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Gray Fox
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DIY Union steamroller

Wed Apr 02, 2014 2:24 pm

How to build a Union steamroller by the spring of 1862:

Get Grant to 3-star and put him in charge of an army stack with your two best Corps Commanders in charge of his right and left flank stacks. Each stack should have an engineer, a pontoon unit (yes both, their defensive effect is additive), an HQ unit, a balloon and four Divisions. The Divisions should be led by your best remaining Generals.

The Divisions should be assembled from the following producable brigades: one brigade with a sharpshooter element and two line infantry elements; one brigade with just two line infantry; two single line infantry elements; three brigades with a conscript, a line infantry and a cavalry element; and finally, one marine element. If you start them in a stack with the HQ unit, then the elements receive experience points while the brigades are forming up. Halleck and McClellan can convert most of the conscripts to line infantry while your army is being assembled if you make those brigades first. So, right out the door, your Divisions have mostly line infantry with the additional ability to cross rivers quickly and several points of experience. You can also incorporate an elite brigade that boosts cohesion into some of these 12 Divisions by omitting other brigades.

Grant's stack should also have ten 20-lbers and each Corps stack should have seven. The 20-lbers are the biggest guns that you can have that won't slow down your stack. That gives Grant the 24 batteries frontage max for support elements. Now all batteries will go hot in any battle in clear terrain with fair weather. This will also meet the max number in any other terrain/weather combination with some batteries in reserve. Each stack should have an artillery officer. Admirals Foote and Dahlgren can be used to help accomplish this. Each stack should have a cavalry officer too. A cavalry Division is no longer needed as each stack already has 12 cav elements.

Now you have the perfect instrument for offensive operations. The best of your best can maneuver quickly, do the most amount of damage and force your will on your opponent in the shortest amount of time. This is what I used to take Richmond from Colonel Athena's 16k power defense force.
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minipol
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Wed Apr 02, 2014 8:04 pm

Interesting. When you say "each stack should have a cav and arty officer". Do you mean in the stack or in command of troops. The artillery is added to the corps so no general to command them?

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Wed Apr 02, 2014 9:22 pm

I don't want to speak for Fox, but both Artillerist and Cavalryman (the red horsehead icon) pass the bonus to their stack without needing to be in command. All cavalry and artillery elements in the stack should receive these bonii, regardless of how the Divisions and Corps are structured, or whether the leaders are directly in command of anything.

RebelYell
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Thu Apr 03, 2014 4:59 am

Gray Fox wrote:How to build a Union steamroller by the spring of 1862:

Get Grant to 3-star and put him in charge of an army stack with your two best Corps Commanders in charge of his right and left flank stacks. Each stack should have an engineer, a pontoon unit (yes both, their defensive effect is additive), an HQ unit, a balloon and four Divisions. The Divisions should be led by your best remaining Generals.

The Divisions should be assembled from the following producable brigades: one brigade with a sharpshooter element and two line infantry elements; one brigade with just two line infantry; two single line infantry elements; three brigades with a conscript, a line infantry and a cavalry element; and finally, one marine element. If you start them in a stack with the HQ unit, then the elements receive experience points while the brigades are forming up. Halleck and McClellan can convert most of the conscripts to line infantry while your army is being assembled if you make those brigades first. So, right out the door, your Divisions have mostly line infantry with the additional ability to cross rivers quickly and several points of experience. You can also incorporate an elite brigade that boosts cohesion into some of these 12 Divisions by omitting other brigades.

Grant's stack should also have ten 20-lbers and each Corps stack should have seven. The 20-lbers are the biggest guns that you can have that won't slow down your stack. That gives Grant the 24 batteries frontage max for support elements. Now all batteries will go hot in any battle in clear terrain with fair weather. This will also meet the max number in any other terrain/weather combination with some batteries in reserve. Each stack should have an artillery officer. Admirals Foote and Dahlgren can be used to help accomplish this. Each stack should have a cavalry officer too. A cavalry Division is no longer needed as each stack already has 12 cav elements.

Now you have the perfect instrument for offensive operations. The best of your best can maneuver quickly, do the most amount of damage and force your will on your opponent in the shortest amount of time. This is what I used to take Richmond from Colonel Athena's 16k power defense force.



Using admirals should not be possible, hope it is fixed. I know Semmes did it but come on.

In the West that stack would have freedom of movement in good terrain.

In the East it will face its match with even better leaders under Lee, they will have their artillery and cavalry officers with elite troops.

They might even let that formation attack Richmond that has 3-4 garrison divisions behind entrechments and 4 batteries of columbiads, 1-3 mortars and what ever artillery there is.

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Thu Apr 03, 2014 6:54 am

Fox,

That's a nice set of stacks. What's the plan? In the West I would think use it to drive down the Mississippi or take and hold western TN (Memphis, Nashville, the river forts). In Virginia you could go after anything but Richmond directly (assume the CSA doesn't let their guard down at the capitol). Grind them down, taking VA depot by depot? Hard for the CSA to stop you from taking anything you decide you want. They can probably meet you in the field somewhere, but not without concentrating in one place. How much of your East theater forces does this represent in early 62? I don't have a good idea of exactly how much the Union can put together by then. Would you still have a couple Divisions to use elsewhere for flanking, diversion or threatening weakened targets?

Supply will be tricky, you need what, six wagons just to draw enough supply for one turn, with spares for insurance and forward-building depots. In the West, you will probably need to stick close to the rivers at first and keep the CSA off them so you can stay supplied from Cairo during the initial thrust. Or you could come down the rail through KY to Bowling Green, Nashville and then Donnelson.

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GraniteStater
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Thu Apr 03, 2014 9:51 am

Gray Fox wrote:How to build a Union steamroller by the spring of 1862:

Get Grant to 3-star and put him in charge of an army stack with your two best Corps Commanders in charge of his right and left flank stacks. Each stack should have an engineer, a pontoon unit (yes both, their defensive effect is additive), an HQ unit, a balloon and four Divisions. The Divisions should be led by your best remaining Generals.

The Divisions should be assembled from the following producable brigades: one brigade with a sharpshooter element and two line infantry elements; one brigade with just two line infantry; two single line infantry elements; three brigades with a conscript, a line infantry and a cavalry element; and finally, one marine element. If you start them in a stack with the HQ unit, then the elements receive experience points while the brigades are forming up. Halleck and McClellan can convert most of the conscripts to line infantry while your army is being assembled if you make those brigades first. So, right out the door, your Divisions have mostly line infantry with the additional ability to cross rivers quickly and several points of experience. You can also incorporate an elite brigade that boosts cohesion into some of these 12 Divisions by omitting other brigades.

Grant's stack should also have ten 20-lbers and each Corps stack should have seven. The 20-lbers are the biggest guns that you can have that won't slow down your stack. That gives Grant the 24 batteries frontage max for support elements. Now all batteries will go hot in any battle in clear terrain with fair weather. This will also meet the max number in any other terrain/weather combination with some batteries in reserve. Each stack should have an artillery officer. Admirals Foote and Dahlgren can be used to help accomplish this. Each stack should have a cavalry officer too. A cavalry Division is no longer needed as each stack already has 12 cav elements.

Now you have the perfect instrument for offensive operations. The best of your best can maneuver quickly, do the most amount of damage and force your will on your opponent in the shortest amount of time. This is what I used to take Richmond from Colonel Athena's 16k power defense force.


I would like to preface this by saying that our Fox is a Good Guy, I like his ideas and I salute anyone who has beaten the game on Colonel - both ways.

But, if I may: with respects, did you play a lot of AACW? CW2 is not AACW and I'm still learning the subtleties of it and shall be for a while, but the AACW experience is helpful. I played a lot of AACW against the AI before I got involved in PbeM - it took me a dozen starts just to figure out how to keep my guys fed. I played mostly Union (because the Union is a harder military proposition, really, there's much more you have to juggle), but more than a little CSA, too, 'cuz the CSA is just fun, much less to juggle and you can just mix it up. Then I got involved in PbeM and entered a brave new world. Pat schooled me but good in what the CSA defense of NoVa is all about and Longshanks pulled his favorite against me, TJ in the West, and gave me a clinic on how to stop the Union cold in Paducahland. The first loss to Pat we didn't count, 'cuz I was just stupid at one point, then lost twice to Pat, the first one definitively, the second much more narrowly. I was getting better. I came real close to beating 'Shanks in our first, a '62 start, and he agreed if I had switched a certain axis of attack just a few Turns earlier, it could well have been otherwise. Then he showed me what the Union can do in my first CSA PbeM, and then I lost as a substitute in the tourney (CSA), playing a game I took over from a guy who worshiped Horse Arty and had things in a mess, IMO - I made it a real good game, but lost by the midsummer '63 deadline.

This is why I'm stating this - you've had the game for what - a month? Is this your first time with Ageod's Civil War series? I'm not snarking, my point is, I am very chary of Magic Bullets. "Just do this, just do that" - it ain't that easy or simple. If it were, I wouldn't play it, myself.

You've got lots and lots of good ideas, but Athena, even on OMG+++ is not a human. She can be challenging, yes, indeed, but she makes mistakes, too often, and frequently Bad Mistakes. All the Detection and Colonels and Aggression (or not) doesn't replace the mind of an opponent who can plan, read the map, anticipate your moves and has determination, which no program has.

I've read this post a number of times - a human CSA player is not going to sit around while you assemble your Legions of Doom. Athena does not make concerted, well organized campaigns into the North. I have a Union Colonel game right now, spring 62, where she smacked me in the face in Alexandria and then went on a jaunt to Baltimore with 2200 Pwr under PGT. Great - but where's the follow? You can have Baltimore, application, I'll just isolate you there and let you stew in your own self-maintaining POW camp while I choke off your Supplies. Athena doesn't understand working together, multiple threats, changing axes of attack, or how to stop obsessing over Monroe (no, sweet Goddess, 2200 Pwr to guard against Monroe is Just Too Much) and laying off building scads of one-hit wonder fleets that chew up her resources with precious little ROI.

Humans understand Proportion and Priorities - the code can emulate these, but it fails on the finer points.

Now, for some particulars:

* Get Grant to 3-star and put him in charge of an army stack with your two best Corps Commanders

Who? You said by the spring of 62 - who? They're all 3-1-1s! Yeah, maybe if you get a promo on Sherman; lessee, who else? Foster? Thomas? Lyons (He's a bit more possible by then, he shows up early)? Who? You're counting on these promos? The saving grace is Grant as Army Cdr - he spreads the Grantness all around, I have Gilbert the Monster as a 5-4-4 in my PbeM, I'll grant you that (ha!), but it's really pretty vanilla. If you get Grant's hands dirty fighting, just keep your fingers crossed on the 0.01% Bullets - and, FYI, I did lose Grant once in 61 in AACW as a 2*, KIA (he was almost hit by a round at Shiloh, BTW, his saber sheath took the impact). It can happen. Grant's biggest asset isn't just the Grantness, either - he has a huge Command Radius and can handle nine Corps. You want to keep him to just two Ueber-Corps?

* The Divisions should be led by your best remaining Generals

Again, who, by spring 62? You don't even have Reynolds yet. One of the best assets of the CSA is its 'average' 1* is something close to a 4-2-3, or close enough, even though a few CSA Leaders are dreadful, and the CSA has its share of 3-1-1s. Still, the Grantness doesn't percolate to the Div Cdrs, so the individual matchups in the combat algorithm favor the CSA at the Div level, even within the Corps. Who? The Union doesn't have enough Leaders until Jan 62, the Union truly hurts for Ldr bodies in 61, and the Leader Pools in Jan 62 have a half dozen 'good' ones, all about 3-2-1 or 3-1-2. I don't think there's a single 3-2-2 in the Pools. Thomas and Sherman are the best at that point. And again, if you want promos, ya gotta fight, so what are you doing until March/April 62? If you're fighting to get promos, you're fighting more than a slow building scheme seeks, which means Hits, which means $$, and your Industrial investments haven't really kicked in yet and your WS are still prosaic, at best. Now you're affecting Resources and building.

Again, before I move on, you think a decent CSA player is just whistling Dixie while you're doing all this?

* an engineer, a pontoon unit (yes both, their defensive effect is additive), an HQ unit, a balloon

Must be nice to have a Gold Club card with the special 15 Day builds as a member bonus. You're gonna build all these Supports by spring 62? And sharpies (a 90 Day build, IIRC, if you're talking the Bdes - maybe you mean single SSs)? HQs and Balloons ain't exactly cheap, you know. You don't want any Meds? They're my first priority, but that's me. And you don't want HQSupport for any other of your grand total of six Army Cdrs? Bear in mind, you almost have to give McClellan an Army, the pouting can be a very undesirable NM hit with him, I always give him an Army to shut him up and he trains in Cincy. Oh, and don't forget, you'll need the sharpies for each Div. And the Sailors (actually better for the penalty reduction, I think - cheaper and the loss in Pwr ain't that bad).

Gonna do any scouting, BTW? No independent Cav? How about C/C/HA formations for Partisan Putdown and a dedicated strong Cav stack to keep an eye on Forrest - play a good CSA player and you'll get chapter and verse on how much of a deadly opponent Forrest can be. And I mean deadly, he's not just a track ripper, he's very fast and packs a punch with some of the best stats in the game. He can take over KY practically all by himself and laughs at RR reaction.

* Grant's stack should also have ten 20-lbers and each Corps stack should have seven.

That's 24 60 Day builds! By spring 62? Where are you getting all the WS, if nothing else?

*****

And you don't need a Cav Div, 'cuzza all the integrated Cav. Again, scouting? Like scouting ahead, not just the immediate adjacent Region(s) in front of this hydra-headed colossus?

And where are you going with the Colossus? Richmond? Ole Man River? Central TN? I assume it's not MO, or a seaborne EF. What's happening on the rest of the map? Nothing? You've starved everyone else to build this Death Star and your human opponent is just gonna wait for this to loom over the horizon? No river navy, whose admirals you've shanghaied? No blockade or any attempt to thwart a semi-comatose CSA player who's gonna build Brigs out the wazoo when he sees the seas are clear?

Gonna guard your line of communication any, as you lumber forward with Grant the Gigantic? Do you think at some point you'll be tired of foot slogging all your Reinforcements to Baltimore and Cincy, etc., after the entire rail net of MD and the lower Midwest is ripped up for the seventh time? And this Colossus is going to need a dedicated Supply line, consuming NYC's production every Turn, all for its own needs.

I see problems with this. Believe me, even the most lackluster CSA player ain't gonna sit there while the Empire gets set to zap Tatooine.

There are no Magic Bullets. If you've finally discovered the set of moves where White always wins, then the game is dead. If you have, congratulations, but the game would be dead. I don't think Ageod built something that could be deconstructed as easily as this, or that, or any particular 'set' moves and decisions. I might have my observations about balance, but we're still working on a better game, all of us. 1.04 is coming - even 1.09 and a few more. By the time we were at 1.17 in AACW, it was a fine, well balanced game.

Best of luck. I'd like to play you in a PbeM - you're very imaginative and could be very tough.

Respects,
GS
[color="#AFEEEE"]"Liberty and Union, now and forever, one and inseparable!"[/color]
-Daniel Webster

[color="#FFA07A"]"C'mon, boys, we got the damn Yankees on the run!"[/color]
-General Joseph Wheeler, US Army, serving at Santiago in 1898

RULES
(A) When in doubt, agree with Ace.
(B) Pull my reins up sharply when needed, for I am a spirited thoroughbred and forget to turn at the post sometimes.


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Gray Fox
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Thu Apr 03, 2014 2:02 pm

@minipol-As ACG posted, the specialist Generals/Admirals only need to be present in the stack to gain the bonus of their respective ability.

@RebelYell-The Union has more Admirals than can be effectively employed. A commander with good knowledge of artillery use should be available to give advice on the use of artillery. I don't see this as gamey.

Athena had 16k power defending Richmond when I took her capital, so a wee bit more than 3-4 Divisions.

@ACG-The plan is that any Union player can take the time to do this. Assemble a dozen Divisions with approximately 100k line infantry, 21k cavalry and 288 good artillery under your best leadership. You can swim down the Ol' Miss, or visit Richmond or just send it to Fort Monroe and march up and down the peninsula. It's the Genie that is waiting in the Union production bottle. You're going to create Divisions anyway, so why not do this? Then, do with it as you will.

I usually have the nine cities in my center along the Missouri-Ohio river line garrisoned by a Division, with a further Division at HF and Manassas and three more entrenched in D.C. with a few others in reserve there. With the steamroller that's about 30 Divisions by Spring 1862. I don't build ocean going vessels or industry. I produce the two Wagon Supply Units for the garrisoned cities and then I have more than enough 4 wagon SU's for the elite army.

@GS-I never advise that the Union player should just sit around. As I've posted elsewhere, build a strong center of entrenched Divisions along defendable rivers. Please, oh please, human player send a CSA army into the Midwest during the winter of '61-'62.

What's that place that starts with "S" and ends with "talingrad"?

The Union player would normally build Divisions and artillery batteries during the opening months of the war. I'm just saying, build these Divisions and artillery batteries. I do it every time. More than enough resources are there.

While you're definitely not sitting around in '61 early '62, put together a stack with eight CP's of Generals, two Divisions and three artillery batteries, a signal unit and a balloon. Alternate the Commander, (Grant, Hooker, Meagher, Lyons) and hunt some Confederates. Get the right Generals promoted ASAP and it works for the 3-1-1 guys too.

Anything that can be organized can be done.
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Thu Apr 03, 2014 3:42 pm

Wow, that's a lot of Divisions! The Union can get that done by Spring of 62? I don't want to hear anyone else talk about how the CSA is overpowered! :)

One thing I am getting better at in my games is concentration of force. Decide what the objective is and build the stacks to take it. Yes that means you will be weak somewhere else, so you have to make it count, but if your opponent is trying to do too many things while you are only doing one, you can build a decisive advantage. My problem is that I am too tempted to build something in El Paso or Charleston or Missouri or somewhere that takes my focus off amassing the size necessary to get the job done where it needs doing most.

RebelYell
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Thu Apr 03, 2014 3:44 pm

Gray Fox wrote:@RebelYell-The Union has more Admirals than can be effectively employed. A commander with good knowledge of artillery use should be available to give advice on the use of artillery. I don't see this as gamey.

Athena had 16k power defending Richmond when I took her capital, so a wee bit more than 3-4 Divisions.



They can be used taking control of the rivers and ports and should be, I really think it is gamey, very gamey.

3-4 divisions should be enough to stop that stack if they have the massed columbiads and mortars in use, it also a place to store reserve artillery and troops.

They have a fort, a HQ unit, engineers, supply trains, a fort defender leader, artillery leader.

You cant take Richmond if you havent destroyed the ANV, it is impossible in 62, they will jump you after bleeding against it.

And taking Grant there will be a blessing for the CSA as West is a theater they can actually advance if Grant is not there.


Not building a big navy will make CSA a powerhouse, that is a real gift to them.

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Thu Apr 03, 2014 3:52 pm

What do you do when you see a fortified position?

You go around it.

Now, this isn't Panzer Command. It is truly a mistake to try to go for Sichelsnittts on too wide a scale in this game. The forces aren't fast enough, except in some situations.

But I'll tell you what I'd do against the Militia Line and budding Ueberstack.

Snip, snip, snip.

Take my game against havi. Richmond: I am finally in the position I've been working towards. Strong Corps in Buckingham, New Kent and Charles City. No crossings. He can't move his 3500 Pwr concentration without losing the place. If he attacks out, he can only attack at one place, then, almost regardless of result, the fresher troops from the other Regions have a shot. He's surrounded. PGT can try to relieve from F-burg, but another Corps in Stafford would be only too glad to cross and follow.

Great, but I didn't just do maneuvering. I cut every key RR junction leading into P-burg, Richmond and the trunk from TN. Richmond's been RR isolated for a while, now. That means that he's getting far fewer Supplies from the outside (he gets some from roads that you can't interdict without MC, etc.); the target is drawing only on itself. G2 says he doesn't have much Industry there. If I have a correct understanding, eventually he starts running out & I'll see diminishing green bars. Time is the great variable here.

Same with reverse colors. While you're executing your project plan, I'll take TJ and trash & tear every connection I see in MD and SE PA. I'll play Demos on Baltimore, St Louis, every good producer you have with questionable Loyalty. Wherever I see a concentration in places like Cincy, I'll cut the RRs. As soon as I have four popguns built in LA, I'll rail them north to the KY line in Paducahland, merge with the forces and Supplies there, deliberately invade KY and build a Fort at Paducah. You wouldn't like a Fort there, not at all. Grant's Pick an Easy Win for the extra star might take a bit longer - it's not automatic, you know, I've had Grant wait for it with two or three wins under his belt, though there's one place that seems to award it near automatically.

Yes, as the CSA, I will invade KY, just for that Fort in that place. Oh, no good admirals on the rivers? Yum, yum. Hollis likes that - the CSA has a bigger fleet with 'clads in the early going, it takes a bit to build a river navy up North.

I don't care about occupying stuff past the Ohio. I'll just keep cutting your RRs to your assembly points and Stalingrads (Supplies!). I'll take Louisville and St Louis, those would be my targets, along with the Missouri from St Joe to St Loo, possibly Leavenworth. I'll look for the low hanging fruit for Strat Cities (Loyalty!). I'll do my level best to make you wish you'd never heard of Harper' Ferry. If I see easy pickings on the waves, it's Brig City; thanks Union guy, always appreciate easy earnings from Liverpool. And I've got enough Pwr under JJ and PGT in the NoVa neighborhood to smash into Baltimore if the map is right.

Your entire plan rests on one or two premises, the first being Grant gets promoted. When? It could be Jan 62. Until Mar 62, the CSA usually has the advantage in anything near an even fight, 'cuz the southern leaders just absolutely trash 3-1-1s. Better be on your guard in Alex and MD, 'cuz any big fights that you lose threaten a tailspin and Worse to Come.

And you're doing this building of nine Militia Divs and the UeberArmy of Grant on that dizzying 350 WS per Turn that is the usual budget in most months until some Indy kicks in? No river navy? Starting blockade fleets? Little Cav/HArty to be wary of? It's Copperhead City.

Oh, please, please, play me in a PbeM. I don't wish to sound arrogant, but I'd love to put some spokes in these wagon wheels. The South doesn't have to take anything, it just has to make life miserable for the North. And it has just the force mix to do it, right out of the starting blocks.

Plus, me. Pat was laughing at me at one point - with good reason: I was much, much too aggressive and Pat showed me what a Bloody Waste it is to keep attacking when the NM is All Wrong - you're getting your troops killed to no good end. Then he attacked. I was wishing I'd never heard the rebel yell. Do you see what I'm saying? I am, by nature, very aggressive on the map - I had to learn how to play the Union - relieve me of the juggling the North has to do with six different concerns, make the Project Plan simple and sweet, and that suits me to a T, temperamentally. I will mess with your junk all day long, cut rail lines everywhere I see one, invade KY, put that Fort at Paducah and do my level best to make you defend the Missouri. I haven't begun to use the Cards really well and there's definitely some Messin' Way out West to be had.

I really think, against a good CSA player (not to make the claim, haven't played it enough), you're dusting off Plan B by August of 62.
[color="#AFEEEE"]"Liberty and Union, now and forever, one and inseparable!"[/color]

-Daniel Webster



[color="#FFA07A"]"C'mon, boys, we got the damn Yankees on the run!"[/color]

-General Joseph Wheeler, US Army, serving at Santiago in 1898



RULES

(A) When in doubt, agree with Ace.

(B) Pull my reins up sharply when needed, for I am a spirited thoroughbred and forget to turn at the post sometimes.





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GraniteStater
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Thu Apr 03, 2014 4:02 pm

but if your opponent is trying to do too many things while you are only doing one, you can build a decisive advantage.


Egg-zackly. Les bon mots.

And it takes time for the Union to start to breathe easy with Resources (except $$) - even until the EP, really. And warm bodies ain't exactly brimming over for the North until the EP, either.
[color="#AFEEEE"]"Liberty and Union, now and forever, one and inseparable!"[/color]

-Daniel Webster



[color="#FFA07A"]"C'mon, boys, we got the damn Yankees on the run!"[/color]

-General Joseph Wheeler, US Army, serving at Santiago in 1898



RULES

(A) When in doubt, agree with Ace.

(B) Pull my reins up sharply when needed, for I am a spirited thoroughbred and forget to turn at the post sometimes.





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RebelYell
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Thu Apr 03, 2014 4:10 pm

GraniteStater wrote:What do you do when you see a fortified position?

You go around it.

Now, this isn't Panzer Command. It is truly a mistake to try to go for Sichelsnittts on too wide a scale in this game. The forces aren't fast enough, except in some situations.

But I'll tell you what I'd do against the Militia Line and budding Ueberstack.

Snip, snip, snip.

Take my game against havi. Richmond: I am finally in the position I've been working towards. Strong Corps in Buckingham, New Kent and Charles City. No crossings. He can't move his 3500 Pwr concentration without losing the place. If he attacks out, he can only attack at one place, then, almost regardless of result, the fresher troops from the other Regions have a shot. He's surrounded. PGT can try to relieve from F-burg, but another Corps in Stafford would be only too glad to cross and follow.

Great, but I didn't just do maneuvering. I cut every key RR junction leading into P-burg, Richmond and the trunk from TN. Richmond's been RR isolated for a while, now. That means that he's getting far fewer Supplies from the outside (he gets some from roads that you can't interdict without MC, etc.); the target is drawing only on itself. G2 says he doesn't have much Industry there. If I have a correct understanding, eventually he starts running out & I'll see diminishing green bars. Time is the great variable here.

Same with reverse colors. While you're executing your project plan, I'll take TJ and trash & tear every connection I see in MD and SE PA. I'll play Demos on Baltimore, St Louis, every good producer you have with questionable Loyalty. Wherever I see a concentration in places like Cincy, I'll cut the RRs. As soon as I have four popguns built in LA, I'll rail them north to the KY line in Paducahland, merge with the forces and Supplies there, deliberately invade KY and build a Fort at Paducah. You wouldn't like a Fort, there, not at all. Grant's Pick an Easy Win for the extra star might take a bit longer - it's not automatic, you know, I've had Grant wait for it with two or three wins under his belt, though there's one place that seems to award it near automatically.

Yes, as the CSA, I will invade KY, just for that Fort in that place. Oh, no good admirals on the rivers? Yum, yum. Hollis likes that - the CSA has a bigger fleet with 'clads in the early going, it takes a bit to build a river navy up North.

I don't care about occupying stuff past the Ohio. I'll just keep cutting your RRs to your assembly points and Stalingrads (Supplies!). I'll take Louisville and St Louis, those would be my targets, along with the Missouri from St Joe to St Loo, possibly Leavenworth. I'll look for the low hanging fruit for Strat Cities (Loyalty!). I'll do my level best to make you wish you'd never heard of Harper' Ferry. If I see easy pickings on the waves, it's Brig City; thanks Union guy, always appreciate easy earnings from Liverpool. And I've got enough Pwr under JJ and PGT in the NoVa neighborhood to smash into Baltimore if the map is right.

Your entire plan rests on one or two premises, the first being Grant gets promoted. When? It could be Jan 62. Until Mar 62, the CSA usually has the advantage in anything near an even fight, 'cuz the southern leaders just absolutely trash 3-1-1s. Better be on your guard in Alex and MD, 'cuz any big fights that you lose threaten a tailspin and Worse to Come.

And you're doing this building of nine Militia Divs and the UeberArmy of Grant on that dizzying 350 WS per Turn that is the usual budget in most months until some Indy kicks in? No river navy? Starting blockade fleets? Little Cav/HArty to be wary of? It's Copperhead City.

Oh, please, please, play me in a PbeM. I don't wish to sound arrogant, but I'd love to put some spokes in these wagon wheels. The South doesn't have to take anything, it just has to make life miserable for the North. And it has just the force mix to do it, right out of the starting blocks.

Plus, me. Pat was laughing at me at one point - with good reason: I was much, much too aggressive and Pat showed me what a Bloody Waste it is to keep attacking when the NM is All Wrong - you're getting your troops killed to no good end. Then he attacked. I was wishing I'd never heard the rebel yell. Do you see what I'm saying? I am, by nature, very aggressive on the map - I had to learn how to play the Union - relieve me of the juggling the North has to do with six different concerns, make the Project Plan simple and sweet, and that suits me to a T, temperamentally. I will mess with your junk all day long, cut rail lines everywhere I see one, invade KY, put that Fort at Paducah and do my level best to make you defend the Missouri. I haven't begun to use the Cards really well and there's definitely some Messin' Way out West to be had.

I really think, against a good CSA player (not to make the claim, haven't played it enough), you're dusting off Plan B by August of 62.


No NO to protect CSA can take St.Louis easy with rest of Missouri, a world of hurt with CSA river navy shelling Union states, sounds like a dream.

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soundoff
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Thu Apr 03, 2014 4:30 pm

RebelYell wrote:No NO to protect CSA can take St.Louis easy with rest of Missouri, a world of hurt with CSA river navy shelling Union states, sounds like a dream.


I'm with you there RebelYell. If I knew my Union opponent was going to play the amphibious part of the campaign about as well as Athena I'd be ecstatic. :w00t:

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Gray Fox
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Thu Apr 03, 2014 4:53 pm

@ACG-The Union gets enough free units for about 5 Divisions, so I make some sharpshooters and put the pieces together in D.C. I divide all of the 20+ Light infantry brigades up between the cities to be garrisoned. That's St. Louis, Cairo, Evansville, Louisville, Cincinnati, Ashland, Mariette, Wheeling, Pittsburgh and HF. They get sharpshooters too. That's about a third of a Division. I then add some brigades with 6-lbers with some militia by Oct. '61. I push for cash and conscripts and my merchant fleet usually gets me 50+ WS instead of money because I deplete this every turn. The resources really are there to build this army.

@RebelYell-An Admiral cannot lead a Division, or a Corps or an Army because the game does not allow this. However, the game does allow an Admiral to use his artillery ability. I use what the game allows. We agree to disagree. :)

Colonel Athena on steroids had 102% of my overall combat force when I took Richmond in Feb.1863. My blockade was about 35% with the ships you get. The steamroller is about 12,000 power. The CSA army was very much alive when they withdrew from a battle they had lost.

@GS-Take KY...and MO and Chicago. Please. Cut every rail line east of Pittsburgh. Build forts all along the Ohio. Every soldier who is not in VA gets a medal from Abe after we take Richmond. All you need to do is figure out how to stop a 12k power juggernaut while you are doing these other really important things.

My school is out in May. ;)
I'm the 51st shade of gray. Eat, pray, Charge!

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GraniteStater
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Thu Apr 03, 2014 5:10 pm

Taking Richmond doesn't guarantee a win.

Athena doesn't understand how important NM is. Yes, it is definitely built in for her, I'm sure it's not a low priority in her checklist, but she really doesn't see that 2 here, 3 there, wow, a 5 from a battle - it all adds up.

Plus, a good CSA player can maintain a hefty 400, 500, 600 VP lead for eons. The CSA has all the Objectives, just about, to start with and gets the bennies, Turn after Turn after Turn. The VP structure favors the South. The Union has to have the Big Turnaround, or it will lose by Jan 66.

And you don't get the BT just by Richmond alone. I don't why Athena throws in the towel if Richmond is all she's lost - she shouldn't , the VP/Objective value for Richmond ain't that awesome - heck, right now, everyone should be hell for leather for Tucson.

A human ain't gonna quit 'cuz you took Richmond, most especially while he's sunning himself in St Loo, enjoying Mardi Gras every year in the Big Easy and making googly eyes at Nappy III. It ain't gonna happen, humans are too resourceful - the North must crush the South. You have to convince the CSA that It Ain't Gonna Happen and Athena has no conception of how to evaluate this - she's all algorithms; when certain criteria are met, she quits, even though it might be playable.
[color="#AFEEEE"]"Liberty and Union, now and forever, one and inseparable!"[/color]

-Daniel Webster



[color="#FFA07A"]"C'mon, boys, we got the damn Yankees on the run!"[/color]

-General Joseph Wheeler, US Army, serving at Santiago in 1898



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(A) When in doubt, agree with Ace.

(B) Pull my reins up sharply when needed, for I am a spirited thoroughbred and forget to turn at the post sometimes.





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RebelYell
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Thu Apr 03, 2014 6:06 pm

Gray Fox wrote:
@RebelYell-An Admiral cannot lead a Brigade, or a Division, or a Corps or an Army because the game does not allow this. However, the game does allow an Admiral to use his artillery ability. I use what the game allows. We agree to disagree. :)

Colonel Athena on steroids had 102% of my overall combat force when I took Richmond in Feb.1863. My blockade was about 35% with the ships you get. The steamroller is about 12,000 power. The CSA army was very much alive when they withdrew from a battle they had lost.



Did it have Columbiads and mortars? Those will hit every round making giant hits, assault should be moved down with Napoleons firing canister.

Someone should test this scenario.

FelixZ
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Thu Apr 03, 2014 7:45 pm

We could get a lot of answers if Granitestater and Gray Fox would play each other in a hosted PBEM.

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GraniteStater
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Thu Apr 03, 2014 8:26 pm

Well, he kinda hinted in May...

man, I haven't played the CSA in a long time against wetware. You gotta come outta yer corner at the opening bell swinging as hard as you can. The Union can overwhelm you, if you get careless. Course, now in CW2, the CSA can actually industrialize some...still, it's strapped for Stuff.

But if you get FI, you can't control those forces???????????

:siffle:
[color="#AFEEEE"]"Liberty and Union, now and forever, one and inseparable!"[/color]

-Daniel Webster



[color="#FFA07A"]"C'mon, boys, we got the damn Yankees on the run!"[/color]

-General Joseph Wheeler, US Army, serving at Santiago in 1898



RULES

(A) When in doubt, agree with Ace.

(B) Pull my reins up sharply when needed, for I am a spirited thoroughbred and forget to turn at the post sometimes.





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Mickey3D
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Fri Apr 04, 2014 10:11 am

FelixZ wrote:We could get a lot of answers if Granitestater and Gray Fox would play each other in a hosted PBEM.


If Granitestater is not free, I would be interested to take the south (even if I don't have a huge experience with this side): I always wondered how to react to a steamroller strategy.

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Gray Fox
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Fri Apr 04, 2014 2:19 pm

Well, Lee had a 16,000 power force in Richmond. That's like 20 Divisions. Maybe Columbiads were present? I captured a seige mortar, so I know that was there. It took some whittling down. In one battle where I got +8NM, I lost 10k and Athena 20k. I still have the save game. I could just post it, if that would help. I wasn't actually satisfied with the result, because some of the synchronized moves didn't go off and then McDowell went to Annapolis for some unknown reason with half my army. I was going to try a peninsular campaign this time and take Richmond in '62.

I can't always play right now, that's why the one turn a day of the tournament didn't appeal to me. So if you don't whine too much about that part, I may be able to give someone a rodeo in May. :)
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Aurelin
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Sat Apr 05, 2014 9:59 am

1: Build *everything* in the east.

2: Go South. (Or North if you're the other guy.)

3: Refuse to play anyone who you know does that. And if you suspect they do that, refuse to send a turn. Ever.

I got burned like that. Never again.

khbynum
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Sun Apr 06, 2014 3:12 am

Well, something like that happened in the war. The 1862 Spring campaign in the East saw McClellan coming up the James/York peninsula with about 100,000 while McDowell came down from Fredericksburg with another 40,000. Lee assembled the largest army the Confederacy ever fielded, 90-100k, to oppose them. If the game allows that strategy (and it should), the player's job is to counter it. I'll admit it's boring.

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Ol' Choctaw
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Sun Apr 06, 2014 6:40 am

khbynum wrote:Well, something like that happened in the war. The 1862 Spring campaign in the East saw McClellan coming up the James/York peninsula with about 100,000 while McDowell came down from Fredericksburg with another 40,000. Lee assembled the largest army the Confederacy ever fielded, 90-100k, to oppose them. If the game allows that strategy (and it should), the player's job is to counter it. I'll admit it's boring.


But what we don’t find is everyone in the east.

In the spring of 62 the CSA opposed Curtis’s small army in Arkansas, Grant and Buel in Tennessee, and Butler moving into New Orleans.

We find roughly half of the two armies gathered in the east. Not an all out drive on each other’s Capitals at the expense of the rest of the country.

I think that is what Aurelin is getting at.

minipol
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Sun Apr 06, 2014 2:59 pm

If players abuse this tactic, maybe the effect of capturing the original location of the capitol should be reduced.
I have never played all out in one place. Patrly because I believe in the West there are smaller battles to be won by the CSA to give them a jump start in VP's.

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ArmChairGeneral
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Sun Apr 06, 2014 5:19 pm

I think the West is just more fun in general. The East is so tense, no room for error, and those big multiple Corps battles are hard to coordinate and risky. One false step and the whole position crumbles. I tend to try to develop a static front in the East and go after the low-hanging Western fruit like minipol suggests.

I agree with khbynum, if it is allowed, it is allowed, and it is up to us to find methods to beat it. There is surely a way to counter All-East, these are early days yet.

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Sun Apr 06, 2014 6:41 pm

Don’t stand it on its head. The game doesn’t allow it!

The game doesn’t disallow it. Mainly because the political considerations of the States is not modeled. So it is merely beyond the scope of the game. Those things are usually fixed with ground rules or “house rules”. The result would have been that the states never sent any more troops out of state, much like what happened with Arkansas when Van Dorn abandoned them.

RebelYell
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Sun Apr 06, 2014 6:51 pm

Ol' Choctaw wrote:Don’t stand it on its head. The game doesn’t allow it!

The game doesn’t disallow it. Mainly because the political considerations of the States is not modeled. So it is merely beyond the scope of the game. Those things are usually fixed with ground rules or “house rules”. The result would have been that the states never sent any more troops out of state, much like what happened with Arkansas when Van Dorn abandoned them.


These would be easily fixed with events like in the East with Richmond, Lincoln threatened Rosecrans if he did not move in East Tennessee.

khbynum
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Sun Apr 06, 2014 8:17 pm

The problem with such events is an old and basic one. Do we want to recreate the Civil War (the game doesn't allow it) or have a realistic simulation that lets us explore might-have-beens (the game doesn't disallow it)? I think almost all of us prefer the latter. Ol' Choctaw has a good idea about rules regulating where troops raised in a state can be sent. It reflects the realities of the time without imposing arbitrary restrictions on the player, but I wonder how much code it would take.

One change I would love to see that I don't think would violate historical ambiance is to allow the CSA to leave the Capital in Montgomery, or move it wherever. Perhaps it could be coupled with a reduction in Virginia brigades or a delay to their entry. That would cure the All-East syndrome.

RebelYell
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Sun Apr 06, 2014 8:26 pm

khbynum wrote:The problem with such events is an old and basic one. Do we want to recreate the Civil War (the game doesn't allow it) or have a realistic simulation that lets us explore might-have-beens (the game doesn't disallow it)? I think almost all of us prefer the latter. Ol' Choctaw has a good idea about rules regulating where troops raised in a state can be sent. It reflects the realities of the time without imposing arbitrary restrictions on the player, but I wonder how much code it would take.

One change I would love to see that I don't think would violate historical ambiance is to allow the CSA to leave the Capital in Montgomery, or move it wherever. Perhaps it could be coupled with a reduction in Virginia brigades or a delay to their entry. That would cure the All-East syndrome.


The push for East Tennessee has as much merit as the Richmond event, that pressure came from the electorate, politicians and newspapers, not only Lincolns own agenda.

khbynum
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Sun Apr 06, 2014 8:40 pm

I agree with your historical point. Recovering supposedly loyalist east Tennessee was a pet project of Lincoln's and probably diverted far too much effort toward a goal that, at least early in the war, was unattainable. That's why I don't like such rules, including the Richmond event. Come to think of it, the Richmond event encourages the very concentration in the east that some find objectionable. If the game forces you to do it, might as well go all out.

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