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 Post subject: Who saw what at Gettysburg
PostPosted: Sun Jun 30, 2013 11:35 am 
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Location: Las Cruces, NM USA
A fascinating article form the Smithsonian

http://www.smithsonianmag.com/history-a ... sburg.html

Lt. Gen Elkin
XVIth Corp Commander
AotT

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I have come to you from the West, where we have always seen the backs of our enemies. . . . Let us look before us, and not behind

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 Post subject: Re: Who saw what at Gettysburg
PostPosted: Sun Jun 30, 2013 12:36 pm 
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Location: Balgonie, Saskatchewan, Canada
Very insightful. Sensational graphics.

It illustrates the validity and importance of the way our gaming systems handle line-of-sight.

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 Post subject: Re: Who saw what at Gettysburg
PostPosted: Mon Jul 01, 2013 11:49 pm 
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Nice display.

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General Ernie Sands
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 Post subject: Re: Who saw what at Gettysburg
PostPosted: Sat Jul 06, 2013 8:24 am 
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It doesn't really validate the HPS game's LOS. HPS shows all the troops visible to any friendly troops on the battlefield. This is quite different from what the commander can see from his personal vantage point. Out side of what he physically can see for himself are just reports from various officers claiming to see other things that by the nature of the delay in transmitting information reflect their perception of something that has happened in the past.

A very difficult thing to reflect in a war game.

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 Post subject: Re: Who saw what at Gettysburg
PostPosted: Sat Jul 06, 2013 3:08 pm 
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Appreciate your comment. It spurred me to think this through some more.

The farther back the commander, the more strategic his decisions. The closer to the front the commander, the more tactical his decisions.

Strategic orders might be made in the morning and reconsidered at noon. Officers at the front line would make tactical decisions on the spot. In between there might be a Corps commander who would issue new instructions every three hours and a Divisional commander who would issue new instructions every hour.

No one would deny that a commander such as Meade at Gettysburg could not see the whole arena of battle instantly. However, it is likely (in most cases) that he received enough information hour by hour to be able to formulate new strategic army level orders every six hours.

If anyone out there has a historical perspective on the number of times per day army commanders, corps commanders, and division commanders issue new instructions, it would be interesting to know. My impression of a lot of these battles is the strategy was decided in evening conference the night before the fight and there were few opportunities to make strategic decisions on the day of the battle, beyond perhaps committing reserves. If that assumption is correct, then the speed of information travel back to the most senior commander in charge is less relevant. It would also imply local commanders make the most decisions affecting the outcome of the battle and local commanders would be closest to the troops sighting the enemy. If that were the case, the gaming system would reflect the reality of the battle reasonably well.

Open to other insights and opinions on that.

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 Post subject: Re: Who saw what at Gettysburg
PostPosted: Sat Jul 06, 2013 5:55 pm 
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Each commander had his own style. Lee when he had his better Corps commanders tended to view his job as getting the army to the right position to win the battle and leaving the tactical details to the Corps commanders for executing the battle. He did affect the on going battle by issuing orders to shift reserves. One has to go back and follow the order trail to see just how he affected the battle. At Gettysburg he made a number of tactical decisions mostly reflecting his lack of Stuart and lack of confidence in his new Corps commanders.

First was restraining Hill who further limited the morning attack by holding back Pender in reserve. Later Lee held back Anderson because he wasn't sure how many Union Corps were on the field.

Meade was probably more active shifting Corps a number of times. This reflects his better "intelligence" on enemy positions and the fact the Union army had to many Corps forcing the Army commander to act more as a Corps commander.

Jackson was probably the ideal Corps commander. Lee could give him a tactical objective and leave the details of concentrating the men, coordinating the attack, and taking advantage of any changes to the tactical situation to him.

The problem game wise is that at no time did these commanders micromanage their armies down to the regiment level as we do. No did their command structure allow them to quickly exploit the tiniest crack in a line like we can.

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 Post subject: Re: Who saw what at Gettysburg
PostPosted: Sat Jul 06, 2013 7:59 pm 
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Your point is well taken.

We do have the option of setting up a multi-person game with delegated roles.

Imagine a game with a commander role and say two or three corps leader roles. We could make it interesting by only showing the commander the turn files a couple of turns in arrears. His orders would arrive instantly but his information would be dated. Wouldn't that be a hoot! Then we would see how difficult a job it was to manage a battle! What if the commander had personal control of the strategic reserves? Even more interesting!

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 Post subject: Re: Who saw what at Gettysburg
PostPosted: Sat Jul 06, 2013 9:44 pm 
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Mark,

Check out this http://home.comcast.net/~krmiller8a/srmp/ and http://home.comcast.net/~krmiller8a/mp2/ Ken Miller's modified Tessier system multiplayer, from a few years back, all orders were sent to Ken who tracked when they would arrive at there destination, he also did all the unit movement and fire from orders issued from their Brigade CO, all the fog of war you could ever want!

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