The Author's Views
The Author's Views
1866 Campaign Notes 1:
The big wargame project is to run a solo 1866 campaign. I plan to use “Trapped Like a fox” (TLaF) As the campaign rules but to use “Tin Soldier in Action” (TSiA)for the tabletop. As this is a solo game I will also be using “Mythic” to drive the various ‘players’ - Army and some Corps commanders at the strategic level and “Adjutant Introuvable” (AI) at the tabletop level.
To do this I now have the OOB for all the armies involved written up down to Regimental level. I now need to assign each commander competency levels. I’m allocating each commander two attributes Command and Attitude.
Command is the ability for a commander to get his troops to do what he wants. It is largely a produce of the ability of the HQ staff to function and as such common to most of an army. The ratings are GOOD, AVERAGE, POOR and are used on the table top to provide command range. I have a special rule for the Austrian Brigade commanders as there is no Divisional command structure they act only as cyphers having no command ability.
Attitude is far more about the personality of the commander. the ratings are AGGRESSIVE, STEADY, CAUTIOUS. This rating will be used by “Mythic” to guide the strategic actions of Army Commanders and at tabletop by AI. So attitude defines what a General wants to do while Command defines how well he can achieve that goal. Again the Austrian Brigadiers are ‘special’ they are uniformly Aggressive! In their case this is to reflect the Austrian doctrine rather than any personal characteristic. I will be amending the AI rules to include a +1 for AGGRESSIVE and a -1 for CAUTIOUS on the tactical table.
So my next task is to allocate ratings. I tend to favour ‘AVERAGE/STEADY’ because I don’t like what I call the double-whammy. take for example Napoleonic Wars. France is uniformly rated GOOD while the Austrians are often POOR. This POOR rating is justified because they perform badly against the French but we have already made the French GOOD so why down rate the put upon Austrians?
In 1866 the Austrians had a distinct disadvantage. Following 1859 they had adopted two significant changes, a aggressive bayonet driven doctrine, and to overcome poor command performances had promoted all there good commanders to Corps level and abolished the division. The upshot was a need to coordinate attacks while simultaneously overloading the few descent commanders with extra work! So do I rate Austrian commanders as POOR/AGGRESSIVE ? No the senior generals in the Austrian Army proved a quite cautious but the army was very aggressive at the tactical level. Instead I’m modelling the Austrian command structure. While most Armies have divisional generals the Austrians are stuck with only a Corps commander and none entities as brigade commanders who will impart the aggressive orders locally in AI but not help the Corps command as it rushes around the battle field trying to coordinate the troops! The Standard rating as I said will be AVERAGE/STEADY.
Another issue its the needle gun. In TSiA its rated as a rifle just like its contemporary muscle-loaded rifled muskets. However is range was only about half that of a rifled musket but its rate of fire was far greater. In the past I have rated the needle gun as a breechloader with a range of only 1. I’ve not been particularly happy with the result but as I have already changed how the Austrians fight I’m going to wait to see how the first battles go. One good thing about solo play is you can radically change rules without upsetting the other side!