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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

loki100

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This is a quick placeholder for a new WiA AAR between myself and Narwhal. This time we're doing the 1812 scenario with Narwhal as the British (he seems to like them for some reason) and me as the Americans. As with Wars In America: a How to AAR, we'll both post so you can see the game from our mutual perspectives (but without some of the detail that AAR contained).

I'll do a pregame overview from the US side soon just to set the scene and then it'll be a while before we start posting strategy and outcome (for obvious reasons). This scenario is 'simpler' than the Seven Years War, it doesn't seem to have the same sweep of that (especially all the Indian mischief). However, we will try to spread mayhem and destruction on a continental scale :cool:

Table of Contents:

1812

May 1812, if this was hide and seek the Americans are not ready yet
May 1812, a very active start to the war (by the British)
June 1812, a leisurely start to the proceedings
June 1812, The British sacrifice their Indian allies
July 1812, America takes it easy
July 1812, but British hyper-activity makes up for that
August 1812, America continues to avoid too much stress
August 1812, while the English are rather busy
September 1812, and the English keep on being active
September 1812, first stirrings of life from the Americans
October 1812, the American competition to show who is the worst general in the war takes place
October 1812, the English kill themselves laughing at the American 'offensive'
November 1812, the English sober up and try to take advantage
November 1812, the Americans realise its now cold outside and go back to bed
December 1812, the English ignore the winter
December 1812, all the Americans want is to be in nice warm forts

1813

January-February 1813, America snoozes
January 1813, the English act & try to cover it up in a snow drift
February 1813, the English fail to find any Americans
March 1813, America awakes and then decides its time for a power nap
March 1813, the English have big plans
April 1813, so, for once, do the Americans as well
April 1813, the English inability to add up grows
May 1813, the Americans are victorious but have to eat cold soup in any case
May 1813, the English offer more than one explanation for what happened
June 1813, with the war won, the Americans take a well earned nap
June 1813, dissension within the British command
July 1813, the Americans are united - they prove to be equally inept everywhere
July 1813, the English overestimate the level of threat
August 1813, the Americans re-enact the 'incompetent of the Eire' competition
August 1813, the English move in for the kill
September 1813, the Americans blunder to (partial) success
September 1813, the English come over all vengeful
October 1813, America is on the edge of victory, so falls asleep instead
October 1813, so the English go ahead anyway
November 1813, the Americans halt the English
Novemner 1813, the English see things rather differently
December 1813, the Americans are not happy at being left out in the snow
December 1813, neither, it seems, are the English

1814

January 1814, a surprising level of American activity
January 1814, despite which the English still overtake them in the fast lane
February 1814, American nips off for a quick nap before work
February 1814, the English are rather hungry
March 1814, the English do nasty things while all right thinking people are still in bed
March 1814, The English start counting out their biscuits
April 1814, English grumbles about the lack of food
April-May 1814, America starts to study N Vietnamese military tactics
May 1814, English successes
June 1814, FortKing Hell and other American defeats
June 1814, the English start to feel confident
July 1814, the American are saved by English incompetence (hopefully)
July 1814, apart from their dead Indians, the English are having great fun
August-September 1814, America tries to recover
August 1814, the English take advantage
September 1814, even New York is under threat
October 1814, time to run away
October 1814, as the English move in for the kill
November 1814, America triumphant
November 1814, apart from a problem in the West, its all going well for the English
December 1814, the war is apparently over but the English don't want to stop
December 1814, just so many American victories it was almost embarrasing to record them

1815

January 1815, America prepares for victory
January 1815, the British confess to all sorts of dubious schemes
February 1815, the English take control of the matches
February 1815, and the Americans add fuel to the flames
March 1815, the Americans take part in a stunning victory ... as the losers
March 1815, English victories, bribery and defeat
April 1815, Fort King Glory and other American victories
April 1815, The English are over-optimistic
May 1815, a few minor English victories
May 1815, America is on the edge of total victory (with some confusion as to who will be the victor)
June 1815, the English claim to have won a decisive victory
June 1815, nah America won really :ninja:
 
Last edited:

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Oh goody, another match between the two of you? This should be entertaining. :) Of course, given your chosen title (and the historic record), I'm expecting some nice fireworks :)p). Don't disappoint us. ;)
 

loki100

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May 1812 ... I'm not ready to start yet



We are pleased to continue our series of historical memoires designed to cast new light on some of the conflicts overlooked in conventional history books. This conflict is overshadowed by the dramatic events in Europe and to the extent it appears to have been a war that both sides blundered into without any grand strategic goals.

In producing this revised edition, we are fortunate to be able to include for the first time some of the letters and diplomatic cables of the French representative in Washington in the years 1812-1815. These were discovered in the attic above a run down bar in Caracas in the 1970s and have been edited and translated into English for the first time as they offer invaluable insights into the American decision making during the war.

For some time their historical provenance was doubted as Le Comte Henri du Diable is a little known figure and few of his dispatches (presumably due to the English naval blockade) can be found in the archives of the French foreign ministry. Equally his sister (although their actual relationship is unclear) Astride, Comtesse d'Enfer, is another mysterious figure, as she too has disappeared from the historical records. We can only assume she was given her title by Napoleon and it was revoked with the restoration of the Bourbons in 1815. His first letter in the collection is perhaps indicative that the war was rather unexpected, or that he was, quite simply, utterly unaware of the possibility interested it seemed only in events back on his home estates of Enfer.



In the war itself the main cities of Canada, Spanish held Mobile in Florida, the old French town of Nouvelle Orleans and Vincennes with its strategic dominance of the Missisipi were the main targets of both sides.



The first dispatch of Comte Henri perhaps sets the scene better than anything else. The only pity is he was so wrong in his assumptions, but ... well one can't have everything. His dispatch covers the main regions that were to be part of the war, starting with Lake Eire.

Here, unusually, as Henri was to stress, the Americans had an army at Detroit that was able to react quickly even if the commander, William Hull, was noted for his indolence. It appears as if Henri was a close friend and they spent many evenings drinking together. Before William left for his new post it was reported that Henri gave him some special matches ... rumoured never to fail to light at the first attempt.



Also on Lake Eire was Smyth's smaller command at Buffalo which was even less well prepared for war and a naval flottila large enough, in Henri's estimation, to maintain control of the lake.

The next main potential zone of operations was the region running from Lake Ontario to Lake Champlain. In the previous war this region had been critical but again the American forces were singularly unready for conflict. At Niagara was a large, but ill-prepared, force under the command of Van Rensselaer. In addition to a number of powerful garrisons, the Army of the North West was in reserve at Albany, guarding the route to Washington and New York.



To the south, in addition to various garrisons was a small force at Pensacola, surrounded by Spanish held towns, was a small fleet, somewhat outnumbered by the British squadrons in the Carribean.



On the Atlantic coast was a series of garrison forces and a fairly powerful fleet, unfortunately scattered up and down the coast and ill-deployed in case of war.





As Henri's dispatch of 10 June 1812 makes it plain, there were no real preperations for the war just about to begin. A pity then that such an event was clearly anticipated by the local newspapers, even so his rather unreliable dispatches and letters offer a fascinating insight ino the war that began that June.



and of course, it was only a minor oversight on his part not to notice that the Americans actually started the war ...
 
Last edited:

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Based on your screenshots, I see absolutely no British forces whatsoever - evidently, the Americans know this and can confidently expect this war to be over before it gets too cold in Canada, soon to be a nice new territory of the US. :p

It'll be interesting to see how this plays out.
 

unmerged(305389)

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Good luck to both of you!

WiA is the AGEOD game, I am least experienced with. I have never even tried the 1812 scenario. This will be a pleasure to follow.:)
 

loki100

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Based on your screenshots, I see absolutely no British forces whatsoever - evidently, the Americans know this and can confidently expect this war to be over before it gets too cold in Canada, soon to be a nice new territory of the US. :p

It'll be interesting to see how this plays out.
Exactly, as will be plain from the June events the war was over in the first two days when the British suffered a massive defeat ... only pity was they sneakily chose to ignore this and agressively responded to my DoW

& there are less Indians, but still some nifty abuse of matches

Good luck to both of you!

WiA is the AGEOD game, I am least experienced with. I have never even tried the 1812 scenario. This will be a pleasure to follow.:)
I really like it. It so pared down to just manouvre and supply that you have none of the scale of RoP or RUS, so you can play at some speed. They are all so much better MP than SP, but this one really is up front and personal. You're not really wrestling with the game system and your opponent, its all about the conduct of the campaign (but with a realistic if simple supply constraint).

The Seven Years war scenario is, at least in the first few years, a sprawling brawl across most of the continent. This one is not only shorter (3 campaign seasons is not a lot of time given the brutal winter rules in WiA) but very much a tussle on the American-Canadian border (though I suspect the English will get enough new units to make naval landings elsewhere feasible - I'm on my first play through).
 

loki100

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June 1812, an optimistic start (that goes downhill)

In contrast to Henri's optimistic dispatches, the Americans were sort of prepared for war. Admittedly they did little to prepare their armies but one British raid on a merchant ship triggered a war that many had verbally demanded.



On Lake Champlain, American spirits were raised when MacDonough's flotilla surprised and drove off an English force trying to move to the south of the lake. This victory seemed a portent of greater things to come.



In the meantime at Detroit, the American plans and deployment fell into English hands.



Fortunately Hull, rather than put his plans into action had decided that was really needed was a long lunch, instead. While he lunched the Lake Eire squadron under Chauncey moved to blockade Amhertsburg, the rather confused English instead of being attacked on land faced a hail of cannon balls from the lake (& the sound of a long and liquid lunch being consumed in Detroit).



While he lunched, Hull entrusted his subordinates with the special matches and several battalions marched to engage with the hostile Indian village at Ottowa. On 10 June, the opening shots of the land war were heard and news of the heroic American victory sent to Washington.



American optimism that the war was already won (well Henri's rather excited dispatch back to France) was raised when Wilkinson outmanouvered the Spanish and invested Mobile. The goal was to eliminate this outpost before striking into Florida proper.



Henri's excitement was such that he went personally to Oswego on Lake Ontario with a view to spending August in Mont Royal. His letter to Astride perhaps best captures the spirit of those days.



Of course while so engaged, he did miss the first large scale clash of the war. 2 battalions of light American infantry and 2 of militia were driven back by a large English invasion force.




(English sneak attack after they had had war declared on them. Note the disparity in numbers, which only adds to the despicable nature of this event)

With the local fleet forced to abandon its harbour, it was quickly engaged by the British. Fortunately the ships managed to escape without too much harm.



So as June ended, it seemed that the English had landed the first important blow. Still this was no reason for the various American commanders to wake up and take much notice ... there was still plenty of time for that.
 

Narwhal

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Life is so unfair. Oswego was taken, but in the retreat 2 elements of Indians were destroyed during their rout (it was another stack that was not supposed to fight ; more on this later). When American and English fight, only Indians die.
 

TheExecuter

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Excellent.

I will be following this with drooling envy once again!

:D
 

loki100

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Life is so unfair. Oswego was taken, but in the retreat 2 elements of Indians were destroyed during their rout (it was another stack that was not supposed to fight ; more on this later). When American and English fight, only Indians die.
In a way its so reassuring that things stay the same despite this being a new game ... I have visions of the (electronic) Indian population shuddering when we press the next turn button.

Excellent.

I will be following this with drooling envy once again!

:D
Welcome aboard ... hopefully this should again feature enough mayhem and random violence to keep you entertained

Hurray!

Though a bit sad, no French to cheer for...
Well there are ... just, at the moment, they are fighting for the British, but hopefully France will recognise the needs of a fellow Republic and send some aid my way.

I'll start updating a bit more regularly later today, we've just about closed out the first campaign season and things were pretty explosive towards the end.
 

loki100

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July 1812, War rages, America sleeps

After the rather dramatic start to the war with both sides bravely killing off their Indian allies/enemies, in July the pace of operations slackened. The US commanders were badly in need of a rest, and/or another long lunch. Their notional opponents seemed equally unkeen on the idea that a war involved getting near to things that go bang and taking risks.

Fortunately the US Navy was made of sterner things. Having gathered the scattered squadrons from the Atlantic coast, Decatur took a powerful fleet to join the USS Nautilus that was already harrassing British merchant shipping off New England. The Royal Navy cowardly hid to the north while this happened [1].



In the South, Wilkinson set up a siege at Mobile, hoping to starve the Spanish into surrender. Over the coming months, his force would be reinforced by additional battalions and the naval units at Pensacola would institute a blockade.



At Detroit, the 'magic-matches' (tm), were put to good use as the units at Ottawa returned to enjoy the relaxed urbane lifestyle enjoyed by their colleagues.



However, it was on the Ontario-Champlain front that a semblance of military-related action was considered. From Henri's dispatches, it is clear he reached Albany after his shock at Oswego. Deeply mindful that Astride was now expecting a nice present from Mont Royal he urged Dearborn to take his force north to Lake Champlain. This combined with raids on the small towns and depots between Mont Royal and Kingston might catch the British unawares.



As it was, they still had to capture Oswego and the light infantry battalions had fallen back in good order. Dearborn was not convinced at the merits of actually marching anywhere (slow mover trait), but under pressure he agreed to at least move a short distance north. In the meantime the various forces at Niagara continued to ignore the rather inconvenient declaration of war that was threatening to disrupt their otherwise peaceful summer.

Henri argued that Albany was in no immediate threat and, in any case, reinforcements were on their way from New York. He was, not for the first time, mildly optimistic as the British quickly overan the militia units at Oswego.




[1] – a gameplay question, neither of us is quite sure if this gambit really does interdict the flow of resources or not. I tried it in the Seven Years War scenario but with such a small fleet as to make it insignificant in any case.
 

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I just now realized what the title refers too...

:D

York and Washington must BURN!
 

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Ouch. That looks like a pretty comprehensive defeat at Oswego. I know, it's early in the war and nothing has been decided, but that's a lot of dead Americans for such an insignificant place.

Good (?) to see the return of the 'magic matches' and assorted friendly interactions with the native populations of the area. ;)
 

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[For the convenience of our modern readers, as these document are historical sources rather than literature, we “converted” it into modern English, with the help of our dedicated team in South Korea.]

On the 1st of June, 1812


To Our King, George III of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland
From Sir John Prevost, by your grace Governor General of Canada and Commander-in-Chief of the English forces in the America,


Majesty,

By the time you receive this letter, your Kingdom will at war with the United States of America. The unruly Americans, prodded by the rule of the mob, are getting ready to brutally attack your lands in Northern America, and I took upon myself to seize the initiative, to protect your crown and your subjects, and avoid that you should divert any force from the battle against the despised French.

As I speak, your forces disposed to the North of the Great Lakes, ready to push back the Americans and return to you line some of the land that their rebellion took away from you.



Your gallant officers, our King, are ready. I am myself currently in Quebec, organizing the last details of our active defense against America, but all your men are at the position from which they will either defend your country or assault the rebels. Robert Scheaffe and my second-in-command Sir Isaac Brook,are in York, North on the Ontario, with a force of slightly less than 2 000. I trust Sir Isaac Brook’s speed of movement, and the trust embedded in him by his men, to prevail against the Americans. They will be assisted by Admiral Sir James Lucas Yeo, who commands our flotilla on the Ontario.
Their combined forces will be decisive

More to the West, on Erie, Major General Henri Proctor and a small force of 1000 men are facing the American General William Hull. I trust he will do his duty to guard our flank. He will be assisted by Robert Barclay’s fleet on the Erie.
Your majesty can also count on the help of the Natives. John Brant, son of Joseph Brant whom is known to you for his loyalty during the American rebellion, pledged his help with his force of Iroquois. They will be our eyes. And I received envoy from Tecumseh, whom you know as well, who will help us personally, even though envoy have probably not reached him by now.

As for Montréal itself, it is heavily guarded by a force of 2 000 men, and I trust James Pring will be able to thwart any American attempt to land over the Champlain with his small fleet !



My aim is to control the Great Lakes, strategic and economical artery of Northern America. With them under our control, you will be in great position to obtain from your former subject your will in the diplomatic bargain. My plan is simple, but I must act quickly. There is only one route from which the American can bring reinforcements to their garrisons on the Great Lakes. This route is the Albany – Oswego axis.




Should I take control of this axis, Fort Niagara and Détroit will fall under our hands with minimal resistance. That is why I must act decisively – and immediately, lest our opponents reinforce their weakest link.

Here is my master plan :



My objective is to take Oswego as soon as possible, and then march on Albany, hopefully to take the city by the beginning of Winter, or if not to create a cushion of cities between Albany and Oswego.


Let me give your Majesty more information on how this general plan will be implemented in practice



I will use my forces currently available in Montréal to land immediately on the shores of the city of Oswego. This fleet will be unescorted, so I trust that Sir James Yeo, leaving from Kingston, will clean the Ontario water from any hostile presence. Meanwhile, Sir Isaac Brook will move to Kingston, from where in August he will take a boat to land in Oswego himself. Such a bold move is worthy of English tradition and will surprise our opponents.
While Oswego is taken, John Brant’s scout will provide us information on the enemy forces in Albany and around.
As for the rest of the forces on the Lake, they will defend their position, eventually retreat to a more protectable position. Proctor will move to support Fort Erie as soon as Tecumseh and his Indians arrive !
I will move as quickly as possible, by some secret roads, led by a Native guide, to command the force in Oswego. By August, September at the lattest, it MUST be taken. Be sure, my King, my forces from Quebec will protect Montréal.

I will send more messages on the progress of our cause,

Yours gracefully,

Sir John Prevost
 
Last edited:

Stuyvesant

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As is to be expected from Narwhal, a bold and aggressive plan. :) I like it, and we've already seen the first part implemented. I look forward to seeing how loki responds.
 

TheExecuter

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Is dissapointed to see that the first engagement of the war (the seizing of Fort Mackinac) is not covered in the game. Does the fort even exist on the map?
 

Morrell8

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This war is shaping up well, do the French Canadians ever revolt against the English?
 

General_Hoth

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Yes, in 1837, 1838. America refused to support us and we got savagely massacred by the red coats and those british "heros" of Colborne or Durham...