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Very Good Game, But...... - 6/12/2008 11:02:00 PM   
tgb

 

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Where are the Europeans? One of the elements I appreciated most about both FoF and AACW was the ability to try to influence England (or Europe's) entry into the war. I'm kind of surprised that isn't modeled here.

Of course, I haven't read the manual yet, so perhaps I'm missing something, but based on the tutorials and playing around for an hour, I don't see it.
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RE: Very Good Game, But...... - 6/13/2008 12:00:57 AM   
tevans6220

 

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Actually there was very little chance for Europe to get involved in the American Civil War. The South's hope of being recognized by England or France was pretty much an unrealistic fantasy. For a good read on the likelihood of European intervention take a look at Shelby Foote's "The Civil War A Narrative". There's some pretty detailed passages in there about Europe and the South's hope for recognition. For whatever reason FoF included it in their game which in my opinion makes it unrealistic. There wasn't even a remotely realistic chance of Europe getting involved. To me FoF is more like Civ meets the Civil War than a game about the Civil War. Not that there's anything wrong with that. It's just not what I'm looking for when I want to game the Civil War. Please note this is not an attack on FoF. All three games are very good for what they do and all now have permanent residence on my hard drive.

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RE: Very Good Game, But...... - 6/13/2008 12:15:04 AM   
grarap

 

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The Europeans might have got involved in the Civil War, but not in the time period that this game covers. The South placed all of their eggs in the 'Cotton is King' basket, assuming that if they cut off cotton exports to Britain then the kingdom would be forced to join the Confederate cause out of desperation, in order to secure their cotton supply. Unfortunately, the British were more than happy to wait the war out, and in fact were totally reliant on Union grain imports at the time following a recent famine. Now, following 1865 European agriculture may have improved to the extent that ties with the North were unnecessary, and the cotton shortage might have begun to severely hurt Britain economically, and so had the Emancipation Proclamation not been declared (Europeans could not be seen defending slavery), Britain may very have joined the war. As you see though, thats a lot of what ifs.

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RE: Very Good Game, But...... - 6/13/2008 1:33:41 AM   
helm123456789

 

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The Trent Affair almost brought the South exactly what they wanted from Britian.

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RE: Very Good Game, But...... - 6/13/2008 2:10:39 AM   
Bossy573


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quote:

ORIGINAL: tevans6220

take a look at Shelby Foote's "The Civil War A Narrative".




Just picked up the entire 3 volume set in hardcover on sale at Barnes & Noble for $45.00. EXCELLENT read so far and I am set for the majority of my summer reading.

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RE: Very Good Game, But...... - 6/13/2008 2:23:41 AM   
Hertston


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quote:

ORIGINAL: helm123456789

The Trent Affair almost brought the South exactly what they wanted from Britian.


Yup. As with most historical what-ifs, though, we will never really know. IMHO the possibility was likely enough (prior to the Emancipation Proclamation) to justify including it in a game, but I also think it would only have happened had the South been sufficiently certain of victory anyway it wouldn't have mattered much... when there doesn't seem to be much point.

I can certainly live without it in the game, after all neither Britain or France did join the war. Including the option means a lot of work, not least with play balancing, that I'm not sure is worth the effort.

< Message edited by Hertston -- 6/13/2008 2:24:22 AM >

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RE: Very Good Game, But...... - 6/13/2008 3:15:21 AM   
Crimguy


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Not so sure I'd give Foote full credit on this issue. He is a bit of a Lost Cause proponent, and his analysis is slanted in that way. Regardless, Foote does acknowledge that, just before Antietam, many in England were considering just that. The Trent Affair caused it to be a main subject of conversation in Parliament for months after Nov, 1861. An interesting read is listed below (NYTimes, March, 1862).

http://query.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=9E0DEED6113FEE34BC4B53DFB5668389679FDE

In short, if Lee did not get his orders intercepted, and McClellan did not know of his plan to invade Maryland, and subsequently did not get cornered at Sharpsburg, we might have recognition of England. At this time, the cotton issue had not yet been rectified with Indian and Egyptian cotton (although the Brits admittedly had stockpiles to carry them through any crisis).

After Antietam, short of a capture of Philadelphia or Washington, recognition was doubtful. I think it was a realistic possibility, but the South was way too optimistic about their prospects.

quote:

ORIGINAL: tevans6220

Actually there was very little chance for Europe to get involved in the American Civil War. The South's hope of being recognized by England or France was pretty much an unrealistic fantasy. For a good read on the likelihood of European intervention take a look at Shelby Foote's "The Civil War A Narrative". There's some pretty detailed passages in there about Europe and the South's hope for recognition.


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RE: Very Good Game, But...... - 6/13/2008 3:27:15 AM   
Erik Rutins

 

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It's a pretty iffy if and I can see the case for both including it (as FOF did) and excluding it (as WBTS has done). Certainly after the Emancipation proclamation, even the slightest most distant hope of any intervention was extinguished.

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RE: Very Good Game, But...... - 6/13/2008 3:46:04 AM   
Bo Rearguard


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I'll keep some troops posted on the Canadian border...just in case.

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RE: Very Good Game, But...... - 6/13/2008 4:16:19 AM   
bschulte1978

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: tgb

Where are the Europeans? One of the elements I appreciated most about both FoF and AACW was the ability to try to influence England (or Europe's) entry into the war. I'm kind of surprised that isn't modeled here.

Of course, I haven't read the manual yet, so perhaps I'm missing something, but based on the tutorials and playing around for an hour, I don't see it.


Interesting. Right now I'm reading Phillip Myers' book Caution and Cooperation: The American Civil War in British-American Relations. In it, the author argues that there was never really any chance of European invasion because of pre-existing antebellum traditions of "caution and cooperation" between the two governments, trumping the outbreak of Civil War in America. I highly encourage this one to anyone interested in that particular facet of the Civil War.

< Message edited by bschulte -- 6/13/2008 4:17:01 AM >


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RE: Very Good Game, But...... - 6/13/2008 5:45:05 AM   
Duck Doc


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I'm just lurking & I don't want to pick a fight but I am really curious about why you think Shelby Foote was "a bit of a Lost Cause proponent..."?

My understanding is that even though he was a Southerner he actually worked very hard to maintain his objectivity & disavow any adherence to the Myth of the Lost Cause. Allthough my reading of his Narrative of the Civil War initially left me with the same impression (that he was sympathetic to the Southern Cause) my later reading of it & my learning more about the man has caused me to look at him in a different light. I suspect it was his lyrical style of writing that beguiled me into thinking he was a Southerner through and through. He wasn't.

Now we need to put another Myth to sleep: The Myth of European Intervention.

quote:

ORIGINAL: Crimguy
Not so sure I'd give Foote full credit on this issue. He is a bit of a Lost Cause proponent, and his analysis is slanted in that way.


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RE: Very Good Game, But...... - 6/13/2008 7:21:03 AM   
lvaces

 

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It's interesting to read Shelby Foote's own take on his biases in the bibliographical notes at the end of volumes I and II of his "Narrative". At the end of volume I, he writes:

"One word more perhaps will not be out of place. I am a Mississipian. Though the veterans I knew are all dead ... the rememberance of them is still with me. However, being nearly as far removed from them in time as most of them were removed from combat when they died, I hope I have recovered the respect they had for their opponents until Reconstruction lessened and finally killed it. Biased is the last thing I would be ... If pride in the resistance my forebears made against the odds has leaned me to any degree in their direction, I hope it will be seen to amount to no more, in the end, than the average American's normal sympathy for the underdog in a fight."

That book was published in 1958. By the time of the 2nd volume, published in 1963, current politics had given him new perspective on the issues of the past. He writes:

"I am obligated also to the governers of Arkansas and Alabama for helping to lessen my sectional bias by reproducing, in their actions ..., much that was least admirable in the position my forebears occupied when they stood up to Lincoln."

My view on the books is that Shelby does a very good job of self-analyzing here. He may have slight bias towards the South, but if so, it is small enough that it functions mainly to give the books a personality and so make them more interesting. And any bias towards the South does not extend at all to a bias towards the Confederacy, which is a much different thing.

In any case, I think the 3 books in his "The Civil War - A Narrative" are the best choice for someone who wants both a readable and yet detailed nuts and bolts analysis of the military actions of the Civil War. For someone who isn't quite as interested in getting into the details but wants to know the main story of the politics and battles of the time, I recommend another fantastic trilogy written about the same time, Bruce Catton's "The Centennial History of the Civil War". It's shorter and less detailed so an easier read, and Catton has the remarkable ability to summarize a man in one paragraph in such a way that you really feel you've seen his essence (or to do the same for a situation). It may be the best choice for newbie Civil War trilogy readers.


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RE: Very Good Game, But...... - 6/13/2008 8:01:49 AM   
jjarred

 

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Not that I am a civil war expert, but I believe in my heart, that Shelby Foote as with most southerners, has and did maintain a sense of deep seated pride in the south's ability to wage a large scale civil war; even with the great disadvantages thrown at them.

Having spent a number of years living in the south during my Marine Corp days 30 years ago, I realized that the attitudes toward the Civil War for southern folks is a deep seated and very personal thing, almost sacred in some ways.  Being from the north, I was amazed at how engrained this personal issue truly was, and still is.  

With all that I have read or heard Shelby Foote say in his books and appearances on television; I never really was quite sure where he fully and actually stood in the overall picture.  He always seemed to maintain a good balance on his personal feelings concerning both the North and the South, in relation to his own personal bias. 

I don't know if I would say the Shelby Foote was "a bit of a 'Lost Cause' proponent" or not; but I do recall seeing him in a documentary stating, that he believed that the 'North' fought the Civil War with one hand tied behind it's back.  That had it brought both gloves to bare, that the South would have never survived as long as they did.  He didn't elaborate much on why he felt that way, but I got the impression that all in all, he resigned himself to the fact, that North would have prevailed in the long run. 

***I believe it was Ken Burn's Civil War series that I heard him say this comment.*** 

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RE: Very Good Game, But...... - 6/13/2008 8:19:39 AM   
Crimguy


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My reasons are based on his statements that imply the CSA, was destined to lose the war.  That once the full might was put to bear on the CSA, they would capitulate.  That, in his own words, the US was fighting "with one arm tied behind its' back."  I don't think that's true.  I think they had opportunities, and the whirlwind of factors just didn't play in their favor in the long run.  Bad luck played a part.  Mistakes were made, by Lee and Davis.  By Bragg and Hood.  This view is not unique to the scholars on the subject.  Both Gary Gallagher and McPherson do share the opinion of both the prospects of intervention (which were impossible to calculate but probably slim indeed) and the Southern chances at success.  The reality is that, prior to Late September, 1862, nothing was certain regarding intervention.  After that, they were pretty much finished with the English or French getting involved

Mind you, when I say Lost Cause, he was not of the view that the CSA knew they were going to lose, but faught anyway.  He simply thought it was a matter of time before the US won.  He was right in the sense that, given enough time, the US would win.  There was just many ways in which Lincoln and Co. would be stripped of that time.

Foote's my favorite of what I've read (I'm only finishing the 2nd volume).  Lets keep in mind that it's heavy on military and light on politics.

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RE: Very Good Game, But...... - 6/13/2008 8:47:59 AM   
jjarred

 

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I agree with you, that Shelby Foote believed that it was a matter of time scenerio for the North winning...and not a devil may care, waste of time attempt by the South for 'spite sake' war.

As for my comment of "Fighting with one hand tied behind it's back", I never really understood his perception with that comment.  I assumed that this comment was more closely related and referring more to the climate and attitudes of the North from basically 1863 on out. 

Hatred and distrust concerning the war, economics, and general discontent on the Northern side became stumbling blocks, and unwanted barriers, preventing a full fledge assault on the South; and in my humble opinion, he likened these and other issues as a metaphor... describing the situation in the North as being bound on one hand, but still allowed some wiggle room with the other. 

But like you have stated, mistakes made by the South and the lack of the English or French becoming involved, one handed or two handed, the North would have prevailed!

Take care all...

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RE: Very Good Game, But...... - 6/13/2008 2:36:49 PM   
Grell

 

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In my personal opinion the European's would never have joined the war.

Regards,

Greg

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RE: Very Good Game, But...... - 6/14/2008 6:41:21 AM   
dsawan

 

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Certainly, a what if- european involvement would be an interesting add-on to this game. perhaps as a future update, this could be included.

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RE: Very Good Game, But...... - 6/14/2008 7:10:28 AM   
PyleDriver


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We talked about this 14 months ago. The other posts are correct, Europe's powers were not going to come in, not at the scale of this war as bloody as it was. Why, why would the come in? Their interests were elsewhere...What cotton?...Give me a reason to debate. England built raiders for the CSA, which is reflected, what other than that do you need? It didn't happen and would never of happened. France fell to Germany 5 years after this war, I think they had there own problems...


Jon

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RE: Very Good Game, But...... - 6/14/2008 10:39:35 AM   
bschulte1978

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: PyleDriver

We talked about this 14 months ago. The other posts are correct, Europe's powers were not going to come in, not at the scale of this war as bloody as it was. Why, why would the come in? Their interests were elsewhere...What cotton?...Give me a reason to debate. England built raiders for the CSA, which is reflected, what other than that do you need? It didn't happen and would never of happened. France fell to Germany 5 years after this war, I think they had there own problems...


Jon


Palmerston had plenty to worry about other than America. His cabinet held a precarious seat of power that was likely to be toppled at the slightest provocation. Emperor Napoleon III was a loose cannon who might try a cross channel attack at any time with his new warships no longer dependent on wind or tides. British creditors were owed the most money by Americans and this money would be lost if war started. Canada was practically undefended. The United States fleet in the Pacific was at least as large as the British fleet. The British as a people loathed slavery. There was a history of cooperation beteween the British and American governments from 1815 on. Add these all up, and you get what PyleDriver says above. There was really no chance, and no REASON, for these two countries to go to war, especially when Seward made VERY clear that any attempt at intervention was essentially a declaration of war.


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RE: Very Good Game, But...... - 6/14/2008 2:03:26 PM   
tevans6220

 

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Slavery was the key issue. Europe was never going to intervene or recognize the South as long as the South maintained the institution of slavery. Any portrayal of Europe coming into the Civil War as a fighting participant would take the game into the world of fantasy. European recognition or intervention did not happen and was not going to happen.

< Message edited by tevans6220 -- 6/14/2008 2:04:37 PM >

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RE: Very Good Game, But...... - 6/14/2008 5:36:50 PM   
Capt Henry_MatrixForum

 

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Regarding Foote's "one hand" comment, it's my recollection that he briefly discussed the settlement of the upper midwest as a tremendously large undertaking, along with other projects that, if not undertaken, would have allowed a greater war effort. I'm not saying I agree or disagree with the statement, but that's how I recall it from Burns' commentary.

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