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Thread: Wars in America: A 'how-to' AAR

  1. #121
    Lt. General ANO1453's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Narwhal View Post
    It is so cold that my transport will all the new militias recruited in Boston (which typically “produces” 50% to 60% of my total “recruit” force) is blocked in the port :
    Ice! This is surely a very thorough game!

    Three types of order:
    - I am going to land a scout with my brand new schooner behind the French lines, to have a look at Fort Frontenac
    - Meanwhile, some Indians will have a look on Montréal (I will do a Beginner’s Corner soon on Patrol / Evade, to explain how it is even possible)
    - I gather some Indians on Niagara, in order to attack Fort Rouillé and then Frontenac if possible. Indians move fast enough so that moving them by boats is not very necessary (and more risky).
    Sneaky

    I will sneak troops by bateaux down to Vincennes, where France has (I believe) no defense at all, thus creating a new “front” just like the French did in the South.
    Correction: very sneaky!
    Those English are going to infiltrate themselves everywhere!
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  2. #122
    Field Marshal loki100's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ANO1453 View Post
    Ice! This is surely a very thorough game!
    It is, to me its a masterclass in good simulation - everything that matters is well designed and everything else is abstracted away. One of the old SPI designers used the concept of 'design for effect', in effect you can use slightly odd/gamey/ahistoric mechanisms as long as the core of the particular game delivers.

    Quote Originally Posted by ANO1453 View Post
    Sneaky Correction: very sneaky!
    Those English are going to infiltrate themselves everywhere!
    not only sneaky, there will be more massacres and deliberate killings of my generals before we get much further
    Remember, whatever the question, the answer on 18 September is Yes ...

  3. #123
    Field Marshal loki100's Avatar
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    June 1757 - things get going

    With the very late late winter, this turn sees both sides moving to contact, in effect 1757 will be a very truncated campaign season (at least in the north). With hindsight, this favoured me a lot as Narwhal couldn't move his mass of regulars fast enough to really exert much pressure.

    Anway, as is usual, more people turn up to join in the war (unfortunately including most of the Royal Navy)



    The south is pretty quiet, my group of Indians are now fully mobilised and move into enemy territory



    quite a few tempting targets, or I wait till the others are recovered, I have a bit of time to consider my options, before I commit to one choice or the other.



    In the meantime something wicked (tm: MacBeth) approaches St Jean and there's not a lot I can do ... oh maybe there is - up in the north are some unescorted guns and I've just had a small naval reinforcement at Louisbourg.



    worth a gamble ... note the blue is where I've told them to unload. Capturing/destroying a load of guns &/or supply wagons seems a good idea to me.



    In the meantime my forces around Fort Cumberland move into position, it'll take to July/August to attack but I'm quite content to wait - my logic is the later I do the deed the more likely it is that Narwhal has pushed into my territory.



    And around Ontario, my scouts have found a large English force at Oswego, well they are doing no harm there, so I'll hang around and keep an eye on them. Now those Indians where I used to have Fort Niagara are a different thing entirely.



    I gather up the two battalions notionally protecting Fort LeBoeuf (Narwhal can't reach it for now - I hope) and they'll scatter that bunch before any more savage acts are carried out (at least by the English).

    Oh ... and I do like cannons .... lots of cannons:

    Remember, whatever the question, the answer on 18 September is Yes ...

  4. #124
    Lt. General Narwhal's Avatar
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    June 1757 – Yet more planning

    Winter was long, so by June there is still no real action.

    On the main Great Lakes front, I am preparing my scouts to Frontenac and Montréal :



    The Indians, will attack a French fort. I made the mistake or having them being led by Cherokees, so they will fight worse ! Don’t do that.
    Finally, I am sending the Light Horses to the South. They will be more useful in the Southern meadows than in the Northern moutains. Moreover, I need units with good scouting values to spot those Indians playing hide-and-seek.

    More troops are arriving in Albany :



    Those are recruits, but I will train them, and it means I can move my “trained” troops out of Albany.

    My reinforcements should FINALLY arrive in Fort Duquesne next turn :



    My Saint-Jean expedition is late :



    The guns you see is actually a stack with 12 elements of canons and 4 of supplies ( ! ). It was meant to go after Saint-Jean but it will arrive after the action is finished, so I will keep it in the Fort. Little did I know of Loki’s plan to capture them.

    Finally, in the North, a French massive fleet arrived ! I am now outnumbered on sea !



    Actually, while announced to him (if I remember correctly), Loki100 did not notice this arrival : ) So he won’t use the fleet for a while.
    Learning from Prussia - a Rise of Prussia AAR for beginners - or how a forced march in winter saved Prussia from anniliation.
    A Tale of French and War Crimes : A double Multiplayer AAR of Wars in America with Loki100. Includes violence against English and Indians - not suited for children.
    The War of 1812 - or how I burned down Washington

  5. #125
    Field Marshal loki100's Avatar
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    July 1757 - a tragedy is averted and another is foreshadowed

    Again, this was more a turn of manouver so I'll use it in part to discuss how I'm using stances etc. This is one of the more in-depth part of the AGEOD game system, especially as it determines how a force will operate across the 30 days (with no ability to intervene .... bad news if you make the wrong choice). My biggest problem, even in WiA, is to remember to check and change them as needed -- which does cause me a few problems.

    Anyway, more people come to join in:



    As Narwhal says above - I'd overlooked the nice fleet I recieved (which is a good reminder ... double check your reinforcements etc), but those guns will be put to very good use in 1758 when they sink the RN.

    And at Niagara, those Indians with their nasty plans to loot, burn and pillage are ... looted and pillaged themselves before they can get started:



    (I don't win many battles so I feel I'm allowed to gloat)



    Over at St Jean, the huge English blob covers the land and the cowardly supply wagons hide away (so that battalion can go back to Louisbourg).

    As these two attempts show, short range naval landings are quite powerful and very useful way to shift regulars at speed and catch your oppponent out (if you are lucky).



    Now around Duquesne, I wanted to check out what was in that fort before deciding on my target. There are two key bits to the stance (the little coloured symbols above the commander picture). One is it is the most cautious of defense stances, if there was a large force at Duquesne, and I was detected (possible if Narwhal had Indians there) I wanted to retreat from any contact as fast as possible. The second symbol shows they have the evade move order.

    This is really useful for couriers/indians behind the lines, it means they move around Regular units rather than engage them - I've been using it a lot for my raids and long distance moves.



    Anyway Duquesne is too strong so time to combine the two Courier columns at Fort Cumberland - I've now shifted stance to defend normally (so I will fight if engaged) and added the ambush order. So with luck if I fight, the enemy will be at quite a disadvantage (especially if they are regular infantry battalions).

    Now down in the South - I take a gamble of really shifting the tempo - if this works then Narwhal will lose 3 forts/small towns before he can react ... again all done using the stances.



    The problem was I didn't know his nasty cavalry were heading for the same region (see his June post), so I'm committed to all out assault and ... Also Jean Daniel has the Indian commander trait so can lead the Indians (unlike Narwhal's problems in combining units of different tribes)
    Remember, whatever the question, the answer on 18 September is Yes ...

  6. #126
    Field Marshal loki100's Avatar
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    August 1757 ... more English crimes occur

    Well, we may as well start with the worst bit ... another deliberate killing of a brave and noble French officer, this time at St Jean:



    As you can see he was killed heroicly beating off a mass English attack ... and then they took the fort while the defenders were all off at the funeral.

    Well, there was a some small acts of revenge:



    First those pesky Indians around Niagara were firmly reminded not to even think of doing something nasty.



    and, I know you were all worried about my raiding party in the south, well it worked and I took both the small settlement and the fort.



    This shows what can happen even with evade orders if a small force is detected, here the English at the south of Lake Champlain spotted one of my scouting parties.



    We remember our living heroes too.

    Now looking forward ... well around Fort Duquesne, the English move north.



    I guess that Venango will fall next turn ... the problem is that the garrison of Fort LeBeouf is chasing Indians over at Niagara ... time to return I think. At Fort Cumberland I'm still scouting and regaining organisation.



    and in the south, options look a bit tricky. With a brigade purely of Indians, in open terrain, I really can't tangle with that large army.
    Remember, whatever the question, the answer on 18 September is Yes ...

  7. #127
    Lt. General Narwhal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by loki100 View Post
    Well, we may as well start with the worst bit ... another deliberate killing of a brave and noble French officer, this time at St Jean:
    Oh ? This was the guy waving the White Flag at the top of the fort ?

    First those pesky Indians around Niagara were firmly reminded not to even think of doing something nasty.
    You only had this victory 'cause the Cherokee leaders are actually on your payroll

    I guess that Venango will fall next turn ... the problem is that the garrison of Fort LeBeouf is chasing Indians over at Niagara ... time to return I think. At Fort Cumberland I'm still scouting and regaining organisation.
    LeBoeuf. A "boeuf" being a steer (the animal).
    Le Boeuf also the name of the proeminent medieval age English (Saxon) family.

    and in the south, options look a bit tricky. With a brigade purely of Indians, in open terrain, I really can't tangle with that large army.
    Funny how that would be a "small" army up North, but is a large army down south.

    Actually, it was completely blind as well, and pretty slow with the gun, so if you moved the battle a little up North I would have been powerless.
    Learning from Prussia - a Rise of Prussia AAR for beginners - or how a forced march in winter saved Prussia from anniliation.
    A Tale of French and War Crimes : A double Multiplayer AAR of Wars in America with Loki100. Includes violence against English and Indians - not suited for children.
    The War of 1812 - or how I burned down Washington

  8. #128
    Field Marshal loki100's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Narwhal View Post
    Oh ? This was the guy waving the White Flag at the top of the fort ?
    you see ... your attempt to explain it just makes it all the more ... more .... well more English

    Quote Originally Posted by Narwhal View Post
    You only had this victory 'cause the Cherokee leaders are actually on your payroll
    yes but by the time you've finished with them there are none left to have the chance to redeem their earlier mistakes

    Quote Originally Posted by Narwhal View Post
    LeBoeuf. A "boeuf" being a steer (the animal). Le Boeuf also the name of the proeminent medieval age English (Saxon) family.
    ok, point taken ... I'll start writing my posts in Scots & then we'll lose all our readers ... as a small sample 'messages' in Scots is not what the rest of the English speaking world thinks they are. And why are the French naming forts after Saxon kings?

    Quote Originally Posted by Narwhal View Post
    Funny how that would be a "small" army up North, but is a large army down south. Actually, it was completely blind as well, and pretty slow with the gun, so if you moved the battle a little up North I would have been powerless.
    aye, its all a matter of scale in that sense. The idea of running into 2 regular battalions plus artillery was a bit daunting ... one of the real bits of learnng with the game is when to be aggresive and when to conserve strength ... and I think that was a judgement I quite often got wrong.
    Remember, whatever the question, the answer on 18 September is Yes ...

  9. #129
    Lt. General ANO1453's Avatar
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    You know, I only noticed this AAR's description in Narwhal's signature just now

    Nice French progresses in the South, and threatening British armies up north.
    CoT today, gone tomorrow
    A saying. Or so they say
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  10. #130
    Lt. General Narwhal's Avatar
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    July 1757 – Attack on the Champlain

    In july 1757, I have accurate information on the enemy whereabouts :

    - Montcalm is in Montréal with most of his army :



    - Frontenac has significant defense :



    So my main trust will be along the Champlain.

    But how comes I can scout the French without much troubles ?

    Beginner’s corner - Hide, Detection and Evade

    You might have noticed that in the South, I am like struck by invisible armies. This is explained by the “Hide” factor of units.
    Each element has 2 value that are going to interest us :

    - Its Hide value
    - Its Detect value.



    As you undoubtfully noticed, I am lying a little. A unit actually has “Detect Land” and “Detect Sea”, but we will just focus on Detect Land – Detect Sea works mostly the same way, but well, on sea.

    HIDE

    Hide obviously tells you how sneaky an army is. The higher the hide value, the better. The hide value of an army is equal to the lowesthide value of the stack (no point being all sneaky if you have militiamen partying all night next to you), to which a few modifiers will be applied :
    +1 if the force if the force is small. Small is define as being an army either less than 4 units strong or less than 4 command point worth. [The manual says AND/OR – I did not bother to check if it is true]
    +1 if the force is in “passive” mode (green icon). Does not stack with the small force bonus above.
    +1 in covered terrain (marshes, woodlands, mountain, …)
    +1 if the weather is bad.
    - 1 if the unit is large (more than 9 units strong or more than 9 command points worth). According to the manual, an army could thus be both large and small. I don’t know how it works in details in reality.

    Let’s check this if you will :




    A few more important points :

    An army who is in a province with a structure (allied or not) and not in passive mode has a hide value of 1 (which is the minimum).

    For instance, my Indians in Montréal – I just did not know the “Hide is 1 if structure” rule when I played :



    Also note that the hide value in the tooltip does not update automatically. A new “hide” is generated each turn. It is normal – this allows you to know what you opponent is seeing when playing his turn.

    DETECT

    Detect Land /sea allows you to know the maximum level of hide an army can see on its own province.

    The Detect Land / Sea of an army is the MAXIMUM Detect you can find in the stack – regardless of the number of elements.
    Generally speaking, detect is 2 for guns, 3 for “regular”, 4 for Cavalry and Scouts, 5 for Indians.




    There is no other bonus (except leader traits).

    Here are a few examples :




    A territory with no army you control (51% military control or more) has 2 in Detect. You can add 2 to this if (Independence War campaign only) the region is loyal to you. Hostile regions neighbouring a province you control have its Detection – 1.

    And then ?

    If the Detection Value is Equal or more than your opponent Hide, you spot him. Else, you don’t. Nothing random here.

    But your Indians in Montréal have 1 in Hide Value, so probably they are spotted ?

    Actually, it is a fact. My mistake.

    Why is there no battle ?

    My Indians have the “evade” order, which works very strangely. I cannot be too specific.



    What I can say is that :

    - With the “evade” order, your unit can enter a zone with 100% enemy military control without switching automatically to the “Offense” mode – so no battle forced upon you if your opponent is defensive

    - Even if your opponent is defensive, they are some chance – depending on the terrain, the size (and “evade/patrol” value) of both force, on the weather – that your opponent cannot corner you in combat.
    That’s what happening up there. As Loki kept most of it force IN Montréal, only a small part may be actively looking for me – and I evade them.

    End of the Beginner’s Corner

    So, we were at the point were I understood that there were no defense on the Champlain. Consequently, I am going to do an attack :



    That new leader’s face you see heading for Oswego is (Robert) Rogers, in direct command of his ranger. And Rogers is quite simply one of the very best leaders of Wars in America :



    Actually, in my opinion, he is a little TOO good. First because if you lose him, you lose quite a few options due to his unique capacity to make from a regular force an ersatz of a regular force. Secondly because historically, by inexperience and bad luck, Rogers’Ranger track-record in the FIW was quite unimpressive. Remember though that I was lucky with the “light randomization of leader stats”. I remember the “not-randomized” Rogers to have stats more like 6-4-4.

    I also received a few other reinforcements in New York :



    Those two leaders are really good :



    Georges Augustus Howe Lord Howe is the brother of the famous Lord Howe of the Revolutionnary War, hero of Barbara Tuchman’s book The First Salute. Historically, he also was a little the Duncan Idaho of the French and Indian War : he is the outstanding guy of whom everyone talks about less than one year after his arrival, and then when you are like “I like this guy”, he dies killed on the frontline even though he would have been more useful a few yards behind.

    Anyay, this nice little party is going to go to Albany, who where it will then attack along the Champlain :



    On the Ontario, my Indians, led by the Cherokees, suffered an humiliating defeat.



    Never trust a Cherokee. At this point, I notice the command malus due to the Cherokee leader and decide that the Cherokee are needed for urgent tasks as far as possible from my Indians – in Duquesne for instance.



    Note that even if I wanted to try a surprise landing, I would have to get rid of this ship in the middle of the lake (which I am going to try).

    In Duquesne, well, my elite force is not going to lose any time and will directly assault the enemy fort 30 days of marching of there.



    (The “assault on arrival” order was stupid, but luckily my troops had no time to carry it out. )

    I am FINALLY going to assault Saint-Jean :



    In the South, I am going to chase some more savages from my land :



    And my cavalry takes its sweet time bringing some Detect Land to the South :

    Last edited by Narwhal; 28-07-2011 at 21:28.
    Learning from Prussia - a Rise of Prussia AAR for beginners - or how a forced march in winter saved Prussia from anniliation.
    A Tale of French and War Crimes : A double Multiplayer AAR of Wars in America with Loki100. Includes violence against English and Indians - not suited for children.
    The War of 1812 - or how I burned down Washington

  11. #131
    Lt. General Narwhal's Avatar
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    August 1757 – The Fall of Saint Jean (at last)

    Got it !

    It took 2 assaults, though :




    And I am poorer by 1 National Morale point… [In BoA, NM changes much, much less than in Rise of Prussia. A change of 2 NM in one battle or one event is extremely rare in WiA, but commonplace in RoP]

    Afterwards, I chased the French at Grandpré. This front is “solved”.



    Edit : Also, Charles Lawrence gained seniority after this battle and is going to be a two star-leader, effective Septembre 1757. Now he will outrank Mockton

    In the South, though, the French opened a new front the only way they know :



    WARCRIMES ! Two innocent cities were looted by the French and Indians. How many Isaac Newton, how many Burke were killed in their infancy ?

    At least, my cavalry will try to discipline this mob.

    In Duquesne, a French force is doing some sort of siege… Are they waiting for reinforcement ?



    Meanwhile, as you can see, the siege of Fort Venango has started. For some reason, a Cherokee leader has more seniority than any English and took command… For now, it is siege, and rest.

    On the Ontario, two defeats toned down my ambitions.

    First, a naval defeat :



    Then a land defeat for my Indians.



    Not much lost anyway, but I will back down a little :



    In any case, my main offensive is on the Champlain.

    My force sent last turn has arrived and built the Fort William Henry :



    Well, the “two month” information is because you need to control the province 2 turns to build the fort, but you don’t need to have it for 2 consecutive turns…

    In any case, I am sending a lots of troops from Albany to prepare an onslaught on Fort Carillon.



    That’s a lot of troops committed, but I am short in command points and half the troops ain’t too good.

    Finally, the Royal Navy is here !

    Last edited by Narwhal; 28-07-2011 at 23:40.
    Learning from Prussia - a Rise of Prussia AAR for beginners - or how a forced march in winter saved Prussia from anniliation.
    A Tale of French and War Crimes : A double Multiplayer AAR of Wars in America with Loki100. Includes violence against English and Indians - not suited for children.
    The War of 1812 - or how I burned down Washington

  12. #132
    Meanwhile, as you can see, the siege of Fort Venango has started. For some reason, a Cherokee leader has more seniority than any English and took command… For now, it is siege, and rest.
    Would that really have ever happened? Or did it historically happen?

    And.... that's a lot of boats!

  13. #133
    Lt. General ANO1453's Avatar
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    Things are not looking good for the French
    CoT today, gone tomorrow
    A saying. Or so they say
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  14. #134
    Lt. General Narwhal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hgilmer View Post
    Would that really have ever happened? Or did it historically happen?

    And.... that's a lot of boats!
    It could see it happen for the French - but not for the English. I suppose the scenario creator got a little wrong with the seniority levels.
    Learning from Prussia - a Rise of Prussia AAR for beginners - or how a forced march in winter saved Prussia from anniliation.
    A Tale of French and War Crimes : A double Multiplayer AAR of Wars in America with Loki100. Includes violence against English and Indians - not suited for children.
    The War of 1812 - or how I burned down Washington

  15. #135
    Field Marshal loki100's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ANO1453 View Post
    You know, I only noticed this AAR's description in Narwhal's signature just now

    Nice French progresses in the South, and threatening British armies up north.
    Quote Originally Posted by ANO1453 View Post
    Things are not looking good for the French
    Yes Narwhal's signature is rather amusing ... wrong of course, but still rather amusing.

    You changed your mind on my progress really quickly. In the main this game is like RoP in that the apparent advantage can shift quickly. I think one issue is the distance between our regular armies, so early/mid summer it can look quite stable and the active element are my raids etc, then come late summer/early autumn his regulars reach their targets for that campaign and it clarifies who has 'won' a particular year.

    In truth, I've been on the back foot since I chucked away Duquesne as that would have really extended the reach of my raids and upsetting Narwhal's Indians aroun Ontario was probably not that useful either. But he's yet to land a really telling blow and it is hard for him to reach into Canada proper till he has Louisbourg ... and even then his armies must split up and mine retains the advantage of the central position ... so the fat lady is still chuntering out her tunes.
    Remember, whatever the question, the answer on 18 September is Yes ...

  16. #136
    Lt. General Narwhal's Avatar
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    Just so you don't think it will remain a cakewalk for me until the end, Loki has one of my medium-sized army anniliated later in-game, and where we currently are I am under stress. I still believe I will win, but I had to postpone the earliest possible "expected victory" date by at least 2 years.
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  17. #137
    Field Marshal loki100's Avatar
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    September 1757 - a few places catch fire

    So the 1757 campaign season reaches its high point (remember that in Canada regulars in particular must be safely tucked up by the November turn) and, ... well a few more English towns burn down:



    Even if my innocent Indians are then caught by the Cavalry as they clear up their campsites and oil the cooking pots and so on



    Just to the west, another English fort falls



    and all those troops are now off to the seaside, as they will join up with some regulars and other Indians I'm bringing in by sea. The war in the South is about to change from raids to capturing cities (at least that is my hope)



    In the meantime around Cumberland, I'm in position for an assault. I've a reasonable advantage but probably not enough, but if this works I really mess up their supply and reinforcement lines (as I'll burn the place down before I leave)



    And on Champlain, I fear those two southern forts are lost.



    I could have contested this but I've already just escaped heavy winter losses by having an army trapped by the ice down there & can't really risk a repeat. I'm also quite a cautious player so my preference is to make Narwhal solve the problem of moving across the wilderness while my armies are nice and fresh and waiting for him.

    I'm sure a more active defense would have been better, but I like the 'army in being' doctrine, especially when outnumbered. 1758 will indicate if this was a wise choice or not.
    Remember, whatever the question, the answer on 18 September is Yes ...

  18. #138
    Lt. General ANO1453's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by loki100 View Post
    Yes Narwhal's signature is rather amusing ... wrong of course, but still rather amusing.
    You changed your mind on my progress really quickly. In the main this game is like RoP in that the apparent advantage can shift quickly. I think one issue is the distance between our regular armies, so early/mid summer it can look quite stable and the active element are my raids etc, then come late summer/early autumn his regulars reach their targets for that campaign and it clarifies who has 'won' a particular year.
    If in the next update you took Halifax or New York, that would change my mind on your progress again. :P
    Although I feel that in general, you are losing so far, I think that your southern campaigns will bear fruits later on. Some nice ones

    Hmmm... question: what would happen if you cut sea access completely to someone?
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  19. #139
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    Quote Originally Posted by ANO1453 View Post
    If in the next update you took Halifax or New York, that would change my mind on your progress again. :P
    Although I feel that in general, you are losing so far, I think that your southern campaigns will bear fruits later on. Some nice ones

    Hmmm... question: what would happen if you cut sea access completely to someone?
    There are no specific event in this scenario - it would be very crippling anyway not to have sea access, as it would mean no mobility. But remember that to cut completely access to the sea, I would have to take Saint-Domingue, Nouvelles-Orléans and a couple other places in the South.
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  20. #140
    Field Marshal loki100's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ANO1453 View Post
    If in the next update you took Halifax or New York, that would change my mind on your progress again. :P
    Although I feel that in general, you are losing so far, I think that your southern campaigns will bear fruits later on. Some nice ones

    Hmmm... question: what would happen if you cut sea access completely to someone?
    I don't disagree with your assesment, ever since the loss of Duquesne I've been losing, but so far have kept the consequences to the peripheral issues. To me an arc from Quebec-Mont Royal-Frontenac (my town on the north of Lake Ontario) are all that really really matters, if I hold them by 1764 I think I can claim a moral (or an immoral one given some of my tactics) victory, especially as the grand strategic goal for the French in this campaign was to stop the English reinforcing Hannover/The Rhineland in the main European war.

    At this stage, I was starting to hope that my antics in the south would cross the boundary from being annoying to being a threat. At the least Savannah is a VP city so that would be a really nice gain if I could grab it. I've got nothing down there I could really use anywhere else, Narwhal could use those regular battalions in the Canadian theatre.

    I think if I lost all my ports, I'd stop getting any EPs, and thus not be able to replenish my replacement pool or buy the occasional little present such as some nice shiny new cannons to sink Narwhal's ships with.
    Remember, whatever the question, the answer on 18 September is Yes ...

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