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Posted: Sat May 11, 2013 1:32 am
by pb783

This is the situation after my attack on Nashville.

So, what is that unit with two inside the city? The largest unit is a signal corp. What happens next is so typical of the real Union efforts in 1861 as to be comical. The generals outside Nashville decided they were to tired to assault the signal unit inside. A few days later Gen'l Johnston ("the good one") kicked my units back north of the Cumberland.


Late January 1862

Posted: Sat May 11, 2013 1:41 am
by pb783
I suppose my orders in Nashville should have instructed some of my units to enter the town at the end of combat! As a result, a single service unit, communications, held the town in the face of my two divisions.
On the next turn General Daniel Miles thought his men were too tired to assault this single unit. And a few days later General Albert S Johnson shows up with the Army of the Tennessee, fresh from fishing the Mississippi at Columbus, Ky., to demand what for of Miles.
Uggh! :)
Now the race is on to get to Gallatin, because of course, my two divisions fled to Clarksville, not Gallatin!


Lot's of money, no men. But I may be able to afford a $3K/ company draft in June if this continues. Lot's of rebuilding going on behind the lines.


And, the move of Johnston to Nashville opens Grant to possibly moving to Columbus, Ky. However, the underlying division is still pretty tired.

On the Mississippi, I beat up the Southern naval forces around Memphis. I've pulled more artillery up, his units are tired, this is not going to end well for him.

In East/Central Tennessee I'm making some small moves on Huntsville (so close to the vital city of Knoxville) and Livingstone.

Missouri, Kentucky, Nebraska and West Virginia will see the usual work to increase the Military Control starting shortly. I should have complete military control of Nebraska and Kansas to the line of forts by mid-summer. I should have good military lines in Missouri to Springfield by then too. I've developed a back woods means for supply to reach Madison, Ark.
I'll push the military control of some West Virginia regions so that I can, if I have the manpower, attack the east-west railroad from Knoxville to Richmond.


Also on the East, I'm gathering units anticipating there may be an opportunity to attack Manassas. I have three divisions and four leaders in the area. I'm guessing the units will need to be commanded by Little Mac for me to successfully gather the forces.
Facing them is the raging Cajun, Beauregard with a decent division, Huger and some tasty guns I'd like to own for myself.
I can probably get 2:1, but I'd prefer 3:1.
This may take some time, the units are ready, but I need several commanders to line-up at the same time, again, probably including Little Mac.
I'd also like to drop a trip wire unit into Loudon and Aquia in case there was an attempt to jump at the District, which would be relatively undefended.

It is the next turn, I've ordered five divisions in the East to attack Harper's Ferry, on the way, three of the divisions will pass through Loudon, Va., attacking Stonewall Jackson.
Further East, on the peninsula, it appears Rappahanock is empty, I've ordered Butler to take it. It will act as a distraction to the action near Harper's Ferry, if nothing else.
Middle Tennessee, is quiet. I'm gathering units for crossing the Cumberland and then attacking Forts Henry & Donelson from the east. I'm also gathering forces for an attack on Little Rock.
Hopefully, releasing the units from Kentucky will allow Grant to run free too.
Further west, the attach in Kansas has started. It will take a turn or two for it to develop, but it should be successful when it starts. There's a core of a division out there. A few units are on the hunt for Knoxville, but that will take a few turns to develop.

Late February 1862

Posted: Sat May 11, 2013 1:47 am
by pb783
It is late February 1862. The Union ordered two high risk attacks. The first was ordering 'The Beast' Gen. Butler to take Tappahannock. We've succeeded and there are no reports of any opposition. The Irish Legion led the charge up the peninsula.
You can see some of my underused generals working the rear of the Confederate lines here. While they don't report anything in Richmond and Fredericksburg I have other sources that tell me there are strong units in both cities.


This had to be a shock. Five Union divisions, four of them 'Legions', have routed Stonewall Jackson in Loudon, Va. and taken the Harper's Ferry from the South in a single movement.

The President himself is impressed and I understand he is looking at making some of the units Guard status.


Here is the report for the Day 12 attack on Harper's Ferry. On the Union Side there are three divisions, two of them Legions.


Here is my intelligence on Little Rock

There is no artillery, there may be some cavalry or light infantry. Two units, both seem to be outside the town. The raw total is 109 - 20%, or about 87.

Against them I can assault with 111, raw. Some of that is artillery. Plus I have 30 naval bombardment points.

One of the three brigs will need to patrol the upper Arkansas to discourage the use of riverine transport from Ft. Smith to reinforce Little Rock.

My supply unit, if I send it, will need to travel across the state from Madison. Even starting the unit moving prior to the attack, it will take two or three turns to reach Little Rock.

And reinforcements will need to trickle in. I can send three additional elements on the second turn, probably nearly doubling my attack force.

The snow and the amphibious assault are major drags on my combat. I don't want to get into a drawn-out combat for LR. I'll get my units ready and move the first turn the weather turns. In addition, I won't assault. I'll attack and direct the units into the town. Follow-up units can help police the situation if I can force a retreat. Yikes. Small but could be decisive for the Western theater.

Plan Two: Okay, we'll gather the forces for this, and wait for spring. I'll use the riverine transport to move the follow-on units to Perry, Ark., upriver from Little Rock. That will include a supply unit and some other units as well. An initial amphibious force will attempt to land in LR and move into the depot. But the main force will follow. Simpler and more in keeping with the spirit of the game I think.

Posted: Sat May 11, 2013 1:59 am
by pb783

March 1862

Posted: Sat May 11, 2013 2:05 am
by pb783
Northern Newspapers are demanding another attack, this time to within two regions of Richmond. Is the Butler force in Tappanhannock already fulfilling the demand?
No. Tappahannock is specifically excluded from the list of regions that fulfill the requirement.
I'm thinking I'll need parts of two divisions. I'll put them in James City or the other region near Williamsburg and adjacent to Richmond.


Lincoln became nervous that Little Mac had stripped Washington to supply his Peninsula Campaign.
In history, Little Mac had double counted some units, sent others to the Shenandoah, and done other bookkeeping tricks. All this, and the failed Peninsula campaign may have led to his dismissal later.
However, I'll need to keep what amounts to two divisions adjacent to or in Washington for a few months. I have more than three divisions fulfilling the requirements.
The South could use this as a reason to attack Washington, or Harper's Ferry.
I'll be resetting the Washington defense this turn.


McCulloch and some light units have taken Arkansas Post from me. I don't feel threatened as there is about a division on the way. They should be able to clear the way for an attack by me on Little Rock prior to the June build.


This is a screen clip of the movie function. VigaBrand has formed a mixed unit of irregulars, including natives, Texas Rangers and others, in SouthWest Missouri. The units can't really take a town, but they can take a depot and destroy it. They can also rip up railroads. The most obvious target here is Lexington, MO. I'll estimate the strength of the unit at about 120-150 points. I'll strengthen Lexington with additional units, including some artillery and some cavalry. That should safeguard the city.


April 1862

Posted: Sat May 11, 2013 2:07 am
by pb783
  • Push for Northern Offensive
  • Central Tennessee
  • Paducah
  • Memphis

No screen clips yet. Action is dying down across the map.

In the East Butler is likely to head an effort to forestall the 10NM loss by moving two divisions to one of the counties between the Union frontlines and either Spotsylvania or Richmond. I'm putting the units and the leaders together now. And I'm debating between Charles City, New Kent, both bordering on the James River and with good communications back to Willamsburg, but also fronting on Richmond. The two other choices are Hanover, a clear hex that shares the Pamunkey River with Richmond and a clear side with Spotsylvania, and 'Bowling Green', a county up on the Rappahannock that shares good communications with Tappahannock.
I'll need to make a decision in one turn. Time to gather intelligence.

Further West I'm about to take Huntsville, Tenn. This mountain hideaway is tucked between two impassible counties and very close to Knoxville and its railroad. A strong force here can threaten Knoxville and protect Kentucky from partisans.

General Price is still in Paducah. Indeed, I have done nothing about the issue since he boldly captured it and two regiments late last year.
His move spoiled what would have been a one turn take-over of the Blue Grass State by the Union.
Grant saw Johnston in Columbus and wisely decided to regroup on Island 10.
Now, however, with the Cumberland secured by fortifications, Grant, possibly in charge of the Army of the Tennessee, will be threatening Price.
Johnston, in Nashville, will be faced with a choice of whether to defend Nashville, Paducah or Memphis. I'm betting he decides to give up Paducah.

Lyons campaign to threaten Memphis has stalled. There is simply no troops capable of defending the West Bank of the Mississippi AND crossing the river to take Memphis.
Benjamin McCullough has taken a small force, about 360 points, and pushed out my militia in Arkansas Post. I have no idea where the unit has disappeared to. There was no battle. I guess it evaporated in the swamp.
That's nice, as I have brigs that slipped past Memphis and can now cut McCullough off from moving to save Little Rock.
The McCullough forces will also make it more interesting to attack LR. I had intended to bring about 300 points to bear on the city. But now they will need to march around McCullough to the Arkansas, with supplies, to reach LR.
In other words, there will be lots of warning of what I'm going to do.
I have a division sitting in Springfield, MO. Perhaps it can threaten Fayetteville and draw McCullough there first?
Any long distance moves like I'm considering will break the cohesion of my units. They can do it, but they'll need supplies and overwhelming force.

And they need to act fast.
The South will receive a major boost with the first partial mobilization in the game starting in about two turns.
I have been concerned with the implications of this for most of the year.
As a result, I've saved about $500K, so far, towards increasing the mid-year draft bonus to $3k/ company.
That would give me an additional 80 regiments of conscripts to use until I can meet the CSA mobilizations myself later this year. (House Rule)

So, what do I expect?
Most of the important moves will be made in the West. There are too many rules tying my hands at the moment in the East (Washington garrison and the attack on Richmond being the most important of these).
I cannot risk losing 10 NM, bringing me down to 70 NM.
In the West, I'm going to take Paducah probably within four turns.
With the river under my control again, I can match rail movements by the South.
I'll make a decision on whether to take Memphis, Little Rock or Nashville.
Ideally I'll take two of the three cities by July 1.
I've been planning the LR move for months. The issue has been units. They don't exist and are slow to get into position.
McCullough cannot cross the White River without support.
If he brings up ironclads I'll move up artillery to trap them-- I have a lot of artillery ready in this area.
If he withdraws I'll try to continue to move naval units into position to prevent him crossing the Arkansas River.
I'll also gather intelligence for an attack on Fayetteville. If it looks promising, I'll move. But without LR, Fayetteville is dangling fruit for the irregular units in the West.

April 1862; Intelligence and War

Posted: Sat May 11, 2013 4:41 am
by pb783
This AAR will bring the reader up to the very point in time that the game is at right now. If you've read the AAR you'll know VigaBrand objected to a gamey exploit. Although he actually objected to what I've done with the AAR, saying it wasn't necessary, I have published all the AAR's up to the current game turn.
I felt that would allow VigaBrand to see into my strategy and balance what I'd gained from putting leaders behind his lines.

The real life date is May 10, 2013, with the game operating at the date of April 1, 1862.

In the last days of March 1862 Confederate military police capture a group of slaves in the area of James City, Virginia.
The slaves have information leading the Confederate government to believe there is a vast Union spy ring operating just behind Confederate lines.
The Confederate government executes the slaves, then taking 500 Union prisoners of war to a hill, they call for a truce. On a dreary May morning Little Mac meets Gen'l Lee on neutral ground near Manassas. The prisoners will be executed if the General McClellan does not recall all Union spies operating inside the Confederacy Lee declares.
McClellan laughs.
“We'll just execute 1,000 Confederate POWs... “ his voice trails off as his spy glass looks at the Union prisoners. The group includes ten Union generals captured in the last few days in a round-up of Union spies. The Union spy ring has been busted wide open. Along with the generals are their staffs. The cream of the Union army could be dead inside the next few minutes.
His voice shaking, McClellan agrees to the terms. The officers will be returned to Union lines over the next month.
Union efforts grind to a halt and McClellan is widely critisized in the press. Returning to Washington, he calls a friendly reporter.
Meanwhile, in the White House, President Lincoln worries about rumors that McClellan is demanding to be made 'dictator' of the Union. He fingers papers he has been working on. The catastrophe of intelligence will make the President reconsider a plan to free slaves in rebel territories, a plan he will not return to for months. What will the public think? What will the British and the French think?
In Richmond Confederate intelligence officers are ruthless with their prisoners. They break them quickly, learning of Union plans to invade Texas, New Orleans and Florida. A plan to take Little Rock causes them to redeploy units in Arkansas to protect the vital depot.
The Union plans are in disarray.

1861 saw the Union take all of Missouri, except a small port on the Mississippi called New Madrid. Attacks were made on Fayetteville. Kentucky was taken in a single turn, though Gen'l Price was able to push Gen'l Grant back into Island 10 and retake Paducah. In the East Gen'l Butler moved up the Virginia Peninsula, taking Hampton Roads, Williamsburg and Tappahannock.
A brilliant attack under Gen'l McDowell had sent Gen'l Jackson running for Manassas and recaptured Harper's Ferry from the Rebs.
The Union had had brushes with disaster too.
Gen'l Hamilton had to retreat from the Shenandoah Valley in a blizzard, nearly losing his entire command. At sea, poor planning had let the US Naval blockade run down, resulting in threats to the entire Eastern Seaboard.
Yet, the Union had endured the first year of war, correcting problems it encountered. It believed it was ready to take the war to the enemy in a more forceful manner.

In Washington, Gen'l McClellan and President Lincoln met at the White House with the War Cabinet. McClellan sneared at Lincoln. Clearly the Gen'l detested this tall, lanky rube.
“My armies will be in Richmond by July, sir,” Little Mac told the Commander in Chief.
Through the door burst Gen'l James Veatch.
Veatch had been one of the leaders seized by rebels in their round-up of Union spies.
“No! General!” Veatch cried.
His body was bruised. Bones had been reset, and the battered dark eyes showed unnatural aging. McClellan, who had not seen his friend since sending him south of the lines at Alexandria several months ago nearly fell over seeing the sorry state of his friend. Veatch had clearly been tortured.
“The Rebs! They are much more powerful than we thought!”
A dark mood gathered as the cabinet listened to Veatch's story. It was going to be a long and violent summer. Alone, in a corner, Gen'l McClellan contemplates an exclusive he gave to a New York Herald reporter. McClellan predicted Union troops would be parading through Richmond by July 4th. Surely the Herald wouldn't demand a Northern Offensive?

What have I learned?
EAST- Rebel units outnumber Union forces.
  • Richmond is garrisoned by a force of at least one corps sized unit with artillery.
  • A corps, with artillery, is well entrenched at Spotsylvania.
  • Gen'l Lee, with what appears to be five division-sized units has crossed the Rappahannock into Aquia.
  • Gen'l Longstreet with about two or three divisions is well entrenched at Manassas.
  • Gen'l Longstreet with about two or three divisions is well entrenched at Manassas.
  • Gen'l Holmes occupies Winchester with more than one division, possibly two divisions.
  • A strong brigade is holding Strasburg

TENNESSEE- Union / South in Parity
  • Two divisions under Johnston are holding Nashville.
  • Up to another division is East of the Tennessee River
  • About four divisions are well entrenched at Memphis
  • Another division under Gen'l Price is at Paducah. It is surrounded by a Union army but the South has intact lines to both Memphis and Nashville, so the threat is weaker than it appears.

This is more of an educated guess: The South has thrown everything upfront. There is no depth to their defense. If we can gather enough units after the coming storm, things will move quickly.

Lee Takes Command

Posted: Sat May 11, 2013 3:50 pm
by pb783

Posted: Sun May 12, 2013 2:39 am
by Gen. Monkey-Bear
My gosh, I leave the forums for one day and suddenly your AAR is two full pages! I'll need some time to catch up and comment, but I think this AAR should win a "fastest written" award.

Butler Takes Northern Offensive Seriously!

Posted: Sun May 12, 2013 10:20 am
by pb783

Posted: Sun May 12, 2013 10:21 am
by pb783

What do we win for 'fastest written?' If it is Scotch, I'm all in. :)

I think VigaBrand prefers German beer! :coeurs:

Posted: Sun May 12, 2013 10:31 pm
by VigaBrand
Rose Greenhowe and his daughter give the information about your plans. You can not kill this women, so there will be prisoners but alive. Beware of women they are very usefull in intelligence.

Posted: Sun May 12, 2013 11:53 pm
by pb783
VigaBrand wrote:Rose Greenhowe and his daughter give the information about your plans. You can not kill this women, so there will be prisoners but alive. Beware of women they are very usefull in intelligence.

I shall assign Gen'l Butler to get to the bottom of this female spy ring. His knowledge to the wiles of women is well known! :sherlock:

Posted: Tue May 14, 2013 11:22 pm
by pb783

Posted: Fri May 17, 2013 6:06 am
by Sheik Yerbuti
This might win an award as the most amusing AAR. :mdr:

"General McClellan, hiding in an undisclosed location, announced 'I am in charge.'"

As for using your generals as spies I would never do that because the AI needs all the help it can get and then some.

Playing against a human that ought not to be allowed, but if both players are fine with it, well it's your game!

But, think exactly how absurd it would be: Union generals hanging around the Richmond courthouse? Think someone might notice? "Hey, y'all notice that guy wearing a Union general's uniform over there watching our troop trains through a pair of binoculars?"

Posted: Sat May 18, 2013 1:19 am
by Gen. Monkey-Bear
This might win an award as the most amusing AAR.

Yes, some of those newspaper articles are so gleefully immature with humor, that's the style we wrote in for high school newspaper to make our friends laugh ;) Though I would stay away from slave/race humor if I were you. Just a warning


Posted: Sun May 19, 2013 1:20 am
by pb783
Gen. Monkey-Bear wrote:Yes, some of those newspaper articles are so gleefully immature with humor, that's the style we wrote in for high school newspaper to make our friends laugh ;) Though I would stay away from slave/race humor if I were you. Just a warning

Good point. Thank you.

I've already offended some folks here. Though they haven't written, I apologize. The posts were not meant to offend or to indicate a current racism. The articles were meant to reflect what was happening at the time. It was not pretty.

I had poor judgement in writing it that way without a disclaimer.

I'll clean these up moving forward to reflect a more pure view of the military situation.

Posted: Sun May 19, 2013 4:25 pm
by pb783
We now moving into August, 1862.

I haven't written much as the past few turns have not been memorable for any new military issue.

The images, however, indicate the size of the Union disaster.

Gen'l Butler's entire command of 40 elements (two divisions plus), plus what amounted to an additional division of forces located in the cities of the Peninsula, were hunted down and exterminated. If this had actually happened I'm not certain the North would have been able to maintain the war.

Losses to the CSA were probably less than 5,000.

There were only two forces that could have effected the fighting. They tried, but were ineffective.

The navy did not engage CSA forces with shore bombardment. After an initial attempt to perform rescue, the navy withdrew to a safe distance and is being strengthened for an expected Southern naval push. If you've followed the AAR you'll realize that the Merrimack never came out. It finally did come out in August, but we are not yet there.

Further north, McClellan had a number of divisions around the capital. Following an attack on Harper's Ferry by Southern units, I ordered three divisions to attack Strasburg from Washington. Their path would take them through HF.

The HF attack hurt the Southern corp in HF. It had not expected to be attacked, was set to attack itself, and was taken by surprise by the sudden appearance of three Union divisions. Nevertheless it acquitted itself well, scoring an NM, a win and losses of about 6K on the Union side to about 4K on the Confederate side.

The three Union divisions then rolled through Winchester brushing aside a Southern defender. Finally, they arrived, about 12 days after leaving Washington, in Strasburg. Despite two battles, the units were in excellent cohesion. They took control of the depot, causing the two brigades to rout.

The next turn saw the Union units returning to Washington. Several brigades were assigned the task of destroying the depot, others were assigned to hold Winchester.

On the way through HF to Washington, they encountered the CSA corps for the second time. One division was assigned to cover the remaining force with an attack. Units inside HF assisted, sending the corp running to Manassas.

As a result of this attack the Union destroyed the Strasburg depot and moved its Washington defensive line to the Shenandoah River. Gen'l Lee did not flinch from eliminating the Union units in the Peninsula, however.

In the west, Gen'l Grant took control of Memphis. There is a strong Southern army with two corps located at Corinth. The South appears to have largely abandoned Western Tennessee, though the Union has not moved in to the area yet.

A weak Northern unit advanced to Knoxville. Northern leadership couldn't believe their good fortune and hurried an elite division to back the advance. As of August, it appears as though the North is digging in at Knoxville.

On the Mississippi, a strong Northern naval push has hit the Southern riverine fleet in a series of battles pushing it toward Vicksburg. Due to earlier successful attacks in Memphis and Nashville, there appear to be no CSA river units north of Yahzoo at present.

In the far west Gen'l Watie takes Ft. Smith, then withdraws, apparently due to supply issues. Then he returns and takes it again, only to withdraw again as supply issues loom.

The South has used its first partial mobilization.

While Southern Foreign Intervention seems implausible (it is at a high of -3), there is the smell of an automatic win in the air. CSA morale is now 135. It has been as high, this summer, as 140. US morale is at 72. It has been as low as 67.

The lopsided loss of Butler to Lee led to a huge POW population in the South. We just had an exchange and I received 99K to just 16K for the South.

For new players, these forces are returned to my conscript total, an increase of 100 conscript points. VigaBrand pointed out that this was a real deal for me, and I agree. From a strategy view, VB should have refused to release these points. I owe him one down the road.

One of the give backs I'm considering offering is a delayed Emancipation Proclamation.

We're celebrating the 150th anniversary of this great event in the US. As you may know, freedom wasn't a sudden event. It was rolled out as a military necessity. (That was part of the reason I'd discussed the role of slave contrabands in the Peninsula campaign).

Gen'l Butler, and other military leaders were sometimes driven by military necessity, sometimes by a belief in abolitionism, to refuse the demands of slave owners for a return of their property. The first moves towards freedom was the First Contraband Act. If the slaves were property and the property was being used for a military purpose against the government, then the property could be seized by the government without compensation.

From there, the government could 'free' the property.

Anyway... in the game, the effect is to raise Northern National Morale, among other effects (lowering Border State loyalty for example). I had hoped to pocket this decision. Fight the war without the EP. However, the sinking NM of the North has me worried. I hope, at least, that I can hold off on the decision, as President Abraham Lincoln did, till there is a significant Northern military victory.

I'm hoping it isn't as costly a victory as Antietam.

Posted: Sat May 25, 2013 3:09 am
by Gen. Monkey-Bear
Thanks for the apology, pb783. I think most of us here on the forums are forgiving, after all, I'm sure we all say things we don't mean. Personally I find your writing very entertaining though it's best to be cautious about these things.

Defeat is all relative

Posted: Sat May 25, 2013 10:16 pm
by pb783

How did it come to this? How did it happen so quickly? Stay tuned readers as this AAR entertains an alternative series of battles. To our American neighbors: Happy Decoration Day! (To our Canadian friends: WINTERHAWKS!) :w00t:

Eastern Situation Late August 1861

Posted: Sat May 25, 2013 10:24 pm
by pb783

The attachment shows the Eastern situation. As I recall, the turn was about a month following the dispatch of Gen'l Butler's entire force in the Peninsula.

This was a loss of four Union divisions, all the Union holdings down to Ft Monroe and also two naval shore batteries. So the date here seems to be late August. Confederate forces have, for the first time, taken Loudon, Virg. My intel here is terrible. It is very unclear what is in Loudon.

From my notes:

Hmmm, the movie shows there are a minimum of two corps in Loudon. There's a lot of movement here.

Washington is well protected, as is Harper's Ferry.

The intel here is terrible. I can't see what the hell is in there.

I've moved McClellan to Frederick City to join Dix. I've also placed all the units on a higher level of ROE in this region.

If the attack happens, I'm hoping Little Mac gets called in first, then he calls in support from the three surrounding divisions.

I have a division dug in in each of the counties here. HF has a larger division. Each division is listed as a corps (with one division). And, aside from that there is a separate militia dug in in each of the counties (so if the division moves, the militia will maintain the level of entrenchment).

Behind this there are militia dug in all the way to Harrisburg.

The Union will be able to do a partial mobilization next turn, giving it 550 points (22). I'll be unable to use all that without printing money (5).

I also have the Emancipation Proclamation. The EP gives the Union a big boost in NM (82) and VP (1120), plus reduces the Foreign Intervention (-1).

Why not do it? Game balance, border states become less loyal [Missouri- 8%; Kentucky- 42%; West Virginia 75%; Maryland- 62%; Delaware 91%]

So, at this point, I hadn't realized the full extent of the loss of Butler's units nor the danger to Washington.


Posted: Sat May 25, 2013 10:53 pm
by pb783

Here is a summary (from the Union intel screen) of the opposing forces. Note that I have two estimates of the spearhead force. When I reopened the file I received a different accounting of what was in the region of Loudon.

Early October 1862

Posted: Sat May 25, 2013 11:02 pm
by pb783

Here is the screen shot from early October. Longstreet has penetrated to the border of Pennsylvania (Westminster, MD). Lee is right behind him.

Late October- I say STOP!

Posted: Sat May 25, 2013 11:12 pm
by pb783

You can see the CSA is actually moving back across the Potomac!

At this point VigaBrand and I exchanged a series of emails:

as I woke this morning I realized you had your armies setup in a way that should have allowed you to conquer Washington.

If you didn't do what I think you should have, let's pause for a moment. [Checking the file]

No. You didn't do the attack that probably would have won the game. It may have failed, but the Southern effort is about taking your shots and rolling the die. I think if we test it we'll find it would have succeeded.

I didn't attack Washington because I don't know why I should have succes with that attack.
I retreat behind the river. How was that setup good for a tactical attack at washington? Il will save this backup file, so after the game we can switch side at this point and you show me what you mean.

I'd like to roll back one turn and tweak the defense (maybe).

Yes, this is for the turn that just ended (I think it is late October)

For your attack, I suggest that
Lee hits Washington first with either a standard or an aggressive attack.
Jackson (I'm not looking at the game, so this is from memory) follow the Lee attack directly with either a standard or an aggressive attack, but also be instructed to enter the city.
I'll send a slightly changed .ord file to you. I'm going to instruct the defense to include a static unit (it won't be able to retreat). That should keep my units in the region without the need for a stand and fight order. I think that would make the defense a bit harder to shatter. I'm not sure. It is using the system to exploit a rules bug.
Also, I want to see what happened to the Northern Navy. The navy was ordered all-in to Hampton Roads. Where are they? Delayed orders shouldn't have hit so many units.
If this works as I expect, you'd have taken Washington this turn. This is similar to the attack I used to take Strasburg earlier in 1862. It should work because Jackson will find weakened units outside Washington and will brush them aside to get inside. My changes to the navy and the outside units might be able to save the day for the North.

you are right. I can beat you, if I made a all-in attack on washington. I estimate more troops and so I decide not to attack you. It was a heavy battle with many casulaties for my side and I didn't take the risk, but it should be work.
Problem by this ideas are, you know your side exactly and I didn't know it. I don't see reserves from you coming by train and than help the fight or teh actual number of forces. So if I attack and there are more forces (I believe you are stronger there) than I suffer heavy losses without gaining somethink. So I didn't attack. And I overestimate the fortress. I was thinking, that I can not storm the fortress in one turn.
I send you the replay and trn. file, so you can look on my lost chance to win and we can continue our interesting game. Maybe you should send some reinforcments from Tennessee to washington or so.
Why didn't you defend your capital?

Your last question is really the key question: Why didn't I protect Washington?

In my defense, I thought I had adequate protection until about two turns ago. I hadn't realized, due to my own intel failure, how large Lee's forces were.

In part this is due to my having never played a PBEM prior to this.

What was in the area? Three divisions (including the District Home Guard of artillery that is static), another division in Anne Arundel, another two divisions in the area of Harper's Ferry with two additional divisions inside HF.

In the west 2 1/2 divisions in the area of Bowling Green, another at Knoxville, another two threatening Chattanooga, 1 1/2 in Western Kentucky and 3 1/2 in the area of Memphis.

Another 1 1/2 divisions in Missouri.
East 8 divisions plus two - three static forces of division size
Mississippi 9 1/2 divisions
TransWest 1 1/2 divisions
In my opinion, the heavy losses would have been worth the victory. In this case you would have taken the capital. Now, I'll be moving the government in advance of the attack that I expect you'll be executing. You'll need to weigh that as you consider what to do next.

In addition, I think the form of the attack was probably important. That form, if you followed my idea, was for Lee to weaken the forces, then the second corps in Maryland to enter with instructions to enter the city. I expect MTSG had the effect of calling in units from Alexandria for your side and from Anne Arundel for my side. If you used a different form, I'd like to hear about it.

I'll need to examine the file. But you actually saw the battle take place. Was it close? (I'm at work again and can't play till tonight).

Now, what do you think I've misunderstood? I need some constructive critique here. I am surprised, like you, in the way the Union defense didn't hold. I also think that if you wait you'll see a serious amount of firepower pouring into the area that could tip the balance in a close battle.

There are two factors that I think should be considered.
McClellan is a weak commander giving a terrible multiplier to forces under his command
My army suffered the loss of about 4 divisions under Lee's attack on Butler.

it was to easy to crossing the river.
You have to much in Harpers Ferry. Harpers Ferry has no depot (because you blow them), it is a hill countryside, so it will be okay, to have two divisions in it. Maybe less of them.
After the defeat on the peninsula, you maybe have to move some forces to the washington area from other theaters.
The 4 divisions from the peninsula are very hard to compensate and this falls in the phase where I can partial mobilise. So at my strongest point, you are weak in the main important area.

The divisions defending the Potomac were at maximum entrenchment, but only had four artillery with each. I was working on increasing the artillery with each unit.

But I was surprised they didn't contest the river crossings, choosing instead to withdraw. That did work to delay you, as you kept hitting the entrenchments in each region. I don't know if you ordered the units to ride through to a further county or not, but I suspect you ordered the army to attack one county at a time. I'd like to think the entrenchments act to slow an army compared to no entrenchments. But the system actually doesn't seem to force attacking units to deal with entrenchments in this way.

So, the entrenchments, which I spent a lot of time, but not a lot of manpower, on developing were not useful.

In total I believe I had up to 12 militias working on entrenchments from the river back through all of Maryland (and now parts of Pennsylvania.)

The divisions, once they withdrew, generally were folding into the Washington defense, making the capital that much tougher. So their job, if I may describe it as such, was to trip you, then move to the District. They each did that.

The three divisions that were on the Western flank of Lee's advance, in HF and Winchester, were tasked with attacking Manassas. Instead they ran into a force coming from somewhere in the rear to take Winchester. The result was that Manassas wasn't attacked (I have no idea how the loss of this supply would have impacted you.)

I really am not concerned with the loss of Winchester.

Obviously you are correct that I was too optimistic after the Lee Peninsula victories. Units should have been stripped from the West to aid the defense of the capital.

Those Western units would have been arriving at about this time.

I think with rail transport your troops from the west need maybe two turns to arrive in Washington area, that was the reason why I attack at the beginning the railway depot in Westvirginia. I want to cut this railway connection. Lee and Jackson need two turns too, to come from peninsula to washington area, so I overestimate your forces and with the winchester attack, you are lucky. If you strike at manassas in our real game, you will run into a reserve corps with nearly all my other corps around them and helping that corps. So you will suffer heavy losses by this assault.

That's true about the attack on Manassas. I had hoped the troops in Alexandria would have been involved in the attack on Washington though. But good point. I hadn't considered the MTSG element there.

What Would You Do?

Posted: Sat May 25, 2013 11:17 pm
by pb783
So, we have a game in which the opponent (me) detected the move necessary to win. At least a 1/2 point to VigaBrand for creating this situation.

What is your thoughts readers? I think we'll continue the game, perhaps rolling back a turn or two to allow the Union to regroup a bit better from the Butler losses as it is obvious that Washington will be lost.

How would you regroup the game so that the South continues its roll in the East, although it missed it's best chance to end the war.

Time to Fly!

Posted: Tue May 28, 2013 4:12 am
by pb783

Posted: Tue May 28, 2013 5:19 am
by Ace
If your morale is as low as you say it is (67), you cannot issue emancipation proclamation. It has to be over 80.

Posted: Tue May 28, 2013 7:02 am
by Gen. Monkey-Bear
That's a very interesting situation you have here. Of course as your audience member I want the game to continue so I can read the AAR, but in reality I think I would have just continued the game as is (before you pointed the better move to your opponent). Both sides made blunders in real life, and perhaps the failure to attack on Washington could be seen simply as General Lee losing his nerve at a critical time. Of course I think your decision to rewind a few turns was also good :)

Posted: Tue May 28, 2013 11:12 pm
by pb783
Gen. Monkey-Bear wrote:That's a very interesting situation you have here. Of course as your audience member I want the game to continue so I can read the AAR, but in reality I think I would have just continued the game as is (before you pointed the better move to your opponent). Both sides made blunders in real life, and perhaps the failure to attack on Washington could be seen simply as General Lee losing his nerve at a critical time. Of course I think your decision to rewind a few turns was also good :)

That's exactly what we're going to do. So, stick around for more fun and games as the action moves West. ;)

Ace wrote:If your morale is as low as you say it is (67), you cannot issue emancipation proclamation. It has to be over 80.

I guess I didn't know that. I did issue the EP after consulting with VigaBrand. I felt it was a critical point for the Northern player and I wanted more breathing room, so, for what I'm sure are some pretty terrible reason...

Morale has stood up pretty well. After a loss of 6 points this turn due to a loss in the West it is holding at 73 NM.

Coming Attractions

Posted: Sat Jun 15, 2013 6:56 pm
by pb783
The game has continued from the point at which the Union player (that would be me) spotted a near certain win for the South (VigaBrand). The turn is now moving into February 1863.

  • Would it surprise you to learn that Lee has taken about four corps and moved into Central Tennessee?
  • Would it surprise you to learn that the North has units in the mountains north of Atlanta?
  • Would it surprise you to learn that the North has taken Nashville, Forts Henry & Donelson and threatened Chattanooga several times?
  • Would it surprise you to learn that nearly the entire Southern Riverine fleet is bottled up at Little Rock?
  • Would it surprise you to learn that despite all this Union morale has sunk as low as 39? That Union casualties are nearly double Southern casualties (70K v ~169K)?

Yeah, it has been an interesting year. And I only picked out the high points of the Union for you. Strap yourself in for the next installment as you watch the Union p_ss away its strength.

(Coming soon to this AAR, provided the Chicago Blackhawks cooperate against the Boston Bruins. Let's go Hawks!) :indien: