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PostPosted: Thu Jul 31, 2008 2:06 pm 

Joined: Thu Sep 11, 2003 4:32 am
Posts: 1725
Location: USA
<b>Lessons Learned for the South in no particular order.</b>

(Disclaimer: Keep in mind these observations haven’t been tested against Union tactics that have been adjusted to take advantage of Rebel weaknesses)

Don’t let the AI handle your production. It likes to make lots of heavy artillery and sometimes gets stuck on making ironclads.

The CSA is in a difficult defensive position. It has two main land fronts, one in Virginia and the other in Tennessee. Then you have this seemingly endless coastal front that extends from Norfolk to Galveston. And, you have the Mississippi itself which can be dominated by Union gunboats cutting the west off. How you solve this problem determines your chance of winning or losing, particularly in 1861 when you have few men or leaders to throw at the problem.

Supply is your weakness. Don’t waste it. It will determine how many troops you can field and how effective you can fight. Managing it is a critical task.

First though Command. The South is suppose to have the leadership advantage but you might not thinks so in the summer of 1861 when you can’t even find enough qualified Generals to fill out your Command tree. Remember it only cost you 12 Political Points to dismiss Gen. Cooper later so you can use his dismissal, the promotion of one of your AC’s to replace him and then replacement of that AC to create a effective command structure for only a 12 PP cost. So pick your initial AC’s and TC’s with this in mind. I chose to not fill all the positions to keep them open. This has to be viewed as a trade off because you get PP’s for having those positions filled equal to the Leader’s Political rating each month. This may more than offset the cost of getting rid of him later.

Your first overwhelming task in 1861 is finding a way to protect your extensive shore line. Remember that most regions get an automatic militia creation when they are first invaded. This with a small garrison may be enough since the Union is rather limited in how much they can muster for these attacks. Your problems is in regions like Pensacola and Elizabeth City that don’t generate any militia and in regions like Jacksonville and Galveston that are so isolated that if they fall you can’t easily muster a force to retake them. Your first task in 1861 is finding leaders and men to garrison these. Remember you can’t be strong everywhere so try to find alternate methods of protecting. A single mobile force in the Carolinas might be able to handle multiple ports rather than heavily garrisoning each one. Galveston is an important one over the course of the war. I try to keep 2-3 trained infantry and a good leader able to handle the militia they will get. If the Union wants it they will have to pay for it. Remember a well positioned force in Virginia can cover both the Virginia and North Carolina ports.

New Orleans is a special case. You want to hold it open as long as you can because the river controls about 30-40 points of supply per turn. Put infantry and heavy artillery in the forts at the mouth as soon as you can and make the Union pay to close it. Keep in mind as the game goes on the Union will close it and keeping enough force in Fort St. Philip with its 3x supply cost can be substantial.

Now the question of forts and where to put them. It may appear that relative to your supply which at start is over 300 that there is no problem building them where ever you want. Don’t do it that cost of 11-12 supply with a good administrative leader adds up and you will find you won’t have the 40-50 points it takes to make a level 2 fort in key positions like Richmond and Vicksburg later. Build forts only in critical contention spots you aim to hold for a long period. My candidates for early forts are the coastal ports, New Orleans, Vicksburg, Memphis, Richmond and Petersburg. Don’t get carried away building fortified lines. You won’t hold them and you will run out of supply to soon. Aim to get Richmond, Petersburg and Vicksburg up to level 2 by mid 1862. Nashville, Chattanooga and Atlanta are other candidates. You have to judge whether they are worth fortifying based on how fast the Yankees are coming.

Raiders: Build about four then stop. They cost a lot, 31 points. I have found that about four do about as much political point damage as a dozen. I don’t think they capture enough supply to be worth while but don’t have much experience on that. The supply damage they do the Union won’t amount to anything.

Whether to invade Kentucky before the Union does? I have had total bad luck with this one. Every time I have invaded the Union got initiative and took everything back the next turn. So its one of those do you feel lucky things. You can pretty much bet they have their best army in Cairo waiting to go in and their second best in Cincinnati waiting to go across too. If they get any kind of initiative they will be all over you. I think its best for the Confederate to leave Kentucky alone as long as they can to act as a buffer while they get ready.

The defense of Kentucky and Tennessee. Go take a good look at the map I posted. The Union with its gunboats and transports totally dominate this area. There is a reason A. Johnston ended up fighting at Shiloh for his first major battle rather than at Nashville or Bowling Green. The South has to decide where to put their main army which is usually protecting Memphis as long as they can and where to trade space for time which is usually Kentucky and middle Tennessee. If the Union player does not handle his gunboats well you might be able to maintain control of the Tennessee River and fight on both sides but once you lose the transports you are cut in two.

Heavy Artillery is a specialty unit that has one primary function, disputing control of rivers. Rivers are the South’s weakness. Union fleets in the mouth of the Mississippi, Mobile Bay, Savannah River (haven’t checked this one) and the James will completely shut down those ports. HA positioned at key points along the Mississippi River can prevent the Union gunboats from taking over these rivers. You want to make HA’s but not too many. They are most useful in the early part of the war when it is still possible to dispute control but not later as land units make it impossible. Also, form them around good artillery leaders so they are effective and keep moving them around so the Union can’t easily counter them. A large concentration at Memphis will keep the Union from penetrating down the Mississippi River. Paducah if you can get it is the place to lock up all the rivers. Dickson is a good spot to hold the Tennessee open for defending Nashville but watch out they don’t get cut off. Remember you can’t do everything so don’t spread the guns out in one or two gun packets in every fort and port you own. Concentrate them where they can do some ship damage. Keep in mind they can’t retreat so don’t let them stay around once land armies come near. Withdraw them from places like Memphis and move them to Vicksburg. If the Union has fleets blocking rivers make up a large mobile battery and move it by rail to different ports with rivers to break the blockade, then move on before they can concentrate fleets against them.

Virginia is a special case. You can’t win the war here but you can lose it. You want to keep enough here to be sure you are keeping major Union forces tied down but no more than necessary. Manassas isn’t a good place to fight. Let if fall if the Union ever gets enough initiative to move their whole army against it. The Valley is another vulnerable area. If you get you main army stuck in it then the Union will be free to strike against Norfolk and Elizabeth City because you can’t reach them from the Valley. Best to let them over extend then knock them back with short offensive campaigns.

In my game the Union made some mistakes early on as part of the learning curve that they couldn’t recover from but against the right strategies the Union is going to be pressing you hard like during the Civil War. Expect to lose Tennessee by early 1862. Expect to lose ports and have 100% blockades up by the end of 1862. Hope that you don’t lose Vicksburg and Chattanooga before mid 1863. Just remember the only thing that really matters is the Union Political Point level and whether it’s above 1000. If it isn’t by November 1864 they lose. Your objective is to try to keep them down in the 900’s preferably the low end so no single victory will get them into a safe zone. It doesn’t matter how much of the South they occupy if they don’t have the 1000+ needed. This may even lead to a strategy of avoiding fights that might yield Major Victories. Especially when November of 1864 starts getting near and they aren’t near the 1000 level.

Hope this helps.

LG. Kennon Whitehead
Chatham Grays
1/1/III AoM (CSA)

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 01, 2008 3:54 am 

Joined: Tue Nov 11, 2003 9:52 am
Posts: 1154
<blockquote id="quote"><font size="3" face="book antiqua" id="quote">quote:<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"><i>Originally posted by KWhitehead</i>

Hope this helps.
<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"></blockquote id="quote"></font id="quote">

It certainly does!Thanks, General!

MG Mike Mihalik

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