Faltering Brigade thoughts

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vlad48
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Faltering Brigade thoughts

Post by vlad48 » Thu Dec 28, 2017 5:23 pm

Sirs,
Here's a question to the more experienced players on this forum, particularly those who regularly play the attacking/assaulting side in scenarios (generally the French).
What are your thoughts on the rule that imposes Faltering status on a Brigade that loses a SINGLE unit (including skirmish line, I believe) especially in cases of larger Brigades of 6 or more battalions.

Have you found that this makes assaults stall too quickly - ie should Faltering status be reached at 1/3 or 1/4 lost battalions - or do you find this is not an issue?

c0cky30
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Re: Faltering Brigade thoughts

Post by c0cky30 » Thu Dec 28, 2017 7:57 pm

Not an issue for me as it works both ways. You can be aggressive and attack a section of the enemy brigades line forcing him to falter especially when on an objective. As the attacker you can drop back worn units out of the line and push on with fresher units.

Archdukek
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Re: Faltering Brigade thoughts

Post by Archdukek » Thu Dec 28, 2017 8:56 pm

Haven't seen it as a problem either. If anything it teaches you avoid piecemeal attacks with individual battalions and to instead prepare your attacks so that your attacking brigade moves on Infantry Assault orders with coordinated charges by multiple battalions with reserves for failed attacks to rally behind.

Also don't leave your skirmish screen hanging in the wind but either reinforce it or withdraw it if you can't before it routs.

John

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bvera
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Re: Faltering Brigade thoughts

Post by bvera » Thu Dec 28, 2017 9:43 pm

I totally agree with John in relation to tactics.
Also, do not assault a fresh brigade, try to at elast soften a little bit with the artillery.
Charges and melees can be extremely bloody if attacking a solid unit
Benito
...and visit my blog! http://mylardiesgames.blogspot.com.es/

DCRBrown
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Re: Faltering Brigade thoughts

Post by DCRBrown » Sat Dec 30, 2017 7:28 pm

Vlad,

You've hit on one of those areas where General d'Armee tries to be a bit different.

The basic GdA premise is that casualties and their impact upon a battalion, brigade, etc., are not linked to the size of the unit. This is deliberate. If you look at unit casualties all have exactly the same 1st casualty level, i.e. they all suffer the -1 modifier when they reach 4 casualties regardless of being a small unit of 400 men or a large battalion of 1000 men. Why? Because I'm not convinced that the impact of combat fatigue and combat shock has much to do with a battalions (or brigades) size.

If a battalion of any size loses, say 50 men in one enemy volley, do we really think that a 1000 man battalion felt better about it because they have more men? I think, IHMO, this is one of those wargamer mechanisms that has become part of the wargamers psyche. It's the classic 10% casualties thing - my suggestion is that a mathematical casualty progression cannot be linked to morale. Although I accept to a certain degree that larger units might hang around longer (i.e. have greater battlefield durability), this doesn't mean that the impact of loses is not the same as that on other smaller units. Hence when you lose 1 unit from a brigade it will have the same impact; be the brigade 6 battalions or 3 battalions, however the 6 battalion brigade should last longer simply because it has more units to lose. I hope that makes sense.

(Or to put it another way: Two Austrian battalions are side by side, one of 500 men, the other of 1000 men. Both are hit by hideous canister fire and lose 100 men each. Let's say the smaller units breaks - what's the impact on the larger unit? Surely its identical - otherwise we'd have officers stating "Now men, don't run - we are a 1000 man battalion therefore we don't crack until 25% casualties and we're not there yet!" I jest but hopefully you get the point. ;) )

DB

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vlad48
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Re: Faltering Brigade thoughts

Post by vlad48 » Sun Dec 31, 2017 6:51 pm

Mr Brown,

First off, Happy New Year and thanks for your continuing support for your fine rule book.

I take your point on the effects of losses on single brigades AND the impact of "losing" a battalion would have on surrounding friends - and we shall continue to play the rules as written.
At the same time, the original question came from a view that such a loss would arguably have a deeper effect on a smaller brigade than on a much larger brigade (where more of the attacking battalions would be farther away from the lost battalion and therefore less impacted by its dispersal). Put another way, it would seem more difficult to blunt the advance of, say, 8-10,000 men then 2-3,000 troops.

But as we will continue to play rules as written, some of our players feel it prudent to avoid using some of the very large French brigades/divisions seen in some battles (each with only a single Leader and single ADC) - and dividing those historic formations into smaller brigades, say no larger than 6-7 battalions each. Of course this also has the benefit of generating a few more ADCs, assets really need for ADC orders needed to bring forward a successful attack.
Best regards,
Walt/North Shore Gamers

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Re: Faltering Brigade thoughts

Post by Archdukek » Sun Dec 31, 2017 7:40 pm

Hi Walt,
While I can see the argument that some of your colleagues make, I've always taken the view that a "Faltering" result is primarily confusion in the command structure of the Brigade, specifically in the state of mind of the Brigadier and limitations on his command resources as he attempts to rally the routers. A more troubling situation to that described in the definition of Hesitant on page 35. So it's essential still one potentially overwhelmed commander, even if he does have multiple battalions under his control

As to how you allocate units to Brigades for game purposes, I do think game organisers need to exercise some discretion when translating historic OOBs into commands for GdA, taking account of the command capability of the Army in question. I wouldn't have a difficulty allowing some of those large multi-battalion French brigades in later battles to be split and controlled by their constituent regimental commanders, whereas I wouldn't generally allow such a luxury to the Allies. Just a thought.

John

DCRBrown
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Re: Faltering Brigade thoughts

Post by DCRBrown » Mon Jan 01, 2018 9:50 am

W,

Ok, I think I see where you're coming from and agree with both you and John. I would certainly think hard about deploying some of those very strong historical brigades, esp. in 1812 to 1813, where you could occasionally have say 8 battalions, as a single brigade. (Though to be honest, the average brigade strength tended to be about 4-6 battalions, brigades of 7-8 were quite rare?)

So, if you are translating very large French brigades at 1:1, onto the table top, then yes I would suggest that a brigade of 8 battalions is split into two, the brigadier commanding the first regiment (4 bns) and the respective regimental colonel (classed as a brigadier for our game purposes) commanding the second regiment, (4 bns). Both would be classed as independent brigades, though you may wish to have them fight on the same wing or be adjacent for a bit more historical accuracy.

DB

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vlad48
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Re: Faltering Brigade thoughts

Post by vlad48 » Tue Jan 02, 2018 7:13 am

Thanks for confirming that - it will be useful when preparing future scenarios.
- W

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