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 Post subject: "Release" Anxiety - A Review of the 5-Hex Rule
PostPosted: Sun Jun 29, 2008 6:21 pm 
<center>"One for all, all for one"
(a motto attributed to many sources)</center>

<b>Quick Review</b> - The "5-hex" Unit Release Rule

Dictates that whenever a "fixed" <u>unit</u> is approached to within 5 hexes of an enemy unit, it is automatically released and free to move.

Please, observe the specific qualifier: <i>unit</i>.

<blockquote id="quote"><font size="3" face="book antiqua" id="quote">quote:<hr height="1" noshade id="quote">Please, Mr. Tiller, take a moment to "Release" <i>the brigade</i>! - i.e., <u>not</u> just "the unit" - unless, of course, the unit is officially designated as being "Unattached" - hence, belongs to no particular formation other than itself.<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"></blockquote id="quote"></font id="quote">

<u>The "Historical" Situation</u>

<b>1st Manassas / Bull Run, July 21, 1861</b>
<b>Scenario: #103</b> - "Historical" w / fixed units, arty sections, weather
<b>Start Time: 3:00 AM</b>, July 21, 1861

<u>Note</u>: If the Union player employs the following strategy, it should readily become apparent that Scenario 103 quickly migrates into the "what-if" variant category of hypothetical scenario offerings, deserving a short shelf life of interest. [V]

<b>Defender</b>

<ul><li>1 "Detached" Brigadier - Colonel P. Cocke, CSA.</li>
<li>Cocke's "Release" Time: 6:40 AM.</li>
<li>1 Brigade, covering 2,375 yards (19 hexes) of creek frontage. 4 regiments are "detached".</li>
<li>Troop strength: 2,477 men + 3 pieces.</li>
<li>No Division Leader present.</li>
<li>No Overall Field Commander present.</li></ul>

<b>Attacker</b>

<ul><li>Overall Field Commander, Brigadier General I. McDowell.</li>
<li>Division Commander, Brigadier General D. Tyler.</li>
<li>4 "in command" Brigades.</li>
<li>Troop Strength: 8978 men + 20 Guns.</li>
</ul>

<b>Point of Attack</b>: Balls Ford (hex 62,54) - 6:00 AM, July 21, 1861.

<u>The Rub</u>

<i>Only</i> Cocke, the 8th VA, and Latham's lone piece are alerted to (or aware of?) the dire Union invasion at Balls Ford - because, all else, including <i>the shrubberies</i>, on the battlefield remains "fixed" in code-stone.

McDowell threatens not only to shatter Cocke's brigade in piecemeal fashion - due to their retarded "release" dictates - and then with the release of his 2nd and 3rd Divisions cross at Sudley Springs and cut-off Evans brigade as well from Beauregard's main body of troops further downcreek, surely affording Beauregard many a sleepless nights afterwards, while having Johnston seeking an immediate transfer to Fort Pillow? [8)]

<u>Bottom Line</u>

Tiller's "5-hex" release routine prevents Col. Cocke from issuing an urgent "call to arms!" to his 4 remaining "detached" regiments.

<u>FAQ's</u>

Q) What kind of "command" do <i>you</i> have, when even troops presumably under <i>your</i> "command" <i>seem</i> to pay more attention to some kind of "detached" dude or unit (?) in some distant future, who seemingly is holding all of brigadier Cocke's "release" orders?!

A) Not much of a <i>command</i>, I think it safe to say, let alone <u>no</u> brigade-level <i>control</i>. [:(!]

<u>After Battle Report</u>

A local eyewitness, opined, <blockquote id="quote"><font size="3" face="book antiqua" id="quote">quote:<hr height="1" noshade id="quote">Oh! For the love of P. Cocke, did it <i>really</i> have to happen to the beleagured colonel in such a really sorry-ass, piecemeal-unit-release, begging-to-be-slaughtered-regiment-by-regiment sorta way?!<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"></blockquote id="quote"></font id="quote">

Later, when BG Beauregard arrived to review the tragic early morning events between Lewis and Balls Ford (Cocke's most cruel of "fixed" setups if ever there be <i>one</i>), he calmly asked, "Who the #%@$! <i>was</i> in <i>charge</i> of this mess - my "take-charge" subordiante, Brigadier Col. P. St. George Cocke - who came out of West Point (1833) and was therefore properly trained to exercise personal officer [command and control] discretion and initiative like any other subordinate brigadier of mine worth his weight in cottonclads - even if necessary to <i>override</i> the "fixed" dictates of whoever preceded him, and always, always (!) as changing circumstances demand! - <i>or</i> the cold, calculating, superficially "detached" and distant hand of some equally distant 'unit' in some 21st century future yet to come?!"

<u>Solution</u> (to the 'fix')

The currently recommended <i>manual</i> override - until forthcoming hardwired Update from Mr. Tiller - is as follows (ignore it at Col. Cocke's peril!):

<ol type="a"><li>Remove all "fixed" auto-release times in Scenario 103.</li>
<li>Record a saved-to-text copy of all "fixed" release times for each side.</li>
<li>Release all brigades <i>manually</i> as per normal, specified times.</li>
<li>And - here's the essential <i>key</i> <b>command & control</b> redress: <blockquote id="quote"><font size="3" face="book antiqua" id="quote">quote:<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"><u>If</u> any unit assigned to <i>the brigade</i> is attacked or approached to within 5 hexes by an enemy unit, then <i>all</i> units within <i>the brigade</i> shall be released, hence, free to move - by <i>orders</i> of the local Brigade CO in charge.<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"></blockquote id="quote"></font id="quote"></li></ol id="a">

<center><i>One for all, all for one</i></center>

<i>cc to John Tiller</i>

Fld Lt D. Shoeless, CSA
Secretary of the Cabinet (Ret)
1st Tenn Provisional Army

<center><i>From a certain point onward there is no turning back. That is the point that must be reached.</i> --F. Kafka</center>


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Jun 29, 2008 11:02 pm 
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Joined: Sat Dec 08, 2007 4:34 pm
Posts: 40
Location: Australia
Agree wholeheartedly with all units in a fixed Brigade being released as soon as the five hex range is compromised on any unit. My limited experience tells me this is the most contentious of rules and the manner in which Stuart's cavalry can be chewed up in the North Wood scenario is another case in point.

Lt Dale Blair
'Eureka Brigade'
2/2/I
AofA


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jun 30, 2008 3:55 am 
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Joined: Tue Jul 31, 2007 1:48 am
Posts: 345
Location: United Kingdom
You dirty Rebs should be very careful what you wish for. If the fixed unit release rules are overhauled at your insistence, then the Union experience on the first day at Shiloh will become very much easier too. Forget isolated Brigades, the ENTIRE Union Army is fixed in place there and I imagine a number of very experienced Reb Officers have carved out a reputation for themselves through using dastardly tactics to gain an advantage on that field of battle? [:p]

Lt.Col. Jim Wilkes.
2nd Brigade, Cavalry Division, XX Corps.
AoC. U.S.A.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jul 02, 2008 1:29 am 
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Joined: Thu Feb 21, 2008 3:09 pm
Posts: 808
Location: USA
I think Bill Peters suggestion of the release within the command radius is more realistic and avoids releasing brigade units that are widely separated.

Lt.Col. Drex Ringbloom,
1/3/VIII
Army of the Shenandoah


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jul 02, 2008 5:29 pm 
Here is a quick list of possible "release" options that I emailed Tiller yesterday.
<ol type="1"><li>Brigade-level Release

The common (typical) "one-size-fits-all" practice - certainly more common than, say, "unalerted" piecemeal, regiment by regiment troop releases near a tranquil Shiloh church. This patch update would also prove consistent with the game's "reinforcement schedule" and Unit "releases" practices (accessed via the "Units" menu).

[note: all our troops are typically released in full brigades and entire divisions via the "reinforcement schedule" or Unit "releases" menu box, but once battle is joined all command and control flies out the window and its "every regiment for himself?!" [V] ]</li>

<li>Change to a "7-hex" Release routine.

A "compromise" to (1) above. Works the same as the 5-hex routine, but with more 'vision'. Afterall, enemy units can typically move 5-6 hexes in clear terrain, hence, may routinely prove capable of exploiting the 5-hex "fixed" routine via out-in-the-open ambush!</li>

<li>Permit "released" brigade officers / designated superiors (i.e., Division/Corps/Army leaders) to automatically override the "fixed" routine.</li>

<li>A combination of 2 and 3.</li></ol id="1">

I suggested to John that if he opts not to make a change, then it surely would be better to employ the fixed-unit routine only if / when absolutely necessary.

So, for example, in Scenario 103, whereas BG Tyler is permitted - unlike his confused real life counterpart - to steal an early a-historical 3 hour march on Col Cocke's position, we observe that the colonel enjoys no such compensation by way of, say, an <i>earlier</i> Release time.

Why permit Tyler's division free rein to move earlier in the morning without similarly providing fair compensation to Cocke's brigade to "release" earlier? Why? [:(!]

As for Shiloh (or even Murfreesboro), Union units began the day in the vicinity of the Landing, bivouacked and in an "unalerted" state of general unpreparedness. Grant's careless deployment of his troops was proof that he did not expect a battle that day. The 5-hex Release Rule may prove adequate for Shiloh.

But, 1st Manassas (or Antietam) is not Shiloh (nor Stones River). The rebs deployed along Bull Run fully expecting a battle on July 21! I can find no evidence suggesting otherwise.

If Tiller must select a one-size-fits-all Release solution, then a Brigade-level release model or one that would <i>show</i> how an officer's / leader's "command range" can serve in more than just a routine morale-check capacity would typically prove the more compelling fare.

Fld. Lt. D. Shoeless, CSA
Secretary of the Cabinet (Ret)
1st Tenn Provisional Army

<center><i>From a certain point onward there is no turning back. That is the point that must be reached.</i> --F. Kafka</center>


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jul 03, 2008 1:15 am 
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Joined: Sat Dec 08, 2007 4:34 pm
Posts: 40
Location: Australia
Bill's release if in command radius is a good one.

Lt Dale Blair
Eureka Bde
2/2/I
AoA


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jul 03, 2008 1:30 am 
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Joined: Thu Nov 15, 2007 6:59 am
Posts: 25
Location: USA
<blockquote id="quote"><font size="3" face="book antiqua" id="quote">quote:<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"><i>Originally posted by Blair</i>
<br />Bill's release if in command radius is a good one.

Lt Dale Blair
Eureka Bde
2/2/I
AoA
<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"></blockquote id="quote"></font id="quote">

+1 - Agreed

Lt. Joe McCleery
4/3/VI
AoS


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jul 03, 2008 12:20 pm 
<blockquote id="quote"><font size="3" face="book antiqua" id="quote">quote:<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"><i>Originally posted by Bill Peters</i>
<br />Well and let me clarify my statement too. Here is a situation:

1. Unit is within the five hex limit.
2. Its commander is in the radius of THAT unit.
3. Any unit in that brigade that is in the command radius will ALSO release.

Col. Bill Peters, The Boise Rifles, II Corps Artillery, AoA
<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"></blockquote id="quote"></font id="quote">Bill, as noted I summarized and forwarded your Command-Range-Release contribution to Tiller.

(If we look at the "command-range" theme a little closer, still, "Friendly FOG" is just over the next hillock.)

What role (if any), do you think a brigadier's superior division/corps/army leader might/should play in your release contribution? or are they back to serving more in the non-combat role as astonishingly good-looking cardboard icons? (I could envision a superior commander, <i>stacked</i> in the same hex as a "fixed" subordinate, to similarly provide for a unit's early parole.)

On the other hand, if superior leaders had "command points" to extend the command range of their subordinate brigadier(s), then that alone could and would suffice as a full-court release "assist".]

Fld. Lt. D. Shoeless, CSA
Secretary of the Cabinet (Ret)
1st Tenn Provisional Army

<center><i>From a certain point onward there is no turning back. That is the point that must be reached.</i> --F. Kafka</center>


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Jul 13, 2008 11:38 am 
Here is a compiled list of all suggested Release changes to date. (If you don't see "yours," by all means let John know one way or the other. ==Denny

1. Brigade-level Release - the common (typical) practice - certainly more common than, say, "unalerted" piecemeal, regiment by regiment troop releases on a Shiloh. This patch update would also prove consistent with your own "reinforcement schedule" and "releases" practices (as accessed via the "Units" menu item).

2. Change to a "7-hex" Release routine. Works the same as the 5-hex routine, but with more 'vision'. (Afterall, enemy units can typically move 5-6 hexes in clear terrain, hence, may prove able to exploit the 5-hex "fixed" routine via an out-in-the-open ambush - not right except in the case of trying to simulate the early morning "unalerted" status of troops, say, at Shiloh or Stones River. Given this situation to be more the exception than the rule, a 7-hex Release Routine would prove a measured compromise for general play.

3. Permit a heretofore "released" brigade officer or his designated superior (Division/Corps/Army leader) to automatically release any subordinate unit that begins its movement phase within the command range of its designated officer / leader.

4. A combination of 2 and 3.

5. Bill's contribution:

a. Unit is within the five hex limit.
b. Its commander is in the radius of THAT unit.
c. Any unit in that brigade that is in the command radius will ALSO release.

... if the unit is within the command range of the leader then the rest of the brigade can react as long as they too are within the command range.<hr noshade size="1">
While John has not indicated which - if any - change he would seriously entertain, we must be honest. <i>The simpler the better</i>. It won't likely happen otherwise. Thus none pf the above have a prayer to ever see the current light of day other than #1 or #2. All others would demand a more challenging (complex) routine to program - something perhaps not justifiable, given a relatively modest income base of generated support.

Unfortunately, without addressing a unique situation separately - like that of Shiloh's USA "unalerted" morning troops - no one-size-fits-all release routine will ever satisfy normal command and control conduct.

Fld. Lt. D. Shoeless, CSA
Secretary of the Cabinet (Ret)
1st Tenn Provisional Army


<center><i>From a certain point onward there is no turning back. That is the point that must be reached.</i> --F. Kafka</center>


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