CSA Manpower? (Full Version)

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Smirfy -> CSA Manpower? (1/29/2010 3:52:27 PM)

Merrily playing away at this and there is quite alot to commend but I am totally outnumberd by the CSA. I have won or inlicted heavier casaulties in my defeats every battle except one, Yet on every Front I am outnumbered and my victories no matter how impressive leave me weaker than the CSA. What am I doing wrong?( I put reserve in place to compensate losses)

Joel Billings -> RE: CSA Manpower? (1/29/2010 5:36:00 PM)

Did you call for a Draft? The Union player needs to do a draft on turn 1 or 2, and then again at the start of 1862. You need those drafts to get the strength you'll need. These early drafts represent the calling for additional volunteers and then the calling on states to provide a minimum number of soldiers and militia.

Smirfy -> RE: CSA Manpower? (1/31/2010 1:45:27 PM)

Was midway through 1862 when I seen your suggestion and called a draft. Think it was abit late but wanted to see the game out to the finish. I will give it a go in my next game and tell you how I get on.

Treefrog -> RE: CSA Manpower? (1/31/2010 7:53:35 PM)

Drafting is critical, early and often. The main advantages the Union has are numbers, transportation and supply. You must exploit all three. FYI I was a beta play tester. Although I don't claim to be especially good at this game, I do have lots of experience in a dozen PBEM against 5 different opponents, mainly from the Union side.

In my current game against a very experienced, excellent player I drafted with the following results:
July 1861 53 militia, August 32

January 1861 36 militia, February 24

August 1862 (I think I was hoping for emancipation so I delayed the draft to save the PPs) 32 militia September 28

February 1863 17 militia, March 8

The value of the draft is that you gets significant numbers of reinforcements at one time rather than just dribbling in as bits and pieces. You can also set up training centers for these masses of people. I try to train in the north rather than the south as my prejudice is that it takes less transport to get them there and they suffer less attrition. If you need Kentucky garrisons, that is also a good place to train them in great numbers. Often these newly trained regulars can save transportation by simply "bumping" forward one region, displacing another regular forward until an unspotted regular arrives at the front.

USCT (United States Colored Troops): I commenced raising them in March 1863. At s population cost of 6 they are always relatively cheap. By capturing southron regions, you are sometimes able to raise a garrison for them from the black recruiting you do in that region; you "make war pay for war" as it were.

My USCT troops were March '63 14, April 10, May 9, June 4, July 6, August 4, Sept 6, Oct 4, Nov 9, Dec 1. My garrisons for Dec 1863 were about 100 units, so these 53 USCT covered almost half of that. Besides, I enjoy the irony.

USCT recruiting tends to reflect the progress of your offensive; the black recruits accrete in their cities, when you capture those cities you will typically get 1 USCT in each of the next 2 building phases. Very few southern regions require more than 3 to 4 garrison, so you see, you are raising your own garrison.

Smirfy -> RE: CSA Manpower? (2/1/2010 3:37:36 PM)

Enforced the draft a couple of times and got a better handle on the naval aspect though still behind the clock, Sherman unfortunatly got ill on the eve of battle delaying my 1862 campaign . Hopefully 1863 will be Annus mirabilis. My thinking is that you need lots of axis to take advantage of initiative.

swatter555 -> RE: CSA Manpower? (3/27/2011 12:46:41 PM)

Let me start by saying that I just bought the game a few days ago and I am really enjoying it. I really like the scale.

I started my first game last night as the Union and I have played through April 1862. I have not done a draft yet, but I did build up a realistic size army in the east to kick off my off offensive for the year. I deployed 91,000 in my Army of the Potomac (real life about 100k at this time?) and sent them into Manassas, coupled with a pincer attack in the western part of Virginia (Prolly 20K+ there). Anyway, I ran into a deployed army in Manassas of 86,000 rebs with 300+ guns. I cannot recall the Confederates ever deploying an army that big IRL. They also deployed a good size army in the west, so they just werent focusing on the east. Im going to look up the exact numbers in a bit, but that seems out of whack.

I will concede that I need to draft, no doubt. At the same time, that is just a huge rebel army.

swatter555 -> RE: CSA Manpower? (3/31/2011 10:40:52 AM)

I have played the game alot more since my post, and I think the army sizes the CSA is able to field is about correct. Maybe just a little larger than it should be, but nothing crazy.

swatter555 -> RE: CSA Manpower? (4/1/2011 9:49:58 AM)

I retract my previous statement. There is something damned wrong with rebel manpower. Throughout 1863, despite a vigorous campaign in the East with my Union forces deploying Grant-like tactics and suffering defeat after defeat to a consistently larger rebel army deploying in battle between 120,000 - 140,000 infantry alone. After the 1863 campaign where each side in the east suffered many tens of thousands of losses, they still were able to put together a 120,000 man army. They were replacing losses faster than myself, the Union player. The thing is, if you can believe the ledger, the rebels are stockpiling supplies to the tune of at least 700. I am deploying the blockade as best I can, they recieve only about 50 supplies per turn via trade.

I am also conducting a successful campaign in the west, where they are deploying sizable armies too (but somewhat less than me). Whatever the heck is going on here, the rebels have unrealistic manpower, and its screwed up more than a little. I don't think the confederate armies in the east ever amassed more than 90k men in one area, so I can't imagine the mechanics of the game are working correctly.

lparkh -> RE: CSA Manpower? (7/15/2011 5:32:57 AM)

Thinking about getting into this game but this concerns. Other folks agree rebel manpower is off?

Treefrog -> RE: CSA Manpower? (7/15/2011 11:24:54 PM)

Complaints about CSA manpower, especially in the Eastern Theatre, follow historical complaints of the same. I once played a very nice Union player who didn't comprehend some of the fundamentals, got off to a slow start, and let me build large numbers for the CSA.

As a federal I have never found the CSA numbers daunting. Overcoming their leadership is another story, but that was my failing, not a design flaw. Eventually I found a strategy that worked.

If you buy the game and are dissatisfied with your Union experience and feel the CSA numbers are too high, I'll be happy to do a PBEM with you (I'll play the old geezers W.Scott, Patterson, and Sumner) and suspect you may find, as did the real southrons, that when CSA manpower is properly stretched there are just not enough of them. Divide and conquer as they say.

It is a good game.

BK6583 -> RE: CSA Manpower? (7/21/2011 10:55:33 PM)


As a federal I have never found the CSA numbers daunting. Overcoming their leadership is another story, but that was my failing, not a design flaw. Eventually I found a strategy that worked.

Care to share that strategy of yours? I too am new to the game and am still finding my learning curve steep as the union. I have used the draft during the time periods recommended in another post but I also keep losing battles big time in the east. At minus 50 PP a shot for the draft coupled with my battle losses I'm on the verge of dipping below 800 PP in the Feb '63 time period. Although I do outnumber the South in infantry to the tune of 270 to 200, that may or may not be considered a substantial margin. But what gets me is the South has matched me cannon for cannon (41 each) and has a whopping 45 heavy art! And in spite of capturing all of the coastal islands and building lots of cruisers for blockade duty, the South's supply situation in Feb '63 seems to have them feasting on champaigne and caviar.

Treefrog -> RE: CSA Manpower? (7/22/2011 11:22:57 PM)

As Grant said to some of Meade's officers in the Wilderness, quit spending time worrying about what they are doing to you and focus on what you are going to do to him.

The building block to strategy is learning/mastering the tactics of winning battles. Someone in the ancient archives of this forum topic is a piece i wrote on how battles are resolved. It was never negatively criticized by the alpha and beta testers and the game developers, so I assume that it is fundamentally sound.

The CSA can hide their troops (remember, being spotted is a huge factor in combat resolution) and then move forward during the reaction phase. Reaction phase is fairly uncommon in wargames and needs some practice to use and anticipate properly. Your troops aren't in the battle just because they are in the region, they must be committed. Master the commitment rules, which as I recall include bonuses for short marches to combat and good division, corps and AC (in the region of battle) leadership. IT DOESN'T MATTER HOW MANY TROOPS YOU HAVE, ONLY HOW MANY ARE COMMITTED. After the battle open and read the combat resolution screen and you'll see how many of your troops were actually committed.

Winning battles comes first; if you can't win any battles no strategy will work. As the Federal, once you can win half your battles, it is time to think about strategy and your big campaign plans. Until then, you're just practicing. Have fun (you're not getting paid to do this).

lparkh -> RE: CSA Manpower? (7/25/2011 3:37:20 PM)

Thanks for taking time to post Treefrog. What Civil War do you play these days since you 'broke' this game?

rmday -> RE: CSA Manpower? (8/17/2011 4:09:10 PM)

If the Confederate AI wants to beef up the armies of Virginia and Tennessee, I hit it hard in the underbelly. I turn the Gulf of Mexico into a Union bathtub. While I'm waiting for the Union leadership to improve in the north, I'm launching amphib operations all over the southern coastline.

lparkh -> RE: CSA Manpower? (8/17/2011 5:52:36 PM)

Agree. Just finished an 1863 game as Union (impossible level). The Reb AI concentrated a remarkable 180k men and 300+ guns in Virginia but this left them very thin on the ground in Mississippi and Georgia ;-)

jscott991 -> RE: CSA Manpower? (4/10/2012 2:36:05 PM)

I hate to resurrect this topic, but the Rebel army is much larger than it should be, whether it is concentrated or spread around the map.

If you have any doubts, simply play with Fog of War off and look at the numbers of units on each side. Using the draft as often as I was able, I have never (in my three or four abortive games) been able to get a manpower advantage of more than 3:2 at any point in 1862, which is appalling low for a historical Union. In 1862, the Union had about 600,000 men in the army to less than 300,000 for the CSA. At the end of 1862, the Union had about 700,000 men to about 277,000 CSA troops.

Is there a way to modify the game files to make the CSA army more realistic?

Chuske -> RE: CSA Manpower? (4/12/2012 1:54:34 PM)

You need to draft in Jul 61, Jan 62 and maybe Jul 62 to get the numerical superiority you need as US.

Also as you capture regions you need to garrison them so you need to think about what regions you really mujst capture as too much useless territory will eat up your manpower advantage. Think about logistics such as rail hubs and high PP locations and regions with population that CS can use to recruit.

jscott991 -> RE: CSA Manpower? (4/12/2012 10:53:23 PM)

That's all good advice, but the Confederacy should not be able to field two armies in the east, both of which are bigger than the historical ANV.

Games have real trouble simulating the South's manpower disadvantage, presumably because it would make the game too easy for a Northern player.

But would we really tolerate this level of inaccuracy in a WWII game? Or a Napoleonic game? Imagine how poorly a WWII game where Germany fielded more troops than the Allies and the USSR or a Napoleonic game where Prussia had a larger army than France would sell. Why do we put up with it in a Civil War game? Or, for that matter, in three: FoF, WBtS, and AACW.

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