biddrafter2 -> RE: Any good U.S. Civil War campaign scenarios? (8/15/2019 11:11:04 PM)
I played a couple aborted efforts solitaire (~150 moves), twice all the way through solitaire, and once all the way though with an opponent. I should stress that I am NOT a skilled TOAW player, nor was my opponent. I know the basics of the game and enjoy it but would likely get skunked by any of the “competent or above” players on here.
I tried to follow the house rules in the documentation. All play was in TOAW 3 using v09.
I am quite interested in the Civil War and have read many books on the era. I wouldn’t consider myself a Civil War buff in terms of expertise, especially at real military tactics. Put me at the Shelby Foote level.
If I haven’t completely ruined my credibility, here are my thoughts on the v09 scenario:
1. Railroads “felt” right between North and South. Never a problem in the N, always immensely frustrating in the S, especially between East/West theaters.
2. Enjoyed the Theater Option approach to KY neutrality.
3. KY as a battleground was enjoyable because the supply was so poor that it was difficult to maintain any type of breakthrough
4. Missouri was an enjoyable mess as the N. No supply, roads always mud, tons of bridges. I had many fun small scale battles out there.
5. The map itself allowed for reasonably detailed battles in Virginia and Tennessee. I also found the map aesthetically attractive and most of the roads and railroads made perfect sense, if sometimes modified from reality to fit the abstraction. The scale is interesting, both good and bad. It is great for detailed battles. See section in bad for more details.
6. It was extremely difficult to progress in Virginia, matching reality. However, in both cases I was able to capture Richmond as N by early 1864. So either I am much better than US generals, my strategy was more NVA centric, or the scenario allowed easier progress than reality.
7. Gunboats later in the scenario really added heft to the N attacks in NVA
8. Naval in the oceans was mostly pointless in terms of battles, matching the war.
9. Supply south of Tennessee is brutal as the N
10. Defending behind rivers as the S seemed less useful than my impression from reality but I felt the map at least made it a consideration, especially in NVA.
11. Supply disbands for the N and S were a nice way to incentivize progress, if perhaps a little gamified.
12. Raiders for the S were excellent for annoyance, but difficult to use for causing any noticeable long term problems for N. This seemed to model reality well. Of course, when playing for the S, it feels like they should have more of an impact because of their “romanticized” nature in descriptions of the war.
13. High levels of attrition (3) seemed appropriate and made battle heavy
1. Hated the need to disband units in order to gain proficiency over time
2. Forts seemed far too strong, especially early in the scenario. People had some success running batteries in the Civil War but there is simply no way to do so in this scenario, especially with the house rules requires a pause of a turn at fort locations.
3. Missouri was also pointless. Once established there is no chance of retaking St. Louis for the S. It took up a disproportionate amount of time.
4. The bad parts of the map. The battles tend to cluster in this scenario into tight geographical regions. This makes the enormous map a burden because the map gets jumped around to the areas of activity. This is a common issue in TOAW on enormous maps. However, the amount of areas that are completely empty are VAST and, frankly, could likely be jettisoned. No south Texas!
5. Keeping an HQ with all units for movement and/or attack was extremely frustrating and easy to forget. I can see the point but would prefer an adjustment in the turn time-scale instead of a house rule
6. Events. There are a ton of events and it is interesting how little impact they seem to have. It feels like a foregone conclusion the war will progress as normal. Perhaps a Theater option, now that event count is much larger, to allow more dynamic and less-reality based events to be used in the scenario optionally. Add a little more randomness and a little less 1861.
7. Artillery seemed too ineffective. Perhaps it was entered historically accurately (don’t know) but it did not feel as powerful as it should have. Rarely could terrain dominate a battle as often as described in battle histories. Obviously this is due to the map scale… but it shouldn’t be! The battles cluster despite the scale because of the HQ rule. Terrain should be a bigger influence than it is.
8. The scenario is so long, with so little happening at times. Winter quarter, for example, makes perfect sense but seems to last forever. Weekly turns?
1. Maybe 5KM with only likely active theaters and passes open for play? Looped rail lines to simulate distances to require less jumping around? Much less aesthetically pleasing, perhaps better gameplay.
2. Weekly turns? Would need to be checked against whatever map scale is chosen.
3. Remove proficiency disbands and perhaps throttle with replacement rate instead.
4. Focus more on gameplay and less on historical accuracy requiring house rules, like HQ disbands for Grant because of promotions.
5. Solve the fort problem for early scenario. Boats too weak to defend.