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Table of Contents | How to win! | Morale | Scouting | Artillery | Offense | Defense | Ambushes | Battles | Campaign specific information (NEW!)

Because of the fog of war, the opportunity for ambushes, surprises and other general nastiness abounds in CWG2!

Civil War Generals II, Advanced Strategy Guide

Think of an ambush as an opportunity to sap the enemy's morale, (both the points values on the board and his actual will!) gain points and extinct some of his units.  Ambushes should be planned frequently and actually carried out much less frequently.  Whether to actually launch an ambush should be a cost benefit analysis.  Can I rout or eliminate the enemy at little or no cost to myself.  If so, launch, if not, maybe pull back and set up at another point.   Early in a game, ambushes are an opportunity to build a lead so that the enemy must attack you to make up points.   The Reb side at Wild 64 comes to mind.  If you can gain a lead via ambushing your opponent, then the Feds have to attack and a skillful defense will lead him to attack where you can defeat him. 
Ambushes are often the times when you get the opportunity for rear attacks.  Two attacks from opposite sides can nearly always retreat even the largest of high morale units.  Even an artillery shot from the opposite direction counts as an attack.  Use the artillery shot or an attack from a weak unit first.  Your second attack should be powerful and devastating enough to retreat the defender.  This can be an extinction event, or if you have enough units, continue to hit the retreated unit to maximize points and then surrender him. 
The gathering of six fast moving units behind ridge lines is especially effective at picking off enemy scouts.  Hiding them in or behind wooded areas also works.  Some of these units can also be infantry as well if they are in movement formation.
Heavily wooded areas present excellent opportunities for ambushes.   A road that goes through the woods will inevitably be used by enemy scouts.   Units can be placed at least one hex away from the road on the sides with no one on the road.  Use one unit to scout every turn to see if anyone has ventured into your trap.  If it is a scout, your units can descend on the scout, surrounding him on all sides and cutting off his escape.  Cavalry on its own wont be able to break out of the surrounding infantry and CCs cant attack at all.  Plus the enemy may commit more units to attempt to save this one and you can surrender all of them!  (Running cav in wolf packs is a good way to prevent this from happening.)
Ambushes can also be launched on the offense.  An example that springs to mind is Shiloh.  Early on, the rebs have a huge positional as well as unit advantage.  I try to take advantage of that by pushing as hard as I can in the early turns to try to 'ambush' some fed units that may foolishly think they can defend close to their starting positions!   Look at this example below of how the first few turns at Shiloh can turn out

Typical day one Fed move
Your missing out on the great battle action here!

Rebs ALL OUT push up the middle!
Your missing out on the great battle action here!
Remember, the feds have very little scouting ability here!

The rebs hope blue makes a mistake or...
Your missing out on the great battle action here!
leaves just one unit slightly out of place!

Now I don't always know why my opponents do what they do!  Sometimes they make mistakes.  ( I certainly do, and often.)  Sometimes they have a plan but one unit is just a bit out of kilter.   I recreated the above situation because I
have actually executed the trap you see below on more than one occasion.  Sometimes I have trapped 3 or even 4 Federal units in the first 4-7 turns of Shiloh.  I pray that the feds stand and fight down here because I know I can make them pay for it as you can see below. 

The reb trap is sprung!
Your missing out on the great battle action here!
The feds get one hit and then its gonna be curtains!

The feds may not realize what trouble they are in just yet.  It appears that the blue inf can escape the surround by attacking north. 

Blue has hit back, but will it be enough...
Your missing out on the great battle action here!
to save his infantry brigade?

Your missing out on the great battle action here!

Your missing out on the great battle action here!

Your missing out on the great battle action here!

Yes, even if the initial infanty charge had failed, it is possible to still surround the unit.  The northern reb cavalry unit can charge and definitely dislodge the fed infantry if the reb infantry fails.  Then the southern cav can still extinguish and there are enough units to still fill in the hole in the surround.

Your missing out on the great battle action here!

This side of the page I will devote to a section I think of as nasty tricks, diversions and battle specific ideas.
Everyone talks about surprise, but it can be hard to achieve.  Here are some of my favorite ways, ideas to help with that.
Consider how in most battles, nearly everyone moves on roads.  There are many advantages to moving along them, but your opponent expects you to do that.  Surprise is gained when you do the unexpected.  Consider the vast amount of woods that exist in some battles.  Wilderness and Resaca immediately comes to mind, but I use this tactic whenever I think I can surprise my opponent.  Instead of moving my units through the woods along the roads, I march through the heart of the woods where he leasts expects me and probably is not scouting for me.   I entirely avoid the roads in the forest.  Many opponents of mine have found an entire division or even corps in their rear when playing historical Wilderness against me.  I simply marched my units through the woods areas that I knew did not have units in them.  This tactic also necessitated a two or three turn rest before these units recovered enough to attack.  So that rest needs to occur somewhere your opponent wont think to scout.  This tactic is also something to try against an opponent who does not know you, or doesn't expect this.  ( I certainly won't be doing it as much as all my future opponents read this and lay in ambushes for my units traveling this way!)  The key is to find places that your opponent does not expect you to be and go there. 
JBG (John  B Gordon) reminded me of another ambush that has been used against me.   If you keep an infantry unit in column on a road/wood hex just behind the tree line, it can attack an enemy unit that is next to the tree line.  The enemy may move a unit up next to you thinking that it can't be attacked because your unit is in column. (Surprised me the first time I saw it!)  This can be a very effective ambush-type attack.  Obviously, as the attacking player, you want to make sure that there are no sharpshooter units that can attack the infantry unit & then move out of range, nor any strong cavalry units nearby that can do the same thing.




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