Sorry folks, but this action report picks up in midstream.
Fightingbuckeye asked for the Southern view point, and as I can not give it to him without letting the cat out of the bag, I decided to go with his suggestion and post a supplement. Keep in mind this is just an add-on to buckeye’s work, so please don’t expect much.
We have both agreed to not look at each other’s AAR, so there's no coordination. Reading this will probably be like listening to two radio stations at the same time. Sorry, no maps, pictures or cool images - just words. If I learn the skills, find the time, or get my hands on the software that draws all those neat map arrows and circles, I might try adding them in future.
From April 61 to present.
To bring you up to date – war plans for the:
I’ll go for Harper’s Ferry, and sit on Manassas until he loses the 10 NM points. After that, I’ll look for an opportunity to push out of the valley into the back of DC. I plan on holding the line and try taking advantage of any mistakes that open chinks in his armor. But, I’m not that great at offense and Cardinal Ape did a great job of humbling me in our last game. It is very possible I might hesitate at the crucial moment and miss my chance.
In the west, I will build and gather enough cannon and supply units to run up and construct a fort at Paducah. I also need a force strong enough to grab and hold Bowling Green while still sitting on Nashville. I’m going to try and drain the KY force pool and then fight every step of the way back to Chattanooga.
Creating trouble in MO is the plan. But I’m not going to commit a whole lot of forces. I’m hoping big cavalry brigades from VA mixed in with the Indians will make strong cavalry divisions that will be hard to pin down and require a fair chunk of his western manpower to garrison against.
In the Far West, the same thing. A good cavalry leader, a few regular builds, lots of dancing around, some barn burning and a few pokes to the eye. Lots of fun and good for ego building! I might even be able to pick up some NM by killing small units. I don’t know if I have the skill to pull this off, but I’m going to try.
Waiting for Northern player to drop the hammer on the coast is never fun. Trying to protect the coast is like a naked, one armed lady trying to cover herself.
The sea coast down to Wilmington will be protected by spinning off a reaction force from the Army of N VA. And, as the Southern rail system tends to break in your hand when you need it most. I plan on developing strong, holding forces at New Orleans, Mobile and Charlestown.
I have a navy?
Blockade runners to one box to waste ½ of his effort.
Pull together the free ironclads into one hard hitting force on the Mississippi.
Work as a delaying force.
Hang out behind key forts and try to keep the rivers free for supply transfer.
Build runners as possible.
Build iron works in costal cities.
Build ammo sources later in the game.
Try to keep the rail and water transportation systems working.
Create a supply network with cheap flat boats.
Crank out troops.
Buckeye seems to like playing with cavalry raids. The last one really cost me when, an excellent Virginia brigade, that was moving to Manassas, decided to follow a scouting regiment to Alexandria and their death. This gave Buckeye a gift of 3 NM.
There is a hole at Clarke, VA; I am going to plug it before he tries slipping anymore units behind my lines. If the boys in blue hold Clarke, they will cut off easy access to the Shenandoah Valley. I’m going to try shifting a couple of divisions under Old Pete to hold the area and catch any of those people moving to or fro. Thanks to rails, the gray backs should get their first and have the advantage of terrain and excellent leadership.
Surprise, surprise, Buckeye is sure playing aggressive for a Federal commander with undependable leadership. He slid past Harpers Ferry and took Winchester. This may open an opportunity to strike with the Army of Potomac. I’m leaving Manassas to a make-shift collection of units and moving by rail to strike at the Federals in Winchester. Longstreet and his force will join us for the attack. I’m thinking Buckeye is going to pound on J Johnson in HP. My main army move is laid out to end in HP, but there is no way, I’ll make it in time to help. J Johnson will just have to hold Harpers Ferry by himself
As Buckeye lost the 10 NM for not moving, Manassas is not quite as important. I doubt he will bother trying to attack in November with Butler. The Federals might hit me with Hooker. We will see. If he does, I think there’s enough strength in Manassas to hold him off.
In the West, I have a 2 division army ready to run up to Bowling Green. One of the divisions is a weak cavalry formation. I’ll try to gather all the low hanging fruit, dig in and drain the KY force pool as much as possible.
Buckeye has built a strong river line force. So, I’m guessing he’ll hit Nashville or Memphis hard sometime in the spring. I’ll have to hold both places in strength. Grant has already hit #10 and there is not much I can do about it. Polk is next door and has 2 divisions, so he’s just a little below Grant’s pwr. Polk will keep an eye on the boys in blue and try to limit their local, land movements.
The spoiling raids I was setting up for have to be delayed.
In MO, I’m concentrating and hope for the best. Combat losses at Fayetteville will really hurt as the army there is cavalry heavy. Stand Waite cavalry division just hit full strength and was ready to start making Kansas bleed again. I really hated tossing those expensive troops into a meat grinder.
From this point on, the Far West will not receive any more resources. For now, Shelby’s division is strong enough to smack the Federals hard. So that is just what I’m going to do. The force at Ft Craig has an empty supply bar; they are ripe for pounding. No time to waste messing around with a siege, we are going in on a hot assault.
The Southern rail system tends to break in your hand when you need it most. Rather than a reaction force, I'm starring to build holding forces at New Orleans, Mobile and Charlestown.
Not a clue what he is trying to do. Ships are outside all my harbors. I guess they are trying to scare me by strutting, sticking out their chests and boasting, “We could land here.” Or, maybe the detachments are there to mask a future attack, or just keep an eye on what is where, or to temp my limited forces into chasing their tail. Don’t know, but it seems like a waste to me.
On the other hand, Buckeye's fleet of timeberclads got my attention fast.
Almost all WS went into bronze 12 ponders. I’m tired of not having enough artillery, so for now I'll build the cheaper stuff for defensive units and fort stacks.
Buckeye's raiding force ran smack into Longstreet and died. A fitting end to the pied pippers that lead so many good southern boys to their doom.
Last turn’s attack on McDowell was delayed by another union cavalry unit that had the misfortune to blunder into my attacking force. The horsemen were wiped out, but their deaths bought enough time to delay the attack on Winchester. The Army of the Potomac in Strasburg has been ordered to relaunch the attack on McDowell. If Federal troops do not reinforce, the CSA will have a slender 350 pwr advantage. But as Jackson and Longstreet are leading divisions in the attack, and the north has mud to contend with, I think we’ll push McDowell back and out the area.
I was very lucky J Johnson was not attacked at Harper’s Ferry. Last turn his army was hit with an epidemic and severely weakened.
I have been ignoring the siege of Lewisburg, in western VA, by a Federal cavalry unit. The city contains almost as many troops as the attackers and a supply unit, so their chance of surrendering is reduced to 5%. I thought supply problems would drive away the Yankees. That does not seem to be working, so I’ll swing a brigade out of Richmond by rail to shoo them away.
Kentucky is still inactive. Memphis is being reinforced with two brigades raised in MO. Polk is glaring at Grant in #10 and hoping he won’t attack. There are 4 6lbs and a supply wagon waiting to rush up to Paducah and build a fort. A Johnson and the Army of Tennessee, a whole whopping 1 ½ divisions has gone intro winter quarters and is training. Everyone is waiting until the ball drops.
The raids still on hold.
Van Dorn held against Lyon last turn, but the Federals did not retreat. I’ll try launching a counter attack with my slender 100 pwr advantage. Van Dorn is fair at dancing around, but he’s lousy in combat. Once again I’m risking valuable cavalry in a meat grinder. Is that stupid or what? Still the chance of holding on the western MO is worth a toss of the dice.
Shelby took Ft Craig; the boys in blue retreated into the desert; they are outnumbered and out of hard tack. I’m going to run them down and get me some of them there spoils of war. Shelby could use a few more wagons and artillery.
I have several units trying to tear up the stockade chain that links Denver to Kansas. This might be a waste of effort, but hopefully the raiding will impact the Yankee's diet. One of my valuable mounted infantry units is out on the plains, staggering from place to place and looking for anything that is edible; they are in a race against death. I would have never sent them out if I had remembered cavalry divisions should contain a mounted infantry unit so they can take cities.
Whoa, there’s an invasion fleet outside of New Orleans! How did I miss that? It’s not really strong, it is probably there to do some fort busting. As aggressive as Buckeye seems to be, he might be looking to take a stab at NO. I’m kicking myself for sending all my gun boats up river. A naval attack, would delay Buckeye’s landing for 5 more days, giving me a total of 10 days to shuffle troops. I’m pushing a few units over to Fort Pike, but they have to cross the bay. I fear they will be too little and too late. One of Polk’s divisions is being railed back to the NO, but it’s a 16 day ride, also a day late and a dollar short. If the city falls, they’ll be in position for a counterattack.
A mixed bag of infantry, support units and artillery spread out across the board.
Like arrows in the hand of a warrior are the children of one's youth.