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 Post subject: Need to find a game rule on attacking in a column
PostPosted: Fri Sep 30, 2011 11:33 pm 
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There is a line of abitas.....one road......can you attack in a column on the road hex only.......yes........no......rules before the game starts......I need a to find this rule

Gen John Dragan 3/3/2 AoA


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 Post subject: Re: Need to find a game rule on attacking in a column
PostPosted: Sat Oct 01, 2011 12:45 am 
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Without prior agreement of something different, the only game rules are those dictated by the game engine (it either will or will not allow you to do something) or the club game rules contained in Section 5.0 at http://www.wargame.ch/wc/acw/ACWGCRules.html . That means that without prior agreement, that you can attack in column anywhere at any time as long as the game engine allows it (creek hexside without a bridge, disrupted, etc). Players can agree to additional restrictions if they so desire such as not attacking at night, or not attacking in column except for specified circumstances, etc.

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Blood 'n Guts hisself, a land lovin' pirate. Show me some arty tubes and we'll charge 'em.
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 Post subject: Re: Need to find a game rule on attacking in a column
PostPosted: Sat Oct 01, 2011 10:25 pm 
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Howdy John!

I agree with Ned on this one.

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General Jeff Laub
Iron Brigade
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 Post subject: Re: Need to find a game rule on attacking in a column
PostPosted: Sun Oct 02, 2011 12:09 am 
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Ran into this recently in a Gator MP battle. I was introduced into the ACWGC with the understanding that infantry melee in column was "accepted" when across a bridge or within a town hex. The game engine will allow under most circumstances, so the best bet is to address the issue when negotiating the rules of engagement (optional rules) prior to beginning the contest.

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General Neal Hebert
Edward C. Walthall Division (2nd aka "Gator Alley")
II Corps, Army of the West
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 Post subject: Re: Need to find a game rule on attacking in a column
PostPosted: Sun Oct 02, 2011 4:44 pm 
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I have read in this forum that many have a house rule against meleeing in column except across bridges. The only time I have used that house rule was in playtesting. I agree that units moving in column down a road and meleeing isn't very realistic. But neither is a unit in column stumbling into an unexpected enemy unit and taking twenty minutes of defensive/offensive fire before it can even begin to respond.

The two advantages I see to a unit meleeing in column is that it can move at road movement rate and it can change facing in the process of moving at no movement cost.

The disadvantages include increased damage from enemy fire and the inability of that unit to fire for an entire turn.

I think if a player is willing to risk the disadvantages, including the possibility of disruption, he ought to have the option of employing units in column to melee without restriction.

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MG Mike Mihalik
Forrest's Cavalry Corps
AoWest/CSA


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 Post subject: Re: Need to find a game rule on attacking in a column
PostPosted: Sun Oct 02, 2011 7:49 pm 
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When I entered the club I was told that melee in column should be reserved for across bridges and in town hexes. I agree that game actions should be based on what the game engine allows, however also try to avoid contraversy by not conforming to "unofficial" rules.

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General Neal Hebert
Edward C. Walthall Division (2nd aka "Gator Alley")
II Corps, Army of the West
CSA Cabinet Secretary


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 Post subject: Re: Need to find a game rule on attacking in a column
PostPosted: Sun Oct 02, 2011 9:55 pm 
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Hi, Bill,

According to the parameter data, it takes a third of a turn (4 MP, or 6+ minutes) for a regiment to change from column to line. Here's what happens when you move a unit in column into the ZOC of a unit in line/unlimbered artillery/dismounted cavalry, using no melee in column:

1) it stops, losing any additional MP.

2) it takes defensive fire.

3) it takes offensive fire.

4) it deploys into line, if it didn't rout.

5) it takes defensive fire again.

6) what's left of it can now fire, if it didn't rout after it took offensive fire.

It is true units rarely attacked in column. I have found it rarely happens in the games I have played either.

I did not see melee in column addressed in the official club rules.

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MG Mike Mihalik
Forrest's Cavalry Corps
AoWest/CSA


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 Post subject: Re: Need to find a game rule on attacking in a column
PostPosted: Mon Oct 03, 2011 3:39 pm 
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"Column" house rules should be worked out before you start a game if possible. Many people get very upset when it happens so its best to have an understanding.

Column melees gets tangled up in a whole lot of rules and situations which is why its hard to have a one rule fits all solution. Sometimes you have to take the scenario you are playing into consideration because allowing or not allowing column melees can alter the game balance.

The problem comes in from the fact that in HPS the Column carries multiple hats which aren't interchangeable. First it represent Route Column or four men abreast stretching back hundreds of yards. A formation that no unit should be able to really melee from without first changing into line. Unfortunately, it also represents Column of Companies for meleeing across bridges, fords, and city hexes.

One could live with melee if it took the defensive hit for column and couldn't use road movement but the game allows the use of road making it a preferred formation for assaults in areas with many roads and trails. Add the benefit of not having to pay facing changes cost and it becomes a tank if it can find a hole in a line.

Turn based play is a little better now with the auto defensive fire before melee with separate melee phase but columns can still be quite handy if they can avoid frontal assaults. Without the before melee defensive fire Columns are panzers and unstoppable.

There is one additional rule exploit with column. Infantry columns can move at night without disrupting. If you allow the to melee then you have the ability to do something not done in the Civil War, night fights.

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


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 Post subject: Re: Need to find a game rule on attacking in a column
PostPosted: Mon Oct 03, 2011 6:02 pm 
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Hi, General,

Actually, there was some night fighting at Gettysburg, Spotsylvania and Wauhatchie, but I don't think any of those fights included melee. I have read that there were night trench raids in front of Atlanta, but the numbers involved were probably smaller than this game system could mirror.

I think the 250-300 point fatigue hit did a lot to dissuade players from making night melees. If they would do away with the morale penalty for night morale checks, for which I can recall no historical justification, I think they would cease in these games almost entirely.

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MG Mike Mihalik
Forrest's Cavalry Corps
AoWest/CSA


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 Post subject: Re: Need to find a game rule on attacking in a column
PostPosted: Tue Oct 04, 2011 7:16 am 
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The night fatigue did much to fix the problem but many scenarios don't have a value set or use low faitgues like 50 which can be worth the cost since it can usually be recovered from by morning with a short rest. While there were night attack in the Civil War with a few being successful they probably were not made from road column.

Having a no nigth melee from column for infantry pretty much shuts down the tactic as a good way to gain ground. A player can still have a night battle and try to take terrain, he just can't move 12 hexes down a road and do it.

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


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 Post subject: Re: Need to find a game rule on attacking in a column
PostPosted: Sat Oct 08, 2011 9:03 pm 
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Quote:
The night fatigue did much to fix the problem but many scenarios don't have a value set or use low faitgues like 50...


OT: It would be so easy to update the older pdt files for night fatigue and weather, etc. when they update each module with a new patch - i can't imagine why it isn't done. Sorry for the hijack.

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VI Corps, AoS
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 Post subject: Re: Need to find a game rule on attacking in a column
PostPosted: Fri Oct 14, 2011 10:23 pm 
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Hi, Bill,

I think a column using skirmishers is an excellent idea, but I think the skirmish penalty should apply. This would mean moving down the road at a slower rate, but still 12 hexes instead of 6. I had envisioned the penalty when I proposed the cavalry skirmish rule at Tillercon 2, but that wasn't how it was implemented.

Also, it would be nice if the screen could refresh for each move if that wouldn't slow things down too much. Then you might see that enemy unit across the field before you get in its ZOC.

Finally, it would be nice if phase players have the option of formation change during the turn. I was told this could be done, but someone felt it wasn't right for units to scamper across the open without taking fire, and then deploy under cover. I would appreciate it if players could make that decision for themselves.

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MG Mike Mihalik
Forrest's Cavalry Corps
AoWest/CSA


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 Post subject: Re: Need to find a game rule on attacking in a column
PostPosted: Sat Oct 15, 2011 9:07 am 
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What I would consider an "ideal" solution would be to add a third fromation to represent "Column of Companies" as opposed to Route Column which is really what HPS column is. Let a Column of Companies formation cross bridges, fords and town hexes without disruption with clear terrain movement cost. If a Column of Companies received fire the factors would be doubled against it. If a Route Column cam under fire the factors would be multiplied by at least four. Unfortunately, this would require game coding changes.

Don't agree with the statement that a road column would deploy skirmishers. What they would have out is staff officers checking the roads ahead but this is hard to simulate. If a marching column did run into enemy resistance but not enough for the whole column to deploy, usually the lead regiment(s) deployed into skirmish line with a battle line supporting and advanced. This essentially stopped the column from moving any faster than the lead regiment in line which the game simulates quite well. If the resistances was light they might deploy just a skirmish line but this still negated any road movement. We as players tend to choose to ignore doing this then complain about running into an ambush when our column hits a road block. But that is the price of hoping your opponent overlooked blocking the roads at choke points.

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


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 Post subject: Re: Need to find a game rule on attacking in a column
PostPosted: Sat Oct 15, 2011 3:16 pm 
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Thinking about this and it seems a simple rule might be that a column moving to melee can not use more than 1/4 of it's movement on road hexes (4 hexes max), this solves the issue of a column taking a full move down a road then melee'ing yet still allows the use of column for crossing bridges to melee and could also simulate a column of companies charging.

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 Post subject: Re: Need to find a game rule on attacking in a column
PostPosted: Sat Oct 15, 2011 3:58 pm 
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A lot of members get confused after discussions like this. When a group in the forum tends to agree that something would be good for the game, such as not allowing meleeing from column formation, then some members think that it has become a club rule. That is not the case and these discussions serve two purposes (at least): 1 - some of the patches made to the games by JT originated in these discussions and 2 - members may like the idea and can try to get their opponent to agree to such as a house rule in the meantime. If you do not work something out with your opponent prior to a game (agree on a house rule), then the rule remains that units in column formation can melee and you should not get upset at your opponent if they do so.

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Gen Ned Simms
1/1/XIV Corps/AotC
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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