Leadership ratings? (Full Version)

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ceyan -> Leadership ratings? (4/27/2009 2:58:26 AM)

I'm not going to argue for changing Leader ratings in the game, but I'm curious if anyone feels some leaders were given stats significantly higher or lower than they should have been?

Question came to me as I was looking over some of the more common leaders I've seen mis-represented in other games or in other discussions. To give a few examples:

Grant - Historically speaking, Grant was a good leader in the manner similar to how Patton was a good leader. In the traditional definition of Tactical, Operational, and Strategic planning/organization he was relatively poor. You can see this in Shiloh, Vicksburg (where he is often given credit despite the fact that he faced Johnson in his prime of "advanced to rear mentality" and his insanely high losses at Vicksburg for no reason/gain what-so-ever), the Wilderness (granted, quite a bit of that is to blame on the line commanders), Spotsylvania, and Cold Harbor. Not sure how you'd model his unique view of warfare, but giving him stats in the game which ultimatley lead to fewer casualties seems counter-productive to modeling the reality of the situation under his command.

Banks - I don't think Banks is terribly far off from where he should be, but the fact that he's got a 2/2 for Atk and Def is amazing considering Banks is one of the generals who can be counted in the list of most terrible commanders in the history of warfare. Hell, ignoring everything else, Banks is one of the few generals in history to have ever been in full flight (and even besigned by) from a force he outnumbered by more than 4 to 1 while commanding a relatively well supplied and maintained command.

Rosecrans - On paper, Rosecrans preformed reasonably well throughout most of his career, and I think his stats go to represent that. However, analysis of all the facts of his major contributions prove he was more lucky than competent. This is especially true of his command of the Army of the Cumberland where the only reason his poor manuevering didn't result in the loss of entire corps on a regular basis was primarily due to problems on Bragg's end rather than for Rosecrans not giving him the opportunity.

(Yeah, I know, all Union commanders for examples, but the Confederates usually had fairly competent leaders that were less prone to consistent mistakes, making them harder to judge on a stat basis)




herwin -> RE: Leadership ratings? (4/27/2009 7:41:37 AM)

Exercise: sort on each parameter and see if anyone seems particularly out of line.




Treefrog -> RE: Leadership ratings? (4/28/2009 1:50:06 AM)

Anyone with significant knowledge of the subject matter could offer very intelligent suggestions/modifications to many of the leader ratings. I generally agree with yours, except as to Grant.

I respectfully invite your attention to a rating system/model based not on elegance of plan or casualty ratios but rather on results.

Grant's real life performance earns him good ratings in this simulation. His attack/initiative was then and now should be the maximum of "4".

I encourage you to read his memoirs for his account of his aggressive actions in the first few months of command.

Shiloh is reflected in a "3" defensive rating. How many times did Grant stand on the defensive anyway? That speaks volumes about him.

Regarding Vicksburg, how many generals would cross the country's widest river, then cut himself loose from his LOC based on (a) his historical experience with Scott in Mexico and his (b) recent experience in 1862 after his LOC was cut by two separate CSA raiders and the faith that gave him he could live off the land except for salt, coffee and ammunition. He brushed aside all opposition, destroyed the threat of a CSA advance on his rear by destroying the communication center of Jackson, Ms., overran Pemberton at Champion Hill and Big Black River Bridge, then moved to invest Vicksburg. He did assault the town upon arrival, but I have read that was attributable to the fact his troops had been irresistible up to that point and wanted a chance at the works; I don't think many rate Napoleon's career because the Old Guard failed at Waterloo.

At Chatanooga he arrived when needed, summonsed the help he anticipating was necessary, then organized what he found there to advantage until help arrived, including providing for support for Butler in Knoxville. He showed great initiative and ending up retrieving a very grim situation. The CSA moved away very quickly after that defeat.

Whatever you may view his tactical/grand tactical prowess at the Wilderness, he had the right idea. He got what the old Avalon Hill players would call an "exchange", but kept going. It is written that after the Wilderness, when the head of the army turned south and east they cheered. It is true that he lost more men in the Overland Campaign than RELee started with, but it also true that he finished the campaign with Lee pinned to the defenses of Richmond, allowing the Union armies to win the war without interference in other theatres. When he pinned Lee to those defense, the war was won. That is a pretty solid strategic result, all attributable to Grant.

The ANV sat there and starved until they ran, at which the Union army sensed all they had to do was march faster and get ahead of the ANV. Grant's "4" for infantry management/commitment reflects his ability to get troops to do things like that. The AOP marched faster and ended the war with shoe leather. Not bad soldiering.

Your mileage may vary and I certainly respect you opinion.




GShock -> RE: Leadership ratings? (4/28/2009 12:37:55 PM)

Can't relate to real values as i only play semi historical stats. The biggest fun in the game is seeking and finding the right man for the right job [8D]




Treefrog -> RE: Leadership ratings? (4/28/2009 2:19:13 PM)

GShock,
I think you are really living the life of the executive of that nation with that option. The ultimate FOW.
The Frog




Doc o War -> RE: Leadership ratings? (4/29/2009 6:51:32 PM)

Treefrog- I love that you used an Avalon Hill example with the "Exchange"  comment-- hopefully some day the gaming industry will put up some sort of recognition of Avalon Hill's major contributions to our hobby- My thought is we wouldn't have gaming as we know it today without them- sorry- just a ramble..
  as for the commander's ratings- on both sides there are commanders who are oddly rated per history- if 2's are an average I can think of several who should be downgraded to 1's and if there were a possibility of doing so some I would even make -minus -1s = but we have the system we have- I can live with it.




ceyan -> RE: Leadership ratings? (4/30/2009 8:00:03 AM)

quote:

ORIGINAL: Treefrog

Anyone with significant knowledge of the subject matter could offer very intelligent suggestions/modifications to many of the leader ratings. I generally agree with yours, except as to Grant.

I respectfully invite your attention to a rating system/model based not on elegance of plan or casualty ratios but rather on results.

Grant's real life performance earns him good ratings in this simulation. His attack/initiative was then and now should be the maximum of "4".

I encourage you to read his memoirs for his account of his aggressive actions in the first few months of command.

Shiloh is reflected in a "3" defensive rating. How many times did Grant stand on the defensive anyway? That speaks volumes about him.

Regarding Vicksburg, how many generals would cross the country's widest river, then cut himself loose from his LOC based on (a) his historical experience with Scott in Mexico and his (b) recent experience in 1862 after his LOC was cut by two separate CSA raiders and the faith that gave him he could live off the land except for salt, coffee and ammunition. He brushed aside all opposition, destroyed the threat of a CSA advance on his rear by destroying the communication center of Jackson, Ms., overran Pemberton at Champion Hill and Big Black River Bridge, then moved to invest Vicksburg. He did assault the town upon arrival, but I have read that was attributable to the fact his troops had been irresistible up to that point and wanted a chance at the works; I don't think many rate Napoleon's career because the Old Guard failed at Waterloo.

At Chatanooga he arrived when needed, summonsed the help he anticipating was necessary, then organized what he found there to advantage until help arrived, including providing for support for Butler in Knoxville. He showed great initiative and ending up retrieving a very grim situation. The CSA moved away very quickly after that defeat.

Whatever you may view his tactical/grand tactical prowess at the Wilderness, he had the right idea. He got what the old Avalon Hill players would call an "exchange", but kept going. It is written that after the Wilderness, when the head of the army turned south and east they cheered. It is true that he lost more men in the Overland Campaign than RELee started with, but it also true that he finished the campaign with Lee pinned to the defenses of Richmond, allowing the Union armies to win the war without interference in other theatres. When he pinned Lee to those defense, the war was won. That is a pretty solid strategic result, all attributable to Grant.

The ANV sat there and starved until they ran, at which the Union army sensed all they had to do was march faster and get ahead of the ANV. Grant's "4" for infantry management/commitment reflects his ability to get troops to do things like that. The AOP marched faster and ended the war with shoe leather. Not bad soldiering.

Your mileage may vary and I certainly respect you opinion.



Shiloh was a disaster for Grant. He was completely surprised and hadn't done even the basics of securing his position. You can forgive him for not heavily entrenching (something that didn't become standard for another couple years on either side) at every stop, but he had nothing. On top of that, Grant's response and recovery was primarly due to Sherman and Prentiss (in his defense of the Sunken Road).

As for Vicksburg, Grant did what most people wouldn't have, but in that execution (and even the overall planning) he botched the job. But before even considering his ultimate success, look at the enormous string of failures before that. Hell, it got to one point where Grant would think up an idea on how to get to Vicksburg, get someone on the job to try and achieve it, then have another plan thought up and started execution even before the original was proven a failure. After he got down to Gibson, he's often credited with executing a effective war of manuever, but he completely failed to stop Johnston from fleeing in a direction where he'd still pose a threat, and failed to hinder Pemberton in his retreat despite having a few opportunities to bottle up some troops. Of course, that isn't a sign of a bad commander in itself, but it definitely goes against the common perception of the campaign. In the end, Vicksburg is an example of how Grant is willing and able to do what it takes to succeed, but it doesn't mean he was a compotent at achieving that success.

Unfortunately Grant at Chattanooga is one of the few battles I'm not well versed in during the Civil War. Got to fix that sometime.

As for the Wilderness, do you know why the Army cheered for Grant? Because he was the first commander that didn't immediately retreat after being whipped. Not to mention, down the road Grant would admit that his attempt to bleed Lee was (in more politically correct words - for the time) a failure, primarly because Grant lost too many trying to do it. As for the end result, Lee had no other option, no matter what the course of the campaign would have taken, to eventually hit the fortifications of Richmond and dig in. That was never in doubt (except for the brief time when Grant proved himself inept again by putting his army up to destruction at the North Anna River), the only issue was how costly it would be. And, as Grant found out at Cold Harbor, he'd reached the end of his limit for reinforcements and for good will amongst the army. Were you aware that after Grant ordered the initial attack (without even reviewing the Confederate positions before-hand, nor discussing the attack with his Corps Commanders) that he ordered the troops to keep attacking after the initial repulse, but the army as a whole refused to do so? Oh yeah, there is shining example of infantry management for you.

I'm not arguing that Grant achieved success where no one else could, but I'm just arguing he achieved it by being willing to do what it took to achieve that success, just that his implementation of those measures was done poorly (and consistently) at all levels.

Edit:
Something else to keep in mind, after the Wilderness (and especially after Spotsylvania) the Confederate upper-echelon of command had practically ceased to exist, and most units (even all three Corps) were under fresh/new management. So not only did Lee successfully fend off Grant, as far as tactical and operational successes go, but he did it without his best commanders, on his sick bed half the time, and harassed on multiple fronts.




GShock -> RE: Leadership ratings? (4/30/2009 8:03:18 AM)

It's probably why Lincoln wanted to know his Whiskey brand. [8D]




bushpsu -> RE: Leadership ratings? (5/8/2009 9:10:02 PM)

I mentioned this on another forum for a Grigsby game, but, his "stats" whether for people or platforms are always questionable. It's almost as if he doesn't even know the subject matter, is just creating a vehicle to sell a new program.




Doc o War -> RE: Leadership ratings? (5/11/2009 6:23:55 AM)

Well- since it isnt just Gary doing the game- and the people who are involved do know about the Civil War, and have a good pool of advisors to call on- it is not really true that the stats are- as you seem to imply- made up.  They are just a bit subjective- There are some commanders who are rated well- and others I disagree with. Perhaps someday someone will go to the trouble of quantifying the leadership pools for both armies into a 1 to 4 rating scale and the data can be crunched- some of this data comes from older games I believe. And some commanders are just hard to quantify- a General can be good  at times and erratic at others- how do you rate that? What about guys who died? its pretty subjective.




Joel Billings -> RE: Leadership ratings? (5/11/2009 6:09:51 PM)


quote:

ORIGINAL: bushpsu

I mentioned this on another forum for a Grigsby game, but, his "stats" whether for people or platforms are always questionable. It's almost as if he doesn't even know the subject matter, is just creating a vehicle to sell a new program.


Ok, that's a bit harsh. Gary doesn't have a PhD, but he does read up on the topics before he makes a game. In fact he's usually inspired by a particularly good book to want to work on a subject. There are also several people involved in the game design as well that know a little bit about the subjects, not to mention all the testers. I think the real bottom line is that there is a lot of subjective work that goes into these things. I think Grant was a great General, if only because he refused to lose. I think many belive this to be the case. That the person that started this thread thinks otherwise (and probably has his own following) just proves this. I think I'm right about Grant, but how do I go about proving this. Now I'm not saying we know all there is to know about all 1000 leaders in the database, but we made a good faith effort at fairly rating the leaders based on various sources. Of course we do want to see the game sell well. [:)]




Capt Cliff -> RE: Leadership ratings? (5/11/2009 7:06:25 PM)

quote:

ORIGINAL: bushpsu

I mentioned this on another forum for a Grigsby game, but, his "stats" whether for people or platforms are always questionable. It's almost as if he doesn't even know the subject matter, is just creating a vehicle to sell a new program.


You must be thinking of that guy who produces games where one program fits all levels of combat. From tactical to strategic. Oh what's his name ... Hiller, no, Piller, no ... yeah ... Tiller. [:-]

All of Gary Grigsby's games have been spot on from the very begining, bar none.




bushpsu -> RE: Leadership ratings? (5/15/2009 9:10:00 PM)

Joel,

Sorry, didn't mean to stir up trouble.

You are correct when you say leadership ratings are subjective - I know mine usually change somewhat with each new book I read - sometimes enhancing what I felt before and sometimes knocking the rep down a notch or two.

Mike




Treefrog -> RE: Leadership ratings? (5/15/2009 11:40:34 PM)

what would really be entertaining is a log "leadership ratings" of pbem participants, rated by their opponents.




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