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 Post subject: Losing Leaders
PostPosted: Mon May 30, 2011 9:58 am 
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Hey...Could use some help understanding leader casualties. I always seem to lose more of my leaders than my opponent . What's the best way to keep them safer?

* Are leaders more vulnerable when they’re mounted? Should I make a practice of keeping them dismounted?

* Do you make it a priority to fire on/melee stacks that have a leader in the stack, in hopes of hitting him?

* Do you fire artillery on individual leaders behind the lines?

* Should I keep my leaders behind the lines rather than in the front lines to help melee results? How many hexes to be safe?

* Are leaders more vulnerable when they are placed on the top of the stack? Does the likiehood of them being hit have anything to do with where they are in a stack?

* Is hitting a leader simply a matter of luck or is there a specific tactic to increase the chances of hitting one.

Thanks for your help.

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Brig. General Tom Bridges
6th. Artillery Brigade, 1st. Cavalry Division
VI Corps, AotS


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 Post subject: Re: Losing Leaders
PostPosted: Mon May 30, 2011 10:41 am 
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Q: Are leaders more vulnerable when they’re mounted? Should I make a practice of keeping them dismounted?
A: Unlike cavalry, leaders are not any more vulnerable when they are mounted than when they are dismounted. Accordingly, it makes sense to leave them mounted so that you don’t mistakenly lose any movement points because you didn’t notice that they were dismounted before you started moving them.


Q: Do you make it a priority to fire on/melee stacks that have a leader in the stack, in hopes of hitting him?
A: That is not a primary consideration for selecting which stack that I will fire upon, but it can be a tie breaker in that decision.


Q: Do you fire artillery on individual leaders behind the lines?
A: Not unless I’ve got more artillery ammo than I know what to do with and I have absolutely no other targets available.


Q: Should I keep my leaders behind the lines rather than in the front lines to help melee results? How many hexes to be safe?
A: This is the question/answer that may invoke disagreement. It boils down to what is most useful to you, having the leader available for command and control for the rest of the battle/campaign or is his sacrifice worth it for the advantage gained that turn. My answer is to keep those leaders off the front lines unless:
(1) you need them to conduct a melee;
(2) your flanks and rear are not secure so the front line is the safest place for them;
(3) if it is absolutely imperative that you keep the brigade in command and control and a unit in the front line is the only way to do that;
(4) you have a leader that you would rather get rid of anyway;
(5) it’s a last ditch “do or die” time anyway (for the battle if a standalone, but if a campaign then the campaign results must depend upon it);
(6) never put a Division/Corps/Army Commander in the front lines unless (4) or (5) above applies;
(7) it is not a matter of how many hexes but a matter of maintaining command and control of their units plus keeping them where defensive fire, offensive fire, and melee shouldn’t threaten them (leaders will not invoke defensive fire so move them up separate from the stack of units that will draw defensive fire; the same principle applies to moving a unit/stack through a hex with a leader because the unit/stack can cause defensive fire that can eliminate your leader(s) [so move the leader out of the way before you move the unit/stack through him if they can draw defensive fire]).


Q: Are leaders more vulnerable when they are placed on the top of the stack? Does the likiehood of them being hit have anything to do with where they are in a stack?
A: Not that I’m aware of.


Q: Is hitting a leader simply a matter of luck or is there a specific tactic to increase the chances of hitting one.
A: A matter of luck. I don’t know if all of the HPS ACW games use the same parameter (see the parameter tables for Leader Loss Values) but at Gettysburg every time that a leader is fired upon he has a 2 or 3% chance of being a loss and 3 to 5% chance in a melee.

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Gen Ned Simms
1/1/XIV Corps/AotC
Blood 'n Guts hisself, a land lovin' pirate. Show me some arty tubes and we'll charge 'em.
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 Post subject: Re: Losing Leaders
PostPosted: Mon May 30, 2011 11:22 am 
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Thank you for the detailed response General. Thats pretty much what I thought. I guess I'm just unlucky. It seems like 20 or 30 moves into every game, I have gotten one or two enemy leaders and my opponent has at least five or six of mine. Seeing as this situation is very consistent, I'm just trying to identify where I'm going wrong.

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Brig. General Tom Bridges
6th. Artillery Brigade, 1st. Cavalry Division
VI Corps, AotS


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 Post subject: Re: Losing Leaders
PostPosted: Mon May 30, 2011 3:31 pm 
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Well since you are commanding Union officers they are usually leading from the front in harms way. The Confederate leaders are usually shirking their duty in the rear checking the liquor supply or scavenging for shoes so it is natural that you lose more Union officers. :P

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General Mark Nelms
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 Post subject: Re: Losing Leaders
PostPosted: Mon May 30, 2011 4:00 pm 
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Ahhh, that's the heart of the matter! Thank you for pointing out the obvious General Nelms! <Salute>

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Brig. General Tom Bridges
6th. Artillery Brigade, 1st. Cavalry Division
VI Corps, AotS


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 Post subject: Re: Losing Leaders
PostPosted: Mon May 30, 2011 5:09 pm 
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Losing 2 or 3 leaders per battle is unlucky; losing 6 or 7 leaders per battle is putting leaders in harms way. I like for my opponents to suffer leader losses like that - the earlier the better. Those replacement leaders don't do much for you other than leading a melee (which can't be done if the unit is still disrupted).

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Gen Ned Simms
1/1/XIV Corps/AotC
Blood 'n Guts hisself, a land lovin' pirate. Show me some arty tubes and we'll charge 'em.
VMI Class of '00


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 Post subject: Re: Losing Leaders
PostPosted: Mon May 30, 2011 9:50 pm 
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I think General Nelms greatly underestimates the need for a good liquor supply or a fine pair of shoes :D 8)

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General Cam McOmish
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Patrick R. Cleburne's Division
Hardee's Corp
(1/1/1)
Confederate Army of the Tennessee

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 Post subject: Re: Losing Leaders
PostPosted: Tue May 31, 2011 8:32 am 
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I asked an opponent, who had also been a playtester for HPS, the following (with his reponses following the queations):

When mounted do leaders get same movement allowance etc as mounted cavalry?
Yep, I believe that mounted leader has 24 MVP.

When on foot do they get same movement allowance etc as infantry in column formation?
Yep, it should be 12 MVP. You can check it by right-clicking on the leader info box.

I believe that when stacked with other units that they are more vulnerable to being casualties when mounted.
Yep, I believe that mounted leaders are more vulnerable to the enemy fire than on foot.

When on their own, can they be fired upon?
Yep, you can fire at lone leader but it is usually a waste of ammunition.

When on their own, can they be meleed (mounted or on foot?)?
Yep, you always melee lone enemy leaders and capture them. But remember that when you meet lone enemy leader you can capture him by simply moving on his hex (no need to melee him).

When on their own, can they be simply captured by moving onto them (mounted or on foot?)?
Yes.

To capture unguarded supply wagons, do you just move into their hex or do you need to (or can you also) melee them?
In this case you must melee them.

Major Neil Thomas
1/2/III ANV

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Brig. General Neil Thomas
1/2/III
Army of Northern Virginia

"He walked with long, ungraceful strides, enormous feet adding to the spectacle, and he sat a horse as if leaning into a strong wind."

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 Post subject: Re: Losing Leaders
PostPosted: Tue May 31, 2011 9:27 am 
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"I believe that when stacked with other units that they are more vulnerable to being casualties when mounted.
Yep, I believe that mounted leaders are more vulnerable to the enemy fire than on foot. "


New information to me, thank you! Can anyone else confirm this?

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Brig. General Tom Bridges
6th. Artillery Brigade, 1st. Cavalry Division
VI Corps, AotS


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 Post subject: Re: Losing Leaders
PostPosted: Tue May 31, 2011 11:14 am 
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Rich Hamilton at HPS Support confirmed years ago that mounted and dismounted leaders had the same chance of being killed or wounded. Being in the saddle did not increase the chances of a leader's demise.

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Gen Ned Simms
1/1/XIV Corps/AotC
Blood 'n Guts hisself, a land lovin' pirate. Show me some arty tubes and we'll charge 'em.
VMI Class of '00


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 Post subject: Re: Losing Leaders
PostPosted: Tue May 31, 2011 12:21 pm 
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General Simms, thank you once again, Sir, for sharing your experience.

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Brig. General Tom Bridges
6th. Artillery Brigade, 1st. Cavalry Division
VI Corps, AotS


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 Post subject: Re: Losing Leaders
PostPosted: Tue May 31, 2011 2:26 pm 
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I believe rebs should put their leaders in the front, much less likely to get trampled by the routers that way.

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3rd Brigade
Second Division
VIII Corps
AotS
"Everything will be alright in the end, if it's not alright, it's not the end"


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 Post subject: Re: Losing Leaders
PostPosted: Tue May 31, 2011 4:23 pm 
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General Groce should know, he is one of those who have been teaching me how not to deploy my leaders. :(

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Brig. General Tom Bridges
6th. Artillery Brigade, 1st. Cavalry Division
VI Corps, AotS


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 Post subject: Re: Losing Leaders
PostPosted: Wed Jun 01, 2011 12:37 am 
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On the mounted leaders question I think there has always been some confusion because the old Battleground and I’m assuming the Matrix games also, do have a separate variable for mounted and dismounted leader casualties.

The HPS games do not so for ease of movement it’s is best to keep leaders mounted.

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 Post subject: Re: Losing Leaders
PostPosted: Wed Jun 01, 2011 1:39 am 
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I've always thought it a shame that the Leaders don't feature more in the way of command benefits and at least some difference to effect when mounted or not mounted.
Think Hancock at Gettysburg on Day 3: He got on his horse and stayed on it despite the acknowledged fact of there being an increased risk of being wounded.
I guess it would be hard to program any command bonuses for a "Mounted Leader Effects optional rule" and might well create a whole new host of problems but these guys still made a difference to events in the heat of battle and historically Civil War leader casualty rates WERE quite high. The situation we have makes it a much easier task to get the most out of leaders whilst keeping them safe & sound.
I suppose that the difference in real terms isn't easy to represent sensibly and fairly in game terms? ...but then again (think Gen. Bee at 1st Bull Run): The fact of being mounted definitely does contribute to a leaders ability to effectively rally routed troops in most situations? if by nothing more than the fact that it makes you easier to be seen.

Someone else highlighted that lone leaders do not draw defensive fire so we have the game practice of players moving unit stack first and then moving leadrs separately. Sensible in game terms but just not "right" from a realism point of view?

2 competent players could probably face each other down over a 3-Day Gettysburg now and not lose a single leader between them ...and that can't be right?

So the mounted leader get a morale check modifier of +1 for all troops within adjacent hexes but his vulnerability to enemy fire gets raised from 2-3% to 6-9% or something?
Not workable in practice but well worth arguing over I think.

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2nd Brigade, Cavalry Division, XX Corps.
AoC. U.S.A.


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