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The Confederate States at War
By Mike Bennighof, Ph.D.
November 2012

I have a friend named Christopher McGlothlen, a distinguished author of role-playing games with an unmistakable Southern gothic twist (which describes both Chris and his work). He's more than a little obsessed with the notion of a Confederate victory in what he would call the War of Northern Aggression, having written on the effects of such an event on super heroes, ghosts and football among other things.


 

Having taught history at several Southern universities, and picked up a doctorate in the subject from the iviest of the Southern Ivies, I know that "could the Confederacy have won?" remains a popular topic. Jim Stear looked at the possibilities in our Great War at Sea: Confederate States Navy. There have been a number of other wargames based on this supposition, and quite a few works of fiction. None of these have impressed me with their logic, and one that placed white Southerners in the role of murderous Nazis undertaking an American Holocaust I found deeply offensive to both races. In my own considered professional opinion, I don't see how the Confederacy could have defeated the Union short of intervention by ray-gun wielding space octopi. Casualties that could not be replaced piled up with each Confederate battlefield "victory," while the more powerful Northern economy steadily placed more and more men and weapons into the field and kept them fed and supplied. European powers, with fresh sources of cotton in Egypt and India, were not about to spill their blood and treasure for the South's slave-owning elite, a system their leaders and citizenry found profoundly repulsive.


 

Had such an unlikely event occurred nonetheless, would the remaining United States have become more aggressive internationally, or turned inward? What sort of regime would develop in the Confederacy? Slavery, already staggering as an inefficient economic system, could not have lasted much longer without triggering a total collapse. Would the South free its slaves willingly, or adopt ever-more-repressive and costly measures to keep the peculiar institution alive?

Just how the Confederate economy would have developed following a victory or negotiated peace in 1863 is open to some argument. Almost a century and a half later, the legacies of economic colonialism remain in the Deep South. One only has to look out the office windows at Avalanche Press to watch the endless trainloads of toxic waste rumbling through a major population center on their way to Greene County's inadequate landfills or deal with the state's lunatic anti-Mexican pass laws. Would it only have gotten worse, as Southern planters could no longer ship produce northward free of international tariffs? Or would native industries have developed to replace imports? Without the military and political muscle of the Monroe Doctrine, could the South have withstood Britain's extremely aggressive "free trade" policies of the latter 19th century?


 

Those are complex questions. This time out we'll gloss over them quickly and get on with one of our most-requested Daily Content variants: Confederate forces for our Third Reich game. An independent Confederacy would through necessity have forged close economic and diplomatic ties with both Britain and France, and perhaps not altogether willingly. Only the lack of Dominion status and a governor-general differentiates the Confederacy from Canada when London declares war, Richmond follows within hours. The remaining states of the Union have become even more isolationist than was the case for the United States in 1939; they will not intervene in someone else's war.

Just how the Allies could have hoped to enforce their will on Germany and Austria-Hungary in 1918 without active American participation is a question we'll have to leave unanswered. The political situation in Europe is otherwise unchanged.

The Confederate States are assumed to have replaced the hodge-podge of state volunteer units with a regular army by 1939. Without the industrial power of the North, there are far fewer air, naval and armored units and horsed cavalry remains in the order of battle. But the Southern fighting man retains his prowess, so this much smaller army does contain some very good units.


 

The Variant

1. The United States.
All American units are removed from Third Reich along with the America Joins and Pearl Harbor political chits. The United States is not a participant in the game and cannot transfer BRPs to any other nation.

2. Alliances.
The Confederacy begins the game at war with Germany and allied to Britain and France. All alliance rules covering the United States and its units apply to the Confederacy. The Confederate SR limit is three.

3. Political Influence.
Ignore all World Opinion (16.22) modifiers for the United States declaring war on Germany or Italy. The European public is unimpressed with Confederate actions. The Confederate States have no influence with Spain (unlike the United States).

4. Free France.
The Confederate States perform the United States' role in all French surrender/Vichy France/Free France game functions.

5. Other Rules.
The Confederate player uses the United States status card. All other rules concerning the United States apply to the Confederate States. Note that the Confederate States do not have a General Offensive chit available.


 

Confederate States of America
Starting BRP Base: 75, including
Old Confederacy: 70
Cuba: 4
Hispaniola: 1

Controlled territory: None

Allies: The Confederacy is allied to France and Britain.

Diplomacy: The Confederacy is at war with Germany (unless "Why Die for Danzig" is drawn before the start of the game).

Units at Start
United States box:
1 x 0-3 HQ
4 x 3-3 INF
1 x 3-5 ARM
2 x 2-4 CAV
1 x 5-4 TAC
1 x 9 SURF
2 x SUB
1 x LC

1942 Force Pool Additions:
4 x 3-3 INF
1 x 3-3 PARA
1 x 3-5 ARM
1 x 5-4 TAC
1 x 9 SURF
1 x 2 CV
2 x SUB

1944 Force Pool Additions:
1 x 3-5 ARM
1 x 5-4 TAC

You can download a set of Confederate units here.

Order Third Reich while you still can, and Bring the Jubilee!