I wish I could give credit to who helped my through the Courier system. I can no longer find that forum post, it may have been on the developers web site.
I have beeen trying out the Demo this week to see if I want to put this on my wish list for the holidays. When I got to the last Tutorial, Corp Level Command, I was completly overwelmed at first. I couldn't seem to get anything to move into position reliably. After 3 or 4 bad starts I found a good AAR on how to use the Courier system, with simple tips to use it as intended. I will give a quick run down here of hwhat I did to do a passable job as Corp Commander. The situation is you command Union 6th Corp North of Gettysburg in support of 11th Corp.
This is a Menu driven system and more or less self explanatory. The steps I am listing may not always be neccessary but it works.
1st - Choose the officer you want to give orders to (simple enough just select his name, but this is the one area that I think could be done better, I'll explain later).
2nd - Specify the time, it should equal the time you send the message (not before, I am told it may add a day to the time when it excutes) if you want them to execute order imediatly on recieving it.
3rd - Specify "No Order" as your first command, this cancels previous orders and also forces the officer/unit to attempt to execute the new order while under fire. If you are playing the game HITS ( In The Saddle) and dont know if the unit is engaged this might not be a good idea.
4th - Specify what you want done, lots of selections here. If you choose Move you can choose what unit to move next to, a named location like someones farm, or what I usually do point the location out on a paper looking map. The paper map is not that detailed, only major elevations are shown, lots of slight rises and gullys to interfer with artillery lines of sight. I did find ordering indivdual Union Batteries was better if I had their Bde Commander posted next to me.
5th - Last thing to do was the most important, which was not mentioned in the Tutorial, give the unit a "Formation Change" command. If you forget this only the officer moves. This was the thing that I was missing from my earlier attempts I think.
There was someting in the forum post I read about Road Movement and Double Time. The order was important, but I don't remember and did nto use them together but once.
The thing I would like to see is a better way of selecting the officers name. Maybe having the numerical unit designation added in front or highlighted or indented to keep the OOB nice and neat. Reason being in my haste to get the 6th Corp (I was Corp Commander) in position, I choose a Division Officer (similar name, Howe, Howard or something like that) of the 11th Corp on the far right and he obeyed the command and moved to the far left of the line, right across the whole front in parade drill. I also suspect that he may have been engaged where he was or at least in visible contact with the Confederates. Also a danger of using the "No Order" command at the beginning of each message. Not sure if that would have made a difference though. The defenses collased as you may have guessed and I am awaiting a Court Marshall, not much hope of avoiding it as all orders are written. Cant say the Courier misunderstood, maybe I can blame a low ranking staff officer, he misheard me.
The Forum Post I read was based on the Beta version not the Demo version I played, there was some orders I had he didn't.