Grand Tactician: The Civil War (1861-1865) AAR Diary, Part Sixteen

Last time, the Union moved to solidify the lines after finally getting the rebels out of Maryland. This week, we’re going to be focusing on Ohio, as the overstretched Union armies there move to evict the Confederate armies that had been plaguing the state for the last few weeks.

ED. Note: If you missed the start of this AAR, don’t worry! You can catch up from the beginning here.

SEP 15, 1861

Ah yes, this is what was happening. I’d taken a bit of a break to play large amounts of Victoria 3 for my review, which I believe should be posted by the time this one goes up. Check it out! Same time period, very different approach to war.

Anyway, a battle to free Ohio!

Oh, never mind.

Meanwhile, back near Cincinnati, my plan to secure the border has finally begun, with the Army of Indiana coming down to face the Confederates in Kentucky. If I manage to defeat them here, they will have a much tougher time breaking north.

But before I get into a protracted battle, I’ll want to bring in reinforcements. The Army of Indiana is, unfortunately, largely armed with outdated muskets, and they only have a few guns to their name. The rebels have about an equivalent fighting force on the Kentucky side of the river; for now, the two sides can begin entrenching. I’ll bring the Army of the Tennessee across the river into Louisville to threaten the supply lines. If that doesn’t make the rebels run, I’ll sweep the Army of the Tennessee into the rebels from behind. Due to the manpower shortage I mentioned in last week’s diary, I want to avoid any battles I don’t need to fight.

As a means of tightening up the lines, I’ve also begun building forts along some of the most likely Confederate lines of attack. It’ll put a dent in my budget, but they will be an excellent deterrent to any enterprising southern generals looking to cause trouble up north.

SEP 23, 1861

It’s been a quiet week, the only movement that happened was the Defenders of the West and the Army of the Tennessee moving into Kentucky. The battle over Covington, the city across the river from Cincinnati, still is sitting at a stalemate.

Even though we’re cutting their supply lines, they don’t seem keen to leave yet. If it goes on for a few more days, I may need to send the Army of the Tennessee north to support the Army of Indiana.

SEP 25, 1861

The rebels haven’t moved, so we’re going to them.

In the Atlantic, there were a few small attacks on one of my blockading fleets, which we managed to swat away without much of an issue. The rebels don’t have any ironclads out there yet, so we’re still in clear control of the sea.

SEP 27, 1861

In a month that was surprisingly quiet (apart from the Battle of Leonardtown), we’re finishing up with a battle with major strategic importance. Taking Covington will not only shield Cincinnati from further attacks, but we can use Covington as our first permanent base in a rebel state, a permanent drain on the rebel ability and willingness to fight. It’s not huge, but it’s a good step. But first, we’ll have to fight this battle.

SEP 15 (apparently?), 1861

3:13 PM

Here’s our starting position.

We are going to have to be on the attack today. The enemy is likely going to set up on that hill and just wait for us to come get them, so I’m going to advance into the town but wait for the rest of my army to arrive before pressing further. The reinforcements are expected to show up in about an hour, so we may see fighting before the day is out, but nothing’s certain yet.

3:33 PM

Hey, that was fast!

I’ll have the two armies set up on the plains in front of the hill. Depending on the enemy’s posture, we may push tonight, or see if we can set up a good flanking maneuver for the morning. I would prefer this battle to be light on the casualties, so I’m going to be conservative with my movements.

4:42 PM

I sent out my cavalry and some skirmishers to seize the supply routes onto the field both north and south of the objective. If the battle goes into tomorrow morning, the enemy won’t have been resupplied overnight, assuming they don’t take these back from me.

Meanwhile, traffic is backing up the Army of the Tennessee, making this look more like a two-day battle.

7:33 PM 

I’m just now coming back to the battle, had to call it a night and turn to two weeks of playing Victoria 3 for our review on it. I’ll say this: Grand Tactician handles war far better than Victoria 3 does. Cheers GT Team!

Anyway, here’s what the battlefield looks like now.

Sharp-eyed readers will note my cavalry off to the left, I had sent them to seize a supply route to the south, they’re now watching the rebels from the hills. Or they would be, but we still haven’t seen the enemy at all. Are they just bunched up on the hill? Tomorrow’s battle may be more of a siege if that’s the case.

8:00 PM

Just before the battle closed, we moved up a tad and caught a glimpse of the enemy.

Glad to know they’re still there. We’ll see how things look in the morning.

Day 2

7:00 AM

I opted for an aggressive opening and well, so did they.

They came down off of the hill and are looking to destroy my right. I’m bringing my left up behind them. Fortunately, my right is entrenched, so hopefully they’ll be able to hold.

7:04 AM

Well, that was… bizarre. They’re already pulling back up the hill. Perhaps just as I can’t see where they’re deploying their troops, they couldn’t see mine either?

In any case, they’re beginning to cluster in that middle copse of trees. My left is already moving to get behind them, with luck we could surround them.

7:25 AM

Not really sure what’s going on here.

The enemy seems disorganized, and I’m still swinging behind them on the left. Outside of the extremely quick skirmish at the start of the day’s fighting, the only casualties have been from the guns. Quite odd how this battle’s shaking out so far.

7:39 AM

We’ve finally made contact, and are continuing to push the rebels back further into the trees.

It may be risky, but I’m going to bring my right and my reserves up to trap them from the other side. If we can destroy this army, or at least make it combat ineffective in the near future, that’ll be an important victory.

7:49 AM

We’ve now officially taken the hill, and are absolutely pummeling their lines. Many of their brigades have taken hundreds of casualties already. 

If they don’t break before 8:30, I’ll be surprised.

They broke before 8:00, actually.

The fact that the enemy army wasn’t captured en masse is a shame, look at this!

Quite literally surrounded. Oh well, look at the final results, what do I have to complain about?

I’ll end on a positive note with what was not only an important strategic victory, it was a crushing tactical victory. The rebels won’t trouble us here again, not for some time.

Join me next time as we prepare to settle down for the winter. I have big, big plans for the spring…


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