Now that we understand the difference between Attachment radius and Command Radius, we should have a brief discussion about Command Points and Command Costs.
Essentially, each Corps or Independent Force commander is allowed to command a certain number of units before he becomes overwhelmed with all that responsibility. Having too many troops has an adverse effect on a commander’s ability to use them effectively. When this happens, a commander is penalized.
Each Leader in a Force provides Command Points (CPs) according to his rank. When multiple Leaders exist in a single Force, the Command Points they provide are cumulative and applied to the Force as a whole. (The overall Force commander is considered to be getting 'help' from other officers in his Force.)
Command Points Summary
* A 1-star Leader provides three (3) Command Points to units in his Force.
* A 2-star Leader provides six (6) Command Points to units in his Force.
* A 3 or 4-star Leader provides nine (9) Command Points to units in his Force.
Each unit is given a Command Cost which reflects the difficulties a Leader would have in ‘leading’ it efficiently (large formations are unwieldy). Each Force has a Command Cost equal to the cumulative number of Command Costs associated with its component units.
Command Cost Summary
* Artillery battery: one (1) CP
* Brigade, Regiment, Squadron: from one (1) to three (3) CPs
* Division: three (3) CPs
* Army HQ: three (3) CPs
Brigades, Regiments, and Squadrons have Command Costs based on the number of elements they contain, although these costs are sometimes elevated for overly large units. Increased Command Costs are also used to represent cultural differences in command and control methodologies between nationalities.
A 2-star Leader, for example, could command up to six (6) Command points worth of units without penalty. These units could consist of two (2) divisions of three points each, or one division and three artillery batteries, or any combination equaling six command points.
You are not prevented from giving a Leader excess units to command but you are penalized for doing so.
Each turn, Leaders have their CP allowances added together to produce a sum total of CPs that can be applied toward the command and control of the Force they belong to. A Leader does not have to be the commander of a Force in order for his CPs to be counted. Every Leader in the Force, whether he commands units or just happens to be there, is eligible to contribute Command Points up to an unmodified maximum of twelve (12) CPs per Force.
The twelve (12) CP per Force limitation may be raised by the following cumulative modifiers:
* +2 CPs: if a Signal support unit is present in the Force,
* +1 CP: if a Reconnaissance support unit is present in the Force,
* + (Variable) CPs: Leader Special Abilities
* (Strategic Rating of parent Army commander + [−2]) CPs: if Corps is within Army HQ Leader’s Command Radius
All of these modifiers are cumulative so you could, for example, have a Force with Leaders contributing twelve (12) CPs, a Signal unit providing two (2) CPs, and a Leader with a Level 2 ‘Gifted Commander’ Special Ability adding four (4) CPs for a grand total of eighteen (18) CPs.
But let's look at a real world example. St Cyr's Corps is attached to Massena's Army of Italy. It consists of 16 units as you see here and is assessed a 35% command penalty (the red 35%) on the Unit Panel ID line.
Okay. Why is St Cyr being assessed that penalty?
First, St Cyr is a 2-star leader so he generates six (6) Command points. His four Division cdrs (Lecchi, Reynier, Montrichard, and Valence) are all 1-star leaders that together add twelve (12) command points for a grand total of eighteen (18) command points for the Force. Remember though, Leaders can only generate a maximum of 12 CPs (unmodified) in a single Force.
Therefore, St Cyr and his division commanders are limited to twelve CPs. St Cyr, however, is a Gifted Commander. This adds two CPs for a total of 14. (St Cyr is also Quickly Angered. If he was an Army Cdr instead of a mere Corps cdr, the -4 CP penalty would apply.) He gets no bonus from Massena (the Army cdr) because this is the first turn of the scenario. Otherwise Massena would influence the amount of CPs St Cyr generates.
St Cyr is leading a force made up of 16 units (St Cyr leader unit, four infantry divisions, two horse artillery batteries, six artillery batteries, a Pontoon unit, a Sapper unit, and a supply wagon. This gives a total of 22 command points that St Cyr needs to generate.
* One St Cyr Leader unit at NO COST = 0
* Four (4) infantry Divisions at three CPs each = 12
* Eight artillery batteries at one CP each = 8
* One Pontoon and one Sapper at one CP each = 2
* One Supply Wagon at NO COST = 0
So.... 0 + 12 + 8 + 2 + 0 = 22
St Cyr has 14 Command Points to allocate but his Force contains 22 CPs worth of units. He has exceeded his allowance by eight (8) CPs and is assessed a 35% movement and combat penalty.
Actually, the penalty for exceeding a Commander's CP allowance is roughly 5% per CP over the allowance. In this case, the penalty should have been 40% (8 x 5%). The penalty is capped at 35%, however.
I say that the penalty is roughly 5% per CP because the actual formula for assessing command point penalties is: 100 − (100 x [CPs Generated/CPs Needed]). You are free to calculate this formula for yourself or just take my word for it that the penalty is roughly 5% per CP over the allowance.
For those of you interested in testing the formula, the equation applicable to a Force containing 21 command points worth of units but leaders with only 16 command points would be:
100 − (100 x [16/21]) = 23.8% (rounded to nearest % or 24%).
Okay, so we know how the command penalty is assessed—but what does it actually mean and what can we do about it?