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 Post subject: Re: Gamey tactics
PostPosted: Thu Oct 24, 2013 2:24 pm 
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The AI's defensive fire isn't exactly a "gamey tactic", however it is frustrating at times to see units advance to contact with little or no defensive fires. I could understand fires being sproradic when at a distance, but when a unit advances to an adjacent hex it should be automatic. The same with hexes being meleed, in my opinion.

That said, I have no problems with it if I'm on the attack :mrgreen:

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 Post subject: Re: Gamey tactics
PostPosted: Fri Oct 25, 2013 12:14 am 
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Gamey often times is all in the perspective...when it happens to you "it just ain't right", when you do it "it's just stretching the rules a bit" :shock:

In regards to Col. Lane's list,

(1)Have to say I've never thought about the one move on the other side of the map then back again so it's hard to follow the replay....I don't much think about how the moves I'm making look on the replay. I often move around the map, not to make the replay hard to follow but because I tend to fire artillery and then move, not from left to right or vice versa but I will move from what I think is the important (to that turn) move/fire to the least.

(4) I don't think an artillery officer has any effect on infantry or cavalry, it's only an officer within a units chain of command that gives a bonus....I think?

(5) Stacking a mounted cavalry unit with infantry doesn't negate melee.

(6) Turning a flank is what lineal combat is all about, there weren't too many battles won by standing toe to toe and firing.

I've gone back and forth on the use of column melee and have pretty much settled with the majority that it should only be used in situations where a line formation cannot melee, crossing bridges and such. As Gen. Whitehead stated it is one of the game mechanics that is most easily abused.

just my 1.5 cents

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 Post subject: Re: Gamey tactics
PostPosted: Fri Oct 25, 2013 3:38 pm 
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J. Ferry wrote:
All I was saying is that the situation that seems to have caused a lot of grief in the club was not even addressed in playtesting, even though most all of the testers were also members, which I was not. You can ask them why they never brought it up. I'm not debating. The column was designed to be dual purpose in the games. That became obvious to me when I meleed an enemy column from the rear and was defeated with heavy loss. I had expected they would all run like chickens. WTF! was my reaction.
J

I always suspected that scenarios were tested using basic rules which means Turn. I just dislike Turn for a large number reasons mostly having to do with historical accuracy. Column is a separate problem since it occurs in both Turn and Phased but I have a problem with it also because of historical accuracy. Just wasn't used enough to even justify simulating. For sure Road and Assault Column should have been handled by different formations.

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 Post subject: Re: Gamey tactics
PostPosted: Sat Oct 26, 2013 7:17 am 
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Why is column assault different for the Napoleonic games?

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 Post subject: Re: Gamey tactics
PostPosted: Sat Oct 26, 2013 9:09 am 
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bkolcun wrote:
Why is column assault different for the Napoleonic games?

For any game covering the Napoleonic period the game has to handle column assault although they still tend to combine road column and assault column in one formation. Column assault was used extensively in that period to compensate for lack of training of the mass armies they raised. Properly trained battalions would use column only to approach the enemy line then switch to 2 or 3 rank line just out of musket range. For the less trained this was to difficult so they continued on in column. Usually there are bonuses for melee from column. Also they recognize that a Column actually had a company or two company front so they could fire as well in the HPS games. Also it seemed like either Napoleonic battlefields had a lot less roads and trails or they deliberately removed unneeded ones because you seldom run into the problem of one side using road movement to enhance the Column's offensive capabilities.

However, I do think in the HPS games like Waterloo when playing Turn play the Column is still overpowered. If you are playing basic rules you would come to the conclusion that Wellington deploying his men in line was insanity. The HPS Waterloo game has the same problems with defensive fire as the CW ones. But the fact that the French side needs this to have a chance at winning makes it a little easier to accept.

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 Post subject: Re: Gamey tactics
PostPosted: Sun Oct 27, 2013 8:24 pm 
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The melee in column debate got me to looking and found the following on Upton's attack on the Muleshoe:

http://www.civilwar.org/battlefields/sp ... ue-at.html

It seems this wasn't the first time Upton had employed the tactic having used it previously at Rappahannock Station, or so the attached article states. I also read in a different article where the Germans employed the same tactic successfully during WWI.

If I understand the description of the formation it was three columns of three regiments, four men abreast in each. Given the roughly 5000 men comprising the assault, that comes to a bit over 400 men deep (some 400 yards?), with 200 yards of open ground to cover. I don't see how that narrow a section of the defense could have stopped the penetration. How many volleys of fire might have the defenders have gotten off; one or maybe two?

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 Post subject: Re: Gamey tactics
PostPosted: Sun Oct 27, 2013 8:42 pm 
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Upton's assault is scenario #214
There were four groups of three regiments each: One to drive straight ahead, one each to drive to the left and right respectively to enlarge the breach; and three reserve.
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 Post subject: Re: Gamey tactics
PostPosted: Sun Oct 27, 2013 9:06 pm 
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I don't have Overland, so the scenario # does me no good lol. I am curious about how the melee would be calculated, however. Is it the standard for column, or modified due to its effectiveness in this particular fight?

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 Post subject: Re: Gamey tactics
PostPosted: Mon Oct 28, 2013 6:56 am 
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KWhitehead wrote:
bkolcun wrote:
Why is column assault different for the Napoleonic games?

For any game covering the Napoleonic period the game has to handle column assault although they still tend to combine road column and assault column in one formation. Column assault was used extensively in that period to compensate for lack of training of the mass armies they raised. Properly trained battalions would use column only to approach the enemy line then switch to 2 or 3 rank line just out of musket range. For the less trained this was to difficult so they continued on in column. Usually there are bonuses for melee from column. Also they recognize that a Column actually had a company or two company front so they could fire as well in the HPS games. Also it seemed like either Napoleonic battlefields had a lot less roads and trails or they deliberately removed unneeded ones because you seldom run into the problem of one side using road movement to enhance the Column's offensive capabilities.

However, I do think in the HPS games like Waterloo when playing Turn play the Column is still overpowered. If you are playing basic rules you would come to the conclusion that Wellington deploying his men in line was insanity. The HPS Waterloo game has the same problems with defensive fire as the CW ones. But the fact that the French side needs this to have a chance at winning makes it a little easier to accept.


Thanks. The reason I ask is because I have just recently started to play the Napoleonic games and was surprised by the use of column melee. The effects of which seem to bring about the very results that those who argue against it use in the ACW games decry. The biggest surprise for me was that it seems to make the Napoleonic armies more "mobile" than that of the ACW, which was to me counter-intuitive. But I am still new to the Napoleonic series.

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 Post subject: Re: Gamey tactics
PostPosted: Mon Oct 28, 2013 8:31 am 
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There is no special programming for columns in Overland. Neal's calculations of the width and length of the real-life column are a bit "off."
J


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 Post subject: Re: Gamey tactics
PostPosted: Mon Oct 28, 2013 9:43 am 
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Neal Hebert wrote:
I don't have Overland, so the scenario # does me no good lol. I am curious about how the melee would be calculated, however. Is it the standard for column, or modified due to its effectiveness in this particular fight?


In the HPS Civil War Campaign games these is no difference between meleeing from column versus from line. There is only a fire advantage for firing on a column. A column is treated similar to enfilade for fire against it.

In the HPS Napoleonic games there is a bonus for non-British units meleeing from column. Bonus is 25% for Waterloo. A column can also fire but at a significantly reduced strength.

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 Post subject: Re: Gamey tactics
PostPosted: Mon Oct 28, 2013 10:21 am 
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In the article Neal referenced it said:
Quote:
Twelve Union regiments, some 5,000 men whom Upton declared the best in the army, stood in four ranks, three regiments to a line, with bayonets fixed atop their muskets.


Probably you confusion is over the "four ranks" statement. Ranks refers to the depth of the line. A normal CW line is two rank (a shoulder to shoulder line of men in the front with another shoulder to shoulder line behind them about 1-2 paces back). Based on the statement above which I haven't researched Upton changed to the much older formation of four ranks which means the front of a regiment had a four man depth. If we assume a typical strength of the regiment at that time being 400 men this would give each regiment a 100 man wide frontage with depth of 4 men. This would give each regiments a frontage of 200 feet and a depth of about 4-8 feet depending on how close the ranks are.

In the article it states the they were arrayed three regiments to a line with a total of 12 regiments. This means the formed a 3 by 4 box. With a three regiment frontage the formation would have presented a total frontage of over 600 feet (the additional would be for any space used to separate each regiment). We don't know the overall formations depth since they for certain would leave a good spacing between each regiment in the lines that were behind the lead regiments. A typical old style attack would have allowed over 300 yards between the regimental lines but I think Upton used something much closer but I don't know what it was.

The interesting thing from this article is that it is saying that Upton used a line formation not column. His line is denser but still a line. Each company in the regiment would still be deployed as a ten company front. The only difference being the companies would be in four rank instead of two rank line which about halves their normal frontage.

A true column of attack would use one company frontage for Column of Companies or a two company frontage for Column of Division. These would have give frontages of either 40 feet or 80+ feet. A Column of Companies would have a depth of 60 yards if using quarter distance for spacing between companies.

Column of Route which is the only formation that should be able to use roads has a four man frontage which made the length of a typical regiment over 100 yards. For example the III Corps 1st Division at Gettysburg march column extended for over 1.5 miles plus an additional 2/3 mile for its wagons.

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 Post subject: Re: Gamey tactics
PostPosted: Mon Oct 28, 2013 5:46 pm 
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General Whitehead <salute>

I've done a bit more searching and there is some confusion over the term "column". I came across the following description of Upton's formation:

"Upton massed his sized force of roughly five thousand men in a powerful column four lines deep, with three regiments in each line, and he made preparations for the attack normally not taken during the Civil War." As stated here, a total of roughly 5,000 men which divided by four comes to 1,250 men across.

I also found the folowing description of the larger attack by II Corps and two divisions of VI Corps on the 12th:

"May 12, 1864, 4:30 a.m. - At the Battle of Spotsylvania Court House, Union troops attack in a formation of about 250 men wide and 20 men deep." Doing the math, this also comes to roughly 5,000 men. A much more compact formation and closer to a column than what's described for the attack on the 10th.

I realize the attack on the 12th was by a corps, however each of the above formations comprises roughly a division of troops formed very differently by the descriptions. Interesting reading in any case.

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 Post subject: Re: Gamey tactics
PostPosted: Mon Oct 28, 2013 8:26 pm 
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In Matter's book about Spotsylvania he writes there were ten FEET between regimental lines in the 3 x 4 formation.
There is a bibliography in Overland (for those of you fortunate enough to own it :wink:
I read every book I could get my hands on regarding all of the battles of Overland. If I didn't read it, Ken Jones did.
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 Post subject: Re: Gamey tactics
PostPosted: Tue Oct 29, 2013 9:34 am 
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Ten feet sounds about right if the attacker wanted a dense formation but still wanted the regiments with enough separation they wouldn't enter mix until contact. The 250 men wide 20 deep description would be a true Column of Company formation.

Upton was extremely lucky to have fog cover his approach, the Rebels have wet powder, and their artillery not back into position in time. This kind of dense formation was the ideal target for artillery. Even solid shot could decimate such close packed men. If they had been actually caught in the open by the twenty some guns that were suppose to be supporting that part of the line it would have been a very bloody field in front of the Muleshoe.

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