This is my solo attempt to play through the full campaign. This is written from the Union point of view since they are the more “active” player. This is the game up to the end of turn 11 (Summer-1, 1863).
Standard attack on Springfield on turn 1 followed by a stalemate along the Missouri/Arkansas border. Being stronger I eventually broke the stalemate by dividing my forces (having the bulk of my troops with the more mobile Curtis) and moving around the CSA force towards Fayetteville forcing them to intercept away from entrenchments and eventually getting destroyed. Curtis rapidly moved along the Arkansas River, capturing Little Rock in the first half of the Summer of 62, followed by the rest of Arkansas by the end of the summer. By 1863 Curtis was positioned in Monroe, Louisiana.
Around the time Curtis captured Monroe, I realized that the Memphis-Madison line could allow Morgan’s cavalry to recapture most of Arkansas. This was about the time I realized how useful cavalry was for the CSA and put them to good use on all fronts. By the start of the summer of 63 Little Rock, Camden, and Arkansas Post were recaptured and Morgan was sitting in Ironton, Missouri.
Not much happened here until the invasion of Kentucky by the CSA in the Fall of 61. The CSA controlled Columbus, Henderson, and Bowling Green. There was major fighting around Bowling Green, where Grant was defeated and forced back to Elizabethtown. The highlight of the initial Kentucky campaign was the failure of the CSA to capture Paducah. The CSA was kicked out of Kentucky around the Fall of 62. This was due to Union flanking maneuvers towards Humboldt and Nashville forcing CSA troops to fall back to Memphis and Nashville.
By the winter of 63 Union troops held Holly Springs, Corinth, Chattanooga, and Knoxville. The CSA Army of the Tennessee was completely defeated at Dalton, Georgia, but unfortunately, it was the last action of the round and reformed better and stronger. This is about when Forrest was unleashed on the Union. In two turns he managed to capture Stevenson, Alabama (removing Grant and the Army of Tennessee from full supply and rail access to reinforcements), recapture Clarksville (he skipped Nashville and its fort), hold Columbus, Kentucky at the end of a turn, and then recapture most of the Western Tennessee rail lines before ending in Holly Springs. Sherman spent the spring and early summer chasing Forrest and repairing the damage done. Unfortunately, this meant there are almost zero progress in this part of the theater (aside from Sherman capturing Decatur).
Memphis became a CSA stronghold (with a level 2 fort) that is almost impossible to put out of supply (at least as long as Vicksburg stands). With 4-5 strength points sitting in the fort I had to pull a 3-star general from the Eastern Front to even attempt an assault on the city (which failed miserably).
In the southern theater of the Western Front, I waited to invade Fort St. Philip/Fort Jackson until the spring of 63. I then captured Proctorville and Ship Island before marching 6 troops to (surprisingly) wipe out New Orleans defense and capture the city. With no opposition I quickly captured Brashear City (which McDowell promptly loses in the next turn), Baton Rouge (and its arsenal), Port Hudson, Natchez, and Grand Gulf. An attempt on Vicksburg failed forcing me to wait for reinforcements (while the defenders do the same).
In the Eastern Front McClellan captured West Virginia in turn one. This leads to an invasion of Virginia via Covington that ends in Staunton before being pushed back and left as a stalemate at the pass by Covington. Union invasions of Manassas Junction fails multiple times and the front remains stable at Manassas Junction-Aquia Station. Lee invades Harper’s Ferry and stabilizes a front there. In the fall of 62 an “onward to Richmond” succeeds and pushed the CSA from Aquia Station to Fredericksburg. The CSA falls back to behind the Rappahannock and the Union eventually beats down the rearguard at Harper’s Ferry to retake that and capture Strasburg.
In the coast campaign of the Eastern Front, Norfolk city is captured in the spring of 62, but the Union does push out from there. Hatteras and Roanoke Island are captured, but an invasion of Beaufort city fails. Early in the war Brunswick, Georgia was captured and a march on to Jacksonville was initiated, but it failed and the Union was kicked out of the region in early 62. St. Marks, Florida was invaded and due to lucky dice rolls, the Union had the immediate next turn, which allowed a bloodless capture of Tallahassee. Union efforts to capture Jacksonville were destroyed in Olustee before Union troops retreated to their fort in Tallahassee.
Right now the Union is sitting at 26VP (so -4 from where they should be). In the next turn I am hoping to recapture Little Rock and Arkansas Post, though I may lose Fayetteville due to Morgan’s cavalry. I am not sure if I should try to assault Vicksburg again or if I should invade Jackson, though that could leave my supply lines vulnerable… Sherman’s army in Decatur is going to move to Elyton, Alabama to force the CSA. This gets me within arm’s reach of Columbus (MS), Tuscaloosa, Talladega, Demopolis, Selma (and an arsenal), and Montgomery (and 2 arsenals). None of these are currently defended, though Forrest can swoop out from Holly Springs to make life miserable. I also have a naval card and am thinking of attacking Port Royal whenever I play last in hopes of getting to play first the next round and capturing Charleston or Savannah.
Confederate cavalry proved to be a major distraction and I spent virtually the entire spring of 63 putting out fires that case up because of them. I had a 6-strength army chasing Stuart up into Maryland and back into the Valley while he avoided every single battle. At the same time Stuart was being chased, Sherman was following Forrest and undoing the damage he was doing. I'm now going to leave several small armies to defend my supply lines.
I’m hoping to write something up when I eventually finish the game (I’ve been playing on and off since July 4th).
Thanks for the write up.
I just got this game this week and enjoyed reading how it is playing for you. I'm hoping to get it to the table in the next few weeks.
Conclusion of the War
So I managed to finish the game about a month ago. Union victory at the end of the spring of 64.
Curtis managed to fight his was back into Arkansas Post, while Warren failed to capture Vicksburg. Sherman had a deep raid into Alabama that had him leaving Decatur and capturing Talladega and Selma before drawing with Longstreet in Montgomery.
Grant is promoted, but I keep him in the Western Theater. There isn't much movement in the East. Thomas replaced Sherman and Sherman is transferred to an army in Grenada, Mississippi for operations against Memphis. Fearing supply issues, Thomas abandons Selma and marches through Tuscaloosa and captures Columbus, Mississippi. Grant is defeated trying to break out of Northeast Georgia. Instead of attacking a heavily fortified and well guarded Memphis, Sherman marches into Vicksburg. Outnumbering them 10/3, and with Warren blocking escape, Sherman destroys 2SP and forces the third to surrender. Sherman then marches onto Jackson and defeats Hardee. During this turn, the Union invaded Port Royal. Due to lucky rolls the Union went last that round and first the next round, so they quickly marched into an undefended Charleston and build a defensive line to keep it in supply while they starve out Ft. Sumter.
Curtis recaptures Little Rock before marching to Madison support the siege of Memphis. Bragg, who managed to keep Grant in check is replaced by J. Johnson who is bloodied in Kingston (loss of 3SP vs 2SP) and almost destroyed in Atlanta (lost 4 out of 5SP, to Grant's 1SP). In Virginia, Burnside breaks out of Covington to capture Staunton before drawing outside of Charlottesville. Lee abandons Manassas Junction and digs in at Culpeper Court House. In South Carolina the new defensive line extends from Charleston to Branchville and back to Port Royal. With the fall of Charleston, the lone rebel defender of Florida marched to Savannah, allowing federal forces to march from Tallahassee to capture Olustee and Jacksonville.
The spring of 64 started with a surprise surrender of Memphis with 5SP. I was hoping to delay a retreat out of Memphis until it has 2 surrender points, but rolled a 1 and got 2 points. This caused a 7VP swing. In the Western Theater, the South was pretty much broken, with Sherman marching through Meridian before picking up Thomas in Columbus, Mississippi and sweeping through Tuscaloosa, Selma, Montgomery, and ending the war in Columbus, Georgia. Grant continued his win streak over J. Johnson by beating him in Macon, before totally destroying the Army of the Tennessee east of Gordon, GA. Grant eventually ends the war in Augusta, Georgia, ready to march through Savannah or Columbia, SC. In Virginia, Lee retreats from the much larger Army of the Potomac and ends the war just west of Fredericksburg. In an attempt to prolong the war, Forrest marches into Tennessee again, capturing Clarksville, but destroying his force trying to defeat the Union fort in Nashville. Union wins with exactly 54VP.
During the game I logged every battle of the war (along with losses) and the Union lost 75SP (approximately 375,000 soldiers) while the Confederates lost 76SP (380,000 soldiers). Bloodiest seasons where the spring and summer(2) of 1862, with the Union losing 12SP and the Confederates 9SP each season.
There were 77 battles. The Union won 35 battles, the South won 22, and there were 20 draws. Summer(2) was the turning point with 15US and 15CSA victories.
Grant was the MVP of the game with 10 wins, 1 draw, and 4 losses. Killing 26SP (80,000 men) while losing 22SP (60,000).
Lee was a dud with only one win and one tie killing and losing only 2SP (10,000). If the South had to have an MVP, it was probably Morgan. Because of him, the war ended with only Little Rock and Arkansas Post in Union hands in the Trans-Mississippi Theater.