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Sea Invasions - 6/22/2008 2:10:04 AM   
Mad Russian


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Can someone please explain to me about sea invasions?

When I land and occupy the area with amphibious assault will I gain control of the land area? I would think this should happen since I control the sea area adjacent to the land area.


Good Hunting.

MR
Post #: 1
RE: Sea Invasions - 6/22/2008 3:20:06 AM   
Missouri_Rebel


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Yes you will control it provided you also have reduced all forts in the province. One doesn't actually control sea zones though. Keep in mind there will be penalty's to the resources gained from the captured province if you don't also control the capital.

hope that helps

(in reply to Mad Russian)
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RE: Sea Invasions - 6/22/2008 6:54:39 AM   
Mad Russian


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Well, that didn't happen when I landed in Galveston and took it. I didn't get the land area, only the city.

So, I'm thinking you can't get control of the land area from the sea. Only the cities if you happen to get them.

MR


< Message edited by Mad Russian -- 6/22/2008 6:56:41 AM >

(in reply to Missouri_Rebel)
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RE: Sea Invasions - 6/22/2008 6:55:54 AM   
Mad Russian


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But now, are my troops in supply from the fleet as long as they are in an adjacent area? Or do the troops have to be in an area with a port in it to be supplied?

MR

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RE: Sea Invasions - 6/22/2008 1:35:10 PM   
Ironclad

 

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To gain control of a province you need to have control of an adjacent land province. That won't apply in most sea invasions so in those cases the city only can be gained and the land province remains in enemy control. Once capured the city will appear on your list and is available for resources, muster/conscription, impressment in accordance with the usual conditions. For sea supply you need a fleet (with at least one naval unit) in an adjacent sea province and the latter will also enable a withdrawal to your nearest unblockaded port if you lose a battle there.

(in reply to Mad Russian)
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RE: Sea Invasions - 6/22/2008 7:12:21 PM   
GShock


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It's important to note the supply issue when occupying a territory without conquering it, such as the case you mentioned. Keep the container on normal or high priority. The troops will also start to go down towards disorganization and i often plan rotation of containers to keep the area occupied. Best places to invade are the Mississipi areas where you can end sieges pretty quickly with gunboat support.



(in reply to Ironclad)
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RE: Sea Invasions - 6/23/2008 5:50:54 AM   
Mad Russian


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quote:

ORIGINAL: GShock

It's important to note the supply issue when occupying a territory without conquering it, such as the case you mentioned. Keep the container on normal or high priority. The troops will also start to go down towards disorganization and i often plan rotation of containers to keep the area occupied. Best places to invade are the Mississipi areas where you can end sieges pretty quickly with gunboat support.






It looks as though my invading force will starve to death before capturing Austin. I'll not do a sea invasion again. I see no value in having troops killed for no gain.

I'd be interested in hearing the rationale behind having troops starve to death that can be supplied from the sea. Or how a land area full of troops can't control it unless there is even an empty controlled land area adjacent to it.

I've looked all through the rules for the forage supply value. Can't find it yet. But the value of forage is right before my eyes. My troops are melting away at Austin. I have a corps while there is a single brigade in the city under normal siege. It will be a race whether I starve to death before he surrenders.

Not having any idea why the game system won't allow for the control of the land areas with large numbers of occupying forces in them I can only say that this part of the game appears to be not so historical. Large parts of Florida and entire cities on the coast were taken and held for extended periods of the war.

All of what I've seen and the rotation schemes, etc...are seemingly very unhistorical results to what actually took place.

Gunboat is great but I don't need amphibious assaults to take care of sieges I get get river boats to take care of for me.

Then again, the answers may be in the rules and I just can't find them.

Good Hunting.

MR

< Message edited by Mad Russian -- 6/23/2008 5:53:04 AM >

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RE: Sea Invasions - 6/23/2008 7:52:53 AM   
GShock


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Send the corps only when you have enough arty to siege quickly and keep them on normal and high supply priority. Keep the troops coming, if you don't control the region, controlling a settlement doesn't give you the "friendly territory" option...i think this is correct. You must attack from land and sea trying to connect these zones. March to the sea 

(in reply to Mad Russian)
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RE: Sea Invasions - 6/23/2008 4:24:05 PM   
morganbj


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quote:

My troops are melting away at Austin. I have a corps while there is a single brigade in the city under normal siege. It will be a race whether I starve to death before he surrenders
.

"Don't mess with Texas!"

Seriously, Eric and I had a discussion about this, ad nasaeum, a few moths ago.  I submitted that the game allowes for large armies to invade too easily, when, in fact, it would have been histrocially impossible to do so.  In your situation, the ahistorical part of it is that you got a corps ashore in the first place.  Knowing the terrain and the infrastructure at the time, I argued that this just could not be done, either physically or logistically.  The terrain is too swamy, there were no bridges across the bayous, the bays too shallow to allow anything but small barges to enter, and the Gulf too stormy to allow for too many barges to move along the coast rapidly enough to transport 20 -30k of troops from wherever in the first place.

The best option was down in Matagorda Bay, or Corpus Christi, but here again, why?  Getting enough supplies there to sustain them would have been difficult, but it would have been almost impossible to supply them overland during operations.  The effort would have been better placed in the Shenandoah, or at Mobile maybe.  A corps in Texas would have been a self-sustaining pow camp.  Capturing Austin and all the other major cities in Texas (actually, Galveston was about it) would have meant almost nothing, militarily.

So, your failed invasion is probably about right.  I would wish that the mechanics of the game made this less possible, but they don't.

Florida.  Yes, the North took many places in Florida, but the numbers of troops were very, very small.  A division, a brigade, a regiment.  There was basically no military reason to do so.  Why?  Again, why send a unit to what is now Pensacola, or Miami, or even Jacksonville, when they woould have to march several hundered miles to do anything useful?  Florida, like Texas had little military value.  Hit Charleston instead.  And they did.  Other than Charleston and New Orleans, and the failure at Mobile, most invasions were just not all that decisive, anyway.

Read up on the attempts to take Sabine Pass (twice) and Galveston.

An interesting fact:  The last battle of the war was fought near Brownsville, Texas at Palmetto Ranch (I think I spelled that correctly).  Two reinforced regiments of Yanks were routed by a very small contingent of Texas militia.  Another failed invasion attempt, and the last.

(BTW, the "Don't mess.." quote is from a no-litter commercial here.  The Texas Longhorns have stolen it for their football program, but since we beat them the last two years they're going to put an "...., again" at the end of it.)

(in reply to GShock)
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RE: Sea Invasions - 6/24/2008 5:10:03 AM   
Mad Russian


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quote:

ORIGINAL: bjmorgan

quote:

My troops are melting away at Austin. I have a corps while there is a single brigade in the city under normal siege. It will be a race whether I starve to death before he surrenders
.

"Don't mess with Texas!"

Seriously, Eric and I had a discussion about this, ad nasaeum, a few moths ago. I submitted that the game allowes for large armies to invade too easily, when, in fact, it would have been histrocially impossible to do so. In your situation, the ahistorical part of it is that you got a corps ashore in the first place. Knowing the terrain and the infrastructure at the time, I argued that this just could not be done, either physically or logistically. The terrain is too swamy, there were no bridges across the bayous, the bays too shallow to allow anything but small barges to enter, and the Gulf too stormy to allow for too many barges to move along the coast rapidly enough to transport 20 -30k of troops from wherever in the first place.

The best option was down in Matagorda Bay, or Corpus Christi, but here again, why? Getting enough supplies there to sustain them would have been difficult, but it would have been almost impossible to supply them overland during operations. The effort would have been better placed in the Shenandoah, or at Mobile maybe. A corps in Texas would have been a self-sustaining pow camp. Capturing Austin and all the other major cities in Texas (actually, Galveston was about it) would have meant almost nothing, militarily.

So, your failed invasion is probably about right. I would wish that the mechanics of the game made this less possible, but they don't.

Florida. Yes, the North took many places in Florida, but the numbers of troops were very, very small. A division, a brigade, a regiment. There was basically no military reason to do so. Why? Again, why send a unit to what is now Pensacola, or Miami, or even Jacksonville, when they woould have to march several hundered miles to do anything useful? Florida, like Texas had little military value. Hit Charleston instead. And they did. Other than Charleston and New Orleans, and the failure at Mobile, most invasions were just not all that decisive, anyway.

Read up on the attempts to take Sabine Pass (twice) and Galveston.

An interesting fact: The last battle of the war was fought near Brownsville, Texas at Palmetto Ranch (I think I spelled that correctly). Two reinforced regiments of Yanks were routed by a very small contingent of Texas militia. Another failed invasion attempt, and the last.

(BTW, the "Don't mess.." quote is from a no-litter commercial here. The Texas Longhorns have stolen it for their football program, but since we beat them the last two years they're going to put an "...., again" at the end of it.)



I starved to death first. I left with no men. I now have a Corps on the coast. That I have no way of knowing if I can supply from the sea or not.

Your arguments of what they did do vs what they could have done is a little skewed.

I'm not really caring what they did do. COULD they have done more if they had in fact built the navy and infrastructure to support it?

Of course they could have. And I have as well.

Why? To spread the confederacy.

Why go to Florida? You have to march hundreds of miles to get anywhere. That same argument could be used for any southern state not adjacent to the original starting positions.

Why move downriver to New Orleans? You have to march hundreds of miles just to get there.

If Eric argued that it was historically possible for the Union to have built an effective force for amphibious operations in all these discussions you had he was right.

It doesn't matter what actually happened. What matters, is what could have happened, and what the forces were capable of if they had been put together in that fashion.

Lee should have lost the Civil War at Antietam but he didn't. So then should we leave that possibility out for 1862. That if the Army of Northern Virginia gets destroyed in 1862 the Confederacy gets a free supply of men equal to what was lost?

Of course not. Your assumption that because the terrain was "difficult" that it was impossible to traverse, is the same ideology used by the French in their 1940 defense. The Germans showed just how easily that can be countered with their Ardennes offensive answer.

We aren't talking a regiment or two here. I can actually see the poor results if there are a very few troops involved. The stock answer gets a bit harder to swallow when we are talking considerable numbers.

Send your militia against my 30,000 men and see if you route them.

As for, "Don't Mess With Texas", I'm not impressed. The saying should have been "Don't Mess With WEST Texas" in the first place!

Good Hunting.

MR


(in reply to morganbj)
Post #: 10
RE: Sea Invasions - 6/24/2008 9:47:39 PM   
ericbabe


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One can occupy cities and forts after a naval invasion, but one cannot capture a province unless it be contiguous with another province he already owns. 

I designed it this way to allow the USA to capture CSA cities via naval invasions and cripple their economy, as happened historically, without allowing the USA to mount a WWII-scale amphibious assault on Texas, which did not really happen historically.  If we allowed players to capture provinces via amphibious assault without the necessity of contiguity, then once they established a 1-province foothold, they would no longer be under the onerous restrictions of amphibious supply and could transport massive numbers of troops via sea.  Some players have argued that the USA might have logistically been able to pull off a WWII style invasion -- building another City Point in the bayou, or whatever.  I'm not an expert on logistics from this period, it may well have been possible, I don't know:  but it would seem like a controversial thing to allow, and I know it would strike many players as simply ahistorical, so we decided, in the end, not to allow it.

Sea supply is very stingy, so if you're playing with the supply rules, be sure to use high supply priority.


_____________________________



(in reply to Mad Russian)
Post #: 11
RE: Sea Invasions - 6/24/2008 10:38:22 PM   
Gil R.


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quote:

I'm not an expert on logistics from this period, it may well have been possible, I don't know: but it would seem like a controversial thing to allow, and I know it would strike many players as simply ahistorical, so we decided, in the end, not to allow it.


Just last night in "Gates of Richmond" (excellent book on the Peninsula Capmaign) I read more than enough to convince me that the logistics did not exist. Certainly not in a timescale measurable by weeks rather than months.

(in reply to ericbabe)
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RE: Sea Invasions - 6/24/2008 10:52:29 PM   
morganbj


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quote:

Your arguments of what they did do vs what they could have done is a little skewed.

I'm not really caring what they did do. COULD they have done more if they had in fact built the navy and infrastructure to support it?


I disagree.  I'm talking actual terrain here, not the neat little map areas you see in the game.  There just weren't any good deep water ports on the Texas coast, except Galveston, and it is an island separated from the mailand by more than a mile of swampy mud flats.  That meant that units and supplies would have to be ferried across the swampy terrain that was found between the island and the mainland.  There was no six-lane causeway bridge in 1862.  The railroad bridge was partially burned and could no longer support rail traffic.  It was not possible for large numbers of troops to cross, as it was too easy to cover it by fire with NO possibility for artillery support.  Galveston island was just too far from the mainland.  (it's actually a little closer now as they've filled in parts of the bay.)

Corpus Christi might have served the purpose, but it was too far away from anything to be useful.

So, I just don't think it was at all possible.  They might have gotten a couple of divisions ashore a little south of Galveston, say at Corpus, but there was nothing for them to do once they got there.  Austin was nothing but a few cabins.  Houston wasn't anything more.  Galveston WAS the state back then.  So, if the game were to portray Texas correctly, take Galveston and you're essentially done.

And remember, Austin is an abstraction of all those other small towns not on the coast.  When you "siege" Austin, you're really taking all those other little places.  To do that would require a tremendous amount of logistical and garrison effort.  I don't believe it could have been done to the extent that you're trying to do it in the game.

The North actually took Galveston for a while, but the only advantage to them to do so was the elimination of it as a port for blockade runners.  It didn't have a lot of traffic anyway, because it was so far from many of the areas from which the South got its materiel.  (A lot of Cotton left the port in those days.)  When they tried to move over to the mainland, a single cannon and a company of militia stopped them cold.  The water was too shallow for any support from the sea, and there weren't any other good avenues of approach. 

Other parts of Galveston bay were terrible navigationfor ships of any size.  If I remem ber correctly, the average depth of the bay was something like 8-10 feet in those days.  To this day you can go out several miles, jump in and touch bottom.   It took the Corps of Engineers decades to dredge a ship channel to the bayou where Houston is, so I think they calculate the average depth today at 12-15 feet or something like that.  (I'm sure you're going to check that, so you can call me on it.)

I firmly believe that a large force of a full corps, 25-30K in size, would not have been viable operating long term on the mainland.  So in that regards, I think the game has it just about right.

The best place to invade to the east was Sabine Pass.  The North tried that twice.  Both times was a fiasco as the ferries had to run a gauntlet of Southern guns as there was, again, only one approach.  A well placed shore battery did its work.  (The battery position is still there, by the way.)

To the west, it's Matagorda bay.  No deep water port there, either.

So, while you may think that the North could do anything, I don't think believe they could.  Could they have done more than  they did?  Of course.  My point is that unlike the game leads you to believe, there was no reason to.  And the "more" they could have done was not incrementally more difficult, it was exponentially more difficult.  I don't see this as they didn't so they couldn't have.  I see it as they couldn't have, so they didn't.  That's my point.

Feel free to disagee.  I do.

(in reply to ericbabe)
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RE: Sea Invasions - 6/29/2008 2:12:43 AM   
Mad Russian


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quote:

ORIGINAL: bjmorgan

quote:

Your arguments of what they did do vs what they could have done is a little skewed.

I'm not really caring what they did do. COULD they have done more if they had in fact built the navy and infrastructure to support it?


I disagree. I'm talking actual terrain here, not the neat little map areas you see in the game. There just weren't any good deep water ports on the Texas coast, except Galveston, and it is an island separated from the mailand by more than a mile of swampy mud flats. That meant that units and supplies would have to be ferried across the swampy terrain that was found between the island and the mainland. There was no six-lane causeway bridge in 1862. The railroad bridge was partially burned and could no longer support rail traffic. It was not possible for large numbers of troops to cross, as it was too easy to cover it by fire with NO possibility for artillery support. Galveston island was just too far from the mainland. (it's actually a little closer now as they've filled in parts of the bay.)

Corpus Christi might have served the purpose, but it was too far away from anything to be useful.

So, I just don't think it was at all possible. They might have gotten a couple of divisions ashore a little south of Galveston, say at Corpus, but there was nothing for them to do once they got there. Austin was nothing but a few cabins. Houston wasn't anything more. Galveston WAS the state back then. So, if the game were to portray Texas correctly, take Galveston and you're essentially done.

And remember, Austin is an abstraction of all those other small towns not on the coast. When you "siege" Austin, you're really taking all those other little places. To do that would require a tremendous amount of logistical and garrison effort. I don't believe it could have been done to the extent that you're trying to do it in the game.

The North actually took Galveston for a while, but the only advantage to them to do so was the elimination of it as a port for blockade runners. It didn't have a lot of traffic anyway, because it was so far from many of the areas from which the South got its materiel. (A lot of Cotton left the port in those days.) When they tried to move over to the mainland, a single cannon and a company of militia stopped them cold. The water was too shallow for any support from the sea, and there weren't any other good avenues of approach.

Other parts of Galveston bay were terrible navigationfor ships of any size. If I remem ber correctly, the average depth of the bay was something like 8-10 feet in those days. To this day you can go out several miles, jump in and touch bottom. It took the Corps of Engineers decades to dredge a ship channel to the bayou where Houston is, so I think they calculate the average depth today at 12-15 feet or something like that. (I'm sure you're going to check that, so you can call me on it.)

I firmly believe that a large force of a full corps, 25-30K in size, would not have been viable operating long term on the mainland. So in that regards, I think the game has it just about right.

The best place to invade to the east was Sabine Pass. The North tried that twice. Both times was a fiasco as the ferries had to run a gauntlet of Southern guns as there was, again, only one approach. A well placed shore battery did its work. (The battery position is still there, by the way.)

To the west, it's Matagorda bay. No deep water port there, either.

So, while you may think that the North could do anything, I don't think believe they could. Could they have done more than they did? Of course. My point is that unlike the game leads you to believe, there was no reason to. And the "more" they could have done was not incrementally more difficult, it was exponentially more difficult. I don't see this as they didn't so they couldn't have. I see it as they couldn't have, so they didn't. That's my point.

Feel free to disagee. I do.



First off I wasn't just talking about sea invasions in Texas. I was talking about them in the strategic sense of FoF as a whole. So, you want to say that Galveston was too shallow and too restricted for an amphibious operation of any size?

Fine, then let's talk about any other location you'd like. What about Mobile Bay, or New Orleans or even Charleston. What about them? Could they not have supported major naval support operations from them?

There seems to be a very large misconception that since it wasn't done it wasn't possible.

Here are some facts that FoF overlooks in the naval part of the game. The Confederate Navy started the war with 30 operational ships. The US Navy started the war with 90, of which 14 were operational.

The Confederates had two ports that were building ships for their navy. One in Norfolk Virginia the other in Pensacola, Florida. In FoF Pensacola isn't even a port. How did that happen?

You would think that there should be 3 Confederate fleets in being at the start of the war.

At present there is absolutely no reason for the Union to build anything but frigates.

They carry the same amount of troops as any other ships for amphibious operations. A single frigate can supply a million or more men from sea. They will never be expected to fight a non-existant and far too expensive to build CS Navy. There is no provision for naval units to attack and reduce forts or influence land combat in the area of the forts and cities that they are adjacent to.

In reality the Union built lots of warships. In FoF terms anything other than a frigate for the US Navy is a waste of time and money.

I've seen it put forth that the Union couldn't have launched anything other than the small scale raids they used. If they had wanted to they could have made it happen. I'm not saying it could have been done overnight.

The main reason it wasn't done is because the Union didn't ever think they were going to have to. They thought throughout the war that they were on the verge of winning it the very next week.

As the South continued to resist the land armies were made larger and larger. This was for two reasons. First, to protect the Union states from confederate incursions. Secondly, to fight and beat Confederate Armies. The Union always expected to win these battles and were pretty surprised when they didn't. NOBODY expected the war to last 4 years.

In that regard alone, you may be correct, that the Union couldn't have made a major logistical effort to support an amphibious assault on the scale we are talking here. It would have taken the kind of fore knowledge that we as wargamers do have. That this is going to be a long tough fight. Again, for the most part, nobody thought that through the entire on either side.

In raw technical capabilities you aren't correct in assuming that they couldn't have done it.

To start putting in a game abstractions to allow for the GAME to continue as long as the original fight to me is wrong. That makes the game more fantasy than history.

Having played wargames for more than 40 years now and produced more than my fair share of them from scratch as well, I fully understand that all wargames are compromises and abstractions.

This game is no exception.

What strikes me as strange is that FoF is touted as a Strategic Wargame of the American Civil war and yet alot of things in the strategic area have been abstracted.

It has a very detailed tactical game system included but even that has been highly abstracted.

Like most things in life and wargames especially when you try to do too many things well you end up doing neither to their fullest capacity.

The Strategic part of FoF needs more attention to things like where the combatants sit on day one. The country wasn't all at zero on the scales for everything. There were 76 Union ships that were in some state of readiness. Maybe I get some of them at greatly reduced costs. There were 30 Confederate Navy ships that are just simply missing. The Shenandoah Valley is nothing more than a name location near Richmond in the game while in actual fact the Confederates fought long and hard for it because it was the bread basket of the Confederacy as much as it ever was near to Richmond.
Harper's Ferry was fought over because of the large number of arms there. Possibly that site starts neutral and the first side to capture it gains so many weapons free.

It seems to me that the upper level limits of what FoF allows strategically are not what COULD have been done only what WAS done.


As far as the grand tactical system I won't linger too long on it since I've not used it. It seems to satisfy alot of gamers thirst for that type of combat. The one thing I do know is that the battles aren't on historical ground. For the tactical part of the game I would think that would be a must offer option. The maps of the areas are easily attainable. While I've heard the argument that the battles wouldn't necessarily be fought over the same ground there is a reason they were fought there to begin with and those same reasons would normally hold true over time.

Since these discussions tend towards the "What FoF Doesn't Do", it's time to talk about what I think FoF does better than any other wargame ever has. The research and development model is absolutely the best I've ever seen modeled. The QC for PBEM is very good as well and tacAI does a good job of handling that. Movement and the ability to concentrate in the containers is excellent. Overall this is a very good game with some brilliantly shining moments.

There seems to be a bit of a mentality that if anyone asks questions that you are attacking the game or Matrix or others. I personally put my comments on here in the same vein as if we were sitting in your lving room discussing the game.

No malice intended.

I often ask questions to see why a particular part of the game was designed a certain way. That helps me understand the mechanics of the game and what to expect from it better. I've still not gotten a handle on the supply situation and all that entails. I'm hoping for rewrite of the rules at some future date.

Thanks for the discussion. It is certainly interesting and game is proving to be excellent in many respects.

Good Hunting.

MR

(in reply to morganbj)
Post #: 14
RE: Sea Invasions - 7/1/2008 4:43:35 AM   
Gil R.


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quote:

Here are some facts that FoF overlooks in the naval part of the game. The Confederate Navy started the war with 30 operational ships. The US Navy started the war with 90, of which 14 were operational.

The Confederates had two ports that were building ships for their navy. One in Norfolk Virginia the other in Pensacola, Florida. In FoF Pensacola isn't even a port. How did that happen?

You would think that there should be 3 Confederate fleets in being at the start of the war.


Very interesting post. In response to this part, I'd point out that this was discussed soon after the game was released, so if you dig back far enough you'll find a thread or two with various statements on this topic.

Regarding Pensacola, I don't know why it's not a port, but have added this to the list of changes to consider for the future. Thanks for pointing it out.

(in reply to Mad Russian)
Post #: 15
RE: Sea Invasions - 7/1/2008 4:48:22 AM   
Gil R.


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quote:


As far as the grand tactical system I won't linger too long on it since I've not used it. It seems to satisfy alot of gamers thirst for that type of combat. The one thing I do know is that the battles aren't on historical ground. For the tactical part of the game I would think that would be a must offer option. The maps of the areas are easily attainable. While I've heard the argument that the battles wouldn't necessarily be fought over the same ground there is a reason they were fought there to begin with and those same reasons would normally hold true over time.


We've never received an outright complaint that the battlefields are randomized, nor have I seen an "I didn't buy FOF because it doesn't use historical battlefields" comment on a non-Matrix forum, so I'm not convinced that this is a necessity. But the key point is that adding historical battlefields would be an ENORMOUS amount of work: sure, maps are easily found, but converting them to maps with hundreds of terrain hexes isn't easy.

(in reply to Gil R.)
Post #: 16
RE: Sea Invasions - 7/1/2008 4:55:04 AM   
Gil R.


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quote:


There seems to be a bit of a mentality that if anyone asks questions that you are attacking the game or Matrix or others. I personally put my comments on here in the same vein as if we were sitting in your lving room discussing the game.

No malice intended.

I often ask questions to see why a particular part of the game was designed a certain way. That helps me understand the mechanics of the game and what to expect from it better. I've still not gotten a handle on the supply situation and all that entails. I'm hoping for rewrite of the rules at some future date.


Questions are certainly welcome, and no offense is taken by ones that challenge design decisions. Heck, some of those questions might lead to changes in a future patch or an eventual FOF2.

(in reply to Gil R.)
Post #: 17
RE: Sea Invasions - 7/1/2008 4:32:26 PM   
Randomizer


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Joined: 6/28/2008
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Although very new to FoF, have been wargaming since 1969 and so have some small store of experience and could not resist commenting on this in a historical context.  It appears to me that the mechanism used in the game reflects contemporary technology and doctrine.  Amphibious operations of the type proposed by MadRussian just did not happen before WW2 so superimposing 20th Century strategic options onto a 19th century environment is just plain gamey in my opinion.

A survey of amphibious operations between Mexico 1847 and Norway 1940 shows that stand-alone invasions were failures.  To be sure, armies were transported long distances where they were projected ashore successfully but these were generally small-scale colonial operations where the technology gulf between attacker and defender was huge.  Opposed landings were rare and success in amphibious campaigns relied almost entirely on the invasion force landing close to (within one 'operational bound', defined as significant friendly forces within easy supporting distance) of land based main force, in game terms, the adjacent province.

By way of examples:

Mexico 1847 – The US Army under Winfield Scott takes Veracruz from the sea after only feeble resistance.  Attrition begins to take a toll and with the Yellow Fever season approaching Scott is left with little choice but to advance into the interior or watch his army disintegrate.  Despite complete control of the sea Scott cannot supply his forces overland and is forced to cut himself off from his base and march almost unopposed to Mexico City.  He takes it and then digs in to await a diplomatic end to the war.  The countryside is never pacified.  I believe that the FoF engine models this reality.

Crimea 1854 – 56 - The landings at Evaptoria were almost unopposed but the siege of Sevastopol took a full year and the Anglo-French forces never conquered the entire region before hostilities ended.  George McClelland was an observer there it would be surprising if the failure of the operation to be decisive escaped his notice.  In FoF terms, this seems to be similar to the effects seen by MadRussian.

Cuba 1898 – The largely volunteer US Army lands unopposed but the Spaniards remain close to their fortifications.  The countryside is largely in the hands of friendly insurgents but despite total sea control, the invaders suffer horrendous attrition from sickness and supply shortages of all types.  Assault of the strategically important port of Santiago is from the landward side only.

Manchuria 1904 - 05 – The Japanese Army is landed on the Korean peninsula first at Inchon and then at Angtung.  Inchon is a friendly port where the ‘invasion’ is essentially administrative and the landing at Angtung is virtually unopposed and directly supported by the land forces advancing from Inchon, in game terms, from a friendly controlled province.  Later amphibious landings at Takushan and Dalny are essentially one operational bound ahead of or concurrent with the arrival of forces traveling by land down the Laotishan peninsula.  The proposal to make the initial landings at Yin Kou were rejected as to risky, in game terms, a stand-alone invasion similar to MadRussian’s Galveston plan.

In 1912 Lord Fisher told the Haldine Army Reform committee that “the (British) Army was a projectile to be fired by the Navy.”  That from the senior officer of the world’s largest fleet with a tradition of successfully conducting minor amphibious operations in a variety of colonial wars.  This would come back to haunt him at Gallipoli in 1915, a strategic failure on a grand scale.

By the time we get to Norway in 1940, technology had changed everything and this was just the first of a number of strategically decisive amphibious invasions. Indeed Norway was unique in that for the very first time, a major invasion was planned, launched, executed and concluded in the teeth of a superior naval power and without establishing even temporary sea control. Logistics, communications and technology now allowed amphibious warfare doctrine as we know it to be a successful strategic option.

As can be seen, the idea that a major stand-alone amphibious operation with 1860’s doctrine and logistics is unreasonable.  Projecting a D-Day mindset into the 19th Century is not historically valid in my opinion.  One could easily create a civil war game with panzer like mobility and an invasion engine to rival War in  the Pacific and while it might be fun to play it would be totally out of step with the era.  So far I think that the FoF design team managed to get the amphibious side, at least as far as blue water operations are concerned, largely correct.

As far as the presence or absence of the Confederate Navy goes, when Steven Mallory became SecNav in February 1861 he had 10-‘warships’ mounting a total of 15-guns, the largest being a 42-pounder pivot gun on the ex revenue cutter William Atkin.  Pres. Davis authorized Letters of Marque for privateers starting in May 1861 and the first ship sailed in June.  However, privateers were only useful as commerce raiders and whether under the Confederacy or the Kaiser, cruiser warfare could be a costly irritant but could never be decisive.  That the vast majority of the 350 odd naval officers that ‘went South’ required shore appointments because the Navy had no ships makes the approach taken by FoF entirely reasonable.

The observation that Pensacola should be a port is well taken though.

Just my $0.02, apologies for the long post.

< Message edited by Randomizer -- 7/1/2008 5:17:02 PM >

(in reply to Gil R.)
Post #: 18
RE: Sea Invasions - 7/1/2008 6:50:10 PM   
morganbj


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From: Mosquito Bite, Texas
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Finally, someone who sees my point, but is able to express it better.


(in reply to Randomizer)
Post #: 19
RE: Sea Invasions - 7/1/2008 7:41:36 PM   
Mad Russian


Posts: 13256
Joined: 3/16/2008
From: Texas
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quote:

ORIGINAL: Randomizer

A survey of amphibious operations between Mexico 1847 and Norway 1940 shows that stand-alone invasions were failures.  To be sure, armies were transported long distances where they were projected ashore successfully but these were generally small-scale colonial operations where the technology gulf between attacker and defender was huge.  Opposed landings were rare and success in amphibious campaigns relied almost entirely on the invasion force landing close to (within one 'operational bound', defined as significant friendly forces within easy supporting distance) of land based main force, in game terms, the adjacent province.

By way of examples:

Mexico 1847 – The US Army under Winfield Scott takes Veracruz from the sea after only feeble resistance.  Attrition begins to take a toll and with the Yellow Fever season approaching Scott is left with little choice but to advance into the interior or watch his army disintegrate.  Despite complete control of the sea Scott cannot supply his forces overland and is forced to cut himself off from his base and march almost unopposed to Mexico City.  He takes it and then digs in to await a diplomatic end to the war.  The countryside is never pacified.  I believe that the FoF engine models this reality.

Crimea 1854 – 56 - The landings at Evaptoria were almost unopposed but the siege of Sevastopol took a full year and the Anglo-French forces never conquered the entire region before hostilities ended.  George McClelland was an observer there it would be surprising if the failure of the operation to be decisive escaped his notice.  In FoF terms, this seems to be similar to the effects seen by MadRussian.

Cuba 1898 – The largely volunteer US Army lands unopposed but the Spaniards remain close to their fortifications.  The countryside is largely in the hands of friendly insurgents but despite total sea control, the invaders suffer horrendous attrition from sickness and supply shortages of all types.  Assault of the strategically important port of Santiago is from the landward side only.

Manchuria 1904 - 05 – The Japanese Army is landed on the Korean peninsula first at Inchon and then at Angtung.  Inchon is a friendly port where the ‘invasion’ is essentially administrative and the landing at Angtung is virtually unopposed and directly supported by the land forces advancing from Inchon, in game terms, from a friendly controlled province.  Later amphibious landings at Takushan and Dalny are essentially one operational bound ahead of or concurrent with the arrival of forces traveling by land down the Laotishan peninsula.  The proposal to make the initial landings at Yin Kou were rejected as to risky, in game terms, a stand-alone invasion similar to MadRussian’s Galveston plan.

In 1912 Lord Fisher told the Haldine Army Reform committee that “the (British) Army was a projectile to be fired by the Navy.”  That from the senior officer of the world’s largest fleet with a tradition of successfully conducting minor amphibious operations in a variety of colonial wars.  This would come back to haunt him at Gallipoli in 1915, a strategic failure on a grand scale.

By the time we get to Norway in 1940, technology had changed everything and this was just the first of a number of strategically decisive amphibious invasions. Indeed Norway was unique in that for the very first time, a major invasion was planned, launched, executed and concluded in the teeth of a superior naval power and without establishing even temporary sea control. Logistics, communications and technology now allowed amphibious warfare doctrine as we know it to be a successful strategic option.

As can be seen, the idea that a major stand-alone amphibious operation with 1860’s doctrine and logistics is unreasonable.  Projecting a D-Day mindset into the 19th Century is not historically valid in my opinion. 

Just my $0.02, apologies for the long post.


A much better answer than simply we don't think it could have been done.

I'm still not satisfied with the supply of troops from the sea though. When using the examples stated here, how is it possible in FoF for a single ship to supply 1 or 10,000 brigades with the same level of supply? Shouldn't there have to be a corresponding number of ships at sea to supply larger forces inland? Or not at all as the case may be?

You can land troops from the sea but get no supply from them?

The uneven way the supply/transport by sea is done is what caused this discusssion in the first place. If a single ship can supply a dozen armies the same as it can supply a single brigade then why not full supply. So, now that Randomizer has supplied examples of amphibious operations from the time we can see there should be little reason to assume that even those on the coast could be supplied. Although there was a healthy dose of disease in the context of those armies losing effectiveness, which FoF covers in a different venue.

Good Hunting.

MR

(in reply to Randomizer)
Post #: 20
RE: Sea Invasions - 7/1/2008 9:24:43 PM   
morganbj


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I guess you missed all the parts about topography and avenues of approach.  Fair enough.

(in reply to Mad Russian)
Post #: 21
RE: Sea Invasions - 7/1/2008 10:08:07 PM   
Mad Russian


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From: Texas
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quote:

ORIGINAL: Randomizer

As far as the presence or absence of the Confederate Navy goes, when Steven Mallory became SecNav in February 1861 he had 10-‘warships’ mounting a total of 15-guns, the largest being a 42-pounder pivot gun on the ex revenue cutter William Atkin.  Pres. Davis authorized Letters of Marque for privateers starting in May 1861 and the first ship sailed in June.  However, privateers were only useful as commerce raiders and whether under the Confederacy or the Kaiser, cruiser warfare could be a costly irritant but could never be decisive.  That the vast majority of the 350 odd naval officers that ‘went South’ required shore appointments because the Navy had no ships makes the approach taken by FoF entirely reasonable.

The observation that Pensacola should be a port is well taken though.

Just my $0.02, apologies for the long post.


Don't stop there. List the capabilities of the US Navy at the start of the war.

Even if the CSN only had 10 ships, we won't discuss what constitutes a ship just yet, where are they? Even 10 ships is a threat. To push one side of the argument, that I don't like, why did the US Navy build ships while all they had to do was build frigates if FoF has it right?

Why no land effects on forts from the sea? Why no ability to support a siege on forts and towns? Targets that don't move and are well within range of naval fire

Good Hunting.

MR

(in reply to Randomizer)
Post #: 22
RE: Sea Invasions - 7/2/2008 1:15:47 AM   
ColinWright

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Mad Russian

Why go to Florida? You have to march hundreds of miles to get anywhere. That same argument could be used for any southern state not adjacent to the original starting positions.

Why move downriver to New Orleans? You have to march hundreds of miles just to get there.

If Eric argued that it was historically possible for the Union to have built an effective force for amphibious operations in all these discussions you had he was right.

It doesn't matter what actually happened. What matters, is what could have happened, and what the forces were capable of if they had been put together in that fashion.

Lee should have lost the Civil War at Antietam but he didn't. So then should we leave that possibility out for 1862. That if the Army of Northern Virginia gets destroyed in 1862 the Confederacy gets a free supply of men equal to what was lost?

Of course not. Your assumption that because the terrain was "difficult" that it was impossible to traverse, is the same ideology used by the French in their 1940 defense. The Germans showed just how easily that can be countered with their Ardennes offensive answer.

We aren't talking a regiment or two here. I can actually see the poor results if there are a very few troops involved. The stock answer gets a bit harder to swallow when we are talking considerable numbers.

Send your militia against my 30,000 men and see if you route them.

As for, "Don't Mess With Texas", I'm not impressed. The saying should have been "Don't Mess With WEST Texas" in the first place!

Good Hunting.

MR




What you're overlooking is that many of these regions were howling wildernesses, and that even the limited forces sent into them often suffered very badly in consequence. See various forces in Arkansas and Sibley's expedition to New Mexico.

France in 1940 is irrelevant. You're not going to run out of water in the Ardennes, and the nearest source of flour isn't four hundred miles away by mule -- not that there were all that many mules in Central Texas in 1863 in the first place. Nor did either the Confederacy or the Union sport the kind of centralized bureaucracies and command economies that would have made overcoming these obstacles especially practical.

I'm not defending the game. Its reach was bigger than its grasp, and it fails badly on a number of points. However, making it practical for an army of twenty thousand men to march and fight across such country in 1863 wouldn't be an improvement.


_____________________________

I am not Charlie Hebdo

(in reply to Mad Russian)
Post #: 23
RE: Sea Invasions - 7/2/2008 1:25:22 AM   
ColinWright

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Gil R.

quote:


As far as the grand tactical system I won't linger too long on it since I've not used it. It seems to satisfy alot of gamers thirst for that type of combat. The one thing I do know is that the battles aren't on historical ground. For the tactical part of the game I would think that would be a must offer option. The maps of the areas are easily attainable. While I've heard the argument that the battles wouldn't necessarily be fought over the same ground there is a reason they were fought there to begin with and those same reasons would normally hold true over time.


We've never received an outright complaint that the battlefields are randomized, nor have I seen an "I didn't buy FOF because it doesn't use historical battlefields" comment on a non-Matrix forum, so I'm not convinced that this is a necessity.


I for one would definitely like historical battlefields -- and as MR points out, battles did happen at these points for a reason. The Wilderness/Fredericksburg saw three of the largest battles of the Civil War. Manassas, two. I think there were four Winchesters.

It'd be GREAT if one had an option to use the historical field when a battle occurred in a province for which a map or maps had been done. Moreover, these could be kind of a plug-in, so perhaps you could delegate some of the work.


_____________________________

I am not Charlie Hebdo

(in reply to Gil R.)
Post #: 24
RE: Sea Invasions - 7/2/2008 1:31:56 AM   
ColinWright

 

Posts: 2604
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quote:

ORIGINAL: Mad Russian



You can land troops from the sea but get no supply from them?


/quote]

Note that the Japanese in World War Two proved to be past masters at doing just this. Not exactly a relevant example, but the phenomenon is certainly not as unrealistic as your question implies.


_____________________________

I am not Charlie Hebdo

(in reply to Mad Russian)
Post #: 25
RE: Sea Invasions - 7/2/2008 1:37:20 AM   
ColinWright

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Mad Russian


quote:

ORIGINAL: Randomizer

As far as the presence or absence of the Confederate Navy goes, when Steven Mallory became SecNav in February 1861 he had 10-‘warships’ mounting a total of 15-guns, the largest being a 42-pounder pivot gun on the ex revenue cutter William Atkin. Pres. Davis authorized Letters of Marque for privateers starting in May 1861 and the first ship sailed in June. However, privateers were only useful as commerce raiders and whether under the Confederacy or the Kaiser, cruiser warfare could be a costly irritant but could never be decisive. That the vast majority of the 350 odd naval officers that ‘went South’ required shore appointments because the Navy had no ships makes the approach taken by FoF entirely reasonable.

The observation that Pensacola should be a port is well taken though.

Just my $0.02, apologies for the long post.


Don't stop there. List the capabilities of the US Navy at the start of the war.

Even if the CSN only had 10 ships, we won't discuss what constitutes a ship just yet, where are they? Even 10 ships is a threat. To push one side of the argument, that I don't like, why did the US Navy build ships while all they had to do was build frigates if FoF has it right?

Why no land effects on forts from the sea? Why no ability to support a siege on forts and towns? Targets that don't move and are well within range of naval fire

Good Hunting.

MR



For starters, you'd really want to change the mechanics of the naval game. The US navy did build ironclads and such -- but to face forts and fight southern ironclads. What you appear to want are Southern ships that can seriously challenge the Union Navy on the high seas -- of which there weren't any.

I'd say we'd want ironclads along the lines of the Merrimac, Arkansas, and others: formidable but bay- and river-bound monsters that aren't about to go anywhere.


_____________________________

I am not Charlie Hebdo

(in reply to Mad Russian)
Post #: 26
RE: Sea Invasions - 7/2/2008 3:56:15 AM   
Mad Russian


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Joined: 3/16/2008
From: Texas
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quote:

ORIGINAL: bjmorgan

I guess you missed all the parts about topography and avenues of approach. Fair enough.



For what?

We still only talking Galveston or other issues?

Good Hunting.

MR

(in reply to morganbj)
Post #: 27
RE: Sea Invasions - 7/2/2008 4:03:09 AM   
Mad Russian


Posts: 13256
Joined: 3/16/2008
From: Texas
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quote:

ORIGINAL: ColinWright


quote:

ORIGINAL: Mad Russian


quote:

ORIGINAL: Randomizer

As far as the presence or absence of the Confederate Navy goes, when Steven Mallory became SecNav in February 1861 he had 10-‘warships’ mounting a total of 15-guns, the largest being a 42-pounder pivot gun on the ex revenue cutter William Atkin. Pres. Davis authorized Letters of Marque for privateers starting in May 1861 and the first ship sailed in June. However, privateers were only useful as commerce raiders and whether under the Confederacy or the Kaiser, cruiser warfare could be a costly irritant but could never be decisive. That the vast majority of the 350 odd naval officers that ‘went South’ required shore appointments because the Navy had no ships makes the approach taken by FoF entirely reasonable.

The observation that Pensacola should be a port is well taken though.

Just my $0.02, apologies for the long post.


Don't stop there. List the capabilities of the US Navy at the start of the war.

Even if the CSN only had 10 ships, we won't discuss what constitutes a ship just yet, where are they? Even 10 ships is a threat. To push one side of the argument, that I don't like, why did the US Navy build ships while all they had to do was build frigates if FoF has it right?

Why no land effects on forts from the sea? Why no ability to support a siege on forts and towns? Targets that don't move and are well within range of naval fire

Good Hunting.

MR



For starters, you'd really want to change the mechanics of the naval game. The US navy did build ironclads and such -- but to face forts and fight southern ironclads. What you appear to want are Southern ships that can seriously challenge the Union Navy on the high seas -- of which there weren't any.

I'd say we'd want ironclads along the lines of the Merrimac, Arkansas, and others: formidable but bay- and river-bound monsters that aren't about to go anywhere.




What I'd really like to see is the naval warfare not near so abstracted. The Union navy should have reason to build on a historical level. At present there is no need to do so and no advantage in building anything other than frigates.

The supply from sea isn't realistic at all. It takes a ship for every 3 brigades to move by sea but a single frigate can supply the entire Union Army in the coastal zone?

I don't care how toothless the CS Navy was on opening day, the US Navy was in, as bad, or worse shape. The Union starts the game with ships and the CSA doesn't. That's just out of alignment.

Good Hunting.

MR

(in reply to ColinWright)
Post #: 28
RE: Sea Invasions - 7/5/2008 4:43:39 AM   
Randomizer


Posts: 1464
Joined: 6/28/2008
Status: online
Went South to visit Seattle for a couple of days and so missed some of the fun!
Mad Russian wrote:
quote:

What I'd really like to see is the naval warfare not near so abstracted. The Union navy should have reason to build on a historical level. At present there is no need to do so and no advantage in building anything other than frigates.


I can agree with the former but not the latter. However, building a parallel game where the USN is required build blue-water ships to hunt Confederate raiders would be a game unto itself. Realistically, unless one was prepared to incorporate political events like boarding foriegn-flagged merchants (the Slidell incident for example) or the Laird Rams or the financial cost of decimating the US merchant marine and the subsequent carriage of US goods on foriegn bottoms it might be difficult to do well. I submit that while such a sub-system might add colour and create real problems for the Federal Navy, there was probably no prospects of Southern blue-water naval operations having a significant effect on the course of the War. Therefore omitting them makes sense from a game standpoint.

As for the frigate issue, in the 1860's, a 'frigate' was considered square rigged with a single gun deck. It seems that in FoF, the term is used for all single gun-decked ships and since most Federal ocean-going new construction were single gun-decked but barque or brig rigged, the term 'Frigate' is general enough to be fairly accurate. Examples might be USS Kearsarge, USS Hartford and USS Housatonic. The South built few if any at home although a handful were converted from merchants in Southern ports most were built or converted overseas. Raiders like CSS Alabama and CSS Sumter often never even sighted Confederate soil throughout their service lives so their omission in game terms is again reasonable.

Mad Russian wrote:
quote:

I don't care how toothless the CS Navy was on opening day, the US Navy was in, as bad, or worse shape. The Union starts the game with ships and the CSA doesn't. That's just out of alignment.


Cannot agree. Privateers with Letters of Marque constituted the majority of blue-water Confederate warships. No privateer would tangle with a Federal warship unless something went terribly wrong and (with a handfull of minor exceptions) all resulted in the defeat and destruction or capture of the raider. Providing blue-water warships to the Confederacy gratus would create an entirely non-historical naval situation. None of the regular Confederate cruisers operated in the home waters covered by the game.

Having written this please note that it appears that the Confederates a can build gunboats and ironclads to effectively contest the rivers systems but I have not yet gotten to the point in my FoF experiance to see first hand how this works.

Best Regards


< Message edited by Randomizer -- 7/5/2008 4:45:35 AM >

(in reply to Mad Russian)
Post #: 29
RE: Sea Invasions - 7/6/2008 6:32:57 AM   
morganbj


Posts: 3634
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From: Mosquito Bite, Texas
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Hey, Mad Russian,

I agree with you more than you think.  There is a great deal of abstraction in the game that makes it difficult to understand what was possible and what was not.  All I'm saying is that Texas was not a major target for two reasons:  It was not that important, and it was really, really diffcult for a large (more than division or brigade) body of troops to invade and successfully take ground for any useful reason.  The game makes Texas much more important as a target than it actualy was, and much too easy to invade than it actually was at the time.  Essentially, the terrain here sucks!  That's really my point.  (I'm sure the local Chamber of Commerce is looking for my address, as we speak.)

When I was in the C&GSC (Command and General Staff College, US Army, Ft. Leavenworth, Kansas), we spent days, many days, walking the terrain of the Texas/Louisiana/Florida coast.  While we were looking at modern scenarios (well, 1980's, anyway), it was readily apparent that what we saw was "what's-the-point?"  Even today, except for Houston, that has become a MAJOR petrochemical center for the US, there's not much operational or strategic value to an invasion on the Gulf Coast, except for the Mississippi River.  That was even more so the case in 1862-65.  Once an enemy takes Houston even today, It's almost 500 miles to anywhere else of any import.  (Boy, the Houston crowd will hate that comment.)

My point was that the game makes such an invasion far too easy, (I think it was virtually impossibe during the 1860's), and way too useful to the North.  I believe that's just not the case, in reality.  It stinks as a strategic avenue of approach (and really stunk in 1863), and there's nothing here, anyway.  In the 1860's, there was even less.  So, when you say that your siege of Austin was too difficult, my response was: "well, that's about right."

Now, to your point about Mobile, et al.  I think that the possibilities there are not as good in the game as they actually were in reality.  There ARE good ways to invade the area, and the game makes this far too difficult, I think.  All of this supports my position that the game is not a true simulation, but a historically-based game that demonstrates issues pretty well, but not necessarily realistic solutions to those issues.

I also don't think the North's navy was as disadvantaged as you seem to believe, but the South essentially had no navy at all all.  Ever.  One thing's for certain:  The Union navy really choked the life out of the South, at least in terms of making it possible for the South to "win."  The North's blockade was not decisive, maybe, but it made sure that the South had a very, very difficult time.  The importance of the North's Navy may have been over-stated historicallly, but since the South essentially had none, it is really not that big of a misconception, I guess.

Now, don't get me wrong.  I love FOF.  It's really good.  Very good, indeed.  It's just not what I would call the definitive "simulation" of the war.  A heck of a lot of fun, yes.  The best out there, perhaps.  (I'm still learning GGWBS.)  But it's not perfect.  I think that's really your point, too.  Am I wrong?


< Message edited by bjmorgan -- 7/6/2008 6:35:14 AM >

(in reply to Randomizer)
Post #: 30
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