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McNaughton
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D. Hunter - Corps Commander

Mon Apr 30, 2007 10:31 pm

I have found that with D. Hunter as a capable Corps Commander (generally good, active more than McDowell or McClellan), the Union is overly effective in the 1861 Campaign. Since you can organize an Army HQ, and a Corps HQ, there are very few stacking and command penalties faced by the Union. As the Human Player I quickly re-organize this force into a balanced 4-Division command, 2 Divisions with McDowell, 2 Divisions with Hunter. This combination is extremely effective against the Confederates as I have lost very few battles with this force (due to Hunter being active around 75% of the time).

I think that it would suit the situation that the Federals were in better if Hunter was a one-star General, forcing the Federals to keep their divisions in individual formations, or heavily stack McDowell, or wait until one of the three star generals is free to form a Corps. This way, you have to bloody your divisional commanders to get experience and promote one of them. Historically he was a Brigadier general in early 1861 (so was Tyler, who is rated at 1 star), so demoting him does fit.

jimwinsor
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Mon Apr 30, 2007 11:17 pm

Actually it looks like Hunter was a mere colonel:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/First_Bull_Run_Union_order_of_battle

And yeah, it would make the game more interesting and challenging for the Union at start w/o easy corps commanders at hand. Although the Union could bring in Banks or Butler to make a corps.

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McNaughton
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Mon Apr 30, 2007 11:24 pm

jimwinsor wrote:Actually it looks like Hunter was a mere colonel:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/First_Bull_Run_Union_order_of_battle

And yeah, it would make the game more interesting and challenging for the Union at start w/o easy corps commanders at hand. Although the Union could bring in Banks or Butler to make a corps.


True, but I don't think that Banks is activated as much as Hunter is (his strategy rating is fairly low), and Butler is also locked for a good period of time (in fact, both are locked for a while). At least it keeps the Union 'corps-less' until these three-star generals are freed (which means that players have to decide are they better off as corps or other army commanders).

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runyan99
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Tue May 01, 2007 4:42 am

I tend to agree. This applies to the Confederate leaders Bonham and Holmes as well.

I'm not sure I understand the design decision to make some unimportant leaders like Hunter and Bonham eligible for corps command in April '61, when historically neither side was forming corps.

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caranorn
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Tue May 01, 2007 10:03 am

Note there is a conflict of information on Wikipedia on this subject. The biographical articles for Hunter and Tyler give Hunter a Brigadier General (of Volunteers) by Bull Run and Tyler still a Colonel. Both Generals' biographies seem to have modern sources while the Bull Run article uses the official histories (which means usually notes written immediately before or after battle, often by someone not the commander himself... (the histories are very informative, but any material that can be double checked should be double checked).

Lastly, I will modify the Bull Run article now, so anyone looking at it after this post will find a different version, to check the old one use the article's history.
Marc aka Caran...

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Heldenkaiser
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Tue May 01, 2007 11:38 am

Hunter was a Brig Gen USV in May 1861, Maj Gen USV in August 1861. Tyler a Brig Gen USV only in March 1862. (http://sunsite.utk.edu/civil-war/generals.html)

jimwinsor
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Tue May 01, 2007 2:49 pm

It was possible (and very common) back then to hold multiple ranks. One in the volunteers and a lower one in the regular army.

That would be the case with Hunter at Bull Run; BG of volunteers, Col. regular army.

To top this confusion, there were "brevet" ranks, which was kind of an honorary (but not quite official) promotion to a higher rank.

The net effect was it was possible for a general to hold 4 seperate ranks simultaneously back then. :bonk:

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caranorn
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Tue May 01, 2007 2:51 pm

Yep, and some times it would take some time to sort out seniority among commanders too;-).
Marc aka Caran...

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Heldenkaiser
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Tue May 01, 2007 3:05 pm

jimwinsor wrote:The net effect was it was possible for a general to hold 4 seperate ranks simultaneously back then. :bonk:


Yes, a substantive and a brevet rank each in both the regular army and the volunteers. I believe a state militia rank could come on top of this and even be the highest.

But it was a lot more complicated in the British army where there were also temporary and local ranks. :)

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Heldenkaiser
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Tue May 01, 2007 3:39 pm

jimwinsor wrote:To top this confusion, there were "brevet" ranks, which was kind of an honorary (but not quite official) promotion to a higher rank.


Wait, I wanted to comment on this, too. Brevet at this time was indeed quite official. The rank was used in correspondence and address and the rank insignia were worn. A commensurate command position would often come with the brevet promotion, or even be the cause for it. The only difference back then was that the army didn't pay you for the brevet, but for the substantive rank.

This was changed some time after the Civil War when as a result of a veritable mass breveting in Spring 1865 practically everyone left in the regular army had a brevet or two, and most regular regiments would have quite a number of brevet generals and colonels in its rank, complete with matching uniform and addressing each other with the rank all day. It was then decreed that brevets were purely honorary, and the substantive rank had to be used in address, and its rank insignia worn. :)

(This is from memory, but I do believe you can find it in Russel Weigley's History of the US Army.)

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PhilThib
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Wed May 02, 2007 7:15 am

I'll have a second look at this point for next patch. Most of the "ranks" given by me in some cases like these were due to mostly game design and scripting constraints...these have eased a bit since I started, so I may be able to modify this :siffle:

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runyan99
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Wed May 02, 2007 7:54 am

PhilThib wrote:I'll have a second look at this point for next patch. Most of the "ranks" given by me in some cases like these were due to mostly game design and scripting constraints...these have eased a bit since I started, so I may be able to modify this :siffle:


It would be more historical to start with these leaders as brigadiers, forcing the players to use single army stacks with no corps. There would be some wiggle room anyway. Players could use the 3-stars like J. Johnston and McClellan to form corps if they wanted.

Brigaders like Holmes or Longstreet could get enough experience to be eligible for corps command as the game progresses. As a safeguard however, it would make sense for some of these leaders, like Longstreet, to be eligible for promotion automatically on the historical dates when the armies reorganized, promotions were handed out, and corps were formed.

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pasternakski
Colonel
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Wed May 02, 2007 8:08 am

Well, whatever the outcome, please, fellas, don't cite anything on Wikipedia as authority. It's not any more reliable than a AAA vacation route map showing the "best roadside-mine-free highways in Iraq."

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caranorn
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Wed May 02, 2007 11:26 am

Well you have to check the references of each Wikipedia article individually, in this case the article was indeed problematic as each entry probably should have had a reference (even if it's just the volume, page numbers of the single source) instead of a single source for the entire article.
Marc aka Caran...

mayonaise
Conscript
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Sat May 05, 2007 3:31 pm

I personally don't beleive corps should be available to either side anytime in 1861. It was a war of divisions through all of 61 and much of 62. To counteract how much this stifles things, though, the players should be able to create more armies, as was also often the practice. A bunch of little armies marching around, very little coordination. The union adopted corps much sooner than the confederates- although longstreet and jackson operated as one long before they receieved the title.

Just off the top of my head, were there not 3 or 4 seperate union armies just in the virginia/washington area in 62? This is all off the top of my head so perhaps a little research to back it up is in order.

As long as we're on the topic of stifling the union-- one MAJOR problem the union had to face is completely missed by this game. The fact that the union leadership absolutely -required- vast amounts of troops to remain in the immediate washington area, striping tens of thousands of troops that could have been in the field.

jimwinsor
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Sat May 05, 2007 4:11 pm

Actually, there is a "General Order # (?)" event that requires a player to keep a bunch of units adjacent to DC for a period of time. Comes up in 1862 IIRC.

mayonaise
Conscript
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Sat May 05, 2007 5:25 pm

ah, i haven't gotten that far yet

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