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Coldsteel
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Missouri, what do you do?

Fri Sep 30, 2011 9:23 pm

Hi all,

So I'm from St.Louis, and I always do my darndest weather I play as the North or South to try and take control of Missouri. St.Louis is a great city to control in this game. . .
However, as many have stated on here, it one of the tougher nuts to crack, especially as the CSA.
Weather / Lack of Supply / Terrain all make it tough to march up men from Ark for the South. . . and I always find it really hard to Capture Springfield when I play as the North. . .

Anyone else have certain places on the map (outside of the obvious Richmond) that they always try to take / defend for personal type of reasons?

I know when you lead an Army, you shouldn't focus on personally goals. . .but this is one of mine I always do :thumbsup:

Palpat
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Fri Sep 30, 2011 10:36 pm

Well, I'm not that an experienced player, but as CSA I tend to be a "not a step back" in the West.
So, on the offensive in Kentucky and Missouri. My usual strategy is to move the Fort Sumter attack force near southern Missouri, while building there a somewhat respectable army. And then, usually in late summer 1861, launch a two pronged offensive: Price attacking from Ft Smith towards Springfield (if lost) & Rolla), and the main army toward St Louis. If you're lucky, you can take the town by the winter. Or just wait 1862 spring.
I also usually bring there the free siege artillery won in Norfolk, in order to help the process. The main goal is actually to trick the yanks into a fight and lick them. Afterwards, well, even if the St Louis isn't flying Stars & Bars by the winter, you'll pretty much have the initiative and be free to besiege the city.

Well, of course, you shall cover your rear, cause them bluebellies won't hesitate to land behind your supply line. But usually, having a second force (Price), keep them divided & busy enough. By 1862, all that's south of Missouri river should be CSA. Nothing of interest North of the river...

Kentucky is more tricky: I always late for the state to be invaded by the feds, and then move in. It all depends of the forces I've been able to build, the date, and stuffs. But usually, Louisville, Paducah & Bowling green are to be under my protection in a couple of turns. Lexington & eastern Kentucky are a more tricky business.

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Longshanks
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Sat Oct 01, 2011 1:44 pm

Lots of ways to proceed in Missouri. I think if the Union really wants it, the South can't stop them, but there's a question about whether the gains there are really worth it for the Yanks. They can knock out a couple of conscript cities (Jeff City and Little Rock), and take some Strategic Cities, but there's not much to be gained compared to east of the Mississippi River.

On the other hand, there are many juicy targets for the CSA, including Jeff City, Rolla, St. Louis and access into Illinois and Iowa. However, the CSA rarely has enough extra troops to make good on all this, and it's much easier for the Union to divert troops to stop it. The CSA can get the initiative there, however, and have great success if the Union ignores them. The same is true anywhere else however!

I believe the maxim of the game is "the War may be won or lost in KY/TN or VA, but never in the Trans-Mississippi."

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Cdr. McBragg
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Mon Oct 03, 2011 7:41 am

Here's how I do Missouri as the Union:

1. Build up a large Missouri force as early as possible, using cheap Missouri and Kansas brigades and 6 pdr artillery. Plan on building 2-3 Missouri supply wagons in the first two years. Supply is everything in Missouri.

2. Use the two cavalry that appear in far west to destroy the two settlements in Indian territory, and destroy Fort Gibson as well. This can be done in a few turns and the CSA can't do much to interfere.

3. Send as many Volunteer militia brigades (composed of two militia and one light infantry) as you can spare from the other fronts to Missouri. Send a few generals to assist Lyon.

4. Once Rolla and Jeff City are secured, your strong force should take Springfield. Don't rush, but waste no time. (If you're having trouble taking Springfield, you're probably rushing and losing too much cohesion.) Rebuild the depot if necessary and prepare to garrison it as strongly as you can.

5. From Springfield, take the following objectives: Fayetteville, Fort Smith, and Little Rock. This could take a long time, maybe the whole game - think of it as job security. Again, don't rush, but waste no time. Each of them must have a depot, so be prepared to rebuild them if they are destroyed. Garrison all as strongly as you can. Once this is accomplished the CSA is pretty much shut out of the Northwest.

6. Use the Volunteer brigades to establish control of regions adjacent to your supply depots - do not use them as division elements unless you absolutely have to. Try to get 100% military control of all adjacent regions, especially around Rolla and Springfield. Watch their supply, but once military control is established they can camp indefinitely, and they are too strong to be scattered by raiders and partisans.

7. Plan on halting your main force in the winter. Move up reinforcements and new supply wagons, and keep extending your military control of surrounding regions.

8. If the CSA is contesting this strongly, build a supply depot at the end of the rail line south of St. Louis. Build up a division or even a corps there. This will move south in good weather (taking plenty of supply!) and threaten Madison and Little Rock from the north. It's worth it to build a depot just to establish control of the surrounding areas. With lots of control, it's hard for the CSA to sneak around undetected.

9. Don't be bothered by raiders, rangers, partisans, and Quantrill trash. Garrison the few towns west of the Missouri river with militia. Build a small cavalry force with some horse arty and hound them back.

10. All this being done, link up with the Army of the Tennessee at Memphis, and go from there where you will.

Now, all of this can be done without handicapping the other fronts. I actually prefer to focus on the central front, with strong forces under Grant.

If the CSA builds up divisions and corps in Arkansas to stop you, so much the better. Tying up a big CSA army in the West is even better than taking Little Rock. The farther you go, the harder it is for the CSA to get a foothold to fight back. Each new objective you take along the Springfield-Little Rock route makes all the others more secure.

I have much less experience with the CSA, but consider the obvious handicaps he faces. It is very hard for the CSA to mount an early fight for Missouri, because he can't afford to risk building anything there except militia. Militia will have a short life, but might be worth it to delay the fall of J. City, Rolla, and Springfield, or at least destroy the depots. He can build up expensive units in Arkansas to stop your relatively cheap ones at Fayetteville or Fort Smith, and you might as well hope that he does because he'll be spending a dollar for every dime you spend.

I think a CSA player who aims at St. Louis had better be crazy or at least have Forrest's crazy luck. The Union can rapidly raise huge forces in St. Louis, to throw against CSA forces that will be at the exteme end of their supplies. Likewise J. City and Rolla are extremely precarious things to aim for. As the CSA I would ultimately focus on hanging on to the axis of Little Rock-Madison-Memphis, hitting back hard at anything near them, and regard Missouri as expendable.

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Dixicrat
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Mon Oct 03, 2011 4:27 pm

Coldsteel wrote:[...]Anyone else have certain places on the map (outside of the obvious Richmond) that they always try to take / defend for personal type of reasons?

I know when you lead an Army, you shouldn't focus on personally goals. . .but this is one of mine I always do :thumbsup:


Aphrodite Mae and I always made it a point of honor to fight for Knoxville, in our games at home. (Our home is very near Knoxville.)

Sometimes it got rediculous. In at least one game, we became so focused on Knoxville that we rather neglected Washington and Richmond... :D
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Mon Oct 03, 2011 4:49 pm

Longshanks wrote:Lots of ways to proceed in Missouri. I think if the Union really wants it, the South can't stop them, but there's a question about whether the gains there are really worth it for the Yanks. They can knock out a couple of conscript cities (Jeff City and Little Rock), and take some Strategic Cities, but there's not much to be gained compared to east of the Mississippi River.


+1 :)

Longshanks wrote:On the other hand, there are many juicy targets for the CSA, including Jeff City, Rolla, St. Louis and access into Illinois and Iowa. However, the CSA rarely has enough extra troops to make good on all this, and it's much easier for the Union to divert troops to stop it. The CSA can get the initiative there, however, and have great success if the Union ignores them. The same is true anywhere else however!


IMHO, one of the strategic keys in AR that is often overlooked is Madison. It's a source for money, conscripts, and precious war supplies, in AR. (Or at least it was two years ago, when I was last active on these boards... :) )

Longshanks wrote:I believe the maxim of the game is "the War may be won or lost in KY/TN or VA, but never in the Trans-Mississippi."


I'm not sure that I completely agree with this quote, Longshanks. While I agree that the war can't be won in the TM, I do think you can lose it, there... if not outright, then at least due to the impact of what happens there.

As an example, I think that splitting the confederacy is one of the fundamental strategic goals, for the Union. Furthermore, the attritional loss of cash, conscripts, and war supplies goes a long way to crushing the Confederate economy.

As the CSA, on the other hand, the TM can be solidified into a "solid South", if the Union neglects the region. Although I've never actually done so, I've been intrigued by the idea of heavily industrializing MO and AR with the objective of being able to field a force that might actually have a chance to take take Chicago and other Old NW strategic cities. Such threats would of course draw forces from elsewhere.
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Mon Oct 03, 2011 4:57 pm

Cdr. McBragg wrote:Here's how I do Missouri as the Union:
[...]


Thanks for a great post!

There's an excellent scenario by Bigus, entitled "Far West". It was used in the first PBEM tournament that we had a few years ago.

If you've got the time, I would enjoy playing you PBEM in that scenario, if you're interested. It would give us a chance to compare our ideas, and put 'em to the test! :)

Give me a moment, and I'll hunt up the link...

http://www.ageod-forum.com/showthread.php?t=12129

You might be interested to know that the current AACW coordinator, the incomparable Lodilefty, is considering including this and others of Bigus's scenarios in the official patches, later! :thumbsup:

It won't happen in this next patch, but I'll make a guess that by Spring, we'll find a few new scenarios, compliments of the excellent work of Bigus! Man, I am definitely looking forward to that! :coeurs:
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Coldsteel
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Tue Oct 04, 2011 12:32 am

You guys are making it sound easy. . . . . I have the hardest time with either side trying to control all of Mo. . . . but then again. . . i'm still pretty new at this game honestly.
Still haven't finished a entire campaign as of yet. . .

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Durk
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Tue Oct 04, 2011 3:15 am

It is not easy, just lots of options, as you can see. The answer also depends upon which specific scenario you are playing. If the earliest campaigns, aggressive Union will win. If later campaigns, aggressive CSA will win. All other things being equal.

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Tue Oct 04, 2011 4:04 am

If you've got the time, I would enjoy playing you PBEM in that scenario, if you're interested. It would give us a chance to compare our ideas, and put 'em to the test!


I appreciate the offer, and though I can't do it now I may remind you of it in the future. I'm not familiar with the scenario - I haven't played any scenario since I worked up to the campaign game. It looks like I would have to roll back to 1.15 to play it, and currently I'm patched up to 1.16rc4.

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Tue Oct 04, 2011 5:06 am

A few more points about Missouri, in addition to the above:

1. St. Louis. CSA players with little experience as the Union should be aware that most of what the Union builds in Missouri will appear in St. Louis. The Union has a big force pool of Missouri militia and lots of cheap infantry brigades that form quickly when built. This is what makes messing with St. Louis so dangerous. Unless you achieve surprise, you will be in a bigger fight than you reckoned for. If the Union builds a depot and garrison south of St. Louis, it is very hard to sneak up on the city. Once your force is detected, the Union can use his excellent lateral rail system to send reinforcements from Ohio (1-2 turns) and Maryland (2-3 turns). This is why extending Union military control is so important.

2. Fortifications. If you want to try building forts, Missouri is a good place to do it. I once built an entire West Wall of forts, in Springfield, Fayetteville, and Fort Smith. That was just obsessive-compulsive behavior, but fortifying Springfield is very practical, and it can easily be done before the winter of '61. (St. Louis is even easier, but I wouldn't bother.) Use the 6 pdr artillery, which will reappear in the force pool and can be built again. The biggest problem with forts is that you have to burn a supply wagon, and that's expensive. And remember what Patton said: "If the mountains and the rivers can be overcome, anything built by man can be overcome."

3. Lyon. Nathaniel Lyon is the best general the Union has at the start of the game. Most of the early action is in Missouri and he needs to stay in Missouri and lead the fight until he is promoted, which should be quickly. Once you have a strong main force built up and you can form divisions, consider sending him to a more important front which is not so static in the wintertime.

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Coldsteel
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Tue Oct 04, 2011 5:52 pm

Hey Cdr. Bragg, thanks for the info. . .

Question regarding fort building. . . .

Is there something special you need to build a fort? I know to build a supply depot, you need a wagon. . .but what about for a fort? I don't think I have even ever seen the option opened up for me to build a fort....
Does it require an Art unit as well?

Thanks,
CS.

knowmad62
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Tue Oct 04, 2011 11:25 pm

The requirements can be found here: http://www.ageod.net/aacwwiki/Fort#Building_a_fort

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Citizen X
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Tue Oct 04, 2011 11:54 pm

What it doesn't say is that the artillery elements have to be elements of single units, not from mixed brigades.

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Ethan
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Wed Oct 05, 2011 12:50 am

I think that it's understood, although it's not specifically mentioned. ;)

Note that the required elements will disappear and at that moment the fort will be showed as built. I guess the game (or the game engine) can not break a brigade to obtain the artillery elements that it needs to build the fort. :thumbsup:
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Ethan
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Wed Oct 05, 2011 12:51 am

Citizen X wrote:What it doesn't say is that the artillery elements have to be elements of single units, not from mixed brigades.


I think that it's understood, although it's not specifically mentioned. ;)

Note that the required elements will disappear and at that moment the fort will be showed as built. I guess the game (or the game engine) can not break a brigade to obtain the artillery elements that it needs to build the fort. :thumbsup:
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Cdr. McBragg
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Wed Oct 05, 2011 6:46 pm

I know to build a supply depot, you need a wagon. . .but what about for a fort? I don't think I have even ever seen the option opened up for me to build a fort....


The option appears in the same tab with "build depot", but only if you have the requisite components, of course. You don't need a supply depot to build a fort, but if the CSA destroyed the Springfield depot then rebuilding it is a priority over building a fort. I usually consider fortification only if I get lucky with capturing depots, otherwise you spend too many supply wagons.

If you use 4 Missouri 6 pdrs and a supply wagon to build a fort in Springfield, you can rebuild them and they will appear in St. Louis (highest probability) and be ready to rejoin your main force in just a few turns.

You can use captured enemy guns to build forts. This is a good use for captured guns that are understrength, since they can't be rebuilt with replacements.

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Pat "Stonewall" Cleburne
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Fri Oct 07, 2011 8:41 am

Coldsteel wrote:Hi all,

So I'm from St.Louis, and I always do my darndest weather I play as the North or South to try and take control of Missouri. St.Louis is a great city to control in this game. . .
However, as many have stated on here, it one of the tougher nuts to crack, especially as the CSA.
Weather / Lack of Supply / Terrain all make it tough to march up men from Ark for the South. . . and I always find it really hard to Capture Springfield when I play as the North. . .

Anyone else have certain places on the map (outside of the obvious Richmond) that they always try to take / defend for personal type of reasons?

I know when you lead an Army, you shouldn't focus on personally goals. . .but this is one of mine I always do :thumbsup:


What does Mizzou do? They join the SEC!!! :thumbsup: /American football jokes

I like to own my hometown of Lexington KY, but it's hard to accomplish. Same thing with STL. Against the AI I go all out. Against a Human, it's better to use those forces for the greater good.

As for the damn Yankees, invading Arkansas can be a decent option if it doesn't take too much resources from your other districts. Gain the Arkansas river and you can really break apart most confederate defensive lines if you're creative.

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Fri Oct 07, 2011 4:37 pm

Commander,

Thanks for reminding me of one of my favorite cartoon characters.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q4roxM8hUMk

Perhaps you too will be able to entertain us with tales of your herculean exploits once you and Dixicrat take up your PBEM, hopefully in an AAR?

Regards,
"Now, back to Rome for a quick wedding - and some slow executions!"- Miles Gloriosus

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Coldsteel
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Fri Oct 07, 2011 7:28 pm

[quote="Pat "Stonewall" Cleburne"]What does Mizzou do? They join the SEC!!! :thumbsup: /American football jokes



Trust me, we're trying to get this to happen!

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Dixicrat
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Sat Oct 08, 2011 1:17 am

Cdr. McBragg wrote:I appreciate the offer, and though I can't do it now I may remind you of it in the future. I'm not familiar with the scenario - I haven't played any scenario since I worked up to the campaign game. It looks like I would have to roll back to 1.15 to play it, and currently I'm patched up to 1.16rc4.


@ Cdr. McBragg: OK! Send me a PM, when and if you have the time and inclination. :)

Everybody (especially those new to AACW):
It's been said elsewhere, but it bears repeating: really, it's a good idea to play some of the smaller scenarios before moving on to the Grand Campaigns. This game has a lot of depth, and a huge amount of "small stuff" that you can only learn by experience. Learning the game mechanics and getting experience playing smaller scenarios will help to make the GC a much deeper and richer experience.

@ Coldsteel: Here's a subforum that has many examples of various schools of thought about Ops in MO for both CSA and USA forces. The "Far West" scenario that I mentioned earlier was used in the first round of the 2008/2009 tournament, so look for "Round 1" games. There are several excellent games here, and I have no doubt that you'll learn a lot. :)

http://www.ageod-forum.com/forumdisplay.php?f=232
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Dixicrat
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Sat Oct 08, 2011 1:53 am

gchristie wrote:Commander,

Thanks for reminding me of one of my favorite cartoon characters.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q4roxM8hUMk

Perhaps you too will be able to entertain us with tales of your herculean exploits once you and Dixicrat take up your PBEM, hopefully in an AAR?

Regards,


Hey, Gchristie! Long time, eh? :)

Thanks for the youtube clip! I couldn't quite identify the artillery pieces, though... :D

The Queen has offered to provide a "General Aphrodite Mae" type AAR/commentary on my first PBEM game back, so it should be fun! :)
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Cdr. McBragg
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Sat Oct 08, 2011 5:28 am

I couldn't quite identify the artillery pieces


The gun has got to be the British Ordnance RML 2.5 inch Mountain Gun, from Kipling's "The Screw-Guns":

For you all love the screw-guns — the screw-guns they all love you!
So when we take tea with a few guns,
o' course you will know what to do — hoo! hoo!
Jest send in your Chief an' surrender —
it's worse if you fights or you runs:
You may hide in the caves, they'll be only your graves,
but you can't get away from the guns!

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Dixicrat
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Sat Oct 08, 2011 10:22 pm

Cdr. McBragg wrote:The gun has got to be the British Ordnance RML 2.5 inch Mountain Gun, from Kipling's "The Screw-Guns":

For you all love the screw-guns — the screw-guns they all love you!
So when we take tea with a few guns,
o' course you will know what to do — hoo! hoo!
Jest send in your Chief an' surrender —
it's worse if you fights or you runs:
You may hide in the caves, they'll be only your graves,
but you can't get away from the guns!


Well! A British Ordnance RML 2.5 inch Mountain Gun!
I've learned something, thanks to your astute observations! :D

What I'd really like to learn from your namesake involves his incredible genius in Artillery Ballistics. Being able to calculate such a nuanced trajectory as he did, all while engaged in such an intense firefight during an Artillery Ambush... :eek:

What a hero!
My hat is off to that pipe-puffin', Raj-soundin', decorated British hero with the incredible genius in artillery. :hat:

...and by the way: great Kipling citation! :thumbsup:
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Coldsteel
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Thu Nov 10, 2011 10:23 pm

On a more personal note. . . I just have to say that I just captured DC for the first time!
I noticed that the Union had sent a HUGE force to Norfolk, and another toward the Valley. . . I obliterated the Valley force more or less and had the other hemmed in Norfolk. . .so I took a chance. I moved the ANV up from Richmond and Johnstons & PTG Corps all up to Winchester. . . and moved in. . . . captured in 2 turns (Game turns).
I know this is nothing really big to most of you anymore. . . but it was way exciting to me. Fist pumps in the air!
Now hopefully I can keep it and keep the invaders out!

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Longshanks
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Thu Nov 10, 2011 10:28 pm

Heh, heh! Noobies are so cute!

Yeh, it's fun when you do it, even later on! :mdr: I guarantee you I'd fist pump too!

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ohms_law
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Fri Nov 11, 2011 3:25 am

Hey, I don't care how long you've played this game. capturing DC as the Confederates is always fun. :)

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Coldsteel
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Sun Nov 13, 2011 4:13 pm

I now hold all of Maryland, and the French & English have entered the war!

Pretty exciting game for me!

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Hobbes
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Sun Nov 13, 2011 4:36 pm

Coldsteel wrote:I now hold all of Maryland, and the French & English have entered the war!

Pretty exciting game for me!


I don't follow the AACW forum much anymore - but this is the first time I have seen anyone post about the French and English entering the war!
Interested to hear how that goes.

Are there any AARs where this has happened?
Cheers, Chris

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Coldsteel
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Sun Nov 13, 2011 5:51 pm

I waited quite awhile, after I had some nice victories before I put the embargo on Cotton into effect. . . . and that worked in my favor (as far as helping the intervention). . . and then out of no where, around turn 50, they both entered the war, I was stunned to say the least.

Although, like it has been stated here in the past, neither France nor England bring a whole lot to the table, their ships do help, but they don't give you a WHOLE lot of boots on the ground.
I'll take what they are giving though.

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