Kizig
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Great Galloping Galvez -or- Florida for the Spanish 1779-81

Wed Dec 09, 2015 8:55 am

I’m an AGEOD games player going back several years to when I first stumbled across BOA on a bargain rack. I’ve racked up many hours since then in WIA, BOR and AJE, with some dabbling in RUS and ROP. I like to think I’m decently skilled at the basic systems and have internalized at least the gist of some of the key distinguishing features (it doesn’t take many forces succumbing to starvation in the Appalachians to get “supply or die” through your head).

However, after a bunch of BOR/AJE and an abortive run as Brits in the 1775 full scenario, I’d been away from any AGEOD gaming for maybe a year or so. When the urge hit to play some more, I started toying with ROP to finally learn the army organization and supply systems there, but I found myself worrying about making basic mistakes due to my time away. So, while I usually play the major campaigns, I decided to try a smaller one as a re-orientation, and I went back to my favorite AGEOD game, WIA, to do it.

This AAR, my first, covers the time I spent getting back up to speed as an AGEOD player. It deals with one of the smaller scenarios, and perhaps not the most dramatic, but it’s one that I think has only been described once before in a Spanish-language AAR. I found it a fun reintroduction to the game, I hope my experience makes for an interesting read.

Going through the choices, the “Florida for the Spanish” scenario caught my eye. It’s short, 28 turns covering August 1779 to December 1781, and the scale is small. Also, I knew nothing about the conflict along the Gulf Coast, so the chance to learn a little something is an added bonus.


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These are the historical notes…


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… and these are the scenario stats and objectives at start:


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Looking around the map, this is the starting situation, showing my target objectives of (northwest to southeast) Natchez, Baton Rouge, Nouvelle Orleans, Mobile, Pensacola and St. Augustine.


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Additionally, I must hold St. Louis far up the Mississippi:


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I have a couple of other settlements midway between St. Louis and Nouvelle Orleans, though I doubt they’ll be significant. On the coast and around the Caribbean, I have San Antonio in Texas, Habana in Cuba, and Saint-Domingue in the French West Indies


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To take my objectives I have Gobernador Don Bernardo Galvez and his Ejercito de Luisiana at Nouvelle Orleans. I’m delighted with the Don, 6-4-4 stats plus Fast Mover, Ranger and Defensive Engineer, very impressive compared to the English I played last time out. He’s got just 1720 men, 80 horses and 4 cannon, but I suspect that’s a significant force in this scenario. Also at NO are the Luisiana Defensores force, 2180 men, 8 cannon and supplies that will unlock after a year, and a strong permanently locked garrison. I have a bateaux and a sea-going transport, plus the light warship… Morris? Which shows as being a US ship, I’m guessing a loan from the rebelling colonists away north? In the interest of good taste we shall think of it as the Saint Morris.


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Additionally, my various Luisiana settlements have small garrisons, St Louis’ including a battery and 610 militia and native troops that should unlock in a year. Habana and Saint-Domingue have strong, permanently locked garrisons, and Habana also has the Ejercito de Cuba under Juan Manuel de Cagigal y Montserrat, over 4600 men, nearly 500 horse, and 16 cannon that are due to unlock after 2 years. Presumably, I’ll need that transport at Nouvelle Orelans to get them as I have no other naval forces in the Caribbean. Given the scenario’s only 28 turns long, I doubt they’ll play much of a role.

The British appear to have a flotilla at Natchez, plus another at Dartmouth as well as a sea-going vessel of some kind. Mobile looks very poorly garrisoned, but Pensacola appears stronger than my Galvez’s force and has transport. St Augustine looks weak.

Time to get started.

August 1779 Orders

What I want to do is skip up the river and nab Natchez and Baton Rouge, perhaps even the nearby non-objective settlements out of pure completism. Natchez and Dartmouth lack forts and so are easy pickings, the others might take a bit. The concern is that force at Pensacola; there’s no reason to believe they’ve anything else to do but move against Nouvelle Orleans.

On the plus side, I needn’t worry about overland interference with anything I take upriver, I don’t think, given the terrain and typical state of movement in this game. In theory, a Pensacola-NO move comes by sea and stops there while I romp about upriver. I have hope NO could resist a siege, the local forces look good and the city has 3 water exits. Plus, I’m hopeful the British commanders are as bad as is typical for the era and may not move at all.

There, I’ve talked myself into doing what I wanted to do. Let’s see how it goes.

I load Galvez and all free troops into the bateaux and send them to disembark at Natchez. I’d just as soon take the city and be done with it, moving back south when it’s in hand.


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There’s really something to be said for these smaller scenarios, I’m basically done now. I’ve no diplomatic options, no replacements (hope some show up though), no military options. Hit next turn and see how it goes.

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loki100
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Thu Dec 10, 2015 5:01 pm

great stuff. WiA is just full of these scenarios, often best played from one side as problem solving puzzles or as short PBEMs. When you only have 5-6 units, its really important not to lose your at start army I find.
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Thu Dec 10, 2015 6:27 pm

What an interesting little scenario. A part of history that I must admit I know very little about. Thanks for doing this AAR Kizig. :)

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Sun Dec 13, 2015 3:31 am

Thanks for the kind words guys!

Loki, consider it insufficient payback for all I've learned from your and Narwhal's AARs. Interesting that you describe the puzzle-solving aspect, I found myself thinking as the scenario went on that I was playing against myself more than the AI. It felt as though the game was very ready to grant me a win... provided I didn't do something stupid. Being a sporting fellow I try to keep the outcome in doubt.

Hotzendorf, it was a funny thing, I didn't even know that I didn't know about the conflict on the Gulf, if that makes sense. It was just a blank spot on the map I hadn't much considered. The game was quite educational, and I'll describe later a bit of serendipity that helps even more.

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Sun Dec 13, 2015 4:27 am

August 1779 Results

That was easy. I’ve besieged Natchez. No sign anywhere of British moves, except perhaps the oddity that they seem to have managed to pillage their own territory around Mobile.



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Scripted native activity? An army on the move? Also, I was at first alarmed that Pensacola’s green force dots disappeared, but what seems to have happened is the region fell into FOW.


September 1779

Now for orders, as I gratefully consider the charms of Dixie. Up north I’d be seriously worrying about getting by a nice warm fire for the coming winter. Down here it’ll be all Spanish victory all year round, no question.

Galvez’s cohesion is down a bit from the upriver trip and I’m tempted to wait before assaulting Natchez. Seeing as it lacks a fort, though, and theoretically I can recover cohesion indoors after stomping the 9 power garrison at 10 to 1 odds, I’ll go for it. I’ll leave the wearied bateaux at evade combat, just in case the local fleeing flotilla hit them on the way out.



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The assault is a simple matter, the British do what they can under difficult circumstances. Thankfully, the local bateaux are captured. Don Bernardo receives congratulations, doubtless the first of many.



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No other signs of activity. It can’t really be this easy, can it?


October 1779

I decide to let Galvez rest at Natchez for the moment, joined by the Orleans bateaux in from the river. My natives scout Baton Rouge.



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Replacements have become available, I look forward enlisting them upon my triumphant return to Nouvelle Orleans, jewel of the Mississippi.



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November 1779

Oh yes, I’d forgotten about that: the way lousy garrison forces love to suck up replacements:



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Sigh. I have the worst troubles with that. No matter how many times it happens, I'm usually surprised when my replacements fill out the garrison of Elk Scat Newfoundland or the Island of Faraway-Nevergothere. My clever plan for dealing with that occurrence amounts to "I guess when all the useless garrisons are full my fighting troops might get a replacement or two."

Also, I forgot I set to historical attrition, so it seems I’m losing men just sitting still. That’s a new setting for me, I've never used it before. I wanted to see how it ups difficulty and it will take some getting used to.

No sign of British movement anywhere. I now worry I chose the most sedate of all scenarios for my first AAR. I guess this is what happens when you throw a war and nobody (from one side) shows up.

Oh well, rolling over the enemy is a tough job but someone’s got to do it. Back in the boats muchachos!



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We’ll drift down Old Man River, siege Baton Rouge, then back to Nouvelle Orleans for madeira and alligator tail all around.


December 1779

There was still no sign of British movement, Galvez sieges Baton Rouge.

Though there’s something I hadn’t considered: I don’t have enough naval elements to block the harbor. Not sure the siege will ever attain a breach or even wear down the defenders. We’ll see. Sending the bateaux to NO to resupply, the Flotilla del Golfo upriver because as I recall I can draw supply from it. I'm not confident I've ever gotten that quite right though, it's always too hard to tell if land forces are drawing from boats or not.



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Sun Dec 13, 2015 5:47 pm

I wonder if the British are building up a force somewhere to surprise you or if this is going to be a walk in the park?

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loki100
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Sun Dec 13, 2015 6:55 pm

my guess is the British are busy with collecting taxes a bit to the north and east? I'm reading this with some dread as to what is going to add to my woes in my current PBEM :) .

If I recall, you have a couple of militia along the Missisippi, an odd collection of light infantry and indians at Pensacola and a weak force in Florida. Anything more would have to stripped away from the main campaign against the Americans
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Mon Dec 14, 2015 12:52 am

Very true.

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Fri Dec 18, 2015 4:26 am

The British aren't very strong in this scenario, considering the area they're responsible for. I think under a human player their best option would be to act as a spoiler; not trying to win outright, so much as muck about with objectives to frustrate the Spanish. Might be possible, though AGEOD games are rough on that approach, it's hard to spoil when you're out of supply.

It's a good reflection of the history from what I can tell. The British commander seemed to be pessimistic and not terribly energetic, plus England was neglectful. Plus, the English colonists, while loyalists, were about as eager to sacrifice for the Crown as their northern cousins were. Galvez, on the other hand, appears to have been a dynamo and a fantastic motivator, blessed with Acadians in the process of becoming Cajuns eager to take a jab at the redcoats and a supportive King Carlos. Fortune favors Spain here.

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Fri Dec 18, 2015 5:31 am

Interesting little AAR. Good stuff, thanks.

The scenario description says there will be little British offensive maneuvers. Seems like it is a race against the clock to control those six strategic locations. St. Augustine on the Florida coast strikes me as your biggest challenge?

Mobile being pillaged is probably a good sign of large force located there. Too large for the city to feed them all..

You mentioned that your garrisons are taking your replacements instead of your front lines troops. That is one of the more annoying things in the game. While you can't direct the replacements exactly, you can increase the chances of your front lines getting replacements by setting the posture of your units. Those in passive posture have the highest chance to get replacements. Put your garrisons on assault or offensive and your front liners on passive.

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Fri Dec 18, 2015 6:20 am

January 1780

It is a simple fact, proven by the greatest natural philosophers of Spain and accepted by all reasonable scholars, that a people’s wisdom, vigour and comity, their fitness to rule, is directly related to the warmth and pleasant nature of their native environs. Disagreeable temperatures lead to poor government and scurvy, whereas a place like, say, the Iberian Peninsula, engenders its inhabitants with almost supernatural powers of mind, spirit and body. This we know. Clearly, then, it will be the burden of we Spaniards to govern this ice-plagued continent:


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From Nouvelle Orleans or Mexico City, of course. Pray for our companeros at distant St Louis.

Seriously, just looking at that image makes me cringe a bit. So many attempts to sneak in one final march or attack as the last leaves fall from the trees, then months of paying the price. So cold… so hungry…

Meanwhile, in these more temperate climes (note: to be fair that's "temperate in winter." You ever been to Louisiana in summer? Can't recommend it), militia replacements have been raised and others sent from Spain. Mayor General Jose Manuel de Ezpeleta y Galdeano has brought supplies and siege guns from Cuba aboard the San Angelo transport group.


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I also notice a Mexican Reinforcements force in Habana under Colonel Geronimo Morjeon Giron-Moctezuma. These men are locked for 3 more turns.


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I’ll send the new siege guns and supplies up to Galvez’s siege, via the new transports. Ezpeleta can stay in Nouvelle Orleans.

Just noticed: pillaging up in Georgia. Are the British having to deal with effects from the rebellion in this scenario?


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Hit next turn, no British activity.


February 1780

No progress at Baton Rouge, I assume due to the open harbor. Galvez’s force is taking attrition.


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I think I’ve been over-cautious, in part because I’ve so rarely had such a good commander in the past and I’m not used to it. I’d gotten used to wanting 10 to 1 or better odds for assaults. I also think I've gotten a bit cross-wired on which rules are in which games, I'm starting to believe it's AJE where you simply can't assault without breaches. I think I should just go ahead and assault now and trust Don Bernardo to carry the day.

The British really seem supine so far. I wonder if that’s just the scenario, activation problems, distraction or what.

Next turn button.

Yep, I was definitely being too cautious:


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March 1780

I see the British have now pillaged around Pensacola. If they can’t supply themselves what’s going to happen when I show up?


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Galvez’s force is headed to Nouvelle Orleans for rest and recuperation.


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April 1780

Giron-Moctezuma is now active in Habana, I should have had ships ready for him.

More replacements from Spain and locally, perhaps Galvez can actually get some this time.


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That note about Americans receiving irregulars; is that who’s pillaging the Brits?

I set Galvez’s force to passive in hopes of prioritizing replacements. I combine the San Angelo transports and the Morris apparent rebel loaner (ridiculous name for a ship, doesn’t sound like a saint at all) with the Flotille de Golfo transports at Nouvelle Orleans to go pick up my Cuban forces.


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Kizig
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Fri Dec 18, 2015 6:33 am

Thanks very much Cardinal Ape, glad you like it!

You're right about the race and St. Augustine, facts I grasped in the abstract during the early part of the scenario. As it happened, time had a way of creeping up on me. Then right on past me...

You know, I knew to set to passive to prioritize replacements (see most recent entry) but I don't think it ever occurred to me to set OTHER forces to red/orange to de-prioritize them. I think I'll try that in future, thanks. Ha, though I know I'll worry unreasonably that some phantom enemy force will appear 400 miles behind my lines and rob me of my defensive bonus.

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Fri Dec 18, 2015 8:01 am

again fascinating stuff, both informative and fun game play.

I wonder about the mysterious self-pillaging the British are doing. May be related to loyal Indians ... who being locked in place feel they have to pillage themselves?

I have the same problem with the different supply rules in WiA vs AJE etc. Once I remember which game I am playing, I tend in WiA just to assault (unless there really is a large garrison to deal with). In most scenarios there are no (or very few) forts above level 1 (and not many of them)
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Tue Dec 22, 2015 7:11 am

I'd love to make a matrix showing which games had which rule conditions, a refresher reference when switching between them. Ha, I'd love even more someone else doing it for me. Maybe someday when I've loads of time, though I don't own all the games still and doubt I have the systems knowledge to do it justice.

I'm getting more comfortable as time goes by with less dominant odds being okay for assault. I expect I'll find the limits of that policy through trial and tragic error at some point.

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Tue Dec 22, 2015 8:34 am

May 1780

I’m getting to the point where I’m wondering if some action I take will suddenly trigger British activity. It can’t be THIS easy.

Col Giron-Moctezuma has locked inactive in Habana after his one brief month of freedom.



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Consequently, I’ll hold off on a move against Mobile as I fear going there might be the action that finally goads the British into motion. I gather bateaux from upriver at Nouvelle Orleans and allow the militia there the chance to pick up another replacement element. I send my native scouts to observe Mobile. My hope is to rendezvous my forces there next month.



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In transit my natives observe there is still some kind of fleet at Dartmouth.


1780 June

Col Giron-Moctezuma has unlocked enough to board ship. He is ordered to sail to Mobile Bay and disembark. Galvez and Ezpeleta should be waiting for him there, having arrived via bateaux from Nouvelle Orleans. Hopefully, with a rotation system, I’ll be able to blockade the bay while sieging. The defense force is at power 90 within a level 2 fort so I think I’ll need to.



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Worth noting: the Luisiana Defensores who soaked up some of my replacements are only locked 2 more turns at Nouvelle Orleans. No getting out of the fight for you Juan-come-latelys.

Sadly, there are still no military or diplomatic options to spend on. This is the current objective tab. Check out the casualties, nearly a year in and we’re at 50:490. Even by WIA standards this is your small scale warfare right here.



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Incidentally, alert readers will notice a problem in that ledger that’s going to escape my notice for some time yet. It’s like Where’s Waldo but with the fate of empires in the balance.

The sea transports mostly go well, except that Flotille del Golfo takes 20 hits from Fort Charlotte. Apparently this is enough to sink the Morris. This is what happens when you don’t name your warship after a saint.


July 1780

All Spanish forces at Mobile are combined under Galvez, aside from the natives I send scouting to Pensacola. I miscalculated somehow the number of naval elements I had, I’m at the bare 12 needed to blockade Mobile Bay. I’d bring down the bateaux from St Louis but there’s a no-entry river section between there and the Gulf. Hopefully I can achieve breaches before having to send ships into port.



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More replacements are received.


August 1780

I’m alarmed I don’t see the blockade icon at Mobile. My ships were on evade combat, perhaps that was the problem, I turn that off and combine them all into one fleet.

My natives discover that Pensacola houses a power 118 garrison and a 360 West Florida force.

I send Ezpeleta and Giron-Moctezuma overland to Nouvelle Orleans to command the newly unlocked Luisiana Defensores.



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Brigadier General John Campbell, commanding at Pensacola, detects my native scouts and rouses himself to disperse them, his most excitement in the war so far. He’s 4-3-4, better than I’d hoped for in a British officer and gentleman relegated to the back end of nowhere. I was envisioning traits like Gouty, Heat-Stricken and Loves Rum, but he’s disappointingly competent.



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I lose an element in the retreat north, thankfully they’re not destroyed and replacements are available. Natives are always so fragile. They can get away with a lot, slipping and sliding through the shadows, evading opposition, and I typically wind up with plenty of replacement elements available for them, don't think I've ever had to buy any. But with just the two element units they're always one or two bad encounters away from obliteration, and then beyond the strategic considerations I feel guilty for having gotten a tribe destroyed. I've grown to love them playing WIA so much, but they always strike me as high-opportunity, high-risk.

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loki100
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Tue Dec 22, 2015 6:21 pm

re blockades, you need to be at least in defensive mode - this also ensures you take some attrition/org loss

agree about natives, they are great fun to use but so vulnerable if caught to destruction in the retreat
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Mon Feb 01, 2016 7:09 am

Well, I'm back.

To those of you following the AAR, and especially the kind commenters, my apologies. Over the last month I've managed to lose major time to holidays, travel, sickness, very busy work and even an extended loss of internet service (snapped cable: 20 minutes to fix, 5 days to get them to come do it). It's been kind of ridiculous, going down the checklist of common best-laid-plan-disruptors. Frankly, I suspect a conspiracy: why don't THEY want you to know what happens in this campaign?

Returning to the action...


September 1780

A few hits are inflicted on Mobile. I sneak my natives to Nouvelle Orleans to recuperate. Ezpeleta, leaving behind a militia that drives command cost too high, marches against Dartmouth, as I want to capture whatever ships are there if at all possible.

Surprisingly, Campbell advances against Galvez. He only fails to engage due to time running out during the month on his intended move.


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October 1780

In a clumsy stab at my (mis?)perceptions about some game mechanics, I’m sending half of my ships to Lake Pontchartrain. I’m wondering if having vessels blocking the harbor exit helps to capture the ships at Dartmouth when I take it. Ezpeleta will wait to assault Dartmouth till they’re in place. As long as they’re leaving and rendering the blockade too weak, I’ll send back Galvez’s depleted wagons on the remaining ships to restock at Nouvelle Orleans. The game seemed to dislike these commands; the travel time would appear as 3003 days to the lake, then the move would disappear. I eventually got it entered, so hopefully it works. Galvez himself will pray fervently that Campbell doesn’t think better of his attack at the last minute.

And, hitting next turn, I find that... Campbell went for it, good for him! Well, not good as such…


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Very gratifying to land a blow on the major British force in the area.

Other than that, movements get rather confusing. I initially spot a British militia force that appears to separate from Campbell and move west of Mobile; they reappear at month’s end north of Dartmouth headed for Manchac. British-allied natives quickly appear and disappear at Mobile.


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Sea movements are even worse. A British light warship Dover appears in the Mississippi Delta, then disappears; Nouvelle Orleans serves it up 16 hits. A British transport squadron, possibly fleeing Mobile, shows up in the Delta then sails up the Mississippi to Manchac. The NO guns give them 21 hits.

Dartmouth doesn’t wait for Ezpeleta to attack, they surrender. Unfortunately, this means the I Fleet stationed there sails out Lake Pontchartrain.

Something goes wrong with my load of Galvez’s wagons to ships, they’re left behind. I’m guessing either Campbell’s attack, British transport passing through the Bay, or some error on my part is to blame. On the other hand, I’ve somehow captured Mobile’s coastal guns. That's very surprising and I'm not sure it's quite right, immobile guns falling to me outside the fort. They weren’t in the fort proper? Or just a bug?

This is the situation as the dust starts to settle partway through the month, though as I recall my vessels didn’t actually make it into Lake Pontchartrain, perhaps having to do with those weird transit times I was seeing when planning the move.


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November 1780

It seems all that’s left garrisoning Mobile are Indian Allies at 31 power. Campbell is down to a regiment of Foot, one of Royal Americans, and some Marylanders and supplies. I’d love to chase after him but lack military control to move. I’d love to storm Mobile at now better than 10:1, but I’m wondering about the impact of a level 2 fort.

In the west, I send Ezpeleta past Manchac to Baton Rouge.


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I’d like him to pound on that British force headed to the town, then garrison the actual objective and recover a bit. The depleted wagons are sent back to NO. If the Brits wind up retaking Dartmouth maybe their boats will move back into harbor and I’ll get another chance at them. Speaking of which, I realize they’re trapped in the Lake and can’t go straight to the Delta due to my holding NO. My bateaux resupply in the city, my transports go back to Mobile Bay evasive.

Now that Galvez has that lovely coastal artillery I’m going to wait a month to see if a breach develops. Probably over-cautious again.

But then there’s this…


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You may recall that I last showed this screen in the June 1780 entry and mentioned it contained a nasty problem that was escaping my notice. I think you were all being polite not pointing out how obvious and basic my oversight was. Had to do with those curious little red and black flags for Natchez and Baton Rouge... the puzzling points lead Britain has in light of how well the war's been going...

Ohhhhh yeeaahhhhhh. That whole thing about occupying disloyal regions with regular units to get victory points. No unit, or militia only, means it's effectively unoccupied, no points.

Huh. That is rather a problem.

Well, I'd been away from AGEOD games for a while, longer from WIA, and anyway the majority of my play in WIA was FIW where loyalty isn't a concern. When I dabbled in Revolution scenarios I treated Loyalty as something to figure out later. Still, this is embarrassing. I've occupied, ha, actually no, I've conquered those locations for a while now, and the whole time the VPs have been washing into the Mississippi and floating off to rot in a bayou somewhere because I forgot about this. It's a short scenario, not that much time to correct the error. I start to get the creeping feeling I may, through own-error, lose this thus-far easy scenario.

Okay. Deep breath, rub the stinging palm print on my forehead. I need to fix this.


December 1780

Bah. The British got into Manchac before Ezpeleta could attack, he proceeded to Baton Rouge. No breaches at Mobile either. At least the transports arrived safely.

I set Galvez to a conservative assault. I hate to do it, but I separate out the coastal guns because I'm worried their locked status could prevent his attack. Since Galvez is about to run out of food, I send 3 wagons back to NO via transport. I send the 2 recovered bateaux from NO to Mobile Bay to offer supply (another function I’ve always been hazy on, can never tell if transports are supplying adjacent land units or not).

Ezpeleta is also low on supply. He holds Baton Rouge because, you know, it turns out that's important. Yeesh.

Hit next turn...

I wonder if this scenario is getting me with the program or teaching me bad habits I’ll regret later. Galvez handily defeats the handful of natives at Mobile. I'm definitely being too nervous about assaults.


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My transports take off again without the wagons, which I see in replay begin to load. I must be mis-remembering this function badly.

Campbell takes off north, then shows up again at Fort Panmure bound for Manchac. Apparently he wants to regroup: to fight along the Mississippi, or to transport back east?


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loki100
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Mon Feb 01, 2016 9:34 am

aye, having to leave regulars to hold down captured cities is a real problem in the War of Independence scenarios as they are vulnerable to being destroyed by a strong raiding force.

if you storm a town then you capture the ships regardless of if you have a fleet off shore (guess this reflects the chaos of capture and the time it takes to get ships ready etc?). if it surrenders, and the fleet can move, then yes it slips away.

anyway glad your internet terrors are over, finding this fascinating to follow :)
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Cardinal Ape
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Tue Feb 02, 2016 8:48 am

I forget that garrison thing too. Across the various games it can be tough to remember which units count as 'regular'. Most of the time I find my error by accident when browsing the map; cities that are not under your proper control have silver stars. Gold star cities are earning VPs.

I seem to remember there being some weird quirk with ordering units onto ships at sea.. They might need to be in green posture, and/or have the evade combat order active.

After that long siege of Mobile all that was there was one unit of natives? Almost seems like the British wanted you to have it, maybe they gave you those free cannon as a house warming gift.

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Mon Feb 08, 2016 6:27 am

loki100 wrote:aye, having to leave regulars to hold down captured cities is a real problem in the War of Independence scenarios as they are vulnerable to being destroyed by a strong raiding force.

if you storm a town then you capture the ships regardless of if you have a fleet off shore (guess this reflects the chaos of capture and the time it takes to get ships ready etc?). if it surrenders, and the fleet can move, then yes it slips away.

anyway glad your internet terrors are over, finding this fascinating to follow :)


I got the hang of garrisoning vs. AI after this campaign but I imagine a crafty human could make it a nightmare. I'd have sworn I sometimes stormed a fort only to see ships escape, but perhaps those were just surrenders. Interesting, that'll impact decisions in future. Glad you're enjoying the write up!

Kizig
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Mon Feb 08, 2016 6:35 am

Cardinal Ape wrote:I forget that garrison thing too. Across the various games it can be tough to remember which units count as 'regular'. Most of the time I find my error by accident when browsing the map; cities that are not under your proper control have silver stars. Gold star cities are earning VPs.

I seem to remember there being some weird quirk with ordering units onto ships at sea.. They might need to be in green posture, and/or have the evade combat order active.

After that long siege of Mobile all that was there was one unit of natives? Almost seems like the British wanted you to have it, maybe they gave you those free cannon as a house warming gift.


Gyah, see there's something else. I'd come up with some meaning of my own to the gold/silver star thing, can't remember any longer what it was I made up. Another valuable tip to remember, thanks.

I eventually got the ship loads working, dunno what I did different. Details like that are funny/irritating: I dread getting them wrong in a live game, but then I'm also too lazy to reload saves and play the same turn to experiment with different conditions/actions. I wind up with this low-grade anxiety over whether important orders will come off right when really I should take some time and really study the mechanics.

Ha, could be Athena has just lost all patience with my hesitancy about assaults. "Look, if i GIVE you the cannon, will that get you moving?"

Kizig
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Mon Feb 08, 2016 8:22 am

January 1781

I’m going to try moving my wagons this time having the bateaux offload them to NO, rather than land in port. Maybe that’ll make a difference.

Galvez concentrates on not starving for a bit.

My natives are sent to scout Pensacola, I’m hoping it’s mostly empty.


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Ezpeleta will attempt a forced march to disrupt Campbell’s move to Manchac, then return to Baton Rouge. 65% chance on the march. In AGEOD games I believe I’ve had uneven results attempting to move and return to a starting point, seems like they’ve not gone as planned most of the time. We’ll see if this works. I’d hate to see Campbell join the transport at Manchac and escape to cause trouble later, but I also don’t want to leave Baton Rouge empty again.


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Hit next turn…

Ezpeleta’s forced march fails and Campbell slips by to Manchac. Strangely, it looks in replay as though the transports there enter the river.
My wagons finally get to Nouvelle Orleans.

My scouts discover foresters and natives at Pensacola (powers 41, 31), a power 118 garrison and a transport squadron. Alarmingly, a 3 unit fleet including at least one heavy warship appears at the end of the month bound for the fortress.


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On the plus side, reinforcements arrive from Spain at Habana. I have the force shown below plus a 73 strength marines and wagon. My new ships include the 80 gun San Ramon, 4 74s, 3 64s, and 2 transport elements. Hopefully that’s enough to stand up to those nasty British warships.


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February 1781

Full disclosure: I backed out a turn here. I sent the Habana reinforcements to join Galvez and a portion of his force between Mobile and Pensacola with an eye to taking the latter. I couldn’t figure out the sudden 35% command malus he got. Then I see: the reinforcements vacationing in Cuba are French. This demolished my plans for them and just felt silly, it seemed to me somebody would have said, “By the way Don Bernardo, those new troops, despite being in Cuba and posing before lovely yellow backgrounds, are all French,” and the Gobernador would have replied, “Ai ai ai, those people I cannot work with, let us come up with another plan.” So I’m redoing the month now that I know what they are. Hate to backtrack like that, but the alternative felt implausible enough I decided this was less disruptive.

I realize I’ve only 10 turns left to win and I’m behind on victory points. I’ve been dawdling too much.

My revised orders:

The (good Spanish!) Lopez Marines, plus the French artillery and Spanish supplies, transport from Habana to Mobile, escorted by Spanish and French warships. Vive’ le internationalisme! A transport is en route from Nouvelle Orleans to pick up the remaining French. “No, no, where ever did you hear such horrid rumors?” the sailors will say to them. “El gobernador cherishes his Gallic allies! He just needs you somewhere that he… isn’t. Enjoy these complementary cigars!”


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My natives try to slink west away from Pensacola, hoping to avoid another unpleasant discovery and running-off. Galvez fills his men’s bellies. A bateaux carries the militia unit that’s been loafing at NO, plus a 1 element wagon, up to join Ezpeleta. I’d send them on to Natchez but, as we now know (ha!), militia doesn’t get any credit for holding a contested objective anyway.

As things turn out...

British sea movements are hard to decipher. Some warship Beachy Head seems to sail in to join the transports at Pensacola, while a I Fleet makes for the Gulf to be seen by my international fleet later. My transport headed for Cuba is driven back supposedly from the Delta, but on replay it seems to instead be from the Gulf.


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My natives are contacted, but evade to north of Pensacola. The landings at both Baton Rouge and Mobile are successful.


March 1781

Lots of jumping about.

Galvez marches against Pensacola, leaving a small garrison at Mobile. The natives head there for supplies.


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Meanwhile, Ezpeleta makes a cautious attack on Campbell, to see what develops without (hopefully) overcommitting. He receives a proper 4 element wagon, a 1 and a 4 go to Mobile along with the extra transport.


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The San Ramon Group sails to Cuba to pick up the French forces for… something. The 80 gun French Provence heads to the Gulf to investigate this British I Fleet.


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Next turn…

The vessel in the Caribbean turns out to be the Hermione. It flees (I think) the Provence to Mobile Bay, odd choice. All other shipping succeeds. Transports Cornwall and Caribbean appear from the east and enter Pensacola harbor.

The foresters and natives at Pensacola chase my natives all over, first north of Pensacola, then to Mobile where they drive my men east again after a non-engagement (note the battle report includes all friendly forces, not just my poor footsore natives).


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Campbell again evades Ezpeleta, heading east from Manchac. He later appears across the Pascagoula River from Mobile. More replacements arrive/are raised.

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loki100
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Mon Feb 08, 2016 2:01 pm

Kizig wrote:...

I eventually got the ship loads working, dunno what I did different. Details like that are funny/irritating: I dread getting them wrong in a live game, but then I'm also too lazy to reload saves and play the same turn to experiment with different conditions/actions. I wind up with this low-grade anxiety over whether important orders will come off right when really I should take some time and really study the mechanics.

..."


I found out how to order troops (from a different province) onto ships that then move off in the same turn by accident :)

what you do is to set up the naval move order and then order the land units to meet the ships in their (the ships) start province, the ships will 'wait' till you arrive and then move for the balance of the turn. How effective this is obviously depends on how far the land units need to move first and how far you intend to move by sea - but it can really surprise an unaware opponent on say Lake Champlain. Its also incredibly fiddly.

as to the game, its getting tense - interesting how what starts as an essentially one sided move and conquer exercise suddenly evens out (ok accepting you have lost a lot of VPs due to the lack of garrisons)
AJE The Hero, The Traitor and The Barbarian
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WIA Burning down the Houses; Wars in America; The Tea Wars

Kizig
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Mon Feb 22, 2016 7:05 am

loki100 wrote:I found out how to order troops (from a different province) onto ships that then move off in the same turn by accident :)

what you do is to set up the naval move order and then order the land units to meet the ships in their (the ships) start province, the ships will 'wait' till you arrive and then move for the balance of the turn. How effective this is obviously depends on how far the land units need to move first and how far you intend to move by sea - but it can really surprise an unaware opponent on say Lake Champlain. Its also incredibly fiddly.

as to the game, its getting tense - interesting how what starts as an essentially one sided move and conquer exercise suddenly evens out (ok accepting you have lost a lot of VPs due to the lack of garrisons)


Interesting, I wonder if I was trying to board them first or something. I'll have to play around with this and internalize the correct way.

It's funny to look at my live experience of the campaign and then consider how it would seem if I were reading it as a historical account. Ha, beyond the activation rules I seem to be bringing my own level of command inertia to the game. Confused orders, fear of fortifications and lack of urgency can make for a more exciting game at least.

BTW, I see you've got a new AAR going. This is so cool that there are 3 live ones for WIA at the same time after things had gone so quiet for so long. Nice work!

Kizig
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Mon Feb 22, 2016 8:08 am

April 1781

To the west, after having driven Campbell away from the Mississippi and back to the Mobile area, Ezpeleta will move to Baton Rouge while a garrison regiment marches for Natchez. The plan will be to leave Giron-Moctezuma in this region in case Campbell comes back looking for trouble. He’ll use the river to perhaps consolidate forces and move supplies as needed.


Image


In the east, Galvez will regain cohesion outside Pensacola, the natives trying to sneak to join him. Provence will hunt Hermione, while the French forces at Habana transport to Mobile, there to overawe Campbell and form garrison forces for Mobile and Pensacola.


Image


As the month plays out, Hermione gets bombarded on the way to sea, takes 22, gives 7 hits.

The Manchac garrison decides to make a run for it, causing me a bit of pain.


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At Pensacola Bay, Provence chases Hermione away from the city, then fails to catch transports headed east. Not a bad day's work though, crack out the wine. What's that from the crow's nest? Sails on the horizon? A new British fleet arrives from the east and obliges Provence to give battle. Reports are vague, what with there being no survivors, but the news is extremely bad: Britannia now, as they say, rules the waves.


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Campbell has sent some of his German mercenaries to join the Manchac garrison at Fort Panmure it seems, leading to a stalemate at Petit Gouffre when they encounter my Natchez-bound garrison.


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May 1781

I’m improvising now. More than usual, that is. I’m not sure if I’ll ever take St. Augustine given the loss of my French heavy warships.

I’ll definitely lose Natchez and/or Baton Rouge to these wandering Brits if I pull forces off the Mississippi; the would-be Natchez garrison is down to power 1 due to cohesion and strength losses. Ezpeleta goes hunting the British and Germans at Fort Panmure. A bateaux and (empty) wagon go to Natchez to meet the battered troops.


Image


The Spanish at Mobile, along with one regiment of French, take supplies to Galvez, who agonizes and decides to await their arrival before assaulting the most-likely unbreached fortress.


Image


Hit next turn…

Ezpeleta drives the British from Fort Panmure, though casualties are higher for me, lower for the British than I’d hoped. We capture the fort.


Image


British irregulars at Touachas technically stalemate my supply and reinforcement column for Pensacola, but do no damage.

Continuing the recent theme of nasty British surprises, Campbell suddenly appears at Natchez, eliminating my worn out regulars and the 1 element supplies I’d sent them. He picks up the bateaux I’d sent as well, nice little gift. I don’t understand how he’s moving so quickly through that terrain.


Image


Wait, yes, I do understand I think, this is a consequence of Lieutenant difficulty, the improved movement rate for Athena. Not sure I’m a fan of that. I really do want a challenging AI, but I already find it a nuisance trying to guesstimate how far opponents can move how quickly. I sometimes wind up selecting a force of my own that’s similar-ish to the enemy force, then plotting fake movements through the terrain in question while tallying up days of travel; just as often I’m guessing. Now adding in the need to convert between what I’d think of as a possible move and improved AI values is even more confusing. Plus, in an example like this, Campbell bouncing back and forth kind of takes away from the feeling of strategy, the terrain that should be a blocker doesn’t matter so much.

Ha, that feels uncharitable, wanting a challenge but being finicky about it being the right sort of challenge. If AGEOD could just whip up a human-level upgrade for Athena some weekend that’d really help. How hard could that be? Or, you know, rather than asking them to revolutionize AI, maybe after this AAR I should try email opponents for a change. I understand they’re already human-level.

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loki100
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Mon Feb 22, 2016 9:17 am

I do think that WiA (along with RoP) are the gems in AGEOD's crown. Its deceptively simple but really deep, great for either PBEM or vs the AI.

about Athena, my preferred setting for balance is the harsh activation rule for the player. It depends on your side but in a lot there is one with numbers and weak commanders so its a brilliant exercise in frustration but Athena as such has no real bonuses. In a scenario like this, it means you run the risk of a key formation suddenly deciding not to bother. Also in the more northerly campaigns its makes you exceptionally cautious about campaigning near winter.

in this, it does seem as if late in the scenario the British do decide to take the Spanish threat very seriously?
AJE The Hero, The Traitor and The Barbarian
PoN Manufacturing Italy; A clear bright sun
RoP The Mightiest Empires Fall
WIA Burning down the Houses; Wars in America; The Tea Wars

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