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Replacement Leaders. Why so bad?
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Author:  Digglyda [ Tue Oct 04, 2011 10:23 am ]
Post subject:  Replacement Leaders. Why so bad?

Why are the replacement leaders always so awful?

I understand that Colonel Anonymous is elevated to Brigade command through the attrition of named leaders ...but do they always have to be such idiots?

The intended effect of leader losses is to reflect the deterioration in command and control that would normally result. I used to suffer very heavy leader losses with a matching degradation in overall army performance. I now play, usually, much stricter control in battle and don't often lose any leaders.

I just wondered that sometimes very competent and capable Regimental Colonels got their moment to shine in battle on the day that their Brigade commander was killed/wounded/captured/drunk.

How about changing the setup so that every now and again instead of a typical F & F you get a C & C or even a B & B?

I've just been reading the diaries of Colonel Edward E Cross who got his elevation to Brigade command during the heat of battle abd wondered if that moment of luck and chance might be worth reflecting in games. Just add a nugget of "gold" amidst all the mediocrity?

Author:  PAT [ Tue Oct 04, 2011 4:00 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Replacement Leaders. Why so bad?

Good point... but... it's probably a "gamey" issue... the union has some horrible leaders and if replacement leaders were any good... you'd probably see some horrible leaders in the front lines all the time...

Author:  Digglyda [ Tue Oct 04, 2011 4:36 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Replacement Leaders. Why so bad?

I'm not suggesting that all the replacements be given uber-commander ratings. Just that occasionally the game engine generates one with good ratings rather than the default F & F that we have. Most Colonels elevated to Brigade command in the heat of battle were confronted with more than they could handle but there are instances where the right man was in the right place at the right time.

Even if it were at odds of 100 to 1 or more, I think it would be a neat fog-of-war factor if a wounded political General was replaced by a real war-horse of a colonel ...just like happened now and again historically.

Probably not worth implementing as most players should be striving to minimise leader casaualties anyway.

Author:  PAT [ Tue Oct 04, 2011 4:50 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Replacement Leaders. Why so bad?

Digglyda wrote:
Even if it were at odds of 100 to 1 or more, I think it would be a neat fog-of-war factor if a wounded political General was replaced by a real war-horse of a colonel ...just like happened now and again historically.

Yeah, I agree with you... I was only suggesting a possible why.

Digglyda wrote:
Probably not worth implementing as most players should be striving to minimise leader casaualties anyway.

Well, here I don't really agree... lol
In the war, the good brigade leaders were up front, LEADING. That's why there were so many casualties in the leaders and why they were good leaders. I know it's a personal choice, but I usually have my brigade leaders up front with a regiment, it adds to the morale, gives bonuses. But, they do get shot...
Then again, if I have a replacement leader, those guys are so eager to show they can do the job, they are always in the front lines...

But I always strive to keep division/corps/ARMY commanders out of the line of fire... if they get disabled, it really <screws> things up...

Author:  Robert [ Tue Oct 04, 2011 9:31 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Replacement Leaders. Why so bad?

John,

An interesting idea, seems like having an odds calculation that would spit out a B or C grade every now and again when a new anonymous officer is created wouldn't be that big of a deal and it would add a bit of realism (of course I don't have a clue if it's possible or not within the programing)

Author:  KWhitehead [ Wed Oct 05, 2011 9:01 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Replacement Leaders. Why so bad?

It would be a nice "feature" unfortunately the game system doesn't handle leaders very well and this feature would lead to some gamey practices. Leader casualty rates were very high in the Civil War due to the practice of leading from the front and the use of sharpshooters. The HPS game gives you every reason to avoid this tactic and almost no reason to expose your leaders. Having a chance to upgrade a "dog" would be about the only reason I would stack a brigade leader with a front line regiment.

Author:  Al Amos [ Wed Oct 05, 2011 9:37 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Replacement Leaders. Why so bad?

It would be nice, but how many Union Army leaders would be seen in our games performing unescorted 'recon' missions? hehhehe....

Author:  Digglyda [ Wed Oct 05, 2011 11:11 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Replacement Leaders. Why so bad?

There is no reason to ever lose a leader if you play with sensible control practices. I used to stack with frontline units all the time and suffer horrendous leader casualties, which was fairly realistic, but army cohesion used to fall apart. Probably a major factor contributing to some major defeats.

It was a post mortem examination of an MP game against Generals Kennon Whitehead & Ross McDaniel that finally revealed the rude truth of my bad habits ...amounting to little more than poor housekeeping on my part. I now rarely lose a single leader even in big multi day scenarios. Not realistic at all but very efficient.

Saying that, the only drawback with not stacking leaders in the frontline is that they might end up being placed alone in a hex. Disastrous when playing an opponent using blitz tactics with no embedded melee. I just suffered the loss of 4 Brigade commanders to rampaging enemy cavalry detachments in a Getty engagement :o :shock: :? :oops: . That shock was what set me thinking about the replacement leader system.

Author:  KWhitehead [ Thu Oct 06, 2011 8:21 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Replacement Leaders. Why so bad?

Yea, never leave leaders behind the lines unstacked if playing using the Blitzkrieg rules (Turn without optional melee rule). For that matter, never play using those rules. :D

Occassionaly you do lose a lone leader. I just lost Longstreet that way in a game. But its rare if you are careful about policing your rear areas. Also, all those 25 and 50 man regiments are great for HQ guard duty.

Author:  mihalik [ Fri Oct 07, 2011 11:14 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Replacement Leaders. Why so bad?

Hi, Bill,

I think they used that system for units in Bloody Shiloh, the TSS-inspired board game, but only for units which experienced combat for the first time. The veterans of Ft Donelson were assigned their quality based on their previous performance.

I understand the desire to give higher ratings to regular units, but I can't think of many instances where their performance stood out. My understanding is the regular units were so diluted by recruits they weren't any better than volunteer units. The exception was the regular battalion immortalized in the painting "First at Vicksburg", one of a series of paintings popular back in the sixties commemorating the army's finest hour in each of our wars. Anyway, the Marine Corps' most shameful moment was when the Marine battalion broke and ran at 1st Manassas. I think they would qualify as regulars. Their E rating embarrasses me every time I play that scenario.

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