May 17, 2020

RTG2 Campaign (Part 2)

Further considerations.

Is it not strange that the campaign game can end with the bulk of the Confederate army still situated east of South Mountain in order to satisfy county control conditions?

After all, this campaign was essentially an army-size raid. Lee's goals (as I read them) were to instill panic in the Union population, encourage the northern Copperhead movement, extract supplies (especially livestock fodder) and other assets from the citizens of Pennsylvania, and create a fluid miltary situation that might offer an opportunity for a battlefield victory.

[The AoP will be] broken down with hunger and hard marching, strung out on a long line and much demoralized when they come into Pennsylvania. I shall throw an overwhelming force on their advance, crush it, follow up the success, drive one corps back on another, and by successive repulses and surprises, before they can concentrate, create a panic and virtually destroy the army. -- R. E. Lee (via Freeman)

Lee could not maintain his army north of the Potomac for an extended occupation. He could seize food and forage, but ammunition was another matter. He meant to return the ANV to Virginia, especially after ammo depletion from fighting a major battle.

Maryland off limits?

The above quote suggests that Lee did not contemplate entering central Maryland. He meant for the fighting to occur in Pennsylvania, drawing the AoP toward his own army in waiting. It has been theorized that Lee meant to threaten Baltimore and Washington in 1863, but this threat must be considered an empty one once the AoP arrived in Maryland.

County control

Since Lee seems to have wanted the fighting to occur in Pennsylvania, it makes no sense for the victory conditions of the scenario to award points for county control in Maryland. This leaves only Adams and York county as targets.

Allow the Confederates to satisfy county control at the end of any turn (in the Washington County Phase). Keep track of the counties controlled by the CSA during the game. At the end of the game, the CSA scores for all counties controlled at any point during the game.

In compensation, for taking away the Maryland county control points, award points for control of the other three counties of Pennsylvania: Franklin (Chambersburg), Cumberland (Carlisle), and Dauphin (Harrisburg).

Eliminate points for levying towns (no need for the Confederate army to chase all over the map like whack-a-mole). But make levying of the county seat an additional requirement for county control.

ANV retirement

Allowing in-game county control gives the Confederates the opportunity to also score points for retiring to the Potomac (i.e. within one hex of Williamsport, Falling Waters, Sharpsburg, or Naval Battery at game's end): one point per division.

This  campaign was not an open-ended invasion. So let's also subtract 2 points for each division that fails to end the game in Washington county, putting a little time pressure on Lee to get in and get out, and giving the AoP incentive to interfere with an orderly withdrawal of the ANV.

The need for a battle

An incentive to attack is important since historically each side wanted a battle. Lee wanted one to bolster the South's political standing with anti-war Copperheads and European governments. Lincoln wanted a battle to counter the southern aims for the invasion and force Lee to retreat. There are already VP's at stake for manpower losses. But is that really enough incentive to attack? If we want the two armies to come to grips, why not just award victory points for attacking?

Amended Scenario Rules and Victory Conditions

Change as follows (anything not listed stays the same as written):

  • Game ends on Turn 18 if major rivers are fordable (or as soon as fordable after that). There is no early end to the game from the random event.

Victory points:

  • County control points: Maryland counties have no point value. Instead, points are awarded for control of all five Pennsylvania counties (see table below). At the end of the game, the Confederates score for all counties controlled at the end of at least one turn during the game.
  • Levying of towns awards no points. However, levy of the county seat is an additional requirement for country control.
  • B&O RR stations yield no point value for their destruction. This was never in Lee's thinking.
  • -2 VP at the end of the game for each CSA infantry division that is not in Washington county.
  • +1 VP for each ANV Prepared Attack or Assault where at least one AoP infantry division is defending.
  • -1 VP for each AoP Prepared Attack or Assault where at least one ANV infantry division is defending.
County Control Points
County Control Seat Points
Franklin Chambersburg 10
Cumberland Carlisle 12
Adams Gettysburg 15
York York 20
Dauphin Harrisburg 28

Final Analysis

With these revisions, there is no reason for Lee to to enter Maryland other than to go after the AoP.

Control of counties is the baseline factor in Confederate victory. There are 85 county points available; 57 without Dauphin county.

There are also points available for the Harper's Ferry force (10 pts) and the PA militia (~15 pts) which brings the total to 110 pts (Decisive).

Once these avenues are exhausted, the deciding factors will be combat between the two armies, and whether Lee can retire all of his divisions to Washington county.

RTG2 Campaign (Part 1)

Victory points and AoP arrival.

Continue reading

May 16, 2020

Tokyo Express Play Aids

Here's a variant method of keeping track of ship stats and damage in Tokyo Express (TE) using two add-on files: a Ship Manifest and Log Box Sheet. These were designed for use with my TE VASSAL module (still under construction), but can work just as well with the printed game.

Continue reading

May 9, 2020

Tokyo Express: vmod

Victory Game's 1988 solitaire naval simulation of night surface combat at Guadalcanal.

Continue reading

May 2, 2020

Soldiers: vmod

WWI tactical combat set in the early days of the war. Units were more mobile before the trenches were dug up and down the front, but the green troops got a shocking first exposure to the firepower of the day.

Continue reading

- page 1 of 13