dinsdag 22 juli 2014

Command capabilities

Battle of Carthage, July 5, 1861 – further refinements.

In subsequent tests with the Carthage scenario, the command capabilities were refined. For convenience the old WRG General’s characteristics of Cautious, Bold and Rash were a good starting point. Their differences will be demonstrated below as to how they handle, deploy and control their troops on the game board and on the battle map.

Control on the game board
As two forces meet on the battle map and play progresses to the game board, the defender sets his brigades first. The sequence of deployment reflects the commander's skill, so the following table lists the order which troops are deployed. Two generals of similar quality will alternate the placement of their brigades. Although arbitrary this created enough of a diversity that would influence a plan of battle as troops followed a particular movement sequence.

General           first                second             third
Cautious          infantry          artillery          cavalry
Bold                 artillery          infantry          cavalry
Rash                cavalry            artillery          infantry

Example, a cautious infantry general makes all necessary infantry placement before setting artillery and lastly the cavalry. The cautious cavalry general may not have infantry under his command, but follows the move sequence with first artillery then cavalry. There may be bounds when the player may chose not to move any primary units, but skip directly to a second or third choice.

Historical note 
During the early years, troops under a general’s command were in some cases mixed with infantry brigades having a battery of artillery and/or a unit of cavalry as part of the organization. Eventually, artillery batteries  would be taken from the brigades and grouped together at division level. Likewise, cavalry would form their own brigades to form a division.

Further reading also revealed a handful of generals were capable of utilizing all three arms efficiently.  

Test game one
We used the same deployment as in photo one, Battle of Carthage. With a few good die cast, the Rebels came on in a rush. The Rebels continued their assault, but a lower cast of the die meant only two “divisions” moved forward and cavalry probed the flank. Rebel artillery tried to knock out the Federal guns. 

On their turn, Federal guns were breaking up the oncoming ranks. Bound three, found our cautious Governor Jackson (Jan) in a quandary. The cavalry could move to an advantageous position, but the infantry needed immediate attention. All pips were then used to restore his battle lines.

Under the command of General Sigel (bold) the Federal troops deployed skirmishers to extend their line and moved enough forward to level a devastating volley. In four bounds (1 hour), the Rebel charge was blunted and all Governor Jackson could do was shadow the Federal troops as they marched back to Carthage.

Test game two
Cunning plan number two was put into effect and this time the cavalry moved first to threaten the flanks of the Federal troops while infantry and artillery remained in position. General Sigel could not counter the threat as the artillery, centrally located, could not bring their guns to fire and the cavalry were out of range of Federal infantry. 

The methodical approach by the rebels eventually earned a Federal skirmisher unit for the cost of one cavalry. The remaining rebel cavalry unit maintained a threatening position while the infantry moved forward. 

No longer seeing any advantage to be gained, Sigel withdrew his troops across the ford and off the board. 

Geen opmerkingen: