Brigade Command Level

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joe.harrison89
Posts: 56
Joined: Fri Feb 01, 2019 10:39 pm

Brigade Command Level

Post by joe.harrison89 » Sat Jan 04, 2020 7:08 pm

I have been reading another set of new Napoleonic rules (Bataille Empire) recently , at the same time as General d Armee and found myself making comparisons.

There are lots of similarity but they focus on division as the level of tactical command rather than brigade. So, it's possible to activate only some of the units in the division, ignoring any brigade structure.

I am thinking that this is an abstraction to speed up the game because as I understood it, a brigade of cavalry or infantry that would be ordered to launch an attack rather than than an isolated unit. Exactly how GDA models the action and one of the reasons that I like them so much.

Have you any thoughts on how brigade and divisional commands worked in practice historically?

Archdukek
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Location: Linlithgow, West Lothian, UK

Re: Brigade Command Level

Post by Archdukek » Sat Jan 04, 2020 8:51 pm

I don’t have Bataille Empire so cannot comment in detail on its approach. However, from your description it sounds like it is trying to allow players to manoeuvre and fight with battalions, regiments and batteries while acting as a Army Commander who instead should be focussed on what his Corps, Divisions and brigades are doing. Mixing tactical with grand tactical is a common ploy amongst rule writers who wish to claim that their tactical level rules allow you to fight full scale battles.

Like you my understanding is that brigades were a key tactical unit when it came to fighting most large Napoleonic battles. It was the brigadier who was tasked with carrying out the plan determined by his Division Commander to fulfil whatever task had been set by the Corps and Army Commander. It would seem odd to me to eliminate the Brigadier’s role completely.

When it comes to Grand Tactical rules designed to recreate historical battles in this period, I think it is more realistic to use brigades as the tactical unit, abstracting what the battalions and other units are actually doing into one combat resolution. So from the Army Commander’s perspective all he will know is if the 1st Brigade has been successful or not. Seems to me that rules like Blucher get this right.

Personally I’m not a huge fan of Army level rules because I do like to control individual battalions, batteries and cavalry regiments which is why I enjoy GDA.

John

joe.harrison89
Posts: 56
Joined: Fri Feb 01, 2019 10:39 pm

Re: Brigade Command Level

Post by joe.harrison89 » Sat Jan 04, 2020 9:28 pm

Absolutely, I agree.

I have Blucher on the shelf but haven't played yet. The battle set up which starts on a map before moving to the game table looks very interesting also.

Do you know if there are GDA army lists floating around at all? Not really essential but can be handy for a quick pick up game.

Archdukek
Posts: 4744
Joined: Tue Sep 03, 2013 11:49 pm
Location: Linlithgow, West Lothian, UK

Re: Brigade Command Level

Post by Archdukek » Sat Jan 04, 2020 10:16 pm

joe.harrison89 wrote:
Sat Jan 04, 2020 9:28 pm
Absolutely, I agree.

I have Blucher on the shelf but haven't played yet. The battle set up which starts on a map before moving to the game table looks very interesting also.

Do you know if there are GDA army lists floating around at all? Not really essential but can be handy for a quick pick up game.
I’m not aware of any GDA army lists as such. There are the different forces in the scenarios in the rules and supplement which would give you a starter perhaps. Alternatively a look at the OOBs in one of the Osprey campaign books for whichever period you are interested in would give you some generic structures you could use.

John

zabarr
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Joined: Wed Jul 24, 2019 1:55 am

Re: Brigade Command Level

Post by zabarr » Tue Jan 07, 2020 3:11 pm

At this scale, too much flexibility doesn’t fit the period. One of the challenges rulesets face without formation limits or distinctions is that you then get some seriously unrealistic combined arms coordination. When infantry, cavalry, and artillery are able to work too well together the game becomes simplified to rock, paper, scissors.

joe.harrison89
Posts: 56
Joined: Fri Feb 01, 2019 10:39 pm

Re: Brigade Command Level

Post by joe.harrison89 » Tue Jan 07, 2020 6:06 pm

Do you think that GdA has got the balance right?

zabarr
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Joined: Wed Jul 24, 2019 1:55 am

Re: Brigade Command Level

Post by zabarr » Wed Jan 08, 2020 2:23 am

I can’t actually say, I have yet to play a game! Still in the process of painting. Having read the rulebook, I’m optimistic. Back in the day when I played empire, though it’s divisional level, different formations were forbidden from mixing to prevent ahistorically effective teamwork between infantry and cavalry.

wireme61
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Joined: Mon Oct 22, 2018 7:12 pm

Re: Brigade Command Level

Post by wireme61 » Wed Jan 08, 2020 5:03 pm

Having played a number of games I do believe there is a good balance of what I would call friction created in the game.
Combined arms attacks while possible are never a guarantee.
Attacks can sometimes become disjointed due to hesitancy of one or more brigades advancing even with ADC's providing re-rolls.
The dice never seem to be able to follow the plan.
I also played Empire back in the day. I had looked at many options since, and this is the first rules set that has gotten my Napoleonic's back onto the table in many years.

Mark

dakkadakka
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Joined: Mon Jul 29, 2019 4:44 pm

Re: Brigade Command Level

Post by dakkadakka » Thu Jan 09, 2020 5:09 am

I read through the Empire rules years ago and found them a little daunting. Before I found GdA I was playing a rules set called Le Petit Armee, where three stands represent a brigade. It has a great command and control system; and, due to its scale you can fight the entire battle of Waterloo on a 4’x8’ table. However, because it’s grand tactical in scale you miss out on some of the intricacies of brigade management that GdA does such a superb job of recreating. I played my first GdA game last week and it has fired me up to break out my 10mm figures and start slapping some paint on them!!

joe.harrison89
Posts: 56
Joined: Fri Feb 01, 2019 10:39 pm

Re: Brigade Command Level

Post by joe.harrison89 » Sun Jan 12, 2020 8:19 pm

These are anew set called Bataille Empire rather than the old Empire V rules.

They are by the author of art de le guerre. I have both sets but have only read them for reference. Although they have comprehensive army lists which can be useful.

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