historical examples of friction

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historical examples of friction

Post by shandy »


we all know that friction is a central mechanic in TFL games. However, for new players, it's often difficult to understand that the mechanics, random events etc. are not just odd ideas to frustrate the player, but that they are actually grounded in what was happening during skirmishes and battles.

I've therefore assemble as small collection of historical instances corresponding to mechanics and random events in Sharp Practice:

https://wargamingraft.wordpress.com/201 ... -practice/

They are all from the ACW, as this is my period of interest. However, it would be fun to expand the list both with other examples from the ACW and other conflicts. What do you think?

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Re: historical examples of friction

Post by BaronVonWreckedoften »

Read this just before coming on here and seeing your post - very good article.
No plan survives first contact with the dice.

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Re: historical examples of friction

Post by Archdukek »

Read and commented in the SP Facebook Group. It's an excellent article.


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Re: historical examples of friction

Post by Jfuller39 »

Haven’t actually signed in for months but just read your article from the link. That’s a great article and really does help explain why the random events are in there. Had some issues explaining to a friend and now I can just share your article. Thanks!

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Re: historical examples of friction

Post by shandy »

Thanks for the kind words!

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Re: historical examples of friction

Post by siggian »

There's a pretty obscure book I can recommend for lots of examples of friction before combat and during. "Duty and Honour" (ISBN 9781770847064 or https://www.amazon.com/Duty-Honour-Stan ... 1770847065) is basically about an enquiry into the leadership of a regular army officer (Lt Col Dennis) leading two units of militia, who's officers were livid about Dennis' actions https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of ... rie_(1866) .

The first part of the book covers the events leading up to the landing at Fort Erie (at roughly the same time as the Battle of Ridgway), including the army officer's decision to "disobey orders" and the consequences of his initial deployments. The rest of the book is a transcription of the enquiry. Even before the Fenians arrive, there's plenty of evidence of conflicting accounts of where Dennis was during the events, what he was doing, when he gave orders, and whether they were legal (the militia captains were well aware that Dennis was, at best, exceeding orders, or even actually going against the commands of the area commander).

The units had plenty of time once they arrived in Fort Erie to set up pickets and other defences to detect the arrival of the Fenians. They also knew that the Fenians would be returning to Fort Erie. But confusion and disorder meant that the militia basically stayed on the waterfront until the encounter was over. While the scope of the action was limited to a small area and had a relatively small number of people (under 100 on the British side), the transcript is very Rashomon with many people offering examples of friction.

The results of the enquiry were suppressed and this book is the first public publishing of the enquiry.

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Re: historical examples of friction

Post by jdg »

At Antietam a Confederate regt. advancing to re-enforce the line are delayed because they are attacked by bees and thrown into confusion.

Joe Hooker at Chancellorsville is standing on the porch of the Chancellorsville House when a cannon shot hit a pillar near him a part of which hit him knock him out and concussed him causing him to confused and unfit for command but left in command anyway.

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Re: historical examples of friction

Post by Capt Fortier »

An excellent and helpful article. You're right about the scepticism of players when first introduced to these mechanisms, but I find it helps build a great sense of narrative tension - particularly in a two-player game with no umpire to throw curve balls - and encourages the players to have fun (cf. just beating each other).
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Re: historical examples of friction

Post by oozeboss »

Outstanding article, which went down remarkably smoothly for me.

I wish the author well in his quest to locate that elusive dog turd.

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Re: historical examples of friction

Post by DCRBrown »

Another bit ACW friction is when a Union regiment saw what it believed to be a fellow regiment, so moved up and deployed next to it.

A short while later they discovered their error! It was a Confederate regiment :shock:

Could you image the horror that would create for the "All friction is the action of the enemy" gamers?


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