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 Post subject: Attacking in Column
PostPosted: Sat Apr 17, 2010 3:49 pm 
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Gentlemen <salute>

The situation doesn't apply to any of my battles, however the question of melee in column has come up from someone within my division. The particular action in question occurred during night turns and apparantly was objected to by the opponent who ended the match.

When I entered the ACWGC I was told that infantry melee in column was "allowed" only within town hexes and across bridges, however I subsequently saw posts somewhere that there was no prohibition against it as the unit would end up disrupted in column and exposed to disadvantages which resulted.

Is there a club rule on this, and if so what is the justification? In my opinion, if the gaming system allows it it is fair game. "It wasn't used" and "it wasn't possible" are two different things.



Col Neal Hebert
2nd Division, I Corps, AotM
Deputy Commandant, VMI

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 17, 2010 4:20 pm 
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You actually have 2 factors in your question, one of column melee and the other of night action, both of which should be sorted out ahead of time. I think it is up to the 2 players and should be sorted out before the game starts, sometimes this is overlooked and that is when a problem can occur.

Lt. Gen. D. Groce
Commander
V Corps AoP
"beyond our ideas of right and wrong there is a field, I will meet you there"
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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Apr 17, 2010 5:06 pm 
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It is as General Groce has said, but when the two players do not sort out a topic before it occurs, Section 5.0 Gaming of the ACWGC Club Rules apply. Those rules do not specifically address meleeing in column or night attacks so Section 5.4 then applies:

"5.4 House Rules. Many officers prefer specific ‘house rules’ when they play. All house rules are optional and must be agreed to ahead of time by both players. The Club does not require that any optional rules (either house rules or those provided within the games) be used."

Due to the resignation of one opponent as described, Section 5.1.8.1 applies:

"...(An early resignation – in writing – by one side is always scored as a Major Victory for the opposing side and a Major Defeat for the resigning side.)"

Resigning is not necessarily a bad choice. In most cases, we probably just play it out and politely attempt to never play that opponent again (this applies to both sides), but if the act settled the battle anyway or it caused that much heartburn (and your opponent isn't willing to compromise enough to suit you) then better to submit a termination bid or resign and move on instead of fussing about it since the rules favor your opponent's side anyway.

If you have house rules that you want applied to your battles, then address them up front before you start the first turn. This club has enough members that you'll find plenty of gamers willing to accept whatever house rules that you prefer. However, I wouldn't recommend a long list of house rules or you'll scare most of us off even if we would have agreed with your rules.

Lt Gen Ned Simms
1/VIII/AoS/USA
Blood 'n Guts hisself, a land lovin' pirate. Show me some arty tubes and we'll charge 'em.
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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Apr 18, 2010 10:30 am 
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Personally, I have no problem with columns meleeing, but I know a lot of players do. I have more problem with a column stumbling into a line unit and sitting there doing nothing through two fire cycles.

As far as attacking at night, I never saw a historical justification for the night morale penalty. Most night attacks I know of ended in failure. Now that there is night movement fatigue and a severe fatigue penalty for initiating night melee, at least the incentive for a night attack has been greatly reduced.

MG Mike Mihalik
2/4/I/AoMiss/CSA


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 18, 2010 11:49 am 
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Unfortunately, the night fatigue does not work when certain options are used. Why not establish a list of "Preferred Club rules"such as "not leaving the map in a stand-alone battle unless the designer allows it". Rules that are readily agreed to. "No night attacks" could be one since the night fatigue bug is still existent. Another one might be: no column formations within LOS of 5 hexes of any enemy unit which is a house rule that Corcoran's Legion uses. The fact is, most guys - and I am one of them - jump into games without taking the time to go through a set of House Rules. If a set of Preferred Rules would exist it would be a matter of agreeing to one or more similare to the Options Chart in the game.

Maj.Gen. Drex Ringbloom,
AotS Chief-of -Staff,
2nd Division Cmdr, "Corcoran's Legion", VIII Corps
Army of the Shenandoah
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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Apr 18, 2010 12:31 pm 
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But that has been done and the results are at http://www.wargame.ch/wc/acw/acwgcrules.html in Section 5.0 on Gaming. There have been various other House Rules established by different individuals but none have apparently achieved sufficient following to cause a change in the ACWGC Rules.

I, for one, would vote against imposing bans on attacking in column or at night. I've used night attacks before and probably 1 in 10 succeeded, so I wouldn't want to waste any opportunity for an opponent of mine to use it on me. Attacking in column stands a much better chance of success if the opportunity is chosen wisely, but I still would welcome my opponent attempting it because if he is not using it wisely then it will be a costly affair for him.

I enjoy the American Civil War and the opportunity to 'refight' it, but if I am to be restricted to just reenacting the battle as it originally unfolded without being able to apply my own version of strategy and tactics, then I'll just read the book. I don't mind losing the ability to do something that could not possibly have been done, but I do mind losing the capability to do something that could have been done but just wasn't.

Lt Gen Ned Simms
1/VIII/AoS/USA
Blood 'n Guts hisself, a land lovin' pirate. Show me some arty tubes and we'll charge 'em.
VMI Class of '00


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Apr 18, 2010 1:14 pm 
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General Simms: Yes, those rules are Club rules but obviously they don;t go far enough to eliminate misunderstandings. Night attacks are not accompanied by additional fatigue because of a bug so units can fight 24 hrs a day. Until that bug is fixed, it isn't realistic. Frankly,I have not had column attacks used against me so I don't have any opinions on it. But I'm not suggesting a ban, just another list of options that can be checked or agreed upon so that everyone will consider the alternatives in advance rather than waiting until an event happens then argue about it.

Maj.Gen. Drex Ringbloom,
AotS Chief-of -Staff,
2nd Division Cmdr, "Corcoran's Legion", VIII Corps
Army of the Shenandoah
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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Apr 18, 2010 1:54 pm 
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The problem is that people do not read the current club rules and they wouldn't read any new or alternative ones either. Are they pointed to the club rules when they join the club and go through their training? I know that I wasn't but that was a few .... days ago.

Night fatigue (broken or working) is a fairly new concept in the club and apparently did not have any impact upon the inclusion or exclusion of night attacks in the club rules.

However, the foundation is already available for including new stuff in the club rules. Make a recommendation to the Cabinet and they'll tackle the issue(s) of whether or not such a change is warranted to be put to the membership for a vote. We pay them big bucks and might as well make them do something.

Lt Gen Ned Simms
1/VIII/AoS/USA
Blood 'n Guts hisself, a land lovin' pirate. Show me some arty tubes and we'll charge 'em.
VMI Class of '00


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Apr 19, 2010 4:06 am 
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Thank you General Peters. A checklist is just what is called for - nothing official but something that can be agreed to line item by line item BEFORE the game starts. You mentioned some items I was not aware of. We can put this list up as a "sticky" on the opponents forum and this one too.

Maj.Gen. Drex Ringbloom,
AotS Chief-of -Staff,
2nd Division Cmdr, "Corcoran's Legion", VIII Corps
Army of the Shenandoah
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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Apr 19, 2010 4:13 am 
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Location: H.Q. Army of Georgia ACWGC
An ACWGC policy allowing the combatant COs great latitude in establishing the rules of engagement serves the membership well. Those members who place a high value on historical simulation are free to impose the conditions they judge best for re-enactments. Those members who lean to gaming are free to employ any devices the game design allows.

Speaking for myself, on the specific recurring question of melee in column, this does seem to be a potentially useful tactic if one must force a bridge crossing or clear a city street. I would tend to allow it as an option for the Union on fields like Jackson or Vicksburg.

Respectfully,


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[img]<font size="3">Colonel J. Ellis
Officer Commanding
4/I AoG CSA
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The War Horse Division
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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Apr 19, 2010 12:15 pm 
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<blockquote id="quote"><font size="3" face="book antiqua" id="quote">quote:<hr height="1" noshade id="quote">[i]
The situation doesn't apply to any of my battles, however the question of melee in column has come up from someone within my division. The particular action in question occurred during night turns and apparantly was objected to by the opponent who ended the match.

When I entered the ACWGC I was told that infantry melee in column was "allowed" only within town hexes and across bridges, however I subsequently saw posts somewhere that there was no prohibition against it as the unit would end up disrupted in column and exposed to disadvantages which resulted.

Is there a club rule on this, and if so what is the justification?
<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"></blockquote id="quote"></font id="quote">

Just to summarize all this. There is no ACWGC rule on column melee. This should be established by player agreement before the game starts.

I like Bill's idea of a check list. I try to remember to ask especially on column melee since many get upset on this one and also forget to bring it up at the beginning.

The ACWGC House rules probably address the most gamey situations and is a good set to always use.

The new game versions generally take care of night combat through penalties. If you want to fight or march you can but you pay for it. I haven't come across a scenario that is broken but would like to know which ones since there are a lot I don't play often. If the optional rule is broken you certainly want to add a house rule to cover it.

As to column combat I have mixed feelings on it. On one hand it was used in the Civil War but not like it is in the game. In the game it is Road Column. It would never be used as an attack formation. Four men abreast strung ut for a mile charging you might provoke laughter but not fear. However, in the war they did use column of companies for assualts and movement. It allowed better control of the regiment and greater hitting power for a melee. But we are stuck with the game system so you usually need a house rule. I recommend keeping it simple like:

"Infantry Column can't melee unless the only way to move without disruption or blocking is by column (i.e. crossing creeks and entering town hexes)"

General Kennon Whitehead
Chatham Grays
2/3/IV AoM (CSA)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Apr 21, 2010 2:00 pm 
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Posts: 40
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RE: LIST #6: Using Col. Anonymous as a scout. This is expressly against the Club Rules.
5.1.2 Lone officers (that is, any number of officers not stacked with at least one cavalry, infantry, or artillery unit) will not be used in front of your lines as scouts to determine the position of enemy forces. Positioning any officers on high ground behind your lines to better view the battlefield, however, is perfectly acceptable.

Lt. Col. Neal Carney
AoT/XVI/2/1
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