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Banks6060
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Sun Feb 10, 2008 1:25 am

Grant has been performing poorly for me as well, but I think it has a little more to do with what I'm doing as opposed to the game being bugged somehow.

He has yet to win a battle in the west.

Sherman seems to be the one for me that always loses his entire division whenever I engage with Grant's army.

Most of it has to do with the fact that I'm still facing a confederate army commanded by A.S. Johnson. Historically...had Johnston lived...Grant's success would probably have been quite a bit slower also, in my opinion.

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Sun Feb 10, 2008 7:36 am

kcole4001 wrote:In my games Grant's come out on top until he ran into a heavily entrenched, almost equal strength forces.

Each battle is unique, though, so it's hard to tell what's happening, & why he's causing you so many casualties.


Actually that is what happened historically as well. As the war went on both sides got better at making fortifications (and using them). In Lee's case, he had to do it in order to force Grant to fight on ground that Lee chose. That is the whole Overland campaign in a nutshell... Grant tries to outflank Lee, Lee races ahead and grabs some semi-favorable ground, Lee's forces them quickly make some fortifications and then hold on and try to blees Grant as much as possible, then Grant tries again to outflank, etc.

You would never have seen Lee's army build up a fortified spot like the Mule Shoe earlier in the war. The one exception could be considered Fredericksburg, but in that case they used local terrain and buildings to their advantage more than built-up fortifications.

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Banks6060
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Mon Feb 11, 2008 1:17 am

LMUBill wrote:Actually that is what happened historically as well. As the war went on both sides got better at making fortifications (and using them). In Lee's case, he had to do it in order to force Grant to fight on ground that Lee chose. That is the whole Overland campaign in a nutshell... Grant tries to outflank Lee, Lee races ahead and grabs some semi-favorable ground, Lee's forces them quickly make some fortifications and then hold on and try to blees Grant as much as possible, then Grant tries again to outflank, etc.

You would never have seen Lee's army build up a fortified spot like the Mule Shoe earlier in the war. The one exception could be considered Fredericksburg, but in that case they used local terrain and buildings to their advantage more than built-up fortifications.




In response to this idea....I wonder if maybe a patch could address the immobility of some fights early on in-game. Possibly something that limits anyone from achieving an entrenchment level higher than 2 or...3 tops?

I just know that early on....both sides thought that open field battles, semi-Napoleonic style were the normal and proper ways to fight....

although I could be wrong of course....I just don't think either side really took advantage of digging in deep until 1864.

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Mon Feb 11, 2008 2:17 am

I think this is reflected well enough in the time it takes to achieve the higher degrees of entrenchment.

To attain the highest levels it not only takes Arty., but a good deal of time where those forces are static. Which I feel is a significant enough restriction.

Aaron

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Mon Feb 11, 2008 9:14 am

Banks6060 wrote:Grant has been performing poorly for me as well, but I think it has a little more to do with what I'm doing as opposed to the game being bugged somehow.

He has yet to win a battle in the west.

Sherman seems to be the one for me that always loses his entire division whenever I engage with Grant's army.

Most of it has to do with the fact that I'm still facing a confederate army commanded by A.S. Johnson. Historically...had Johnston lived...Grant's success would probably have been quite a bit slower also, in my opinion.


I think it has more to do with the genius of the overall commander you are facing than any failings of Grant :innocent: haha ;)
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Mon Feb 11, 2008 3:10 pm

Skibear wrote:I think it has more to do with the genius of the overall commander you are facing than any failings of Grant :innocent: haha ;)


I will never cede superiority to a Brit....NEVER!!! :niark:

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Mon Feb 11, 2008 5:59 pm

Aurelin wrote:At Sharpsburg, the numbers were roughly even. Like the percentage or not, the smaller army lost 11,700, out of 52,000, while the larger lost about the same number out of 75,000. At the end of the day, the smaller army had no fresh troops, while the larger one had the fairly fresh 9th, and the uncommitted 5th (20,000 men), with more on the way.

To lose as many men as your opponent, when you have an army that is out numbered, is a Phyrric victory at best

Why would an outnumbered army be happy about that?

Well, in this case the smaller army should have been completely crushed and eliminated from play, which would have ended the war. So, I can see a little bit of happiness (probably more relief) in "only" losing 11,000+ troops in this battle.

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Mon Feb 11, 2008 6:54 pm

In my games, Grant seems to be like Napoleon. The enemy generals avoid him. So, I create a nice army and he hardly fights. Gets slowed down more by supply issues than anything else.
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Tue Feb 12, 2008 7:33 pm

Banks6060 wrote:...although I could be wrong of course....I just don't think either side really took advantage of digging in deep until 1864.


More like 1862/63 and it was a gradual thing that the men on the front lines started to do (since they were the ones stopping the bullets). Officially early army leadership was opposed to entrenchments because they felt it made the men "timid". Some generals used it early on, for example Lee was called the "King of Spades" for all his extensive digging around Richmond. Look at how extensive McLellan entrenched around Yorktown (early 1862); another good example was Malvern Hill (mid 1862); Fredericksburg (Dec 62); then Gettysburg (mid 63); and on...

Side note - found this interesting WIKI about entrenchments in warfare here:
[url=wiki]http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trench_warfare[/url].

Great source about the US Civil war and beginning of modern warfare "The American Civil War and the Origins of Modern Warfare: Ideas, Organization, and Field Command" by Edward Hagerman. Couple chapters talk about the move toward the defensive war as came to exist in WW1.
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Tue Feb 12, 2008 7:45 pm

chainsaw wrote:Some generals used it early on, for example Lee was called the "King of Spades" for all his extensive digging...

Then there's Halleck, the Emperor of Spades, for all his extensive digging after Shiloh as he inched his army (a mile or two per day) towards Corinth.
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Wed Feb 13, 2008 3:09 am

chainsaw wrote:More like 1862/63 and it was a gradual thing that the men on the front lines started to do (since they were the ones stopping the bullets). Officially early army leadership was opposed to entrenchments because they felt it made the men "timid". Some generals used it early on, for example Lee was called the "King of Spades" for all his extensive digging around Richmond. Look at how extensive McLellan entrenched around Yorktown (early 1862); another good example was Malvern Hill (mid 1862); Fredericksburg (Dec 62); then Gettysburg (mid 63); and on...

Side note - found this interesting WIKI about entrenchments in warfare here:
[url=wiki]http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trench_warfare[/url].

Great source about the US Civil war and beginning of modern warfare "The American Civil War and the Origins of Modern Warfare: Ideas, Organization, and Field Command" by Edward Hagerman. Couple chapters talk about the move toward the defensive war as came to exist in WW1.




Agreed on most points. However it was mentioned a little earlier in the thread that battles like Fredricksburg, Gettysburg, possibly even Malvern Hill...hell you could even include the sunken road at Antietam....these were all hastily prepared entrenchments at best with most of the defensive bonus derriving from the natural or prevailing "man-made" terrain already in place.

You are correct about Lee before and during the Seven Days campaign, but those defenses weren hardly utilized, as Lee was on the move the whole time.

I have to maintain that Civil War commanders didn't REALLY embrace the early version of "trench warfare" until summer 1863 at the earliest....(i.e. Vicksburg, but even then it's shaky.) Chattanooga was the first real set of works in the west according to my knowledge with the spring and summer campaigns of 1864 in the east seeing Lee dig in fight after fight. IMO, Wilderness was the last true "field battle" of the American Civil War.

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Wed Feb 13, 2008 6:07 am

Banks6060 wrote:I have to maintain that Civil War commanders didn't REALLY embrace the early version of "trench warfare" until summer 1863 at the earliest....(i.e. Vicksburg, but even then it's shaky.) Chattanooga was the first real set of works in the west according to my knowledge with the spring and summer campaigns of 1864 in the east seeing Lee dig in fight after fight. IMO, Wilderness was the last true "field battle" of the American Civil War.


At Mill Springs in late 1861/early 1862 the CSA had built up a heavily fortified position. While pursuing the fleeing Confederates who fell back into the entrenchments, Thomas actually halted for several hours to scout it out and make plans to attack it the next day. But the Confederates evacuated across the river during the night.

Wasn't Corinth also heavily fortified in 1862-63 as well? Those fortifications are the reason that the areas in Corinth were added to the Shiloh NMP.

Knoxville had some trenchworks built as well but they were built around the same time as Chattanooga's.

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Wed Feb 13, 2008 11:35 am

LMUBill wrote:Wasn't Corinth also heavily fortified in 1862-63 as well? Those fortifications are the reason that the areas in Corinth were added to the Shiloh NMP.


Absolutely.

I would say Hood & Bragg had the most difficulty in employing this concept for either offense or defense. That may explain the perception that the emphasis just wasn't there in the confederate west.
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Ethy
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Wed Feb 13, 2008 7:33 pm

ok guys i think we are getting a little sidetracked with the talk of entrenchments.

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Wed Feb 13, 2008 8:48 pm

Jabberwock wrote:Absolutely.

I would say Hood & Bragg had the most difficulty in employing this concept for either offense or defense. That may explain the perception that the emphasis just wasn't there in the confederate west.

I recall that even after the fall of Atlanta Hood had a diffucult time accepting the value of entrenchments.

"Hood wrote to Richmond to explain what had happened, pointing out that it was not his fault:
'It seems the troops had been so long confined to trenches, and been to taught to believe that intrenchments cannot be taken, so that they attacked without spirit and retired without proper effort.'
The spirit and the effort had been there in abundance, according to the casualty lists: after all, a good 20,000 of his men had been lost since he took command."

Catton, Bruce: Never Call Retreat, p. 387, Doubleday & Co, Inc., Garden City, New York.

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Wed Feb 13, 2008 9:06 pm

berto wrote:Late in the evening after the second day of the Wilderness, Grant (in the privacy of his tent) broke down and wept and "lost it" for a short time. Both he and Lincoln (and Sherman?) knew full well the human cost of the war, and in their own way they too suffered terribly.



It's called "moral courage." They had it in spades. Lee, also.


I have never heard that he did this, but it is entirely possible, war is awful.

This was my point really, what you are hitting on here. I don't mean to say that Grant was a bad general, or by his nature a "butcher." Rather, in the final analysis he was willing to use his men in ways that he knew would cause a substantial loss of life on his side to win.

Simply because he knew he could replace his losses whereas Lee could not.

-Scott

Btw, are you sure Grant wasn't crying because Lee had handily beaten him at the Wilderness? :)

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Wed Feb 13, 2008 9:50 pm

Revolutionarythought wrote:Btw, are you sure Grant wasn't crying because Lee had handily beaten him at the Wilderness? :)


Maybe his wife was giving him a hard time over giving up the "house servants".
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Thu Feb 14, 2008 12:52 am

Revolutionarythought wrote:Btw, are you sure Grant wasn't crying because Lee had handily beaten him at the Wilderness? :)

Good point. It's possible. I suppose only a reading of Grant's Memoirs

http://www.bartleby.com/1011/

would tell us for sure, or at least hint at it.

I do know for a fact that Grant felt great distress at the mistreatment of horses. (He was quite the horseman.)

BTW, how's this for geekyness: I myself have never read Grant's Memoirs, but my daughter has, when she was 10-11 years old, for a school project. In doing the research for that project, we visited Grant's home in Galena, Illinois. The summer before, or maybe the summer after (getting old, I don't recall), we vacationed out east and managed to visit the battlefield sites of Fort Sumter, Petersburg, Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville, and Appomattox. (We also briefly visited Gettysburg a couple of summers ago.) Hmm, given that she's the family Grant expert, maybe I should give her a call? :)
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I never heard of it either. Catton in his book Grant Takes Command, writes that once the fighting stopped he went to bed. When Colonel Porter entered 10 minutes later, Grant was sound asleep.

but then, Shelby Foote: http://www.granthomepage.com/grantgeneral.htm Grant the general had many qualities but he had a thing that's very necessary for a great general. He had what they call "four o'clock in the morning courage." You could wake him up at four o'clock in the morning and tell him they had just turned his right flank and he would be as cool as a cucumber. Grant, after that first night in the Wilderness, went to his tent, broke down, and cried very hard. Some of the staff members said they'd never seen a man so unstrung. Well, he didn't cry until the battle was over, and he wasn't crying when it began again the next day. It just shows you the tension that he lived with without letting it affect him... Grant, he's wonderful."

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Thu Feb 14, 2008 4:45 am

Wolfpack:
An outmanned army should be happy with even casualty numbers, even though that would obviously mean they had a higher casualty rate.

Aurelin:
To lose as many men as your opponent, when you have an army that is out numbered, is a Phyrric victory at best

Why would an outnumbered army be happy about that?

soloswolf:
There was very little to be happy about over the four years of war.

:bonk: OK, OK, happy was without a doubt a terrible choice of words when the lives and deaths of thousands are involved. I apologize. However, I still think my main argument is applicable in the discussion. Yes, Lee was, by necessity more defensive in grand strategy, and in many cases got to choose the ground of the battle (though his choices were severely limited by the Union), but the previous concentration on percentages of casualties alone was misleading. IMHO Lee did about as well as could be expected under the circumstances. Did he make mistakes, yes, were casualties high yes, but I would not classify either Lee nor Grant as "butchers." If any are to be classified as such based on the toll of this war, it is the politicians and the governments (on both sides) that led to such a war in the first place, not the men employed to see it to it's end.
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Thu Feb 14, 2008 10:37 am

Wolfpack wrote:Wolfpack:
An outmanned army should be happy with even casualty numbers, even though that would obviously mean they had a higher casualty rate.

Aurelin:
To lose as many men as your opponent, when you have an army that is out numbered, is a Phyrric victory at best

Why would an outnumbered army be happy about that?

soloswolf:
There was very little to be happy about over the four years of war.

:bonk: OK, OK, happy was without a doubt a terrible choice of words when the lives and deaths of thousands are involved. I apologize. However, I still think my main argument is applicable in the discussion. Yes, Lee was, by necessity more defensive in grand strategy, and in many cases got to choose the ground of the battle (though his choices were severely limited by the Union), but the previous concentration on percentages of casualties alone was misleading. IMHO Lee did about as well as could be expected under the circumstances. Did he make mistakes, yes, were casualties high yes, but I would not classify either Lee nor Grant as "butchers." If any are to be classified as such based on the toll of this war, it is the politicians and the governments (on both sides) that led to such a war in the first place, not the men employed to see it to it's end.


Well now we're in a bit of a philosophical quandary. What exactly do we mean by "butcher?" Certainly, for example, I think its fair to say that McLellan, of all of the big names in the Civil War, was one of the most reluctant to use his army in ways that he thought would bring about high casualties (some might argue he was just reluctant to use his army.)

Without getting into an argument that's unresolvable (such as the notion of "just" wars) I would like to clarify. Its really a semantic difficulty.

I would tend to support the notion, that the common use for the word "butcher" when referring to a military commander, is as an adjective to describe a willingness to trade more lives than might be necessary to achieve specific military goals.

For Grant the idea was to end the war quickly. Rather than prolong the war by retreating after his losses to Lee he pushed on, even ordering the assault on Cold Harbor, an assault he clearly new would result in huge losses.

That's the only reason I use the term "butcher." Granted, its a somewhat dubious and loaded term, but for the most part, I do not pass judgment on him as a General or a person for this.

That I save for his presidency. ;-)


-Scott

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Thu Feb 14, 2008 11:05 am

Aurelin wrote:but then, Shelby Foote: http://www.granthomepage.com/grantgeneral.htm Grant the general had many qualities but he had a thing that's very necessary for a great general. He had what they call "four o'clock in the morning courage." You could wake him up at four o'clock in the morning and tell him they had just turned his right flank and he would be as cool as a cucumber. Grant, after that first night in the Wilderness, went to his tent, broke down, and cried very hard. Some of the staff members said they'd never seen a man so unstrung. Well, he didn't cry until the battle was over, and he wasn't crying when it began again the next day. It just shows you the tension that he lived with without letting it affect him... Grant, he's wonderful."

That sounds like the Shelby Foote of the Ken Burns documentary The Civil War.

Memory plays tricks on a man. This is what Foote wrote in the third volume of his Civil War trilogy:

This second day of battle in the Wilderness had been [emphasis mine] Grant's hardest since the opening day at Shiloh, where his army and his reputation had also been threatened with destruction. Here, as there, however--so long, at least, as the fighting was in progress--he bore the strain unruffled and "gave his orders calmly and coherently," one witness noted, "without any external sign of undue tension or agitation." Internally, a brief sequel was to show, he was a good deal more upset than he appeared, but outwardly, ... he seemed altogether imperturbable...

Then, and not until then [after twilight on the second day], did the general-in-chief show the full effect of the strain he had been under, all this day and most of the day before [emphasis mine]. He broke. Yet even this was done with a degree of circumspection and detachment highly characteristic of the man. Not only was his personal collapse resisted until after the damage to both flanks had been repaired and the tactical danger had passed; it also occurred in the privacy of his quarters, rather than in the presence of his staff or gossip-hungry visitors. "When all proper measures had been taken," Rawlins confided, "Grant went into his tent, threw himself face downward on his cot, and gave way to the greatest emotion." He wept, and though the chief of staff, who followed him into the tent, declared that he had "never before seen him so deeply moved" and that "nothing could be more certain than that he was stirred to the very depths of his soul," he also observed that Grant gave way to the strain "without uttering any word of doubt or discouragement." Another witness ... put it stronger. "I never saw a man so agitated in my life," he said.

However violent the breakdown, the giving way to hysteria at this point, it appeared that Grant wept more from the relief of tension ... than out of continuing desperation. In any case it was soon over... less than an hour after the collapse [the general was] "surrounded by his staff in a state of perfect composure," as if nothing at all had happened. And in fact nothing had: nothing that mattered, anyhow. Unlike Hooker, who broke inside as a result of similar frustrations, Grant broke outside, and then only in the privacy of his tent. He cracked, but the crack healed so quickly that it had no effect whatever on the military situation, then or later. Where Hooker had reacted by falling back across the river, such a course was no more in Grant's mind now than it had been that morning... Asked if he had any message for the authorities there, Grant, whose usual procedure was to hold off sending word of his progress in battle until the news was good, thought it over briefly, then replied: "If you see the President, tell him, from me, that, whatever happens, there will be no turning back."

Late that evening another journalist ... was reassured to find that Grant still felt that way about the matter, despite the tactical disappointments of the day just past... Only the fitful crossing and recrossing of his legs indicated that he [Grant] was not asleep, and Cadwallader supposed that the general's thoughts were as gloomy as his own--until at last Grant spoke and disabused him of the notion. He began what the reporter termed "a pleasant chatty conversation upon indifferent subjects," none of which had anything to do with the fighting today or yesterday [emphasis mine]. As he got up from his chair to go to bed, however, he spoke briefly of "the sharp work General Lee had been giving us for a couple of days," then turned and went into his tent to get some sleep. That was all. But now that Cadwallader realized that the general had not been sharing them, he found that all his gloomy thoughts were gone. Grant opposed by Lee in Virginia, he perceived, was the same Grant he had known in Mississippi and Tennessee, where Pemberton and Bragg had been defeated. "It was the grandest mental sunburst of my life," he declared years later, looking back on the effect this abrupt realization had had on his state of mind from that time forward. "I had suddenly emerged from the slough of despond, to the solid bedrock of unwavering faith."

... What it all boiled down to was that Grant was whipped, and soundly whipped, if he would only admit it by retreating: which in turn was only a way of saying that he had not been whipped at all. "Whatever happens, there will be no turning back," he had said, and he would hold to that...

... To the surprise of the V Corps men, the march was south... Formerly glum, the column now began to buzz with talk. Packs were lighter; the step quickened; spirits rose with the growing realization that they were stealing another march on old man Lee. Then came cheers, as a group on horseback--"Give way, give way to the right," one of the riders kept calling to the soldiers on the road--doubled the column at a fast walk, equipment jingling. In the lead was Grant, a vague, stoop-shouldered figure, undersized-looking on Cincinatti, the largest of his mounts; the other horsemen were his staff. Cincinnati pranced and sidled, tossing his head at the sudden cheering, and the general, who had his hands full getting the big animal quieted down, told his companions to pass the word for the cheers to stop, lest they give the movement away to the Confederates... The cheering stopped, but not the buzz of excitement, the elation men felt at seeing their commander take the lead in an advance they had supposed was a retreat. They stepped out smartly; Todd's Tavern was just ahead, a little beyond the midway point on the march to Spotsylvania.

Up on the turnpike, where Sedgwick's troops were marching, the glad reaction was delayed until the head of the column had covered the gloomy half dozen miles to Chancellorsville. "The men seemed aged," a cannoneer noted... Weary from two days of savage fighting and two nights of practically no sleep, dejected by the notion that they were adding still another to the long list of retreats the army had made in the past three years, they plodded heavy-footed and heavy-hearted, scuffing their shoes in the dust on the pike leading eastward. Beyond Chancellorsville, just ahead, the road forked. A turn to the left, which they expected, meant recrossing the river at Ely's Ford, probably to undergo another reorganization under another new commander who would lead them, in the fullness of time, into another battle that would end in another retreat; that was the all-too-familiar pattern, so endless in repetition that at times it seemed a full account of the army's activities in the Old Dominion [Virginia] could be spanned in four short words, "Bull Run: da capo." But now a murmur, swelling rapidly to a chatter, began to move back down the column from its head, and presently each man could see for himself that the turn, beyond the ruins of the Chancellor mansion, had been to the right. They were headed south, not north; they were advancing, not retreating; Grant was giving them another go at Lee. And though on sober second thought a man might be of at least two minds about this, as a welcome or a dread thing to be facing, the immediate reaction was elation. There were cheers and even a few tossed caps, and long afterwards men were to say that, for them, this had been the high point of the war.

"Our spirits rose," one among them would recall. "We marched free. The men begin to sing... That night we were happy."
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Thu Feb 14, 2008 3:13 pm

It would appear that this is WAY off track and that we agree: Grant did not suck.
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Ethy
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Sat Feb 16, 2008 7:19 pm

soloswolf wrote:It would appear that this is WAY off track and that we agree: Grant did not suck.


ah but you see i do not dispute he was a great leader of men in real life!

however in my games, he sucks :)

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Sat Feb 16, 2008 11:48 pm

Ethy wrote:ah but you see i do not dispute he was a great leader of men in real life!

however in my games, he sucks :)


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