From: Manchester, UK
While facing McClellan during the Peninsular campaign, along the Williamsport lines, Magruder used every trick in the book, (marching one regiment of troops up in full view of enemy troops, circling back under cover, marching up again; officers shouting out commands to non-existant troops; etc.) to convince McClellan that the north was outnumbered. Magruder employed the same old wheezes and successfully pinned down the union troops on the direct road to Richmond while R.E. Lee launched the first attacks of the Seven Days campaign.
McClellan was an idiot.
Hi, He only lost 2 battles. When you add up the numbers he did more damage to the enemy then he suffered. His only problem was he could not tell a victory from a defeat.
Lee is famous because Mac retreated after winning battles. During the 7 days the South only won 2 battles and were whipped in 5. Grant would have been in Richmond and people in the South would consider Lee a bloody fool who got his troops slaughtered.
This is when the AOP had a real numerical advantage. Grant did not have the ratio Mac did but he advanced. He advanced after he supposedly lost a battle so it is quite clear he would have advanced in Mac's place. Hell he would have attacked after the first battle and been in Richmond. (or not. I think he might have ignored Richmond and just pounded Lee into nothing with that 2-1 ratio)
In the 2 battles Mac lost he only used 1 corps (Porters) By day 3 of the 7 days Grant would have had the entire AOP engaged.
So he was not quite an idiot because he did win more often then he lost. But he was blind to the truth because he always thought Sept 17 1862 was his finest hour and it was his worst because it was the greatest waste of opportunity.
The American Civil War remains one of the most difficult to do in war games because almost every Union Player would be able if left alone to win the war before 1863.
A game needs many complicted rules that prevent the Union from coordinating offensives under compentant leaders. It has to treat Union victories as defeats. It has to prevent Union Armies (in the east at least) from using their entire force in a battle.
A good analysis, although I think Raver's had some merit too (despite its brevity, it's accurate IMHO). I think Maclellan was essentially a Quartermaster. You'll know as well as I that raw numbers are only part of the story. He was intimidated during the seven days, a quite debilitating trait in a General I think, and with a 2.1 advantage at Antietam, the infamous order found in the field in his hand and Lee displaying why the strategic offensive was not something he should ever have been overly encouraged to launch, McClellan made a right hash of it. From initial dispositions to piecemeal committment of troops, to failure to press the following day, it was a mess, and effectively condemned the Country to years more. I think a Grant, a Meade, probably even a Hooker would have won that day (Hooker would at least have thrown everything in, and big battalions have a quality of strategy all their very own).