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RE: PBEM AAR - It Ain't a Lost Cause Yet!

 
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RE: PBEM AAR - It Ain't a Lost Cause Yet! - 11/16/2006 10:35:21 AM   
Gil R.


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Having a lot of extra Iron and even some Labor to spare, I think it would be wise to build another Mint in New Orleans, which should slightly boost my income down the road. Here's the Development Screen for that province, which shows that I'm making good progress with my research.

The final thing I do this turn is to tell both my Raiders and Partisans to destroy supplies. If that giant Union army is thinking of attacking Cumberland River I want to have it poorly supplied.




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RE: PBEM AAR - It Ain't a Lost Cause Yet! - 11/16/2006 4:13:57 PM   
marecone


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I stopped here

_____________________________

"I have never, on the field of battle, sent you where I was unwilling to go myself; nor would I now advise you to a course which I felt myself unwilling to pursue."

Nathan Bedford Forrest

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RE: PBEM AAR - It Ain't a Lost Cause Yet! - 11/16/2006 6:34:25 PM   
Grotius


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Gil, if you need to reduce the size of a screenshot, you can always use Photoshop or a free photo editor to shrink it (i.e., reduce its size in pixel width and breadth), then save it as a new .jpg and post here. I'm pretty interested in seeing that hospital overlay. :)

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RE: PBEM AAR - It Ain't a Lost Cause Yet! - 11/16/2006 6:37:36 PM   
Gil R.


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Grotius

Gil, if you need to reduce the size of a screenshot, you can always use Photoshop or a free photo editor to shrink it (i.e., reduce its size in pixel width and breadth), then save it as a new .jpg and post here. I'm pretty interested in seeing that hospital overlay. :)



Thanks. I know about that sort of thing. But if you look at the time I posted, you'll understand why I wasn't about to spend time fiddling with the image. Also, as I just discovered, I forgot to upload the screenshot that was the right size, so I'll do that later.

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RE: PBEM AAR - It Ain't a Lost Cause Yet! - 11/17/2006 4:39:34 AM   
Gil R.


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Twenty-first Turn

A possible turning-point in the war might be near, as you'll soon see. First, though, here's the Events Report.

As you can see from the top, the oddest thing happened: I moved a tiny division into Oxford to reclaim that as territory, and found that the Union had moved deep into Mississippi to retain that province -- and, no doubt, push on from there. So, I ended up losing a battle I never expected. (I wish I had put the division on "Avoid Battle," but it never even occurred to me.

I got some major boosts from my developments. Those Mints will give me +6 Money per turn, and that new Camp will boost my reinforcements further. (Next turn I'll be getting another Logistics upgrade, and I'm praying that I get "Invalid Corps," which boosts reinforcement levels by 33%. That would be sweet.) And that new Railroad Station, the last I need to build for some time, will give me more than 80 RR points starting next turn.

But there's some bad news -- my Partisans unit got destroyed, so I'm down to that one Raiders unit.





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RE: PBEM AAR - It Ain't a Lost Cause Yet! - 11/17/2006 4:41:31 AM   
Gil R.


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Nothing much else to see. Disease hit the Richmond area garrisons, but the two Hospitals there made the effects negligible. Good thing I had sent the Army of Northern Virginia to Lynchburg instead.

And only one of my runners fleets brought anything in, but that's partly because I had sent the one that was slightly damaged a few turns ago back for repairs.




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< Message edited by Gil R. -- 11/17/2006 4:49:07 AM >

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RE: PBEM AAR - It Ain't a Lost Cause Yet! - 11/17/2006 4:51:34 AM   
Gil R.


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(I've been meaning to mention for some time that it's best not to read my postings until I'm all done, since sometimes I go back and insert additional comments in one of the earlier postings for a turn. So, if any of you are reading along as I post these, you'll end up missing something.)

Jchastain has probably been doing this, but if not, it's long overdue: here is the overview screen, which shows the distribution of forces from both sides and gives an approximate idea of their sizes. As you can see, the Union is looming over Virginia but, more importantly, has made a major incursion into western Tennesse and Mississippi. I cannot yet tell the enemy's intentions, so I'm torn how to respond. My foremost thought is that I shouldn't panic and do something stupid. But then it occurs to me that the enemy knows that I'm probably not going to panic and do something stupid, and is probably counting on that. So perhaps at some point soon I'll do something stupid, hoping to have a fool's luck. But this is not the turn.





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RE: PBEM AAR - It Ain't a Lost Cause Yet! - 11/17/2006 5:06:19 AM   
Gil R.


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Here's the regular view. I am being told that the Union army in Oxford numbers 56,013 and the one in Hatchie numbers 38,861, while the one left in Lower Tennessee River is at 116,437. My guess is that these estimates aren't far from the truth. I also know from experience that many of these are poor units in terms of quality and arms, so their size doesn't worry me too much. I'll have to fight them at some point, but it will need to be in CSA territory (where I'll be the one with the territorial advantage). This means attacking them only when they're in a province with a city or fort, i.e. a province that doesn't go blue as soon as the Union enters it.

As I mentioned above, I'm not sure what the Union's goal is. These two armies might be intended to lure me away from Cumberland River and keep me occupied, so that the larger army can attack. But I'm not going to send my two corps after these armies just yet. I'm quite certain that the two corps are better than the two armies -- better generals, better staff officers attached to the containers, and better troops. A turn from now that won't be different, but what will be different is that Fort Donelson will be close to 100% strength again. right now it's at 79%, which means that it could survive a siege for at least two turns. By next turn it will be strong enough that I can leave move my two corps out of the province, knowing that it will take at least four turns for the fort to fall (and probably more), and then would take 2-4 turns for Nashville itself to fall -- with that Union army being worn away all the while. So, if this is a trick to lure me away, I'm not going to do that.

As for the other two armies, it's impossible to tell their destinations yet. If I had to guess -- and I do have to guess, now that I think of it -- I'd say that the lead army is heading for Jackson (or perhaps Natchez, a Mississippi River province) and might even try to take New Orleans, which the enemy knows is a vital city for me in terms of resource production. Some of my moves this turn will involve bolstering the defenses of New Orleans, just in case. If that's what's happening, the second army might be intended to protect the lines of supply for the lead army. I can interrupt supplies by moving brigades into provinces located between that army and the rest of the Union and the enemy knows this, so perhaps that army in Hatchie is intended to swat away such attempts.

The plan I'm forming is to leave Cumberland River once I am able and then use one or both corps to attack these armies. But since the Union might be intending to skip Cumberland River and attack central Tennessee while I'm down south I cannot by drawn too far away. What I'm hoping will happen is that the two armies that are moving will not move in tandem, so that I can attack one without the other reinforcing it. So essentially, I'm waiting for a chance to attack either army with both corps at a time when the two armies are not in adjacent provinces and, ideally, when the target is in a province that has a city or fort and therefore remains CSA territory. I also plan to cut one or both armies supply-lines as soon as I can. That will affect not only supply levels, which are used up each time these armies move, but will cut off reinforcements as well, and soon enough march attrition will catch up with them and hurt their numbers. (So if they're thinking of marching throughout the west, they'll find very few men will make the entire journey.)

On the other hand, I might just take my chances and whale into that giant army, but I think I'll wait until I can build an army container, which will enable the two corps to fight even more effectively.






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< Message edited by Gil R. -- 11/17/2006 5:11:59 AM >

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RE: PBEM AAR - It Ain't a Lost Cause Yet! - 11/17/2006 5:12:25 AM   
Gil R.


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Since part of the key to winning is reducing supplies of these Union armies, I use my 100 Horses not on another Camp, but on another Raiders unit. And I spend the 100 Labor that was meant to go into a fort in Shenandoah to produce a new Partisans unit. I plan to produce some more of these units as soon as I can, since if I reduce supplies just before a battle that could make an enormous difference, and if I manage to cut off supply lines for an army and then destroy its supplies repeatedly that army will lose men and become severely weakened.

Since I don't know where the Union is headed, I decide not to produce these units where their production might be halted by the enemy's arrival. So I build the Raiders in Chattanooga, which is completely safe for the next two turns, and the Partisans in Shreveport, a place too unimportant for the Union to bother with just now.







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RE: PBEM AAR - It Ain't a Lost Cause Yet! - 11/17/2006 5:19:18 AM   
Gil R.


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Remember the 6th Division, the one that was supposed to retake Oxford but instead got defeated by that Union army? I toy with several options, but finally decide to move it by rail into Jackson and add it to the garrison. Now, Jackson will hold for several turns if besieged, and if the enemy decides to engage in modern tactics and bypass Jackson the division will be in a prime position to cut supply-lines.





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RE: PBEM AAR - It Ain't a Lost Cause Yet! - 11/17/2006 5:24:24 AM   
Gil R.


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It occurs to me that I haven't shown the southernmost CSA yet. Here's how it looks. New Orleans is the city that looks like it's in Ponchatoula province but is actually in Lower Mississippi River (where you can see my blockade-runners being repaired). In order to strengthen this province I send a garrison from one of those two forts in Bayou into Fort St. Philip (the one right next to my runners), and I also use rail movement to send one of Jackson's two garrison units into that fort. Once I've stuck the 6th Division in Jackson there will be 7000 men in both Jackson and Fort St. Philip, plus another 3000 in New Orleans itself. Plus, if I feel it necessary I'll probably have time to add some Rifle Pits or other defensive attributes and/or artillery to the fort.

And more help is on the way.






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RE: PBEM AAR - It Ain't a Lost Cause Yet! - 11/17/2006 5:24:30 AM   
Grifman

 

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The plot thickens!

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RE: PBEM AAR - It Ain't a Lost Cause Yet! - 11/17/2006 5:28:18 AM   
Gil R.


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Here's what I meant by saying that help was on the way. It occurs to me that since central Tennessee is completely secure right now, what with the two Cumberland Rivers corps and the Army of Northern Virginia being in easy railroad range, I don't need to have such a large garrison in Knoxville. So, I take two mediocre brigades and send them by rail into Montgomery. I'm hoping that by next turn I'll know whether I should use them to reinforce New Orleans further, or else give them a different assignment. (They might be mediocre, but any fort or city they serve in will last at least one turn longer because of their presence in the garrison.)

While I'm on this screen, I should point out the beauty of having the rail-lines reflect the Confederacy's incomplete, incompatible railroad system. As you can see, it's not possible to go by rail from Georgia to Mississippi (unless one goes the long way, through Tennessee). If I want to bring reinforcements from the east they have to get off the train in Montgomery, march to Mobile, and then get on another train that will take them north or south parallel to the Mississippi River. That makes things more challenging, which is good.






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RE: PBEM AAR - It Ain't a Lost Cause Yet! - 11/17/2006 5:36:05 AM   
Gil R.


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My next move in the west is to try to divert the enemy to get him in one-turn striking range of my corps, or else to position myself to cut off supplies.

Since the two corps have more than 100,000 men, and there are nearly 20,000 more in the two garrisons in Cumberland River, I know that the province has a reasonably good chance of surviving an attack. So, I take that division that I had sent from the Army of Northern Virginia and send it into Tuscumbia. Since it would easily be crushed by the Union's corps -- I've been calling it an army, but it's a corps -- I set it to "Avoid Battle." My goal, at the very least, is to convert Tuscumbia back to CSA territory (and perhaps do that to Oxford and Hatchie in the coming turns), but if the Union is sending the army and corps further south this division will be able to cut off supplies. Also, if those forces have moved south then maybe the Union will send some forces from Lower Tennessee River to attack, in which case I'll be able to invade that Union province with my two corps.

I'm not sure just what role the 4th Division will play, but there is a chance it will be an important one.

If nothing else, it's one more thing for the Union to have to pay attention to.





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RE: PBEM AAR - It Ain't a Lost Cause Yet! - 11/17/2006 5:39:08 AM   
Gil R.


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And I make one final preparation. If the Union is heading to New Orleans, and if the eastern theater is quiet, I might be able to sneak a division from the ANV by rail down to Charleston and send it by ship to New Orleans, where the Union won't expect to find it. I probably won't do this, but just in case I decide to move one fleet from Savannah into Charleston.

Moving my fleet out does make Savannah more vulnerable to a naval attack by the Union, but the Union hasn't seemed to interested in that just yet.






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RE: PBEM AAR - It Ain't a Lost Cause Yet! - 11/17/2006 5:42:08 AM   
Gil R.


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Here's how Virginia looks. I'm being told that the Union army in Cumberland is just 33,811 men, but I'm quite sure it's bigger than that.

What I'm uncertain of is whether it intends to invade Shenandoah, or is stationed there just to keep me from sending reinforcements from Virginia to fight the incursion into Mississippi. I have to plan for an invasion, even if the Union isn't planning one.





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RE: PBEM AAR - It Ain't a Lost Cause Yet! - 11/17/2006 5:45:27 AM   
Gil R.


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The only reason to stay in Lynchburg is that there are two Hospitals that could protect me from disease -- and that's a very good reason. But if the Union invades Shenandoah it might defeat that lone division before reinforcements could arrive. So, I move the ANV by rail back into the province, almost certainly getting there faster than a Union army would by foot. So if there's an invasion, I'll get there first, and will have the advantage of fighting in my territory.

Another good thing about this move is that because of the way the rail-lines and provincial boundaries were drawn Shenandoah is actually one province closer to the western theater than Lynchburg.

And as for disease, that's less severe in autumn, so if it strikes it won't be as bad as last time.





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RE: PBEM AAR - It Ain't a Lost Cause Yet! - 11/17/2006 5:52:38 AM   
Gil R.


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It also occurs to me that Cumberland, the Maryland province in which that army is located, borders on Franklin as well as Shenandoah and Fredericksburg, and that perhaps the Union's goal is to bypass Shenandoah and march through Franklin to Abingdon, where it can cut the rail-line. So, I take the 8th Division, which is small enough that it won't be greatly missed if a battle occurs in Shenandoah, and send it by rail into Abingdon.

Now, if a battle occurs in Shenandoah the 8th Division will automatically reinforce by rail, while if Abingdon is attacked then the Army of Northern Virginia will reinforce.

Having made my moves in Virginia, I make some purchases. To my dismay, the 100 Money I had been saving up for that fort in Shenandoah has to be spent to upgrade the ANV, especially since for so much of the game I've been upgrading the western armies instead. I still have three cavalry units still armed with "Improvised," and that just won't do, so I buy them Burnside Carbines. I then purchase the Horse Artillery attribute for two of them, both of which (like that cavalry brigade a turn or two ago) already have the Quality Horses attribute. This gives the ANV two more brigades with artillery -- and in this case, artillery that can be moved quite relatively quickly on the battlefield.





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RE: PBEM AAR - It Ain't a Lost Cause Yet! - 11/17/2006 6:01:34 AM   
Gil R.


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The end of the turn is near, so here are some odds and ends worth noting.

First, I took 4-star general and sent him by rail to Cumberland River. Not only is he needed there, but once that army container is constructed I'll be putting him in charge of what will be called the Army of Tennessee.

Since I desperately want to buy some more Lorenzs (if ever again I have enough Money to buy them), I decide to spend 10 Money more on European diplomacy, which is the maximum. I am now going toe-to-toe with the Union, which is almost certainly maxed out on diplomatic investments. I do need the Money elsewhere, but if diplomacy improves I'll get some goodies from the Europeans that should more than make up for this investment.

And, needing money as I do, I decide to risk an impressment. Over in Little Rock, a province that produces little and has almost no valuable buildings for unrest to destroy, there is 40 Money available, with a 75% chance of success and 40% chance of unrest. I never impress resources when the danger is that high, but the 40 Money could equip two more brigades with Brigade Artillery, or cover most of the cost of the army container, so it's worth it.

Finally, I hit "End Turn," and get to choose a training upgrade. This time, all of them are useful. I choose "Cavalry training," since I might as well make the most of the CSA's cavalry advantage, but I could also have benefitted from "Artillery Training" (gives artillery units +4 movement), "Line Marching" (gives infantry brigades in line formation +4 movement), or "Bayonet Practice" (gives a 10% boost to charge damage). (I should state that even though PBEM games do not have hex-battles, and two of these upgrades specifically refer to hex movements in detailed battle, the program takes into account such attributes when calculating the winners of the quick-combat battles that the PBEM system uses. So each of these upgrades would have an impact on the outcome of battles, even without hexes.)





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RE: PBEM AAR - It Ain't a Lost Cause Yet! - 11/17/2006 6:03:15 AM   
Gil R.


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And finally, I tell my Raiders that are bugging that giant Union army to try to steal supplies. This is good not only because destroying supplies forces the Union to spend Money to replenish them, but because if that army were to attack me this turn it would come in with less supply than it would otherwise have had.






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RE: PBEM AAR - It Ain't a Lost Cause Yet! - 11/17/2006 6:03:50 AM   
Gil R.


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Last turn, I botched the job of showing the Hospital overlays, so here they are:





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RE: PBEM AAR - It Ain't a Lost Cause Yet! - 11/17/2006 6:04:42 AM   
Gil R.


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And here's the western theater.




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RE: PBEM AAR - It Ain't a Lost Cause Yet! - 11/17/2006 8:27:19 AM   
Grotius


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Thanks for showing the hospital coverage overlay. Hmm, I find it a bit hard to see which province each "Hospital Coverage" message points to. I take it coverage in Shenandoah is zero, or am I misreading the map? Maybe it's clearer when you're moving the screen around.

Also, I assume higher numbers are better?

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RE: PBEM AAR - It Ain't a Lost Cause Yet! - 11/17/2006 8:34:25 AM   
Gil R.


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Higher numbers are indeed better.

Shenandoah gets 14. Rappahanock is getting none -- I'm not sure why.

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RE: PBEM AAR - It Ain't a Lost Cause Yet! - 11/17/2006 9:19:07 AM   
Gil R.


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Twenty-second Turn

This turn, I have no choice but to go on the warpath.

First, the Events Report, which has a big setback: not only was there unrest in Little Rock, but it was the bad kind of unrest, and it destroyed the Capitol. Capitols are essential because one cannot receive income in a province unless there's a Capitol there. Little Rock only had a Capitol and a Mansion, so there was a 50% chance of the Capitol being taken out if unrest were to occur -- I guess there's something to impressing in cities with numerous buildings because it lessens the chance of losing something important.

Rebuilding the Capitol will be expensive, and I won't be able to afford it until winter, and it will take months to build, so essentially I've lost the modest amount of income that Little Rock was providing for at least 3-4 months. On the plus side, the 40 Money I received is enough for me to start production of that army container for the two Cumberland River corps, now that the third Barracks in Mobile River is done.





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RE: PBEM AAR - It Ain't a Lost Cause Yet! - 11/17/2006 9:23:55 AM   
Gil R.


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And of all the rotten luck, disease strikes my Cumberland River corps again. Since it's fall and there's a Hospital there the loss in men isn't much, but several units, including some of my best, have their Disposition reduced. It will take many turns to restore these reductions, and these corps will be fighting long before then.

Hmm. The screenshot is too big, but you know what disease's effects look like by now. Also, the third screenshot is too big, but I can easily summarize: two runners fleets brought in 60 Weapons, and Gov. Lubbock of Texas is supporting logistical research.

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RE: PBEM AAR - It Ain't a Lost Cause Yet! - 11/17/2006 9:25:36 AM   
Gil R.


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And here's Arkansas with its unrest.




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RE: PBEM AAR - It Ain't a Lost Cause Yet! - 11/17/2006 9:26:17 AM   
Gil R.


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Here's the purchase of the army container in Mobile.






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RE: PBEM AAR - It Ain't a Lost Cause Yet! - 11/17/2006 9:37:18 AM   
Gil R.


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I notice that for the first time the Union is attempting an amphibious invasion... somewhere. In the Mid-Atlantic sea zone there is a large Union fleet carrying troops, as represented by the green squares. I have no idea what the target is -- to me, the most logical target would be New Orleans, where it could join up with the other forces. Or, for that matter, anywhere on the eastern seaboard. If it lands in the east I can use railroad movement to send down enough forces to dislodge it, but while I'm doing that the Union army in Cumberland could take advantage of the reduced size of the Army of Northern Virginia and invade.

So, in the first of my desperation moves, I decide to see if I might be able to get lucky and win a naval battle, or lose one while causing damage to the fleet. If I destroy enough ships, there will be insufficient capacity for all of the brigades, and when that happens the brigades go overboard. The Union has superior naval forces, but I might win -- especially if I get lucky and when I get to choose a naval upgrade at the end of this round I am able to get the submarines upgrade, which could give me an advantage.

So, the first thing I do is take my ironclads out of James River. I've left them there for the whole game so far because there has always been a large fleet stationed off the coast. But if these can slip by one fleet they might attack the one with the troops. They won't fight that effectively since they're not in a container, but if they can destroy a few enemy ships they'll have done their job.





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RE: PBEM AAR - It Ain't a Lost Cause Yet! - 11/17/2006 9:38:13 AM   
Gil R.


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Here's a better view of that enemy fleet, showing estimated troop strength.






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