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Subject: Full Solitaire Playthrough of Victory Games' "The Civil War" rss

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Fred Finkenbinder
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Greetings!

This thread will be a work in progress in what I hope will be an epic endeavor realized. I will be posting a turn-by-turn, play-by-play solitaire session of "The Civil War," a certified classic by Victory Games from 30 years ago.

There have been other session reports posted to BGG with the latest being over a year ago, and as far as I can tell there has not been a solitaire playthrough posted since around 2007. I will elaborate in a moment as to my intentions and further specifics of this playthrough, but first, a little about my background with the game is required.

The American Civil War is no doubt my favorite period in American history, bar none. I came across this gem of a game in my teenage years (that is, about 20-25 years ago now), when it was given to me as a Christmas present. I fooled around with it then, trying to recreate history (I was new to the wargaming hobby) and learning so much more about the period as a consequence. I never got that far as solo play wasn't really for me at the time, and I didn't really have an opponent, so eventually the game started to collect dust. Around December 2012 I decided to dust off my copy and give it another try, my brother graciously accepted a match over Vassal, and I have been glued to the game ever since. I have come to accept this game as my favorite board game (not just war game) of all time, and I have dedicated myself to the task of mastering the game and advancing myself to the high tier of dedicated players who still play this game PBEM on a regular basis.

And so, for better or worse, I am going to give a full solitaire playthrough a shot, and we will see how far I get. This will be as much for my own consumption as it will be (hopefully) for anyone eyeing up the sales on Ebay and looking to give this game a shot. If I can garner additional interest in a title that is 30 years old, all the better. I should state that I am far from an elite player (I have been considered, and consider myself intermediate at this time), I hope that my insights that I post will help the new player, or maybe even help myself with my play...and of course, any and all commentary is welcome.

I will be playing with the Vassal module, using the latest revision of the WGA 3rd edition ruleset (which can be downloaded from this site). Most of the players use these rules as they fix a lot of errata and make for better play balance since the game's release. A few of the rules have even, to my understanding, been fully endorsed by the designer himself. I will not be using the Far West option for this game. While I do enjoy that for completeness, it has been a while since I have used it and the general consensus is that it doesn't add enough to the game to justify the additional time and command point usage that it demands. In addition, I will be using the standard optional rules that are used with PBEM play in Vassal:

1) 20.1 Jackson and Lyon are not killed
2) 21.1 Confederate supply by river
3) 21.3 Revealed leaders
4) 21.6 Confederate Navy
5) 21.7 Stacking
6) 21.9 Non-Army leader reaction
7) 21.12 Union off-map rail movement
8) 22.0 Variant leader system (entire section)

Each posting will be (or will try to be) a turn in full, broken down by a play-by-play, pulse-by-pulse session report of my game. While I will detail rules as part of this playthrough, I will not make any attempt at a full rules overview; thus, this playthrough assumes that the player has downloaded and read the WGA 3rd edition ruleset. At the conclusion of every turn, I will give an overview of my thoughts on the turn as a whole. I will also post end-of-turn map positions, with some potential additional pictures popping up in the interum.

To repeat, I hope this playthrough will assist new and existing players, as well as myself, to understand the flow of the game and possibly give some insight from a "lower level" player. I cannot promise there won't be mistakes (after playing this game extensively for almost a year straight, they still happen), and my strategies certainly will not be the best available. That all said, let's see how this goes.

I have not yet started the first turn, but will be doing so soon and hope to post that without too much delay. Thanks to everyone in advance who chooses to follow this!
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Chris Friend
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I own this game and tried to play solitaire many years ago but found it too complex. I just subscribed to this thread, and i am very much looking forward to your playthrough.
Thanks for the effort, and Good luck!
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Fred Finkenbinder
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Thanks Chris!

It will help you a great deal to read through the WGA 3rd edition rules that I will be using, as there are a great deal of changes and most of the options I am using are not found in the vanilla game's rule book. The rules can be downloaded from the files section for this game on BGG.
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Chris Friend
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Got 'em, thanks for the suggestion Fred.
 
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Eric Smith
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I look forward to reading your progress reports. It's always especially fun, to me, to see how players use the Northern navy.

Cheers,

Eric
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Fred Finkenbinder
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Thanks for stopping by Eric!

You have doubly encouraged my desire to get this done now. I hope I don't disappoint. On the other side of the coin, maybe I can move that 2nd edition along ;-)
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Shannon M
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Looks good, Fred.

Shannon
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Fred Finkenbinder
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Turn 1: July - August 1861


The guns have fired at Fort Sumter and the initial 90-day volunteers have joined ranks. The initial map positions for the start of the game are below (click on the map and then adjust the size to "original" for the "big picture"). Note how McClellan and the CSA Generals Johnston have alternate ratings due to the variant leader system option I am using:





Initial Statistics:

USA VPs - 9
CSA VPs - 0
CSA Production - 100
CSA Imports - 140 (blockade 0%)
CSA Ports Open - 40
USA Sea Lift - 2
USA Rail - 6
CSA Rail - 4

The game begins with both sides loading their leader reinforcements into their respective leader pools, and adding SP reinforcements to their reinforcement tracks.

USA T1 Reinforcements:

Leaders - ***Banks ***Buell **Burnside *Curtis **Foote (naval) ***Halleck **Pope **Rosecrans (added for variant leader option)
Naval - 1 ocean transport, 1 river transport
SPs - 3(E) 3(W) 1(TM) 2(D)

CSA T1 Reinforcements:

Leaders - ***Bragg *EK Smith *Hardee *Jackson *Longstreet *Stuart (cav)
SPs - 3(E) 3(W) 1(TM) 1(D)

Now both sides select the theater allocations for T1. I don't favor using the solitaire allocation tool included in the rules, so I will be rolling each time to select which side picks its allocations first. I won't include the rolls in the playthrough.

T1 Allocations:

USA - E TM W
CSA - TM E W

USA picked East as primary because it has higher priorities in the East in the early turns. Namely, USA will want to secure West Virginia and DC, and build the Army of the Potomac as quickly as possible. CSA picked Trans Miss as primary for T1 as they did historically; this is the one and only turn that the CSA can make a bid for Missouri...or, rather a bid to delay USA conversion of the state.

Now both sides save the allocations for T2, and roll for CPs, consulting the Command Points Table for the result. I will inhibit a bit of suspense with next-turn allocation choices, revealing them at the start of each turn.

USA CPs - 5(E) 3(TM) 2(D) 2(N)
CSA CPs - 5(TM) 3(E) 2(W) 2(D)

Both sides had the same CP roll (a 9). That will make the first turn more or less interesting. We'll see how in pans out. Now both sides roll for the first pulse, with the difference in rolls being used for the amount of CPs spent and/or reinforcements entered.

First Pulse - 3+ USA (+ = free initiative reinforcement)
The USA won the first pulse of the game, and will seize the initiative by trying to secure the border.

USA:
(+) SP to DC, bringing it to 8
(1/3) The SP in Pittsburg, PA, marches down to secure Grafton, WV. The lone CSA SP in Virginia cannot take Grafton now without additional help, due to the terrain, and as Charleston is 2 movements away for the SP, WV is easily lost to CSA with this simple move, unless the CSA player is feeling especially energetic.
(2/3) An SP spends a rail point to rail from Springfield, IL, to Rolla, MO. The rail lines in West Virginia and Missouri start out Union controlled. With the DD that has been given USA has to make every effort to reinforce Lyon and secure Springfield, but it will take more than one pulse to bolster his strength.
(3/3) An SP is placed in Cairo, IL, bringing it to 2.

CSA:
(1/3) A.S. Johnston is activated and takes the rail to Arkansas, departing to march up to Price and his 2 SPs southwest of Springfield.
(3/3) Army of the West is built in Missouri with A.S. Johnston as its commander. This is an all-too-common trick the CSA can pull to obtain Springfield, but the dice have to be kind for it to work.

Pulse - 3+ USA

USA:
(+) SP to DC, bringing it to 9
(1/3) The SP in Rolla marches down to Springfield, MO, bring Lyon's force to 2 and matching the army in front of him.
(2/3) An SP is placed in Cairo, IL, bringing it to 3.
(3/3) An SP is placed in DC, bringing it to 10. With the Stacking option that is being used, this is the most SPs that can reside in the hex unless an army is present.

CSA:
(2/3) Two SPs are placed into the Army of the West (1 TM, 1 D), bringing it to 4 and making it a medium force. If the CSA wins the next pulse with enough DD, Lyon could be in trouble.
(3/3) A leader is selected to join the Army of the West. After a die roll *Stuart (cav) is elected to join the army and give it +1 in combat, to go against Lyon's +2.

Pulse - 2+ CSA
Not what the CSA wanted here.

CSA:
(+) SP to New Orleans, LA. CSA needs the early turns to bolster its key positions as much as possible, preparing for the USA onslaught that is coming.
(2/2) - The Army of Northern Virginia is built under Beauregard in the "Manassas" hex 5006. It is imperative that this get built ASAP, before the USA Army of the Potomac can take advantage of a weakened CSA force in Virginia. Armies, with their reaction radii and multiple leader combat values, are crucial to this game.

USA:
(1/2) Another SP is railed from Springfield, IL, to Rolla, MO, preparing to join Lyon.
(2/2) An SP is placed in Cairo, IL, bringing it to 4.

Pulse - 2+ USA

USA:
(+) SP to Cairo, IL, bringing it to 5.
(1/2) The SP in Rolla marches to Springfield, bringing it to 3. Army of the West will still be unable to attack Springfield this turn, as it needs 3 DD to do so under A.S. Johnston.
(2/2) An SP in Columbus, OH, is railed to Rolla, MO.

CSA:
(1/2) An SP is placed in Memphis, TN, bringing Polk's force to 3.
(2/2) AoNV is reinforced to 5 SP.

Pulse - 2+ CSA
With this roll, the CSA can see that Missouri is likely lost. There are not enough DD for the AoW to be activated, and Lyon will be able to boost his force to medium and equal to the army's strength. The CSA is also out of TM and D reinforcements for the turn.

CSA:
(+) AoNV is reinforced to 6 SP.
(1/2) SP to Memphis, TN, bringing it to 4.
(2/2) AoNV is reinforced to 7 SP

USA:
(1/2) The SP in Rolla marches to Springfield, MO, bringing Lyon's force to 4 as expected. Although he can only attack with 2 SPs as a 1-star general, he has no intention of moving presently.
(2/2) SP to Cairo, IL, bringing it to 6.

Pulse - 2+ USA

USA:
(+) SP to St. Louis, MO, bringing it to 3.
(1/2) McClellan is activated alone in West Virginia and travels to take command of the 6 SPs in Cairo, IL. Clearly an army build-up is occurring in Cairo.
(2/2) The SP in Parkersburg, WV, marches down to seize Charleston and secure West Virginia for the USA.

CSA:
(1/2) A leader is selected for AoNV to bolster its combat ratings. *Longstreet is selected.
(2/2) A second leader, ***Bragg, joins the army. It is worth noting here that a key rule (the "Red Tape" rule 6.2.8) that was added to the WGA ruleset makes it important for armies to be loaded with enough generals to command SPs for attacks. This is one of the key changes to the base rules that tightens play balance in the game immensely.

Pulse - 3+ USA

USA:
(+) **Rosecrans is selected to join McDowell's force in DC. Neither side has any SP reinforcements remaining for the turn.
(2/3) The Army of the Potomac is finally formed in DC with McDowell in command. With the AoNV looming and increasing in strength, DC could be very vulnerable. USA elected to build the army before a fortress in DC, due to its ability to react and prevent DC from being possible cut off.
(3/3) The SP in Harrisburg, PA, marches down to secure hex 5105 in Maryland, further securing the USA capital.

CSA:
(3/3) The CSA makes a key decision and spends its last CP in the West (1 W, 2 D) to build a fort in Memphis, TN. This is one of the key positions on the Mississippi that a fort should be considered for. The Union Navy now has something to think about.

Pulse - 1+ CSA

CSA:
(+) *E.K. Smith is selected for the AoNV
(1/1) Realizing Missouri is likely lost (barring a tie and a lot of luck with the dice), the SP in Missouri hex 2113 marches through the swamps to hex 2014.

USA:
(1/1) **Pope joins the AoP

Pulse - 1+ CSA

CSA:
(+) *Jackson joins the AoNV
(1/1) The SP in West Virginia travels through the road hexes to reach Staunton, VA. If Missouri and West Virginia convert to USA this turn, lone SPs will not be able to move in those states without leader assistance in future turns, since they will then be USA territory. With SPs being so valuable to CSA, it is not a bad idea to account for every one.

USA:
(1/1) USA turns to its plethora of leaders in its pool, and ***Banks is drawn to sit with an SP in New Albany, IN.

Pulse - 4+ USA

USA:
(+) **Burnside is drawn to Cincinatti, OH.
(1/4) *Curtis joins **Burnside in Cincinatti, OH.
(2/4) **Foote (naval) is drawn for New Albany, IN.
(4/4) ***Buell and ***Halleck, the last 2 leaders in USA pool, are drawn to sit in Indianapolis, IN, which has 2 SPs.

CSA:
(1/4) The SP in AR hex 1813 marches to Madison, AR. This city is crucial in the line of depots in this state, and is often overlooked as a major supply source for the TM and Memphis as well.
(2/4) The SP in 2014 marches to join Madison, bringing it to 2.
(3/4) *Hardee is the last leader in CSA pool. He is drawn to join the SP in New Orleans and help to protect that crucial port city. CSA is now out of CPs and reinforcements, barring a tie.

Pulse - 5+ USA
USA has only 2 N CPs remaining. This will end the turn.

USA:
No + reinforcement.
(2/5) The 2 SPs in Philadelphia, PA, use sea lift to transport to AoP in DC, bringing it to 12. This was a much more useful move than simply entering the 2 NSPs in the USA naval pool presently.

CP Table Uses: 1

Rally Phase: No eligible forces to rally.

VP Totals:
USA - +13 (22 total) for VP cities in MO and WV, and the state conversion values. The rail lines in these border states now all convert to USA.
CSA - +1 (1 total) for the CP Table Use

The map positions after the end of T1:



Turn 1 Thoughts:

A quick Turn 1 is typically not a bad thing for USA. When CP Table Uses mount up in the first turn, and with Kentucky still neutral, the USA can run out of things to do with CPs. Some aggression can be had, but USA will not lose sleep over just 1 CSA VP for the turn. Conversely, CSA would have liked at least 1 additional Table Use to build some fortifications before USA can unleash its might. As the game progresses, the USA will need the Table Uses just as much as, if not more than, CSA. Losing West Virginia is pretty much inevitable, but losing Missouri early on is a damper on CSA spirits. Eventually the state usually falls to USA, but now USA has other things it can use its TM CPs on, rather than trying to take Springfield. Still, the TM usually goes to sleep for a while after T1. USA leadership is rather scattered and will have to be tightened up in T2, and there are not yet armies in the West, meaning some more CPs need to be spent before action is unleashed in that theater. Washington, DC, is not yet fully secured, but that should soon be remedied.
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Andrew Pleass
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Excellent report, really looking forward to reading more, 1st round to the USA on my scorecard
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Max Payne

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Look forward to reading this. Subscribed!
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Fred Finkenbinder
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Just letting everyone know - Turn 2 is in the works and should be here soon. I probably will be able to post about an average of a turn a week (sometimes more), especially so once the game picks up. I have no interest in splitting the turns up into separate postings - so hopefully these are worth waiting for
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Fred Finkenbinder
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Turn 2: September - October 1861


A review of the map at the start of T2:



Start of T2 Statistics:

USA VPs - 22
CSA VPs - 1
CSA Production - 100
CSA Imports - 136 (blockade 10%)
CSA Ports Open - 40
USA Sea Lift - 6
USA Rail - 6
CSA Rail - 4

Reinforcements sometimes carry over from turn to turn. In this case, the USA still has 2 NSPs in its pool from last turn.

USA T2 Reinforcements:

Leaders - **Farragut (naval) **Grant **Porter (naval) *Sedgwick *Sherman *Sigel *Thomas
Naval - 1 ocean transport, 2 river transports
SPs - 8(E) 8(W) 1(TM) 1(D)

CSA T2 Reinforcements:

Leaders - *D.H. Hill *Pemberton **Van Dorn (added for variant leader option)
SPs - 7(E) 7(W) 0(TM) 2(D)

T2 Allocations:

USA - E W TM
CSA - W E TM

USA anticipates more shifts in command via leader placement in the East, and perhaps AoP will see some action. CSA considers West primary for this turn in the interest of fortification planning.

USA CPs - 4(E) 3 (W) 2(TM) 2(D) 2(N)
CSA CPs - 3(E) 6(W) 2(TM) 1(D)

Definitely a bad CP roll for the USA, but at this stage of the game it is not so big a deal. With so many reinforcements entering this turn, focus may be on bulking up both sides.

First Pulse - 3+ USA

USA:
(+) AoP is reinforced to 13.
(1/3) *Sigel is drawn to be placed in AoP.
(2/3) *Thomas is drawn to be placed in AoP.
(3/3) **Farragut (naval) is drawn to be placed in AoP. With no NSPs available on the hexside he sits with the army.

CSA:
(1/3) AoNV is reinforced to 8.
(2/3) An SP is placed with *Hardee's force in New Orleans, LA, bringing it to 2.
(3/3) An SP is placed in Nashville, TN, bringing it to 2.

Pulse - 2+ CSA

CSA:
(+) AoNV is reinforced to 9.
(1/2) An SP is placed in New Orleans, LA, bringing it to 3.
(2/2) An SP is placed in Nashville, TN, bringing it to 3.

USA:
(2/2) AoP is reinforced to 15.

Pulse - 1+ USA

USA:
(+) AoP is reinforced to 16.
(1/1) AoP is reinforced to 17.

CSA:
(1/1) An SP is placed in Nashville, TN, bringing it to 4.

Pulse - 1+ CSA

CSA:
(+) AoNV is reinforced to 10, making it a large force to better defend against an advance from the AoP.
(1/1) ***J. Johnston moves alone from hex 4905 to join the 4-SP force in Nashville, TN.

USA:
(1/1) *Sherman is drawn and placed with the AoP.

Pulse - Tied on a roll of 7.
The first of many expected tied occurs, and the CP Table Use marker raises to 2 for the turn. Both sides now add the CP roll of 6 4 1 2 2 to their CP totals. With the additional CPs, T2 may yet see some action. As the Table Uses rise per turn, focus turns more to spending the CPs (before they are wasted in the event of a tie-out to end the turn) rather than reinforcing, where possible.

Current USA CPs - 10(E) 7(W) 3(TM) 4(D) 4(N)
Current CSA CPs - 6(E) 12(W) 3(TM) 3(D)

Pulse - 1+ CSA

CSA:
(+) An SP is placed in New Bern, NC, as CSA starts to reinforce its vital coastal areas.
(1/1) An SP is activated in hex 4905 to join AoNV, reinforcing it to 11.

USA:
(1/1) **Grant is selected and placed with AoP.

Pulse - 7+ USA
The biggest pulse of the game so far - with big pulses such as these, decisions can be crucial for the side with the initiative, as he will then hand the same amount of DD to the opponent for a counter.

USA:
(+) AoP is reinforced to 18.
(3/7) The fort in Washington, DC, is upgraded to a fortress. Fortresses that are in supply are very valuable, as a force that remains is never required to retreat after combat. For CSA, they obviously pose greater threats to the USA naval game. With the fortress upgrade complete, DC is more or less secure. An argument could be made that AoP could have been more aggressive here and waited to build the fortress, but (for better or worse) my conservationism as a player often kicks in.
(4/7) ***McClellan is activated alone in Cairo and ordered to take command of the AoP in DC. The USA is beginning to re-think its strategy.
(7/7) AoP is reinforced to 21. USA remained conservative with its 7 DD, but at this stage in the game, it can afford to do so.

CSA:
(3/7) ***J. Johnston is activated in Nashville, TN, with 3 SPs, and marches northwest to join the 1 SP in hex 2513 (Fort Donelson historically), bringing it to a medium force of 4. This fort is just as important in the game as it was historically, as USA control of rivers can be devastating in this game.
(5/7) The Army of Tennessee is build in Fort Donelson under ***J. Johnston, with a strength of 4. This power move certainly beefs up CSA defense on the rivers.
(6/7) The SP remaining in hex 4905 marches to reinforce AoNV to 12.
(7/7) The SP in Staunton, VA, marches to reinforce AoNV to 13.

Pulse - 1+ USA

USA:
(+) *Sedgwick is drawn and placed in Cairo, IL, with the 6 SPs there.
(1/1) The SP in Columbus, OH, railed to reinforce AoP to 22.

CSA:
(1/1) An SP in New Orleans, LA, marches through the swamps to sit southeast in hex 1932.

Pulse - 5+ CSA

CSA:
(+) An SP is placed in New Orleans, LA, bringing it back to 3.
(1/5) The SP in hex 1932 completes its march southeast and is placed in Fort Jackson at the mouth of the Mississippi River, further securing New Orleans against an assault.
(2/5) An SP marches from New Orleans, LA, one hex to the northwest (hex 1730). This hex is very key to supply to the New Orleans forts and the city itself (which was pointed out very painfully to me in a recent PBEM match), and should be guarded against an energetic USA naval assault.
(5/5) A fort is placed in New Orleans, LA. The city is now well secured, with 3 SPs in the fort with *Hardee.

USA:
(3/5) AoP is activated to march. The army is 22 SPs strong with a 13-SP AoNV in front of it. The army also contains some valuable leaders in **Grant and *Sherman that the USA would love to see promoted (a key strategy in the early game for USA). With ***McClellan only needing 2 CPs to rally his force with the variant leader system option, and AoNV currently containing no cavalry to assist its reaction, the decision is made to advance into Virginia. AoP leaves 3 SP behind in DC with the leaders **Farragut (naval), *Sigel, and ***McDowell and advances to the USA SP in hex 5106. AoNV is unable to react as this hex contains a USA friendly force. USA spends its second mp to advance to AoNV's hex 5006 (Manassas, VA, historically, and a valuable hex for USA to control). After contemplating, AoNV decides not to react and to defend, given the odds.
*COMBAT* The attack is 19 vs. 13 and combat is resolved on the H column. Both sides have large forces. DRMs from commanders are +4 USA, +5 CSA with the CSA receiving 1 re-roll option from ***McClellan. Dice are rolled and the result is d2/d2. CSA decides to take a risk and re-roll its own die to try and get a d3 result. The re-roll reveals the same result, d2/d2. AoP retreats back to 5106 and joins the SP there for a total force of 18. AoNV has been reduced to 11.
*Leader Loss Checks (LLC)*
With the variant leader system option the revised LLC table is used for play balance.
CSA - *E.K. Smith (promoted), *Jackson (promoted), *Longstreet (promoted), ***Bragg (ne), ***Beauregard (ne)
USA - *Thomas (promoted), *Sherman (promoted), ***Rosecrans (promoted), **Grant (promoted), **Pope (promoted), ***McClellan (remove if loss; he stays)
All in all, the first combat of the game was very beneficial to both sides with the promotion results.
(5/5) AoP is rallied from DM.

Pulse - 3+ USA
A body-blow to CSA, as AoNV is still DM and lacks cavalry.

USA:
(+) An SP is placed with ***Banks in New ALbany, IN, bringing it to 2.
(3/3) As expected, AoP is again activated and attacks DM AoNV in hex 5006, dropping off an SP in hex 5106. AoNV rolls for reaction (with a -1 penalty from DM), and fails. Combat ensues.
*COMBAT* The attack is 17 vs. 11, and the USA gets a shift to bring combat to the J column due to CSA DM. Due to DM the DRMs will be +6 USA, +0 CSA with 1 USA re-roll. Both forces are still large. The die roll results are d3/d1. USA re-rolls the CSA die and the result remains d3/d1. AoNV retreats south to hex 5007 (The Wilderness historically, and a good defensive position). AoP has a strength of 16 after combat, AoNV 8.
*LLC*
CSA - *E.K. Smith (ne), *Jackson (killed, promotion removed), *Longstreet (ne), ***Bragg (ne), ***Beauregard (ne)
USA - *Thomas (killed, promotion removed), *Sherman (killed, promotion removed), **Rosecrans (ne), **Grant (NCT/remove, he stays), **Pope (ne), ***McClellan (ne)
The results of this combat are not what both sides would have desired, with the loss of key commanders in Jackson and Sherman. At least Grant survived. With Sherman dead, Lyon is now eligible for promotion to ***. With the variant leader system, replacement leaders are drawn for the deceased commanders, based on eligible turn of entry. Both sides roll for those available. CSA draws **Smith to replace *Jackson. USA draws *Nelson to replace *Thomas, and **Crittenden to replace *Sherman.

CSA:
(3/3) AoNV desperately rallies from DM.

Pulse - 2+ USA

USA:
(+) An SP is placed in New Albany, IN, bringing it to 3.
(2/2) AoP is rallied from DM.

CSA:
(2/2) AoNV is reinforced to 10. The Virginia front now stabilizes for the time being.

Pulse - 4+ CSA

CSA:

(+) AoNV is reinforced to 11.
(1/4) *Stuart (cav) moves alone to leave AoW in Missouri and join AoNV.
(2/4) An SP is placed in Mobile, AL, bringing it to 2.
(3/4) An SP is placed in Wilmington, NC.
(4/4) An SP is placed in Charleston, SC.

USA:
(1/4) **Grant moves alone to leave AoP and join the 6 SPs in Cairo, IL. With Grant's promotion entering on T3, this move is clearly preliminary to an army build.
(4/4) 3 SPs are placed in New Albany, IN, bringing it to 6.

Pulse - Tied on 6.
The CP Table Use marker advances to 3 in a turn that has turned out to be very productive. The total of 6 3 2 1 3 is added for both sides.

Current USA CPs - 6(E) 8(W) 5(TM) 1(D) 7(N)
Current CSA CPs - 3(E) 8(W) 3(TM) 4(D)

Pulse - 4+ USA

USA:
(+) An SP is placed in Cairo, IL, bringing it to 7.
(1/4) *Sigel moves alone from DC to join the SP in Kansas City, MO, as the USA begins to isolate its bad commanders from large commands. It is worth noting that before the WGA ruleset (with Red Tape and limitations on stacking), USA had a much easier job of doing this.
(2/4) *Lyon moves alone from the force in Springfield, MO, to join the force in Cairo, IL.
(3/4) **Foote (naval) moves alone from Evansville, IN, to join the force in Cairo, IL.
(4/4) ***Banks leaves the force in New Albany, IN, to join an SP in Jefferson City, MO.

CSA:
(1/4) **Polk moves alone from the force in Memphis, TN, to join with the SP in New Bern, NC. With the non-army leader reaction roll that is being used, CSA bad leaders have more of a purpose, in that they can be placed at amphibious attack targets for use in reaction.
(4/4) The fort in Memphis, TN, is upgraded to a fortress. The CSA is allowed just 5 fortresses in the game, and their placement is crucial to survival. It is generally agreed that this key site on the Mississippi is a valuable spot for a fortress.

Pulse - 1+ CSA

CSA:
(+) *D.H. Hill is drawn and placed with the force in Memphis, TN.
(1/1) An SP in Mobile, AL, is activated and moves south to enter Fort Morgan.

USA:
(1/1) **Burnside leaves the force in Cincinatti, OH, to join the force in New Albany, IN.

Pulse - 3+ USA

USA:
(+) An SP is placed in Cairo, IL, bringing it to 8.
(1/3) ***Halleck moves alone from Indianapolis, IN, to join the force in St. Louis, MO.
(2/3) ***Buell moves alone from Indianapolis, IN, to join the SP in Charleston, WV.
(3/3) *Curtis leaves the force in Cincinatti, OH, to join the force in Cairo, IL.

CSA:
(3/3) A fort is placed in Richmond, VA.

Pulse - 2+ CSA

CSA:
(+) **Van Dorn is drawn and placed in Madison, AR.
(2/2) The CSA elects to spend its 2 DD to convert Van Dorn to a ** cavalry leader.

USA:
(2/2) 2 SPs are railed from Indianapolis, IN, to Washington, DC, bringing it to 5.

Pulse - 5+ CSA

CSA:
(+) *Pemberton is drawn and placed with *Hardee in New Orleans, LA. CSA is now out of reinforcements for the turn.
(1/5) *Hardee moves alone from New Orleans, LA, to join the AoT in Fort Donelson.
(2/5) *Magruder moves alone from the fort in hex 5310 to join the AoNV in hex 5007.
(5/5) A fort is placed in Mobile, AL.

USA:
(2/5) A depot is placed in Springfield, MO, establishing a longer supply chain for a potential future campaign.
(4/5) A depot is placed in Washington, DC.
(5/5) The SP in Evansville, IN, is railed to Washington, DC, bringing it to 6.

Pulse - 4+ USA

USA:
(+) An SP is placed in Cairo, IL, bringing it to 9.
(2/4) The USA enters its existing Naval Pool. The 2 river transports are placed facing the southern hexside in Cairo, IL, with **Foote (naval) joining them. The 1 ocean transport is placed facing the southwestern hexside in Washington, DC, with **Farragut (naval) joining it.
(3/4) An SP is placed in Springfield, MO, bringing it to 5.
(4/4) **Porter (naval) is drawn and placed with the NSPs in Cairo, IL. USA is now out of reinforcements for the turn.

CSA:
(1/4) An SP is activated in Madison, AR, and marches northeast to hex 1916 along the Mississippi.
(4/4) A fort is placed in hex 1916 along the Mississippi, parallel to the fortress in Memphis, TN, posing more of a threat to USA naval activity on the river.

Pulse - 1+ CSA

CSA:
(1/1) The SP in Little Rock, AR marches northeast to Madison, AR, bringing it back to 2. CSA is now out of CPS, barring a tie.

USA:
(1/1) An SP in West Virginia hex 4406 is activated and marches to join the SP in Grafton, WV, bringing it to 2.

Pulse - 2+ USA

USA:
(2/2) ***Fremont is removed from the game. Before the non-army leader reaction option was implemented, only army commanders could be removed from command. This move was elected rather than waste CPs in the TM theater, as there was little else for them to be used for and Fremont is the worst commander in the USA ranks.

Pulse - 6+ CSA

USA:
(2/6) A depot is placed in Parkersburg, WV.
(6/6) With little to do with the remaining CPs (all naval), other than take a great deal of risk, USA elects to burn 4 Naval CPs for no use.

Pulse - 8+ CSA
This will end the turn.

USA:
(1/8) USA burns the last Naval CP.

CP Table Uses: 3

Rally Phase: No eligible forces to rally.

VP Totals:
USA - +0 (22 total)
CSA - +3 (4 total) for the CP Table Use

The map positions after the end of T2:



Turn 2 Thoughts:


A very active turn, although the real game is about to begin in T3, when Kentucky drops its neutral guard and becomes a prize for either side. Oddly enough, the main action on T2 centered in Virginia, with AoP firmly securing a foothold on Virginian soil and securing DC for the immediate future (the lack of Stuart's presence proved costly)...albeit at a great cost. The lost of a 2-initiative army commander in Sherman is a body blow to USA, but as it has been said before, it is better for Sherman to fall than Grant...and very fortunate that this blow was struck on T2 and early in the game, with Lyon having an equal opportunity to rise in rank. The USA definitely needs its 2-initiative commanders in command of armies as soon as possible to pose a threat to the South on land. The loss of Jackson hurts CSA for sure, but the South has more 2-initiative leaders to spare, and barring a catastrophe Jackson would not rise to army command. On the other fronts, CSA has definitely secured itself well against the pending invasion. New Orleans, the Memphis/Madison corridor, the Cumberland/Tennessee Rivers and certain other locations have begun to put up admirable defenses. Time will tell where the USA will strike hardest, as CSA cannot defend everywhere. Still, CSA is most appreciative of 3 Table Uses this turn, however much AoNV was bled for that prize.
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Andrew Pleass
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Another great post.

I've never used the alternative leader rule and will have to look into it, finding decent leaders was a major problem for the USA at the time but in this play through having a 2 initiative 3 star general on turn 2 seems like a big advantage for the USA as illustrated by the successful advance into Virginia and the resulting bodycount lead.

Really like the red tape rule though, more realistic way of dealing with all those worse than useless USA leaders early game.

My scorecard has this turn as a draw.
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Fred Finkenbinder
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Thanks Andrew!

McClellan is actually a 3-initiative leader, but with the variant leader system option he has the unique ability to rally his force at a cost of 2 CPs, which similates his spectacular organizational skills and his popularity among his troops.

It is a classic tactic for USA to try and get Grant and Sherman into battle ASAP, so that they can get promoted. Of course, this tactic can also backfire, as in a recent game I had both Grant AND Sherman killed in action!

The variant leader system as a whole gives the game a whole new flavor and really adjusts the play balance from the vanilla version. The revised LLC table in particular makes it more difficult for both sides to get promotions, which also makes things more realistic. If either side rolls a 2, then their leader can be captured for 3 turns (unless exchanged for an opponent's prisoner), which was never in the vanilla version. The additional leaders are needed in a game where leaders drive your forces into enemy territory. As great as this system is, however, it is generally agreed that the most valuable option added is that of non-army leader reaction. We have not seen this yet in this game, but Eric Smith himself wholly endorses this option and considers it a must. Without it, lone commanders become sitting ducks, which is entirely unrealistic...and I already stated how useful the option is in defending against certain amphibious attacks (which we should be seeing shortly). Red Tape is awesome, although it takes some getting used to at first. I always have to make sure I have enough leaders to command SPs as USA when I attack with this rule, as movement and defense are not affected.

This game has not opened up the way most games do. A good USA player will be very aggressive early on, even with the limited Navy in the first two turns. It just so happens that my style of play led to being timid with the USA here while the South fully fortified. It isn't the best that they could do, but it is better than probably should have been permitted. The carnage in Virginia is particularly depressing, although the front is now stabilized for the time being. Stuart's absense proved very costly, and placing him with AoW was probably a mistake.
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Fred Finkenbinder
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Turn 3 should be in the works and posted soon. I expect to post an average of 1 turn every 1-2 weeks (mostly closer to 1). The action in this game certainly will be picking up soon!
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Fred Finkenbinder
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Turn 3: November 1861 - February 1862



A review of the map at the start of T3:



Start of T3 Statistics:

USA VPs - 22
CSA VPs - 4
CSA Production - 100
CSA Imports - 136 (blockade 10%)
CSA Ports Open - 40
USA Sea Lift - 8
USA Rail - 6
CSA Rail - 4

USA T3 Reinforcements:

Leaders - *Stoneman (cav) ***Rosecrans (promotion) ***Grant (promotion) ***Pope (promotion) *Nelson (variant replacement) **Crittenden (variant replacement)
Dead Leaders - *Thomas *Sherman
Removed Leaders - ***Fremont
Naval - 3 ocean transport, 2 river transports, 4 river ironclads (Mound City, Cairo, Carondolet, Pittsburg)
SPs - 4(E) 4(W) 0(TM) 1(D)

CSA T3 Reinforcements:

Leaders - *Hindman *Breckinridge *A.P. Hlll **E.K. Smith (promotion) **Longstreet (promotion) **Smith (variant replacement)
Dead Leaders - *Jackson
Removed Leaders - none
SPs - 4(E) 4(W) 0(TM) 1(D)

T3 Allocations:

USA - W E TM
CSA - W E TM

Both sides elect West as their primary theater, as is common on T3 with Kentucky being open to both sides. Starting in T3, if neither side has entered Kentucky, the rail lines convert to USA and the neutral state can be entered.

USA CPs - 3(E) 4(W) 2(TM) 2(D) 2(N)
CSA CPs - 3(E) 4(W) 2(TM) 2(D)

Both sides rolled the same CP roll again, making it an equal contest at the start of T3, as both sides also have equal reinforcements entering.

First Pulse - 6+ USA
Definitely a huge advantage both in terms of initiative and DD at the start of a crucial turn.

USA:
(+) **Rosecrans is promoted to *** in AoP.
(1/6) *Nelson is drawn and placed in AoP.
(2/6) **Grant is promoted to *** in Cairo, IL. This is exactly what USA wanted with 4 DD remaining, and what it was hoping for with its leader draws.
(4/6) The Army of the Cumberland is built in Cairo, IL, with Grant in command and with a strength of 9 SP.
(6/6) With just enough command to satisfy Red Tape for the 9 SPs in the army, the AoC is activated in Cairo, IL and goes on the march. It crosses the Ohio River and takes Paducah, KY, then proceeds to hex 2411 with its second MP. It spends its 3rd MP to enter 2512. AoT elects not to react. With its 4th and final MP, AoC enters hex 2513 with AoT and a fort, meaning to bring it to combat before it can reach high strength with CSA's 6 DD. CSA recognizes the value of the fort's position on the rivers and weighs the odds, and decides not to react and invite combat.
*COMBAT* The attack is 9 vs. 4 and combat is resolved on the G column after the 2 shifts for forest terrain and the fort are taken into account. Both sides have medium forces. DRMs from commanders are +2 USA, +1 CSA; USA receives 2 re-roll options, CSA 1. Dice are rolled and the result is d1/ne. USA has the first re-roll option as attacker and re-rolls the USA die to try and do more damage against CSA. The result is then d2/ne with a good USA roll. CSA decides to re-roll its own die, as its initial roll of 1 is the worst possible result, and it hopes to at least demoralize USA. The re-roll is again a 1 for ne. USA declines to re-roll again; the final result is d2/ne. AoT accepts its bad luck and retreats to 2613. AoC is a strength of 9 after combat, AoT is 2.
*LLC*
CSA - *Hardee (promote if win/ne), J. Johnston (ne)
USA - *Sedgwick (promote), *Curtis (ne), *Lyon (wounded, but promotes - under the new variant leader LLC table this means *Lyon is removed and **Lyon is on the track for T4), ***Grant (NCT/remove, he stays)
CSA is definitely reeling from this blow both to its army and the valuable fort that has been lost. As USA has entered a border hex in Tennessee, the Tennessee militia is eligible. CSA places this in Knoxville, TN.

CSA:
(3/6) With AoT facing annihilation, CSA spends a precious 3 CP to rally from DM.
(6/6) AoT is reinforced to 5.

Pulse - 2+ CSA

CSA:
(+) AoT is reinforced to 6.
(1/2) An SP is placed in Knoxville, TN, bringing it to 2.
(2/2) *Breckinridge is drawn and placed in AoT.

USA:
(1/2) AoC is reinforced to 10, making it a large force.
(2/2) An SP is placed in Cairo, IL.

Pulse - 4+ USA

USA:
(+) An SP is placed in Cairo, IL, bringing it to 2.
(2/4) 2 SPs are placed in Cairo, IL, bringing it to 4.
(3/4) **Crittenden is drawn and placed in AoP.
(4/4) *Stoneman (cav) is drawn and placed in AoP.

CSA:
(1/4) *Huger is activated alone in Norfolk, VA, and moves alone all the way to the depot in Clarkville, AR. *Huger is the worst overall CSA leader in the game, and he is usually banished in this fashion.
(2/4) AoNV is reinforced to 12.
(3/4) An SP is placed in Wilmington, NC, bringing it to 2.
(4/4) An SP is activated in Wilmington, NC, and moves south into Fort Fisher.

Pulse - Tied on a roll of 6.
The CP Table Use marker raises to 2. Additional CPs of 6 3 2 1 3 are added.

Current USA CPs - 6(E) 6(W) 4(TM) 3(D) 5(N)
Current CSA CPs - 4(E) 7(W) 4(TM) 3(D)

Pulse - 1+ USA

USA:
(+) AoP is reinforced to 17.
(1/1) AoP is reinforced to 18.

CSA:
(1/1) AoNV is reinforced to 13.

Pulse - 3+ CSA

CSA:
(+) AoNV is reinforced to 14.
(3/3) A fort is placed in Nashville, TN, to hopefully shield it from amphibious assault.

USA:
(3/3) **Burnside is activated in New Albany, IN, with 6 SPs. He marches south, takes Louisville, KY, and ends his move in hex 2911 above the Green River.

Pulse - 3+ USA

USA:
(+) AoP is reinforced to 19.
(2/3) The USA Naval Pool is entered. The 4 river ironclads and 2 river transports are placed on the southern hexside of Cairo, IL, joining the 2 existing transports, **Porter (naval) and **Foote (naval). The 3 ocean transports join the 1 transport on the southwestern hexside of Washington, DC, joining **Farragut (naval).
(3/3) The USS Cairo is activated on hexside 2211/2212 and moves down to hexside 2714/2813, next to the fort in Nashville, TN. The NSP's radius, combined with reaction radius of AoC, makes it very difficult for AoT to cross the Cumberland River west of Nashville.

CSA:
(3/3) AoT is activated and moves southwest, ending its move over the Tennessee river in hex 2316 above Corinth, MS. This move may not be to every CSA player's liking, but CSA saw that it was very vulnerable to having AoT cut off by the Union navy with the fall of Fort Donelson and the USA initiative rolls. The decision was made to protect western Tennessee and Memphis with the army, rather than have it sit potentially useless behind the Union navy, however temporarily.

Pulse - 6+ USA

USA:
(+) AoP is reinforced to 20.
(3/6) **Burnside sees an opportunity now that AoT has been evacuated, and is activated in hex 2911. His first MP moves south to take Bowling Green, KY. His second MP takes the rail in hex 2913 below Bowling Green. His 3rd MP crosses the Tennessee river and then his final MP enters Nashville from the northeast.
*COMBAT* The attack is 6 vs. 1 and combat is resolved on column L, as CSA does not have enough shifts to affect it. With USA being a medium force and CSA small, CSA cannot effect any result and this is an auto-win for USA. The fort and SP are eliminated and USA gains control of Nashville, TN, remaining in supply via the river network.
*LLC*
USA - **Burnside (promote)
CSA - no leaders
(5/6) **Porter (naval) is activated to take 4 river transports, 2 river ironclads and 4 SPs from Cairo, IL. USS Carondolet is dropped at hexside 2415/2515. USS Mound City is dropped at hexside 2718/2818. Porter and the remaining force travel down the Mississippi river to invade the fort in hex 1916 from hexside 1916/2015 (avoiding shots from Fortress Memphis). The fort takes 1 shot as USA invades for ne.
*COMBAT* The amphibious attack is 6 vs. 3 and combat is resolved on the J column. USA is medium, CSA small. DRMs are +1 USA, +0 CSA. Combat results are d1/d. The CSA SP and fort are removed and the DM Union force remains in hex 1916.
*LLC*
USA - **Porter (naval) (ne)
CSA - no leaders
(6/6) ***Rosecrans moves alone from AoP and joins the 4 SPs in hex 1916.

CSA:
(2/6) **Van Dorn (cav) is activated in Madison, AR, with 1 SP, and moves southeast to hex 1917.
(5/6) A fort is placed in hex 1917 to help secure the Memphis - Madison rail link on the Mississippi River.
(6/6) An SP in Raleigh, NC, is activated and railed to Madison, AR, bringing it back to 2. The SP can rail across the river as the fortress in Memphis, TN blocks the control of the Union transports' radii.

Pulse - 1+ CSA

CSA:
(+) *Hindman is drawn and placed in Madison, AR.
(1/1) *E.K. Smith is promoted to ** in AoNV.

USA:
(1/1) **Pope is promoted to *** in AoP. USA is now out of reinforcements for the turn.

Pulse - 3+ USA

USA:
(3/4) ***Rosecrans rallies the 4-SP force in hex 1916 from DM.
(4/4) The SP in hex 4406 is activated and marches southwest to ***Buell's force in Charleston, WV, bringing it to 2.

CSA:
(1/3) The SP in Fredericksburg, VA, is activated and railed to Madison, AR, bringing it to 3.
(2/3) *Longstreet promotes to ** in AoNV.
(3/3) *A.P. Hill is drawn and placed with the 2 SPs in Knoxville, TN.

Pulse - 1+ USA

USA:
(1/1) Am SP is activated in AoP to rail through Kentucky to Frankfort, KY, taking that city and also Lexington, KY, along the way.

CSA:
(1/1) **Smith is drawn and placed in Norfolk, VA. CSA is now out of reinforcements for the turn.

Pulse - 1+ CSA

CSA:
(1/1) *Magruder is activated and moves alone from AoNV to join AoT.

USA:
(1/1) The SP in Frankfort, KY, is activated and marches south to take Mill Springs, KY. USA will now have control of Kentucky if the turn ends.

Pulse - Tied on a roll of 5.
The CP Table Use marker raises to 3, and additional CPs of 5 3 2 2 2 are added.

Current USA CPs - 6(E) 5(W) 3(TM) 4(D) 2(N)
Current CSA CPs - 4(E) 6(W) 2(TM) 4(D)

Pulse - 2+ CSA

CSA:
(2/2) With fear of the turn ending and Kentucky in USA hands, *A.P. Hill is activated with 2 SPs in Knoxville, KY. He marches north and engages in combat with the 1 SP in Mill Springs, KY.
*COMBAT* The combat is 2 vs. 1, and combat is resolved on the J column. Both sides are small. DRMs are +2 CSA, +0 USA. Combat results are d1/d. The SP in Mill Springs, KY, is eliminated and CSA gains control of the city and is DM.
*LLC*
USA - no leaders
CSA - *A.P. Hill (ne)

USA:
(2/2) The 2 SPs in Cincinatti, OH, are activated and march south to Lexington, KY.

Pulse - 1+ USA

USA:
(1/1) An SP from AoP is railed to Frankfort, KY.

CSA:
(1/1) *Huger moves alone in Clarkville, AR, and travels further west to the depot in Bonham, TX.

Pulse - 1+ USA

USA:
(1/1) An SP rails from AoP to Frankfort, KY, bringing it to 2.

CSA:
(1/1) The SP in Pensacola, FL, rails to Norfolk, VA, making it 2.

Pulse - 5+ USA

USA:
(2/5) AoC is activated in hex 2513 and marches southwest through the CSA rail lines in hexes 2413, 2314, and 2214, ending its march in hex 2115, next to the Mississippi River and in supply.
(4/5) **Porter (naval) is activated in hexside 1916/2015. He leaves 1 of the 4 river transports in that hexside, and takes the remaining transports to join with **Foote (naval) and the 1 river ironclad in hexside 2211/2212.
(5/5) *Curtis moves alone from AoC to join the force in Washington, DC.

CSA:
(3/5) A fort is placed in Madison, AR.
(5/5) A depot is placed in Knoxville, TN, restoring supply to *A.P. Hill in Mill Springs, KY.

Pulse - 6+ USA

USA:
(2/6) **Farragut (naval) is activated in hexside 5106/5205. He takes the 4 ocean transports, 4 SPs and *Curtis and assaults Fort Pulaski, GA. The fortress takes 1 shot for ne.
*COMBAT* The amphibious assault is 6 vs. 3 (col J). USA is medium, CSA is small. DRMs are +2 USA, +0 USA. Combat results are d2/ne. USA gains control of Fort Pulaski, GA. Savannah, GA, is now blockaded and CSA Port points drop from 40 to 37. USA deducts sea lift down to 4. Georgia militia is placed in Savannah, GA.
*LLC*
CSA - no leaders
USA - *Curtis (ne), **Farragut (naval) (ne)
(3/6) ***Rosecrans moves alone from hex 1916 to join the 5 SPs in Springfield, MO.
(5/6) The Army of the Southwest is built with ***Rosecrans in command, with a strength of 5 in Springfield, MO.
(6/6) ***McDowell moves alone from Washington, DC, to join the 4 SPs in hex 1916.

CSA:
(3/6) A fort is placed in Savannah, GA, blocking an overland attack from USA from Fort Pulaski, GA. AS the 4 ocean transports occupy hexside 4325/4425, the fort fires at the NSPs for ne. The NSPs reposition to face hexside 4326/4425.
(6/6) A fort is placed in Norfolk, VA.

Pulse - 5+ USA

USA:
(1/5) An SP is railed from AoP to Louisville, KY.
(2/5) An SP is railed from AoP to Bowling Green, KY.
(4/5) A depot is placed in Charleston, WV.
(5/5) The SP in Baltimore, MD, is activated and moves southwest to join the force in Washington, DC, making it 3.

CSA:
(1/5) An SP is railed from AoNV to Savannah, GA, bringing it to 2. CSA is now out of CPs for the turn, barring another tie.

Pulse - 4+ USA
This will end the turn.

USA:
(2/5) **Farragut (naval) is activated in hexside 4326/4425. He takes the 4 ocean transports, 4 SPs, and *Curtis, leaving Fort Pulaski without a force but still in USA control. CSA cannot re-take the fortress from Savannah, GA, since USA controls the navigable river hexside 4325/4425. It is possible, however, for CSA to assault from hexside 4424/4425, since there is a little piece of land on the northern hexside of Fort Pulaski. I could be mistaken about this, however. Farragut's force moves to assault Fort Gadsden, FL. The unmanned fortress gets 1 shot, which achieves a damaged result. One of the 4 ocean transports is placed on the reinforcement track for T4, and 1 of the 4 SPs returns to Fort Pulaski, GA.
*COMBAT* Due to the crucial loss of the NSP and SP, the amphibious assault is now 4 vs. 3 (col F). USA is medium, CSA is small. DRMs are +2 USA, +0 CSA. Combat results are d1/d. If CSA had an SP in the fortress, USA would have to retreat; as it stands, the assault is a success, and USA gains control of Fort Gadsden, FL. The Florida militia is placed in Tallahassee, FL.
*LLC*
CSA - no leaders
USA - *Curtis (promote), **Farragut (wounded)
The loss of Farragut to a wound will slightly inhibit USA naval operations.

CP Table Uses: 3

Rally Phase:
USA - The SPs under *Curtis in Fort Gadsden, FL, rally, bringing it to 2.
CSA - The SPs under *A.P. Hill in Mill Springs, KY, rally, bringing it to 1.

VP Totals:
USA - +10 (32 total)for VP cities in Kentucky and also Nashville, TN.
CSA - +4 (8 total) for 3 CP Table Uses, and Mill Springs, KY.

The map positions after the end of T3:



Turn 3 Thoughts:

This has been a pretty powerful turn for USA. The USA initiative rolls, combined with a large amount of DD, gave the USA the fortunate ability to punch hard when it needed to most, before CSA could adequately respond. Kentucky is not converted due only to the bravery of one A.P. Hill, but how long can that state remain neutral? USA lines in Kentucky are weak for the moment, but that will likely change soon. CSA will have to defend the crucial city of Chattanooga, TN, from a threatened assault from Burnside, but that could be a ways off. Tennessee is anything but lost at this point, with the main fight getting ready to set off in the western portion of the state. The one glaring mistake CSA made here was the fort in Nashville, TN. That city was subsequently lost due to a strong USA initiative, and the 3 CPs could have been better spent elsewhere. Elsewhere, USA hit where CSA was weakest, blockading Savannah, GA, and preparing for an obvious campaign to control supply and maybe start a campaign in Georgia or elsewhere. Ironically, this game has taken on an unexpected historical flow so far. Fort Donelson and Nashville were lost at this time historically, and AoT wisely escaped isolation by the USA Navy by repositioning itself for the campaign in western Tennessee. To the novice, things may look bad for CSA...but this is really far from the case. USA could have a fight on its hands in western Tennessee and the rest of the map is becoming well fortified. Some low-DD pulses could be what the CSA needs to strengthen itself. CSA also still has an army to play, and T4 will bring on some cavalry...and a little known general by the name of Robert E. Lee.

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Peter Walsh
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Joe Johnston should be sacked for his incompetence at Ft. Henry/Donelson. He might have reacted to Grant's approach and lost the battle in 2512 while falling back to the crucial river forts. After rallying and reinforcing AoT would have 5 SPs to AotC's 9 SPs avoiding 2:1 odds. I'm sure Jeff Davis is unsurprised by Johnston's poor showing; he always like the other Johnston better.
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Fred Finkenbinder
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You're right Pete - I failed to recognize the cost of JJ's decision not to react. I think CSA over-estimated the effectiveness of the extra column shift the fort provided. That said, no one could have foreseen him rolling 2 "ones" in combat, which was most unfortunate. USA getting 6 DD with the initiative on the first pulse, grabbing Grant just in time to build the army, and getting the "luck of the draw" when it came to dice rolls added up to a bit of fortune for USA. That never happens when I play them

What do you think of the rest of the game so far?
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Peter Walsh
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You're right - poor Joe Johnston was the victim of bad luck. Very good game so far. I think things are going pretty well for the Union. As you said, a short turn one is probably better for the Union than for the CSA, which would like to dig some fortifications.
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Andrew Pleass
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Another strong turn for the USA with the navy contributing heavily, only time will tell if the fortification built by the CSA will prove to be a good investment.

Scorecard after 3 rounds - USA 2 1/2 CSA 1/2
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Fred Finkenbinder
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The Union Navy is definitely the decisive component in a USA victory, both in real life and the game. As Bruce Catton once put it so nicely, in no other single area was the USA so dominating as it was on the rivers and the high seas, due to the CSA's complete absense of a Navy at the war's onset and little to compete with as the war went on.

A good USA player will try and use his Navy every turn to the best possible advantage. In a recent game where I was CSA, my opponent even used the 1 river transport that was given to him on Turn 1 to make preparations for an assault on New Orleans! This is why I hinted that the loss of Farragut to a wound in Turn 3 slightly hinders the Union advance. When he returns, he will have to be placed at a VP city or with an army, and possibly time will be spent moving him into proper position. The USA would rather he stay with the transports at Fort Gadsden, for un-interrupted flow in the naval game.
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Peter Walsh
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bigbadscrubb wrote:
The USA would rather he stay with the transports at Fort Gadsden, for un-interrupted flow in the naval game.

You've got it, Fred.

The Union is often well rewarded for taking steps to prepare the way for later naval actions. I find the choice between entering NSPs, repositioning fleets or launching an assault to be one of the more interesting aspects of the game. If I'm taking the role of Lincoln (or Gideon Wells) it always fills me with misgivings to see the Union's naval assets scattered to the four winds and knowing that it will take precious time to re-concentrate for the next attack.
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Fred Finkenbinder
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Turn 4 has been completed and should be written up for posting soon.

I am learning that the deeper the game goes, the more difficult it is to play the "same way" I would play opposed...particularly as CSA. One simply cannot "block out" one's other self when playing solo, and as a consequence one side cannot ignore the other's plans 100%. That said, this game plays excellent solitaire...I just hope that it doesn't turn out to be a bit lopsided based on my own abilities.

It appears that as USA, I am taking stabs where I can and doing my best to pursue a general strategy. As CSA I find it best to adapt a defensive strategy (I am not too much of an aggressive CSA player when I play opposed, but my opportunity for "surprise" is largely missed in solo)...which as we shall see may have hurt CSA in Turn 4. I will leave that to this forum's opinion once that is posted. We shall see...
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Fred Finkenbinder
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Turn 4: March - April 1862


A review of the map at the start of T4:



*Pre-Turn Note*
CSA neglected to place Arkansas militia last turn when the Union forces invaded near Madison, AR. This step is sometimes easily forgotten, but little harm has been done. The militia is placed in Fayetteville, AR.

Start of T4 Statistics:

USA VPs - 32
CSA VPs - 8
CSA Production - 96
CSA Imports - 126 (blockade 20%)
CSA Ports Open - 37
USA Sea Lift - 20
USA Rail - 6
CSA Rail - 4

USA T4 Reinforcements:

Leaders - *Hooker (added due to Variant Leader System) *Steele *Ord *Blunt **Sedgwick (promotion) **Lyon (WIA promotion) **Curtis (promotion) **Farragut (naval) (WIA) ***Burnside (promotion)
Dead Leaders - *Thomas *Sherman
Removed Leaders - ***Fremont
Naval - 4 ocean transports, 1 river transport, 1 ocean ironclad (Monitor)
SPs - 7(E) 7(W) 1(TM) 2(D)

CSA T4 Reinforcements:

Leaders - *Wheeler (cav) *Taylor ***R.E. Lee *Forrest (cav) *Ewell
Dead Leaders - *Jackson, *D.H. Hill
Removed Leaders - none
SPs - 6(E) 6(W) 1(TM) 2(D)
CSA also has a river ironclad (Virginia) available this turn.

T4 Allocations:

USA - W E TM
CSA - W E TM

Both sides elect not to change their allocations for the turn. This is probably the most common allocation for the mid-game, as both sides have 2 armies possible in the West, and it is generally agreed that is where the war was won historically.

USA CPs - 4(E) 6(W) 1(TM) 2(D) 2(N)
CSA CPs - 3(E) 5(W) 2(TM) 2(D)

First Pulse - 8+ CSA
This monster first pulse is probably not the best thing for CSA. Knowing that 8 DD will be handed to USA, decisions can be tough. Should CSA spend CPs in anticipation of a hard Union strike, or hold onto them to react after and just reinforce?

CSA:
(+) An SP is placed in Columbus, GA. Seeing the threat from the capture of Fort Gadsden to CSA supply line next to the Chocktawatchee River, CSA elects to be proactive.
(1/8) An SP is placed in Chattanooga, TN.
(2/8) An SP is placed in Knoxville, TN.
(6/8) AoT is reinforced to 10, making it a large force to face off against the large AoC to the west.
(7/8) *Ewell is drawn and placed in AoT.
(8/8) ***R.E. Lee is drawn and placed in AoT. As he is senior in command over ***J. Johnston, Lee takes command of the army.

USA:
(1/8) *Steele is drawn and placed in AoC.
(2/8) **Lyon is drawn and placed in AoC.
(3/8) AoC is reinforced to 11.
(5/8) Seeing an opportunity with the remaining DD, AoC is activated in hex 2115. Moving along the Mississippi River through hex 2015, the army assaults *D.H. Hill and the 4 SPs in the fortress in Memphis, TN. CSA elects not to react out of the fortress, as Hill's rank forbids him from reacting with more than 2 SPs.
*COMBAT* The attack is 11 vs. 4, with 2 column shifts bringing combat to column G. USA is large, CSA medium. DRMs are +2 USA, +1 CSA with 2 USA re-rolls. Initial combat results are d2/d1. USA re-rolls CSA die and gets a more favorable result of 1. Final results are d2/1, but since CSA occupies a fortress in supply, USA retreats back to hex 2015. USA strength is 10 after combat, CSA 2 and DM.
*LLC*
CSA - *D.H. Hill (killed - *Crittenden is drawn for replacement next turn)
USA - *Steele (NCT/remove if loss, ne), *Sedgwick (ne), **Lyon (promote), ***Grant (ne)
(8/8) The loss of *D.H. Hill gives extra incentive for ***McDowell to be activated to finish the job in Memphis, as Hill cannot be activated to react the remaining SPs out of the hex. McDowell is activated with 4 SPs in hex 1916, marches northeast through hex 2015 and assaults Memphis, TN, from the north.
*COMBAT* The combat is 4 vs. 2, (column H after shifts for fortress and DM). USA is medium, CSA small. Since CSA is DM, USA automatically receives DRM of +1 and 1 re-roll. USA rolls high and results are d2/d. CSA is eliminated from the fortress and USA gains control of Memphis, TN, and is DM. The fortress in the city is eliminated and replaced with a USA fort.
*LLC*
CSA - no leaders
USA - ***McDowell (severe wound)
The loss of ***McDowell for 2 turns by no means makes up for the loss of this crucial city on the Mississippi River, but USA is far from comfortable.

Pulse - 1+ CSA

CSA:
(+) An SP is placed in Columbus, GA, bringing it to 2.
(1/1) *Taylor is drawn and placed in AoT.

USA:
(1/1) An SP is placed in Washington, DC, bringing it to 4.

Pulse - 3+ CSA

CSA:
(+) *Wheeler (cav) is drawn and placed in AoT.
(3/3) A fort is placed in Columbus, GA.

USA:
(3/3) 3 SPs are placed in Cairo, IL. This city could be vulnerable now with no force within, and ***R.E. Lee in command of AoT. A fort would need to be built to cross the Ohio River into Illinois with the NSPs being at Cairo, but given the right situation it could be worth the effort.

Pulse - 6+ CSA

CSA:
(+) An SP is placed in New Bern, NC.
(1/6) An SP is placed in Wilmington, NC, bringing it to 2.
(2/6) An SP is placed in Charleston, SC, bringing it to 2.
(4/6) AoNV is reinforced to 15.
(5/6) *Forrest (cav) is drawn and placed with AoT.
(6/6) An SP is placed in Madison, AR, bringing it to 4 and making it a medium force.

USA:
(1/6) *Curtis promotes to ** in Fort Gadsden, FL.
(2/6) **Burnside promotes to *** in Nashville, TN.
(3/6) *Sedgwick promotes to ** in AoC.
(4/6) *Hooker is drawn and placed with AoP.
(5/6) **Farrgut (naval) is drawn and placed with AoP.
(6/6) **Farragut (naval) moves alone from AoP and re-joins the 3 ocean transports in hexside 3231/3331.

Pulse - 2+ CSA

CSA:
(+) AoNV is reinforced to 16. CSA is now out of reinforcements for the turn.
(1/2) *Taylor moves alone from AoT and joins the 2 SPs and fort in Columbus, GA.
(2/2) ***J. Johnston moves alone from AoT and joins the 1 SP in Chattanooga, TN.

USA:
(1/2) *Blunt is drawn and placed with AoC.
(2/2) *Ord is drawn and placed with AoC.

Pulse - 1+ USA

USA:
(+) AoC is reinforced to 11.
(1/1) AoC is reinforced to 12.

CSA:
(1/1) An SP rails from AoNV to Chattanooga, TN, bringing it to 2.

Pulse - 1+ CSA

CSA:
(1/1) An SP rails from AoNV to AoT, bringing it to 11.

USA:
(1/1) AoC is reinforced to 13. USA also decides to eliminate the depot in Fort Scott, KS, during its half of the pulse, to limit options from AoW in the trans-Mississippi.

Pulse - 5+ CSA

CSA:
(3/5) A fort is placed in New Bern, NC. This is another valuable site for a fort, as control of this port gives USA access to a good portion of North Carolina.
(4/5) The SP in Fayetteville, AR, marches north to join AoW, bringing it to 5.
(5/5) *Hindman moves alone from Madison, AR, to join the SP and fort in Mobile, AL. CSA is now out of CPs for the turn, barring a tie.

USA:
(2/5) AoC is activated in hex 2015 and marches south to join the DM SPs in Memphis, TN, bringing it to 17 and demoralizing the army as a whole.
(4/5) AoC rallies from DM.
(5/5) An SP is placed in Washington, DC, bringing it to 5.

Pulse - 6+ USA

USA:
(+) AoP is reinforced to 16.
(4/6) AoP is reinforced to 20.
(6/6) **Farragut (naval) is activated in hexside 3231/3331. He takes the 3 ocean transports, 1 SP from Fort Gadsden and **Curtis, and drops the force off in Washington, DC, bringing it to 6. The NSPs end their move in hexside 5106/5205.

Pulse - 1+ USA

USA:
(+) AoSW is reinforced to 6.
(1/1) An SP is placed beneath AoSW in Springfield, MO, bringing the total defending force to 7.

Pulse - Tied on a roll of 6.
The CP Table Use marker raises to 2. Additional CPs of 6 3 2 1 3 are added.

Current USA CPs - 6(E) 6(W) 2(TM) 1(D) 3(N)
Current CSA CPs - 3(E) 6(W) 2(TM) 1(D)

Pulse - 1+ CSA

CSA:
(1/1) **Polk moves alone from New Bern, NC, and joins the 1 SP and depot in Knoxville, TN.

USA:
(1/1) An SP is placed in Cairo, IL, bringing it to 4. USA is now out of reinforcements for the turn.

Pulse - 5+ USA

USA:
(2/5) The USA naval pool is entered. The 4 ocean transports and 1 ocean ironclad join **Farragut (naval) and the 3 ocean transports in hexside 5106/5205. The 1 river transport joins **Porter (naval), **Foote (naval), 3 river transports and 1 river ironclad in hexside 2211/2212.
(4/5) **Farragut (naval) is activated in hexside 5106/5205. He takes 6 ocean transports, 6 SPs and **Curtis and assaults New Bern, NC in a major amphibious invasion. The fort fires 1 shot at the Naval force for ne.
*COMBAT* The amphibious assault is 9 vs. 5 (column G). Both sides are medium. DRMs are +2 USA, +0 CSA. Combat results are d1/1. CSA retreats 1 DM SP to hex 5117. USA gains control of New Bern and the fort is eliminated. New Bern is also blockaded. CSA port points drop from 37 to 34. USA strength after combat is 5, CSA 1. CSA places NC militia in Wilmington, NC, bringing it to 3.
*LLC*
CSA - no leaders
USA - **Curtis (promote), **Farragut (naval) (killed - **Du Pont will enter as a naval replacement next turn)
The loss of a naval leader is a heart-stopper for USA. USA only gets 4 naval leaders (if one includes the additional leader for the variant leader system) in the game, and Farragut is the best admiral in the fleet.
(5/5) **Foote (naval) moves alone from hexside 2211/2212 to join with the NSPs in hexside 5216/5316 outside New Bern, NC.

CSA:
(1/5) *Magruder moves alone from AoT to join AoNV.
(2/5) **E.K. Smith moves alone from AoNV to join the 3 SPs in Wilmington, NC.
(3/5) The SP in Tallahassee, FL, rails to Wilmington, NC, bringing it to 4.
(4/5) An SP is railed from Chattanooga, TN, to Wilmington, NC, bringing it to 5.
(5/5) The SP in Knoxville, TN, is activated and marches north to join *A.P. Hill in Mill Springs, KY, bringing it to 2.

Pulse - 4+ USA

USA:
(1/4) **Sedgwick moves alone from AoC to join the 2 SPs in Lexington, KY.
(4/4) 3 SPs rail from AoP to Lexington, KY, bringing it to 5.

CSA:
(1/4) The CSS Virginia is drawn and placed outside Mobile, AL, in hexside 2428/2529, to further protect that port.
(2/4) An SP is activated in AoNV and marches south to Richmond, VA, bringing it to 3.
(4/4) **Van Dorn (cav) is activated with 1 SP in hex 1917. He marches north to Missouri, ending his 6-MP move in hex 1812 with 1 MP left to use, so he can stay in supply from the depot in Madison, AR.

Pulse - 3+ USA

USA:
(3/3) **Sedgwick is activated with 4 SPs in Lexington, KY. He marches south and assaults *A.P. Hill and his 2 SPs in Mill Springs, KY, from the north. Hill rolls for reaction and successfully reacts to hex 3512, wisely saving his 2 SPs. USA ends its move and gains control of Mill Springs and likely Kentucky.

CSA:
(2/3) *A.P. Hill is activated with his 2 SPs and moves 1 hex south to hex 3513, ending his move here in the Cumberland Gap and effectively shielding against an advance on Knoxville, TN, for the moment. CSA is again out of CPs for the turn, barring another tie.

Pulse - 8+ CSA
This will end the turn.

USA:
(1/8) An SP is activated in St. Louis, MO, and marches to the depot in Rolla, MO.
(2/8) An SP is activated in St. Louis, MO, and marches south to Ironton, MO. These 2 moves effectively shield the area from the threat **Van Dorn (cav) intended.
(3/8) **Lyon moves alone from AoC to join ***Burnside and the 6 SPs in Nashville, TN.
(6/8) ***Pope is activated in AoP with 6 SPs. His first MP is spent to march northwest and take Charlottesville, VA. His second MP marches him southwest to take the end of the rail line in hex 4806. He then marches through hex 4807 and ends his move to take Staunton, VA, his supply line intact due to the rail capture. USA is now out of CPs for the turn.

CP Table Uses: 2

Rally Phase:
USA - No eligible forces to rally.
CSA - The DM SP in hex 5117 is eliminated.

VP Totals:
USA - +15 (47 total)for Mill Springs, KY, conversion of Kentucky, Memphis, TN, New Bern, NC, and the cities in Virginia.
CSA - +2/-1 (9 total) for 2 CP Table Uses, and the loss of Mill Springs, KY.

The map positions after the end of T4:



Turn 4 Thoughts:


Another very active turn from USA, but USA should always be active. That said, USA's activity may be in part due to CSA inactivity. CSA remained surprisingly dormant this turn as it planned for next turn's activity. This may or may not have been the best of ideas, but even with the 3 neutral states converted by the end of Turn 4, the game is still wide open. Winning the initial pulse with 8+ DD left CSA with a major dilemma. If it would have spent CP, USA could have saved more CP as a result. Memphis might not have fallen, but CSA could have been at the mercy of a higher amount of USA CP. This point is, of course, debatable, and ultimately the choice to reinforce rather than re-position cost CSA Memphis and later (with the additional CP Table Use) Kentucky. It could be argued that reinforcing and placing a fort in Columbus, GA, was not the best move, but that rail line can be crucial and Georgia would have been wide open sooner rather than later with good USA dice and gameplay. It turns out that the USA navy decided to recoil and strike at New Bern instead (which had the same strength), and thus a new front was opened. Conversion of the state seems a way off, with E.K. Smith and a force in Wilmington, but the CSA ultimately cannot defend everything...and so, maybe some more action was called for. The greatest sign of this was a completely dormant CSA AoT, but the upshot of its inactivity was that AoC may be left with its own dilemma for the time being. It outnumbers its foe but has no cavalry presently, and CSA has better leadership and the army is in good position to defend, even if it arguably could have done some damage this turn further north. On USA's side, Memphis was taken, Kentucky converted, and another port captured with a total of 15 VP gained. The beauty of this game design is that there are so many decisions, and one has to pick one over the other to greater or ill effect.
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Bill Lawson
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Makem bigger so we can see

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