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Gentlemen's Agreement

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Gentlemen's Agreement

Post  WSH Baylor on Mon Mar 17, 2014 1:33 am

In the interest of fair play, I would ask all players to consider a Gentleman's Agreement to write and send all messages during the course of the Civil War game in English.  When posting a courier message in any language other than English, the poster derives an unfair advantage if the message should fall into enemy hands, as was the case, several times, in yesterday's battle.  

Please consider this proposal.

WSH Baylor
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Re: Gentlemen's Agreement

Post  Mr. Digby on Mon Mar 17, 2014 3:38 am

I understand your point but I think we have a couple of players whose English is extremely poor and it would be very difficult if not impossible for them to use English.

I find that in the great majority of cases, the intercepted messages in the courier system carry no useful information anyway. Of the many 100s I must have intercepted I have only found useful info and/or passed on to my other officers a mere handful, probably less that 1%.

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The other Martin - Charles Reille, le dernier Maréchal de France.

"Any hussar who has not got himself killed by the age of 30 is a jackass." - Antoine Charles Louis Lasalle, commander of Napoleon's light cavalry, killed in battle at Wagram 6 July 1809, aged 34.

"I had forgotten there was an objective." - Generallieutenant Mikhail Borozdin I
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Re: Gentlemen's Agreement

Post  Martin on Mon Mar 17, 2014 1:56 pm

I too can see your point Jack, and it’s a reasonable issue to have raised.  In the European wars, diplomatic correspondence and dispatches between theatre commanders normally were in code.  But on the battlefield it just wasn’t practical.  We don’t want players using a private language (or code) to communicate, as that just wasn’t done historically.

But I think Diggers is right, as that is not the case here.  Where players do not have good English, they have no choice but to send messages in their own language if they are to participate in any meaningful sense.  IMHO it’s a strength of our group that it includes folks from many countries, and the last thing we want to do is to make it difficult for anyone to play with us.  Yes it’s not ideal, but OTOH a player without good English will not be able to read most of the messages they intercept, so overall they may be at a bigger disadvantage than the rest of us.

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Re: Gentlemen's Agreement

Post  Uncle Billy on Mon Mar 17, 2014 3:08 pm

I actually enjoy intercepting messages in Italian. There are usually one or two words in a sentence that look similar to English. I then try to reconstruct the meaning of the message from those few words. I'm sure I almost always get it wrong, but it is still an entertaining exercise. Besides, it's a nice distraction from the usual whining I get from my other commanders always carping about how tough the fight is, how their forces are breaking, please help me, sniffle, sniffle...  Sad 

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Re: Gentlemen's Agreement

Post  Mr. Digby on Mon Mar 17, 2014 4:16 pm

Then there's those officers whose pompous names are so long you can't even select them from the officers list...

I can imagine some of the semi-literate scribble from some of the officers in the ACW might have been hard to decipher. What would one think of a note written by Nathan B Forrest if he asked you to "Git thar the fustest?"

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The other Martin - Charles Reille, le dernier Maréchal de France.

"Any hussar who has not got himself killed by the age of 30 is a jackass." - Antoine Charles Louis Lasalle, commander of Napoleon's light cavalry, killed in battle at Wagram 6 July 1809, aged 34.

"I had forgotten there was an objective." - Generallieutenant Mikhail Borozdin I
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Re: Gentlemen's Agreement

Post  Uncle Billy on Mon Mar 17, 2014 5:55 pm

Digby wrote:Then there's those officers whose pompous names are so long you can't even select them from the officers list...

I can imagine some of the semi-literate scribble from some of the officers in the ACW might have been hard to decipher. What would one think of a note written by Nathan B Forrest if he asked you to "Git thar the fustest?"
And certainly not the sort that would be allowed into Betty's Tea Rooms.

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Re: Gentlemen's Agreement

Post  mitra on Mon Mar 17, 2014 7:37 pm

Hi Jack

I understand the problem, but consider the problem is reversed also; I can understand sufficiently well written english but not always I know all the words and sure is not immediate for me write in good english a text without making a mental translation from the same phrase in italian during the game. So if I would write to Berto in english he will have to do a translation of a translation with doubtful results, not only because of words but also because the phrase format in english is different from italian especially the spoken one (yes the true italian grammar exists only in the books).

Davide

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Re: Gentlemen's Agreement

Post  Father General on Tue Mar 18, 2014 1:16 am

I don't give a fig for intercepted messages. They always say something absurd like, "withdraw from in front of those guns," or "take and hold the high ground." Useless, really. I prefer more logical dispatches, such as "attack" and "attack harder."

-Father General
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Re: Gentlemen's Agreement

Post  Calpurnius on Tue Mar 18, 2014 8:03 am

and the infamous "Not retreat, sir. Re-deploy."
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Re: Gentlemen's Agreement

Post  Leffe7 on Tue Mar 18, 2014 3:52 pm

I can understand Jack as it happened also to me that I was happy to have an enemy message intercepted, but only to find out that it was written in an other language slang Rolling Eyes
But then again this doesn't bother me big time as like Kevin it is sometimes possible to decipher some meaning from it. And I think by the time of the ACW it must have been still possible that some couriers were sent in another language maybe, as there were a lot of immigrants.
Plus, it is not 100% realistic that an intercepted courier is read instantaneously by all players, there would be some delay of course. So if one of the players is able to read it, he could still inform the others of his team.
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Re: Gentlemen's Agreement

Post  Uncle Billy on Tue Mar 18, 2014 5:07 pm

Leffe7 wrote:I can understand Jack as it happened also to me that I was happy to have an enemy message intercepted, but only to find out that it was written in an other language slang
Of course you are referring to the Brits. I too find it sometimes difficult to understand their strange phrasing and misspellings. Of course I give them full marks for attempting English, but it is apparent it is not their 1st language.  Laughing 

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Re: Gentlemen's Agreement

Post  Mr. Digby on Tue Mar 18, 2014 5:49 pm

I think our first languages were what is now Irish or Gaelic, Welsh, or maybe Cornish. We then moved on to Anglo-Saxon and some Norwegian with a bit of Danish and German here and there thrown in, then we went to Big Skool and were given French by those nice Norman fellows with its bits of Latin and Greek in and finally we ended up with the nonesensical and almost impossibly dense grammar of English, first Middle English (oh, woe! Aynd whyfor dost thou rogue notte agree?) and then Modern English. So yes, English isn't our first language, its our eleventh.

Of course that was all too complicated for those simple colonists over Massachusetts way so they dropped half the letters out, swapped in some new simple words for others that were too hard for them to grasp and went off cosplaying indians among the tea merchant's ships. Silly people.

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The other Martin - Charles Reille, le dernier Maréchal de France.

"Any hussar who has not got himself killed by the age of 30 is a jackass." - Antoine Charles Louis Lasalle, commander of Napoleon's light cavalry, killed in battle at Wagram 6 July 1809, aged 34.

"I had forgotten there was an objective." - Generallieutenant Mikhail Borozdin I
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Historical

Post  WSH Baylor on Tue Mar 18, 2014 8:43 pm

From Martin: "We don’t want players using a private language (or code) to communicate, as that just wasn’t done historically."

Well, let's see, Martin, on page 257 of Francis E. Lord's Civil War Collector's Encyclopedia, Vol. 1 (of 3) we find several Cypher Disk, described as: A small disk of cardboard on which was written or printed the letters of the alphabet in irregular sequence and arranged around the circumference of the disk" Type in a Civil War Cypher Disc and you will find several examples including one from CSA. I have reconstructed a credible example which I am forwarding to selected game players. If you don't get a copy, well, G0, T0, H3, L2, L0, L0. I will continue my message in the selected code key.

C5, Z5, W9, H2, R5, B9, E9, Q3, S0, S4, R7, G5, L6, Q3, W2, G9, W9, T4, G0, L4, R9, W9, V4, B7, S2, F4, F8, G0, L0, O0, T6, D9, S9, M4, K9, K9, W0, P1, N5, Q2, E4, O0, T3, T6, R9, W7, A9, Z7, D4, D8, A2, EOM.

Digby, your percentage of inconsequential messages per game, even with the computer-generated nonsense is just an inaccurate WAG! EOM LOL

J
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Re: Gentlemen's Agreement

Post  Mr. Digby on Tue Mar 18, 2014 10:32 pm

I agree codes and ciphers were in use, and Martin did say that. They just weren't in use on the battlefield when the heat of the moment and the rapid need to get a brigade or regiment to attack, stop or wheel to face a threat was critical.

Its true Jack, I think I can count the number of useful intercepted messages I've received on the fingers of one hand, and that's over dozens and dozens, if not 100s of games.

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The other Martin - Charles Reille, le dernier Maréchal de France.

"Any hussar who has not got himself killed by the age of 30 is a jackass." - Antoine Charles Louis Lasalle, commander of Napoleon's light cavalry, killed in battle at Wagram 6 July 1809, aged 34.

"I had forgotten there was an objective." - Generallieutenant Mikhail Borozdin I
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