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HITS/GCM "Return to Cumberland Gap:" Yanks Minor Victory

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HITS/GCM "Return to Cumberland Gap:" Yanks Minor Victory

Post  WJPalmer on Sun Jan 06, 2013 12:08 am

The Yanks squeezed out a minor victory in a tight battle holding 2 objectives to the Rebs' 1.
Final casualty count was...
Union: 11,888
Rebels: 12,685

Great fight, everyone!! Laughing

Battle Report: http://www.sowmp.com/gcm/battles/battle/13719
Here's a link to the battle replay:
https://www.dropbox.com/s/zp2jlmrn6i598cl/Battle_13719-01052513%20164712.rep.zip
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Re: HITS/GCM "Return to Cumberland Gap:" Yanks Minor Victory

Post  kg little mac on Sun Jan 06, 2013 7:28 am

Tough, hard fought battle.

Thanks everyone for a very enjoyable game.
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Re: HITS/GCM "Return to Cumberland Gap:" Yanks Minor Victory

Post  Guest on Sun Jan 06, 2013 12:07 pm

kg little mac wrote:Tough, hard fought battle.

Thanks everyone for a very enjoyable game.

I nearly cried when I dropped this time Crying or Very sad

But I still learn something every game.

Many thanks to Palmer for continuing to sustain this wonderful new style - I think everybody is really enjoying the unique experience.

Ollie

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Re: HITS/GCM "Return to Cumberland Gap:" Yanks Minor Victory

Post  mitra on Sun Jan 06, 2013 12:19 pm

Yes splendid battle, the flow changed three times and, at the end both, the armies are still full in fighting. The victory was a matter of 20-30 seconds. Sorry to my subordinates for my bad english during the battle.

at the start of battle I sent Abbercrombie to the left flank, behind Sharpe, because I know the corps right flank was covered by Palmer corps so I fear more for the left. But the first attack develop against our center, against Hood: first I asked him to defend around the hill south east of objective, I asked kgSoldier to move the right of Sharpe at place of left and I moved Abbercrombie to the right of KgSoldier. Sharpe confirm me that for the moment he didn't see enemy troops, so I feel confident to move troops to the center, but I asked Sharpe and KGSoldier to have defensive stance and fall back if necessary, leaving the objective.

Seeing more and more union troops to deploy before Abbercrombie (east of south objective) I asked Hood to move a little more north respect the hill for cover the gap between him and Abbercrombie, but I saw 10 minutes later he was already under a heavy attack on his right flank, so I risked and I sent one of Abbercrombie brigade to help Hood's left, asking kgSoldier to help eventually Abbercrombie remaining brigade and hoping the union attack to the center was no rapid. At the end both the attacks were repelled and I moved back in the forest the Abbercrombie brigade. At this point I realized our Lee was shoot again some time before Smile and Sharpe warned me he must fall back because is under attack of superior union force.

Because Lee was no more between us, I asked Palmer corps to attack first possible the enemy flank in the center, because I saw from the losses counter is gaining the upper hand; I sent also to Grog a message asking to attack in north west of Langston direction because i saw here a gap in the enemy line and he's the nearest of Palmer's corps troops. I moved to the left I saw with orror Sharpe critical situation: he's under danger of encirclement also in the new position: so I asked him and KgSoldier to retreat SouthEast for deny the flank: a very difficult manouver but Sharpe did it very well. I sent to Palmer a message asking urgent attack to north-west and I sent order to Abbercrombie to move from the center to a wooden hill south of objective as extreme force for avoid encirclement on the left: later I asked to Kgsoldier to leave the last of objective for retreat on the same line also.

When Palmer confims me he's attacking the enemy flank on the right, I asked to Hood to probe from the center for help him (but I think is already doing this without order from what I saw) without full engage them. Kg repelled enemy center attack to the new line in the woods and to the left of the hill, but Sharpe warned me his division is no more a fighting force, so I feared to be attacked on the left in few minutes, but it didn't come, so I asked to Sharpe what is happening on the left: he confirmed me the enemy stopped the pursuit. So I asked Sharpe to regroup what he can and move north for join with Kg and Abbercrombie. I received message from Palmer they are pressing hard the enemy east of NE objective, so evaluating all the information I asked to KG to press north again with Abbercrombie against the S. objective, thinking that, under Palmer pressure they are regrouping, so a southern attack it would help Palmer. Our advance met less opposition than I though and Sharpe join us in the attack (he had more troops than I hoped), unluckily it was now Palmer corps under heavy pressure, but we recover the South objective and our troops are advancing to NW objective when the game stop. We was at -1400 at the 11:30 but at -680 at 12:00 for give a idea of recovered ground.

This is more or less the battle how i lived it, I don't know if all the messages are arrived and if they were sufficiently clear; probably my subordinates are already doing what I suggested with the messages, but better a message more than one less Smile



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Re: HITS/GCM "Return to Cumberland Gap:" Yanks Minor Victory

Post  Guest on Sun Jan 06, 2013 2:40 pm

Thanks General for the insightful report.

I would be interested to hear from all other Corps commanders (on both sides), and how they found their dual role of Corps/Division command?

Certainly, it seems things held together well after I dropped - and from Mitra's report, it seems he stepped into the gap very well to give some direction to overall affairs - what are others views on this?

Ollie

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Re: HITS/GCM "Return to Cumberland Gap:" Yanks Minor Victory

Post  WJPalmer on Sun Jan 06, 2013 4:14 pm

Sir,
My division began the game far to the south and east and most removed of all our force from the ultimate prize in the heart of the Cumberland Gap. Nonetheless, we weren't long into the march before the distant rumble of artillery to the north could be heard: Generals Hay and Grog had encountered Yankees just up the road south of Chandler and Langston. Following Hays' boys, it was quite difficult for us, as Gen. Hays freely admitted, to get a handle on the size of the blocking units. Was this just an advance posting, or did we stumble upon General Georgia in the midst of executing some devilish, crackpot strategy of his own?

My first deployment was made on Gen. Hays' right flank in the woods where Willard's infantry was attempting to turn our flank. By that time it was clear the Federals were here in at least division force. I shook out my larger, but less experienced brigade in an attempt to flank the flankers and succeeded in driving them back in some disarray. The temptation was great to press the advantage, but I decided to hold up with two concerns: 1) our location south of Chandler seemed too far removed from the vital prize of the Cumberland Gap itself to impact the outcome and 2) to press ahead my infantry would have been exposed to fire from Gen. Willard's rather large battery situated in a broad clearing with a fine field of fire. Knowing Willard's well-earned reputation in the skillful use of the big guns, I decided to let him enhance it at the expense of another on some future day.

After dispatching couriers on my intended next move, my division set out westward toward the large disagreement we could hear taking place off toward Langston and the objectives. About that time I also received a courier from Gen. Mitra that a gap had opened in the Yankee lines near Langston, which confirmed the decision to move that way. He also related that our left flank was in trouble and retiring to the southeast. My division arrived in time to witness a grand scene set before us of two great gladiators slugging it out toe-to-toe in a Colosseum of meadow and woods. There the prize, and even survival, would be won or lost. For just a moment we were mere Roman citizens there to be entertained by the spectacle -- though an expanded role was quick in coming.

The rest of my corps was already there: the divisions of Hays and Grog and some of Hood's boys as well. I fell in to the left of Hays southeast of the objectives. About that time I received orders from Gen. Mitra to press hard ahead to take the eastern objective (#3). His courier revealed that our comrades in the southern woods (Gen. J.B. Hood, I believe), would demonstrate to the north in our support. And press we did. First driving elements of Woods' division from some stone walls, our combined divisions moved up into the trees below the objective to the east. At that point the Yankees appeared demoralized and ready to break, but they soon rallied and regained determination with the objective -- and a grand battery -- at their back. The Federal cannoneers on these heights played a large role in breaking up the attack, and our corps fell just short of the objective. And it must be admitted that the Yankee Gen. Spoom showed great skill in his ability to rally his tired, depleted ranks for a supreme closing effort.

Looking to the left (southwest) of our position, I was pleased to see the support attack press ahead and actually neutralize the objective to their front (#1). How ironic that the support effort magically transformed itself into the main effort! I confess it still a mystery how that all came about, but it was good to see that the Yankees would, at least, be denied a decisive victory in Cumberland Gap that day. Congratulations to all our gallant forces on their steadfastness and perseverence.

As corps commander, I don't believe I played much of a role. My responsibilities to my division required that I remain fairly close to them throughout the battle. As the initial deployment clearly shows, both Grog and Hays were well ahead of me in the advance and certainly had a much better view and understanding of what was happening than did I, particularly in the crucial early going. I felt that we helped each other and moved as needed to support the larger effort. As is usually the case with experienced commanders, that was accomplished with few, but efficient communications.

It was a great experience from where I stood. I enjoyed the ebb & flow of the game and even the sublime confusion that comes with limited knowledge and imperfect control of troops. IMO the 3 tight objectives added interest, drama and sub-plots. The early loss of our leader put our Southern boys at a significant disadvantage, and must have weighed heavily on Gen. Mitra who suddenly found himself in control not only of his division but leading an army. His abilities shone well under quite difficult circumstances.

Respectfully submitted,
Gen. William Jackson Palmer
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Re: HITS/GCM "Return to Cumberland Gap:" Yanks Minor Victory

Post  Grog on Sun Jan 06, 2013 9:55 pm

Not got the time right now except to say what a great experience that was and a big thanks to all those who took part.

It was tricky controlling my troops with so little TCing allowed, especially when I neglected to allow enough space for my brigades to deploy and got them mixed up a fair bit. When I got it right though, it was a pleasure to watch my Brigadiers follow my orders and fight so well 'independently'.

I look forward to the next one and to be honest, feel this is the way to go re direct orders, AI control, TCing. I'm doubting I will enjoy commanding a single brigade nearly as much.

I enjoyed watching my brigadiers work. It felt more realistic and more connected personally. I would be in favour of a proper campaign played this style too.

Cheers Very Happy
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Re: HITS/GCM "Return to Cumberland Gap:" Yanks Minor Victory

Post  WJPalmer on Mon Jan 07, 2013 9:47 pm

Grog wrote:It was tricky controlling my troops with so little TCing allowed, especially when I neglected to allow enough space for my brigades to deploy and got them mixed up a fair bit. When I got it right though, it was a pleasure to watch my Brigadiers follow my orders and fight so well 'independently'.

I look forward to the next one and to be honest, feel this is the way to go re direct orders, AI control, TCing. I'm doubting I will enjoy commanding a single brigade nearly as much.

I enjoyed watching my brigadiers work. It felt more realistic and more connected personally. I would be in favour of a proper campaign played this style too.

It takes some getting used to, but I agree and think this may be the purest way I've seen to date to play SoW at division-level. I say this because the restrictions on TC'ing reintroduce the element (and uncertainty) of intermediate command. Once players have some exposure to it, I think they'll find it's pretty cool. Obviously, not all Ai brigadiers and colonels of regiments act rationally all the time -- and those are the ones human players will want to keep a close eye on.

I'm considering bringing back brigade-level couriers in the next game. Players at division level still shouldn't be saturated by courier-spam any more than they were in Saturday's game. My testing reveals that at "level 4" couriers, giving orders to brigade leaders generates a single AI confirmation for each instruction sent, but players don't receive one for each regiment getting orders from the AI brigade C.O. In the meantime, the additional realism of delayed brigade-to-regiment orders would be included as with standard KS HITS games. Frankly, I don't think this adjustment would have much game impact given our latest HITS/GCM settings because those couriers from brigade to regiment aren't likely to have far to go anyway. Players are already strongly incented to stay close to their brigades once near the enemy, and keep brigade leaders tight to their regiments. The most significant concern I have is technical: that the brigade-to-regiment couriers could drag on performance in large games of 14+ players as we had last Saturday. Still, might be worth a try.

This format is not for everyone. I'm sure some felt frustrated in HG3 that their troops didn't always go exactly where they wanted them. But for those able to free themselves of a mindset that precise control of troop positions and behavior is essential, there's a lot of potential for satisfying games. Commanding a CW division would have been far from precise too, and for many of the same reasons.



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Re: HITS/GCM "Return to Cumberland Gap:" Yanks Minor Victory

Post  Uncle Billy on Mon Jan 07, 2013 11:31 pm

Although I've said it several times, I'll do so again at the risk of tedium. It is far better to use written orders to move brigades around rather than point and click. It is very difficult to judge depth in a HITS game and brigades need a lot of space to maneuver in. What I have found is that they need the space that they would occupy in single line formation in which to maneuver. All players, myself included, usually do not give them nearly that much room. Consequently, the regiments spend a lot of time jumbled up and wear themselves out marching around looking for a clear path to their destination. I find it impossible to accurately judge those sort of distances on the battlefield. By using the command map, it is not too hard. What I do periodically is start a game in normal difficulty and place 4 and 5 regiment brigades into single line and then view the length of that line on the command map. That gives me a pretty good idea of how much space I need to give a brigade when I bring it to the front line. Since the brigades move via the shortest route possible, I also use the waypoint feature to create a path to keep it away from the front line on their march to the destination.

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I can make this march and I will make Georgia howl.
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Re: HITS/GCM "Return to Cumberland Gap:" Yanks Minor Victory

Post  Guest on Tue Jan 08, 2013 11:25 am

WJPalmer wrote:
I'm considering bringing back brigade-level couriers in the next game.

I think this is an excellent idea. I believe I thought this was already the case, but it sounds like you've found an even better realsim/gameplay balance.

WJPalmer wrote:
This format is not for everyone.

I know your comment is targeted towards GCM division commanders (although I don't remember hearing anyone actually complaining about these games!) but I would still say that there is room for human controlled brigades if anybody really just wants to play as a brigade commander. That is, our doors can be open to everyone. And, if a division happens to contain a human-controlled brigade, then this is just likely to be a very good brigade - but not necessarily (personality clash for example?!) And it would be simple to set up, the brigade commander wouldn't need to join the GCM queue, they would just join the lobby, and select the brigade once the game is generated.

I just think there's no reason not to have something for everyone's tastes! Smile

However, the current system is absolutely fine, and I'm willing to believe there are some good reasons not to do this. You've done a spectacular job Ron, and I believe we're all very pleased with what you've achieved here.

I'll be even more pleased once my blasted broadband is fixed (grumble....) Evil or Very Mad

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Re: HITS/GCM "Return to Cumberland Gap:" Yanks Minor Victory

Post  kg little mac on Tue Jan 08, 2013 11:55 am

I think we should go with ten yards from the saddle next game. I don't mind the restricted view from two yards, but it makes moving around and selecting units such a pain I think it takes away from the immersion.

In order to play at two yards from the saddle, we really need to have the W,A,S,D keys available to move our commanders around.

One really doesn't gain hardly any advantage from ten yards vs two from the saddle, but it makes using the interface a whole lot easier.
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Re: HITS/GCM "Return to Cumberland Gap:" Yanks Minor Victory

Post  Leffe7 on Tue Jan 08, 2013 4:11 pm

kg little mac wrote:In order to play at two yards from the saddle, we really need to have the W,A,S,D keys available to move our commanders around.

IMO, this should be possible to implement, by setting up your keyboard settings.
Jeff has done some research on how to customize the keys, maybe he can upload a file to start with?
A/D would be wheel left/right commands
W would be something like move forward X yards (without troops). Another key will be used to stop.
S : I don't know if there exists a command for moving backwards.
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Re: HITS/GCM "Return to Cumberland Gap:" Yanks Minor Victory

Post  kg little mac on Tue Jan 08, 2013 4:19 pm

Leffe7 wrote:
kg little mac wrote:In order to play at two yards from the saddle, we really need to have the W,A,S,D keys available to move our commanders around.

IMO, this should be possible to implement, by setting up your keyboard settings.
Jeff has done some research on how to customize the keys, maybe he can upload a file to start with?
A/D would be wheel left/right commands
W would be something like move forward X yards (without troops). Another key will be used to stop.
S : I don't know if there exists a command for moving backwards.

Yes. . . we really don't need a move backwards command.
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Re: HITS/GCM "Return to Cumberland Gap:" Yanks Minor Victory

Post  Blaugrana on Thu Jan 10, 2013 4:45 pm

Leffe7 wrote:....Jeff has done some research on how to customize the keys, maybe he can upload a file to start with?
... S : I don't know if there exists a command for moving backwards.

I've played around with my keyboards.csv file, taking ideas from Garnier's hot keys and advice from Conor. The most relevant commands are
WheelAbout wheelleft:180
Advance 40 yards movefwd:40:0

The former spins you through 180degrees, the latter moves you forward 40 yards. I use this to move myself when playing HITS. I am not aware of one that moves you back x yards, but would love one. I feel a need for it often...

HTH,

Jeff


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Re: HITS/GCM "Return to Cumberland Gap:" Yanks Minor Victory

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