Command & Control Thoughts

There is always a clear chain of command for the issuing of orders in a battle.

  1. Commander-In-Chief
  2. Corp Commanders
  3. Division Commanders
  4. Brigade Commanders
  5. Unit Commanders

For Clausewitz, the CinC may be at any level from Divisional and upwards, therefore I believe I need to implement a sounds system which can replicate the Napoleonic battlefield orders (and their blunders).

Each Brigade already has a morale value which can be used to determine whether orders are interpreted correctly (or followed at all!). However, I need to replicate the dissemination of orders from the upper tiers of the command structure. After all Napoleon wouldn’t order individual Brigades into the fray, he’d leave that to the Divisional Commanders.

At present I’m considering using the Commander-In-Chiefs awareness points to issue the order (as it is currently), but these orders have to be passed down the tiers to the relevant unit.

So for example, Napoleon wants some of his troops to take and hold Hougemont, he sends an ADC to Marshal Ney with orders to that effect and dedicating a certain amount of his AP for that purpose. Marshal Ney receives the orders and tests to see whether he understands and follows them correctly. At present I’m considering using a simple dice roll on 1 D6 (with adjustments for different types of commanders), this may be as simple as passing a simple roll on 2+, perhaps if the general is particularly inept it may be a 3+ or even 4+. If the roll is failed then a number of things may happen. The resources Napoleon has committed to taking this objective is adjusted (meaning not as many brigades can be dedicated to the task), perhaps another random battlefield objective is chosen or maybe the Marshal chooses to ignore the orders altogether believing them to be out of date considering the current Battlefield situation.

If the Marshal then decides to forward the orders, he will send ADC’s to the relevant number of units that Napoleon has given him resource for. For example, Napoleon dedicates 8 Awareness Points to the capture of Hougemont, so Ney uses 4 AP to activate his 1st Brigade (with 4 battalions), 2 AP for two squadrons of cavalry and the last 2 AP for two units of artillery. ADC’s are sent to these units to show that they have been activated.

THE REWRITE

This will of course require some rewriting of the current Command and Control rules. I believe that CinC’s will have a set number of AP that they can use during the course of the battle (dependent upon the battle size), and they ‘lend’ this out to their Divisional Commanders to activate the units required to take the objective.

Divisional Commanders will need to then activate the units required and stay within a certain distance of these troops to ensure that reports from the battle line and the ability to call of an attack is still possible. This may be a range of 30cm. Any activated units outside of this command range cannot act in an aggressive manner, only defensively the same as the un-activated units inside the army.

If Divisional commanders are wounded/killed during the course of the battle, it will take some time to find a replacement in order for that Division to be effective again. This may also be determined by a dice roll as simple as on a 5+ a new commander is selected from the Brigade Generals.

Some units have a degree of independence and may operate outside of their Divisional Commanders zone of control (e.g. Hussars, Rifles and Guerillas).

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