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The Civil War» Forums » Rules

Subject: Question (possibly academic) about CSA Forts rss

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Doug Mann
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I've searched through the rules forum, the clarifications and the unofficial rules revision without finding an answer to the question of whether fort (not fortress) construction is limited by the counter mix. I'm tempted to ask the CSA player posing the question, "Do you really intent to spend 30+ command points placing forts?" especially since the economic effects are about to raise his cost to 4 CPs, but we won't go there.

Thanks in advance for any answer.
 
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Fred Finkenbinder
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Yes, you are limited by the counters available.

This will rarely, if ever, become an issue for the USA. The CSA is limited especially to just 5 fortresses per game - their placement is crucial.

As far as expenditure - many (myself included) would argue that the best use of 3 DD early on is for the construction of a fort or fortress for the CSA. The USA rarely builds forts as CPs are so precious and the Union has a lot of work to do - but it does happen. If nothing else, the USA must have a fortress in DC.
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Doug Mann
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Thanks for the quick reply, but -- not fortresses, forts. There are 10 in the counter sheet, and we are about to combine a second set of DM and control markers. So the CSA player is wondering, can he build an 11th?

Edit: Yes, Washington fortress is a first-turn must. I frequently build a fort in Cairo, seldom a fortress, and I'll keep at least a fort in New Orleans, Memphis or Vicksburg.
 
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Dave Turansky
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Doug, literally I think the counter mix is supposed to limit what you can build....depots, forts, whatever. If you accumulate over 19 SP's in reinforcements ready to enter play, you lose the 20th SP. It doesn't make any sense and is completely arbitrary. In the case of Confederate fortresses, there is a reasonable basis to limit construction to 5. In the case of the U.S. Navy, I'm not so sure that there is a basis other than, "we ran out of counters". I would ignore arbitrary limits in all instances, except for Confederate fortress construction.
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Fred Finkenbinder
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I don't have the rules handy - but I particularly remember that they state that for Union naval transports, the limit on those counters is intentional. I believe it says the same about forts as well.

Building a fort in Cairo is not really necessary. The CSA will rarely invade Kentucky prior to Turn 3, and the US navy can control the rivers around Cairo until the CSA decides to place a fort in Kentucky.
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Doug Mann
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bigbadscrubb wrote:
I don't have the rules handy - but I particularly remember that they state that for Union naval transports, the limit on those counters is intentional. I believe it says the same about forts as well.

Building a fort in Cairo is not really necessary. The CSA will rarely invade Kentucky prior to Turn 3, and the US navy can control the rivers around Cairo until the CSA decides to place a fort in Kentucky.


You're correct about transports -- to encourage historical grouping into fleets. It doesn't say anything about forts, only fortresses. There the wording is that they cannot be rebuilt. Implication -- forts can be rebuilt. However, the specific question is whether the 10-counter printing was intended as a limitation. It's clear that US/CS control markers were underprinted, the rules solution being to mark from rail junction to rail junction. That's a pretty imperfect solution, except where the front lines have moved on.

As to Cairo, our game back in the Spring saw my Union co-commander fail to fortify Cairo and have Lee's Army of the Tennessee destroy 10 SPs that couldn't legally retreat. Once the riverine fleet got positioned, the CSA wasted a bunch of CPs moving Lee across Indiana to get him back in Dixie, and my partner & I won by a huge margin. Still, my fingernails suffered while Lee was on the loose.
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Peter Walsh
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Killing a large Union force in Cairo is fun, if tricky. Placing a fort in Cairo would probably not alter the situation much and a fortress would be overkill. The better move is to get an army over the river to make it unattractive for the CSA to operate north of the Ohio R.

I'd say that the CSA should be spending its CPs on forts and fortresses right up to the point that they start to cost more than 3 CPs. A fort in the right location can do a lot to strengthen the CSA defense. They're also handy if you're playing with the CSA supply by river option. Any river area bounded by CSA fortifications is a supply conduit until the forts are breached or the Union puts NSPs in place to interdict supply.
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Doug Mann
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Actually, I think the 1-column shift of the fort would have deterred the attack. D3 each would have done no good, as Lee would have lost. The AoT wasn't full, I just can't recall the strength difference six months later. While a fortress is the only safe bet, I agree that the Union has better things to do with CPs.

As far as moving a Union army north of the Ohio, I don't know. I think my co-commander handled it pretty well. While Lee was galavanting up north, he took the rest of Tennessee except Chattanooga and threatened to cut to the Gulf Coast.

My original post didn't mean to suggest that forts aren't a good think for the CSA, just that I'm not sure there's a need for more than 10. So what would you answer to the original question? Counter mix limit or not?
 
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Peter Walsh
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The counter mix is/should be limiting. If you use VASSAL you may run into a situation where the CSA player could build too many forts since there is no counter limit in the module. That said, I doubt the CSA will often find itself able to build so many forts.
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Fred Finkenbinder
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Pete Walsh wrote:
The counter mix is/should be limiting. If you use VASSAL you may run into a situation where the CSA player could build too many forts since there is no counter limit in the module. That said, I doubt the CSA will often find itself able to build so many forts.


I dunno Pete - my one game against Dave Turansky's CSA had about 50...;-)
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Doug Mann
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Pete Walsh wrote:
The counter mix is/should be limiting. ...


You are correct. Our fourth player returned from vacation in Colorado and pointed out that The Civil War has an "omnibus" counter mix rule. It's on page 5 under "The Playing Pieces," third paragraph, which says, "The number of counters provided in the game is the maximum that may be used in the game. Do not add additional counters . . . unless you are making a variant of your own." Pretty clear.

Since the returning player resumed the U.S. East/Naval command, I jumped to the CSA West for turns 6-8, and when I left we had built 6 or 7 forts. We have two west of Memphis, one south of New Orleans, one on the Potomac, and a couple on the coast. Fortresses are New Orleans, Memphis and Chattanooga. Since the U.S. West armies are in central Tennessee and show no signs of threatening Memphis, we may leave Vicksburg open.
 
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Jim Story
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Devil's Advocate here, new Union strategy; build all the depots I can to deny them to the south. If the south tries to build their share early, they aren't building forts like they should be. If they wait to build depots later, they may get less than 10.
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Doug Mann
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Hansstory wrote:
Devil's Advocate here, new Union strategy; build all the depots I can to deny them to the south. If the south tries to build their share early, they aren't building forts like they should be. If they wait to build depots later, they may get less than 10.


LOL! A gold star for thinking outside the box! {NOTE: Jim Story is my cocommander referred to above) You realize, however, that there are 25 depot markers in the counter mix, right?
 
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Peter Walsh
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Hansstory wrote:
Devil's Advocate here, new Union strategy; build all the depots I can to deny them to the south. If the south tries to build their share early, they aren't building forts like they should be. If they wait to build depots later, they may get less than 10.


This gave me a laugh and it *is* thinking outside the box, but if the Union wants to spend CPs trying to deny the CSA access to any depot counters that'd be fine with me. If a critical depot is needed the South has only to remove a depot from the Transmississippi and then rebuild it elsewhere.
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James D. Williams
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Speaking of Depots...
I recall a Strategy article saying a city surrounded by the enemy [and out of supply?] could [reestablish supply by building] have a depot built in that city... sustaining attack after attack...
I wondered about that...
 
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Doug Mann
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Yeah, but that gets expensive quickly. 2 CPs to build a depot; then 2 (or 3 or 4) to activate leader to move/attack, at which point you burn the depot; 2 more CPs to build another; then the leader's rating in CPs to rally. It can be done, but is it worth it?
 
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