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Buford Protege

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About Buford Protege

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  1. Buford Protege


    I loved AGEOD’s CW2. Burned many an hour in college, even during boring lectures playing. What I wish for us a cross between CW2 and UGCW. Almost a Total War franchise type game. Where you can build your armies and also command the battles yourself rather than let it simulate. I loved Empire TOTW and Napoleon TOTW for that idea. Just wish they could harness it to the American Civil War. A marriage of CW2 and UG
  2. While it is true that many British forces felt it unfit to target officers, it was mainly due to the fact that the officer class was of the aristocracy and wanted to stay on top. During the French & Indian War (pre-American Revolution) it was commonplace for French troops to target officers, especially when in an ambush. One could say that in an ambush it is imperative to removed officers and thus keep the men in a huddled mass. Even Alexander the Great chased after Darius at the battle of Gaugamela in ancient times. Officers were picked off in medieval times to stop attacks. Sharpshooters and sniping units were not always the same area. For instance the 1st Minnesota Infantry had a company regularly detached to serve as sharpshooting skirmishers. Many "sharpshooters" were used as skirmishers more than anything else in the period of the Civil War in an attempt to maximize the damage done by the skirmishers. Berdan's sharpshooters were on the left flank of the 3rd Corps at Gettysburg essentially to keep their eyes open for flanking moves to attempt to make up for Sickles' advance. He did so as the three federal cavalry commands were scattered (1st Division refitting, 2nd Division on the left and 3rd division enroute to the field shadowing Stuart). Elite units are great to follow...its also fun to see what essentially goes from an unknown volunteer regiment goes to become elite. Many came from having great leadership to form and train the units.
  3. The simple fact is most of the “Legions” were split up when they arrived to their assigned theaters. This generally led to 3 smaller commands rather than a complex form of command. The Confederate army in a much earlier instance took all the cavalry and placed it under centralized commands to make more effective use of it. Both sides took artillery into more centralized commands also. While in theory it was not a bad idea, as you pointed out, it was not practical in the American Civil War. Eventually the cavalry on both sides became much more like legions with the addition of the “flying batteries” popularized by Captain Ringgold in the Mexican-American War. Then with the better carbines they would become much more of a threat than any small legion. Usually the largest portion of the Legion, when broken up, would retain the name (I.e Cobb’s Legion) and the smaller units renamed. It was found at the time that it was much better to centralized commands rather than small adhoc commands. The best example of why it didn’t work was the Union army early in the war still assigning individual cavalry regiments to infantry divisions and batteries done the same way. This kept you from making a strong force as it was weakening 2 of the 3 forms. One cavalry regiment can not execute a flanking or rear envelopment of an entire infantry division where a full bridage could. It made a large unwieldy force as to get more artillery or cavalry you had to get clearance from multiple people that rarely worked. In the days of before radio and on immense battlefields it was more of a novelty than a reality. Not until much later and the ability of all forces to move at relative speeds did the idea of combined forces return. Ive found in game that I always have set infantry divisions with artillery support (as was historical). But, also found that cavalry only or artillery only can be a hinderance when in multi-day battles as they can be auto placed in sticky situations (an all cavalry division against Jackson’s assault at Chancellorsville happened on an early play through). Through a lot of micromanaging I was able to slow them down enough to move support...yet not ideal. So instead I pick two divisions per corps to give cavalry to. Or late in game if I feel like making things interesting I make a full cavalry corps...usually just for fun.
  4. The Civil War covered the entire United States. With the turmoil there was talks of the "Bear Flag Republic" rising in California. Trying to take advantage of the issues in the East. Federal troops effectively stamped out the threat by active movements. The 1st Dragoons (1st Cavalry) were on the scene quickly (ironically under the command of Lewis Armistead) and snuffed out the early worry. Many California and Colorado troops patrolled the west as the regular forces were pulled back to fight in the main theaters. When the war broke out, the US army consisted of but 16,000 troops. Many of these were spread across the west (all 5 mounted regiments were west of the Mississippi River) from "Bleeding Kansas," to Texas, along the "Oregon Trail," California, Oregon and present day Washington state and every where in between. Kansas and Nebraska saw many of the opening actual conflicts. Though what brought on the Civil War could be pointed to the fact that the US government avoided discussing slavery when it had the chance to move to end it when they were putting together the Constitution. The question was brought up in the 1790's only to be tabled in favor of getting the Constitution ratified and the idea at the time that slavery would die out of its own accord and not flourish. Had they dealt with it then, there would have been no civil war in regards to slavery when there were so few slave owners who did not have the economic power to fight it. Kansas's feuds were a part of the puzzle, but not the whole thing. Had the secretary of war (from 1856-1860) not sent the bulk of the military to the West and stationed weapons in arsenals throughout the south it is interesting to see how things might have played out... Interesting note about Texas, the 2nd US cavalry regiment and the subsequent infantry commands across the state were surrendered by David Twiggs who gave all weapons and equipment to the state of Texas and then abruptly resigned at the beginning of the war. Some troops ignored the order and crossed Indian Territory to Kansas and safety. As was mentioned, the Confederates attempted to seize the Nevada and Colorado mines and were thwarted in 1862. The dilemma was that the west at that time was not conducive to large armies moving due to the lack of infrastructure for supply (loss of supplies effectively ended the push in 1862). Also, the safety of the west as mentioned by jekct1212 was not what one might have imagined. Some native groups took advantage of the conflict and the withdrawal of federal forces. Some were harshly put down (see 1862 Dakota Uprising) and others were played against each other (Cherokee). Slavery, while a big part of the war was the key issue told across the globe. Many southerners were sold on the idea that the federal government had grown too powerful and needed a return to the weakened federal government while strengthened state governments. Essentially a return of the 1832-1833 Nullification Crisis where the state tried to nullify federal laws within its state as it did not like them. The southern elites told the majority that the federal government would pass laws without any say from the states and would run over the south. The elites who owned slaves had to sell it this way to the masses or they would not have had the support to bring about an actual conflict. Many northerners who signed up initially couldn't have cared less about the slaves. Many did so to preserve the nation and to fight was was perceived as class warfare. The north was made up more so of recent immigrants from Europe who toiled under ancient systems of lords and ladies who had power through no actual ability of their own other than they were lucky in their birth. Many wanted to see the old aristocracy that had come to prevail in the south done away with. Later, after the passing of the Emancipation Proclamation, the war became officially about restoring the nation AND slavery. Abraham Lincoln even said if it meant reuniting the nation by allowing slavery he would've done it.
  5. Buford Protege

    flanking and running units

    Make sure there is no artillery firing into a flank also. That was something I used to miss. Despite being at a long range it can count for flanking damage
  6. I think it curious after reading that article. They claimed that Captain Waddell wanted to attack San Fransisco....Would've been quite the folly considering Alcatraz Citadel was complete with over 110 cannon, 10,000 muskets and estimated 100,000 rounds of ammunition alone and a full garrison. Also, as the Union found many times over...a ship can't sink a fort. Would've made for an epic attempt, yet futile. Still a good story.
  7. I would say the best explanation to the advantage comes during the 2nd Day of Gettysburg in the game when playing as the Union. One Brigade alone can hold Big Round Top as the enemy can not charge up it due to the incline. They take too much of a fatigue hit and stop before they reach your positions. You will notice some bonuses in game as your troops attacking an enemy who is on higher elevations in a straight up fight (like a screening force) will take more casualties generally than the command on top of the hill. In history the biggest advantage has always been moving uphill slows an enemy and the fatigue it causes more than anything. An enemy slowing blunts the effects of a charge and as mentioned, gives the defenders more firing chances. If one looks at the fighting at Little Round Top in real life we see Benning's Georgians unable to break through on their attacks as the men are exhausted by the time they reach the top. Contemporary teachings at West Point (1849-1865) claimed you needed a 3-1 numerical advantage for an assault to be guaranteed of success on even ground. When attacking elevated ground you needed 5-1 or better. Under this model even Pickett's charge (if it was at full strength) bringing 15,000 men to bear would not have succeeded against a weekend II Corps (estimates of 8,000 on July 3). Its the same idea as to why commanders always looked to turn a hill's flank rather than assault it directly (even Grant tried to find flanks). The best example in American history of how to handle a hill is at the battle of Cerro Gordo in 1847. Winfield Scott took 8,500 men and routed a force of 12-20,000 by finding the flank (thanks Lieutenant P.G.T. Beaureguard, Captain R.E. Lee and Colonel William Harney) and turning it. So traditional tactics said don't charge up a hill...go around. Good motto to follow
  8. I would definitely have to agree that non of the Confederate upper echelons can be held devoid of blame. I would generally argue Stuart was among the chief culprits in which he left the army virtually blind. He was smarting from the bloody nose taken at Brandy Station and was eager to reclaim glory. What troopers he left behind were not enough to keep the federal cavalry at bay and perform the full scouting details required. For one of the few times of the war he allowed the Union army to have nearly complete scouting supremacy. With the work of Buford, Gregg and Kilpatrick feeding Pleasanton reports that he forwarded to Meade it gave the Union commanders a much better view of the field and knowledge of what was coming and where. When the fighting started Robertson was busy fending off Wesley Merritt's regular brigade and nowhere enough to handle the entire Confederate army's needs. I would also argue that Lee's army rearrangement led to many of the problems that arose. Though Jackson's death was not his fault. I agree with his reasoning that without him it made sense to make 3 Corps instead of 2 massive ones with less proven leaders. Ewell needed explicit orders (he was an old pre-war company commander). When given orders and full discretion he did very well at 2nd Winchester and up the Valley. His orders were no different than Jackson's the year before. Clear out the Valley, take Harper's Ferry and lead the march north. He did all 3 very well. When the battle was joined he needed actual orders and not just a very loose guide of what to do. A.P. Hill was very impetuous, which Lee should have known from the early days of the war. Add in his health maladies, he was not in his best form at Gettysburg. Had he been it is very likely that the III Corps performs far better on the first day. When in action there were few better leaders than Hill. Out of action is when he struggled, but he would learn as the war went along. Knowing of his health issues it is a wonder Lee was not closer to the start of the action. Perhaps he could have spurred Pender or Anderson to moving faster to the field and driving away Buford before the infantry could reinforce and extend the fight. All in all it seems to all boil down to Lee giving too much discretion to certain commanders who were untested or trying to reclaim lost headlines. Different commanders need different things. Lee learned what men like Longstreet and Jackson needed during the Seven Day's campaign and there were learning curves and opportunities missed. This was essentially much the same as then in a way. Opportunities missed in a larger engagement. Whereas the Union had a command structure that came up together and mostly already knew how to work together (Sickles excepted). One name we missed was E.P. Alexander. When one strolls the battlefield of Gettysburg it has been pointed out historically that had the artillery been placed on a different rise it would have allowed firing at an oblique angle which would have negated the poor Confederate fuses to a degree. This would have meant shots falling too far would have just landed on the southern end of Cemetery Ridge instead of Meade's HQ. Falling short would have hit the skirmishers along the Emmitsburg Road instead of harmlessly in front of the stone wall. Also, it would have limited the number of Union guns available to work in counter-battery fire. Only the guns on Cemetery Hill and some of Cemetery Ridge would have been able to engage.
  9. Mr Mercanto left out the most glaring omission on the second day. The attack of the 1st Minnesota . Also, the missing engagements on Culp's Hill late on the 2nd day were very intriguing. Alas, if they were to fit everything in it would be a very long movie. My biggest complaint of the Civil War movies is the lack of a movie to go along with "The Last Full Measure" by Jeff Schaara. Unfortunately they didn't develop enough of the characters needed for that in G&G or Gettysburg. I would have loved to see Brian Mallon carry on his portrayal of Hancock and the emergence of John Gordon on the Southern side. Tom Berenger I'm sure would jump at the chance to play Longstreet again. He is said to have loved the role so much that he owns a bar in Charleston, SC that he named after his role.
  10. I think there are a couple major things being missed in the answers to the question. The first being that even IF little Mac wins the election in 1864, he would not take office until March 4th, 1865. There was a much longer gap between winning the presidency and taking office than there is now due to many logistical reasons. I believe, that if Lincoln had lost the election he would have pushed harder for an earlier end to the war, or at the very least an earlier start to what proved to be the final campaigns. If one goes with the current timeline, we see that by March 4th Grant is besieging the Richmond/Petersburg line and the last supply lines are nearly severed. Sherman has taken Savannah and Charleston and is playing a "cat and mouse game" with Joe Johnston in the Carolinas. This means that McClellan takes office with the war nearly won. If one reads McClellan's own papers (I had to while writing my capstone), one sees that in his personal correspondence that he has no actual plan to end the war with negotiation with the way the war goes. He is saying he will to try and appease the old democrats in his party. What a candidate says they will do and what they actually do can be very different things. Especially with wartime powers. If he does send representatives to the Confederacy to honor his pledge, I believe he would have a draft of unacceptable demands for the Confederacy and thus they would be forced to decline. Then he could blame the Confederacy for not accepting his negotiations and then finish the war. Not unlike Lincoln did to the Confederate representatives he met at Hampton Roads. I get the feeling that had he actually negotiated a peace he knows he would not have been re-elected and thus committed political suicide, allow peace when a war is nearly won. Even Mac was too politically astute, or his advisors would have been, to see the faults in giving up when it was nearly won. Now as to what would have happened had the Confederacy won in 1861? I agree with Mr. Mercanto in believing it nearly impossible for the disorganized and unprepared Confederate army to have laid siege to Washington and won in 61. They did not have the artillery capable of winning a siege like it would have taken. Also, with the regular army returning the Union would have been able to field a further 16,000+ experienced soldiers to break the siege. But, to play to the fancy that says the Confederates win. I get the feeling we would see 3-4 nations come in what we know of today as the United States by the end of the 1800's. We would have the Union, the Confederacy, a Mormon state in Utah and possibly a nation comprising California, Oregon, Washington state and possibly more. The U.S. military had just quieted a Mormon issue in 1858 and I believe that Brigham Young would have taken full advantage of the splitting of the nation and the focus on the new border to proclaim his own nation. Also, the fact that California and the other western lands at the time were not well garrisoned, it is possible that the small minority that wished independence (Bear flag republic) would have been able to sway more people than was done historically. I definitely ascribe to the historiography that there would have ended up being at least 3 nations in what we know of as the United States today. Essentially one growing to keep the North and South in check (much like Germany grew to keep England and France in check) more than the North and South ganging up to fight in Mexico. I just feel there wasn't enough push from the populace at the time to fight another war in Mexico when the nations would likely have had to deal with reconfiguring their borders and how to deal with each other.
  11. Buford Protege

    Union Strategy at Cold Harbor

    It was much more common in European warfare to have dedicated assault units than the American school of thought at the time. Though Grant essentially used the II Coprs AOTP as his sledgehammer during the campaigns of 1865-65. The American School is thought was in tactical flexibility. We wouldn’t see a return to specified assault units until The Great War (spoiler alert, skip ahead if you don’t want your mind blown by a different conflict). In The Great War we see a return to trying to crack entrenchments and so we see a return to grenades and specialized units. The Germans brought forth their Stosstruppen and the Italian Arditi among others. What you see later in th war, when dealing with entrenchments, was a change in tactics. Emory Upton pioneered a change tab Spotsylvania with two assaults. First they tried a small scale test and then due to its succsss in cracking the Confederate entrenchments it was tried again in a large scale. In Upton’s plan the 1st wave would go in with rifles unloaded so the men wouldn’t be tempted to stop and fire, therefore getting pinned down. The second wave would go in with the same configuration. The 3rd would go in with rifles loaded, but without the percussion cap being affixed. The fourth wave would have the weapons loaded and capped and essentially be tasked with the following up and exploiting the breach. The tactics succeeded at Spotsylvania to the point the Stonewall brigade was annihilated and the Confederate division that opposes the assault was ruined and took a counterattack by John Gordon and a re-alignment if the lines on the Confederate side. It was tried again at Cold Harbor, only undone due to the distance of open ground the Union troops had to cover and the fact Grant always started his assaults at the same time of day. At Richmond they broke through and routes A.P. Hill’s corps. Essentially the idea was that at the time to go back to Napoleon’s assault columns, but update the tactics to dealing with a rifle equipped enemy instead of a musket armed enemy.
  12. Buford Protege

    Union Strategy at Cold Harbor

    Hence why I’m every corps I build I have an “assault” Division. The brigades get the traits that help them in endurance and melee. Then in the setting up the battlefield I deploy them in locations I decide to make the smashing assault. Keeps the casualties down to only a couple brigades instead of across the board. Also, make sure you have artillery with good accuracy, helps ensure hits against entrenchments. Get them up where they can do damage before you launch your assault. Be like George Thomas or James Longstreet, get the assault all set and then move forward in an unstoppable assault.
  13. Buford Protege

    Union Strategy at Cold Harbor

    Assaulting fortifications is a tricky thing in some cases. The best way to crack them is to use a tactic made famous by Emory Upton at Spotsylvnia C.H. and used in game it works also. Take 3-4 brigades. Order the first two or three not to fire. Double quick them right up to the enemy lines and charge. The first brigade or two will be repulsed, but the 3rd usually breaks their line. The 4th allows a follow up to start peeling back the entrenchments. Once you've broken through in one point, exploit the flanking abilities and you can peel back entrenched enemy forces fairly easily. (Works well at Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania also) As for myself at Cold Harbor I focus on the extreme flanks and then peel to the middle. If you hit the far right of the Confederate line in that form you can peel back the enemy there and usually keep rolling with flanking fire. I also like to slash the far left of the rebel line with a smaller force after I've hit the right flank. The computer usually starts pulling troops away (In response to the threat at the other flank), thus making my job easier. I'm not sure its the best strategy for Cold Harbor, but it seems to work for me.
  14. Buford Protege

    UG Civil War’s Future

    Custer had the entire 7th Cavalry with him (12 companies). He had 5 companies in his stand on the hill where he was killed. Reno, Merrick and Benteen had the remaining 7 companies with them. But, it is very true that much of the war in the US Frontier was generally a small unit affair. It was usually a company or two on their own. Frontier postings usually lasted six years in one post. That means every six years the entire frontier would rearrange. Before the Civil War fighting in present day Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Nebraska, Washington and Oregon rarely exceeded the 800 men that engaged in the Rogue River Wars. Post Civil War, the largest campaigns never had thousands in action at any time so, I agree it would be a very impractical game. The same problem you mentioned with the War of 1812 or Revolution have the same problem with the conflict I would like to see, the Mexican-American War. Armies were too small for a grand strategy game. The Napoleonic Wars, Crimean War or at most the Franco-Prussian or German reunification wars would be great. Essentially fix where I always felt the Total War games were a let down, the actual historical side.
  15. Buford Protege

    Favorite Commander Choices

    The works by Stephen Sears and James McPherson are a great place to start and get a very good grasp with some differing opinions. Then delve deeper. i recommend Douglas Southall Freeman’s “Lee’s Lieutenants” and also “The Class of 46” by Jon Waugh or Sears’ “Lincoln’s Lieutenants” if you want in depth on the commanders in particular.