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General Reserve? - 9/1/2009 8:08:19 PM   
Slick Wilhelm

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Joined: 7/22/2007
From: Rochester, MN
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I was reading Gil's most excellent AAR and a question popped into my head. I was wondering why he didn't have a general reserve at all, except for the garrisons.

Is this common for most folks to not have a general reserve? I would think that it would be a good idea to keep at least a division here and there behind the lines to serve as a fire brigade in case of the enemy breaking through. Especially if I were playing the South, with the danger of the Union Navy dropping off a brigade or two behind the lines.

Any thoughts?


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RE: General Reserve? - 9/2/2009 2:02:05 AM   


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Joined: 6/28/2008
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Have written here before that I will create Departments in each state, division containers with a couple of brigade attached to act within a state for local defence purposes.  Unfortunately in FoF they are ineffective at dealing with Partisans and Raiders but since this was generally the case historically it's not really an issue.  Given available strategic resources they also allow the building of forts, generally Level 1, when raids are a threat in non-city provinces.

As for the South, I find Departments help prevent northern division sized incursions since the Union has no partisan/raider option and must employ container units set to plunder for behind the line mischief.  Engaging several brigades in a division container unit can make this an unattractive option for the Northern commander at not too great a cost to the South.

Generally my Departments are composed of brigades that are surplus to garrison requirements or that have taken significant losses and can be pulled out of the field forces rather than disbanding them for their manpower.  Quantity has a quality all its own.  My Departments tend to be commanded by the poorer generals since these guys need a job and placing them in the field armies can prove painful.

I would submit that a national strategic reserve would be highly un-American during the Civil War.  Without a national General Staff system and with the exisitance of a national standing army a constitutional grey area at this time leaving such thing in the hands of the state governors makes sense.  Remember that when Grant needed massive numbers of replacements for the Eastern armies he had to loot the heavy artillery garrisons from the Washington fortifications.  These functioned as both a replacement army and strategic reserve but that was never their intended role.

Best Regards

(in reply to Slick Wilhelm)
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RE: General Reserve? - 9/2/2009 10:53:25 AM   

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The question is not really wether it is a good idea (it is), but if you can afford it, and if you can spare the troops. They might be desperately needed in your armies instead.


"Hun skal torpederes!" - Birger Eriksen

("She is to be torpedoed!")

(in reply to Randomizer)
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RE: General Reserve? - 9/2/2009 5:16:29 PM   
Slick Wilhelm

Posts: 1680
Joined: 7/22/2007
From: Rochester, MN
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Good points, gents. Thanks for the input. 


(in reply to terje439)
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RE: General Reserve? - 9/2/2009 5:25:34 PM   
Gil R.

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Joined: 4/1/2005
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It's hard for me to remember that game -- and I don't have time to read that AAR all over again! -- but my guess is that I was stretched somewhat thin. And I agree with Randomizer's last paragraph, about there not being a precedent for it. Another example I'd give is Sept. 1863, when Longstreet's corps is sent all the way to Chickamauga, and then returns to Lee's army later.

(in reply to Slick Wilhelm)
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