From: Bedfordshire UK
The 'defend' order in the contact sense just means that if the corps encounters enemy units it will be marching in a defensive posture. This means if there is a battle the battle stance options will be limited to defensive stances, The battle stance also depends on the quality of the corps commander, some commanders are not capable of using the most aggressive battle stances.
The 'contact' stance just tells the commander what formation to advance in, the 'urgency' setting tells him how quickly to advance to the objective, which will always be in cities, or on the roads. The history shows that strategy was mainly confined to the roads, Quatre Bras, the high road to Moscow, etc..
Send a fully capable commander into action with an 'engage' contact stance and he will be able to use the most aggressive battle stances, but a less capable commander is best set to 'defend' which will open up the more cautious battle choices if it comes to a battle. However, you have to judge what your commanders might meet, or you may get an heroic charge into destruction. 'Engage' contact orders give little chance of successful withdrawal, as advancing in 'engage' formation means a fight, you are in the wrong formation to retreat in the face of superior forces.
Not sure about the bridges, as it is not something I have had to use, but interested to run some test turns to see what happens.
Generally what you are describing seems quite good historically, because if you send forces forward against an unbeaten enemy with 'engage' orders you are likely to get a Custer's Lsst stand situation. The French might be able to get away with that, but try it the Austrians.
< Message edited by Rasputitsa -- 8/15/2017 12:41:32 AM >
"We have to go from where we are, not from where we would like to be" - me