get to those as they become an issue.
AACW was issued in 2007. It continues to intrigue me, though I see a new version is being discussed. There are many little things that happen and could happen.
There have been many good AARs over the years. I'll try to address aspects of the game that have been ignored by other AARs. I will try to tie together ideas I've read that work.
My hope is this will give you new light on this gem.
VigaBrand will be notified tonight that this first AAR report is online. Each was written at the time of the turn. I've reviewed them. We are currently entering the August turn of 1861. Even at this date there is sensitive information below. I've removed some of it. I'm confident that I'll survive any 'leaks'.
I invite VigaBrand to add his views to mine.
There was a technical glitch that caused us to restart the game. If you see an inconsistency, this is due to our first effort being trashed. For example, I did not use paper money in spring 1861, as discussed below.



A bit of a surprise: The South has not attacked Ft. Sumter yet. There are no land forces available to aid it at this point. Holding it would probably require a good division. But maybe I could throw a brigade at it in a few weeks, if it is still around. [Edit note: in the second game start the Ft was taken on the first turn]
The problem is that there is a significant shortage of units right now. That continues through summer. The few units I do have are poorly led, suffering significant command penalties. So, sacrificing a brigade at this point is not taken lightly. Just that one brigade could be all that stops a Southern attack on Washington.



In this first few turns two things were done. First, I [redacted by war censors. Even now, in August, these April moves are considered sensitive].
I dispatched the USS Cumberland and the Pocahontas to patrol over the horizon at Charleston, SC in the hope of catching Rebel shipping using 'closed' ports and not paying their port taxes. Information given to the Loyal forces in the area indicates there are units in the port that intend to ship contraband in the next few days.
The nation's rail and riverine networks were developed to or near their current max.
There are no units in the build pool at the moment. And, efforts to raise money on the markets will not be sufficient to purchase all the units I'd like. I'm holding off on those two choices for at least one more turn.
Generals were sent to Dallas, Tex., Arizona, California, Kansas, Colorado, Oregon, Cairo, Ill., Harper's Ferry, MD, Alexandria, Va., and Manassas, Va.
[More redacted information. Sorry]


As the time of Lincoln's inauguration neared, citizens conventions were held throughout the South to consider an act of cessation. However, no community fully supported the Union in the North, and the Confederacy in the South. In Lincoln's home state of Illinois local citizens took control of the Coles County Courthouse intending to create a government in support of the Confederacy. Northwest Virginia broke away from the rest of the state. Kansas was admitted to the Union to create a clear Republican majority in the Congress, yet battles there from disputes over the Kansas Nebraska Act continued.


Joe Johnston will be appearing next turn in the Strasburg Depot, although his forces will be very weak. A large army, composed in part of the Army of Northern Potomac, will appear in Richmond. This unit is a much more credible threat immediately. But I don't expect it to move much in the next month.
Another small force will begin to develop around Memphis.

The Pratt Street Riot is called the Pratt Street Massacre by persons sympathetic to the Southern cause. Maryland, a slave state whose northern border is the Mason- Dixon line, had only remained loyal to the Union due to the efforts of a slaveholding Unionist governor, Thomas Hicks, and a remarkable daughter of Maryland, Anna Ella Carroll.


At the same time, I'll finally begin to be able to purchase some units. I'll order either Exceptional Taxes or 8 percent war bonds. Eventually I'll be using the proceeds to raise 445+ conscription points. I'll need more money next turn to fully exploit this mass of humanity.
I'll maintain the purchase of 10 rail points and five riverine points each turn, unless there is a crisis, for at least the next year. Unless I am over the max by more than ten percent. Then I'll give myself a break for a turn.
I'm purchasing replacements for a few units. My plan is to keep at least one replacement point in each unit type, except militias, for the next year. There will be a goal to maintain one replacement point for each 50 units on the map.
Militia receive event replacements and shouldn't need significant help.
There are no ocean going shipping available yet. There is some riverine units now. The Union riverine units are out numbered by the South in the first months. The slight edge by the South is always dangerous for the Northern player, but takes time to deal with. I'll be addressing this by adding a brig each turn to the Union navy.
It may be gamey to do this, however, I am going to use brigs to patrol the rivers. They pack a higher punch for the dollar and are much more versatile than the gunboats. They are able to sail on the ocean or the rivers and they are able to carry light loads. The downside is they must transit to the continental river system, which takes several turns. In any case, I can buy the limit, 34, I'll add at least a unit a turn with some assigned to the rivers and others to coastal defense.
As the need for the brigs on the oceans increases I'll need to replace them with gunboats. But this seems at least a year away at the moment.
There is a limit of 17 riverine transports available. These are not good buys for the Union, again the ocean going variety are cheaper and more modular. I want to develop ALL the ocean going transport for the North. I want to use it on the oceans. So, despite my interest in using the ocean units on the river system, I'll pass on that and build riverine transport for the rivers. I'll build two of these this turn, later aiming to build more ocean-going units.
Loyalties are one of those extras that seems to have no meaning for the North. I grant full civil liberties to the entire country, though I do order the detention of the Publisher of the Baltimore Sun following an incendiary article he allowed published.
Another feature of the game that the North has little need for is Industrialization. Unlike the South, supplies are not limited. Manpower and money are limits. No industrialization. Except to add capacity to the rail and riverine transport, I won't even look at this page again.
So, on game turn two, I've 240+ RxR points, 84+ Riverine points, I've ordered nine replacement points, about half each turn.
I've ordered two riverine transports and two brigs. There has been a call for volunteers paid for by 8 percent bonds and exceptional taxes.
The result is I'm $86K in the hole and have 577 in expected conscription points available next turn.
Paper money printing is the most expensive means of generating cash in the tool box. It increases prices by four percent, cost 2 morale points, and only gains $292K. In contrast, the exceptional tax causes $468K of collections and an increase in inflation of just one percent. The NM change is the same. By far, the most economic tool is the bonds. The 8 percent bonds cost 75 victory points and inflation of two percent. The victory points are almost a throw-away. In return the bonds return $390K.
My plan is to allow inflation to run a bit, but only to raise taxes as needed. All proceeds will be spent almost instantly.
So, returning to the $86K budget deficit. How should I resolve this? Using the paper money would allow me to begin an immediate buildup. I will need a much larger army to resist the South in this first year. The financial options do not reset till July 1.
The key things to get immediately are the longer term plans moving: Shipping, a naval defense and an adequate pool of reserves. I know I won't be able to do much with the army this year except defend. I'd like to take Manassas and defend Harper's Ferry. I may need to make a choice later about which is more valuable.
So, to address the deficit, for the moment, I'll order the exceptional tax, holding off on the bonds and the recruitment. We'll spend some money on the navy. I'll need to use my ability to raise troops by May 02. That will also be when I use the print money and the 8 percent bonds. I'll be able to repeat this entire effort nearly immediately, in late June as the recruitment options refresh then.
This plan is going to make me cash poor for the moment. I'll have plenty of troops, but no money. Based on just building a riverine force of maybe four additional riverine transports above the start, then a rail and riverine soft ability at its maximum, and maintaining that, and building the 34 brigs and it looks like 24 or so ocean-going transports, I'll be limping along for about a year or so with limited money, but an amazing amount of conscripts and infrastructure.
Some of these expenditures will be cut back as they meet their goals. For example, once rail is at maximum, there is no further need for rail points.
Still, to emphasize, even after I tap the printing press, cash is king.
A quick note on ocean-going transports. If they are posted to the shipping box the return breakeven is about 20 turns for cash. So, I want them out there generating money as soon as possible.


Actor John Wilkes Booth would embark on a national tour in 1860. Walt Whitman said of him “he would have flashes, passages, I thought of real genius.” It was a break-out year for the young thespian. In Montgomer, Ala. he had for the first time used his full name on stage handbills.


Financing the war is among the key decisions for the Northern player. The use of the $3K option for raising troops, and the probable result of depending on printing money to finance training and equiping these troops lies at one end of the spectrum. On the other is relying on free and low-cost recruitment, no taxes and no bond sales.
I doubt any player would handcuff themselves to a policy of refusing any tax and any bond sales, of refusing to raise troops through offering bonuses.
But what about raising inflation and going for a huge army?
Inflation in the game raises prices. However inflation price increases are only applied once per game turn. They are not compound as in real life. So, if an item is priced at $10 and another at $100, a five percent increase in inflation will result in no increase in the $10 item, but the $100 item will increase to $105.
In modern language inflation is price increase over a period of time. However, in the game, inflation is over the 'benchmark' cost at the beginning of the game. And the inflation is levied immediately. 77NY, in a series of posts in 2009 noted that for the CSA, given certain assumptions, inflation was not worth paying attention to. “The CSA could generate enough cash to pay for 3,000+ regiments.” Growth of financial incentives through victory points “greatly outstrips inflation penalties over time.”
A simpler analysis of the inflation issue is presented here by Ace in 2013.
There is a point at which, except for the effects on NM, further inflation can be balanced. One of the geeks with more time can determine this point, but I'm going to assume that somewhere between 55% and 60% inflation becomes stable, with increases being offset by decreases. That means that aiming for inflation of between 55-60 percent would allow some annual printing.
The issue is you need to balance all this with NM. The purchase of additional units needs to be balanced by better NM events. In other words, military victorys.

If Mississippi in her sovereign capacity decides to submit to the rule of an arrogant and sectional North, then I will sit me down as one upon whose brow the brand of degradation and infamy has been written, and bear my portion of the bitter trial. But if, on the other hand, Mississippi decides to resist the hands that would tarnish the bright star which represents her on the National Flag, then I will come at your bidding, whether by day or by night, and pluck that star from the galaxy and place it upon a banner of its own. I will plant it upon the crest of battle, and gathering around me the nucleus of Mississippi’s best and bravest, will welcome the invader to the harvest of death; and future generations will point to a small hillock upon our border, which will tell the reception with which the invader met upon our soil.

---Jefferson Davis speaking in Vicksburg, Miss., prior to the 1860 general election
John Wilkes Booth.png
Baltimore Lady.png
Alabama Leaves Union.png
Early Lincoln.png
Wide Awakes.png

Posts: 234
Joined: Mon Jan 07, 2013 12:27 pm
Location: Berlin, Germany

Mon Apr 22, 2013 9:09 am

The CSA want some small industrialisation in Georgia, but with bad luck, all 4 attempts finishing with munition or supply factories and so I lost nearly 100 warsupply for only increase of supplie and ammunition. That is not, what I want.

There are many (4) Battles in Fayetteville. Price with some reinforcements and militia defend the hills at the moment. It is interesting, how long he can do that.

I made a mistake in building some transportships. I want to use them to built some forts, but that missed. Maybe I'm didn't know how to built forts with transportships and guns or it is not possible. Can somebody answer me?

A little Advice. My spies show me, that you have Nathaniel Banks in Baltimore. In my game against my brother, I put him to NY, so NY gives 14 CS instead of 7 and so he "produce" 7. In Baltimore it was lower, not sure how many, but if you plan for consripts, it will be better to move him to NY and get more CS as in Baltimore.

Posts: 118
Joined: Mon Nov 03, 2008 10:32 pm
Location: Coming out of the attic-- I've finally beaten Athena

Mon Apr 22, 2013 2:37 pm

I'm not an expert on CSA industrialization. However your strategy is following a line laid down by many threads. Banks6060, in replying to a question in June 2008 also pointed to investment in Georgia. Georgia is among the last states to fall back into federal hands and it has good potential. According to Banks6060, "if invested over a long period of time (Georgia) will offer some good WS, Supply, and ammo."

TeMagic wrote more extensively about industrialization in a 2007 AAR that focused on how to manipulate CSA industrialization. There is an extensive discussion of inflation in the game. I'm also about to deal with inflation in a write-up. I'd need to find the formula, but as a mathematician you may know it. There is a level of sustainable inflation in the game, I'm guessing between 55-65 percent, at which you can gain the benefits of more money, yet not increase inflation?

Also, inflation in the game engine is not like inflation in real life. It is not a rate compound on a regular periodic basis. It is applied against a base. So at 40 percent inflation, prices are 40 percent higher than at the game start.

Anyway, some of the early AARs that dealt with industrialization concluded that it is best to start industrialization early, to end it by the end of 1861 and to use it in a place like Georgia.

I've never seen an issue of supply shortages in the campaign game for the North. So, this is, from my standpoint, not an issue.

Inflation is another consideration, both for the CSA and the USA. The conclusion is mixed. Some people want low inflation. Some people want high inflation. At a certain point, as the game nears an end, don't worry about inflation. Like my 97 year old mother in law's diet, nothing matters any longer. I'll send a discussion by enalut on inflation.

I'll send the pdf of these discussions to you with the next update. Everyone else will need to search.

The battles you're discussing in Fayetteville are taking place in August, just so people know. I'm trapped by this notion that with just a little push, Price will be thrown out of Fayetteville, before the substantial reinforcements arrive to save him.

That is a common trap I fall into.

I'm bleeding men and supplies out on the prairie, and I don't think I'll take Fayetteville. However, I might keep you looking at Fayetteville while I work my way into the heart of your supply system on the Mississippi. ;)

Those ocean going transports work well on the riverine system. But now I understand why they are on the Arkansas.

The units need to be in a land region, so put them ashore. They need to be grouped by themselves (the two naval units together). You should see the button light up for them to become depots. The land region doesn't have to be a port. There may be an advantage to it being a port.

Also, the land region has to have a certain level of military control. You meet that definition already in Ft Smith, even though I still control the town.

Note that if you ever intend to fortify the region, the region requires a structure. Ports and depots will not count towards structures. In other words, Ft. Smith is your only choice to fortify the depot. The port in Ozark cannot, to my knowledge, be fortified.

Your spies are correct, Banks has been working the whore houses of Baltimore.

Are you assigning unused generals to do your spying? Hmm, time to send Maj E J Allen out to ferret these rebel traitors out!

The Union position is a bit stronger now as summer ends. But there was a point where I was very concerned (hell, I'm still concerned) that you could successfully attack Washington. Having a multi-star general nearby (there are more) allows me to organize a defense in depth, if necessary.

Banks works in any city over a certain size. Baltimore meets the definition. So he is producing additional conscripts.

Given past discussions of the engine, I'm imagining Banks will do better in Manhattan. So, as the crisis eases in Washington, I'll move him back.

Let's get geeky.

Previous discussions by Pocus and others indicates that for each level there is a chance for raising troops. So that in a level 10 city I have one chance of raising troops at say five percent. However, in a level 20 city I would have 10 chances, each at five percent, of raising additional conscripts.

I'm not sure which way the engine works, but previous discussions by Pocus and others about how the game engine operates indicate you accumulate more chances of success, rather than a larger ratio. Does that make sense?

If I have it right, the engine works in one of several ways:

Method A Level 12 city with a five percent chance of success (three tries for one success)

Method B Level 12 city with a five percent chance of success:

Or perhaps Method C Level 12 city with a five percent chance of success:

Or perhaps there is a Method D, each level is independent and there can be more than one success. I think the engine uses method D.

I believe the A and D Methods are called Bernouli trials. I don't want to do the math. It is early here in the US and I have other work to do. Maybe you can try it and tell us the projected success rate for these three methods. The only Method that benefits me assigning Banks to Baltimore is Method C. But I have strategic concerns that outweigh the stats here.

Once I'm feeling more comfortable, Banks will be assigned a position in Manhattan, the largest Union city.

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Location: Berlin, Germany

Mon Apr 22, 2013 5:07 pm

early April 1861
Both players use the embargo option. Both option nulliyfie (+14 and -14 FI).
Fort Sumter falls.
Virginia tritt aus. Das ganze ist noch kein Beinbruch, aber nach meiner Analyse war die Entscheidung von mir doof. Die 3 Moral sind zwar sinnvoll, aber hätten auch warten können.
late April 1861
Industrialisation brings a new ammunition factory (+8 ammunition). Was not what I wish :(
Norfolk taken by CSA.
Early May 1861
Industrialisation brings a new weapon factory (+20 supplies, +9 ammunition). :(
Reinforcments for my naval, because of secret information, I can say more. :)
Two militas in missouri. Want to defend that.

Situation in Virginia:
Fredricksburg was stormed by two elite infantery and one marine regiment. The militia was killed by them
Union us there tax option, Warbonds (8%) and Call of volunteers

Ende Mai 1861:
Situation in Virginia
The Depot in Fredericksburg was blow by union. Than retreat of the storming command
Than some news from the west
I blow up the depot in Rolla
Anfang Juni 1861
Rolla falls.
Fredericksburg was taken back.
Ende Juni 1861
The Situation in Missouri and Arkansas are bad. I loss the Springfield and the union take the depot there! In Arkansas I loss the second depot.

The embargo was bad for us. In the sum I lost 30 FI points.

Ende Juli 1861
Two battles in Fayetteville
And I bring some force to retake Ft. Smith.
In Tennessee it would be hard, Union open the missippi by taken Fort Island 10.

The rest comes later, because I don't want to told, where my troops are.

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Joined: Mon Nov 03, 2008 10:32 pm
Location: Coming out of the attic-- I've finally beaten Athena

Sat Apr 27, 2013 9:42 pm

WASHINGTON, DC, EARLY MAY--- The results of the second turn are in. Here are the news items:
* The Blockade has lowered British/ French intervention by 7 points. Current level is -19!
* The South has called for volunteers
* Lincoln gave his inaugural address
* Sam Houston is calling on federal help
* Carl Schurz is raising troops in NYC
* Lincoln has called for volunteers (Current level of recruitment is 608 companies)
* John Ericsson has been given a contract to build a new type of ship based on single turret and a Dahlgren cannon
* Tennessess and Arkansas have joined the Confederacy
* Inflation sank by a point (now at 6 percent. How did it get to 6 percent without any financial options last turn?)

Let's take these first, one at a time. The foreign intervention going my way immediately promises that there will never be a foreign intervention. The South needs this first few rolls to go its way. I've played against the British and French in one game and know what to expect if the event fires. I'm not too worried either way.
There are several points to make about the South having a drive for volunteers. First, it appears we'll be healthy in this regard. But there is a danger point in the first few months and especially the first months, when the North does not have the ability to defend Washington. We'll begin to ramp up fast and cheap units to defend the capital, and depend on the events to give us some stronger units as the year develops.
The Sam Houston/ Texas issue gives me some additional cavalry in Dallas. We need to hold the city in September October to gain some NM. That's a promise I can't make right now. We'll use the troops to seize and destroy the depots in Missouri and Arkansas that threaten St Louis.
It is strange how some of the messages are coming in German. Obviously this is a glitch in the game caused by VigaBrand using the German language game.

Previous Turn Results

Ft Sumter is lost!

The loss of Sumter galvanized Northern opinion in a way that the politics leading up to it hadn't. Starting with lame events by the outgoing administration to limit the garrison to Ft Moutrie's defense, then the attempts to negotiate with the sovereign state of South Carolina and finally the attack on the resupply ship and the fort itself, it became a focus for anger in the North.

If democracy means anything, it means you don't go into armed revolt over a poor election showing. Plus the series of states, counties and even an effort to have New York City secede showed that there was no end to the process of unraveling. As an then unknown Tennessee Senator, Andrew Johnston, noted in a defiant speech in the US Senate, it would not be long before the South itself unwound, states seceding from the Confederacy to pursue their own foreign policy, trade agreements, military policy and domestic direction.

In the South the fort became a focus too of anger that the North was 'invading' the South.

In any case, the fort included officers Abner Doubleday and others who would play a role in American life.

Norfolk is lost!

I'm considering having the Washington Brde attacking Fredericksburg. After some tests, tests are simple at this stage as you simply reproduce the game under another name, the USMC assaults and the Washington Brde assaults a day later... First attack is at a ratio of 2:1; the second attack is at a ratio of 3:1 4-1 W/L.

So, that attack is ordered, with the intention of holding it long enough to destroy the depot.

The replacements (needed to fill out the 1st through 5th Divisions):
HQ 2 * Not ordered
Infantry 28
Militia 3
Light Infantry 1
Light Artillery 8
Field Artillery 2
Cavalry 1
Supply 6 * Not ordered

Also not on the list this period: the RxR (capacity at max right now), the two brigs and the riverine transport. On the list 2 x Lt. Artillery and 2 x 12 # Artillery to build the fort in Washington.

We are also doing our first call for volunteers, paying $2K per company.
No payments= 139 pts
$1K/cos= 258 pts (margin of 119 pts)
$2K/cos=357 pts (margin of 99 pts)
$3K/cos=437 pts (margin of 80 pts)

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Joined: Mon Nov 03, 2008 10:32 pm
Location: Coming out of the attic-- I've finally beaten Athena

Sat Apr 27, 2013 9:45 pm

Washington, D.C.MAY 21 1861--- After a technical problem and a restart we are now on turn four. This turn is likely to see the first real battles. The first 'battle' being at Ft. Sumter.

In the previous turn I had sent the Marines and the Washington Bde to Fredericksburg, the plan being to seize and destroy the depot there. There is an 80 percent or so chance of taking the city. The destruction of the depot and perhaps of the railroad will need to wait till next turn.

* Ten events, including Wisconsin Republican Carl Schurz raising a German cavalry bde in New York. Schurz (3.1.1) was a huge hack and reportedly not much of a general. He was sent to Europe where he did the Union some good, but that is later in the war.
* Raised some funds through an eight percent bond sale and the taxes
* Raised some conscripts through offering $2K per company. We still have some money at the end of that process
* The South raised extraordinary taxes and some volunteers this turn
* We've seized St Louis. This event starts the largest series of battles of 1861, focused on holding Fayetteville, Ark.
* The Shenandoah Army of the North is formed.

The battle at Fredericksburg is rated a draw. However we eliminated the militia and have control of the city with the two units. Time to burn the depot and destroy the rail.

My tests indicated the depot will always be blown. There is a 90 percent chance I'll also destroy the railway. I'll pull out of Fredericksburg to Alexandria. The odd thing is that if I do not order the units to move the chance of destroying the depot and the railroad actually drop! Strange.

Destroy both and move- 9
Destroy depot and move- 1
Destroy neither and move- 0

Obviously Manassas is the next objective. As you'll see, I never even attack Manassas, despite it being an event that causes me to lose 10 NM.

The South is moving heavy guns, additional militia and other units up to Manassas, along with WHC Whiting (3.1.1). This looks like a 126 points of defense. Being able to take Manassas is going to get messy too as various Southern units near Strasburg Depot will be able to move next turn. Our offensive units in Alexandria may account for less than 200 points with an iffy commander. Plus I need to cover Alexandria, Harper's Ferry and Washington. The Army of Northern Virginia under Patterson (1.0.0) might be able to help bolster defense, but I'm unsure if such a weak commander is ever worth putting on the front line.

27 units are formed in various states. Most of these are militia. Some are artillery. There may be one cavalry unit in the mix. Also the planned naval stuff. Checking these, the only units below can be moved: (Most of these units are not fully formed).
An Ill. Militia to Cairo
A Penn. Militia to Baltimore
A NJ Militia to Baltimore
A WV Militia to Grafton

One of the Patterson units is a conscript. I'm moving it to Cincinnati to get training under McClellan.

As is the case for most Union players, I will not industrialize anywhere. I'm short money and men, not any sort of supply.

The first brig will appear at Cairo in four weeks. It is near Pittsburgh at the moment.

My money shortage is beginning to show this turn. Builds:
2* Brigs
Rivertine transport
2nd USMC
Ind. 52 Inf.
2* Lt Artty
2* Horse Artty
2* Replacements

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Joined: Mon Nov 03, 2008 10:32 pm
Location: Coming out of the attic-- I've finally beaten Athena

Sat Apr 27, 2013 9:54 pm

Washington, DC May 02 1861--- We're moving on to another turn already, after just a few hours.

The surprise attack on Spotsylvania was designed to destroy the depot, with a secondary result of hoping to destroy the railroad there. We only destroyed the depot. We've withdrawn to Alexandria and are setting for further action there.

We're preparing for what we expect to be the first offensive by the South. A Southern offensive at this point could sweep, easily, to Washington. Nearly 900 points are stuck in Alexandria, they are able to move next turn. They are turned out in numerous little regiments and brigades and one division-sized unit under McDougal.

I've ordered the riverine and brigs, with the first transport. More light artillery and 20 additional militia. The replacements seem to be holding up and the units that need replacements are not exhausting the pool, and yet it is also about the level I'd like.

In the West, a few offensives, some to take ground permanently, some to take, destroy and then move on. We want to disrupt the western Missouri/ Arkansas depot line somewhere. That means taking a depot somewhere between Springfield and Ft. Smith. Price and three brigades have formed in Fayetteville, so that is probably not going to be my target.

Other units are taking Rolla and Jefferson City. Still other units are beginning to line the river with brigs and gun boats. I'll start the process of fortifying St Louis. There aren't enough resources out here. The war is won in the East, due to the importance of Richmond and Washington. But the war can be lost out here in the West.

With Kentucky neutral, I need to stay away from the Ohio River for the moment. Building behind the lines. I intend to take Island 10 before Kentucky joins either side. I'll experiment to see if I can do the same to Forts Henry & Donelson. [Note, I never tried the experiment. It would have had the North sail through neutral Kentucky to assault Forts Henry & Donelson, which are in Tennessee. Gamey!] The process is gamey on H&D, so I don't want to do it as much. But, taking Island 10 with a move down the river seems within the history and the spirit of the game.

Let's look at a map to understand the situation in the East. Two off map forces in Richmond can begin moving next turn. I estimate these forces conservatively to be 1,780 pts of well led forces. Their destination is probably Washington. They outnumber Alexandria 2:1 (entrenchment) and Washington 5:1 (entrenchment).

The most likely attack will run through Alexandria without stopping, ending the move in Maryland. I am setting the lines in Washingto to feature field and urban fortifications. As I manufacture artillery I'll build a level 5 fort here first, assuming the capitol survives.

I'm sending some light forces to capture the rail line between Baltimore and Grafton. They may be able to have an effect on the East in two turns. A unit in Ohio that is being trained will ship East ASAP. Still things are tight and look grim. I have my finger on the trigger to move the capitol.

Harper's Ferry is a key objective of the South. It is garrisoned by just 35 points, but I could add 108 points this turn. It is frustrating that I cannot blow the depot here. So, by mid-turn I could have about 143 points (entrenched), but some of it would be tired. Facing it, 651 points. 4:1. It is difficult to see how HF can survive this turn. And, it is difficult to see what I can send it to save it. I'm unwilling to sacrifice the units that were under Patterson. They are not yet at full strength.

If the Patterson units survive, I'll send them on to either Washington or to HF, depending on the situation.

Out West, we have a different issue. Like with the East, we have a temporary advantage. Lot's of units will begin to appear in Arkansas and Missouri, that will make a large offensive operation here a very risky proposition. Plus, once Kentucky opens, there will be a need for forces in that state that will overwhelm my potential.

I want to set a situation here that will make it difficult for the South to build an offensive. The tool I'm going to use is supply. At the start there is a single large brigade of militia in Springfield under Price. I'll use my cavalry and the infantry in the Southwest to attack Ft Smith, use my units in St. Louis to take Rolla and Springfield and bring my Great Plains units down to Lexington.

If I take Ft Smith I'll destroy the depot. The units along the Missouri will combine to attack Springfield in phase two. If I'm able to destroy the Ft Smith depot and hold Springfield I should be in a good position for the remainder of the year in the theater.

Note that there is a significant lack of supplies at the start in the area. As my units move on Springfield they will be tired and out of supply. There is nearly no possibility of taking everything. I can attempt to dispatch an Eastern supply unit here to ease the situation. But they are unavailable for several months due to locks and travel.

I'll try to send some single militia into the bush to change the military control of regions. That might help if a supply becomes available.

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Late June- Washington Threatened; Money & California

Sat Apr 27, 2013 9:57 pm

WASHINGTON, DC; JUNE 1861 02--- VigaBrand has brought up five one star generals to Manassas and a number of other units totaling 567 points. The rail line between Alexandria and Strasburg Depot is uncut and I have no units on it at the moment. There are an additional 507 points there under Joe Johnston.

There may be additional units behind the lines. In particular I haven't seen Beauregard yet.

Facing them is the brigades and a division styled as the Army of Northeastern Virginia in Alexandria. Points here are about 800. Winfield Scott leads a unit inside Washington styled the Washington Reserve and totaling 471 points. Outside, without leadership, are four brigades, including the California Bde. They may be able to be organized into a force of about 380 points.

I'm bringing Maj General Milroy back from Cairo to lead an additional large force in the area.

If VigaBrand is able to bring the units from Strasbourg, Manassas and the free units from Richmond together, I've estimated he can bring nearly 1400 points to bear. So, I'm outnumbered about 2:1 in Alexandria and in Washington the odds will be 4:1. Granted that the units will have fought at least one battle to get to Washington, they'll be tired and disorganized. \

I need to place whatever weight I can on the scale to make the situation worse for any Southern forces.

I've decided that Clarke, Virg. is a key. I need to cut the rail here, and maintain my units too.

It is probably a suicide mission. I'll think about it as I order other units around.

Harper's Ferry and Alexandria are both a bit over a week's march from Clarke. Getting to Clarke won't stop the movement of the units from Strasburg to Alexandria. I'll need to do some tests to determine how to handle this. The units need to expect resistance, be able to remain in the area and cut the rail line, then, hopefully, they can retreat.

We can take this backwards: Loudon, Virg. is the spot I'd like to retreat to. It is also the only county adjacent to Clarke that has any Union military control: 90 percent.

In HF, at the moment, I have the Ferry Guard, consisting of a militia and an light artillery under construction. That's about 37 points. The 1st Division is 241 points and has the Washington Bde and the USMC. The USMC has two stars of experience. The Washington Bde is still recovering cohesion from the march to HF. 270 points and this can hit.

Two other Bdes are here. Maybe 55 points. Total in HF is about 337 points.

There are other units in the area. Some militia are digging trenches in Maryland along the north side of the Potomac. Three light infantry Brigades from the former Patterson Army of Northern Virginia are increasing military control of the rail between Baltimore and Grafton.

In the water, I have naval units in the Chesapeake to prevent any movement into DelMar. They are not strong enough to blockade, but strong enough to fight with the single unit CSA naval units likely to pop out of Richmond.

I want to look at this for a moment from a Southern viewpoint.
1. An attack on Washington. I think the combined forces could roll through Alexandria. However I don't think they could take Washington too. They would face being surrounded; I'd retake Alexandria. Then I'd work to eliminate them. The North would be on the defensive during this, but that is a powerful position in this game.
2. The South takes Alexandria, setting up an attack on Washington. I favor this strategy. The units in Manassas join with units in Richmond to take Alexandria. Putting some seige cannon in Alexandria may be enough to drive my naval units off. Holding the Potomac is powerful for a number of reasons, whether or not the South crosses this year.
3. Taking HF. This could be done with Johnston's units in Strasburg or in combination with the Manassas units. There are bountiful supplies in HF. It turns the corner on Washington, threatening its rear. I'll need to respond with many more troops to guard the Potomac.

In the West, I'm using the temporary advantage I have to attempt to seize Ft Smith, Ark. There are three separate units going into the county and each is set to assault. Further north, I'm using the available units to assault Springfield.

Two Eastern supplies are being transferred by rail to the West to assist in the Springfield fight. Another is being sent to Cairo to assist in the future assault on Island 10. None of the supplies will get there till mid-August.

I seem to remember there are units in the grass of Missouri, ready to sack St. Louis. There is a good garrison there, but it is relatively weak. The quicker the Springfield part of the campaign is over, the better. Lot's of militia coming around out here. That will help buffer St. Louis if I can get them in position.

A strong Brigade down near the Arkansas River and Ft Smith. I expect they'll move north to Fayetteville. But other units could be coming into Ft. Smith. A bit of a risk here. I hope it is justified by success.

Over near Cairo, I'm beginning to build the division-sized unit that will assault Island 10. I want to cover the creation of this unit and have ordered Illinois militia to seize Charleston, Mo. and an infantry unit into Cape Girardeau.

California is one of handful of regions that produce money. I'm leaving the artillery there, but moving the infantry to Colorado.

One of my usual strategies is to build a series of depots from the West Coast to connect to the Midwest. Recently I noticed the train runs pretty far west. I had been building these depots in Kansas to start. That was strategic, but exposed them to Southern units. This game I'll build further north. Later I'll build depots in Kansas.


I'll hold onto the draft and conscription, using the 270 conscription points available. I'll raise taxes, and wait to issue bonds.

The brigs, the transports, railway and riverine infrastructure. 14 militias, 2 sharpshooters and six other mix units that also include sharpshooters. I'll call for another blockade of the South.

The strategy once Kentucky enters is to defend the Midwest, Louisville and begin to take Kentucky. Lots of militia will be used in that battle. I'd like to take and hold Paducah, Ky. Grab the isolated towns on the eastern end of the state, then begin to move on Forts Henry & Donelson. I hope I have enough time to grab Island 10 before the state becomes a battlefield.

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Fri May 03, 2013 8:35 am

Early august 1861
Another battle in Fayetteville.
Ende august 1861
The fourth battle of Fayetteville happen.

Situation in Tennessee
Union troops are landing in the west of memphis. Polk moved with all availble troops to Memphis.
The "good" Johnston is moving from Virginia to Tennessee, he has 4-2-4 instead of 4-0-1 but he needs a month to travel from Virginia to Memphis.

Situation in Virginia
The Peninsula campaigne was started. A force of unkown power is moving from Ft. Monroe to Richmond.
Lee and Cooper arrive on the scene. Cooper a very good training commander form some new conscripts regiments to normal infantery.
Lee was the best in his year at West point, but he is not sure about defending his homeland or not. So I will be only command the garrison (nearly 15.000 men) in Richmond. We hope, he will decide to lead the army of Virginia!
We built a fort in Norfolk to control the James River. We reinforced the garrison there!

Only two monthe before the winter arrive. We read in newspaper from the north, that the demand an offensive to Richmond. So we fortified our position in Manassas, because every offensiv must go this way. If the union didn't get manassas, we hope of pressure from the newspaper and that this will low the union moral!

And we have a hard decision. We can Call for Volounteers, Warbounds and Taxes. If I will wait, I get an event with gives the csa 10 moral, means more volounteers. If I wait with arbonds and taxes, I earn Victory Points at this time and will earn more money. So did I need new troops at the moment or can I wait to get more money/conscripts?
I decide to wait, because I don't feel really hard pressure by the north.

Gen. Monkey-Bear
Lieutenant Colonel
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Sun May 05, 2013 10:55 pm

This looks exciting! Btw, your Fayetteville attacks look too small to succeed. You need to group together all them into one large attack, and maybe bring some artillery.

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Fayetteville- Great for Business; Great for Life

Mon May 06, 2013 3:01 pm

Gen. Monkey-Bear wrote:This looks exciting! Btw, your Fayetteville attacks look too small to succeed. You need to group together all them into one large attack, and maybe bring some artillery.


Thanks for enjoying our suffering :thumbsup:

We are actually in February 1862 as I write this reply. So, I can tell you that the Fayetteville campaign did end for the winter with the South holding Fayetteville. VigaBrand reports the last and final assault was held by the smallest of margins. The late fall and winter were spent licking wounds.

I felt the campaign was a success as it forced the South to divert troops from a low effort attack that captured most of the Eastern Arkansas area. All of the West bank of the Mississippi is firmly in Union hands as I speak, down to the Arkansas River. ***Correction--- there is a CSA militia in New Madrid ***

You can see the start of that Eastern Arkansas campaign with Lyon across from Memphis.

I threw everything at this Fayetteville campaign, but Price wasn't going to give up that town. :p opcorn:

VigaBrand also expressed an expectation that I would start a Peninsular campaign. I can let the story develop or tell you...

I'll tell you. 'The Beast' advanced as far as Williamsburg and then dug in. I was required by the events to take Manassas. I wasn't sure how much VigaBrand knew of my requirement to maintain National Morale. I looked at Manassas on a regular basis, but made a decision that no amount of wishing would ever allow me to win a battle there in summer 1861-- I was outnumbered. The advance to Williamsburg was meant to draw some of the units from Manassas. It didn't do anything of the sort.

As a result I swallowed the NM loss in September.

I'm getting ahead of the thread I established. I should be able to update the AAR this week.

Grant arrives and gets trapped on Island 10, the CSA comes back on the Mississippi, an ill unconsidered attack in the East by the Union, and the CSA reacts to the Jayhawks. All that next time...

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Tue May 07, 2013 8:51 am

Great to see another campaign, makes me want to play again.
I tend to use the river transports to build depots along the rivers to create a bubble of supply.
But then I only play against Athena...

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Penalties to players who use a gamey exploit

Fri May 10, 2013 4:31 am

We're negotiating over something gamey I've been doing. I learned it from Athena last November in the game I keep referring to as my first win over the AI of ACW.
If you go back over the history of my posts on this game you'll see I have been highly annoyed at the ability of Athena to put raiders into the only open spot on a map. I'm not referring to this game, but old posts. I don't have many, so you can easily find them in the archive.
How could that happen? In one case a large raiding party captured Chicago! I had no idea they were in Illinois, let alone how they knew Chicago was vacant at that point (it usually isn't).
Well I was assured, as we all were, that Athena doesn't cheat.
No, she doesn't. But Athena understands game mechanics better than we do.
Athena had been sending empty generals behind my lines to spy.
Since 2007, up to my win in 2012, I had been trying different strategies to deal with the insight that I imagined Athena gained by peeking at my data.
After my win in November 2012 I finally decided to look at the AI file.
Athena was being gamey!
Well, VigaBrand is saying it is way too gamey: leaders shouldn't be used as spies. I agree. We're negotiating a new house rule to deal with leaders going behind lines with no troops for the purpose of gathering intel.
I've made what I think is a generous offer that would allow VigaBrand to recover the momentum from my intelligence gathering and offered to end it immediately too.
If he accepts my second offer (he said my first offer was too generous) you may see a lot of AAR activity here in the next few days as I bring us up to speed.
So there are a few questions from this incident for you, readers:
  1. First, in PBEM games, how do you and your opponent deal with situations where you realize that one of you was playing too rough.
  2. Second, do you consider the use of leaders a legitimate recon and intel tool in any of your games?
  3. Third, given that I have gathered pretty good intel on Southern troop dispositions through this exploit, what would be an appropriate penalty to pay? For example, should Northern troop dispositions be revealed? Should the CSA be able to examine the Northern file for one turn? Should VigaBrand say I cheated and end the game?

I don't want to lead you into any answer, I'll listen and take my lumps here. It is a gamey exploit. I hadn't realized my opponent wasn't using the same exploit. Based on his discussions above about Baltimore, I had thought there were spies behind my lines.

Gen. Monkey-Bear
Lieutenant Colonel
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Location: The San Francisco Bay Area

Fri May 10, 2013 6:45 am

1.First, in PBEM games, how do you and your opponent deal with situations where you realize that one of you was playing too rough.
2.Second, do you consider the use of leaders a legitimate recon and intel tool in any of your games?
3.Third, given that I have gathered pretty good intel on Southern troop dispositions through this exploit, what would be an appropriate penalty to pay? For example, should Northern troop dispositions be revealed? Should the CSA be able to examine the Northern file for one turn? Should VigaBrand say I cheated and end the game?

1. My current PBEM is with charlesonmission. He is a great guy! We are in late 1862, which is the farthest I have made it in a PBEM without quitting due to time constraints in my real-life schedule. Although we don't have the same problem of leader spying, there was some issues we had with turn orders where I made a stupid move by misreading the map. I thought his army was in one province, but it was really inside the neighboring province. As a result I attacked and destroyed almost my entire field army. He let me re-submit my order because of my visual error. So even though my problem is different than yours, I think the solution to any PBEM dispute is for both players to be totally honest to each other. Chivalry is a great tool in these games, because otherwise none of us could be trusted here on the forums. It seems you and your opponent are handling your issue well by being very friendly toward each other. :thumbsup:

2. I think using leaders to spy is gamey. Athena does it, but computers are not known for their friendly personalities. However, using scouts composed of a leader and single cavalry regiment to spy is not gamey, because it is very useful but is still realistic enough in the sense that your opponent may still catch you. A leader unit alone is almost impossible to catch.

3. Perhaps remove the fog of war for him for two turns? I'm not sure how to do this for only one player though. It may require scripting.

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Location: Berlin, Germany

Fri May 10, 2013 8:59 am

in my end of may Screenshot from Virginia, you can see, that I can see a little of baltimore withour generals as spys. I think it is the intel you get, if the people are loyal to you.
The same with my actucal Watie ride in Missouri. I see a little bit and hope, there will no brigade, but I risk the indians there.
1. The rules don't forbidden that. So it is more my unexperience from my side that I don't know this.
3. I don't want something of this. I didn't want full intel, because a part of the fun and the thinking is, that you didn't know anything and there are some questions/decisison you don't know what happen.
My only suggestion is, that we made a rule about it or somebody tell me, how I can defend against this scouting generals.

And I have an other question:
Can you avoid this situations.
The attachment display_buggmsxi.png is no longer available

This happen two times and is sometimes very hard for me to see, where the units are or for my overview.
That is an older screen.
As I decide to attack HF I was long time thinking about attack of Fairfax because I was thinking it was empty, but after my attack at HF I realise that it wasn't empty.

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Fri May 10, 2013 3:26 pm

My offers were rejected by VigaBrand. All he wants is a house rule to prevent leaders from scouting without having an element accompany them.
However, I am going to voluntarily begin publishing the accumulated AARs through this game date (March 1862). That will probably change some Southern strategy.

Players not clear on what happened. While playing Athena I discovered an exploit of sending leaders unaccompanied by military elements into the opponents territory. The leaders were able to gather intelligence, in a similar manner to the way an element would.
There were some limits. The Fog of War prevented the leaders from learning of anything outside the region they were located in. Some of the information was incomplete or flawed, but it could be averaged over a few turns. And for the opponent, it was frustrating as these leaders are difficult to destroy, despite their size.

I made the chase of these units more difficult by placing them into hilly, forested terrain. They were generally not in places like Richmond. (I would send them into towns for a turn, then remove them after they had gathered intel).

I want to thank VigaBrand for objecting to this gamey tactic and taking the high road discussing it with me. I admit it was gamey. Time to move along.

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Fri May 10, 2013 3:39 pm

It's a good thing you didn't attack Alexandria. There are and were two layers of defense there. You can see the fort I built and the record shows the division, with 662 points (fortified at 4). There was also a division in Washington and the Washington defense forces behind it.
The unit in Loudon is also a division.
That unit near Harper's Ferry that players see? It attacked Strasburg. The attack was inconclusive, but the retreat I voluntarily started was a near disaster. But we'll get to that.

Regarding how to control this exploit? I have no idea. Unlike you, I hadn't even realized there were units in my rear for years of playing. Perhaps the AACW2 people want to address this?

The Springfield glitch? I am seeing that too. I call them ghost units. Have you noticed they are ALWAYS Union units? I have never seen a ghost Southern unit. It is another bug. I had thought it was something in my computer, but I see you're computer is generating the image too.
It makes me check through all my stacks every turn.
Earlier in the campaign we had discussed how my unit in Harper's Ferry had moved down the railroad? I hadn't realized it was out of position because it had ghosted into Harper's Ferry. Fortunately, I moved it back after one turn, though it never recovered all the entrenchment lost by its unknown order toward Morgan, WV.

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Fri May 10, 2013 4:13 pm

Years ago I played War in Europe, the monster SPI game. Three of us put it on a wall with the counters held by an art putty that could be removed (it left a slight oil stain on the map and the counter).
Fortunately, our wives understood and allowed this.
One of the guys loved doing gamey moves. But if you ordered one against him there was a blowout argument.
Just to give you a flavor for what he would do, we had open setup. In 1939 he took all the UK forces, stacked them in London and then conquered Norway. I responded as the German by attacking London and knocking the UK from the game. He was smiling until I was able to get a BattleGroup (KG) into London at the end of running the Allied gauntlet. I think I started with four or five divisions. So one KG survived. Huge loss of men for the Germans. But the UK pulled out of the war. Now it was a very weak Germany against France and Poland in 1940 * Yes, I didn't attack Poland, there was too much fighting on the Western Front and the Front Room.

That experience led me to love computer games where you can easily roll back moves that are sudden. A good example, right now Butler is sitting in Tappahannock with two large divisions. There is some chance he could attack Richmond and succeed. (We'll get to this potential move when I get to March 1862 in the AAR)

General Lee, to take Washington, on the other hand, would need to defeat two divisions entrenched in Alexandria and two divisions entrenched in Washington. During that battle, which would probably take three turns, I could respond, probably by bringing units from Harper's Ferry and Tappahannock to help in a desperate attempt to save the capital. I could also move the capital.

I see the two plays as one being a quick and cheap thrust. The other would be the end result of a long Southern effort to turn the Union lines. I admit, I've been moving Butler up to this position for months, but you get the idea. There is a depth of history here. The South has to perform these deep fast actions. The North wouldn't have done it. They were more deliberate.

I play to relax, divert my mind and have fun. I don't want to be dreading going to a game due to the arguments. I left gaming for years after that game.
I'd much rather work it out than argue about it.

I had suggested removing the fog of war for him (he can peek into my files). VigaBrand has said no, that's not necessary.

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June 1861

Fri May 10, 2013 5:45 pm

  • Refusing the Call to March on Richmond
  • Conquering Missouri
  • Fayetteville Plans
  • Early Thoughts on Kentucky
  • An attack on New Orleans Considered

WASHINGTON, DC, JUN 02 1861--- It has been a busy few days personally. Fortunately VigaBrand has been understanding.
I've been able to examine the results of the turn, but we are at a crossroads, forced by the game to consider doing something I'd rather avoid: an attack on Manassas.
If I refuse, thus not taking Manassas by mid-September, I'll lose 10 NM. My current NM is 83. And the NM is probably headed further into the tank before I can turn it. Still, the cause seems so hopeless! I can try to cut the rails preventing Johnston from moving quickly to attack Alexandria. If that succeeds, I can then move some units into Stafford to block units moving up from Richmond.
At the moment the best odds I can foresee in such an attack is about 1:1, though the South is well-led and is also entrenched. Losing a big battle will not save the NM and will cost even more NM.
I think I'll accept the loss of the NM and my pride.
The Foreign Intervention is going against the South. It now stands at -24, most recently due to the Southern voluntary embargo of cotton sales to Europe.
Some very good news from Missouri and Arkansas. I had gathered units from just about every available spot west of the Mississippi to attack in Missouri. The units are tired but victorious. The entire state of Missouri is in my hands.
Price sits in Fayetteville with three militia brigades and an infantry brigade, but no supplies. I hold Ft Smith.
My strategic estimate is that I will not be able to hold Ft Smith in the face of a determined Southern attack, so I'm going to blow the depot. But, otherwise, I'm going to sit there.
Some units are moving on Fayetteville. But my units need a rest. I'm bringing up supplies. I figure that this is a long way from anywhere. I have a loose unit watching the lower Arkansas for movement into central Missouri or the Ft Smith area. I feel I can take some time in siege of Fayetteville. Taking it would be astonishing to me. I'd never have predicted the wild success of this campaign.
A bit further east I'm preparing to surprise Island 10. I'm hoping the division-sized assault force is ready near Cairo in about two weeks (one game turn). This assault is unlikely to go any further at the moment. But taking that bottleneck and ending the trans-Mississippi issue in 1861? I've never been able to do that before.
The looming issue for the next few turns is the likely entry of Kentucky. I'm still building units in anticipation of a campaign in that state. For the most part this will consist of the powerful naval units on the Ohio, Cumberland and Tennessee and Mississippi Rivers. I'll start by trying to hold Paducah, Louisville and the rivers. An offensive will try to end the Southern campaign in the eastern part of the state.
I've always had difficulty drilling through the Forts Henry & Donelson. If I can flank them with Island 10 we may see a different campaign.
Further into the year, I want to begin developing the assets for a limited offensive to retake New Orleans. The naval assets will be easy to gather. It is the lack of army leaders and organization that will hamper the assault. Plus, I'll need to be sure NO is unprepared for an attack.
My current plan is to create a force of two reinforced division-sized units under four generals. They'll come up to the city through the side channel, by-passing the forts.
The plan relies on my having no issues elsewhere. If I resign myself to the loss of the NM, the only question left is Kentucky. Taking NO will help my campaign in Kentucky and put a real hurt on the South.
The fortification of Washington should begin in one turn. We are waiting on delivery of the final light artillery units. I'll attempt to fortify Alexandria after Washington. The third fort could be in Louisville, Cairo or St Louis. It depends on the current conditions.
The winter will see me build depots in the Great Plains and Denver to connect the West Coast and the East Coast.
I also want to reinforce Ft Pickens. I don't expect issues with the forts in the Dry Tortugas or Key West. California has a good defense, given the distance required to attack it. As a long-range goal, say for mid-1862 summer, I hope to have increased the defense of California. But it will not be a huge increase.
My efforts to increase the Military Control of the rail between Harper's Ferry and Grafton have been successful. I'll be increasing the MC to 100 percent over the summer by rotating units in and out of the area. This same strategy will be used to eliminate threats in Kansas and the Indian Territory, provided I am successful in ending the Fayetteville threat.
I'm not making deep raids into the South. I simply do not have the units available. I have the targets, the desire, but I don't want to spare the cavalry or leaders for this purpose at the moment. The threat to the capital needs to abate further. Completing the forts at the District and Alexandria will go a long way to easing my mind on the defense of the President and the government.
About five minutes after sending the orders I realize I should have blown the depot at Harper's Ferry, as I had the depot at Ft Smith... regrets. Oh well! If it becomes important I'll make a story about it.

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August 1861

Fri May 10, 2013 6:07 pm

  • Fayetteville and Ft. Smith Campaign
  • Plans for Butler
  • Naval Plans
  • Long-term Plans for New Orleans, Texas and Florida
  • A Build Plan

Washington, DC AUG 1861 00--- While I'm waiting for VigaBrand's reply I've been looking over old forum discussions regarding the demand for an offensive. A second item I'm researching is the source of Southern money.
An early forum post notes that Williamsburg is not an eligible county for the two regions from Richmond. However, that is not even relevant here. I'm required to take and hold Manassas. I just don't see how I can do that. Aren't losses even worse for NM?
The second question on money. There are surprisingly few sources of money in the game. Much of the money comes in through ports and is not accounted for on the blackboard, apparently.
San Francisco leads (71) followed by New York (43), Boston (14) then New Orleans (11). Another eleven points are spread among six Southern ports: Charleston (3), Mobile (3), Galveston (2), Suffolk, Va. (1), Berwick, La. (1), and Savannah, Ga. (1).
The three Northern counties amount to about 90 percent of Northern revenue. The seven Southern cities amount to about 30 percent of Southern revenues. NO is about 15 percent, just by itself, of Southern revenue.
A proper campaign for NO could defend the city against Southern counter attacks. And it could provide a key edge (286 money annually) in the game. Plus it could be taken early. It is not a big project, unlike an attack on Manassas.
Next turn, I'll be blowing the depot in Harper's Ferry, shipping reinforcements to Ft. Pickens and Ft. Monroe. If the situation looks good, and I expect it will, I'll attack Fayetteville and Island 10.
But I'm not ordering the attacks on Manassas. I'll take the NM hits. Planning will continue for an assault on NO.
I'm figuring I need to create a fort quickly, take the railroad to Berwick, and take Berwick. I'd like four generals total, so that I have two full divisions in the area, plus some additional forces, after the attack.
Erasmus Key is assigned the job of scouting NO. He was an important lieutenant of Winfield Scott.
I'd like to move on NO as soon as it becomes clear how soon Kentucky will defect to one side or another. But I may need to wait for the winter. I'll have a lot of brigs over the winter, they can assist in sowing disorder through the river system.
Interesting piece on maxing inflation. For example, why not do that as the game is nearing the end? For the South, why not at the beginning?

Washington, DC AUG 1861 01--- The race to Fayetteville is on again. VigaBrand has unloaded a number of brigades at the port of the Ozarks. It appears from the movie (remember that VB is hosting) that the units are headed to Ft. Smith.
Just in case, I've ordered all available units to move on Fayetteville. The federal units had some rest and are mostly recovered. So that at least is a relief.
There doesn't appear to be any supply units with the Southern troops. I have two supply units with the feds.
Plus, this turn I'll be making an unexpected assault on Island 10. That might cause some of the Southern units to turn from their purpose in the west to defend the Mississippi.
General Waite is expected to appear in September. I hope to have enough units by then to force him to appear south of the Indian Territory. But, first I need to secure Fayetteville.
The assault on Island 10 is part of the buildup to entry into Kentucky. This assault takes advantage of rules that allow naval units to enter a waterway without being attacked by artillery, provided they don't cross a boundary. From an operations point, I'm floating down the river from the Illinois port north of Cairo with about a division. I'll be in Missouri waters just about all the journey. Hello across the water neutral Kentucky!
Naval units are in place at all the key river junctures of the Ohio. There are also some defensive units on the Missouri and Mississippi. More brigs are sailing into the Midwest. I don't have any iron clads on the rivers. If my plan succeeds, I'll never build them.
Right now I need leadership of any type to help me with the Kentucky issue. I'm building a number of forces, one in Indiana to assault the area around Louisville, another near Cincinnati to deal with Lexington and a third in the east to clean-up the few areas in rebellion there, then aid my central campaign. I'm hoping the Island 10 units are able to secure Paducah. They may be able to threaten Memphis also.
Current need for 2 star or greater generals:
Louisville, Ky force
Cincinnati force
West Virginia/ Eastern Ky force
NO (three more)
I'll be losing Patterson soon. I have McClellan and another general working behind the Union lines training and raising troops.
I think Grant appears AFTER Kentucky enters the war. But I'll need to assign him to battles he can win so he can gain seniority
Earlier in the game I had sent Erasmus Keyes on a spy mission to New Orleans. He is currently in Arkansas Post reporting on movement along the Arkansas River to ports upstream. Although he has nothing yet to report I'm confident this was a good use of one leader.
I've a theory of creating a continuous line of units when possible. In the East this has stretched from Washington to beyond Grafton. The rail line from Washington to Grafton is threatened, and will be till I gain control of the Shenandoah Valley. But at the moment I can use it to quickly move units back and forth from Pittsburgh to Baltimore.
For some reason my militia has moved from Loudon to threaten the rail line between Strasburg and Manassas. There are larger Southern units in the county, but they are not paying attention to my small force. They are planning to blow the rail and then retreat to Loudon.
Reinforcements are on the way to Ft Monroe and Ft Pickens. After I'm satisfied with Ft Monroe's situation I'll consider moving General Butler. He would be useful for the assault on New Orleans or for moving up the peninsula toward Richmond.
I have not fully explained the demand that federal units attack. The version I received is I must seize Manassas by September. There is no way I can take Manassas in a straight fight. However, if I threaten Richmond, for example by attacking Tappahanock, perhaps enough units will leave Manassas, allowing me an attack, a single attack, in September.
I was concerned over the safety of Washington. I'm more confident now. There are enough artillery and supply units to start a fort there. I'm waiting for lower cost light artillery to arrive in about two weeks. The game is really won and lost on the East. I guess I'm like McClellan. I want my ducks in order, so to speak, before I start moving.
In previous games I've concentrated the Union navy to blockade the Chesapeake and in particular Richmond.
This has an effect on blockade.
However, if I were a human opponent, I'd move naval guns to the James and let any Union navy have it. Just three naval guns would put a significant hurt on my small navy.
So, I'm being more judicious in this game. Eventually my sailors will be blockading Richmond. But for the moment, all that is necessary is to tighten the noose. I'm doing this by spreading the Union Navy out. At the moment there are units in each of the off-shore regions (over the horizon).
As I complete my construction of a Union Army, I'll turn to larger Naval units. One choke point that has not been discussed is the Straight of Florida. Some fast units here could bottle up Southern units from the Gulf.
This is a modified Anaconda Plan. I have read accounts that early versions of the game allowed the Union player to bombard Southern coastal forts. There were a number of advantages to that strategy. However, I think this strategy has been overtaken by game updates. In any case, I've had problems making it work (though you can see I'm using a version of it by attacking Island 10).
Instead of using a division to attack a fort, especially during a period when I really have no divisions (they are limited to the number of multi-star generals I hold, making even the worthless Patterson of some concern and worth.)
I'd like to take two divisions (about four generals) to NO, with another division holding the flank and independent units securing the coastal rail line. That will give me some money and a position on the Mississippi on both the top and the bottom.
The next move, when I have the units, is an attack on Texas. If I can hold Fayetteville, this move will almost clear the Western Theater of Southern units. Both of these moves will pay for themselves within a year. A third objective is Florida. It is a longer payback, but also an easy target, especially if it comes after Texas and Louisiana.
In Virginia, I'll push up the peninsula and around the back of the Shenandoah. But I think the big move will be on Norfolk. I think that extending the length of the line the South has to defend will cause something to break without a lot of blood. We'll see. In any case, Washington will be well defended.
In the Northern Mississippi campaign I'm expecting an exciting game. I've thrown dice in the West in Missouri's capture. I'll be throwing again on Island 10. I expect that I'll have the biggest force in Tennessee next week. The issue is that I have too small a force for too big a job.
I won't know the disposition of forces for several turns in the area. Maybe a campaign down the river, grabbing ports on the West side of the river? If I could go as far as the Arkansas, I could then pressure the units in Western Arkansas to give up their fight. I think you can see how this all comes together with the NO invasion and a winter campaign in Texas, even if I am on the defense in Tennessee over the winter.
Army Goals:
New Orleans by winter 1861
Texas, Arkansas by early winter 1862
Florida by spring 1862
Norfolk by spring 1862
Summer campaign 1862 through Western Tennessee and Mississippi to end with taking Mobile
Make Richmond indefensible by fall 1862
Infrastructure Goals:
Complete line of depots between East and West by winter 1861
Continue to develop Rail and Riverine infrastructure
Fortifications in Washington/ Alexandria and NO
Naval Goals:
Complete construction of all Brigs
Complete construction of all Transports
Complete additional blockade groups, for placement in Florida Straight
Complete additional blockade forces, as needed for key Southern ports (This is pretty inarticulate, isn't it? It is unlikely to be important as I don't have the resources in the next year to do much more than complete the brigs, transports and a limited number of blockade fleets for the FS.)
CSA Naval Raiders.JPG
Straights of Florida.PNG
The Eastern Theater.JPG
Attack on Island 10.PNG
Battle for Fayetteville.JPG

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Fri May 10, 2013 6:09 pm

Here are a few screen shots from the August 1861 period. There is a limit of just five uploads allowed. So, these are separate.



Setting up for Kentucky entry.PNG
The Eastern Theater.JPG

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September 1861

Fri May 10, 2013 6:12 pm

  • Price's Fayetteville Success
  • Madison, Ark. Union Success
  • More Kentucky Musings
  • Butler Moves to Hampton Roads
  • Developing a Network of Depots
  • Reviewing the Build Plan

I wasn't able to write an AAR for the previous turn. You have to take it on faith that I continued the exploration of the west bank of the Mississippi, and feuded with Gen. Price over some dry cows in the Fayetteville area.
My lack of correspondence is a direct result of finishing a bottle of Isle of Jura over the previous weekend. The resulting moves may not reflect well on my ability to hold liquor.
VigaBrand discussions in note two are happening about as I write this. He brought up the issue of industrialization, using transports to create depots and the spitting war in Fayetteville. Also, there are hints here of the use of spies.
Much of the redacted material I've written is about the assignment of spies to scout into the CSA. I've used up to four at once. I'm often quick to follow-up with military action.
The attack on Fayetteville began with a spy report. There were spies placed near Spotsylvania when I raided Fredericksburg. And there is a long-term spy operating somewhere down south. He has assisted me in the reconnoiter of Ft Smith, Memphis, Madison and other towns.
I'd never used spies, actually unassigned generals, for this purpose for years. However, after I opened whoop ass on Athena a few months ago I thought I'd have a look, for the very first time, under the hood.
One of the shocks was there were spies all over my rear.
Well, if Athena can do it...
If you're following the battle of Fayetteville you may know how it turns out. As I write this, I have fought for six weeks. In that time I do not believe Gen. Price has received additional supplies. Though I've learned he has received several reinforcements.
Southern units are hung up on Ft. Smith. There is some concern over their building depots there, a technical issue that I think I clarified for VegaBrand in reply three, above.
After all this fighting I have finally achieved parity of forces again. And, I have some additional forces that I can call in from Springfield and the Ft. Smith area.
Further east, Lyon and Milroy have seized the port I know as West Memphis. The game calls it by a different name, Edmunds. To the west of this port is the town of Madison, a depot. That's the target. In my way are some militia. I don't expect much additional help to arrive before I am able to take Madison.
Madison lies on a tributary of the Arkansas River called the White River. A port lies above Madison, near the Missouri border, Jacksonport. Below lies the town/port of Helena, a port called Arkansas Post and in Mississippi an isolated town/port called Bolivar.
Bolivar is relatively isolated. If I can arrange to take it, the position would be pretty defensible. And, Bolivar could be the new home of a certain Columbiad.
An issue here is the large Confederate Navy and the Ironclad Arkansas. I can match the CSA navy, but I need to trap the Arkansas as I have no ironclads anywhere.
I suppose it is time to build a few?
Moving on to Kentucky, I have had the chit to bring Kentucky into the war for several turns. There are many regiments on the Kentucky border, ready to move. But why do this?
I'll probably take Prestonburg, Clarksburg, Louisville and Paducah on the first turn. Lexington will probably be taken on the next turn (USA forces are much closer to Lexington than CSA forces).
I have Columbus surrounded now. That leaves Bowling Green. I'd like to have a fleet available to sail up the Green River to BG.
It's all fun and games till the war starts, then it's a riot.
The Kentucky campaign... I tend to bog down in battles around BG. Once I break out into Mississippi I have the South on the ropes. But the fighting is intense. Things never settle, with raids back and forth in Tennessee. When I capture BG in this game I want to hold it for good. I want it to be a secure base for the winter drive into Western Tennessee. I don't see that in the cards yet.
So, I'm waiting to bring Kentucky into the war.
Gen. Butler has started his slow offensive in the peninsula, taking Hampton Roads. I'll send him to Williamsburg next. That will probably end his current offensive. I'd like to take Tappahannock. It will require my satisfaction that other Union cities are secure.
What has worked well in previous games is slowly encircling the CSA in Richmond. Williamsburg, Tappahannock, a landing to take Norfolk. The South will have interior lines. But I can stress them with attacks everywhere. Which I'll do when I'm ready.
You may remember I made a large investment in infrastructure. Part of that construction starts with a depot in Denver this turn. That should release West Coast supplies to the upper Midwest. Later, I'll build a depot in Kansas, if necessary, to bring supplies into the IT, Texas and Arkansas.
Speaking of supplies
Three railroads define the line of supplies between the USA East Coast and Midwest. One is located through Harper's Ferry. One runs through Harrisburg, Pa. The other is along the Canadian border.
After leaving Albany, NY, supplies next depot is located in Warren, Pa. That's a distance of about 10 regions.
From Harrisburg the next depot is located at Pittsburgh.
The HF railroad line, it is the B&O, is always threatened.
CSA supplies? Oh boy!
No rails headed west of the Mississippi, well not far enough really. Texas has its own rail system. But it isn't connected to the CSA system.
Two lines run from Virginia to the rest of the south. While there are good connections to the Carolinas, things get dicey after that.
Further north a line runs through Virginia to Tennessee by way of Knoxville. Protected in some stretches by impassible mountains, the railroad is bordered, even now, by federal troops. Due to a House Rule I am not sending them across yet. When I cross it will probably be at three of four points and coordinated with an amphibious raid to cut the southern line.
Or maybe I'm just bending VB's mind!
After this turn's production I'll still be in need of at least three cavalry (mix) units, one full cavalry unit and then I'll begin beefing up the artillery again as it is week. Uggh! Riverine Transport was heavily used for the assault on Madison and is running low. Rail transport is holding up.
River ironclads? None available to build yet. And with winter coming, there wouldn't be a lot of sense in doing it immediately in any case.
The final question, late tonight, is specialty units. I'd like to start an Army HQ. I'll delay starting a sharpshooters and marine unit so that the HQ can start.
Moving forward I think I'm healthy enough now to manage one specialty unit each turn. Army HQ will require two turns to pay.
My militias are spread out everywhere, but in single regiment sized. I have only doubled two or three. In the East most of the militia are digging ditches and enforcing heightened military control in West Virginia. Around Kentucky there are a lot of militia. I'll be doing pretty much the same there, digging ditches and improving military control.
In the West I'm using them for military control, as static units guarding key installations.
Out there I need more of everything until I end the threat from Arkansas and from Stand Waite. Again, winter is coming and the action will get more pointed for a while. I feel confident I've bought time with the fighting around Fayetteville and Ft. Smith.

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October 1861

Fri May 10, 2013 6:15 pm

  • Union Evacuates Ft Smith
  • Kentucky Forces Organized
  • Naval Strategy

Early October 1861--- The two units that had been holding Ft Smith have successfully escaped without loss. They are headed north to Fayetteville. In a larger sense, the Fayetteville end of the Missouri campaign was a delaying action.
I had seized all of Missouri in a lightening campaign led by Nathan Lyon. But it stalled when Price stood firm at Fayetteville. I was unable to push him off Fayetteville despite having superior supply issue and a stream of units reinforcing the units outside Fayetteville.
I used the distraction caused to take Island 10, Edmonds and Madison. There are powerful Southern naval forces on the Arkansas River. I'd like to bottle them up in there for the winter. That might give me shot at destroying them. But the chance for that seems to be remote. My units, both on the east and the west side of Arkansas, are exhausted and need a break.
A frustrating event has happened twice this game. The first time it happened I was able to recover. The second time has led to the loss of an entire unit.
On the Mississippi, I hold the port of Osceola, upriver from Memphis. Units coming down the river are to put ashore at Osceola and hike overland to Edmonds. An Indiana unit was scheduled to join Lyons in Madison.
By some accident I seem to have ordered it to sail past Memphis. The batteries in Memphis made short work of the unit. (Examining the movie of the turn, the unit had landed in Edmunds and was about to enter Madison when it abruptly disappeared. Maybe I did give the correct orders? I'm and checking all units going through the port of Osceola to be sure none have orders to proceed to Edmonds. It may take an extra turn for units to appear).
The Kentucky forces have pulled back from the border. They are well organized now, with each unit having a unique assignment in the first week of the invasion. Taking Bowling Green, and as a result the entire state, in a single turn will depend on the 'Kentucky Force' located in Evansville. I hope it is free.
I've sent Gen. Grant to Fayetteville for the final push on Gen Price. Grant needs a victory to gain his third star. This seems the most likely place for that before the start of the Kentucky campaign.
He may not make the fight. He is expected to arrive on day 16. I've scheduled an assault for the 15th day.
As I discussed earlier in the AAR, the forced mission against Manassas was seen as a folly. I would have lost the battle, resulting in not only the loss of force, but because it would have been a major engagement, I would have lost even more NM. The NM has not budged yet, it is still holding at 87.
Naval units have strengthened Ft Pickens. There is a large CSA Naval force in the Gulf of Mexico. Facing them are the ships of the Gulf Squadron.
I've been promising to discuss some rationale behind a planned naval strategy. Blue water strategy is the ugly step child of this game. I'm slowly extending my blockade and building more units every turn. Many are being assigned to the riverine system. Blue water transports are being sent to the shipping lanes.
Examining the map, and watching movements, it should become obvious that there only two regions of width in the oceans, the smaller coastal regions and the larger blue water regions. Sometimes there are other regions too. There are areas of the Caribbean Sea, Europe, the Pacific and areas for blockades and shipping.
However, the two width seems to hold true for the most part.
There are a number of areas that are interesting. First, California has a large federal fleet. Most players don't realize California can be attacked. It takes roughly 40 days sail from the coast of Texas to reach San Francisco.
Now think about how many times Northern commanders leave Portland undefended. A depot, it generates supplies and at the moment has more than enough supplies for a remarkably vicious campaign on the West Coast.
Like many Northern players I've left this depot open. I'll be building a few units to guard it long before VigaBrand reads this AAR.
I also want to point to two regions of interest to the North. The Mississippi Basin lies just off Ft Pickens and it controls traffic around the Mississippi River Delta. Further south, the Florida Straight and the Eastern Gulf of Mexico control traffic flowing between the Atlantic and the Gulf of Mexico. Those two regions lie just off of Ft Zachary and Ft Jefferson. Those ports provide supply for blockade efforts. For the moment, we'll leave the discussion at that.
My naval units are losing cohesion due to long assignments. I'll be rotating them to port for rest and repair starting with the next ship joining the fleet.
Madison Arkansas Campaign.JPG

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Late October-- The Union Navy is exhausted!

Fri May 10, 2013 6:17 pm

  • Cohesion in Naval Units
  • Revised Build Strategy
  • Western Rebel Depots
  • Threatening Richmond

Washington, DC, October 1861 02--- This will be a brief AAR and it will focus, again on naval warfare in the game.
I had allowed the naval forces to become exhausted, meaning their cohesion was falling. It appears as if it dropped off a cliff. There is a real danger of Southern forces taking control of the Gulf of Mexico and challenging me in the Chesapeake.
I've decided, probably too late, that I need a rotation plan for putting these units back into fighting trim. I'll begin rotating units through Brooklyn naval yard. I'm hoping I can add one unit at the start of each month, and that they'll be ready before the shortage grows accute.
In addition, I'll add some naval units into the capital/ special mix.
I'm not certain of the mix yet, but I know this is in the mix:
Army HQ (two turn investment)
Blockade Fleet (three turn investment)
And some mix of the following:
Armoured Frigate
Steam Frigate
So that in less than a year I should have additional armies, engineers and so on...
The blue water plan here is to have at least one US ship in each of the blue water regions on the map sometime in the future. The chance of finding any one Southern ship is just usually just one or two percent. However, multiplying those 1 percents means they will happen more often.
The blockade units will begin being used, first, to seal the Chesapeake and also to enhance the blue water blockade effort. Step two will be using them to begin dividing the Southern coast up into more manageable pieces. So, as I discussed earlier, they will be placed in the Straights of Florida and off the Mississippi Delta where they can be easily serviced by friendly ports.
On the Mississippi, I have had a bloodless campaign that has taken large parts of Eastern Arkansas. If I'm successful this turn I'll be improving my situation, taking some of the undefended ports in Arkansas and the city of Bolivar.
An easy way to see this campaign's success and issues is with the supply filter. That hook of Union green in Arkansas will double in size within a month. It threatens the Southern campaign in Western Arkansas as all the supplies of Price's army flow through Little Rock. Little Rock is currently defended by two militia units.
But, I'm too exhausted to take advantage of this situation.
Both VigaBrand and I were wondering if I would be able to draw supply to Madison past the Memphis guns. The answer is Yes!
However, reinforcements without Memphis is slow.
I'm sending for flying artillery to send to Bolivar. Other artillery will defend Edmunds and a strong naval presence will lie between Osceola and Covington.
If this campaign is successful, I can repeat it again. Vicksburg resembles Memphis in many ways. And the situation around Vicksburg resembles that of Memphis. A landing upriver at the port of Providence. La. Threatens Monroe, St Joseph, Harrisonburg, Vidalia and Alexandria.
If I can time it correctly, there will be a landing in New Orleans and Berwick just prior to this second campaign. It is conceivable that the Western Mississippi shore from Cairo to New Orleans is in my hands by spring 1862. And the nice part, not a lot of blood will have been spent.
If you can imagine this campaign succeeding, it leaves a depot in Little Rock and a depot in Houston. Those two depots will be all there is in the West. And, obviously Houston, and now Little Rock, are threatened by my amphibious capabilities.
This campaign would not only strip the Texas supplies, but also about 10 percent of the money coming into the South.
Ideally, I'd need three divisions to take NO. I'd like the Madison, Ark sector protected with another division and I'd like two or three divisions to take the bank from Bolivar south to Vidalia, La.
The Island 10 artillery has been sitting in the middle of the Mississippi as I was undecided how to use those pieces. I've decided to send it to Hampton, Va.
The James River is owned by Northern naval forces when playing against Athena. But a smart Southern player will make the James a death trap for the US Navy.
As a result, I have not attempted to blockade Richmond. Blockading Richmond is among the most destructive things I think the North can do to the South.
Butler has moved up the peninsula. I'll put the artillery in position at Hampton and quietly wait for the Merrimac to appear. It won't be the Monitor that takes it on in this war.
Just a word about the eventual campaign for the port of Norfolk. The guns in Norfolk preclude an invasion across the James River to Suffolk. Northern players need to look at Surrey and using the Chowan River to invade Chowan instead.
Given a light division in Norfolk, the US forces need to have about four divisions plus supply units to make this a successful invasion. It is hard to see how the CSA can stop it without major forces in Edenton, holding the Albemarle Bay and the Chowan River.

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Sat May 11, 2013 1:05 am

This is an early October supply situation for the area of Arkansas and Missouri. On the East you can see the 'western shore' flanking move that netted Madison and as far as Bolivar. The area supplied will change. I have ownership of the area north of the Arkansas near Madison, with the only two towns north of the river being Fayetteville and Ozark, on the far western end of the river. The situation in the west shows greater loyalty than control. Stand Waite is now active and moving. Still the entire CSA army depends on Little Rock for supply.

October Supply.PNG

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Union Money

Sat May 11, 2013 1:10 am


This screen shot shows the Union resource blackboard. That 120 units of money ($120K/ turn) doesn't change much and is a limit on Union resources. You can see that even this early in the war there are strong supplies for other commodities. Manpower is a turn by turn gasping that continues through the war for both sides.

Where is the money coming from? California, New York, Boston. That is the 120. Additional money comes from Union shipping in the Shipping box.
Union Money.PNG

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Joined: Mon Nov 03, 2008 10:32 pm
Location: Coming out of the attic-- I've finally beaten Athena

Sat May 11, 2013 1:13 am

This is a screen shot of the Eastern theater from late October. Stonewall Jackson has driven off my field defenses near Harper's Ferry, indicating the first Southern offensive.
A Union division under General Hamilton did well, and is in good order, but is now in Hancock, north of the Potomac River.
You can see some of my defense in depth with single (not double) militia building trenches stretching from the Potomac to Harrisburg, Baltimore and Washington. Near Romney you see my efforts to increase Military Control of the B&O Railway from Harper's Ferry to Grafton.

Eastern Oct.JPG

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Kentucky Enters the War November 1861

Sat May 11, 2013 1:21 am

  • The Kentucky Offensive
  • A Winter Retreat
  • The War at Sea
  • Musings on Little Rock


Late November. The situation immediately after Kentucky remains in the Union. I've secured all the cities in the state. But the weather has slowed me down. In Bowling Green Joseph Mansfield moved up the Green River to BG, probably surprising and irritating Albert S Johnston.
Johnston has a slight advantage in manpower, less than 10 percent. You can see help is coming, but it won't arrive till the next turn at the earliest. I could have Mansfield enter the town and entrench.


The situation around Paducah. The Illinois Rifles, partially conscripts, are in the Paducah (McCracken) area with a militia of Kentucky troops and Leonidas Polk.
Polk's unit is about 435 strong.
US Grant, commanding Lewis Wallace's division has taken Columbus, but is only 376 points.
Further south along the Mississippi, Milroy is commanding Lyon's division with 343 points. They are in Edmunds, across from Memphis.
The only place we have an advantage in Kentucky is at Bowling Green, and it is due to time, not force.

While the plan to end the war in the Eastern part of Kentucky was important, it required a lot of forces. With winter on the continent, bringing those units to the West is stretching the rail system (the riverine system is frozen above Cincinnati).
They'll begin to come into play in about three turns. That's how long Grant has to survive without a great deal of help.

No Service purchase this turn as I purchased a fleet the previous turn. I start again next turn.
So far I've purchased an engineer, an army and a fleet.
Neither army has been assigned yet. I'm actually hoping to avoid giving Little Mac an army, skipping a few ranks and assigning an army to Grant ASAP.

There are three complete legions. There is a potential for one additional legion. McClellan's is oversubscribed.


Late November shot of some of the Eastern Theater. An attack on Strasburg failed. Now my men have to flee through the snowy mountains to safety.

Harper's Ferry, with a single militia unit, is holding out now for four weeks. It looks as if it will last two more turns if it isn't attacked.

A supply unit in HF was able to withdraw using the railroad movement. The city will have about 101 crates of ammunition, but not much else. Unfortunately, it controls access to an important East-West Railroad, the B&O.

South of Port Royal are two 'ghost' units. For some reason my game will render some units in the wrong region. These units are actually close to Grafton, WV.


Late November at sea. I've started to bring ships in for rest, but there are many ships in the blockade boxes that are worn out. This is true for the Gulf and the Atlantic.

For the most part, the blockade units closer in are in much better shape.


This is a supply filter shot of Arkansas. I've determined, thanks to Erasmus Keyes, that Little Rock has just 110 points guarding it. I can cobble together a force of 300 points in three turns, attack it in four or five turns.

It is very tempting.

Price is sitting in Fayetteville with about 320 points. Facing him, in Springfield is a growing unit with 360 points.
Little Rock.JPG
At Sea.JPG
Strasburg Attack Fails.JPG
Kentucky BG.JPG

Posts: 118
Joined: Mon Nov 03, 2008 10:32 pm
Location: Coming out of the attic-- I've finally beaten Athena

December 1862

Sat May 11, 2013 1:25 am

  • Nashville Beckons
  • Intelligence Gathering
  • Builds

[ATTACH]22548[/ATTACH]What I'm looking at it the Army of Tennessee, currently occupying Hickman, Ky. This army is being led by Albert S Johnston and has Earl Van Dorn attached. Dorn's division has at least four cavalry units, making it a fast pursuit unit. Four brigades fill 12 spots, they are likely to have mostly infantry, but there could be mixes of cavalry and additional light artillery. It isn't likely the army has long range artillery.

Independent of this force is the division of Leonidas Polk, in McCracken, Ky. With 584 points I'm guessing it is either not a full 18 unit division or the division has conscripts. It looks as though it has a high cavalry value also.

In Gibson, TN it appears a single militia unit is active. The same is true of Covington, TN.

In Memphis Joseph Johnston is operating another independent force, leading William J Hardee's Division. Again, we see a large cavalry force is probably present in the division. This division may be heavier on artillery, the artillery is longer range due to it's ability to smack my naval units around. There are also what appears to be a few static divisions. One is likely to be an artillery unit associated with Memphis.

In the Hatchies Confluent VigaBrand has put six gunboats, most pretty tired at the moment, and the Arkansas, an iron-side. I'm not giving much concern for the gunboats. They are going to be on fumes shortly and now I've moved up some artillery. I may finish them as soon as they run to port, or if the riverine transport comes out from Memphis, I may burn it.

That would leave the Arkansas. It is now down to half of its combat value. I'd like to take it on with my brigs, but I'll wait for my artillery to do some additional damage on it.

Collie's Mills is the spit of land that projects from Forts Henry & Donelson. Vigabrand has placed a brigade here. This brigade has some artillery, but lacks any command structure. It is a future threat, but is likely to move slowly, especially in the winter.

Another brigade is in Humphreys, TN, the county between Nashville and Forts Henry & Donelson. I'm going to assume that both the Collie's Mill and Humphrey's brigades are made up two infantry, one cavalry and one artillery due to the values I can see.

In the fort is AP Stewart. He is not yet organized as a division, has two brigades made up of infantry and what appears to be a brigade of cavalry. The fort has some artillery.

Nashville is defended by a gunboat squadron on the Middle Cumberland, but nothing is stopping a unit from Gallatin from taking Carthage or moving on Nashville directly. So what is in Nashville? Two brigades and a militia. There doesn't appear to be any artillery or any cavalry. The units are just pulling in. There isn't even entrenchment showing.

Miles 12th Division, one of my Legions, is in Gallatin. It appears he could create a 3:1 attack and he is active this turn.

Coming later this spring is a partial Southern mobilization. It goes unanswered by the North till September. Let's assume between 300-500 conscription points. That's about four-five divisions. I had considered using this build period for another division. I think that's unrealistic. I'll build out the divisions that are at partial strength and then build out some militia.

The end result was about 30 militia being built, I had no conscription points, but a lot of money, so I put some money into rail capacity:

* I still have $205K in the bank. Inflation should be running about 8 percent and I still have paper money in hand. I used the $2k/conscription option. NM is 80 and should decrease to 78 after I've finished this. If I take Nashville it will improve again.

Watching the movie now. He sent the Bartow (coastal) artillery and what looks like seven militia to Norfolk! He must be expecting me to do something here. But I'm not ready yet.

I had lost several gunboats and a transport outside Memphis. It is apparent I shouldn't have had the units assigned to different tasks as they left Port Edmunds. They were taken apart separately, instead of together. If they had been together they probably could have survived. :(
Nashville Beckons.JPG

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Joined: Mon Nov 03, 2008 10:32 pm
Location: Coming out of the attic-- I've finally beaten Athena

January 1862

Sat May 11, 2013 1:28 am

  • Managing Money
  • Building Specialty Units


Early Jan 1862. I've managed my money well, for the first time having a comfortable surplus that I foresee being able to hold till the next troop surge.
However, I am on empty for troops, despite the $2K/ company draft in the previous turn. This is just about enough to purchase replacements and shipping. I need a few more men each turn to even be able to afford the purchase of specialty units.
None were purchased in this turn.
So my specialty units are now only one turn ahead of plan.
Rail is comfortably above minimum, allowing me to transport 50 points before I use capacity. Riverine is at 25 above capacity. These can be sacrificed if I need the money later, but bring immediate benefits.
Most of what is happening this turn involves bringing supplies and troops up to the front. The only attack is an assault on Nashville, intended to end the two points left in the city.
I'm setting up an attack in Kansas, having scrapped together some forces from Missouri and Colorado. On the West Coast I'm moving some units around to better defend Portland.
At sea my units are pretty much at their maximum. The brigs will soon be making their way into the Mississippi for the summer. I have enough units to cover nearly every blue, non-coastal area. That will increase, but for the moment, I'm at a high water mark till next winter.
Many of the one-year militias are disbanding, leaving holes in the rear. The rear is pretty much a huge hole as it is. I'll be using the militias that are beginning to come on line to fill the depots and increase Military Control of railroads, waterways and other assets. If I have some additional militia I'll be shipping them to Kansas (west of the Missouri) and into Southern Missouri and Kentucky in an effort to build Military Control of those areas.
On the Eastern Front I've finally rescued the Legion that attacked Strasburg. the 4th Division will gather cohesion before it rejoins the fight. Yikes! Things can go wrong so easily on the offense.

Asboth was transported to Ft Pickens

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