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 Post subject: Re: Gamey tactics
PostPosted: Tue Oct 29, 2013 9:50 am 
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Kennon
You are confusing the conditions of the grand assault on May 12 with those of May 10. It was 6 pm. It was not foggy. It was not raining. It was 60 degrees earlier, warming to 80 by 6 pm, and sunny all day. Rain started about 5 pm on the 11th.
"Civil War Weather in Virginia," by Robert Krick
John


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 Post subject: Re: Gamey tactics
PostPosted: Tue Oct 29, 2013 12:49 pm 
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What I find so absorbing in this discussion is the obvious desire for HPS to implement a clear, unadulterated third combat formation, an Assault Column, separate from the Route Column, which would provide the players with some increased flexibilty and choice when needed. Has anyone offered HPS the specifics of the mobility, combat and situational abilities of what an Assault Column might have? And further, would we continued to use the present values of a "column" attack as we now do for bridge assaults? And, finally, would the use of a new Assault Column formation, if provided, be restricted in the context of its actual history?

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 Post subject: Re: Gamey tactics
PostPosted: Tue Oct 29, 2013 1:36 pm 
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Don't expect to see a lot more programming for this series. Certainly nothing so esoteric as another combat formation. :(
John Ferry
LTC 2/20th Corps


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 Post subject: Re: Gamey tactics
PostPosted: Tue Oct 29, 2013 2:47 pm 
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Well, John, I suppose we must take your word in this matter, as you've been part of the JTS inner sanctum. But we could certainly dream a little now and then! :) I'd still like to hear some ideas about how the "Assault Column" might work and what values might be attached to it, if it were to be implemented.

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 Post subject: Re: Gamey tactics
PostPosted: Tue Oct 29, 2013 5:14 pm 
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This is not about gamey tactics, but a question for those who may have an opinion on the matter -- no short supply at the MDT. :)

Not having checked every PDT of every game, I note that Field hexes have a Height value of 0. How, then, does this make them any different than Clear terrain? And, if so, why should a unit receive a defensive benefit for occupying a Field hex? Conversely, if these are planted fields such as the Cornfield at Antietam (and many other battles), then it would seem that the field should carry a height value of say "7" to obscure LOS for both combatants. In this case the defensive benefit would be applicable.

Since most of the campaigning in these games occurred in favorable weather for agriculture, I would lean towards the latter approach. Comments?

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 Post subject: Re: Gamey tactics
PostPosted: Tue Oct 29, 2013 5:27 pm 
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I'm finding the subject extremely interesting and am learning a bit as well.

First thing I've learned is that Upton's "column" wasn't really a column, it appears to have been simply a division attack on a narrower front (3 regiments wide) and more compact (4 ranks lined up immediately behind the other). What would the formation have been for a "normal" division attack of say 3 brigades of 4 regiments? Two brigade frontage with two regiments per line, with the third brigade trailing as a reserve? What interval would have been standard from front-to-rear?

The "grand assault", on the other hand, would seem to be the more revolutionary of the two formations; 25 men across and 20 men deep if the description is accurate. Coming in the dark combined with the heavy rain causing a large number of misfires due to wet powder and it's no wonder they breached the defenses. Was this ever tried again during the campaign?

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 Post subject: Re: Gamey tactics
PostPosted: Tue Oct 29, 2013 5:41 pm 
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I can answer Joe's and Robert's posts with one post. My answer to Robert leads into Joe's.
I tried to get different appearing fields--like wheat, corn and stubble, as they show up in AoR. Corn would have been 7 feet high at Antietam but only knee-high at Gettysburg * and just planted in Overland. Full grown wheat is maybe waist high. I used field rather than clear simply for aesthetic appearances, rather than researching the crops of the Virginia tidewater. In one pdt that I just noted, the only difference is that "field" costs one more movement point for supply vehicles. As a designer, I am, like, in the third circle out from the inner sanctum. I ask for stuff, but I am about as likely to get it as y'all are.
* Ideal corn crop in Pennsylvania, as we say, is "knee-high by the fourth of July."
I wonder whose bright idea it was to have Hood's Division hide in a cornfield. By the time Hooker's guns were cooling, that field, and the troops in it, had been harvested.
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 Post subject: Re: Gamey tactics
PostPosted: Tue Oct 29, 2013 6:32 pm 
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This thread has evolved somewhat from its original subject. I was tempted to start a new thread with a more appropriate title, but was afraid we'd lose some followers. More about the assault column:

This supposes Upton's column as it would have looked using assault columns as prescribed by the manual. Presumes regimental strengths of 400 men, and ten companies to a regiment. Total assault force 4,800 men.

Regiment organized in column of divisions--two companies wide (a division) and five companies deep. A company of 40 men would present a 20-man front; two companies would be 40 men. A regiment would present forty files and 10 ranks.
Each regimental group--3 regiments-- would therefore present a front of 120 files and a depth of ten ranks. (400 men x three regiments=1200 men)

The entire assault column would present a front of 120 files and a depth of forty ranks=4,800 men.

John Ferry
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 Post subject: Re: Gamey tactics
PostPosted: Wed Oct 30, 2013 1:16 pm 
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That's painting a pretty clear picture of how dense and relatively small a front such a column presented. Can you imagine the wreckage caused in such a column going headlong into a massed artillery position, or even just two batteries? If such a colum formation were used within the HPS system I'd be willing to bet that any final melee in such a situation and using the Full Melee Defensive Fire option would be attended with a terrible casualty count for the attackers! Moreoever, it would seem that using that type of assault column in the game would have to allow more than the 1,000-man limit in the hex.

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 Post subject: Re: Gamey tactics
PostPosted: Wed Oct 30, 2013 3:51 pm 
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J. Ferry wrote:
Kennon
You are confusing the conditions of the grand assault on May 12 with those of May 10. It was 6 pm. It was not foggy. It was not raining. It was 60 degrees earlier, warming to 80 by 6 pm, and sunny all day. Rain started about 5 pm on the 11th.
"Civil War Weather in Virginia," by Robert Krick
John

You are correct. I though we were still talking about the May 12th attack which did have the fog/dawn advantage.

I am not as familiar with the May 10th attack so I am not sure how many men and guns were opposing that attack. I would assume Upton would aim for the weakest part of the line but have no idea how weak. Rhea's description doesn't indicate they were so much surprised as overwhelmed by numbers. This web site give some idea of what the Union had to cross:
http://www.johnsmilitaryhistory.com/spotupton.html

Considering one of Upton's front line regiments took 50% casualties and his brigade lost an estimated 20% casualties it was a costly but successful to a degree attack.

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 Post subject: Re: Gamey tactics
PostPosted: Wed Oct 30, 2013 4:27 pm 
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Ken Jones put together one or more Mule Shoe scenarios with more than 1,000 men per hex.


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 Post subject: Re: Gamey tactics
PostPosted: Thu Oct 31, 2013 8:20 am 
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I believe I read somewhere the leader issue is primarily to prevent replacement officers being used as throwaways since their value is practically nothing as are the benefits they provide.


The melee bonus for hordes of secondary leaders (ones that are there to serve as replacements) are not insignificant +10% extra I think.). I am fairly certain that in some NB titles they are there to give sides a bit of a boost (attacking or defending) in melee. I think it can be a valid concept; but I suppose it also makes a difference in how a designer applies it.

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 Post subject: Re: Gamey tactics
PostPosted: Thu Oct 31, 2013 8:30 am 
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Columns are a funny thing. I am not sure that each engine actually treats them the same way. Take REN for example, or -well actually EAW might be a better example; even NB - some columns can fire, some can't. Some lines in REN represent 2, 3 or even 4 men deep lines - ok, technically that is for lines (not columns) -however I suppose the larger point here is about where that sort of setting is located in the REN MP engine ... in the PDT. It should be possible to have a PDT setting where you can set a column melee advantage (or disadvantage) to whatever you want.

I don't know how much work they will do on the CWB engine as from what I understand on these boards here, the CWB series is nearly done with.

I guess the point being is that in other historical settings - more men in a hex doesn't really give you weight of numbers in melees or even shooting combat. Why might that be? Simple - the unit structure was such that the command control required large concentrations of men in basically stratified ranks (stratified by morale quality, stratified in some cases by experience quality, and even weapons quality.). The other point being, I imagine that it probably would not be a huge engine change to get something like that done (within the auspices of a CWB project.

Not that it matters, but I am not involved in any CWB projects... so it isn't going to happen from my feedback.

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 Post subject: Re: Gamey tactics
PostPosted: Sat Nov 02, 2013 5:12 pm 
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Quote:
This supposes Upton's column as it would have looked using assault columns as prescribed by the manual. Presumes regimental strengths of 400 men, and ten companies to a regiment. Total assault force 4,800 men.

Regiment organized in column of divisions--two companies wide (a division) and five companies deep. A company of 40 men would present a 20-man front; two companies would be 40 men. A regiment would present forty files and 10 ranks.
Each regimental group--3 regiments-- would therefore present a front of 120 files and a depth of ten ranks. (400 men x three regiments=1200 men)

The entire assault column would present a front of 120 files and a depth of forty ranks=4,800 men.


So if I understand this correctly, let us say we have a road/pike at 30', (and a generous conveyance for the time at that), to have a assault column move down it in formation to get the movement bonus each individual would have to be in a tight shoulder to shoulder formation and only 3" wide with full gear on?

I mean I know that people were on the whole smaller back then but . . .

I think I will continue with my house rule of no infantry column melee.

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 Post subject: Re: Gamey tactics
PostPosted: Sat Nov 02, 2013 7:23 pm 
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General Korotko <salute>

Suh, my compliments!

I personally have no problem with column melee. A recent opponent did just that after crossing a bridge against superior numbers on higher ground and behind breastworks (it failed). I then had my turn :mrgreen:

Highest regards,

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Edward C. Walthall Division (2nd aka "Gator Alley")
II Corps, Army of the West
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