Civil War II – An After Action Report! Part 4

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By August, I am becoming  concerned with how fast the CSA is mobilizing.  Its army is now at 82% of the US army strength.  While I am concentrating on building up the Union navy, I cannot afford to have an almost equal CSA army and led by superior generals.  My other concern is that the Union artillery corps appears underdeveloped, with many of my units lacking artillery support.  Consequentially, I am going to slow down the naval build up, and try to increase the rate of the Union army’s build up. Note: Historically the Union and Confederate were approximately the same size at this point in the war, but the Union army subsequently grew much larger as the war progressed.  According to the National Park Service,  “In July 1861, the two armies were nearly equal in strength with less than 200,000 soldiers on each side; however at the peak of troop strength in 1863, Union soldiers outnumbered Confederate soldiers by a ratio of 2 to 1. The size of Union forces in January 1863 totaled over 600,000. Two years later, that number had not changed dramatically for the Union Army but had dropped to about 200,000 for the Confederate Army.”

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By: Tripoli,

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Civil War II – An After Action Report! Part 3

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1-15 June  1861 (Turn 5)

Summer brings with it clear weather.  Normally, this would be an excellent time for an offensive-If the Union army was ready.  However, it is not.  With the concentration on building up the navy, the Union has only 1.3 times the Confederate land power, a ratio that is insufficient to engage in significant offensive action.    Also, many of the Union troops are untrained.  The Union also lacks sufficient artillery and supply wagons to venture deep into the Confederacy.   And most critically, the Union officer corps is insufficient for a large offensive operation.  There are too few officers to command the units I am building and most of them lack the strategic rating needed to reliably move when directed, or adequately command the units they are assigned.  This means that any Union offensive will be disjointed, with some units moving, while others stay in place.  Further, most formations will be operating at a significant movement and combat penalty, since my officer pool has few officers that can command more than two brigades without penalty.  Thus, any offensive action will have to be made en masse, with a large body of division-sized units marching short distances to ensure that some of them reach the objectives.  This situation will improve with the addition of divisions in the Union TO&E in October and corps in March 1862.  However, until these are available the Union is significantly hamstrung in its offensive capability.

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By: Tripoli,

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Civil War II – An After Action Report! Part 2

In the excellent book “How the North Won”,  Herman Hattaway and Archer Jones describe the first months of the war as “the two sides steadily grop[ing] towards military preparedness.”  That is an apt description of the first few months of my game (April-May 1861).  At the start, there are few Union military units and almost all are fixed at various garrisons throughout the US, making military operations impossible.  Further, there are no generals to lead them.  Lacking both manpower and generals, my initial moves are limited to beginning to build the Union military.  However, the economy of the Union is not geared for supporting the rapid buildup of the military.  In particular, building naval units requires large amounts of war supplies.  The current Union production of war supplies effectively limits naval expansion to only one naval blockade flotilla a turn, along with a few brigades of infantry and possibly a unit of artillery.

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By: Tripoli,