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Naturamix(USA) vs Murtagks(CSA) No-Grant Union

Tue Jul 30, 2019 9:03 pm

Greetings All,

Murtagks and I took a bit of a break after our previous CW2 play-through, but just in case there is still demand I will be writing up this game as an AAR.

As you may have surmised from the title I am the Union and as soon as U.S. Grant spawns in Cairo, IL he will be shipped off to Wisconsin and will not hold any army commands.
I believe this will make the game more interesting for a number of reasons:
- The army command radius is very generous allowing Grant to spread his obscene bonus across several states; without it more army commands will be needed
- Grant is very easy to promote from his early spawn and good location making other good USA generals almost unnecessary, without Grant we will see more of Hooker, Meade and Sherman and other interesting characters
- Our previous play-throughs (and history) suggest that the Union is stronger anyway and so removing Grant is nice for balance

Onto the game!
Turns 1-4

FT_1.png (2.98 MiB) Viewed 5506 times

Ft. Sumter was bombarded, as usual, kicking off the war, however Beauregard got delayed and hasn't actually taken it leading to the reinforcements arriving. This is a little unfortunate for Murtagks, but it will fall soon anyway.

FT Sumpter_3.png
FT Sumpter_3.png (2.82 MiB) Viewed 5506 times

We did the usual buildup, Murtagks went with all the money options, whereas I didn't print money, but did war bonds and taxes (all as usual).

As nothing much happened I will briefly describe my overall strategy:

The lack of Grant makes opening many fronts even more important than usual, as I do not have an early leader who can go toe-to-toe with the CSA's superior command. Therefore I should spread Murtagks thin and I'll win somewhere.

I have started building Navy early and will continue this investment.

Navy_2.png (3.14 MiB) Viewed 5506 times

One deviation from standard play will be to carry out an early invasion of Texas.

Early TX_4.png
Early TX_4.png (3.07 MiB) Viewed 5506 times

I plan to drop Hurlbut with a couple of early spawn troops into Matagorda, TX in early summer 1861. This is not an industrial hub, but, I think, the invasion will be a sound strategy for 2 reasons:
- TX contains a couple of decent strategic cities (such as Galveston and Houston) in close proximity to each other along rail lines allowing me to catch up on VPs
- An early invasion will worry Murtagks and cause troop diversions from the actual industrial centers; I have been able to distract him with small stacks in past games and he tends to do worse in more logistically difficult areas such as TX

I will land with Hurlbut in Matagorda as above, and will follow up with more substantial forces to take Ft. James, hopefully with the chance of crushing any forces he sends to stop me.

In the East I will quite simply hold on and wait for good generals. I may probe a little towards Richmond to worry him, but I won't try a peninsula campaign or Norfolk landing.

East_5.png (4.41 MiB) Viewed 5506 times

Murtagks has told me that he will be reviewing my previous AARs to try to get inside my head. I am interested to see what he changes to get an edge on me.

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Re: Naturamix(USA) vs Murtagks(CSA) No-Grant Union

Wed Jul 31, 2019 2:32 pm

Turns 5-8 Ex VA

There was a lot of movement, but not much fighting outside of Virginia.

Ft. Sumter finally fell to Shelby somewhat later than expected

Sumpter Fell_7.png
Sumpter Fell_7.png (2.17 MiB) Viewed 5467 times

Kentucky did not join with the Camp Dick Robinson event and so the KY-TN front has not opened. Therefore the west has mostly just seen build-up.

West_10.png (3.22 MiB) Viewed 5467 times

Murtagks chose not to context Missouri and so Lyon has taken Springfield with relative ease. Price did chase my cavalry around a little, but nothing more than that.

What concerns me however is that the unofficial Army of the West under McCulloch has arrived in Charleston Missouri just south of Cairo along with Polk.

This 300 power stack is significant in this theatre at this stage of the game.

I am concerned that he may try rushing into Cairo to prevent Grant from even spawning.
In itself this is not a great loss since I will be playing without Grant, but if he never spawns then I also never get Sherman, which would be a disaster.
To combat this I am rushing all the forces I can to Cairo and I put McClernand on "Hold at all costs". If it Cairo does become a significant background I may pull Lyon out of Eastern Missouri to fill the void that no Grant leaves.

Lastly my naval landing in Texas started successfully; Hurlbut got ashore with 5 elements and took Matagorda. There will be another 12 or so elements on their way soon, so I hope that the reinforcements can catch any forces that Murtagks dispatches off guard and win me a couple of victories as I seem to be a bit short on those.

Texas_11.png (3.17 MiB) Viewed 5467 times

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Re: Naturamix(USA) vs Murtagks(CSA) No-Grant Union

Wed Jul 31, 2019 3:03 pm

Turn 5-8 Virginia

Initially I blew the depot and rails in Harper's ferry to make CSA invasions of Pennsylvania more logistically difficult.

East_6.png (4.68 MiB) Viewed 5466 times

I also took up a position in Leesburg and edged up to JE Johnson's Shenandoah stack.
At this point Murtagks decided to be a little aggressive.

Bonham pushed Milroy out of Leesburg whilst JE Johnston chased away Mansfield's stack.

Leesburg_8.png (2.15 MiB) Viewed 5466 times

Shenandoah_8.png (2.25 MiB) Viewed 5466 times

I suspect both losses were down to the poor morale of my volunteer units.

These battles left Murtagks in control of Leesburg and the Shenandoah.

East_9.png (3.63 MiB) Viewed 5466 times

Subsequently Murtagks surprised me in two ways:
He retreated from Leesburg and he pursued Mansfield leaving the operational situation as below.

East Final_12.png
East Final_12.png (3.58 MiB) Viewed 5466 times

I am not too concerned with the string of defeats since the casualties were very even.
The fact that Murtagks did not threaten Washington with the main CSA army is a relief. Holding Alexandria and Leesburg forms a very effective barrier between VA and DC.

As in the picture I intend to force JE Johnston to retreat by threatening his supply line with cavalry and the forces from WV as Floyd has now retreated.

My static defense of DC remains unchanged, but I am not sure if I should move into the Shenandoah. I will play a "wait and see" and respond to Murtagks' moves in this theater.

In the broader strategic picture I now see that Murtagks has gone for iron works in New Orleans. Taking the city is a priority.

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Re: Naturamix(USA) vs Murtagks(CSA) No-Grant Union

Thu Aug 01, 2019 2:03 pm

Turn 9-11

My losing streak was finally broken this turn by Asboth defeating Floyd in WV.

However more significantly JEJ drew back from attacking Mansfield.

Into the Shenandoah_13.png
Into the Shenandoah_13.png (3.93 MiB) Viewed 5433 times

This development makes the Shenandoah an attractive area to draw my defensive line. It is more forward than holding Harpers Ferry, but the possibility of boxing in the eventual Army of Northern Virginia is worth taking a risk. I have formed a new corps under Hamilton that will take Winchester VA.

In the West Polk started moving about and it occurred to me that St Louis is rather unprotected. In our previous AAR I took St Louis as the CSA and it set me up in a very good position. I am concerned that Murtagks may try this strategy himself. It is also possible that he is going for Cairo as I originally assumed.

St Louis Threat_14.png
St Louis Threat_14.png (3.89 MiB) Viewed 5433 times

Therefore FitzJohn Porter railroaded over from his spawn in OH with some units to dig in around the city. Lyon has now arrived in Cairo and taken over McClernand's stack. He will be my Mississippi commander since Grant is now on an express train up north to take no part in the war.

Ironclad Fleet_16.png
Ironclad Fleet_16.png (2.68 MiB) Viewed 5433 times

After these redeployments the CSA ironclad fleet turned up outside of Cairo. I therefore increased my own ironclad production. Until I can gather more forces I will sit tight and see what Murtagks does in the upper Mississippi.

Since I won't be using Grant the other semi-competent generals are all the more important to me and so Hooker has been put in charge of a naval invasion of fort Pulaski GA.

Pulaski_15.png (1.81 MiB) Viewed 5433 times

I want to get his seniority up as quickly as possible since he is the first competent general to spawn. I may well withdraw him if Murtagks sends significant forces to the area.

If nothing else the amphibious landing was an effective psychological tool against Murtagks who subsequently needed some thinking time.

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Re: Naturamix(USA) vs Murtagks(CSA) No-Grant Union

Thu Aug 01, 2019 3:37 pm

Turn 12

We managed one more turn and now is a good point to review the strategic situation.

In Virginia nothing much happened as Murtagks has so far not contested my position in the Shenandoah.
From my scouting I can see about 6 divisions-worth of troops; I will perhaps put in slightly more and try to take Fredricksburg avoiding the 1862 10 national morale loss that I just ate in 1861 for not attacking.

The more interesting moves are happening elsewhere.
Hooker wiped out the Ft Pulaski garrison and gained a little seniority as hoped.

Hooker_17.png (4.09 MiB) Viewed 5429 times

Savannah is a close and attractive target, but I won't go for it just yet.
Being in the CSA's heartland it is far too easy for Murtagks to concentrate superior forces and crush my beachhead.
Hooker will hold and then be shipped out for other uses instead.

In TX my stacks have spread out to occupy the rail lines and they will then move on to take the victory points and Ft James.

Texas_18.png (3.58 MiB) Viewed 5429 times

Price disappeared from MO making me suspect that he is on his way to contest TX. I am keeping an eye out for him.
When I have Galveston and Houston I will just want to move up to Austin, but then leave it there as there are no further victory points. Fremont has been made commander of the Army of the South West since he has the highest seniority and so needs to be give something to open the way for better army generals.
Fremont also has the Occupier trait to slowly raise the loyalty of the VP's I plan to capture in TX.
When TX is secured I will want to move my forces out as they will form a decent experienced division.

In the upper Mississippi Murtagks has confirmed that he will be making some significant play as ABS Johnston has just arrived at Polk's stack.

Upper Mississippi_19.png
Upper Mississippi_19.png (2.92 MiB) Viewed 5429 times

So far I can only see about 1 division of troops, but more must be coming given ABSJ's presence. Murtagks wouldn't use one of his 3 army generals here if he didn't plan on making a significant play.

I will keep reinforcing the area until I have some well-structured stacks to cross the Missouri river and take the fight to him.

My main strategic offensive will take place towards New Orleans.

New Orleans_20.png
New Orleans_20.png (3.08 MiB) Viewed 5429 times

Murtagks has just built two iron works there and so taking the city is imperative.
The main disadvantage is how familiar this strategy will be to him. Therefore I have to hope that my other two landing sites have drawn away some of his attention and forces, and I will apply a great deal of strength to the assault.

As in the image I will land either on the city or adjacent to it with about 2 divisions. I will have to scout out the landing site a turn before to ensure I don't try to launch an amphibious assault into an entrenched force.

There is the possibility of using forces from Texas to support a landing by harassing Baton Rouge.
I may also use Hooker to take out one of the forts at the mouth of the Mississippi to gain him more seniority and open up a line of retreat should it be necessary.

If I can take NO I will use Butler's event to raise its loyalty and hopefully promote hooker to take command of a stack that can drive towards Vicksburg and Jackson MS.

Another factor in my favour is that whatever adventure Murtagks is planning in the Upper Mississippi will likely draw away his brown water navy and land forces and give me the opportunity I need for my own offensive.

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Re: Naturamix(USA) vs Murtagks(CSA) No-Grant Union

Thu Aug 01, 2019 9:33 pm

Turns 13-14

Murtagks decided to pull back in Virginia (probably to the Rappahannock) and so I'll have to come up with a strategy for 1862 after some scouting.

In the Upper Mississippi I decided to cross the river with Lyon and a newly formed division.

Cairo_21.png (4.25 MiB) Viewed 5424 times

I would like him to get a promotion to allow me to promote upcoming 1*s without an NM penalty.
My gamble payed off as ABSJ didn't move to block the crossing and the CSA fleet didn't stop me.

Cairo_24.png (3.08 MiB) Viewed 5424 times

Just in case Murtagks has more forces on the way (entirely plausible given the high ranking general present) I also followed up with Griffin's division.
Murtagks can probably retreat ABSJ by river without difficulty so I am unlikely to be able to force an engagement, but I'll need to secure the land route in any case for future campaigns in Western Tennessee and Kentucky.

In Texas I was pleasantly surprised to find Magruder with a largely infantry stack charge into Howe's force.

Magruder_22.png (1.92 MiB) Viewed 5424 times

This suites me very well. Two divisions worth of troops in Texas will not be bothering an invasion of NO.
It also works well with a redeployment of Hooker from fort Pulaski.

As predicted Murtagks railroaded superior forces to meet Hooker's threat to Savannah. I'm glad I stayed put in the fort since Hooker may have come off worse against Hardee's 1.5 divisions.

Hardee_25.png (2.7 MiB) Viewed 5424 times

Hooker is going straight to TX. I can get there by boat before any further forces from East of the Mississippi.

Hooker_23.png (3.69 MiB) Viewed 5424 times

My existing TX forces will concentrate to hold on against Magruder, apart from the cavalry that will harass his supply lines. Hooker can land behind Magruder and try to force an engagement. I should be able to bring superior firepower to battle.

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Re: Naturamix(USA) vs Murtagks(CSA) No-Grant Union

Fri Aug 02, 2019 4:22 pm

Turn 15-16

The battles are beginning to pick up a little, but nothing decisive has happened yet.

In Missouri Murtagks mauled my fleet with his ironclad to cover ABSJ's escape.

Fleet Loss_26.png
Fleet Loss_26.png (2.43 MiB) Viewed 5396 times

The battle underscores the need for me to get my own ironclad fleet ready if I want to launch significant operations along the Mississippi.

On the positive side the western bank is clear and New Madrid MO is now mine.

Upper Mississippi_28.png
Upper Mississippi_28.png (3.07 MiB) Viewed 5396 times

When I have some ships ready Lyon will cross the river and take Island 10. Crushing the garrison should boost his seniority enough for a promotion.
I'm a little nervous about my lack of information on CSA forces in the Mississippi area and I may not get all the information I want until the Kentucky front opens.

In Texas Hooker has arrived to tip the balance of power in my favour.

Texas_27.png (3.13 MiB) Viewed 5396 times

I played it safe by going for Ft James first. When it falls Hooker will hopefully have a secure base to attack Magruder from.
I can foresee Murtagks either moving Magruder to Houston to hold the depot and victory point or retreating altogether.

My cavalry has moved behind Magruder to make the latter option less likely and I am confident that I have sufficient troops to force him off Houston if it comes to it.

A disadvantage of Hooker's redeployment is that Hardee is now besieging Ft Pulaski. This is a smart move by Murtagks as he may be able to get Hardee a promotion.
2-star generals are in short supply for the CSA (as I know from playing them in our previous game) and Hardee is a good early candidate for corps command.

I may retake the fort later when I have built a specialised static stack which can then hold it.

In Virginia I chose to worry Murtagks a little by chasing Beauregard off Culpeper.

Milroy_29.png (2.59 MiB) Viewed 5396 times

My main objective on the VA front is to avoid the two -10 NM events that happen in 1862 if I don't get close enough to Richmond.

Virginia_30.png (3.13 MiB) Viewed 5396 times

I'm setting up to threaten Richmond from the west, which has the added advantage of cutting of JEJ in the Shenandoah. If this strategy fails I will consider launching a peninsula campaign for just long enough to avoid the NM penalty.

My mind is still focused on a landing at NO. Murtagks has been short on cannons in our battles and taking his main sources of war supply can keep it that way.

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Re: Naturamix(USA) vs Murtagks(CSA) No-Grant Union

Sat Aug 03, 2019 5:58 pm

Turns 17-19 West

The Union has got another couple of victories under its belt going into 1862.

Hooker took Ft James, just before Magruder arrived to try to stop him.
Unfortunately for the CSA Magruder's stack was very low on cohesion from walking around in the snow and didn't have enough cannons.

Hooker Win_32.png
Hooker Win_32.png (1.92 MiB) Viewed 5382 times

Hooker chewed him up quite badly and Magruder is beating a hasty retreat.

Shelby turned up to wreck my cavalry unfortunately.

Cavalry dead_33.png
Cavalry dead_33.png (1.81 MiB) Viewed 5382 times

I'll withdraw them on some ships in the river.

This leaves the Texas situation with Magruder running away by river and Shelby threatening me from the north. It's mostly a cavalry stack which is again under-gunned so I expect hooker can take him if he needs to.

Texas_37.png (3.27 MiB) Viewed 5382 times

Hooker should only need one more seniority point before promotion, which will be handy for upcoming campaigns along the Mississippi.

Further up the river my ironclad fleet is ready. I will block off the river below Island 10 whilst Lyon crosses to destroy the garrison at the fort.

Ironclads_36.png (3.57 MiB) Viewed 5382 times

I will move down the Mississippi on both banks simultaneously to put maximum pressure on Murtagks' defense of Memphis. I'm redeploying a generic 2-star general to lead the western bank, but I will want to replace him with someone more competent as soon as I can get a decent general promoted. Perhaps I'll ship Reynolds or Meade over from the East when they spawn.

Ben Butler will be ready to sail from New York next turn and so I want NO to fall by the summer of 1862. I will probably use Hooker to take out the forts at the Mouth of the river.

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Re: Naturamix(USA) vs Murtagks(CSA) No-Grant Union

Sat Aug 03, 2019 6:25 pm

Turns 17-19 East

In the East I have edged forward across the entire VA front.

Milroy hit Beauregard at Culpeper before being driven back when he advanced to Charlottesville.

Milroywin_31.png (2.55 MiB) Viewed 5382 times

Milroy Defeat_34.png
Milroy Defeat_34.png (2.05 MiB) Viewed 5382 times

Inflicting equal or greater than my own casualties on the CSA is generally a good goal as it keeps Murtagks replacing the forces he has rather than coming up with new schemes to make trouble.

Whilst Milroy was tussling with Beauregard I managed to get McDowell across the river to Fredericksburg where Longstreet decided to retreat instead of facing him.

East_35.png (3.91 MiB) Viewed 5382 times

If I can hold it it more or less achieves my 1862 goal of getting within 2 tiles of Richmond thus preventing me from losing 10 NM. If any more opportunities to advance present themselves I will of course take them, but for now I will hold position.

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Re: Naturamix(USA) vs Murtagks(CSA) No-Grant Union

Sun Aug 04, 2019 2:45 pm

Turn 20-23 South West

In Texas Fremont got across the Trinity river to link up with Hooker.

Texas_40.png (1.91 MiB) Viewed 5360 times

After holding position for a turn I found that I was staring at around 5 strange divisions.

Texas_44.png (3.55 MiB) Viewed 5360 times

Murtagks brought Hardee's force over from GA to strengthen his forces in Texas.
With this new development I am scrapping my plans to drive them out of Eastern Texas. I would need to commit significantly more troops to cut off their supplies and force a favourable battle; it is simply not worth it. Therefore Fremont will group most of the local forces into the Army of the South West and block Magruder & company from retaking Galveston and Houston. Freemont is of course hopeless on the offensive, but he will do fine to sit tght and block Murtagks' forces. If I can tie down Murtagks troops here and maybe tempt him into a frontal assault on my dug-in troops that outcome is fine by me. I have already captured the critical coastal city of Galveston and the VP at Houston.

Hooker on the other hand will be redeployed to my new front against NO.

NO_46.png (3.79 MiB) Viewed 5360 times

Murtagks has been investing hard in NO with two ironworks and several armouries/arsenals in the city. It is vital that I take it.
Murtagks has also placed two divisions under Price outside the city to guard it.
I have brought superior firepower, but I doubt that I can take the dug-in defenders with current forces.
Therefore I will move up river and take Baton Rouge to ensure that I have a good defensible supply base whilst I deploy more forces to the region.

I have a new CT division ready to sail from New York in a turn. Hooker will be put in command of this force and will take the forts at the mouth of the Mississippi. This will open up the river to more of my traffic, ensure good supply for my forces and earn Hooker his last seniority point necessary for promotion.

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Re: Naturamix(USA) vs Murtagks(CSA) No-Grant Union

Sun Aug 04, 2019 3:14 pm

Turn 20-23 West

Along the Mississippi Albert Sydney Johnston turned up withe the Army of the Tennessee and shot down my plans to advance along the western bank.

ABSJ_39.png (1.94 MiB) Viewed 5358 times

ABSJ_43.png (1.94 MiB) Viewed 5358 times

Murtagks did a really nice job here of hitting my forces at their most over-extended point and got some good casualties in on them.

On the eastern bank things were a little better for me.
Lyon was mauled during the river crossing, but eventually my new ironclads came up to scare off the CSA fleet.

River Loss_38.png
River Loss_38.png (2.46 MiB) Viewed 5358 times

Lyon subsequently took Island 10 and Humbolt TN. Fort Pillow should be the last battle he needs to get promoted. He will then be my first decent 2-star general.

Porter arrived to reinforce the western bank and I will stay in place until the damaged division has recovered. I will probe forwards cautiously on the eastern bank whilst ABSJ is hopefully preoccupied holding me back in the west.

I am also deploying partisans at Corinth MS to blow the rail line and prevent reinforcements from reaching Memphis as quickly.

Onto Memphis_45.png
Onto Memphis_45.png (3.39 MiB) Viewed 5358 times

The overall goal is the conquest of Memphis. Murtagks has invested in further ironworks in Mississippi and so getting control of the river is a strategic priority for me both in Tennessee and in Louisiana.
My divided advance allows me to creep up around Murtagks forces, but reduces the chance of a decisive battle where I have overwhelming forces.

The Kentucky event came up during this session to say that the state will likely join the Union.

I have perhaps overinvested in preparation for this and so I will go as hard as I can for Nashville.

Onto Nashville_47.png
Onto Nashville_47.png (3.58 MiB) Viewed 5358 times

McClellan will take the main force slowly towards the city whilst Gilbert (whose stack includes sherman) will form the mobile part of the advance. I may redeploy the MI division I am forming under Thomas to the NO front by boat from New York.

With his defenses in TX and LO I very much doubt that Murtagks has any significant forces available to guard middle Tennessee. Hopefully I can take control of Nashville quickly before consolidating military control and advancing towards Chattanooga.

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Re: Naturamix(USA) vs Murtagks(CSA) No-Grant Union

Sun Aug 04, 2019 3:32 pm

Turn 20-23 east

The East has been fairly uneventful. I lost some ground to JE Johnston in the Shenandoah.

JEJ Attack_42.png
JEJ Attack_42.png (2.05 MiB) Viewed 5356 times

Milroy also retreated from Culpeper to avoid being beaten up by Beauregard.

The main thing is that I hold on to Fredericksburg with 40 elements to ensure that I don't lose 10 NM in June.

Onto Richmond... Eventually_48.png
Onto Richmond... Eventually_48.png (3.89 MiB) Viewed 5356 times

JE Johnston seems to have vanished after hitting Hamilton.
He may be re-organizing his stacks to put Stonewall in charge, or he may be redeploying them to Tennessee to meet Lyon or defend Nashville.
In either case I'm sure they'll turn up again sooner or later and in the meantime I will cautiously move back into the Shenandoah whilst holding the rest of the line firm.

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Re: Naturamix(USA) vs Murtagks(CSA) No-Grant Union

Mon Aug 05, 2019 6:10 pm

Turn 24-27 South West

In the South West things went very smoothly for the Union.

Farragut's fleet intercepted some Indian cavalry coming down the Mississippi before heading home to New York.

River Win_49.png
River Win_49.png (2.3 MiB) Viewed 5320 times

In Texas Joseph E Johnston arrived and lead the combined CSA TX stack into Fremont's entrenched divisions.

Texas Battle_55.png
Texas Battle_55.png (2.06 MiB) Viewed 5320 times

Pushing JEJ out of Texas is of course out of the question, but holding him in place with Fremont's stack is a favourable outcome for me.
Murtagks has about 5 divisions facing two of mine and if those CSA divisions and, perhaps more importantly, competent generals are slamming away at me in Texas they are not guarding New Orleans or Memphis.

Texas Situation_57.png
Texas Situation_57.png (3.57 MiB) Viewed 5320 times

New Orleans itself is a stalemate. I was worried that Murtagks would imminently be reinforcing Price to drive out Butler's stack, but no additional forces have materialised.

New Orleans Front_58.png
New Orleans Front_58.png (3.52 MiB) Viewed 5320 times

Hooker linked up with a fresh division from CT and is leading them to storm the two forts at the mouth of the Mississippi. Once Hooker has an additional star I will use him to lead the assault on NO itself. I have landed sailors all over Louisiana to ensure I have good supply flow and lines of retreat.

I believe that NO is currently the front with the greatest value for reinforcements and therefore I will redeploy my new artillery only division (not full, but nonetheless containing a lot of heavy arty) to the Louisiana to give some extra punch to this attack.
Hopefully Hooker's leadership combined with a lot of firepower will be enough to shift Price's entrenched stack off the city.

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Re: Naturamix(USA) vs Murtagks(CSA) No-Grant Union

Mon Aug 05, 2019 6:25 pm

Turn 24-27 Upper Mississippi and Tennessee

This theatre is perhaps the most interesting of our game so far.

My ironclad fleet is slightly superior to Murtagks', but I took a risk trying to reinforce Lyon and lost 4 cards of cavalry.

River Loss_50.png
River Loss_50.png (1.96 MiB) Viewed 5318 times

A little later the fleets ran into each other and I came off better, but it will take a long time to have total supremacy on the river.

River Loss_50.png
River Loss_50.png (1.96 MiB) Viewed 5318 times

Whilst we were going back and forth on the river ABSJ hit Lyon and forced him back to the West bank in this and one other engagement.

Tennessee_59.png (4.11 MiB) Viewed 5318 times

Lyon's stack will get a brief rest but I hope to use it again soon.

The chief reason for this theatre being more interesting is Kentucky's entry on the side of the Union following (bizarrely) a CSA intervention.

Tennessee_59.png (4.11 MiB) Viewed 5318 times

This suites me just fine and Gilbert and McClellan are storming down towards Nashville.
The chief unknown for me is which way ABSJ's stack is going to go. I have planned for him to move to defend Nashville by moving Gilbert to block the rail junction.
ABSJ may move to defend Memphis or take back Island 10.
My forces on the West bank will wait and see and take whatever opportunity become available.
Lyon back_51.png
Lyon back_51.png (2.65 MiB) Viewed 5318 times
River battle_54.png
River battle_54.png (2.01 MiB) Viewed 5318 times

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Re: Naturamix(USA) vs Murtagks(CSA) No-Grant Union

Mon Aug 05, 2019 7:30 pm

Turn 24-27 East

The East has been a slugging match and I have come off a little worse.

A piece of good news was that I managed to land a siege stack on Ft Pulaski to blockade Savannah once more, but most of the action was in Virginia.

Murtagks decided to throw me back across the Rappahannock by charging McDowell's stack with a sizable force.

Battle of Fredericksburg_52.png
Battle of Fredericksburg_52.png (2.2 MiB) Viewed 5312 times

In theory the battle was a stalemate, but McDowell retreat back across the river. I am unsure whether I have fulfilled the 1862 "Onto Richmond" event and so I wanted to close in on Richmond once again.

Murtagks was guarding the Rappahannock crossings and so I tried to outflank him to the West.

Virginia Swing Round_53.png
Virginia Swing Round_53.png (3.57 MiB) Viewed 5312 times

Whilst this sounded good in my head in practice it ended in a bloody defeat for the Union.

Massive Virginia Loss_56.png
Massive Virginia Loss_56.png (2.36 MiB) Viewed 5312 times

A great success for Beauregard unfortunately and it may allow Murtagks to dish out the odd promotion if he wants to.
This loss has lead me to pull back 3 divisions north of the Potomac river as they need to be almost completely replaced.

At the end of these two battles I have lost arround 21k men in Virginia and Murtagks around 18k.

Whilst this result is a little bleak I don't feel entirely defeated yet this spring in VA.
The Union army has been badly mauled, but then so has the CSA's. I will be much better equipped to replace these losses than Murtagks and so I will press on for the moment.

Virginia_60.png (3.16 MiB) Viewed 5312 times

I am a little concerned about Stonewall moving into the Shenandoah, but hopefully if I threaten Richmond he will be forced to move back to block me.

Longstreet has 2 beaten-up divisions and Beauregard has another 4 fairly damaged divisions.
I have 8 or so fresh, though admittedly somewhat incomplete, divisions spread around three corps in the area.
I don't think I can drive Murtagks back into Richmond, but continuing the attritional grind along the Rappahannock will seriously deplete Murtagks' reserves and prevent him from launching any decisive campaigns of his own to radically change the course of the war.

McDowell can stay in place and hopefully get in another tussle with Beauregard. I am pouring resources into replacements to get my wrecked divisions back up an running as soon as possible.
To further stiffen Virginia's defenses I am also redeploying Rosecrans from the west. His strategic rating is not good, but the 3 defense is the best in the Union army at the moment.

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Re: Naturamix(USA) vs Murtagks(CSA) No-Grant Union

Wed Aug 07, 2019 8:57 am

Turns 28-30 South West

The invasion of Texas is proving to be a great source of value for me.

Texas Battle_61.png
Texas Battle_61.png (2.47 MiB) Viewed 5255 times

Texas Win_66.png
Texas Win_66.png (2.56 MiB) Viewed 5255 times

Murtagks has been throwing troops at Freemont's dug-in stack and the casualties are mounting on his side.

It feels like Fremont may slowly be overwhelmed by this assault, but the loss ratio alone makes holding on to this location for as long as possible well worth it. Whilst JEJ and his army are trying to retake Texas they are not defending the Mississippi or Georgia

My own plan is to finally move to take New Orleans.

Hooker defeated the two forts at the Mississippi's mouth and so could finally be promoted to a 2-star general.

Hooker_Promoted_62.png (3.58 MiB) Viewed 5255 times

I also promoted Ambrose Burnside in Virgina simultaneously. Burnside loses a point of strategic rating from this, but as a corp commander who just needs to sit in place and defend a 2-2-3 is superior to the 3-1-1 generals I am currently using.

I shipped French down from New York to join Hooker with 2 cards of Rodman artillery and a couple of other guns. I am hoping that if I group the heavy artillery with the high moral divisions under Hooker I can break Price's entrenchments and take the city. Butler will guard the rear with the remaining infantry division, but I may swap it into the front line if the two assault divisions are heavily damaged.

Louisiana_69.png (3.8 MiB) Viewed 5255 times

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Re: Naturamix(USA) vs Murtagks(CSA) No-Grant Union

Wed Aug 07, 2019 10:29 am

Turn 28-30 Tennessee and Arkansas,

The main CSA armies in the West have concentrated in the upper Mississippi to defend Memphis.

Western Tennessee_67.png
Western Tennessee_67.png (4.08 MiB) Viewed 5252 times

I did think that ABSJ may could move towards Nashville to defend middle Tennessee, but Murtagks went with the (probably more conservative) option of defending the Memphis river crossing.

While ABSJ blocks the west bank, Lyon can move to take fort pillow. Van Dorn, if I recall correctly, has mostly cavalry so he won't be able to stop Lyon's marine divisions.

Gilbert's stack took forts Henry and Donaldson

Henry and Donaldson_64.png
Henry and Donaldson_64.png (2.02 MiB) Viewed 5252 times

Since Murtagks didn't block my invasion through Kentucky I have also brought Gilbert's stack (which includes Sherman) over the Tennessee river to advance on Corinth. Corinth is critical as a rail hub which sits on the junction of the Mobile-Paducah line and Chatanooga-Memphis line. If I control it all confederate forces going between east and west will have to take the long way through Jackson, MS.
My three stacks in the area will keep closing in around Memphis.
To the west of the Memphis I took Little Rock, AR with a small force from Missouri under Sumner. It's another victory city ticked off the list.
My territorial advances are certainly paying off as I have overtaken Murtagks on VPs 2712 (Union) to 2572 (CSA).
He will either need to break my morale or retake enough land to reverse this trend. The latter outcome is probably more likely for him.

Our fleets have still been slamming away at each other on the river as I still want to dominate the Mississippi river eventually.

River Battle_63.png
River Battle_63.png (1.91 MiB) Viewed 5252 times

In the central and eastern parts of Tennessee I have managed to advance quickly along the rail lines with cavalry to secure them and allow the main force under McClellan to power ahead. I took Nashville and am now headed for Chattanooga. I have blown the rail with Ricket's cavalry and will keep sabotaging this vital rail line until I can take it with McClellan.

Central Tennessee_68.png
Central Tennessee_68.png (4.34 MiB) Viewed 5252 times

Murtagks has had a problem defending this part of the Confederacy in previous games and I will try to capitalise as much as possible by moving into Georgia from the north, but there is always the risk that CSA forces from Virginia are diverted this way give McClellan a nasty surprise.

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Re: Naturamix(USA) vs Murtagks(CSA) No-Grant Union

Wed Aug 07, 2019 11:03 am

Turn 28-30 Virginia,

Two things happened in Virginia during this time:

Attacking Stonewall turned out to be a bad idea.

Shenandoah losses_65.png
Shenandoah losses_65.png (2.15 MiB) Viewed 5252 times

Even with the Union's material superiority this rate of attrition is not favourable. I pulled back to dig in.

The other important event was that Robert E Lee took command of the Army of Northern Virginia.

Virginia_70.png (3.61 MiB) Viewed 5252 times

I was planning to push a little with McDowell, but at this point he is outnumbered and out-generaled so I will pull back.

Overall in Virginia I have slight superiority in numbers. Murtagks has 2 divisions under Stonewall, 4 under Lee and 2 under Longstreet. I also suspect that a further division is guarding Richmond.

Against this I have 3 divisions under Wallace, 3 divisions under McDowell, 2 divisions under Burnside and 3 under Rosecrans

2 of my divisions from the previous Beauregard-McDowell debacle have now been rebuilt and are part of Rosecrans' corps.

With some reinforcements and a decent general I may be able to push Lee a little, but for now I will play a wait-and-see strategy.

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Re: Naturamix(USA) vs Murtagks(CSA) No-Grant Union

Thu Aug 08, 2019 8:58 pm

Turn 31-32

A couple of turns in which the Union seems to be getting a strategic advantage.

Texas keeps paying dividends

Texas again_72.png
Texas again_72.png (2.07 MiB) Viewed 5216 times

Gilbert stormed ahead to Corinth and bumped into Van Dorn

Corinth van dorn_71.png
Corinth van dorn_71.png (1.96 MiB) Viewed 5216 times

Hooker, now backed up with the biggest guns possible, managed to push Price off new Orleans with surprisingly few losses. Price's stack as it turns out was largely militia.

New Orleans_73.png
New Orleans_73.png (2.03 MiB) Viewed 5216 times

These events are important for two fronts.
In Western Tennessee Lyon, Berry and Gilbert are facing Beauregard and ABS Johnston

Sherman_74.png (3.71 MiB) Viewed 5216 times

As the confederacy loses towns cutting off Beauregard's and ABSJ's supplies becomes all the more probable. If I can take Memphis and blow the supplies at Madison the supply situation of the CSA forces in the area looks very precarious. The closest depots apart from these are in Jackson and Vicksburg which I can threaten from the south with Benjamin Butler.

All of this fighting has got Sherman a promotion which I will now cash in.

I think the best place to put this to use would be Virginia.

Virginia_75.png (3.29 MiB) Viewed 5216 times

Probably worried about all the ground he is losing I noticed that Murtagks is withdrawing troops from Lees army. This move increases my numerical superiority in Virgina and makes an attack more likely to succeed.
A head-on attack against Lee would likely cause large casualties. Instead I will bring Sherman over, place him in command of the lead corps and move around the eastern flank of the CSA army towards Richmond.
As they move to intercept I may be able to catch them outside of their entrenchments.

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Re: Naturamix(USA) vs Murtagks(CSA) No-Grant Union

Fri Aug 09, 2019 9:23 pm

Turn 33-38

These last few turns finished off the Confederacy.

Some maneuvering and battles took place around Memphis and Corinth, but there were two events that made Murtagks throw in the towel.

Firstly I took New Orleans with all its iron works and armouries.

New Orleans Win_77.png
New Orleans Win_77.png (1.94 MiB) Viewed 5198 times

This city had received a lot of investment from Murtagks and was at this point made a 100% Union loyalty city by Butler's event and the CSA was robbed of all its production.

The main event however was in Virginia.

Upon seeing Lee's army weakened I thought I'd have a go at getting across the river to the south.

Across the rappahanock_78.png
Across the rappahanock_78.png (3.02 MiB) Viewed 5198 times

With this accomplished I thought Murtagks would throw all he had at me, and so I gambled on a rush to Richmond thinking that I would at least get some battles to grind down the ANV.

Astonishingly the CSA army did not move!

Richmond_79.png (3.2 MiB) Viewed 5198 times

Murtagks told me in chat afterwards that he thought he had one more turn before I could get there, but the weather was good and Rosecrans got all the way to Richmond.

The only rational thing for Murtagks to do at this point was of course to throw all he had into the fight to chuck me out and this resulted in a fittingly epic battle.

Epic_82.png (2.26 MiB) Viewed 5198 times

Lee was defeated with Rosecrans as the conqueror of Richmond (though in practice Polk was still under siege within the city).

Richmond_85.png (3.18 MiB) Viewed 5198 times

After a couple of turns where I consolidated my gains in the Mississippi Murtagks decided to call it.
Out of the victory cities only Atlanta, Mobile and Charleston where relatively safe within the CSA interior, but would have been threatened soon enough.

GG Murtagks


I think the Union win was very largely down to the allocation of forces to Texas.
The CSA committed 5 hodge-podge divisions to drive out a mere two Union divisions. furthermore some of the best brains (Shelby, JE Johnston and Hardee) were committed to fight against Freemont who is undoubtedly one of the worst Union generals.

This denuded the Mississippi and central Tennessee of defenses it could have used to maintain the CSA economic hubs. It also put too much pressure on Lee in Virginia.

Murtagks performed best in Western Tennessee where Lyon was caught out by ABS Johnston. ABSJ was still wining victories in the last few turns of the game by catching my Tennessee stacks in poor situations, but in the end the other fronts just took the CSA down.

It was an interesting game, and I'll certainly do a Non-Grant play through next time.

I hope you enjoyed reading this, feel free to leave a comment.

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Re: Naturamix(USA) vs Murtagks(CSA) No-Grant Union

Sat Aug 17, 2019 1:46 am

Another amazing match from two great CW2 players! Thank you so much for posting your campaign. It seems like you took the initiative from the very start and never let him catch his breath. He was always reacting to your moves. Well done!

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Re: Naturamix(USA) vs Murtagks(CSA) No-Grant Union

Sat Aug 17, 2019 5:36 pm

Thank you, you are too kind.
Murtagks and I are about to start another AAR where we both post simultaneously so hopefully the next game will be good too.

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