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Beserko

Lets talk about leaders

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I have noticed on you tube  watching so called experts telling us how to play this game. Mostly all seem to relatively ignore their commanders. I always move my commanders into the areas where the biggest fights are going on. I calculate the "circle" around the units and hope that being in this boundary the affected units will fight better and resist routing. Am I correct in this theory? Commanders don't seem to get killed or routed (they do move on their own when enemy's get close) so I scurry them around the battlefield! :)Could we get a little more info about the effects of leaders on their troops, either belonging to the leaders unit and other units in the zone of the leader? Many thanks .... I love this game.

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Hi Beserko! That is the best way to use your General, your theory is correct. The generals inspire all the units, however they are most effective with the units they have under their command (belong to the same Corps). Check also our short guide for more infos on the generals: http://forum.game-labs.net/index.php?/topic/746-online-short-guide/

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Maybe slightly off-topic: I'm not sure if others are as bothered by this as me, but having your Corps Commanders in the front lines really kills alot of the realism for me... I'm pretty sure the only Corps Commander who consistently put himself in those dangerous situations was the famous ''Stonewall'' Jackson (do correct me if I am wrong). While it may be less ''effective'' in the game, I would rather just have them placed on a hill or ridge somewhere to observe and give orders from afar.

 

Basically, I'm hoping for Divisional Commanders at some point  ;).

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The current presented Generals are actually the Corps stuff, including the Division commanders. In our plans Division commanders are included as separated units with deferent special abilities  than those of Corps command, but we need to implement these features cautiously, after heavy testing. Currently we like to see how the Corps commander will go and get the results that will allow us to extend them further.

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Fair enough, thanks for explaining! And of course, I agree that it's better to not rush things. I'm sure most people are pleased to hear that you are giving this matter a lot of consideration (at least I am) :). Keep up the good work.

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The Corps HQ was generally a static location (as was army HQ) because couriers etc. need to know where it is to find it. For further reading see: http://civilwarlibrarian.blogspot.be/2007/10/exercising-command-longstreet-better.html

 

I find the current "command radius" unrealistic, and I'd rather do away with it. A Corps Commander unit would perhaps work best as a set rally point, and when clicked on would have a number of commands like "general retreat" (all corps brigades withdraw back to the CC), "gather artillery" (artillery units gather in and form a gunline on the CC) etc.

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67th Tigers - what's keeping you from playing the way you think is "right"?

Hold your generals in static positions and the problem is solved.

I'm not disagreeing with you just wondering why you are advocating a historical restriction on Corps HQ's when there are so many fundamental deviations from history in the UGG implementation. Videttes, Skirmishers, Cavalry, and Artillery are all primary examples of dramatic game deviations from historical performance characteristics.

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67th Tigers - what's keeping you from playing the way you think is "right"?

Hold your generals in static positions and the problem is solved.

I'm not disagreeing with you just wondering why you are advocating a historical restriction on Corps HQ's when there are so many fundamental deviations from history in the UGG implementation. Videttes, Skirmishers, Cavalry, and Artillery are all primary examples of dramatic game deviations from historical performance characteristics.

 

The flip answer obvious is the game mechanics, which are essentially those of SMG.

 

The real life problem of how you commanded large bodies of men is quite a major one. It tends to be abstracted because the player wants to be in control. What I'm suggesting is actually giving a use to a corps commander, rather than a generic morale boost.

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67th Tigers, I understand what you don't like and why. I'm just not smart enough to figure our how you want things to work in the implementation so I can conceptualize what you are proposing.

Are you advocating couriers with responsibilities/authority ala Longstreet?

Or do you want commands issued from Corps HQ ala Jackson?

A spectrum of command and control systems were used during the war - based largely on personality traits of the commander and technology (telegraph specifically).

Jackson's approach could obviously be courting hazard for Sr. Level commanders. Additionally, the 7 Days Campaign proved that even Jackson could not keep up with the rigors of keeping all of his cards close to his vest. Jackson's staff work was largely ignored but his close relationship with Lee made the two of them a dangerous tandem.

Is it something like TW where you grab a bunch of units and reposition a whole line in a new position at one time?

How would the artillery know where to deploy themselves in your "gather artillery" command?

Same question with "general retreat"?

It's been a long time since the SMG release so if you want to refresh our collective memories it might help others understand where you are coming from.

Sorry I'm too thick to understand the "flip answer obvious" in your points above.

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I believe he is talking about in SMG that when you clicked Retreat the Regiment or Battery would run in opposite direction of enemy. But if you double clicked the Retreat button it would have your Regiment or Cannon battery retreat to the location of your General. This was very helpful if you wanted to quickly redeploy a Brigade to a different part of the map fast but did not want to double quick cause it drained their strength. Instead you would place your general on the flank or where ever you wanted, then double click your regiments and they would run to where the general was without losing any strength. It was almost like cheating :)

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R.E.B. Blunt, if the SMG implementation as you've characterized above is what 67th Tigers is proposing how does this improves realism?

It just sound different.

Is the goal to have a more realistic ACW command and control system?

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It's the whole idea of a General telling his men to "Rally to me!"; Instead of them running around chaotically, I suppose?

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Shelby Foote had a great exchange he quoted between General Lee and a routing soldier:

General Lee to routed ANV soldier: "Soldier, why are you running?"

Soldier: "General Lee I'm running because I can't fly!"

Mounted officers were bullet magnets.

Generals are not magnets for routing soldiers.

The point of routing is to get out of harms way.

The likelihood that running to a general is going to help to get a soldier out of harms way is low.

Soldiers know this.

Avoiding generals offers a higher chance of self-preservation for panicked men.

Generals usually had to move to their men to rally them.

Note - in any army it is extraordinarily unusual for rank and file soldiers to know the locations of any upper echelon HQs; unless they are actually visible to the men. Regimental officers know where their brigade HQ is located. But it is unusual for regimental officers to know where divisional or corps HQs are located. The chain of command comes from the top down through staff officers. Regiments did not have staff officers running between the regiment and Divisional or Corps HQ. If a colonel in a regiment had a message it was communicated up through the chain of command from regiment to brigade to division to corps.

Soldiers generally "rally to their colors". Generals wanting men to "Rally to me!" were astute enough to figure out that if they aren't near the colors the likelihood that they will be seen or heard in battle is low. Keep in mind most officers dismounted when they were in combat at this point in the war. Battles are loud, confusing, haze-filled, ultimate-stress environments where staying oriented was difficult.

This is why it was common for an officer to grab the colors or stay with the color guard to get troops to, "Rally to me!"

The idea that you can place an officer in a location and have the men be attracted to that location like moths to a flame is logically absurd in battle conditions.

The current UGG implementation is much more historically accurate. UGG's command and control system is head and antlers above the description of SMG design in this post.

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Though I agree with you for the most part, I do have to disagree with your last statement.

 

The current UGG implementation is much more historically accurate. UGG's command and control system is head and antlers above the description of SMG design in this post.

 
Having units rout through enemy battle lines, running towards the enemy or around chaotically as though they are a chicken with their head cut off is not realistic at all. The point of a retreat is to run away from the enemy not towards...

 

SMG is far superior in the battle mechanics. Advance, retreat, fallback, charge, double line, single line, skirmish, column, detach regiments from brigade and surrender. UGG is more arcade type but does not discount it any less. It's control movement of click and drag of Brigades is unique and if the developers add Modding to this game then the sky is the limit.

 

In fact there are many occasions on both the Union and Confederate side that routing units would rout from battle then rally towards generals. Generals would form up new lines (Even patch regiments together from pieces of multiple regiments or battalions) wheel the line or control the retreat into a fallback. It is true that units would form up at the flag. Sometimes the flag would be lost one way or the other and the General would organize the Battalion or Brigade, But also a Bugle horn or even the sight of a brave NCO standing in harms way can rally troops.

 

I am not picking sides one way or the other. Simply stating truths.

 

Seriously, I think there are bigger issues. In my previous statement  I was just trying to help clarify the situation.

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R.E.B. Blunt, this thread and my post are exclusively and specifically about command and control mechanics of UGG. Thanks for the helpful comparison and explanation regarding SMG.

Routs by their definition are chaotic - not choreography. The way you've described SMG sounds choreographed; hence less realistic.

Yes your sequence is correct in your post, "...routing units would rout from battle THEN rally towards generals..." and the additional details in that paragraph are interesting and relevant. I have no idea what you are disagreeing about in the command and control system because above you characterize the SMG implementation stating, "It was almost like cheating".

The topic of this thread is "Let's Talk About Leaders". Is it possible to keep this topic on point?

----------------------------

The tactical formation features you discuss are related to unit flexibility and discussed elsewhere in the forum.

I have no idea what you mean by "arcade type" nor do I understand the "bigger issues" in the last line of your post.

Of course it's ridiculous to have units rout through battle lines. This is also discussed elsewhere.

There are other topics posted that discuss routing direction, modding, and unit formation issues at length. I can't figure out why you're adding them in this command and control discussion of leaders?

Thanks for sharing your opinion that SMG was "far superior" to UGG in battle mechanics; but, again, it has little to do with the topic of leaders in this thread and/or my post. Isn't comparing and contrasting SMG vs. UGG features an entirely different topic?

I recall that SMG was a fun game and allowed more tactical formation alternatives but that's about it.

Glad to hear there was a bunch of stuff you liked about it.

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R.E.B. Blunt, your idea that an NCO could rally men is true at the company and in exceptional cases even the regimental scale.

But, UGG is a brigade-level game. In a brigade of 1,000 men there are multiple regiments and many men.

I can't think of a single historical example of an NCO or bugle call rallying a brigade or higher-level military formation.

It is important to remember that ACW C2, C3, and C3I did not have the benefit of modern communication systems. Courier, semaphore, observation balloons, and telegraph were cutting edge C3I technologies. Neither observation balloons nor telegraph were deployed at Gettysburg.

Reorganizing large formations close to the action would be a tremendous challenge once units routed - vastly above and beyond the head of an NCO or bugler.

Can you support your NCO/bugle call statement with a single historical example?

In the context of UGG I'd seriously question the "truth" of your NCO example.

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The obvious example would be the fact that NCO's carry the flags. Hence they would rally Regiments and inspire men by example by your own previous statement.

 

 

Soldiers generally "rally to their colors".

 

In fact ask anyone who served in the military. In the Company and Regimental level it is the First Sgt's Company and the Captain only loans it from him. Men follow bravery not other men. An act of bravery from anyone can inspire men to great heights. Including Generals who try and stop a Brigade or a group of Brigades from routing by standing in harms way.

 

Like the black Battalion in the movie "Glory" Once the Col was killed the NCO grabbed the flag and even though was shot still inspired the rest of the Battalion. (which was based on facts)

 

Or another instance is the Battle of the Crater:

 

The Battle of the Crater started July 30, 1864, with a bang, literally. Union engineers had been constructing a mine under the Confederate forces of Gen. Robert E. Lee for a month. Three days after digging ended, Gen. Ulysses S. Grant ordered the tunnel to be prepared for demolition, intending to breach the Confederate line. Eight thousand pounds of gunpowder were placed in the mine and detonated, initiating the Battle of the Crater. The landmark crater is still in existence and can be visited at the Petersburg National Battlefield Park.

The battle started propitiously for the Union forces, with 350 casualties inflicted on the Confederate troops by the explosion. It was all downhill for the Union from there, due to a last-minute change in assaulting units and poor briefing and training of the troops involved.

Mathews' company was one of the units sent into the crater, where the rallying Confederate troops shot down from the crater lip into Union Soldiers. With the rest of his Company routed or dead, Mathews was cut off from his company and found himself alone among the enemy. Perhaps seeking cover, he entered the Confederate trenches - where he encountered a squad of enemy troops.

He immediately fired into them, killing one while being wounded himself. Striving forward through adversity, Williams pinned down another rebel squad and forced a sergeant and two privates to surrender. Incredibly, he returned to Union lines with three prisoners, one of the few high points for Union forces in this battle.

All told, Union forces suffered 5,300 casualties to the Confederates' 1,032. Williams would eventually be promoted to captain and assume command of Company E.

Mathews was caught in a situation of unimaginable adversity and, through his dedication to country and duty, accomplished the unimaginable. His actions inspired  Grants soldiers to ever greater heights and serve as a reminder that it is in the forge of adversity that our true mettle is born. He was awarded the Medal of Honor on July 10, 1892, under the name Henry Sivel. The medal was reissued under his true name of William H. Mathews in 1900 (He enlisted with Henry Sivel, fake name cause he was underage when he signed up).

 

 


But, UGG is a brigade-level game. In a brigade of 1,000 men there are multiple regiments and many men.
 

 

 UGG is a Brigade lvl game does not mean the Civil War was Brigade based. For the most part it was  Company or Regiment vs Regiment. Though Regiments belonged to Brigades or Battalions once the fighting started it was every regiment for themselves.

Then when units retreated they usually would run past the General who was standing behind the lines. Here they could post up and patch together a line from different regiments.



 

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Kudos to the UGG team on the command and control system for regrouping routed brigades!

R.E.B. Blunt, thanks for the detailed descriptions of various actions and confirming that you don't have any examples related to an NCO rallying troops at the brigade level or above. I can't think of any examples either.

It sounds like we agree that the SMG choreography approach of divisions routing in the direction of their generals is less realistic. You've done an excellent job validating that UGG's implementation is a more accurate representation of command and control for rallying brigades.

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I absolutely disagree with everything you just said. The story of Mathews not only rallied a Brigade but an entire Army that was facing a tremendous lose on the verge of retreat.

 

You yourself said units rallied towards their colors. Then I exclaimed that flag bearers are NCO's, but you discount that totally. Thank you for showing that some people only see what they want to.

 

You obviously have never played SMG because nothing in that game is choreographed. There were instances in that game that you could take advantage of, but that is true in all games. In fact SMG was more realistic, more options for Brigades to do, more generals on the field, correct use of troops (No such thing as Heth Skirmishers, they would be Regiments or Companies detached). Thus why I said this game is more Arcade type which it is. The options are less, Generals are less, and Correct order of battle down to the minute. UGG has random order of battle. Even the first day Davis is at full strength but in real life Davis Brigade was not at full strength at day one. The Game SMG takes that into account, UGG does not. Give me your address or a PO Box I will mail you a copy free of charge and you can see for yourself.

 

Or if we are ever around your neck of the woods I invite you out to join my Civil War Reenactor Regiment and you can see first hand how Bugle calls, drumming, fief or NCO rally troops. You can also see first hand how units in retreat will rally to a Officer high up on a horse waving his Sword in hand screaming at you rather than the flag which could be taken by force or lost on the field in another way.

 

There is only so much a person can read from a book or cut and paste from some website just as you are so keenly inclined to do. Real life experience is much better knowledge, just try it.

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R.E.B. Blunt,

Not sure what you have your knickers in a knot over. I've worked with the US Department of Defense for over 30 years. If I've missed the finer points of SMG or your historical reenactors club my apologies. It is because I've been occupied with real life experiences.

My goodness getting screamed at in a reenactment regiment sounds - absolutely terrifying. Thanks for sharing your real-life depth of military experience. It is very enlightening.

Regarding your post:

First - I never discounted or disagreed that NCO's carried flags. I do disagree that all NCO's carry flags because this is not correct. I can't tell when you are/are not talking about a flag-carrying NCOs in your posts.

Second - Your NCO comment above was initially coupled with a statement about losing a flag. So I had no idea you were talking about a flag-carrying NCO.

Third - I simply don't understand what you are talking about:

a. for example you mix a movie references into your historical presentations and have facts confused. The movie "Glory" was about Robert Gould Shaw leading the Massachusetts 54th regiment which you describe above as a "battalion".

b. it is simply not clear to me what points you are making and once I do understand your facts are frequently garbled. As exhibited by your Pickett's Charge distortions.

c. I don't understand your logic - example, how you credit Mathews for saving "an entire Army" at the Crater. Are you talking about the AoP of some other Army? Only IX Corps, a fraction of the AoP was involved in the mess at the Crater, so I don't buy your statement that Mather's heroic action saved "an entire Army".

d. you state that the SMG implementation was "like cheating" then tout its realism. I'm honestly confused.

e. it is true I haven't played SMG in years and don't remember it; as I've stated above.

f. thanks for your kind offer to send a copy of the game - I'm certain it will dramatically increase the quality of military realism in my life.

My apologies for misunderstanding you. You have my solemn promise never to try again.

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