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pgr
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Fort Monroe...go for it?

Sun Oct 18, 2015 2:34 pm

So you CSA players, a question. In 61 there are several schools of thought about what to do first, dig in and hold, get everyone together and push to Washington etc. Where do people comedown on sending your main armies south when they unlock to grab Fort Monroe? The main reason would seem to be to relieve the BW blockade on Richmond and grab some heavy coastal arty to boot. Richmond is the most productive of southern cities, so getting production back that is being blockaded would seem like a good idea.

Has anyone successfully rushed Fort M, and does it make a noticeable economic impact?

grimjaw
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Sun Oct 18, 2015 9:31 pm

I wouldn't try it against a human player.

Versus Athena I have done so, however. I don't think I noticed any economic impact but I honestly didn't play close attention. With the lack of organization in the early part of '61, you can really wear your forces to a nubbin' trying to crack Monroe. It is worth some loss, IMO, but there's such a large amount of shipping that the Union can produce from the Chesapeake and use to mobilize forces elsewhere along the waterways in the region. Almost better off destroying that fort as the CSA.

Boomer
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Mon Oct 19, 2015 1:09 pm

I've taken Monroe a time or two, but it's not easy, and the later you wait the more the Union reinforces it. I usually just send a blocking force to Williamsburg and defend the peninsula rather than bleed out forces on Monroe that could be more beneficial elsewhere.

Rod Smart
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Mon Oct 19, 2015 2:41 pm

If you're playing for a long game against Athena, its absolutely worth sending your Eastern army there in the winter of '61/'62.
But that sort of game isn't for everyone.


At best it will take a month to crack. And that is best case scenario.

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ArmChairGeneral
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Tue Oct 20, 2015 5:35 am

I hardly ever go for Monroe, early or late. Instead I am looking to build up in Northern VA to take Alexandria, and hopefully Harper's Ferry to establish the Potomac Line. From there I am perfectly positioned to press the attack on Washington whenever I see the chance. (Usually shortly after the AI suffers a disastrous loss trying to oust me from Alexandria.)

Monroe is hard to crack: it is deceptively far from Richmond, past your supply lines, well defended with heavily entrenched artillery and can only be approached by water. You are going to need a couple of Divisions worth at least, maybe more, and a lot of artillery. Early in the war that means a large fraction of your fighting power committed to a place where it cannot quickly reach the main battlefields if things in Northern VA turn sour, and you pretty much cede any chance to take Alexandria early by weakening your main Armies (which can barely compete with the large Union stacks around DC as it is).

Not saying it isn't doable, but it is risky IMO, and will take enough doing that you are going to have to sacrifice a lot of doing elsewhere. If the AI has no activity bonus, I might be more inclined to risk it, hoping that she will not be able to take advantage of my weakened main front right away. Against a human I would probably play much more conservatively.

That said, I look longingly at Monroe every game, wishing I could break the Brown Block on Richmond. Take Monroe and your resource troubles are over....

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Gray Fox
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Tue Oct 20, 2015 1:07 pm

If the CSA player has at least one single battery of artillery sufficiently entrenched in Norfolk, then this "fort" acts to counter the effect of Fort Monroe as a blockader. However, eight Union ships in the adjacent sea zone maintains the blockade. So launching a major offensive to take the fort is 'much ado about nothing'.
I'm the 51st shade of gray. Eat, pray, Charge!

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ArmChairGeneral
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Tue Oct 20, 2015 2:56 pm

It does? I almost always hold Norfolk strongly, and I have never seen either the blockade icon go away or a stop-start surge of resources coming in as Union fleets rotate through Hampton Roads (I think that is the water region in question). I understand why you are saying that, it seems like it should work that way based on the documentation, but I have not seen it actually play out that way with respect to Richmond and Monroe. (It does play out that way in other places, like Charleston. Perhaps it is something to do with distant blockade.)

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Gray Fox
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Tue Oct 20, 2015 4:45 pm

I did a test by playing both sides. Initially, Monroe is a blockader. Then Norfolk's entrenched guns counter this, per this feature:

http://www.ageod.net/agewiki/Bombard_and_Blockade

"bloAdjFriendlyFort = -4 // brown water blockade, bonus given by adjacent fort
bloAdjEnemyFort = 4 // same, for an enemy fort (malus) "

At which point 8 Union ships must take over. I can recall that the sea region has a message that 4 ships are needed to blockade and then this jumps to 8 as the forts counter each other.
I'm the 51st shade of gray. Eat, pray, Charge!

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ArmChairGeneral
AGEod Grognard
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Tue Oct 20, 2015 8:46 pm

Well, if that is the case then there really isn't much point in going after Monroe, since you can lift the Brown Block through other (cheaper) means....

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ArmChairGeneral
AGEod Grognard
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Wed Oct 21, 2015 5:06 am

Fox,

In your tests did you see the expected increase in resource production from lifting the blockade in Richmond (roughly doubling it if I am not mistaken)?

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Gray Fox
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Wed Oct 21, 2015 11:59 am

Unfortunately, I was not testing that aspect. So I didn't check what the production increase would be if the Union player was somehow oblivious to the fact that Monroe was no longer a blockader.
I'm the 51st shade of gray. Eat, pray, Charge!

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Captain_Orso
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Wed Oct 21, 2015 3:13 pm

Fort Monroe and Norfolk, neither alone nor together, can neither cause nor lift the distant-blockade of Richmond; they only influence it.

Fort Monroe is not reachable only by sea, but it is on a island with a "major river"[SUP]1)[/SUP] between it and the James-York Peninsula, and as long as it has artillery and is not blockaded supplies can reach it through the RivTP and not just overland. This means that to keep Fort Monroe in supply, who ever owns it must also control Hampton Roads, which is not such a simple thing for the South.

[SUP]1)[/SUP] The Hampton Roads Coastal waters region is also between Fort Monroe and the James-York Peninsula as if it were also a major river between those two land masses. Therefore all rules pertaining to river crossing and supply movement apply to Hampton Roads in regards to movement between Fort Monroe and the James-York Peninsula.
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