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 Post subject: Re: Losing Leaders
PostPosted: Wed Jun 01, 2011 1:40 pm 
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That's a good posting, Jim!

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General Jos. C. Meyer,
Union Army Chief of Staff
Commander, Army of the Shenandoah
(2011-2014 UA CoA/GinC)


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 Post subject: Re: Losing Leaders
PostPosted: Thu Jun 02, 2011 7:21 am 
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Anything can be programmed but it is highly unlikely that HPS will make a major modification of their game system. Right now Leaders in the game strongly affect disrupt recovery and route recovery. Their affect on battle is rather minor compared to the consequences of losing one. The game probably does have a high enough casualty odds. But because of the cost of losing one, it is best in game terms to keep them out of harms way. That is behind the lines positioned for maximum command range not giving bonuses to attacks.

Because of the way CW men were lead and the thinking of the times, leadership was critical in battle. They, both the officers and the men, expected to be lead from the front. Which accounted for exceptionally high casualty rates for the officers. Armistead with his hat on a sword makes a good target sure to attract lots of fire. An officer on a horse was sure to not last long. Probably the only spot worse was to be a flag barer.

It is hard in game terms to force players to keep their officers in harms way because modern military thinking is the opposite. The officer is suppose to be coordinating his men making sure they go where they are suppose to not running around waving his sword. While modern doctrine values leadship from the front they really don't mean in front of your men but near the front so you can evaluate the situation and coordinate your troops.

At Gettysburg Hood is an example of to much up front leadership resulting in his falling 20 minutes into the attack leaving his troops without effective leadership for over an hour. Anderson is an example to far in the rear leaving no one to make sure has division attacked when it was suppose too. Both are really difficult to simulate in a game.

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General Kennon Whitehead
Chatham Grays
AoT II/1/3 (CSA)


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 Post subject: Re: Losing Leaders
PostPosted: Thu Jun 02, 2011 1:48 pm 
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No matter the mode of HPS play one chooses, Turn-based or Phased-based, I think most, savvy players understand the importance of leader units for basic C&C (Command and Control). I don't mind telling everyone that if I'm thrown into a scenario where my starting forces are fragmented and separated, I will do everything possible to regain good C&C as soon as possible, time permitting.

There are two struggles in every battle; the front line combat and the rear area positioning of leaders. Two of the most frequently used mapboard tool buttons should be the "Highlight Organization" button (if you are not using the brigade color flashes) and the "Command Range" button. These two tools, properly used, allow you to see your existing C&C at a glance.

Whether on attack or defense your leader units are critical to the overall cohesion and inherent staying power of your combat units. The level of that staying power may not be what you'd care to have, but it can become much worse once you lose your C&C. Only the proper positioning and use of leaders in conjunction with their troop units can accomplish that, and every player will eventually arrive at that point in the action when he's faced with running the risk of a leader's loss by placing him within the front lines to offensively or defensively strengthen a critical melee situation. In that respect, I think, the role of the Civil War leader is very well simulated.

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General Jos. C. Meyer,
Union Army Chief of Staff
Commander, Army of the Shenandoah
(2011-2014 UA CoA/GinC)


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 Post subject: Re: Losing Leaders
PostPosted: Thu Jun 02, 2011 4:01 pm 
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I used to expect to lose a significant number of Leaders during any average to large sized scenario. I wouldn't normally lose anything above Brigade level commanders but I would still lose enough of them to see a significant drop in the integrity of my Army command bonuses.
Playing in ignorance despite my experience it just becomes an accepted trial to see your Leaders being skittled away as the turns progress.

In fact it was in a multi-player game against a Reb team that included Generals Kennon & Ross McDaniel that I had my belated light-bulb moment :idea:

Ross made some comments regarding my (teams) poor Leader handling and I went away to ponder the lesson and actually sit and read the manual properly.
I can say that since that moment my Leader casualties have been limited to a few unfortunates in what has become a vey rare occurrence.
The proof in the testing of my new doctrine came when I subsequently held Kennon to a draw on the first day at 2nd Bull Run ...in large part because I was able to drag the utmost out of my Leader command modifiers.

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Brigadier-General Jim Wilkes.
2nd Brigade, Cavalry Division, XX Corps.
AoC. U.S.A.


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