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Command Elements

General Wargaming Discussion

Command Elements

Postby thistlebarrow » Sun Nov 12, 2017 6:27 pm

Some years ago I read somewhere that for a wargamer to enjoy the game he should not have too many command elements to control. The number of figures was not so important, but rather the number of command decisions you had to make each turn or round. It was suggested that the element itself was not important, whether a battalion or a corps.

My armies are organised as corps of four infantry brigades, one cavalry brigade and corps artillery. So when I have four corps on the table I have 24 command elements. That is the most I can comfortably control for long periods.

I would be interested to hear how other wargamers feel about this suggestion
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Re: Command Elements

Postby ochoin » Sun Nov 12, 2017 9:20 pm

I've read something similar.

One benefit of having large games (ie with "too" many command) is you forget some. Thus that potentially battle-winning brigade sits on the flank, unmoving for 1-2 turns until you remember they 're there. Very realistic, I think.
I'd have said anything over 10 commands might result in less than perfect generalship.

However your games aren't played in a period of a few hours are they? If you have the luxury of being able to have a game set up for an extended period, I'd think 24 commands is a dottle!

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Re: Command Elements

Postby thistlebarrow » Sun Nov 12, 2017 10:23 pm

We usually complete one wagame in a week, and each game is twelve turns. They are often spread over three or four days. Most of our games involve one or two corps, so 6 or 12 elements. If we have a larger game it often takes longer, might only have one or two moves per day. It is certainly much more difficult to coordinate larger games with 18 to 24 elements.

It's nice to have the challenge of a larger game once in a while. But we both much prefer smaller games, where one mistake is usually decisive. With a larger game there are more reserves, and more opportunity to recover from a single set back.
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Re: Command Elements

Postby ochoin » Mon Nov 13, 2017 8:06 am

thistlebarrow wrote: They are often spread over three or four days.


I think this must be quite different to a game you are trying to finish in 3-4 hours.

Next year, hopefully, I'll inherent the kids' "Computer Room" , a large, a/c'd space when my youngest boy leaves home for his first full time job in Barcaldine.

A lot of sadness but a little joy, too as I'll be able to set up games that'll play out over your time frames.

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