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The Civil War» Forums » Rules

Subject: 2 questions re: Chesapeake Bay rss

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Fred Finkenbinder
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Hello all! Long-time follower, first time poster to this wonderful site! I have 2 questions regarding the Chesapeake Bay area on the game map that I am hoping some fellow board gamers can clear up for me:

1) If the South chooses to invade Fort Monroe, what column shift modifiers apply? Does the defender get the swamp and the fortress, a navagable river hexside, or a combination of the three, when in combat in the hex?

2) I see mostly un-navigable river hexsides throughout the Chesapeake Bay area, making something like the Peninsula Campaign or any other amphibious planning from the DC/Baltimore/Annapolis staging area theoretically impossible. Historically, invasions like that of New Orleans left from Annapolis, MD. Is this possible in the game and if so, what route of departure can I legally take from that area? Currently I am planning amphibious attacks from Philadelphia for simplicity's sake.

Thanks!
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Peter Walsh
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Hi,

The map/rules regarding the Chesapeake Bay are a little tricky as are the rules regarding column shifts in combat for terrain. To take your questions in order:

1 - The maximum number of column shifts is 4. So if you crossed a navigable river to attack Ft. Monroe, even though this is 6 shifts for the defense, you'd only get 4.

2 - The Chesapeake Bay area is marked with numerous "impassable" hex sides. "Impassable" and "unnavigable" hex sides are not the same thing and the difference is pretty significant though not always easy to parse out. Ocean going NSPs may use the Chesapeake Bay freely. Sea movement routes may also freely use the Chesapeake Bay. It is only land forces and river going NSPs that have to respect the limits of the "impassable" hex sides.

A land force may never move from one hex to another by crossing an impassable hex side. A river going NSP may not move from one coastal hex to another by crossing an impassable hex side. Since most, if not all, Union river NSPs tend to be used in the West, the upshot of these restrictions is to prevent Confederate river NSPs from making easy use of the Chesapeake Bay.

Hope that helps.

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Ken
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bigbadscrubb wrote:
1) If the South chooses to invade Fort Monroe, what column shift modifiers apply? Does the defender get the swamp and the fortress, a navagable river hexside, or a combination of the three, when in combat in the hex?


Only the fortress modifier applies. The fort isn't in the swamp, and you apply river modifiers for hexsides - you don't cross one of those to reach the fort because it's in the same hex as the launching point for the attack. It'll be a tough enough nut to attack.

Quote:
2) I see mostly un-navigable river hexsides throughout the Chesapeake Bay area, making something like the Peninsula Campaign or any other amphibious planning from the DC/Baltimore/Annapolis staging area theoretically impossible.


I don't see how you reach this conclusion. With its massive sea lift capacity, the Union can put the AotP on the Peninsula and then supply it because it's constantly along navigable river or ocean hexsides. The Peninsula campaign isn't an amphibious operation - it's a massive sea lift that resulted (and should result) in an extensive campaign. "Amphibious operations" like New Orleans or Mobile were on a much smaller scale.

It's certainly not impossible, it just may not be wise. Even if you leave DC with 6-7 garrison points, that army is stuck there until you can walk it out or the following turn when you can execute another sea lift. That may give the CSA enough shots at DC to isolate it or take it.
 
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Fred Finkenbinder
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Thanks to you both for your fast replies. I failed to realize that the hexsides were "impassable" instead of "un-navigable," so that makes sense. Still, I would argue that Philadelphia may well be a better staging point for amphibious operations, due to the fact that if the rebels take Fort Monroe, the Union would not have to take hit chances passing it to reach the Atlantic Ocean.

In regard to the Fort Monroe hex, if I understand you gentlemen correctly, I pay the extra movement point for entering the swamp, but for combat I only worry about the 2 column shifts for the fortress...correct?

Ken, now that I properly understand the hexside scenario in the Chesapeake Bay area, I know I can sea lift an army to recreate the campaign...however impractical that may be, as you pointed out as well. Sound advice sir!
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Warren Bruhn
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perfalbion wrote:
bigbadscrubb wrote:
1) If the South chooses to invade Fort Monroe, what column shift modifiers apply? Does the defender get the swamp and the fortress, a navagable river hexside, or a combination of the three, when in combat in the hex?


Only the fortress modifier applies. The fort isn't in the swamp, and you apply river modifiers for hexsides - you don't cross one of those to reach the fort because it's in the same hex as the launching point for the attack. It'll be a tough enough nut to attack.



I disagree with Ken regarding the Ft. Monroe hex. This hex is a swamp, as well as a fortress. Therefor there will be 4 column shifts. See the image here (original size, from the gallery on this page), and note the swamp that can be seen just below the Butler counter:

http://boardgamegeek.com/image/652137/the-civil-war?size=ori...

Land units may not cross navigable river hexsides that are enemy controlled. Those may be controlled by naval units, as described under those rules, or by enemy controlled forts or fortresses that are either manned, or in supply, or both. Even if Ft. Monroe was unmanned, it would still be in supply (hexes in the Chesapeke Bay are considered to be coastal hexes, so it's in supply by sea from the North). So CSA units could not cross the navigable river hexside directly into the Ft. Monroe hex. They must enter the hex from the NW, from the hex which starts the game with a CSA fort, an SP, and Magruder.

Attacking Ft. Monroe usually involves using the ANV making two attacks, because the USA will often put 4 to 6 SP into Ft. Monroe in order to make sure that it doesn't fall in a single attack. Because the swamp hexes, which include the hex that Ft. Monroe is in, cost two movement points each, such a move by the ANV has to be telegraphed. The USA should be able to respond to such a move. The danger is that the ANV will be trapped on the penninsula after making the attack on Ft. Monroe. The AoP and Union ironclads move to cap the bottle, trapping the ANV.

Taking Ft. Monroe doesn't do the CSA a lot of good anyway. Because the hexes of the Chesapeke Bay are considered coastal hexes, Ft. Monroe does NOT get a shot at the Union ocean going transports and ironclads that enter or leave the Chesapeke Bay. Ft. Monroe does affect Norfolk and the James River. But that's seldom enough to justify a major CSA effort to take Ft. Monroe. Circumstances would have to be exactly right in order to make it worth the effort. Usually the CSA has other more important uses for command points and SP.
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Fred Finkenbinder
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Fair enough. Thank you Warren, for your informative response. I have done a bit of eaves-dropping on these forums and found you to be a player with some experience.

Thanks again to all 3 of you for the info!
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Warren Bruhn
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bigbadscrubb wrote:
Still, I would argue that Philadelphia may well be a better staging point for amphibious operations, due to the fact that if the rebels take Fort Monroe, the Union would not have to take hit chances passing it to reach the Atlantic Ocean.

In regard to the Fort Monroe hex, if I understand you gentlemen correctly, I pay the extra movement point for entering the swamp, but for combat I only worry about the 2 column shifts for the fortress...correct?


A CSA controlled (and supplied and/or manned) Ft. Monroe does NOT get a shot at Union ocean going transports and ironclads entering or exiting the Chesapeke Bay, because hexes in the Chesapeke Bay are considered to be coastal hexes. These NSP can enter or leave the bay via the coastal hex just to the NE of the Ft. Monroe hex.

You have to take combat column shifts for all the terrain in the hex, both the fortress and the swamp, for a total of 4 column shifts.
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Warren Bruhn
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Note re sea move: Just because a force can be sealifted into a hex, doesn't mean it can be sealifted back from the same hex. Note that a sea move has restrictions on what hexes can be used as a starting point. Here's the unofficial WGA 3rd edition version:

8.7 Union Sea Movement
8.7.1 Definition: Union Sea Movement is a special type of movement that does not use naval transport counters. Instead, it is assumed the SP’s are being transported by a part of the Union ocean-going fleet, which is not depicted in the game.
8.7.2 Procedure: Any Union SP which begins the Pulse in any coastal hex may use Sea Movement. In addition, an SP that begins a Pulse in a hex that has a navigable river hexside can use Sea Movement. However, this hex must be located in one of the following states: Maryland, Delaware, New Jersey, or Pennsylvania. Hexes along the Ohio River or adjacent to the Potomac River, but in Virginia cannot be used. SP’s adjacent to the same navigable river hexside, but physically located in different hexes cannot be transported together, as part of the same force.
8.7.3 The SP is then moved by tracing a path through all-sea hexes, coastal hexes, and/or along navigable river hexsides until it ends its move by debarking into a Union-controlled or a neutral hex not Controlled or occupied by the Confederates...

The map and rules are not entirely clear on which hexes are coastal with respect to the Chesapeke Bay. The long time pbem players probably have a list of which hexes in the Chesapeke Bay are considered to be coastal.

What's important for sea lifting an army, is that, while the army could be sealifted into a Union controlled hex along a navigable river in the South, it can't be sealifted out of such a hex. It must get back to a coastal hex in order to be sealifted back out to the North or elsewhere. I figure that includes the Ft. Monroe hex, but not hexes further upstream along the James & York rivers, such as the Richmond hex.
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Fred Finkenbinder
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Warren, I would not be opposed to playing you in a game, real time - see my request for a game in a separate thread. I know I would get my butt handed to me, but it would be a good learning experience!
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