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 Post subject: A Call For A Change In The Isolation Rule
PostPosted: Mon Feb 21, 2005 7:59 am 
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Joined: Fri Jun 11, 2004 10:00 am
Posts: 444
Location: USA
Gentlemen,

I have played a number of games in the HPS system single phase with the isolation rule on. I have experienced rather loopsided blow outs due to this rule. I have had my entire army in Corinth sourrounded and wipped out. I have also, had entire Corp sourrounded and wiped out in HPS Gettysburg, on more than one occasion. I formed a dense compact line so, I can not be easily meleed. While my opponents have spread them selves out very thin and light in my rear. Then meleed my troops who only fought at 25% strength or if routed were just overrun. These tatics do not seem to very historical and I do not recall any occasion (except for a seage) where an entire Corp just gave up and surrendered. With the soft zone of control the isolation rule should require the entire hex to be surrounded, not just three sides. Even if a unit routs out of the isolation it is still considered isolated the next turn and can be over run in the open. And while I am at it, why are routed units limited to a MP of 6? If they are running they should have a lot more mobility. I do not mind routed units out of ammo surrendering as long as they can not run away. But why would an entire Corp with plenty of ammuniation and a good defensive postion surrender? I would like to see something done about this. For the short term I will not be using the isolation rule. Currently playing against the AI to test this out.

Col. Joe Mishurda

Joe Mishurda, The Cast Iron Division
2nd Div. XXV Corp, AoJ


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Feb 21, 2005 10:10 am 
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Joined: Tue May 22, 2001 8:05 pm
Posts: 851
Location: Panhandle of Texas
Wasn't it Longstreet who said an army should be as sensitive about it's flanks as a virgin to her virtue? If you are compacting your Corps that much then you are leaving them vulnerable to this tactic. Your going to need to use your cavalry or reserves to protect those flanks and rear areas. Civil War units were very sensitive to being flanked or surrounded and the rule reflects this as soldiers were a lot more concerned with their escape rout then they were with fighting if they had units on their flanks or in their rear.

General Mark Nelms
Union Chief of the Army


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Feb 21, 2005 11:46 am 
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Joined: Mon Dec 23, 2002 8:16 am
Posts: 328
Location: Canada
Interesting comparison Mark [:D][:D]

Colonel John Corbin
Commanding officer
2nd Division
XVIII Corps
AoJ


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Feb 21, 2005 12:53 pm 
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Joined: Fri Aug 01, 2003 12:44 pm
Posts: 1200
Location: USA
As somone who LOVES to get at the flanks and rear of opponents (and who cusses when I allow it to happen to me) I agree with General Nelms (and Longstreet).[8D]

The Isolation rule is the penalty for trying to hold too long in an untenable situation.

Lt. General Jeff Laub
I Corps, Fighting First
Army of the Potomac, USA
http://www.geocities.com/laubster22/I_Corps/


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Feb 21, 2005 3:06 pm 
My fellow Buckeye [:X]

I think that Gen. Mark has hit it right on the head here bud ...
units of this time period were VERY sensitive about bad guys
on their their flank<s> and the iso rules should be thought
of in that context. They induce you to general properly in a
period context ... tis the 19th C after all ... [:)]


<font size="2"> <font color="gold">Lt. Gen. Ken Counselman
XVIII Corps / AoJ</font id="gold"> </font id="size2">

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Feb 21, 2005 4:46 pm 
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Joined: Fri Jun 11, 2004 10:00 am
Posts: 444
Location: USA
Gentlemen,

There is already a penalty suffered when you opponent gets into your flanks and rear. He can fire at you with no return fire, you have an increased possibility to rout and there is already an advantage to fire and melee on a units flank and rear. If he is truly there in numbers this makes a difference and shame on you. However, if he is spread out very thin with a 50 to 100 man unit in every other hex then why are three out of four men surrendering? Simple example: each side has 400 men the union has one brigade the rebs have 4 brigades 100 men each. By spreading his brigades out and around the union troops he can Isolate them and melee at 4 to 1 advantage due to isolation rule; easily getting a ZOC Kill on the same number of troops. All done in less than 20 minutes...... I still believe the isolation rule gives too great of an advantage and is non-historical.

Col. Joe Mishurda

Joe Mishurda, The Cast Iron Division
2nd Div. XXV Corp, AoJ


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Feb 21, 2005 10:04 pm 
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Joined: Wed May 23, 2001 5:41 am
Posts: 873
Location: Somewhere between D.C. and the battlefield
Surrendering when seeing oneself isolated is a panic reaction ... it is not entirely logical. Troops *have* been known to mass-surrender to insignificant enemy forces if they just appeared to be on their flank, or worse, rear, and looked threatening enough, or the situation was confusing enough, terrain covered so to prevent a reasonable assessment of the situation, &c. "We are surrounded!"; "They are behind us!"; "We have been betrayed!" and so on ... it happens all the time.

This was an age of linear tactics (still roughly, at least above the regimental level) and having friendlies on your flank was considered normal ... not having any was considered a threat (as has been mentioned before). You *did* fall back before you let this happen, because you knew that with a gaping hole on one of your flanks (let alone two) your boys just wouldn't fight with all their heart.

So the isolation rule appears to make a lot of sense, historically.

But the important question is, why would you leave a regiment in a position where it can be surrounded?

Gen. Walter, USA
AoS / War College


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Feb 22, 2005 4:03 am 
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Joined: Thu Sep 11, 2003 4:32 am
Posts: 1643
Location: USA
I think as implemented in HPS it is a bit to severe but it is also required to keep people from using tactics that couldn't be used in the Civil War. A Corps always tried to maintain contact with the troops on the left and right to prevent "isolation". If you fail to cover your flanks then you should suffer a penality for being cut off. This didn't happen often in the Civil War because the commanders retreated before they could be surrounded. When they did get surrounded they surrendered as Ewell, Anderson and finally Lee did.

I have played the games without isolation and watched little clumps of cut off regiments wander around in my rear as entire brigades chased them trying to get a full zone kill. This I think is far worse than the occasional isolation kill.

I would like to see a more severe test for isolation in the game. Isolation should have to be maintained. The "flag" should come off if at anytime the unit breaks isolation. This would keep a unit just surrounded by zones, assuming you are using soft zones, from remaining isolated since it can always move one hex. It would also let other regiments "save" it by breaking the isolation. And, it would remove what I consider its biggest flaw, once isloated the attacker can leave one small regiment adjacent while all the rest of the surrounding troops leave to fight elsewhere and the one regiment finishes the job because the "isolated" unit remains flagged.

Col. Kennon Whitehead
Chatham Grays
III Corps, AoM (CSA)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Feb 22, 2005 4:56 am 
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Joined: Fri Jun 11, 2004 10:00 am
Posts: 444
Location: USA
Gen. Walter,

"Surrendering when seeing oneself isolated is a panic reaction ... it is not entirely logical. Troops *have* been known to mass-surrender to insignificant enemy forces if they just appeared to be on their flank, or worse, rear, and looked threatening enough, or the situation was confusing enough, terrain covered so to prevent a reasonable assessment of the situation, &c. "We are surrounded!"; "They are behind us!"; "We have been betrayed!" and so on ... it happens all the time."

This should depend on the quality of the troops. And Should they not rout first before they surrender? Ands why would an entire Corp surrender even with it's ammo wagon? Time is the key element here. I have heard it mentioned on these boards before, perhaps degrees of isolation.

"This was an age of linear tactics (still roughly, at least above the regimental level) and having friendlies on your flank was considered normal ... not having any was considered a threat (as has been mentioned before)."

Sir an opponent who is encirling your position is most likely not using linear tatics. It is mainly done to take advantage of the isolation rule.

"But the important question is, why would you leave a regiment in a position where it can be surrounded?"

As you withdraw a Corp that has had some brigades meleed (reduced MP to 6), while holding your line formation requires the entire Corp to move at a reduced rate. Your opponent can then move arround your flanks with fresh troops at a faster rate, especially if he has cavalry. This is HPS, no boarders to pin your flanks on. As it stands now the isolation rule is just too great of an advantage to the attacker. I would preferr to see it used only for units that are routed or out of ammunition.

Col. Joe Mishurda

Joe Mishurda, The Cast Iron Division
2nd Div. XXV Corp, AoJ


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Feb 22, 2005 7:38 am 
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Joined: Fri Jun 08, 2001 6:24 pm
Posts: 140
Location: USA
I think Col. Mishurda has a point when the surrounded area is substantial, which is part of what I think he is describing. The defenders of Vicksburg didn't fight at 1/4 strength, though they were completely isolated.

In much tighter spaces, however, I agree that the isolation rule reflects reality. It's one thing to be an army invested within its base, another to be a Corps bottled up in some farmer's fields.

Could the engine be modified so that supply could be traced to a point within a substantial defended area (e.g. Corinth), rather than only to map edges?

Lt. Gen. Matt Perrenod
<i>The Blue Ghost</i>
VIII Corps, Army of the Shenandoah


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Feb 22, 2005 8:53 am 
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Joined: Thu May 24, 2001 11:25 am
Posts: 777
Location: USA
Gentlemen,

This exact thing HAS been incorporated in some of the HPS scenarios. If you see a 'Supply' hex, the owning side can trace supply to that hex to prevent being isolated. For instance, in some (if not all) of the Corinth scenarios, the Union has a Supply hex in the town of Corinth. In Paducah, the Union has a Supply hex in Paducah itself.

If the Rebels capture this Supply hex, it does NOT change sides. Which means, if the Rebels fight their way into Corinth and then dig in to try and hold it, they CAN be isolated.

I can see Colonel Mishurda's point about smaller forces surrounding larger forces. Even at Shiloh, didn't Prentiss' surrounded force fight on for several hours before capitulating? I may have my time table wrong here, though. It may be that Prentiss simply slowed the Rebs up for several hours, and that his forces surrendered rather quickly after being surrounded. Any Shiloh experts out there?


Your humble servant,
LGen 'Dee Dubya' Mallory

<blockquote id="quote"><font size="3" face="book antiqua" id="quote">quote:<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"><i>Originally posted by mperrenod</i>
<br />I think Col. Mishurda has a point when the surrounded area is substantial, which is part of what I think he is describing. The defenders of Vicksburg didn't fight at 1/4 strength, though they were completely isolated.

In much tighter spaces, however, I agree that the isolation rule reflects reality. It's one thing to be an army invested within its base, another to be a Corps bottled up in some farmer's fields.

Could the engine be modified so that supply could be traced to a point within a substantial defended area (e.g. Corinth), rather than only to map edges?

Lt. Gen. Matt Perrenod
<i>The Blue Ghost</i>
VIII Corps, Army of the Shenandoah

<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"></blockquote id="quote"></font id="quote">

David W. Mallory
ACW - Lieutenant General, First ('Grey Line') Corps, AotM
CCC - Corporal, Georgia Volunteers, Southern Regional Deaprtment, Colonial American Army


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Feb 22, 2005 9:42 am 
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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 mperrenod</i>
Could the engine be modified so that supply could be traced to a point within a substantial defended area (e.g. Corinth), rather than only to map edges?
<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"></blockquote id="quote"></font id="quote">

Supply sources. That's already in the game. An army defending Corinth is never isolated. Nor would one be that would be defending Vicksburg.

Gen. Walter, USA
AoS / War College


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Feb 22, 2005 9:49 am 
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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 dmallory</i>
Even at Shiloh, didn't Prentiss' surrounded force fight on for several hours before capitulating? I may have my time table wrong here, though. It may be that Prentiss simply slowed the Rebs up for several hours, and that his forces surrendered rather quickly after being surrounded.
<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"></blockquote id="quote"></font id="quote">

It was about 4:30 to 4:45 when Prentiss' command was entirely surrounded. He gave the order to surrender by about 5:30, but by then individual units had already started giving up. So 3/4 to 1 full hour, but that could be just the time it took both sides to sort out their confusion and become aware of the tactical situation.

Gen. Walter, USA
AoS / War College


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Feb 23, 2005 4:08 am 
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Posts: 356
Location: USA
Bill
Wonderful after action report!!![8D]

Major General Tony Best
AOJ


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Feb 23, 2005 7:29 am 
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Joined: Fri Dec 28, 2001 2:39 am
Posts: 285
Location: USA
Bill, although good as far it goes I found your explanation to be a bit brief. Could you please provide some detail and "flesh" it out a bit?

Ed

[:p][:D][:I]

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


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