Okay, just started playing yesterday, but I hoped I could pick people's brains regarding the best tactics for the Union Blockade & dealing with CS Raiders?
How many cruisers are needed to shut down a port (or at least guarantee a pretty high percentage)?
And how the heck do you chase down raiders? I'm getting creamed....
The number of cruisers (or gunboats, or ironclads) needed to shut down a port depend on the leader's command rating, and is also higher for the ports in those areas where there are two ports (I think.) The best way to distribute the blockade is as follows:
During the Confederate supply phase, a pop-up window shows the blockade percentages. Move your mouse over it so that it doesn't go away.
This can give you an idea of which ports need more raiders, and which might have too many.
As to chasing down raiders -- take a good Naval leader (Naval 3 or 4), give him three or so cruisers, and send him to AO2 where the raiders lurk. If you put a strong force there early, you have a good chance of knocking off raiders as they appear, and it makes it difficult for the Confederacy to develop a large pool. If they start building more up, add another cruiser or two.
If you are using CSCs, once you get two naval leaders with command ratings of 7 or higher, you can devote one of them to hunting down cruisers, and attach a couple of lesser leaders to him. (I like to keep one high-command rating leader for leading my ironclads for fort-busting.)