Tuesday, January 2, 2018

WBTS via Vassal - Weeks 113 to 116

The South is crumbling.

The smoke from Fort Sumter must have helped the blockade runners as they got through to Charleston.  Not Savanah but and New Orleans is not blockaded due to the Rebel ironclad's presence.

The Confederates carry forward 99 supply and get 60 from major cities plus 8 from imports.  There is no supply from towns this cycle,  After raising 10,000 garrison troops they are left with 147 supply.

The Union carry forward 562 and receive 250.  They augment a 3-3 to a 10-3 and raise 3,000 garrison troops.  They are left with 785 supply.

The Confederates launch a new ironclad at New Orleans.  4,000 garrison troops are posted there to protect it.  5,000 garrison troops go to Atlanta.  Gardner also turns up in Atlanta and a Corps is created for him.  Partisans appear in Virginia.  A partisan cadre is created in Georgia.

The Union raise 8,000 troops in Bowling Green and 3,000 in Washington.  Grant and Curtis return to duty and are sent to Bowling Green.  Grant becomes commander of the Blue Army and Curtis the XXI Corps.  Meade is created commander of the Army of Virginia and Butler is given command of the Army of Arkansas.  Butler doesn't know what to think.  The final Union ironclad completes its fitout.

The Confederates might have supplies, but they have challenges getting them to where they are needed.  The militia in Plymouth desert once they realise they ain't gonna get their grits.  The troops left behind in Jackson also give up.  Forrest, unsupplied, is able to feed his troops on nuts and berries.
The remaining troops consume 25 supply using 8 rail.  A problem for the Confederates is their shrinking territory is causing problems for the correct function of their Departments.  A further 12 supply are distributed using 6 rail.  They have 116 supply left and 16 rail left.

The Union consume 57 supplies using 20 rail.  They distribute 18 supply using 12 rail.  They have 18 rail left and 710 supply left.

The Confederates spend 40 supplies upgrading the fort at the mouth of the Mississippi.

Week 113

The Union get the 3 chit.   The Confederates are able to escape/reinforce as required.

Reinforcements are rushed to the front at Atlanta.

Militia are repositioned on the Altamaha River line.

Beauregard storms into Rocky Mountain, destroying the 1,000 Union troops who had ventured there to cut the rail.

Hardee with a mere 3,000 men is sent to hold Grand Gulf.

Forrest escapes.

The rest of the Confederates are either required to hold their place, have no troops or are too stunned to move.

The Union have a lot to do.

First up Farragut sails to Grand Gulf and bombards the fort.  The occupants flee (permanently).  A ricocheting shell bounces back exploding and killing Farragut.  Luckily for the Union Dahlgren is able to come and replace him.

Buell occupies Jackson, MI, sends McCook to help Lyon and then goes after Forrest.

Sumner is ordered to send troops to Sherman.

Thomas is ordered after Beauregard.

Granger displays initiative in following Thomas and trying to link up with Hancock.  Franklin and Pope also get in the act and do stuff, things.  Most importantly Meade rails to join Thomas.

Most of the other eastern Theatre Generals do nothing, but Sedgewick sends some of Howard's men to mend the bridge in front of McClernand.  Sadly a 1,000 men perish in this hazardous enterprise, but the bridge is repaired.

Grant takes the train to Jackson, MI.  Curtis starts walking to Tennessee.

In the west and south there is a lack of initiative.  Lyon has some, but knows he has to stay put and hammer Jackson.  And that he does, attacking on the 110-130 Column of CRT 4.  Boths sides lose 15% and Jackson retreats.  In doing so, and being the brave man he is, being the last to leave the battlefield and all, his rear guard mistake him for one of those damn Yankees and put a bullet in him.  He will be out of action for ten months.

Sherman attacks the newly arrived Wheeler.  It goes in on the 201-250 Column of CRT 4.  The Confederates are crushed, losing 8,000 men (40%).  The Union lose only 5%, but that is still 3,000 men.  The Confederate losses mean they can no longer maintain a zone of control.  They retreat across the Chattahoochee.

There are no attacks in the East.

Confederate collapse in the East

Destination Atlanta

Grant will be here soon...

Week 114

The Union get the 2 initiative chit.  How can they win the war at this rate?

There is a redistribution of generals at Atlanta.  Smith is sent there as well,

Forrest takes control of Jackson's troops and retreats to Brookhaven, destroying the railway on the way.  The troops make it to Johnston.

Price is sent to the Savannah.

Hardee (in the west) and Taylor (in the east) fail to move.

Halleck and Rosecrans breach the Altamaha line.

Lyon is ordered to march attack Hardee.  Both sides lose 1,000 men and Hardee is wounded and will be out of action for 6 months.

Dahlgren proceeds down the Mississippi attacking the fort at Natchez and blasting its garrison to pieces.

The other generals on the Mississippi front don't display any initiative.

Sherman moves up on Atlanta.

Heintzelman moves up to Dalton.

Meade makes a cautious advance, but all the other generals in the east do nothing.

Sedgewick attacks Taylor on the 111-130 Column of CRT 3.  Both sides lose 3,000 men.

Sherman attacks Walker on the 401-900 Column of CRT 4.  The Union lose 3,000 men and the Confederates only 1,000 (it was a 10% vs 40% outcome).  But the Confederates have to retreat.  Sherman is across the Chattahoochee.  The snipers aim for Sherman, but can't pick him out.

Lyon fails to attack.

The Union will be slowed due to lack of Railroad repair units.

This is a bit of a sideshow, but all about reducing the Confederacy.

 Atlanta is at real risk of being cut off.

Things are still moving slowly on this front, but Grant has now arrived.  
Another place where Railroad Repair units are required.

Week 115

The Union strike back!  They get the 7 chit.  Hey ho let's go!

First off is Granger who not only activates(frees from the water transport restrictions) Hancock, but also Pope (who has an all important Railroad Repair unit).

Then Meade.  He orders Thomas to send a brigade to captured Raleigh.  A 1,000 men die in this undertaken, but the city is captured.  The rest of the army advance on Beauregard.

McClernand is ordered to cutoff Taylor.

The cavalry in Brunswick is sent south into Florida while the Railway Repair unit is sent to do its job so that Halleck and Rosencrans can continue their drive north to capture Savannah.

McDowell and another Railroad Repair unit are sent to fix the railroad damaged by the partisans in Tennessee.

Mobile Railroad Repair unit completes part of the railway linking Mobile and Pensacola and is then sent to join Grant.

Grant decides to wait for it (there is no truth to the rumour that it is bringing up some mighty fine whiskey as well).

Reynolds and Buell seem to have gone fishing on the Pearl River.  Lyon might have gone to join them as he's also doing nothing.

Burnside attacks the rebels at Grand Cliff and they retreat into the fort.  The new ironclad comes up and has a go at them, killing 1,000.

McCook has gone fishing too.

Curtis and Sumner (who command reinforcements needed by Sherman) hold up to rest their men.  Sickles pushes on clearing the rail line through eastern Tennessee.

Sherman and Sykes are resting, but Hooker takes steps to make sure the rebels in Newman are cutoff.

Rosecrans and Halleck are waiting.

Howard is having a nap so Sedgewick pinches his remaining troops.

McClellan is lost in the mountains.

Hancock misses his chance to capture Goldsboro.

Burnside misses his chance to put in a final attack on Fort Grand Cliff.

Sherman isn't inclined to push for Atlanta's surrender.

Meade decides he is better off surrounding Beauregard rather than trying to assault him across the Tar River.

The Confederates order Beauregard to retreat to the Neuse River.  They order Taylor to try and break out.  The Partisans in North Virginia head for Charlottesville to stage a rally.

Wheeler rearranges the furniture in Atlanta. Buckner reopens the road to Newman.

The Army of the Mississippi holds in place.

Magruder pulls back to Donaldsville, LA (that is what it says on the map, all though some locals with strange accents tell Magruder that it is really called "La Ville de Donaldson.") .  He senses the game is up.

Price arrives at Johnston Station, ready to take on Halleck and Rosencrans.  His army consists of 3,000 militia.  He faces 11,000 or more Yankee invaders.

In the East it's 100,000 Union versus 48,000 Confederate.
The bulk of the Confederates are with Beauregard.
There is nothing of real value to protect any more in this theatre.

 Critical area of operations around Atlanta.
There are another 21,000 Union troops on their way to join the 43,000 already here 
facing the 27,000 Confederates.

 84,000 Union troops trying to get to grips with 21,000 Confederate troops,
who are blocking the way to the other critical area of New Orleans.

There are 26,000 defenders of New Orleans.
Banks has just 3,000.
But New Orleans will lose supply if it can't link to two other supply towns. 

 Savannah sideshow, 
but if the 17,000 Union troops can overrun Georgia ... 

The Savannah Campaign is really just spare buttons, needle and thread in pocket of a man wearing belt, braces and string to hold his pants up.

Week 116

After last week's excitement, the Union draw the 2 chit.

Taylor completes his escape, arriving at Hillsboro.

The partisans, disappointed by the turn out to their rally, destroy the railroad at Charlottesvilles before moving on to Gordonsville and staging another rally.  Their motto "Join our cause or else" doesn't seem to be well received by the populous.

Beauregard sends D Hill and 14,000 men west.

Price destroys the rail line at Johnston's Station and retreats.

Smith takes up position at Decatur. GA.

The Union order the Railroad Repair unit supporting the armies of Halleck and Rosencrans to get repairing.

Grant is ordered to take Reynolds and advance on Forrest.

The new ironclad finishes blasting the garrison of Fort Grand Cliff and it falls to Burnside.  As it contained a Corps it provides a Political Point for the Union.

Lyon then proceeds to capture Natchez.

Dalhglen then sails down the Mississippi and attacks Baton Rouge.  Emulating Farragut Dahlglen he stands on the forward deck to observe the fall of the shot when a ricochet puts a shell at his feet.  The resultant explosion puts him on the sick list for seven months.

Buell surprises everyone and captures Williamsburg, MS.  He sends cavalry to Grant.

Not much else happens out West.

Meade moves cautiously south.

Not much else happens except McClellan gets it into his head to go and stop the unfolding Confederate invasion of Maryland, which no one seems to have noticed.

For some totally unfathomable reason Grant fails to attack.  He was a dead certainty to pushback Forrest which would have put New Orleans out of supply.

Sherman doesn't attack either.

The war comes to North Carolina.

The rail lines servicing Atlanta look a bit exposed.

New Orleans, still functioning due to Proctorsville and Brookhaven.

I am going to call it.  The war between the States will be over by Xmas.


Confederates lost 25,000 to the Union's 16,000.  I had thought of calling another draft, but it would only be matched by the other side.


  1. An expected outcome but still a very interesting undertaking. I appreciate your effort and devotion for seeing the War through to this point. Having played it through and seen the inevitable conclusion, does the campaign game hold much replay value?

    1. I'm finding the end game quite interesting.

      As for replay. The answer is definitely yes. Only drawback is that it is a big undertaking. I find the blogging helps me keep track of what's going on.

      The subtle changes to the rules make for a different game.

      Losses of leaders, would change play as would the race to secure various advantages. But the way the victory points are structured, along with the map and troop numbers it is going to play out very historically.

      In my game I have not used the Union navy to full advantage, I also failed to make a grab for New Orleans early on (although that is problematic given Confederate foresight). The big event that cost the Confederates the game was probably Lee's death and the loss of his army - it was so close to winning.

      So in a few years time, I would hope to play again. At that time I would read another ACW history book as well, as that made for added enjoyment. Of course I would blog the game too, as that also also been a source of fun and enabled engagement with others such as yourself, for which I thank you, and other readers, who have taken an interest in these posts.

  2. Great report!
    It did not look good for the rebels.
    Thanks for sharing the game.

    1. Thanks. At this stage of the game playing solo is good as it wouldn't be much fun for the rebs, all the can do is spoil. In fact I am enjoying how the end game is playing out.