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Subject: This is a fair fight... rss

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The battle of Cedar Mountain is in a lot of ways a continuation of an old rivalry from the shanandoah valley campaign between Banks and Jackson. Jackson is concerned with moving his army and having issues doing so because he hasn't released any mission information yet (other than, "move north," no one has orders). Banks on the other hand is looking for a little payback and unwittingly Jackson has given him that opportunity. In the 1400 opening scenario we can see Banks fully deployed and about to move against an unprepared Confederate force. Only part of the rebel force is on map and it isn't near deployment ready yet. If the Federals can smash this lead rebel force then when pope arrives with the rest of the Federal force, it's all over for the rebelion but the crying.

This then is the goal of the Union player in this game and it is quite acheivable. Be certain to keep all your union cavalry in command on your right flank so as to be able to mount a good delaying action for any rebel forces trying to pull a flanking maneuver. Remember, everything rebel is coming from your right so maneuver left, put your cav in the woods to the right and show your opponent how it gets done.
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William Byrne
United States
Madison
Wisconsin
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Glad to see someone shares my (apparently) minority opinion on Banks' chances in this one.

Funny thing, though; I say place the US Cav on the left. They can't maneuver in those woods around the Wheat Field, and Winder's infantry will cut them to shreds. With Robertson's CS cavalry probably looking to outflank the Union left, Bayard's troopers can at least meet them on a more level playing field.

Extending the US left with Bayard will allow one of Augur's brigades to assist Williams, whom I always put in on the right. I like sending Geary to help Williams, as he has some quality units. The goal is to take that Victory hex in the Wheat Field and hold it as long as possible; if the US can grab the Victory Hex at Crittenden's Gate, as well, so much the better, although I don't expect to hold that one for long.
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Open terrain affords better command and control. The woods only impede movement. The simple act of using dismounted cavalry to force your opponent to extend lines in the woods is a small victory in-and-of itself. If possible use Cedar Mountain as a left flank guard. Remember this is only momentary, get in, inflict enemy casualties, finish your Mint Julep and get out. No loitering at Crittenden's gate. Make no illusions of holding any map points down south when additional reinforcements begin to arrive. Win VP's by making enemy brigades Combat ineffective. As you fall back continue that process and take pride in knowing you got revenge by kicking out a few stones from the Stone-wall.

Btw, if your commanding officer gives you a verbal order and you have it transcribed by an aide-de-camp to cover your butt, there is a problem in the ranks for certain and you already suspect you're not getting any assistance anytime soon.
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One thing I'd like to add to support my point in this post is that there are two physical things to aide in the union effort that are not obvious outright. The first is the range of the two weapons types. At a 5 hex range the union can afford to stay in Advance orders and fire away bleeding the rebs to death without any fear of return fire. Those pecked three to four point losses every turn on thin Confederate lines by beefy union forces can take a toll that will force the confederate player's hand to either desperatelly close in or back off out of range and either way it's good for the yanks. The second benefit is that the Union effort from the first is multiplied if the Union player continues to fade back to his artillery line provided the rebs try to advance, and if they do not advance keep picking away at them. The only drawback I see is if the ammo rules are used because that will slow down the union effort a bit but even then not all that much.

P.S. It's important in the Historical games to use the Random events Option. There is a Delay Reinforcement activity to that if triggered, can delay Rebel reinforcements buying the yanks more time on target and if it impacts the yanks it has little impact.
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