From: Mosquito Bite, Texas
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 >