This Hallowed Ground - Game in Progress

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The Use of Command Radius

First of all thank you both, and Keith I apologize for making the situation so convoluted, as I re-read I almost wonder what I’m asking.

To simplify the issue, and Fezzwig I think you did get the gist of it, Jackson has an attack order. At the time of the attack order being given, I left Rodes on Culp’s Hill for one reason, the health of his Corps due to fighting on July 1st (Iverson, O’Neal) and my own volition on July 2nd (Doles, Daniels).
I wasn’t overly concerned with having a damaged division hold Culp’s Hill, as I discovered during my taking of the hill, it ain’t easy, and Sam didn’t offer that much opposition. I set a position in my order for Jackson's HQ so that Doles could defend Culp's Hill, and that Johnson/Early could attack McAillister's Hill.

On my offensive front I’m not overly concerned with taking McAllister’s Hill as I believe Sam’s 12th Corps is taking heavy losses and he will be performing his 3rd ECR of the game. I think he will not only do this to save his corps, but also I think strategically he is trying to string me out. The only thing I do worry about is rolling an attack stoppage on any of my three attacks (Jackson, Longstreet, Hood/Divisional Goal), as the attacks seem to have naturally become a unified attack pushing Sam further and further south (which again may be part of his “string me out” strategy).

Three turns ago I did issue an order to Rodes, which is in delay status (drat the one column shift for Jackson having the existing attack order), to protect Culp’s Hill. I believe this negates any use of initiative since I would be using it to avoid my order delay status. I didn’t do this in the belief I needed the order to defend, but my intent was to create some flexibility for Jackson by not having Rodes tether him down via command radius.

So my belief still is Rodes can defend his division on Culp’s Hill without an actual order to do so, and he can array his troops using command radius to do so. Would you agree?

Now for a more controversial issue, AP Hill has an order to attack Cemetery Ridge (Longstreet/McLaws has almost cleared Hancock’s 2nd Corps from this position) and he has two additional orders to release Pender’s division and Lane’s Brigade which are both in delay (again drat the one column shift on the acceptance table). Given this is AP Hill's 2nd major order of the game which is is failing to carry-out I'm starting to wonder why there are no provsions in rules for relieving a commander :laugh:

Now for the controversy, why can’t I move Pender into Gettysburg, since he would still be in command radius? I haven’t done this because it doesn’t feel right, but in my mind I’m not sure of the reasoning. My order to AP Hill to release Pender was given before Sam moved Sickles to my rear, but in fairness after I learned Sykes’ 5th Corps would be coming on the board into my rear. Prior to this I thought I would need all of AP Hill’s 3rd Corps to win Cemetery Ridge, but it appears Longstreet is capable of doing this just with McLaws’ Division, however I still would like AP Hill to engage NOW to help take the load off my 1st Corps. What has held me back from making the move is the use of omnipresence as well the realization no one would significantly move a division without an order from the commanding general, without being under the immediate threat of being over-run. In the spirit of the game AP Hill wouldn’t know Lee’s mind, and by moving a full division into Gettysburg he could unknowingly jeopardize Lee’s plan. So I am waiting until AP Hill accepts the order to move Pender into the defense of Gettysburg. I think I answered my own question as I pondered this out.

I only pointed out the above example to underscore some of my confusion around the relationship between orders and command radius. The only thing I know to be specifically “bolted to the ground” are HQ’s once they have moved into place in accordance with their orders. Assuming I am successful with my assaults on McAllister’s Hill and Johnson/Early are at rest, what prevents me from moving at least one of them, if not both, back to Culp’s Hill, especially once Sickles is spotted? I believe Jackson would definitely have done this since it his command.

To me the use of initiative is more an offensive action than a defensive action, unless the defensive position is beyond command radius. Now the flip side to my belief of command radius allowing the freedom of movement, is it’s opposite of being intended to fetter commands from carry out to much of a grandiose offensive scheme as far as having units go willy nilly around the countryside trying to encircle the enemy.

In my reads of the rules I just came to a belief that I can move units without orders as long as I stayed within command radius over territory that I have taken, and providing I was staying true to the original intent of any orders currently assigned.

Please advise, thanks.
 

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I set a position in my order for Jackson's HQ so that Doles could defend Culp's Hill, and that Johnson/Early could attack McAillister's Hill.
In hindsight, of course, it might have been prudent to have ordered Doles to defend Culp's within the attack order, especially as your intent seems to have been to allow him to rest and regroup.

Three turns ago I did issue an order to Rodes, which is in delay status (drat the one column shift for Jackson having the existing attack order), to protect Culp’s Hill. I believe this negates any use of initiative since I would be using it to avoid my order delay status.
Correct; any new order would have to be a different order than the one he's sitting on.

I didn’t do this in the belief I needed the order to defend, but my intent was to create some flexibility for Jackson by not having Rodes tether him down via command radius.
Though it seems a rather prescient order now, doesn't it? ;)

So my belief still is Rodes can defend his division on Culp’s Hill without an actual order to do so, and he can array his troops using command radius to do so. Would you agree?
Yes, since you guys aren't using Defensive Orders, moving within radius is acceptable. Also, given your order in delay, also seems within intent. Speaking in general, without use of Defensive Orders, the ability to move within command can potentially lead to abuse through efforts, though occuring within radius, that are questionable under existing orders.

Now for a more controversial issue, AP Hill has an order to attack Cemetery Ridge (Longstreet/McLaws has almost cleared Hancock’s 2nd Corps from this position) and he has two additional orders to release Pender’s division and Lane’s Brigade which are both in delay (again drat the one column shift on the acceptance table). Given this is AP Hill's 2nd major order of the game which is is failing to carry-out I'm starting to wonder why there are no provsions in rules for relieving a commander :laugh:
Really? (I've always been a big AP Hill fan) I wonder how Jackson would handled Iverson or O'Neal myself...:surprise:


Now for the controversy, why can’t I move Pender into Gettysburg, since he would still be in command radius? I haven’t done this because it doesn’t feel right, but in my mind I’m not sure of the reasoning. My order to AP Hill to release Pender was given before Sam moved Sickles to my rear, but in fairness after I learned Sykes’ 5th Corps would be coming on the board into my rear. Prior to this I thought I would need all of AP Hill’s 3rd Corps to win Cemetery Ridge, but it appears Longstreet is capable of doing this just with McLaws’ Division, however I still would like AP Hill to engage NOW to help take the load off my 1st Corps. What has held me back from making the move is the use of omnipresence as well the realization no one would significantly move a division without an order from the commanding general, without being under the immediate threat of being over-run. In the spirit of the game AP Hill wouldn’t know Lee’s mind, and by moving a full division into Gettysburg he could unknowingly jeopardize Lee’s plan. So I am waiting until AP Hill accepts the order to move Pender into the defense of Gettysburg. I think I answered my own question as I pondered this out.
I think the guiding principle, which you've hit upon, is acting upon a situation on-board without distinct orders to do so. Sure, scouts would probably notice the arrival of an enemy force, but, lacking initiative on the part of the commander on the spot, he'd likely move that information up the chain of command while prepping his unit (one can always hope...) for the impending action...or, hope the enemy column's orders fall short of ordering an attack into your positions...

I only pointed out the above example to underscore some of my confusion around the relationship between orders and command radius. The only thing I know to be specifically “bolted to the ground” are HQ’s once they have moved into place in accordance with their orders. Assuming I am successful with my assaults on McAllister’s Hill and Johnson/Early are at rest, what prevents me from moving at least one of them, if not both, back to Culp’s Hill, especially once Sickles is spotted? I believe Jackson would definitely have done this since it his command.
In all honesty, I think so long as you're in radius and are acting defensively, you should be fine; it's moving within radius to either improve your position or take advantage of a fleeting opportunity that tends to raise eyebrows, e.g. attacking. I recommend rereading Dave Powell's notes at the end of the rules (I frequently refer to those little pearls often, myself) regarding orders to get a feel for where your actions may lie. Another test would be if the situation was reversed, would you have an issue with what you intend to do?

To me the use of initiative is more an offensive action than a defensive action, unless the defensive position is beyond command radius.
As you've come to see, it does also have applicability defensively, as well!

In my reads of the rules I just came to a belief that I can move units without orders as long as I stayed within command radius over territory that I have taken, and providing I was staying true to the original intent of any orders currently assigned.
Absolutely-excepting use of Defensive Orders-which, being in that case a discrete action, would require a specific order to form lines at "X". Order writing-and following-is something that requires some experience to get used to. As you do it more often, you'll find yourself refining your orders more so that (most) questions tend to answer themselves. In most, if not all, of your examples above, you've had things in mind, but just didn't include the sentence it would take into your orders...that will change with experience with the system (and I think you're well on your way to figuring that out on your own already).

Defending oneself, especially not using Defensive Orders, usually gives you a little more latitude as one couldn't expect anyone to sit idly by and receive an attack without forming up to meet it.
 
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AP HIll

Really? (I've always been a big AP Hill fan) I wonder how Jackson would handled Iverson or O'Neal myself...
Historically, I would side with you, but in the case of this particular game his performance lacks luster. On the plus side, as you have previously suggested, maybe Hill’s Corps is the de facto army reserve and once the Union 5th and 6th Corps arrive on the scene I will appreciate him more. Using simple/defensive orders combined with the IPV bonus, would put these commands on the 7 row of the acceptance table, and maybe Hill will save the day.
 

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Historically, I would side with you, but in the case of this particular game his performance lacks luster. On the plus side, as you have previously suggested, maybe Hill’s Corps is the de facto army reserve and once the Union 5th and 6th Corps arrive on the scene I will appreciate him more. Using simple/defensive orders combined with the IPV bonus, would put these commands on the 7 row of the acceptance table, and maybe Hill will save the day.
Maybe Gettysburg will be his Sharpsburg? :horse:
 

jwb3

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Yes, since you guys aren't using Defensive Orders, moving within radius is acceptable.

{and}

Defending oneself, especially not using Defensive Orders, usually gives you a little more latitude as one couldn't expect anyone to sit idly by and receive an attack without forming up to meet it.
All this talk of Defensive Orders has me wondering... When we played THG (only one time, and my only experience with RSS), we chose to use the DO option. Do any of you have any thoughts on the use of DO? Good idea, bad idea, adds to the game, detracts from it, etc.?

If any of you objects to taking the thread this far off-topic, please say so.


John
 

Keith Todd

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All this talk of Defensive Orders has me wondering... When we played THG (only one time, and my only experience with RSS), we chose to use the DO option. Do any of you have any thoughts on the use of DO? Good idea, bad idea, adds to the game, detracts from it, etc.?

If any of you objects to taking the thread this far off-topic, please say so.

John
For most games, I prefer using Defensive Orders simply because I believe not using them stacks the odds a bit in favor of the defender. Too many times, w/o DO, the defender simply stands his ground to the last man, waiting for the attacker to fail CAS. This down to the last man stuff is also a bit way off in any kind of realism. Without DO also, that attacker too many times has to go for overrunning the defending HQ to cause an ER.

I play with and without but given a choice I choose DO. DO also gives the game a different flavor.


Keith
 

'Ol Fezziwig

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For most games, I prefer using Defensive Orders simply because I believe not using them stacks the odds a bit in favor of the defender. Too many times, w/o DO, the defender simply stands his ground to the last man, waiting for the attacker to fail CAS. This down to the last man stuff is also a bit way off in any kind of realism. Without DO also, that attacker too many times has to go for overrunning the defending HQ to cause an ER.

I play with and without but given a choice I choose DO. DO also gives the game a different flavor.


Keith
Keith hits it on the head; strapping defenders to the vagaries of stoppage adds a nice layer of uncertainty and tension that really doesn't exist without Defensive Orders. The subtle reach of DOs includes the more discrete No Orders status and its two-turn limit of taking fire before needing to perform an Emergency Retreat as well as soaking off command points to the defensive side of the ledger.

You really will need to have plans for your forces and/or be able to juggle them as fortunes-or your damnable opponent (!)-dictates.

For example, given IronMike's situation upthread, if using Defensive Orders, he wouldn't have the flexibility to have divisions attacking and defending under one order (unless a division/brigade order was inherent to that order) and would be facing a difficult decision with his corps having Federals suddenly appearing from behind the hills in his flank and rear (as if damnyankess were capable of such-pah!!). Playing without DOs, that flexibility exists within the context of the rules.
 
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July 2, 1863

Jefferson Davis
President, Confederate States of America


Honorable Sir,

I have been remiss to you and the War Department in sharing information with the situation up here in Pennsylvania. Yesterday at a little town called Gettysburg, a spark of light consequence has flamed a furnace that have both sides tangled into a most terrible battle. First of all, I must share how grateful I am that the wound General Jackson received at Chancellorsville was so minor and has allowed him to return to duty, this army would be lost without him.

I will contain my report to activities of this morning, and after this conflict has been decided will come to understand the events of yesterday and provide you with the details. Enclosed you will find dispatches of events happening earlier in the morning. I will now bring you up to date in what has transpired in the past hour.

Currently the II Corps of General Jackson is heavily engaged with the Union’s XII Corps under General Slocum, in what is known as McAllister’s Wood. In the past I have had little regard for General Slocum’s ability, but I must admit he has gotten the most out of his men as they have held their ground against assaults by General Johnson’s division, as well as the division of General Hood. General Early’s division is now up and he and Johnson will soon vanquish the 12th Corps I trust. General Jackson also had the foresight to leave Rode’s division on Culp’s Hill (upper and lower) to foster the collection of stragglers. This has been most fortunate as Meade has moved his III Corps from splendid ground known as Little Round Top, and is now making advances on Culp’s Hill. General Rodes has done an adequate job of making preparations for an attack, so with providence the rear of our army is protected.

General Hood’s division now acting independently, and is on their 3rd major ordeal of this fight and after taken Cemetery Hill, and clearing the Baltimore Pike, he is now concentrating on taking Power’s Hill. Due to the intervention of the Union’s XII and I Corps, it has become necessary to reinforce Hood, and Lane’s brigade from General Pender’s division is acting on brigade orders to support Hood’s attack. General Ramseur’s brigade of Rode’s division is also in the area with orders and should help in moving the Union’s XI Corps and elements of the Artillery Reserve off of this hill.

General Longstreet’s division is working on clearing what is known as Cemetery Ridge which had been occupied by the Union’s II Corps. This engagement has been handled so well that General Hancock has conducted an emergent retreat to save the II Corps. Based on his reputation, I never would have believed I would see the day Hancock would choose to retreat. General Ransom’s division and the Reserve Artillery for the I Corps is coming up now to enjoin McLaw’s division in driving the Yankees clearly off the ridge.

General Hill’s III Corps, after some communication lapses, has now enjoined the battle and accepted orders to move to and take the vacated Little Round Top. He has been met by the troopers of Buford’s Calvary, but is currently moving the divisions of Anderson and Heth and their associated artillery, which is an overwhelming force. General Hill is proceeding on roads and trails, which lead through a wheat field to the northeast of Little Roundtop and should have a strong occupation in the next hour. Hill has yet to call up Pender’s division, which may be detached to protect the town of Gettysburg from the Union’s V Corps, which is now up.

I must confess to fretting over the disposition of Generals Stuart’s cavalry as they have not yet reported in mass, and without the eyes and ears of this army, I am left to wonder what Union activities I am missing.

From the over-all position, our labors of soldiery have been outstanding, and while taking some losses ourselves, the dead, wounded, and stragglers of our enemy are far worst. Many enemy regiments and a few brigades have ceased to exist. Our position is very comforting as we now have the high ground of Culp’s Hill, Cemetery Hill, Cemetery Ridge, and are closed to having Little Round Top, Power’s Hill, and McAllister’s Hill. We control the most important roads, and can maintain our lines of supply and communication. While many brave lives have been given in our cause, this sacrifice is spurring on the other brave men to continue to wage battle against our oppressors.

We request the thoughts and prayers of all citizens of the Confederacy, and look forward to the day that we may return to our homes in co-existence with our northern brothers and neighbors, if this is God’s will. I believe if we achieve victory here, this vision will be much nearer to our hands.

Your humble servant,



Robert E. Lee
Commanding General, Army of North Virginia
 
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A couple of questions have come up between Sam and I and we for advice.

First of all in my new posting I refer to Pender not being on the move in accordance with AP Hill's latest order. Hill currently has an order in delay, which commands Pender to detach and defend Gettysburg. His division is in column formation awaiting either the acceptance of this order, or until Hill has advanced to the point where command radius is threatened forcing Pender to move towards Little Round Top. Is this legal, Hill has Anderson and Heth (Pettigrew) engaged in taking Little Round Top, so to hold a division in reserve seems to be within the spirit. So am I in compliance to the game rules as long as I either accept the order, or eventually move to Little Round Top?

The second issue is one of geography, where does Cemetery Ridge end, and Little Round Top begin. Longstreet has orders to occupy Cemetery Ridge, and Hill orders to occupy Little Round Top so no matter what I know I can stand on this ground, I just want to make sure I have both Corps in compliance with their orders, and Sam and I don't really know where the divide is. Please help.
 

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A couple of questions have come up between Sam and I and we for advice.

First of all in my new posting I refer to Pender not being on the move in accordance with AP Hill's latest order. Hill currently has an order in delay, which commands Pender to detach and defend Gettysburg. His division is in column formation awaiting either the acceptance of this order, or until Hill has advanced to the point where command radius is threatened forcing Pender to move towards Little Round Top. Is this legal, Hill has Anderson and Heth (Pettigrew) engaged in taking Little Round Top, so to hold a division in reserve seems to be within the spirit. So am I in compliance to the game rules as long as I either accept the order, or eventually move to Little Round Top?
JMO, but I always figure that the key is, "What did the order mean when I wrote it?" If you had a vision of what Pender was supposed to be doing when you wrote the order for Hill's attack, then he should continue doing it, until new orders are accepted.

If you didn't, then presumably Hill was to make up the details as he went along, and holding a reserve is appropriate. But is the reserve being held in a logical place? (If Hill's advance will take him out of command radius, then presumably the answer is no.) Does it make sense for a reserve to be sitting in column?

In this case it also matters whether it is Hill or Pender who is waiting to accept the new order. If the order to detach Pender was from Lee to Hill, then Hill's forces should continue doing what they were last ordered to until Hill accepts the new order, which is the point when he will actually succeed in "issuing new orders" to his subordinates. If the order was from Hill to Pender, then obviously Hill won't issue Pender contradictory (albeit informal) orders while waiting for him to accept the formal detachment order. That is, he won't say, "Start moving toward Little Round Top to stay in command radius" while he knows Pender is still trying to process the order to detach.

I hope all that made some sort of sense...


The second issue is one of geography, where does Cemetery Ridge end, and Little Round Top begin. Longstreet has orders to occupy Cemetery Ridge, and Hill orders to occupy Little Round Top so no matter what I know I can stand on this ground, I just want to make sure I have both Corps in compliance with their orders, and Sam and I don't really know where the divide is. Please help.
Again, what did you have in mind when you wrote the orders? What did "Little Round Top" mean to you then? Same for "Cemetery Ridge"?

Now, I'm guessing you weren't thinking that precisely when you wrote the orders. We usually aren't. But then, neither are the real-life commanders, and that means the situation you are in is a very realistic one. So for the next step I would ask myself what the real-life commanders on the spot would think as they looked around.

Unfortunately I don't own the game so I can't look at the map right now to make a suggestion. But from my recent associations with Gettysburg and various games that simulate it, it seems to me that there really was no obvious dividing line between LRT and the Ridge.

Historically, this is exactly the sort of situation where it often happened that neither unit occupied the questionable ground. Each thought it was the other's job. If you want, especially since you seem to be winning, you and Sam could agree on what the questionable area is and have neither Longstreet nor Hill occupy it. :devious:


John
 

'Ol Fezziwig

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Does the "Pender Question" sound similiar to the "Rodes Question" earlier on Culp's Hill? I think the same rationale would work here as well.

LRT, I'd say, obviously you want to gain the VP hex. How you defend it afterwards is simply a matter of HQ placement, IMHuO. If pressed, I'd say 5 elevations down from the topmost height.

Cemetary Ridge, the same HQ provisio applies, but here, I'd stick to the same elevation that contains the "Cemetary Ridge" legend.

Nice to see you guys back in action!
 
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Sam and I have talked about it, and yes we are. We have almost been playing THG for a year now (I'm a high school basketball coach so the season gets in the way) and we're up to CSA 0915 on July 2nd as we're playing scenario 6.8. We're getting lots better at the game system, though we've made our share of mistakes. Hopefully, we can get THG done sometime this summer. I'm not an ASL player but Sam is insisting I owe him some game time based on our devotion to RSS THG.
 
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