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 Post subject: Panzer Armee Potomoc: Am I Scum???
PostPosted: Tue Dec 21, 2004 10:40 am 
Speaking of battlefield ethics - I am currently playing Sharpsburg using the HPS Corinth engine and it is late in the game. After chewing away at the Rebs for many hours they are pushed back, fatigued, and streched very thin. I see an opportunity consisting of two weak points and go for it.

Choosing units the furthest away I move up and melee the weak defenders, pushing them to the side. Slightly closer units move through the gap and and melee some more units that were slightly behind the front line. This is done at both weak points.

Cav then pours through one gap cutting off retreats from behind, capturing leaders, meleeing wagons and routed units, and closing the gap between the two pincers. Having closed the pocket on <s>von Paulus</s> Longstreet, II, XII, and the rest of I Corps begin meleeing the Rebs who's retreat route is blocked by Cav. In short order the defenders are eliminated and soon after Sharpsburgrad falls.

Trouble is, there are two aspects of what I did that feel gamey:

i) Leap frog attacks: Starting with units farthest away and moving them to the front to melee the defenders immediately in front, then using units slightly closer to attack the next set of defenders, and so on such that my units which began at the front move last and acheive the greatest penetration in the enemy rear.

ii) Cutting off the Reb Division first, a process that supposedly took 20 min, and then beginning the reduction of the pocket, which took the same 20 min.

Of course the latter is merely doing on a larger scale what we commonly do in pinching off individual stacks; first taking out the units on their flanks and only then attacking the ones in the centre. But it sure feels more gamey when done on such a large scale.

There are 2 ways to understand what happened.

1) a totally gamey manipulation of the game mechanics to create a situation that is totally ahistorical; or

2) the game mechanics may look gamey, but the the result is reasonably historical; ie strong forces could brush aside weak flanks and allow mobile forces to envelope a large formation while the centre is tied down by direct assault

So, am I scum for using these? one of them? both? The tactics are OK, but I'm scum anyway? what do you Gentlemen think?

Col Mike Kaulbars Image
3rd "Freiheit" Division
VIII/AoS
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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Dec 21, 2004 11:00 am 
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Joined: Tue May 22, 2001 8:05 pm
Posts: 851
Location: Panhandle of Texas
Entirely plausible and doable as long as no one does it to me and then it is a low down dirty despicable Reb trick! [:D]

General Mark Nelms
Union Chief of the Army


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Dec 21, 2004 11:12 am 
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Joined: Wed May 23, 2001 5:41 am
Posts: 873
Location: Somewhere between D.C. and the battlefield
Just play in phases.

Gen. Walter, USA
AoS / War College


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Dec 21, 2004 6:44 pm 
Some would say all yankees are scum[:D]

Maj. Karcher ,Csa
5th Calvary Brigade
II Corps Army of Northern Virginia


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Dec 21, 2004 6:58 pm 
<blockquote id="quote"><font size="3" face="book antiqua" id="quote">quote:<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"><i>Originally posted by eric karcher</i>
<br />Some would say all yankees are scum[:D]<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"></blockquote id="quote"></font id="quote">

and I can prove it - care for an HPS match at some point? [;)]

Col Mike Kaulbars Image
3rd "Freiheit" Division
VIII/AoS
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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Dec 22, 2004 4:07 am 
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Joined: Tue May 22, 2001 10:10 pm
Posts: 808
Location: USA
You would have a hard enough time getting that kind of coordination in a WWII command much less the ACW era. That's why I won't play HPS games in the single phase mode.


Lt.Gen.Ken Miller
Veteran's Divsion
VIII / AoS


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Dec 22, 2004 4:33 am 
Ken

<blockquote id="quote"><font size="3" face="book antiqua" id="quote">quote:<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"><i>Originally posted by krmiller</i>
<br />You would have a hard enough time getting that kind of coordination in a WWII command much less the ACW era.<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"></blockquote id="quote"></font id="quote">

True enough, but not unique to this situation. The precision with which our units go where we direct them is completely unrealistic. How often were historical commanders lucky when a unit at least went in the right compass direction?

Of course this situation reaps maximal benefit from that coordination, but is that just compensation for the defender being able to coordinate his defences as optimally as movement and available forces allow? Given the one (unrealistic coordination of defence), should the other be permitted?

Thanks

Col Mike Kaulbars Image
3rd "Freiheit" Division
VIII/AoS
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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Dec 22, 2004 7:39 am 
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Posts: 285
Location: USA
I don't think it's gamey at all. I think the problem is if one party is not familiar with the HPS system and then get's suprised. There may be some hard feelings generated. It's worth a discussion first to make sure both sides understand the ramifications of non-phased moves and melees first.

As Gen Walter suggests you can always opt for a phased game. If you are very new to HPS I would suggest you select the MDF optional rule to phase the game. Or else find someone else who is new to learn with.


Lt. Gen. Ed Blackburn
VIth Corp/AoS
"Where We Lead the Army Follows"


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Dec 22, 2004 4:36 pm 
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Location: USA
Mike,

You asked for opinions so I gave mine, I don't think you're scum anymore than I consider the rebs who did the same to me scum. I do consider the HPS single phase system worse than playing in phases. The real problem with the HPS single phase system is the poor defensive fire. After having opponents march up to my units in column using road bonus and initiate a melee without having any of my units fire on it or watching his lines move 6 hexes in the clear toward me and fire first and give more casualties than my units when they finally do fire I decided to play using the old phased system.

As to the defense having too much control, I agree we have too much control over the units but until someone comes out with an ACW game that allows both sides to plot their moves with a simultaneous exectution phase ala HPS PiTS or Grigsby's War in Russia and Kampfgruppe the only way around this is with the phased system and/or some house rules which is what I have chosen to do.


Lt.Gen.Ken Miller
Veteran's Divsion
VIII / AoS


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Dec 22, 2004 5:03 pm 
Ken

Sorry if I seemeed to be arguing with you - that was more thinking aloud while I try and work my way through this. I posited the "does it compensate for the defense" as a legit question. I am realtively new to the HPS system and your input is definitely appreciated.

I guess I am trying to find out whether the results are ahistorical even if the mechanics are artificial. I simply do not know enough about the tactical ACW to make a judgement.

I'm a keen supporter of the "Design for Effect" school. Folks may remember the Victory Games "Civil War" by Eric Lee Smith. The mechanics were artificial as hell, but the effect was beautiful (Gawd I loved that one).

So maybe this is legit in some instances, but it should be much rarer than the HPS system allows it to be? That is the sense I am getting here.

"until someone comes out with an ACW game that allows both sides to plot their moves with a simultaneous exectution phase " Ahh - now you're talking my dream [:D].

Thanks, and apologies for any apparent slight
Mike

Col Mike Kaulbars Image
3rd "Freiheit" Division
VIII/AoS
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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Dec 24, 2004 11:53 am 
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Joined: Wed May 23, 2001 5:41 am
Posts: 873
Location: Somewhere between D.C. and the battlefield
<blockquote id="quote"><font size="3" face="book antiqua" id="quote">quote:<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"><i>Originally posted by XLegion</i>
The single phase system I am definitely chucking for future games. It's a darn shame though, because it makes e-play more efficient in terms of moves done per mailing. <hr height="1" noshade id="quote"></blockquote id="quote"></font id="quote">

Actually as long as you play with ADF there is no difference. You just have four phases per turn, but you send the file only once per turn. Now without ADF, of course, there's three sending to and fro per turn. (Even the manual gets that wrong and says it's twice as many when in fact it's thrice.)

Gen. Walter, USA
AoS / War College


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Dec 24, 2004 12:06 pm 
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Posts: 1643
Location: USA
First, because I saw some comments saying the single phase system is faster for email, it isn't. Playing with Manual Defense Fire OFF and Automatic Defense Fire ON (sometimes called Single Phase, I like Turn Based because there are no separate phases in each players turn) requires the same number of mailings as using Manual Defense Fire ON and Automatic Defense Fire ON (BGG style Phased play).

There are two serious gotchas in this system. First lousy defense fire by the AI and second combined move/fight phase. The move/fight system is a little more appropriate to modern warfare where it recreates the breakthough affect of combined arms. Civil War infantry was extremely limited in its ability to use such tactics. In HPS games using "Single Phase" play I have used it on small and large scale. It is easy to set up a surround and the only counter is being able to reply to one with your own.

If it will make you feel better[:D] I destroyed Hook's Corps one time in a game of Antietam using the Single Phase system.

Col. Kennon Whitehead
Chatham Grays
1st Div, I Corps, AoM (CSA)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Dec 25, 2004 3:54 am 
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Posts: 873
Location: Somewhere between D.C. and the battlefield
<blockquote id="quote"><font size="3" face="book antiqua" id="quote">quote:<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"><i>Originally posted by KWhitehead</i>
Playing with Manual Defense Fire OFF and Automatic Defense Fire ON (sometimes called Single Phase, I like Turn Based because there are no separate phases in each players turn) requires the same number of mailings as using Manual Defense Fire ON and Automatic Defense Fire ON (BGG style Phased play).<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"></blockquote id="quote"></font id="quote">

I never could understand why the relevant optional rule is called "Manual Defensive Fire" instead of "Four-phase format" or something like that. The present name is confusing for it sounds like MDF were the opposite of ADF, which it isn't; one can play "Manual" Defensive Fire (Phases) with ADF (AI runs the defensive phase for the non-phasing player).

For all those who, like me, get easily confused, here's the three possible settings:

MDF ON + ADF OFF: Game plays in four phases per turn, file has to be returned to the non-phasing player for his Defensive Fire Phase. Six file exchanges per turn.*

MDF ON + ADF ON: Game plays in four phases per turn, the AI conducts the Defensive Fire Phase for the non-phasing player. Two file exchanges per turn.

MDF OFF + ADF ON or OFF (no difference): Game plays in a single phase per turn, the AI conducts opportunity defensive fire for the non-phasing player. Two file exchanges per turn.

[* 1st Side Movement Phase / 2nd Side Defensive Fire Phase / 1st Side Offensive Fire Phase and Melee / 2nd Side Movement Phase / 1st Side Defensive Fire Phase / 2nd Side Offensive Fire Phase and Melee]

Gen. Walter, USA
AoS / War College


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Dec 27, 2004 2:20 am 
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Posts: 1643
Location: USA
If you want Historical then stay away from "Turn Based" system. However, it does have one redeeming quality. We use it in the "Fight the War" campaign when the game is multiplayer. "Turn Based" does make playing a multiplayer (more than one player on each side) workable and as such a necessary evil for playing this type game.

Col. Kennon Whitehead
Chatham Grays
1st Div, I Corps, AoM (CSA)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Dec 31, 2004 10:36 am 
Mike,

Strikes me as sound tactics. Way to go, Bro [;)] Glory to the <s>Motherland</s> Union, and to our <s>comrades</s> brothers-in-arms, the victors at Sharpsburg<s>rad</s> on the <s>Volga</s> Potomac!


Maj. Mark Weierman, USA
3/1/IX/AoO

"War is the remedy that our enemies have chosen, and I say let us give them all they want.". - General William Tecumseh Sherman.


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