Looking for Playtesters (Full Version)

All Forums >> [New Releases from Matrix Games] >> The Operational Art of War IV >> Opponents Wanted


Mark Breed -> Looking for Playtesters (6/20/2020 1:05:53 AM)

I am looking for pbem playtesters for an alternate history scenario.

Prefer to remain out of the playtesting to ensure a fair evaluation. So, I need at least two players who are willing to send me a copy of their End of Turn saved files.

So, please let me know if you are interested.



The Second War of Northern Aggression

Scenario Designer: Mark Breed
I would like to thank Tane Woodley as I used a portion of his map, with a few edits, from the scenario "American Front 1914" in TOAW III.

Date: April 8, 1927
Scale: 25km hexes
Units: Divisions/Brigades/Regiments
Turns: 1 week
Length: 106 turns

(1) CS Guerrilla units cannot enter the USA. They should remain in their home states. They represent residents who take up arms for short periods of time; and, go home when things get too tough. I do not envision the CS player sending dozens of small guerrilla units into the North. This would be considered gamey and not in the spirit of the scenario.
(2) CS Militia units should not leave their home states. Only one is issued per state; so, it should be easy to comply. It was created to ensure that the state capitols could always have a unit protecting them from gamey end runs by US units.
(3) Air units should be put on rest until turn 3 to avoid any accidental attacks.


Formation Support Levels have been set for the various formations on both sides. Most major combat formations are set at "Force Support" meaning that they will provide limited support (83%) for formations that do not have the same background color on their counter. For example, the Army of Arkansas has "Force Support" set and will only support units within the Army of Arkansas formation and provide limited support to all other units from other States.

225+ = Overwhelming Victory
151 - 225 = Significant Victory
76 - 150 = Marginal Victory
75 or less = Draw

Each C.S.A. state capitol and certain U.S.A. border state capitols have victory points assigned to them. The U.S. starts <125> victory points in the hole out of a possible 375 victory points (a marginal defeat). So, it is incumbent on the U.S. to capture the C.S. state capitols in order to win the game.

There is one non-capitol location that is worth victory points: Cairo, Illinois. It starts the game in U.S. control.

The C.S.A. wins automatically if it controls the U.S. capitol at PHILADELPHIA during any point in the scenario.


July 1, 1863, the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia encounters Union Army of the Potomac at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. During a war council held the night of July 1st, Confederate I Corps Commander, General James Longstreet, proposed to General Robert E. Lee that instead of giving battle, the Confederate Army should now get between the Union Army and Washington D.C. They could choose the battlefield and let the Union Army beat itself against them. General Lee agreed. So, during the night, I and II Corps of the Army of Northern Virginia began the march to the southeast. On the morning of July 2nd, A.P. Hillís III Corps made multiple limited attacks against the Union Army at Gettysburg, while the rest of the Confederate Army arrived at Taneytown, Maryland, 13 miles southeast of Gettysburg.

U.S. General Meade knew something was off but didnít realize until too late that the Confederate Army was now between him and the Capitol. The Battle of Piney Run began on July 3rd. With their roles now reversed, the Union Army slammed into the solid Confederate defenses behind Piney Run northwest of Taneytown. The Union Army attacks were mowed down one after another. After the second day, the Union Army retreated to the north. (Note: It had the reverse results of the historical Battle of Gettysburg.)

On July 5th, President Abraham Lincoln and his cabinet flee the Capitol along with most of the government. One day later, the Army of Northern Virginia attacks the defenses of Washington D.C. itself. General Longstreet's Corps smashes through the entrenchments of the demoralized Union garrison.

Although General Grant accepts the conditional surrender of Vicksburg on July 4th, it is not enough to offset the decisive victory that was the capture Washington D.C. The British government sees its chance to weaken the power of the United States; so, on August 15th, it signs a treaty with the Confederate government in which it provides military aid in exchange for favorable trade agreements effectively ending the Union's naval blockade.

This turn of events results in Abraham Lincoln losing the 1864 election to the peace candidate General George McClellan. The Treaty of Paris, on February 15, 1865, results in the C.S.A. returning Washington D.C. to the U.S.; the withdrawal of Union forces from all Confederate territories, excluding Missouri, Kentucky, and West Virginia (which is recognized as an Union state); and the turning over of all Union coastal forts in the Confederate States territorial waters.

As a result of the lost war, Union states and territories in the west also chose to secede from the U.S. forming the West America Republic. Basically, all states and territories west of Missouri decided that the U.S. would not be the best government to represent their interests. The U.S., having just lost a war, was not interested in fighting another to keep them. And even though Missouri (a former slave state) would have joined the W.A.R., the U.S. maintained a significant military presence there that kept it from leaving.

The U.S. decided that it would not be a good idea to keep their capitol next to a border with what was now a foreign nation and elected to move it to Philadelphia. Washington D.C. now became a part of Maryland and a fortified border city. After lobbying to make Philadelphia the new national capitol, Pennsylvania was forced to give it up to the federal government as the other Northern states would not tolerate their national capitol being under the jurisdiction of a single state.

The C.S. also decided to move their capitol in order to make it more central to their new nation. As a result, Montgomery was once again selected to be the capitol of the Confederacy. Montgomery also became its own independent jurisdiction in the Confederate States and, as a result, grew to be one of the largest cities in the South.

During the following decades, slavery dies within the Confederate States one by one until it becomes a thing of the past. However, the racial prejudices continued, and an apartheid system came into existence. Former slaves found that they were no longer being beaten for not working, but the threat of not having a job was enough to keep them slaves to the jobs provided by their former masters. And, those that migrated to the North found that they were not welcome there either, as the people of the U.S. were just as racist as the people in the South and did not want them living in their towns and cities. Purely Black towns appeared throughout the North and South.

The South slowly became industrialized, although it remained an agricultural society. Farms and plantations became more mechanized due to the elimination of slavery. Even as cotton remained king with tobacco queen, oil grew in importance. As a result, the State of Texas saw rapid growth becoming the largest C.S. state not only in size, but in population as well. In addition, the C.S. added a new state, Oklahoma, which was once Indian Territory. Like Texas, oil was discovered there, and its population grew rapidly. The addition of oil as a resource of the C.S. help promote its industrialization.

Other changes in the South came about. The new nation realized that the central government must become stronger in terms of economic controls, trade, and national defense. As a result, the C.S. government gained the ability to enforce national laws for the benefit of the Confederate States as a whole (State veto nullified).

The C.S. maintained a professional army with members from all of the States integrated into its units. The States also maintained their own armies and adopted a system of military service in which conscripts and volunteers were required to serve for three years (after their 18th birthday) on active duty. After this service, the discharged citizens were kept in Ready Reserve status meaning that they had to attend weekend duty once per month and two weeks of active duty training every year until they reached their 30th birthday. Even so, this service was popular because each State taught a sense of nationalism in their schools to foster a spirit of martial pride and esprit de corps. Thus, many Southerners wore their uniforms to social events.

The Confederacy realized that it suffered from a manpower shortage when measured against the U.S. Army and changed its laws to allow the Blacks to serve in the C.S. Army as clerks, muleskinners, cooks, engineers, etc. to help reduce the high demand on citizens needed to serve. And, surprisingly, the Blacks did volunteer for service as the military was an available job in a limited market that helped to feed their families.

While the C.S. did not have an arms industry to speak of, it did continue to maintain a good trade relationship with Great Britain and France, which with the end of the Great European War in 1919, allowed it to modernize its military thanks to the surplus of arms Great Britain and France had available to sell including ones that they had acquired from the U.S.

On the other hand, the United States maintained a strong industry that included armaments. And, during the Great European War, it made lots of money selling arms, ammunition, and food (yes, the U.S. generated more food produce than the South) to the belligerents. With the larger population and industrial base, the United States was able to field a large military for the coming war.

Both the U.S. and the C.S. stayed out of the Great European War of 1914. That war ended in 1919 in a stalemate. After the war many of the European countries were faced with socialist/communist rebellions that spread to the American Continent. The C.S., with most of its poor being former members of the slave class and, now, apartheid in nature, was able to easily squelch the threat.

However, the working poor of the U.S., envious of the rich industrial leaders, found the idea of communism appealing. This resulted in riots and social unrest. In 1920, a radical member of the working class was elected as President; as well as most of the two houses of Congress getting replaced by similar communist adherents. Certain Constitutional rights were suspended shortly thereafter due to the continued unrest. The 2nd Amendment was the first to get suspended and, then, freedom of assembly, along with freedom of speech. The President gained increased control of the political party and military resulting in his certain re-election in 1924.

Businesses began to suffer under the oppressive controls placed by the new government. Of course, this meant the decline of the industrial productivity. The farming industry was collectivized; and, naturally in the following years, food shortages started to occur. The financial impacts of the restraints put on industry started to result in more unemployment. The U.S. population growth resulting from the Great European War all but came to a halt as people began to believe that the U.S. was no better than any other European nation when seeking a new life.

To focus the people of the U.S. on something other than the worsening conditions, the President used nationalism to stir up resentment against the South, which was more prosperous. The President blamed the South for dividing a once powerful nation and started flaming a desire for revenge for the current woes. The U.S. started expanding its army with the institution of the draft; although, the unpopularity of the draft did bring its quality into question.

In 1924, the U.S. started annual mobilization exercises, called "Yankee Pride," to increase the readiness of its military. In 1926, it became more belligerent with its propaganda and the tensions begun to escalate with territorial waters disputes and occasional border patrol skirmishes. The U.S. announced that its fourth annual Yankee Pride would be held on April 8th. On April 22, 1927, ground forces of the U.S. Army crossed the border into the Confederacy beginning what would be called the 2nd War of Northern Aggression.


Designer and General Notes


The old SPI magazine game "Dixie" is the inspiration behind this scenario. Creating the alternate history was rather simple in that the Battle of Gettysburg was the last battle fought that could have changed the whole course of the war. A Southern victory there would have put the US capitol in danger and create a change of political events leading to a favorable peace for the South.


After that, a year for the conflict had to be chosen. I decided on 1927 as it was after World War One and it would allow tanks and airplanes to be included without them dominating the battlefield. Also, I did not want to go with World War Two as weapons were changing more rapidly and the arming of the South would be more difficult to explain.


Having chosen the post WW1 period, it allowed me to choose U.S. Army tables of organization from World War One and immediately thereafter. Thereby, allowing me to have two similar TO&Es, but one being much larger in manpower. This was necessary due to the significant population of the North versus the South; and, trying to keep the North's numeric advantage from making the scenario completely imbalanced. If the North has too many maneuver units of equal size compared to the South, then the outcome would never be in question. So, instead of having a ratio of over 2-to-1 for U.S. versus C.S. in infantry divisions, the ratio is now 1.11-to-1. But the U.S. divisions have a 13% stronger attack value after readiness is taken into consideration, and there are more artillery and tank units supporting the U.S. armies. Even so, the C.S. has the advantage of being on the defense and having better proficiency generally.

Below shows the difference in the composition of the U.S. and C.S. infantry divisions:

U.S. Division (17 Attack; 31 Defense; 8 Movement)
576 x Rifle Squad
144 x Engineer Squad
9 x Military Police Squad
244 x Medium MG
72 x 75mm Gun
36 x 4.7-inch Gun
6 x 6-inch Trench Mortar
600 x Horse Team

C.S. Division (15 Attack; 20 Defense; 9 Movement)
324 x Rifle Squad
81 x Engineer Squad
6 x Mounted Rifle Squad
8 x Military Police Squad
144 x Medium MG
32 x 18 Per Gun
72 x 4.5-inch Howitzer
36 x 6-inch Howitzer
4 x FT-17/MG
16 x FT-17/37
460 x Horse Team

Although both armies had trucks by this period, I found that placing trucks in a unit seemed to give an abnormal increase in movement rates. Even though a division still had more horses than trucks, the movement rate disregarded the slower horse drawn units. So, for practical purposes, truck units were not included in the order of battle.


The next issue to consider was the military mobilization of the two countries. While the U.S. has over 100 divisions (infantry, security, and cavalry) and the C.S. has over 90 smaller divisions, with not all being ready at the start of the war. So, the question became what are the starting forces for the two sides? Then, how rapidly would the two sides mobilize?

The U.S. Army was divided into three categories of units:
1. The Regular Army;
2. The National Guard; and,
3. The Army Reserve.

The Regular Army units (US) all start on map at 100%. They are deployed close to the C.S. border in their Yankee Pride training areas. Those three armies are the invasion force used at the outbreak of war.

The National Guard units (NG) all start on map at 67% of their authorized strength at the beginning of their call to mobilization. These units are at their bases scattered throughout the Northern States. Upon the initiation of hostilities, members of the National Guard are sent alert notices to report to their respective uints. At that time, the replacement rates are stepped up for a period of weeks/turns to allow those units the chance to fill up before marching off to war.

The Army Reserve units (RES) will arrive as reinforcements initially at 33% of full strength. Immediately thereafter, there will be a period of increased replacements factors representing the call up of the reservist similar to the same call up of the National Guard members.

The C.S. Army is divided into two categories:
1. The C.S. standing national army consisting of regular units;
2. State units consisting of a mixture much like the U.S. Army, National Guard, and Army Reserve.

The C.S. Army units are at 100% and represent a standing army consisting of members of all the States serving together in multi-State regiments, brigades, and divisions.

The State armies have a small portion of their units at 100% representing standing units consisting of volunteers and draftees that serve two years active duty; and, then go into a reserve pool of soldiers that serve one weekend a month and two weeks a year in the Ready Reserves. Note, in recent years, the two weeks of service have been scheduled to coincide with the U.S. Yankee Pride exercises as a well-considered safety measure.

Additional State Army units are activated in an emergency with Ready Reservists rapidly mobilizing within the first week of the war (turn 4) at 67% and filling up the remaining open slots over the following few weeks. With a final mobilization of units coming in at 33% and filling up over a period of more weeks.


While the scenario has events associated for the capture of the capitols in the CSA, only specific capitols and Cairo, Illinois, in the USA have events that can impact the scenario. This was done to keep the CSA player focused primarily on the defense of the South. Even so, the USA player needs to be careful not to leave the North undefended.

Certain areas in the North can be attractive targets for the South. The US Capitol is a natural target. So, the capitols in Maryland, Delaware, and Pennsylvania that lead to the U.S. Capitol become strategic and their loss can negatively impact the US player. Kentucky and Missouri were both originally considered a part of the Confederacy by the South as they were originally slave states. Hence, the loss of the capitols in those states can negatively impact the US player. Finally, there is Cairo, Illinois, which is a strategic location on the Mississippi and Ohio Rivers and, therefore, is valuable to both sides.

Loss of a C.S. state capitol will most likely impact the overall supply state for the Army; however, there is a small chance that it wonít. As will the loss of a C.S. port; though not as likely.

However, a loss of five C.S. state capitols will affect the Pestilence Level and a loss of eight and eleven will have even more severe impacts.


The C.S. invested more in submarines than the U.S. as they saw that it was an effect weapon to use when facing a superior naval threat. Therefore, there is a slightly greater possibility for the C.S. submarines to impact U.S. supply than vice versa. And conversely, the U.S. having the superior naval fleet has a greater chance of negating the impact of submarine warfare than the C.S. fleet.


As indicated in the history article, the United States has embraced an oligarchical communism and, as what happened in the Soviet Union, the leaders are having to deal with the issues of collectivism and planned economies. Initially, the war is a detraction for the people of the United States, but as it progresses, the people begin to protest and riot over things such as the draft, food shortages, and lack of goods in general. These affects begin to be felt after one year of the war regardless of how well it is progressing. The patriotism initially felt is decreasing as the people are not seeing the destruction of the lives and property by the Confederate States, but by their own government.

However, if the Confederate States do conduct successful operations into the U.S. (i.e. capture of U.S. state capitols), these protests and riots are cancelled.


I borrowed the map from a TOAW III scenario created by Tane Woodley called ďAmerican Front 1914Ē. However, I only used a portion of his huge map and made some minor adjustments. I thank him for creating it.

I added factory locations to the map representing aircraft factories (replenishment locations). There are no victory points associated with them.

I added shallow water locations to the coast to limit the locations available for amphibious assault. Also, not all Southern ports can become U.S. supply depots. A look at the map shows that it does not make too much sense for the U.S. player to land at every port; however, he is free to do so if he wants. He must realize though that certain ports are critical for any campaign starting based on a seaborne landing.

Those ports with U.S. supply depot capability are:

Norfolk, VA (83,29)
Morehead City, NC (82,36)
Charleston, SC (71,48)
Savannah, GA (67,51)
Jacksonville, FL (65,58)

Galveston, TX (11,65)
Port Arthur, TX (15,63)
New Orleans, LA (32,61)
Biloxi, MS (36,58)
Mobile, AL (39,57)
Panama City, FL 49,59)

A supply depot with a value of 15 is created after U.S. forces capture any of the listed ports. It is increased to a value of 20 after a couple of turns to represent the increase in logistical resources directed at the newly occupied port.


The following parameters have been adjusted:
25 = Supply Costs of Movement Rate;
25 = Readiness Costs of Movement Rate;
2 = Road Supply Radius (US);
3 = Road Supply Radius (CS);
5% = Theater Reconnaissance Level (US);
15% = Theater Reconnaissance Level (CS);
5 = Maximum Rounds Per Battle;
10 = Force Over Extended Supply; and,
67% = Force Movement Bias.

Additional irrelevant changes:
1 = Force Precision Guided Weapons Level; and,
1 = Force Air Refueling Range Multiplier.


Unfortunately, there must be some house rules:

(1) CS Guerrilla units cannot enter the USA. They should remain in their home states. They represent residents who take up arms for short periods of time; and, go home when things get too tough. I do not envision the CS player sending dozens of small guerrilla units into the North. This would be considered gamey and not in the spirit of the scenario.

(2) CS Militia units should not leave their home states. Only one is issued per state; so, it should be easy to comply. It was created to ensure that the state capitols could always have a unit protecting them from gamey end runs by US units.

(3) Air units should be put on rest until turn 3 to avoid any accidental attacks.


So, I created this scenario of alternate history of a new war between a communist version of the United States and an apartheid version of the Confederate States. Which will win?

cathar1244 -> RE: Looking for Playtesters (6/20/2020 6:50:38 AM)

Great effort, Mark. Thanks for the "designer's notes".


Hellen_slith -> RE: Looking for Playtesters (6/26/2020 8:00:45 PM)


ORIGINAL: Mark Breed

I am looking for pbem playtesters for an alternate history scenario.

Prefer to remain out of the playtesting to ensure a fair evaluation. So, I need at least two players who are willing to send me a copy of their End of Turn saved files.

So, please let me know if you are interested......CONCLUSION

So, I created this scenario of alternate history of a new war between a communist version of the United States and an apartheid version of the Confederate States. Which will win?

Hello, thank you for the new scenario, sounds interesting,
and I have an opponent interested in trying this one with me ....

but, we would like to do it via Slitherine server doo-dad,
and (I *think*) only one of us needs the file....

can you post the file? or maybe electronic to me,
I think if I have it, I can post it for him to accept.

Not sure if we can report w/ .sav files, but I will post
extensive AAR in AAR forums, if that would be ok.

Well, Thanks again for new scene!! my email is
EDIT: redacted, message sent.

no spaces

You da MAN!!

Mark Breed -> RE: Looking for Playtesters (6/26/2020 9:33:00 PM)

Files sent.

Hellen_slith -> RE: Looking for Playtesters (6/26/2020 10:29:23 PM)

Thank you! But, I am having trouble w/ the .SCE file,
TOAWIV seems not to want to recognize as a valid scene.
Well, I will keep trying. Thanks again!

Mark Breed -> RE: Looking for Playtesters (6/27/2020 3:46:53 AM)

I am not sure what is going on. The Scenario Properties indicates that "This scenario is valid."

Also, I have been able to start it as a new game for head-to-head.


Hellen_slith -> RE: Looking for Playtesters (6/28/2020 1:42:30 PM)

EDIT: Got it!

It is working now, ---....

My opponent Stefan has joined the game,
and I have sent to him also the .sce file
I hope that is ok! AAR INCOMING!
Looks like a fun scene, we will try to do it justice.

Thank you!

Mark Breed -> RE: Looking for Playtesters (7/4/2020 8:14:29 AM)

Looking forward to the AAR. Also, I would appreciate the occasional end of turn file just to see the progress.


Page: [1]

Valid CSS!

Forum Software © ASPPlayground.NET Advanced Edition 2.4.5 ANSI