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Battle Above the Clouds» Forums » General

Subject: CSA vs USA rss

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Gideon Sadler
England
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We have been playing GTC in preparation for the release of BATC.

In GTC, the CSA forces retain their advantages in relation to both initiative and movement.

In addition, with regard to leadership, all CSA Corps leaders have a battle rating of 4 against a maximum of 3 for the USA.

All CSA divisions have a tactical rating of 3 against 2 for the USA.

As a consequence the only advantage the USA has is numbers.

Loath as I am to criticise GCACW, did the South really retain this uniform qualitative superiority three years into the war?

As far as I can tell, only a grand assault offers a reasonable chance for the USA to even inflict casualties on a well marshalled ANV.

USA corps assaults can usually be expected to take place with a -1 mofifier at best, whereas the CSA are negligent if they have a modifier of less than +1

As the thread on Consimworld suggests that the whole series is up for review, maybe this can be looked at.

It would be interesting to know the ratings for BATC, especially with regard to whether the CSA has the same advantages regarding initiative & movement.



p. s.this is an observation. This remains the best series of games ever produced as far as I am concerned.
 
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Seth Gunar
United States
Ringwood
New Jersey
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Well, to answer your question I suggest that you review the history of the 1864 Overland Campaign. Lee never enjoyed anything better than 2-1 odds against him and that was pretty much only at the beginning in the Battle of the Wilderness (in which Lee only had 2 of his 3 Corps). With little remaining reserves the Army of Northern Virginia could not replace losses. (Get your hands on Gordon Rhea's books on the subject.)

And yet, Lee and the ANV inflicted such huge losses on the Army of the Potomac that it imperiled Lincoln's chances of re-election in the Fall. Only Sherman's taking of Atlanta reversed the damage done to Lincoln's popularity by the brutal 1864 Campaign in Virginia.

In the Campaign you will see numerous instances where the Union could not coordinate its assaults effectively with delays and hesitations that caused attacks to be made piecemeal, costly - and fail. This is what is modelled in the GCACW system. On the other hand, throughout the war the ANV had superb leadership and command coordination with a few exceptions (especially Gettysburg).

Many like to cite Chancellorsville as Lee's greatest performance. However, it may be more true to say that he did better in 1864 than at any other point. He was finally facing a worthy adversary and he was able to hold out for a long time in spite of enormous odds. He did it with both tactical and operational mastery and on a few occasions he could have delivered very sharp blows but was too ill to make it happen (the North Anna).

So, to say that the only advantage the Union had was numbers is probably true. But it was a decisive advantage in the end.
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Rob Doane
United States
Walpole
MA
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I can tell you that the CSA advantages from the eastern games are gone in BATC. The ratings look like this:

Leaders for both sides
Army - 4
Corps - 3 or 2
Each side has one corps commander with a 3/4 - 3 on the attack and 4 on the defense

Unit Tactical Ratings
USA - mostly 2 and 1, a few have 3
CSA - a mix of 3, 2, and 1

Equally important is the new initiative system. The CSA no longer wins most ties. Instead, USA goes on 1-1, 2-2, and 3-3. CSA only wins 6-6. And it gets worse. A 4-4 or 5-5 may cause CSA units to become insubordinate which in most cases will mean they are useless for attacking.

You'll find that these armies are much more evenly matched across the board than those in the previous games.
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Jim K.
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All else equal, in the eastern games the CSA advantages tend to incentivize them to seek attacks, while the USA disadvantages tend to discourage attack. In my experience, this results in 'historical' behavior on each side where Lee, Jackson, and Co. were generally always looking to attack while the Union generals were reticent to act aggressively or take risks (Grant's 1864 campaign to Richmond being an exception).

In the Chattanooga theatre, the historical willingness to attack seems more balanced (from what I understand in my limited historical readings) and so a more even balance between sides looks appropriate.

 
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Seth Owen
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Norwich
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skink wrote:
All else equal, in the eastern games the CSA advantages tend to incentivize them to seek attacks, while the USA disadvantages tend to discourage attack. In my experience, this results in 'historical' behavior on each side where Lee, Jackson, and Co. were generally always looking to attack while the Union generals were reticent to act aggressively or take risks (Grant's 1864 campaign to Richmond being an exception).

In the Chattanooga theatre, the historical willingness to attack seems more balanced (from what I understand in my limited historical readings) and so a more even balance between sides looks appropriate.


Grant was continually frustrated by the slowness of the Eastern armies to act. While he brought a few Western guys with him, for the most part he fought the 1864 campaign with the existing command structure of the AoP.
 
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