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Column Assault
http://www.wargame.ch/board/acwgc/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=20655
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Author:  John Ferry [ Thu Dec 22, 2016 11:17 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Column Assault

General Whitehead
I would not expect agreement from you on any topic in which you had already formed a contrary opinion, but a little respect for the two people who put together the games of Overland, chich seem to be enjoyed by quite a few people, would go a long way toward me giving you any in return. Since you and I have our plates full, why don't you play a mule shoe scenario against Ken Jones or any other competent opponent. DO NOT use column assault and see how far you get.
John Ferry
Commander
20th Corps

Author:  Joe Meyer [ Thu Dec 22, 2016 3:52 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Column Assault

ken jones wrote:
Assault columns should be allowed in Overland as long as they are being used to assault entrenchments (trenches). The use of column formations in this way is historically accurate -- although the frontage of the assault columns were much wider, the game engine does not accommodate the assault column formation -- so we use the next best thing.

Try assaulting the Mule Shoe salient with line formations. It will be an almost impossible task to take the confederate works.

Outside of attacking entrenchments, I agree that columns should not be used in melees except over bridges.


Ken, et al, I have been following this conversation very closely and would like to have you clarify why you think that the current column formation can be used more successfully over line formation in assaulting entrenchments. I understand that a column assault precludes any offensive firing prior to the melee, thus adding an additional increase to the odds of success. But then the line attacker doesn't have to fire either! Ken's statements seem to be predicated upon having enough infantry in the target hex to successfully thwart an assault no matter the attacker's formation. Or did I misunderstand your statement? Are we talking about any differences due to mode of play?

Author:  KWhitehead [ Thu Dec 22, 2016 4:42 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Column Assault

John Ferry wrote:
General Whitehead
I would not expect agreement from you on any topic in which you had already formed a contrary opinion, but a little respect for the two people who put together the games of Overland, chich seem to be enjoyed by quite a few people, would go a long way toward me giving you any in return. Since you and I have our plates full, why don't you play a mule shoe scenario against Ken Jones or any other competent opponent. DO NOT use column assault and see how far you get.
John Ferry
Commander
20th Corps

I hope no one was thinking I was showing disrespect. I apologize if someone took it that way. I just think using it doesn't reflect Civil War tactics at the time. However, it is much easier to play the game as written and not worry about whether this or that rule does a better or worse simulation. Everyone has their own likes and dislikes as well as their own interpretation of what Civil War tactics actually were. I'll play by any rules most of the time but prefer having the column restriction and for Turn play the separate melee phase.

I questioned the use of column having any advantage in the game system when used as method of assault over line because mathematically there is no advantage to using it in the game system. If the melee is through the frontal hexes the game has the same stacking limits and melee results whether the attack is in column or line. It is actually slightly worse than line because the defensive fire against a column is more effective than against a line. In the example of the Mule Shoe I don't remember any roads so the column formation will not have a movement advantage over line either.

As for the Overland campaign game it reflects the situation very well. The Union will beat the snot out of the Rebel in just about every scenario. Cold Harbor being the one that won't go their way. There might be another but I haven't played some of the others as much as Wilderness and Spotsylvania.

Author:  John Ferry [ Thu Dec 22, 2016 7:10 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Column Assault

Rather than talk this thing to death, which I think has been done, a bunch of y'all just crank up a couple of the Mule Share scenarios and come to your conclusions in battle instead of with a slide rule. Ken focused on getting the Mule Shoe right, more than any other action, and I think he did a fine job.
Ken W: having some issues with Yahoo, so turn will be delayed.
John Ferry
Overland co-designer

Author:  ken jones [ Thu Dec 22, 2016 8:51 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Column Assault

I have to agree that the advantage of the column in assaulting entrenchments is speed and maneuver. The columns can converge on the point of attack and avoid some of the defensive fire. The melee can occur in the same turn. Changing into line formations, moving to the point of attack, and initiating melee usually takes an extra turn -- that's costly.

Also, sometimes the only path through abitis is down a road. Only the column can assault down the road without disordering. Once "over the top" the Union troops can/should quicker convert to line to increase their firepower.

Just my two cents....

Author:  C. Hecht [ Thu Dec 22, 2016 11:22 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Column Assault

And my two cents are that column formations take +40% fire what raises the chance of being disrupted and by that being unable to assault, besides that the column formation will prohibit any fire so you may end up in front of the enemy without being able to do any damage.

Besides speed, what does only play out on any kind of path, road, etc., the column formation might benefit indirectly because it prohibits fire in all phases what means the unit won't run into low ammo what means the unit won't suffer a loss in moral what means it has a better chance to master any moral checks and by that being able to continue to assault.
Besides that, without firing in a turn or in the previous offensive fire phase the units gain +10% to their Attacking Strength.
Both points do not matter in phased gameplay as the player is always able to decide whether to fire or not, but in turn gameplay these points may be an advantage for the attacker.

Now, I guess there was a reason not to make the column formations of the CW series identical to that of the Napi series where you can also fire while being in column formation, that leads me to think that the column formation in the CW series was never meant to represent any form of combat formation.
But for a scenario like the Muleshoe it's a pity that no modifier is there that could be applied for these "special assault formations", but at last the stacking was raised what should benefit the Union as the Confederates surely can't match the Union numbers.


Now column formation or not, in the end it only matters how the scenario plays out and if there is a need to adjust it.


PS Corrected wrong assumption, thanks to MG Mike Mihalik

Author:  mihalik [ Fri Dec 23, 2016 12:25 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Column Assault

Hi, Colonel,

In ACW all units in line can fire from a hex. You were thinking Napoleon.

Author:  KWhitehead [ Fri Dec 23, 2016 10:05 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Column Assault

It is interesting how completely different the handling of column formation is between HPS/JT's Civil War games and their Napoleonic games. In the Napoleonic games Column Formation is both a road Column formation and an assault column formation. It can actually fire at reduced rate which I guess more or less corresponds to the Company or Division front line it has. It also has bonuses when meleeing or at least the French do if I remember correctly. If you are playing the game in Turn mode, Column is the preferred formation for attacking. It can use faster movement than a line, change direction easier, unfortunately use road movement as well, and usually wins the melees while taking little damage from fire.

Author:  mihalik [ Fri Dec 23, 2016 11:12 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Column Assault

KWhitehead wrote:
It is interesting how completely different the handling of column formation is between HPS/JT's Civil War games and their Napoleonic games. In the Napoleonic games Column Formation is both a road Column formation and an assault column formation. It can actually fire at reduced rate which I guess more or less corresponds to the Company or Division front line it has. It also has bonuses when meleeing or at least the French do if I remember correctly. If you are playing the game in Turn mode, Column is the preferred formation for attacking. It can use faster movement than a line, change direction easier, unfortunately use road movement as well, and usually wins the melees while taking little damage from fire.


Haven't played Napoleonic in years, but I seem to recall lines disrupted easily due to terrain, and, as Col Hecht inadvertently pointed out, only the front unit can shoot. Also, I believe artillery fire is applied separately to each unit in a hex. A whole different system that has developed independently of the ACW system.

I think in Wilderness scenarios woods should disrupt lines, but the problem is what applies to the Wilderness would have to apply to all woods hexes in the scenario.

Author:  Jim Pfleck [ Fri Dec 23, 2016 12:06 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Column Assault

In the Napoleonics, in turn based play all the units in line can cycle from top to bottom and fire, but since they "move," all but the first one to fire get 50% penalty.

I played the Mule Shoe this past summer as the yanks and was slaughtered. I took most of the first line of trenches but could never get enough infantry reordered to push more than 2 or 3 hexes beyond the first line of trenches. I attack almost exclusively in line formation and in waves. The speed of my assault was not the issue. Regaining order after winning melees and entering trenches was the issue. I was able to use road movement a little to get into the trenches but not very much. The game taught me a lot about attacking trenches that I have since put to good use.

Author:  C. Hecht [ Fri Dec 23, 2016 11:08 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Column Assault

Corrected my wrong assumption, thanks MG Mike Mihalik.

Author:  ken jones [ Sun Dec 25, 2016 1:45 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Column Assault

Once the Yanks are in the trenches, I agree with Jim, it's still not over by a long shot. The Rebs can hold fast in the woods and have enough resources to build a strong defense. Hancock/Meade have to keep up the pressure and bring the artillery up as fast as possible. And someone has to wake up Burnside...

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