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 Post subject: Gettysburg Questions
PostPosted: Mon Apr 30, 2012 8:37 am 
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Joined: Wed Sep 30, 2009 12:48 am
Posts: 332
Location: Las Cruces, NM USA
It is a simple one. I am playing a talented General from across the big pond and he is winning a major victory in a Gettysburg meeting engagement. I am nearing the end of day 2, and beginnging to crush his right flank where he set it up at Cashtown. I hold Gettysburg as well, as he has also massed troops northwest of Gettysburg.

My first question is would Lee have stopped there and allowed the Union to mass on his right?

My second question is what should be the goal of the Rebel commander. Win the victory via points, or take specific things like Cementary Ridge or Little Round Top?

I made a big mistake, using my horsetroopers to slug it out at Cashtown and paid a large point penalty.

Just some input desired by the wise minds that patrol this tavern.

MG Elkin
3rd Div (2nd Cav)/XVIth Corps
AotT

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 Post subject: Re: Gettysburg Questions
PostPosted: Tue May 01, 2012 7:46 am 
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Location: USA
I assume you are talking about one of the scenarios like 77 or 78 where both sides are on the map but not controling the Gettysburg area.

Your army's goals are vary dependent on the scenario design since the person designing it sets some things to force certain actions. But here are my general thoughts:

Your real objective is never hexes but the enemy army. Cripple it and you can occupy VP hexes at leasure later. Would Lee have stopped afte taking the Gettysburg area? Of course not. His objective always was to route the enemy army from the field. That is the only result that would give him the strategic initiative to defeat the North.

What are the Rebel objectives in a scenario like the meeting engagements? First look at how the VP hexes are set up. Cashtown is the Union objective. If the Union army takes it they win no matter what the Rebel player does. Not just because of the huge number of VP hexes around it but because it is a Union exit hex and the Union has a bigger army to exit. The scenario designer put heavy emphasis on it because it represents the Confederate supply line. Lose it and you lose your army.

So the Rebel commander is locked to Cashtown and has to fight according to that limitation. The next most important terrain feature is the road system since it channels the enemy. The third are the creeks that cross that road system that restrict where the enemy can attack from. Unfortunately how you use these depends on what the enemy does but once you know their direction of attack you can use them to channel them into killing grounds.

Cementary Ridge and Little Round Top only have meaning relative to controling Gettysburg from the southeast. In a meeting engagement you want to prevent the enemy from holding them but they are useless to the Rebels.

And never use cavalry against infantry. If you do you have lost.

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 Post subject: Re: Gettysburg Questions
PostPosted: Tue May 15, 2012 4:19 am 
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Joined: Sun Aug 03, 2003 1:56 am
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Location: United Kingdom
Generals
I agree with Gen Whitehead that Lee's goal is a victory over the AoP. He is on a raid, not conquest, and only has ammunition for one major fight. He needs to destroy either the North's will or its ability to make war on the South.

Even if you loathe Newt Gingrich, his Gettysburg trilogy is worth a read. He postulates a victory for Lee in July 1863. The ANV takes Baltimore, but not Washington (ringed by forts). Lincoln's will to fight is dented but not destroyed and he brings Grant & Sheridan to East after Vicksburg. The Brits and French hesitate to recognise the South (Vicksburg cancels out the Victory on Pipe Creek) and in the 2 months it takes to get news and decisions across the pond the situation changes again.

Ian Miller
Lt Gen USV
4/3/XV AoT

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 Post subject: Re: Gettysburg Questions
PostPosted: Wed May 16, 2012 2:15 pm 
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Always take General Whiteheads advice, trust me on that one. I may be reading more into your post than I should but I think I detect an element of "that player is not playing the way the Generals did at the time of the battle " in your post. Maybe I"m wrong, if so I apologize. My feeling on that is: of course he is. First of all, we are all well aware of the strengths and weakness of strategy in the late 19th century and we try not to duplicate the mistakes of the time. Secondly, while these scenarios are designed to funnel you into particular places on the battlefield, a good general takes advantage of the expectations of the enemy to deliver the unexpected blow where they are weakest. Thirdly, these are games and knowing how to win the game is not necessarily the same as duplicating historical results (though destorying a rebel attack on little round top definitely has a very satisfying feeling about it on both levels). :wink:

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 Post subject: Re: Gettysburg Questions
PostPosted: Thu May 17, 2012 4:51 pm 
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Joined: Wed Sep 30, 2009 12:48 am
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Location: Las Cruces, NM USA
Thanks for the many excellent responses. Do read the fictional account of Gettysburg-I also loved the novels.

In some ways, a game victory is the object of the hobby. However, I think we should consider the actual results of the history as well.

If Lee wins a victory near Cashtown, but is still forced to retreat, the CSA still loses the war.

I continue to wait for the Wilderness to be replicated. I would also like to see a grand strategy Tiller game perhaps on the scope of 1 turn equals 1 week. You could start the game April week 2 of 1861 and end April week 2 of 1865. That would be roughly 210 turns. Your scenarios would be grand campaign, and one for each year of the war.

MG Elkin
3rd Div (2nd Cav) XVIth Corp AotT

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 Post subject: Re: Gettysburg Questions
PostPosted: Fri May 18, 2012 9:29 am 
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Location: USA
That is always the problem when one approaches the battle from a historical view. My brother has always had a problem with Gettysburg because it didn't duplicate the ebb and flow of the historical battle. The problem of course is if it duplicates the ebb and flow of the real battle the South loses by definition. To win as the South requires that you not duplicate the historical.

Some game/scenario designers do try to force you into the historical pattern by VP objectives or simply the size of the scenario like doing Pickett's Charge. In these the only way to measure success in the game is relative to the actual outcome. In other words, did you do better or worse than Pickett. But you will never really win; that is, break the Union center and route him from the field. The situation was lost long before a single man stepped out into line for the charge.

So the nearest you can do to making it possible for both sides to win and still represent the situation Lee faced is to set up the same constraints and allow the South to win without achieving goals that would "win the war". Cashtown was one of those constraints. It was Lee's supply line and link to the South. To lose it was to lose his army. It is why Longstreet's idea of marching off to the right to get between Meade and Washington wasn't possible. The Union's objective is to not allow Lee to move down any of the major roads where he could threaten Baltimore or Washington without exposing his supply lines.

The situation is still hopeless for the Confederates but luckily the Yankees don't know that.

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Chatham Grays
AoT II/1/3 (CSA)


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 Post subject: Re: Gettysburg Questions
PostPosted: Fri May 18, 2012 5:34 pm 
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Location: Massachusetts, USA
Excellent critique!

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Western Theater, Commander, USA
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