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On withdrawing/disengaging fighting BDEs in TC

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On withdrawing/disengaging fighting BDEs in TC - 9/4/2009 9:57:32 AM   


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Joined: 1/12/2009
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There has been quite a bit of speculation and a number of questions on the forum regarding the apparent impossibility to move back (in an orderly manner) a BDE committed in combat.
Well, it seems, than once you are "face to face" with the enemy (adjescent hexes) the TC mechanics leaves you with the sole option of going to column formation and moving back (or so) just about one hex. That, if you are lucky enough for your BDE to have super heroic morale and a ton of MPs. Now, although the general approach of the developers seems sound (as long as you agree that actual company/regiment-level combat during the Civil War period was more of a slugfest than anything else - which I tend to agree with, by the way), there, clearly, were cases during many engagements where a unit (regiment or BDE size) would "step back" while holding the line and facing. The first example (historically) would probably come from the Union at the later stages of the First Bull Run / Manassas (Sherman's BDE and a few others).

I would like to present you with the following idea:

What if it actually were possible to have an engaged infantry BDE move back in TC, retaining formation and facing, but at a cost of ALL movement points (whatever the actual pool), and a percentage of morale and/or men?

This could help in fighting a delaying action engagements (just about impossible as it is). A loss of morale would simulate the general... well... loss of morale of the withdrawing troops, while lost numbers would cover for the inevitable disorganisation and disengagement cassualities (you know: don't you ever turn your back on those tricky Yankies!!). The magnitude of both could be a function of the unit's morale (current and possibly also max) and, should the Gods of Random cast theis dice unfavourably, the attempt would fali, and possibly result in actual disorganisation, with or without displacement.

Just a though.

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RE: On withdrawing/disengaging fighting BDEs in TC - 9/7/2009 12:33:28 AM   


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I think I had posted about this a while back, or if I didn't I meant to and forgot. I also think a unit with low morale and under fire might perform a withdrawal on its own--troops on the verge of breaking and under fire might want to get away from the people shooting at them. Thought I wouldn't want units ordered to "withdrawl" to take too much of a morale hit, and it should certainly be modified by distance to a leader and the leader's ability, presence of surrounding units (particularly of the same division), etc.

(in reply to Kielec)
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RE: On withdrawing/disengaging fighting BDEs in TC - 9/7/2009 2:37:27 AM   


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I don't know about this, unfatigued units with high morale can generally disengage provided they're not pinned but still might lack the movement allowance to resume the desired facing.  This can lead to messy situations and forces daytime disengagements to be exceptional rather than routine.

However one would think that run of the mill units would lack the disciplene, cohesion and leadership to perform what is probably the most difficult of all tactical maneuvers, disengagement under fire.  This is difficult today when every soldier is usually on an individual radio but in the days where all tactical command was by voice and the span of control was very large it's amazing it happened at all.  Figure that the Brigade Commander has to coordinate all the Regimental CO's (3-5 typically) and with flanking brigades as well.  Each Regimental CO has to coordinate with his company commanders and so on down the chain until Private Bloggins gets the word.  If somebody gets missed and sees a retrograde movement it could precipitate a rout, something that happened with dismal regularity.

Tactical disengagement is most successful in darkness.

I think the system works pretty well as is.  While you might lack 100% control and be unable to maneuver as you wish, no combat commander outside of a wargame has had that ability except in the most fleeting situations.

Delaying actions can be fought using divided brigades with the expectation that they will disengage when routed or when the rout the attackers and that's pretty typical of mid-19th Century combat.  Sacrifice a few to save the many.

Best Regards

(in reply to augustus)
Post #: 3
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