Yet Another Amphibious Landings Thread

Strategic Command: American Civil War gives you the opportunity to battle for the future of the United States in this grand strategy game. Command the Confederacy in a desperate struggle for independence, or lead the Union armies in a march on Richmond.

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lloydster4
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Yet Another Amphibious Landings Thread

Post by lloydster4 »

Ideally, defending coastal cities as a CSA player should be possible, but not practical.

How to accomplish this, and whether it is a worthwhile use of the developer's time, I am less certain.

As it stands now, I don't defend the CSA coast because I honestly don't know how. I could have an entire corps standing next to Norfolk and the Union can still grab the hex before I have a chance to respond.

I don't propose that coastal defense should be cheap! There should be trade-offs. But if I want to sacrifice Tennessee for my ports, then that should be my choice. Even if it costs me the war.
PvtBenjamin
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Re: Yet Another Amphibious Landings Thread

Post by PvtBenjamin »

IMO the amphibious capability of the North is far to strong to start the game, the Northern player should have to research amphibious not start with it. The cost should also be double, way to cheap.
lloydster4
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Re: Yet Another Amphibious Landings Thread

Post by lloydster4 »

I'm not sure you'd want to weaken the Union's capabilities. Most of the time, the Union should be able to capture 1 or 2 major port cities in 1862. That should be the most likely result. Increasing the cost might be a good idea, but that would only serve to weaken the Union rather than opening new choices for ahistorical strategies.
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Patrat
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Re: Yet Another Amphibious Landings Thread

Post by Patrat »

How about having the Confederates strengthened so that they won't collapse just because the Union takes several ports early in the game? They lost a bunch of the ports early on in real life and it wasn't a fatal blow. So losing several ports shouldn't be a fatal blow in the game either.

My comment is in regards to MP.

This really isn't an issue in SP.
Last edited by Patrat on Thu Jul 21, 2022 2:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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OldCrowBalthazor
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Re: Yet Another Amphibious Landings Thread

Post by OldCrowBalthazor »

Speaking here about MP.

It's possible to defend the CSA's forts and ports if the CSA chooses to do so early in the War.

Is it easy?
No.

Can it be done?
Yes.

There will be short comings on other fronts but the money comes through the Ports. Money is everything of course.
Stockpile your Cotton, and the price is high. If you choose to not sell your cotton, then you need to cover your ports.

In the newest version it should be even easier then the release version to accomplish this ' Cover the Ports' strategy if you so choose.
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LoneRunner
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Re: Yet Another Amphibious Landings Thread

Post by LoneRunner »

Patrat wrote: Thu Jul 21, 2022 3:25 am How about having the Confederates strengthened so that they won't collapse just because the Union takes several ports early in the game? They lost a bunch of the ports early on in real life and it wasn't a fatal blow. So losing several ports shouldn't be a fatal blow in the game either.

My comment is in regards to MP.

This really isn't an issue in SP.
You are right, in real life the South lost several ports early in the war. However, in the real war
blockade runners shifted from the captured port to other ports and as a result loss of several ports was not a fatal blow. In ACW when a port is lost, the entire revenue for that port is lost. That's not historical and hurts the South immensely.
lloydster4
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Re: Yet Another Amphibious Landings Thread

Post by lloydster4 »

OldCrowBalthazor wrote: Thu Jul 21, 2022 9:57 am In the newest version it should be even easier then the release version to accomplish this ' Cover the Ports' strategy if you so choose.
Could you elaborate on this a bit? The only successful tactic seems to be placing a land unit on every coastal hex adjacent to the city's fort.

I'm wondering if there's some ZoC tricks that would allow you to defend with less units? If CSA has ZoC on an empty city hex, can a Union marine disembark into an adjacent hex and still have enough action points to walk into the city? This is assuming there is not a sea hex directly adjacent to the city hex.
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Beriand
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Re: Yet Another Amphibious Landings Thread

Post by Beriand »

I guess taking back ports is also an option. Small FS hit and some European mobilisation hit will happen when it is taken, but if you come back at it with HQ and 3 divisions or better with 1 corps support, you should take it back rather easily. And then can even place a unit in it, instead of destroyed fort. Is railing strong units for a couple of turns 'cheaper' than covering approaches with 3-4 brigades all the time? Don't know, but if you really want your ports, maybe.
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Re: Yet Another Amphibious Landings Thread

Post by PvtBenjamin »

I'm far from an expert on Civil War amphibious attacks but Wiki shows 6 amphibious attacks, several against very weak positions (outer banks). Northern amphibious ability in the game is way to strong vs history with the ability to launch countless large attacks against key FS/ Supply cities & ports. Most importantly to the "game" is players will use the amphibious capability far beyond what was actually realistic which will produce ahistorical results, many players will find this unacceptable and stop playing MP.

Honestly the European game , because of a vocal group of Axis players, was very slow to correct "gamey" events like Sealion, Algeria & supply events. IMO many people left the MP game finding these outcomes to be far beyond anything that was possible in the actual war.


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_a ... operations
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BiteNibbleChomp
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Re: Yet Another Amphibious Landings Thread

Post by BiteNibbleChomp »

Amphibs again, seems to be a popular topic :D

I'll be honest, I'm quite surprised that this topic has proved as contentious as it has. During all of my test games (and there were a lot of those!), I never had trouble covering the CS ports with the "intended" (if there can be such a thing) amount of forces needed to hold off potential Union invasions and still establish lines of sufficient strength to hold a historical position throughout 1861. That's a bit different from being able to have a double-unit-thick line of brigades in Virginia and being able to cover the ports, which I suspect is what people are asking me to make possible.
But that seems to me to be overstating the Confederacy's actual capabilities. Historically, a lot of the ports weren't guarded with anything more than token garrisons and fortifications built before the war (that is, fort units), and the reason for this is that there simply weren't any more men available. Things aren't quite so dire in the game, but that feeling of really not having enough forces to guard the coast and do everything else, but having to do so anyway, is a big part of the historical Confederate experience, and should be replicated in the game as well.
What I will say is, brigades suck on the attack, so you don't need a large force to defend against them. A basic line is sufficient to hold the east until Divisions show up (by which point you should be building your own). Everything surplus to that is best used to garrison something important. If anyone is watching OCB's ongoing game against the Colonel on Youtube, his early moves are pretty close to what I would usually go for.

On the Union's side of things, reducing their amphibious capabilities any further isn't really an option because this was the Union's historical strategy... by my count the Union launched about fourteen amphibious campaigns across 1861 and the first half of 1862. A few of these are abstracted out by the engine (Fort Hatteras), or can be done with things like gunboats instead (Island 10, Fort Pulaski), but they do need the ability to do quite a lot of landings fairly quickly. Getting the balance associated with the strategy right is another matter entirely, and something I'm continuing to work on.

And yes, that last comment extends to marines and the forts too ;)

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battlevonwar
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Re: Yet Another Amphibious Landings Thread

Post by battlevonwar »

(Betatesters aren't up with the META, New Orleans closes nearly instantly as a gunboat goes in it's mouth it shuts down immediately, Norfolk before it builds an Ironclad, Jacksonville port gets hammered below strength 5 and Savannah the minute you have a few gunboats blockaded instantly) It doesn't even take any Union Resources to accomplish these goals aside Norfolk... you're looking at less than a 200-300 MPPs to accomplish the above goals and the South yes she has to pay to defend or retake Norfolk/New Orleans a lot more than that! Just to transfer units there to retake them) The Above situation can be arranged with an expert Union Player in sequence. . . By the time you have 2 Marines + gunboats + Frigates to hammer New Orleans attempt to free up it's Mouth and close down Jacksonville. . . I assume by February of 1862 3 Ports are cheaply and easily closed for trade no matter what's in them. . . Don't need the hexagons. Norfolk when the 2 marines sail down, take it, leave, go further down by Summer Charleston and then Wilmington if you really want... Charleston can be defended 1 exception!)

OldCrowBalthazor,

With 1 Brigade, 5 gunboats I will shut down Savannah via Fort Pulaski that will only cost 1 Brigade if you know what you're doing. Don't need the Port(CSA could post a gunboat here but that's gonna cost and it will get killed)... Wilmington can be assaulted from several sides so if I want it, I will get that Port with 2 Marines I did it right past my opponents defending Brigade. He'd need 3 or 4 of those or better a Corp + HQ... Norfolk if I want it use 6-7 gunboats and anything sitting on that crappy Tile next to the Fortress is toast. I will have that with 1 marine, maybe 2 if I need it... Easier target and no Ironclad will be built so yes do that one. He will need a Corp and HQ to counter attack to stop this. Richmond requires 3 units... or you potentially lose the whole game. Charleston is a bit more tricky but can be taken, but why bother...

Jacksonville is easy to hammer it's port with the Ships of the Line it will reduce the port to transfer goods. . . New Orleans can easily use a Marine(just reinforce him to 10 and transfer him and back in at your leisure) to prevent trade at the mouth or gunboats rotating in and out(or whatever juicy cheap unit) The South can use it's whole Navy here but the trade in MPPs won't be beneficial ... especially when The Union gets Tech and a ton of gunboats. 7-8 gunboats vs the South's entire River Navy and you know who wins this in Trades and the Union has these anyways to sacrifice free.

Mobile can actually be defended... Galveston is too far away to worry about but could be taken. Ironically that 5 strength garrison survived an assault from a Marine of mine in a game and then my opponent placed in a Division..

The South can build Ironclads to deal with the gunboats, but the North can too. . . Since the South has to defend Nashville and Memphis as well it's going to be a really tough situation for her. She will need more than some cotton cash to protect these places. I placed 6 Divisions, 2 Corp, 1 HQ, 1 Cavalry to defend Mobile Port. The transfer price alone cost me an arm and a leg. I placed 4-5 Timberclads, 3-4 gunboats and 3 Divisions to defend New Orleans and I never really got the Port up and running long. Add that up in Cash!

You ain't protecting your Ports against the Union past a point when she wants them. An Expert Union player can shut the ones that matter down fairly fast. An expert Union player will also stretch you thin on land so you have to fight her in Tennessee and Virginia and if you worry about these far off places you will lose.

A Passive Union Player will allow you to do all you please.

I would suggest fortresses be removed and that 3 Marines right away be delayed. Norfolk, Charleston, Savannah and the Island of Fort Pulaski cutting the Port is broken, Jacksonville is also broken it doesn't need to be assaulted at all, the Forts on Norfolk and Wilmington make them virtually a given to take cause you have to post around them rather than a direct assault which is near impossible. The CSA gunboats should be on the Ports that spawn on so they can provide a little protection. This way if the CSA wants to spend the cash to defend and risk losing units she can... Harder to kill an entrenched Division or 2 than a Fort for sure. Charleston held out till 1865 for a reason.

You can defend ports but Yes YOU WILL PAY! CSA needs Corp+HQ+several Divisions with Cavalry to answer any Port situation. New Orleans and Savanah/Jacksonville/Norfolk/Wilmington(to a degree) are indefensible. Galveston, Mobile Charleston can be defended if you choose...




OldCrowBalthazor wrote: Thu Jul 21, 2022 9:57 am Speaking here about MP.

It's possible to defend the CSA's forts and ports if the CSA chooses to do so early in the War.

Is it easy?
No.

Can it be done?
Yes.

There will be short comings on other fronts but the money comes through the Ports. Money is everything of course.
Stockpile your Cotton, and the price is high. If you choose to not sell your cotton, then you need to cover your ports.

In the newest version it should be even easier then the release version to accomplish this ' Cover the Ports' strategy if you so choose.
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Bylandt11
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Re: Yet Another Amphibious Landings Thread

Post by Bylandt11 »

I prefer static to mobile defence of the coast. Deny the AI landing spaces. And use cheap ships near the possible landing hexes.

In my experience you need 3 units to protect Norfolk, 2 units for New Orleans, 1 brigade for Savannah, Jacksonville, Apalachicola and Pensacola.
Charleston and Galveston (I use the sub and one gunboat) can be defended with ships. I never had Wilmington attacked, but it can be made safe by 2 units. Make as much use as you can of your few regiments and the engineers. Once the divisions appear you will have brigades that can be detached to the coast.

Jacksonville and Apalichocola have no rail connection and you should dispatch the last two of the free brigades to those cities. Once the warning comes that you need to defend your coast, it will be too late. Norfolk also needs an early defence.

The AI rarely attacks any other coastal city and if it does, the danger is easily contained. In my last game not a single coastal city was taken by the AI. Don't know if this would be a viable strategy against a human player, but I suspect it would.
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Re: Yet Another Amphibious Landings Thread

Post by lloydster4 »

BiteNibbleChomp wrote: Sat Jul 23, 2022 12:48 pm I'll be honest, I'm quite surprised that this topic has proved as contentious as it has.
Grogs just can't help but have strong opinions on everything. There's no pleasing us.

That said, my BIGGEST complaint about the game is that it's costing me too much sleep!
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Re: Yet Another Amphibious Landings Thread

Post by BiteNibbleChomp »

lloydster4 wrote: Mon Jul 25, 2022 3:15 am That said, my BIGGEST complaint about the game is that it's costing me too much sleep!
That's a feature, not a bug ;) :lol:

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Re: Yet Another Amphibious Landings Thread

Post by metabagel »

battlevonwar wrote: Sat Jul 23, 2022 4:37 pm Norfolk, Charleston, Savannah and the Island of Fort Pulaski cutting the Port is broken, Jacksonville is also broken it doesn't need to be assaulted at all, the Forts on Norfolk and Wilmington make them virtually a given to take cause you have to post around them rather than a direct assault which is near impossible.
I wouldn't change Fort Pulaski. It seems historically accurate to me.
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Re: Yet Another Amphibious Landings Thread

Post by battlevonwar »

Historically Charleston couldn't be taken until 1865 because it was a real tough cookie. Any halfway decent Union player can take take this objective out without much damage to his ships. To defend the CSA would have to build 3 or 4 ironclads.

I am playing a game right now where every port in the CSA is shut down by Galveston within a year of starting the game with little or no sweat to my opponent. I knew this is possible but it took the Union awhile to close the CSA Ports entirely. Blockade Runners didn't purely use the Major Ports(predictable ports) to import their arms from Abroad. They weren't foolish they used every inlet you can unload millions of guns ...

This is not represented in game at all. The Union Blockade took time and effort and in game it's rather linear and borish. There is no counterplay or cat or mouse and you guys should change this.

I am playing a game vs a guy where I have over 2000 MPPs vs his I CSA it is to the point where I have chosen to just Corp and Division Smash him off the map. There's no tactic, strategy or skill to counter this. Richmond's proximity as well as Nashville, Memphis and the Port cities make it too easy for me to just Lawnmower what I want. I have never lost a Union Game so far on 'any level'... PBEM Game 7 (nor seen the CSA win unless the Union player neglected to buy it's units properly and tech just once)
metabagel wrote: Tue Jul 26, 2022 9:20 pm
battlevonwar wrote: Sat Jul 23, 2022 4:37 pm Norfolk, Charleston, Savannah and the Island of Fort Pulaski cutting the Port is broken, Jacksonville is also broken it doesn't need to be assaulted at all, the Forts on Norfolk and Wilmington make them virtually a given to take cause you have to post around them rather than a direct assault which is near impossible.
I wouldn't change Fort Pulaski. It seems historically accurate to me.
Duedman
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Re: Yet Another Amphibious Landings Thread

Post by Duedman »

Tallahassee only looks safe btw

But why land in far away ports? Just wait until he moves a bit on Washington and then drop your first Marines east of Fredericksburg and capture it. Don't forget to give the closest HQ a little love bump. Then run away again and embark with fresh 10 supply :P

Amphibious Landings are way to crazy. Mostly because they are sooooo cheap AND units got super mobility after disembarking.
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Re: Yet Another Amphibious Landings Thread

Post by mdsmall »

Another option to help the CSA defend coastal ports would be to reduce land spotting by naval units to zero. I was surprised when I started playing this title that coastal gunboats, frigates and even monitors could perform reconnaissance against defenders on land - naval units can not do that in the WW1 and WW2 titles. If their spotting was zero, the Union would at least have to commit to an invasion first before finding out if the target is defended.

This should be restricted to marine units, leaving river vessels free to spot defenders along the shorelines.
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Re: Yet Another Amphibious Landings Thread

Post by BiteNibbleChomp »

mdsmall wrote: Wed Aug 10, 2022 11:57 pm Another option to help the CSA defend coastal ports would be to reduce land spotting by naval units to zero. I was surprised when I started playing this title that coastal gunboats, frigates and even monitors could perform reconnaissance against defenders on land - naval units can not do that in the WW1 and WW2 titles. If their spotting was zero, the Union would at least have to commit to an invasion first before finding out if the target is defended.

This should be restricted to marine units, leaving river vessels free to spot defenders along the shorelines.
I have considered this in the past, however it is worth noting that the coastal gunboats can also go in the rivers and so need to have at least 1 land spotting (river warfare doesn't really work without it). For the big ships it is less of an issue but once gunboats (which make up most of your oceanic fleets) are able to scout there's not a lot of reason for the others not to.

I think this is reasonably accurate to history too, most "amphibious" operations in this era were just "find somewhere empty to unload on the beach, then march inland and fight".

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Re: Yet Another Amphibious Landings Thread

Post by mdsmall »

BiteNibbleChomp wrote: Thu Aug 11, 2022 3:03 am
I think this is reasonably accurate to history too, most "amphibious" operations in this era were just "find somewhere empty to unload on the beach, then march inland and fight".

- BNC
Actually, that description of how amphibious operations worked in the era sounds to me exactly like blind landings without the benefit of spotting beforehand from boats!

I would look at the telescope from the other end. Removing spotting from naval gunboats would make a sharper difference in function between the gunboats intended for coastal operations (especially blockading trade routes) and the gunboats intended to support combat operations along the river lines. Anyhow, it's an option for someone to experiment with in a mod, if they wish to slightly reduce the effectiveness of Union amphibious operations.

Cheers!

Michael
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