From: Monroe, LA, USA
I wanted to post this mainly to let the developers know I'm having great fun with this game and to let people know how a game might play out.
This is my second game of WBTS, playing as the CSA. My first game I played on low AI level, no fog of war, letting the computer control my production. I won as the CSA, mainly because the USA was very lethargic. This time I turned on fog of war, took control of production, and upped the AI level to Challenging. That seemed to do the trick.
Right now it is the start of the CSA turn, Jan. 1864. The current score is USA 1002 VPs, CSA 832 VPs. Here is a brief summary of the major events.
In 1862, the Union began a concerted offensive along the axis Memphis-Vicksburg, and toward central Tennessee, all emanating from north of Memphis. I had pushed a small army into central Kentucky, threatening Louisville, while remaining outnumbered and on the defensive north of Memphis. However, the Union took Memphis and broke into central Tennessee. I kept my army in northern Kentucky one month too long and only extricated it with great difficulty. During the winter I rebuilt my forces at Corinth and western Tennessee.
In 1863, the USA began an offensive toward Vicksburg. Grant defeated Beauregard in a major battle at Jackson, and that sealed Vicksburg's fate. Meanwhile, smaller forces broke into Alabama, but a corps under Bragg contained that offensive. At the same time, my army under J. Johnston went on the offensive and recaptured central Tennessee, while the Union was occupied with Mississippi.
Currently Beauregard is licking his wounds in camp at Hattiesburg, while Johnston is on the defensive in Murfreesboro. It appears the Union is planning on pushing down to Baton Rouge and New Orleans from the north, while attacking north up the mouth of the river. In December, a large union fleet finally defeated the forts at the mouth of the river, and that large fleet is sitting there in the river.
I might mention that I defeated a small union amphibious operation into south Louisiana in 1862, and that I advanced into Missouri early in the game, and still hold one portion of Missouri. No action there for two years except scouting and raiding. I have also hindered the Union effort by largescale raiding with Van Dorn, Forest, and Wheeler, into Kentucky, eastern Tennessee, and now Union-held Mississippi. I think it has helped but am not sure how much.
The Union captured Pensacola in 1862 and has now captured most of Florida. More important, they surprised me, and due to my carelessness captured Savannah in 1862. I narrowly missed retaking Savannah a couple of months later, but now McLaws sits in Port Royal outnumbered, and just watching and raiding.
Mainly a stalemate though a monumental battle was fought in December. The Union has tried offensives up the Peninsula and has been beaten back, and down from Washington, and after some initial success also beaten back. I used Jackson in 62 and 63 to go up the valley and capture Harpers Ferry twice, only to have large Union forces push him back out. I think this has helped take pressure off Richmond though, which was why I did it.
In December 1863, Hooker repeated the real life disaster at Fredericksburg, attacking from Manassas Lee's fortified position at Fredericksburg. The result was a catastrophe for the Union: 16,300 men, 70 guns lost, including 6600 captured, while Lee lost 3100 men and 10 guns. It is enough to make me consider gambling on an immediate counterattack, as Hooker's losses have left him for the moment with no more men than Lee.
It also leads me to a question. Those 6600 captured, are they in addition to the 16,300 lost or included in that total?
A couple of other points. I have three commerce raiders out, and they have been rather successful though I don't know how much effect they have had. But with the Union point level so close to 1000, I guess every point counts.
I've also used a river fleet on the Mississippi to harass the US, and the AI seems a little careless about leaving transports for me to pick off. In fact that seems to be about the only real weakness I've seen in the AI at the Challenging level. Of course right now there is a huge Union fleet sitting at the mouth of the Mississippi, and a large fleet north of Vicksburg, so my ironclad and couple of gunboats might just be about to meet their end. But they've had a good run.
So now it seems I have to figure out how to get the Union below 1000 points by November. But I'm running out of options. I'm outnumbered badly in Mississippi and have no option there, and I only have enough in Tennessee to hold my own. There is no way to go on the offensive in the West at this point. I am too badly outnumbered everywhere.
I think I'll have to look back to Virginia after Hooker's disaster and take a closer look at what Lee might be able to do. BTW, Longstreet was killed in 1862 in defeating a Union advance up the Peninsula, and Lee's army consists of two corps commanded by Jackson and AP Hill, plus an artillery corps commanded by Pendleton and then of course Stuart's cavalry.
I'll delivery an after action report when the war ends.