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BBB compared to V&B

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  • gbowwii
    I have played Volley & Bayonet about 6 times and like it (Napoleonic and ACW). I joined this group because of Bob Mackenzie s WWII variant of BBB. But of
    Message 1 of 19 , 13 Jun 08:37
      I have played Volley & Bayonet about 6 times and like it (Napoleonic and ACW). I joined this group because of Bob Mackenzie's WWII variant of BBB. But of course as I scan the posts I get curious about the original earlier periods of BBB.

      My question is whether any of you have played both BBB and V&B, how would you compare them?

      The main thing I can see is perhaps the game table could be smaller but then one can just use smaller bases in V&B (2/3" hinch rulers for mostly 4x6' table maximums or centimeters for kitchen table battles).

      But there must differences in "feel" of realism or time to play etc.
    • John Rhode
      I think the main difference is BBB s Fire & Fury-style unit activation system. Volley & Bayonet has the premise that most friction that comes from sending and
      Message 2 of 19 , 13 Jun 09:01
        I think the main difference is BBB's Fire & Fury-style unit activation system. Volley & Bayonet has the premise that most friction that comes from sending and receiving orders - within sight of the commander - could be resolved within its one-hour turns.  The designer, Frank Chadwick, has said that he recognises that isn't the whole story but, short of having player subordinates, reckons he hasn't found an system for representing it that's better than none. bV&B also strips combat detail to the minimum and where it keeps detail, as in separate Morale and Combat phases, it's for the game function of modelling critical and chronic effects.  
        I'm probably biased because  V&B is my all time favourite set. If you like a game to consist of just the essential decision points and have a narrative as whole, V&B is it. If you want a narrative around each unit and more of the insubordination and misunderstanding that a multi-corps battle could entail and lack the extra players then BBB could be more your cup of tea.
        Obviously just my very personal point of view.
        Cordially,
                        John
        Sent from my iPhone

        On 13 Jun 2017, at 16:37, bill@... [BBB_wargames] <BBB_wargames@...> wrote:

         

        I have played Volley & Bayonet about 6 times and like it (Napoleonic and ACW). I joined this group because of Bob Mackenzie's WWII variant of BBB. But of course as I scan the posts I get curious about the original earlier periods of BBB.

        My question is whether any of you have played both BBB and V&B, how would you compare them?

        The main thing I can see is perhaps the game table could be smaller but then one can just use smaller bases in V&B (2/3" hinch rulers for mostly 4x6' table maximums or centimeters for kitchen table battles).

        But there must differences in "feel" of realism or time to play etc.

      • Rob Smith
        Hi Bill, We played a lot of V&B before switching to BBB. As a matter of fact, most of the armies we have in 10mm started out based for V&B. I think BBB is just
        Message 3 of 19 , 13 Jun 09:22
          Hi Bill,

          We played a lot of V&B before switching to BBB. As a matter of fact, most of the armies we have in 10mm started out based for V&B.

          I think BBB is just a superior game for several reasons:

          1. The shooting and close action seem to fit my concept of 19th c. warfare better than V&B did.
          2. I like the representation of units on the field better, with frontage varying by unit size and formation. (I was OK with the single bases for V&B, but I like the multiple bases better, as it offers more options.)
          3. The representation of the various weapons and tactics is more complete and systematic. And it is the interaction of differing technology and doctrine that makes BBB really interesting. (As an aside, that is why I am not so interested in ACW; the armies are pretty much the same. Plus, I played the hell out of it for decades!)
          4. Many more wars, campaigns, and battles addressed, offering a lot of variation in play opportunities.
          5. The simple command and control system adds a lot that I feel was missing in V&B, especially for a game at the army level, where command and control should be a major consideration. In BBB command capability is represented by the number of commanders and doctrine or specific situations through attributes like Passive. If you have an army that is Passive with few commanders, you will not be able to respond well to a fluid situation.
          6. Casualties are represented by stand removal. This is purely a matter of taste, but I like to see a unit being reduced.
          7. Very intuitive and easy to pick up. The single base for a units in V&B seemed to give a lot of gamers problems, where they could not really grasp the abstraction. BBB is a little more traditional in that respect.

          So, all of these things led our group to switch after our V&B armies had been languishing for many years.

          NOTE: I actually rather dislike Fire & Fury, the ACW inspiration for BBB. Chris, in essence, fixed all the things I did not like about F&F and made BBB a superior game (and dare I say it, a pretty good simulation?)!

          Anyway, my opinion, for what it's worth. :)

          Rob




          On Tue, Jun 13, 2017 at 10:37 AM, bill@... [BBB_wargames] <BBB_wargames@...> wrote:
           

          I have played Volley & Bayonet about 6 times and like it (Napoleonic and ACW). I joined this group because of Bob Mackenzie's WWII variant of BBB. But of course as I scan the posts I get curious about the original earlier periods of BBB.

          My question is whether any of you have played both BBB and V&B, how would you compare them?

          The main thing I can see is perhaps the game table could be smaller but then one can just use smaller bases in V&B (2/3" hinch rulers for mostly 4x6' table maximums or centimeters for kitchen table battles).

          But there must differences in "feel" of realism or time to play etc.


        • Nicholas Murray
          blockquote, div.yahoo_quoted { margin-left: 0 !important; border-left:1px #715FFA solid !important; padding-left:1ex !important; background-color:white
          Message 4 of 19 , 13 Jun 16:31
            Hi,

            I have to agree. I wargame at work, and use games as a teaching tool. The only commercial rules I use in toto are BBB, and I do so to get at the interaction of differing command models, tactics, and weapons systems. The games might be 19th Century, but I use them to inform Army future thinking about war. I have had senior leaders from all services come to see what we are doing. 

            Nick


            Sent from Yahoo Mail for iPad

            On Tuesday, June 13, 2017, 1:19 PM, Rob Smith rsmith.ghg@... [BBB_wargames] <BBB_wargames@...> wrote:

             

            Hi Bill,

            We played a lot of V&B before switching to BBB. As a matter of fact, most of the armies we have in 10mm started out based for V&B.

            I think BBB is just a superior game for several reasons:

            1. The shooting and close action seem to fit my concept of 19th c. warfare better than V&B did.
            2. I like the representation of units on the field better, with frontage varying by unit size and formation. (I was OK with the single bases for V&B, but I like the multiple bases better, as it offers more options.)
            3. The representation of the various weapons and tactics is more complete and systematic. And it is the interaction of differing technology and doctrine that makes BBB really interesting. (As an aside, that is why I am not so interested in ACW; the armies are pretty much the same. Plus, I played the hell out of it for decades!)
            4. Many more wars, campaigns, and battles addressed, offering a lot of variation in play opportunities.
            5. The simple command and control system adds a lot that I feel was missing in V&B, especially for a game at the army level, where command and control should be a major consideration. In BBB command capability is represented by the number of commanders and doctrine or specific situations through attributes like Passive. If you have an army that is Passive with few commanders, you will not be able to respond well to a fluid situation.
            6. Casualties are represented by stand removal. This is purely a matter of taste, but I like to see a unit being reduced.
            7. Very intuitive and easy to pick up. The single base for a units in V&B seemed to give a lot of gamers problems, where they could not really grasp the abstraction. BBB is a little more traditional in that respect.

            So, all of these things led our group to switch after our V&B armies had been languishing for many years.

            NOTE: I actually rather dislike Fire & Fury, the ACW inspiration for BBB. Chris, in essence, fixed all the things I did not like about F&F and made BBB a superior game (and dare I say it, a pretty good simulation?)!

            Anyway, my opinion, for what it's worth. :)

            Rob




            On Tue, Jun 13, 2017 at 10:37 AM, bill@... [BBB_wargames] <BBB_wargames@...> wrote:
             

            I have played Volley & Bayonet about 6 times and like it (Napoleonic and ACW). I joined this group because of Bob Mackenzie's WWII variant of BBB. But of course as I scan the posts I get curious about the original earlier periods of BBB.

            My question is whether any of you have played both BBB and V&B, how would you compare them?

            The main thing I can see is perhaps the game table could be smaller but then one can just use smaller bases in V&B (2/3" hinch rulers for mostly 4x6' table maximums or centimeters for kitchen table battles).

            But there must differences in "feel" of realism or time to play etc.


          • bbbchrisp
            V&B was one of the rulesets Dave Whaley and I looked at before finding none of them quite suited us and deciding to develop our own. It s about 8 years ago now
            Message 5 of 19 , 14 Jun 04:45
              V&B was one of the rulesets Dave Whaley and I looked at before finding none of them quite suited us and deciding to develop our own.

              It's about 8 years ago now but as I recall the major reason we didn't just adopt V&B was indeed the command and control system. As the other responses on this thread suggest, that's probably a major difference and - depending what you want - perhaps an advantage of BBB. I certainly believe BBB succeeds in capturing the very different flavours of different armies, and in a pretty simple and playable way.

              Other more minor factors were:

              - I wasn't keen on having to look up a roster to find a unit's strength (though I suppose there are some easy ways round that such as using dice on a unit base to track SP?). In BBB, all the information you need is provided by the figures on the table.

              - and we felt that a system that cares about individual Jaeger battalions wouldn't really be able to cope with battles of half a million men like Koniggratz or Solferino (though perhaps V&B's mechanisms are so quick and clean that it can?). In the BBB scenarios for these battles, the smallest units are cavalry divisions of 3-5,000 men, and the smallest infantry units are divisions of 6,000+.

              I'm not sure we ever actually tried a game, we were too put off by these factors, especially the C&C. So please understand I'm not criticising V&B, just pointing towards some ways in which BBB is deliberately different.

              A lot of the V&B scenarios on the web seem to require unfeasibly large tables: 3 separate tables totalling 16'x8' for Solferino? http://homepages.paradise.net.nz/mcnelly/vb/scenarios/solferino.htm
              If you shrink that down to 192x96cm, OK, that's 6'x4' - but what if your troops are based on 3"x3"? Do you need to rebase for each differently scaled battle?

              BBB scenarios are all designed with elastic ground scale so that battles almost all fit on 6'x4' or 4'x4' (with just a couple of exceptions that are 8'x4', of which Solferino is one). They are also designed to be playable in a club evening or at most a long afternoon. Solferino and Koniggratz can both be fought in 4 hours, as proved at the BBB Bash Day conventions.

              Chris
            • ceckart
              I ve played V&B more than BBB mainly because I ve had V&B much, much longer than BBB. Now I would only use BBB. Significant army doctrine differences as well
              Message 6 of 19 , 14 Jun 08:01
                I've played V&B more than BBB mainly because I've had V&B much, much longer than BBB. Now I would only use BBB.

                Significant army doctrine differences as well as command are easier to represent with BBB and morale is not a separate step.

                I have more reasons for preferring BBB to V&B but others have commented on most of them so I'll not repeat them here. I'll only say that BBB is my choice.



                  
              • Ronan R
                ... +1 ! ;) -- Ronan
                Message 7 of 19 , 14 Jun 10:29
                  On 13/06/2017 18:22, Rob Smith rsmith.ghg@... [BBB_wargames] wrote:
                  > NOTE: I actually rather dislike Fire & Fury, the ACW inspiration for
                  > BBB. Chris, in essence, fixed all the things I did not like about F&F
                  > and made BBB a superior game (and dare I say it, a pretty good simulation?)!


                  +1 !
                  ;)



                  --
                  Ronan
                • gbowwii
                  Thanks Chris. I give you great credit for tackling a big picture solution that has gained a following. Back in 1970 I came up with the (then) shocking idea of
                  Message 8 of 19 , 14 Jun 21:18
                    Thanks Chris. I give you great credit for tackling a big picture solution that has gained a following.

                    Back in 1970 I came up with the (then) shocking idea of a simple, simultaneous movement ACW ruleset where each stand of 4-6 figures was a whole regiment. And remember back then the norm in those days was that the whole battle typically was between 2 or 3 regiments on a side with about 20-32 figures on 5-8 stands! So we were able to re-fight Gettysburg with my Judges Guild buddies. But Frank Chadwick by leaping over to brigade-per-stand, V&B is better than my old game.

                    Yes, I dislike rosters a lot too.

                    I avoided them in V&B by either having the unit's name on a magnetic slider that covered over the strength points as hit. Or more recently, I had on each brigade's steel stand magnetic ranks, as many ranks as strength points. So when you removed each hit (SP) you placed that rank in the divisional camp to track exhaustion or morale collapse.

                    Indeed re the table sizes, I gave up on collecting 25mm troops which were on 3x3" bases and switched to 2x2" brigade bases with the ranks. I have toyed with 3 centimeter bases instead — so we could sit down the whole game!

                    Ideally Peter Pig makes some nice tiny 1:600 ranks but I used foam blocks—and cut apart 2 armies in an evening! I guess you can see I'm less a modeler and more a gamer!

                    John D points out the dice-less solution to command confusion:  simply having multiple commanders creates realistic friction since players on the same side are never quite "on the same page" and get distracted by their own puzzles and lose touch with the original plan! OTOH if you want to model an excellent commander and have only 3 players, let him be alone on a side.

                    If one needs more rules to accomplish the same thing (command friction) through learning the nuances and dice rolling then my concern is you might risk losing some marginal players to their perception that the "game's too hard" and so they don't show up. So one of my key comparisons (apart from apparent realism which has value too of course) is which game is *easier* to learn and *play*. Although playing well is a whole 'nother kettle of fish.

                    Finally, it sounds like the 19th century battles are indeed quite large and not being familiar with those I admit that I had not thought about that... but my trend of shrinking of scales might fit right in.
                  • bbbchrisp
                    The argument that having multiple players is sufficient to generate command confusion doesn t work if one side was historically superior to the other in its
                    Message 9 of 19 , 18 Jun 01:34
                      The argument that having multiple players is sufficient to generate command confusion doesn't work if one side was historically superior to the other in its doctrine, staff work etc. BBB's command system is really simple to implement but does well at reflecting how ponderous and hesitant some armies were compared with their opponents: French in 1870, Austrians in 1866, some Union armies at times during ACW, etc. And while having an activation system is an extra rule and an extra roll, the element of unpredictability it brings provides a lot of the fun of the game as well as the realism.

                      And it doesn't seem to make the game so complex as to put people off. On the contrary, at all the demo games I've been involved in, people get into the game quickly and grasp the essential rules within a couple of turns. Matter of taste, of course - but I don't think I've ever heard of anyone trying BBB and really not enjoying it. (Though there must be one or two out there somewhere, in which case I'd be interested to know what their objections were.)

                      Chris
                    • johnrohdeuk
                      There are aspects of command and control that V&B confessedly fails to represent. On the other hand the options of MacMahon for instance, were limited as much
                      Message 10 of 19 , 22 Jun 14:33
                        There are aspects of command and control that V&B confessedly fails to represent.
                        On the other hand the options of MacMahon for instance, were limited as much by being given absurd and unrealistic objectives as by the defects of his staff.  The Prussian General Staff system worked very against deprived of the advantages of the a national defence in 1815, 1866 or 1870.  Against a more equal enemy, with more strategic flexibility, the same aggressive initiative served them less well forty-odd years later - as v Moltke the Elder had perhaps anticipated.  The players briefed appropriately, one might well get the same level of doom, gloom and halfheartedness as beset the historical originals.  It might not make the most of entertaining of games though.  MacMahon the French commanders at Sedan, for example, would have to understand that their only real chance would be to escape but that they had to make at least the pretence of trying to press on.
                        In other cases, the commanders-in-chief, through their characters, shape events: put v Moltke in place of McClellan and vice versa and imagine the result.
                        Each to his taste of course.

                        Cordially,
                                     John .
                      • davidraybin
                        If Moltke were in place of McClellan and vice versa: The ACW would have ended at The Battle of Antietam and France would governed by Napoleon IX.
                        Message 11 of 19 , 22 Jun 18:08
                          If Moltke were  in place of McClellan and vice versa: The ACW would have ended at   The Battle of Antietam and France would governed by Napoleon IX. 
                        • ktravlos
                          He would not rule France so much as being the figurehead monarch. The trajectory was towards the weakening of the role of the Emperor even by the late 1860s.
                          Message 12 of 19 , 23 Jun 01:50
                            He would not rule France so much as being the figurehead monarch. The trajectory was towards the weakening of the role of the Emperor even by the late 1860s. So I fully expect Napoleon IV to had to either give massive concession to the Radical Republicans, or face a serious constitutional crisis. The only thing going for him was that the Bourbon claimant was a political idiot. And considering Napoleon III's penchant for foolish foreign adventures, I am pretty sure even absent Moltke he would had gotten in some scrape he should not had. 

                            To be frank even absent Moltke I think the Prussians would had given the Imperials a drubbing. Just not to the level they did historically. Whether the defeat is major or minor, it would had a serious political consequences for Napoleon III.

                            Ah well, speculative history. 
                          • bbbchrisp
                            John, wasn t MacMahon s major problem at Froeschwiller the fact that he had no clue what was in front of him, and didn t realise he was about to be set upon by
                            Message 13 of 19 , 23 Jun 10:25
                              John, wasn't MacMahon's major problem at Froeschwiller the fact that he had no clue what was in front of him, and didn't realise he was about to be set upon by converging German corps? Which was not to do with the objectives he was given, but with French cavalry doctrine, as they had learned in Algeria how foolish it was to send out small cavalry patrols? That, plus the French tactical doctrine being defensive-minded, based on their superior rifle, so their first reflex reaction was always to deploy in line and sit tight (as at Mars-la-Tour)? There are plenty of times where it is the army that is defective rather than (or as well as) the commander. Look at Grant at The Wilderness. Not many people would accuse Grant of being hesitant - but his army was, and having to channel most orders through Meade didn't help. Or Osman Pasha in 1877, a pretty competent general, but in charge of an army that was not fit to maneuver in the field. And so on and so on and so on.

                              I suppose there are creative ways to achieve these effects through briefings, or scenario special rules, or always casting your most tentative player as the most dithersome general. But I find a simple -1 penalty on a Movement roll for being Passive does the job nicely.

                              Chris
                            • vtsaogames
                              RE: V&B command and control issues. People say large teams on each side negate any need for C&C rules. This is true, to a point. In games, static parts of the
                              Message 14 of 19 , 23 Jun 11:49
                                RE: V&B command and control issues. People say large teams on each side negate any need for C&C rules. This is true, to a point. In games, static parts of the line will go forward and attack because guys didn't some to sit and watch other people play. In most real battles, parts of the line tasked with going forward don't because the local command finds they don't have all their gaiters buckled or some such thing.

                                Aside from that, my crew rarely has 3 players on a side and more often 1, so C&C rules are very appealing to us.

                                I was into V&B for quite a while and still have fond memories of it. What I did find from time to time is really strange runs of dice spoiling some games. I made a Stones River scenario where all of Cleburne's division was rated as veterans with grenadier status. Umpiring the game, I saw the Confederate player move into contact with a disordered Union division. Each morale test he rolled a six, disordering every brigade in the division. Then he rolled low on the ensuing melees and the whole division routed. I was foolish enough to let the game continue when the heart of Bragg's army had been eviscerated on the first turn.

                                Yes, any game can go pear shaped due to lousy dice. But I find the bell curve of 2D6 tends to ameliorate the worst of this.
                                  
                                V&B explains the way my figures are mounted: 1 inch wide bases that can function on magnetic sabots for V&B (I use 2" sabots and 2/3 scale rulers) or be used off sabots for other rules.
                              • bbbchrisp
                                Forwarding this on behalf of Prof Murray, who can t log onto the group just now: Two things, simply replacing McClellan with von Moltke might not be enough to
                                Message 15 of 19 , 23 Jun 11:57
                                  Forwarding this on behalf of Prof Murray, who can't log onto the group just now:

                                  "Two things, simply replacing McClellan with von Moltke might not be enough to win at Antietam. The entire command and control system would have been needed to make sure Moltke's orders were carried out.

                                  Re. Froeschwiller: Sorry about the formatting, but these are MacMahon's messages form 2250 the day before, and 0600 on the day itself. [file uploaded to the FPW 1870 folder]

                                  I saw the discussion on the BBB VnB page.

                                  My translation of MacMahon's letters. They are telling. If people are interested, they should read GFR Henderson's analysis of the battle, which contains the German orders.

                                  Best,
                                  Nick"
                                • john rohde
                                  Re Antietam: I don t see what command and control McClellan lacked.  He could have ordered his V Corps forward and there is no reason he would not have been
                                  Message 16 of 19 , 23 Jun 14:34
                                    Re Antietam: I don't see what command and control McClellan lacked.  He could have ordered his V Corps forward and there is no reason he would not have been obeyed.  He chose to be swayed by Fitz-John Porter's sensible-sounding idiocy but that's not command and control but character.  I don't see how the Prussian Great General Staff was needed for McClellan to win big at Antietam.  It's also worth noting that v Clausewitz cites the pugnacity of the Prussian leadership rather than any superiority of its staff work, when looking at the elements of their success.
                                    My point was re Sedan where it had been decided on 17th August to fall back on Paris but the the decision was countermanded by the influence of Palikao and the Empress. 

                                    Cordially,
                                                  John



                                    From: "bbbchrisp@... [BBB_wargames]" <BBB_wargames@...>
                                    To: BBB_wargames@...
                                    Sent: Friday, 23 June 2017, 19:57
                                    Subject: [BBB_wargames] Re:: BBB compared to V&B

                                     
                                    Forwarding this on behalf of Prof Murray, who can't log onto the group just now:

                                    "Two things, simply replacing McClellan with von Moltke might not be enough to win at Antietam. The entire command and control system would have been needed to make sure Moltke's orders were carried out.

                                    Re. Froeschwiller: Sorry about the formatting, but these are MacMahon's messages form 2250 the day before, and 0600 on the day itself. [file uploaded to the FPW 1870 folder]

                                    I saw the discussion on the BBB VnB page.

                                    My translation of MacMahon's letters. They are telling. If people are interested, they should read GFR Henderson's analysis of the battle, which contains the German orders.

                                    Best,
                                    Nick"


                                  • Nicholas Murray
                                    blockquote, div.yahoo_quoted { margin-left: 0 !important; border-left:1px #715FFA solid !important; padding-left:1ex !important; background-color:white
                                    Message 17 of 19 , 23 Jun 15:21
                                      I can now reply.

                                      Thanks to Chris for doing that for me.

                                      First, my point was that simply replacing McClellan with Moltke might not have been enough. Moltke was successful not just because of his ability to organize, but also due to the skill, training, and aggressiveness of his subordinates along with ability to coordinate actions more effectively than most armies of the age through the use of operations orders (which had still not been formalized). McClellan was a poor general when it came to making hard choices, but he had plenty of poor commanders below him. Some of them might have been worse with less centralized guidance, thus to say replacing one person with another would have, in essence, guaranteed success is a stretch. Moltke's genius lay in his ability to prepare his army for war and his vision for the use of rail transportation and the telegraph, rather than in his innate battlefield brilliance.

                                      I don't disagree with the basic idea, but I disagree with the assertion that simply replacing one person guarantees success. I think it is too strong. One might also argue that Moltke was successful due largely to an education systems that prioritized thinking and decision making in its leaders, which compared extremely well to the hide bound doctrinaire French education and training regime (which the American Army largely copied). That too would be too mono-causal.

                                      Have a look t the following, as I think it will go some way to explaining my point, and i think gamers will find it interesting.

                                      Second, MacMahahon's letters:

                                      "French Orders Reichshoffen, 5 August, 10:50pm Letter from Marshal Mac-Mahon to the Emperor.

                                      I have concentrated with my army corps at Froeschwiller, extending my right until the forest of Haguenau. If the enemy threat on the right, does not exceed Haguenau, I'm in a good position; if it exceeds Haguenau, I am obliged to take a position further south to guard the defiles of Petite- Pierre, and Saverne.

                                      If it is possible to have one of the army corps of the Moselle, coming to join me by the way of Bitche or road of Little Pierre, I'll be able to resume the offensive with advantage.

                                      **(Marshal Mac-Mahon, you have promised the Emperor you will attack and drive the enemy from France, but before you can do so you receive intelligence that the enemy in front of you is in huge numbers).
                                      (Below is the letter actually sent by Mac-Mahon on realizing his predicament)

                                      Letter from marshal Mac-Mahon to General Pierre-Louis de Failly (Commander of 5th Corps at Bitche), 6th August, 6:00am

                                      You have been put under orders by the emperor. It is of the utmost importance that we all coordinate our operations.
                                      [We were] attacked yesterday, near Wissembourg, by the greatly superior Crown Prince’s army, and I was forced to retire to Reichshoffen. It is urgent that we combine our operations.
                                      I have good intelligence that the enemy will make a movement to
                                      carry on to the ridges of the Vosges and separate us. If this happens, we must attack the Germans as they march.
                                      If, however, they only occupy
                                      the positions of Wissembourg and Lembach, with the bulk of their forces on the plain, we will fight together to push them from their positions.
                                      So, get one of your divisions on the road immediately. It would be desirable for it to bivouac at Philippsbourg by tonight, occupy
                                      a position on his left that commands the Neuhoffen road, and some on Ober- Steinbach, who would attack, the same day, with four brigades arriving by the different routes via Reichshoffen.
                                      Also, in the execution of this movement, if you would send another division, by the road from Bitche to Wissembourg, via Sturzelbronn, if it met
                                      the enemy, as it pushed forward, the enemy would be caught on the march and completely enveloped. A brigade, with its artillery battery, of the last division would have Lemberg, which is the key to this side of the Vosges.
                                      The other brigade would remain in Bitche, following the events, ready to march either on Sturzelbronn, or Philippsbourg. It would be prudent that the Brigade in Lemberg is entrenched.
                                      There are tools in Lichtenberg and the Petit-Pierre, 1500 in each place, which would make this work possible.

                                      If, however, the army of the Crown Prince is concentrated around Lembach and in the Rhine valley, the first division will not stop in Philippsbourg. You'd march by the same route as the 2nd Division, and a brigade of the 3rd; the last brigade would be directed on Lembach, from where it could secre the Petite-Pierre, if it was obliged to beat a retreat. Respond to me in several different ways; I sent this in three different ways.
                                      The marshal commanding the 1st Corps, De Mac-Mahon."

                                      By way of contrast, the Prussian orders for the whole of 3rd Army:

                                      "Prussian orders from 3rd Army HQ at Soultz. Aug. 5th, 1870

                                       

                                      1.—The army will remain concentrated to-morrow round Sulz, and execute a change of front.

                                      2. —The II. Bavarian and V. Prussian Corps remain at Lembach and Preuschdorf.

                                      3. —The XI. Prussian Corps will wheel to the right and bivouac at Holschloch; outposts towards the Sauer. Surburg and the road to Hagenau will be occupied.

                                      4. —The I. Bavarian Corps will advance as far as the neighbourhood of Lobsann and Lampertsloch. Outposts through the Hochwald towards the Sauer.

                                      5. —4th Cav. Div. remains in bivouac, but will front westward.

                                      6. —Werder’s Corps (Wurtemberg and Baden Divisions) to Reimerswiller, fronting south; outposts towards Hagenau Forest. Road at Kiihlendorf and the railway at Hofen to be protected by strong detachments.

                                      7. —Head-Quarters remain at Sulz."



                                      Best,
                                      Nick
                                      Sent from Yahoo Mail for iPad

                                      On Friday, June 23, 2017, 10:34 PM, john rohde johnrohdeuk@... [BBB_wargames] <BBB_wargames@...> wrote:

                                       

                                      Re Antietam: I don't see what command and control McClellan lacked.  He could have ordered his V Corps forward and there is no reason he would not have been obeyed.  He chose to be swayed by Fitz-John Porter's sensible-sounding idiocy but that's not command and control but character.  I don't see how the Prussian Great General Staff was needed for McClellan to win big at Antietam.  It's also worth noting that v Clausewitz cites the pugnacity of the Prussian leadership rather than any superiority of its staff work, when looking at the elements of their success.
                                      My point was re Sedan where it had been decided on 17th August to fall back on Paris but the the decision was countermanded by the influence of Palikao and the Empress. 

                                      Cordially,
                                                    John



                                      From: "bbbchrisp@... [BBB_wargames]" <BBB_wargames@...>
                                      To: BBB_wargames@...
                                      Sent: Friday, 23 June 2017, 19:57
                                      Subject: [BBB_wargames] Re:: BBB compared to V&B

                                       
                                      Forwarding this on behalf of Prof Murray, who can't log onto the group just now:

                                      "Two things, simply replacing McClellan with von Moltke might not be enough to win at Antietam. The entire command and control system would have been needed to make sure Moltke's orders were carried out.

                                      Re. Froeschwiller: Sorry about the formatting, but these are MacMahon's messages form 2250 the day before, and 0600 on the day itself. [file uploaded to the FPW 1870 folder]

                                      I saw the discussion on the BBB VnB page.

                                      My translation of MacMahon's letters. They are telling. If people are interested, they should read GFR Henderson's analysis of the battle, which contains the German orders.

                                      Best,
                                      Nick"


                                    • bbbchrisp
                                      John, re Sedan: OK, I understand your point now. But I think mine still stands, that the French in 1870, MacMahon included, were undone by more systemic
                                      Message 18 of 19 , 23 Jun 16:01
                                        John, re Sedan: OK, I understand your point now. But I think mine still stands, that the French in 1870, MacMahon included, were undone by more systemic failures than just poor strategic direction by Napoleon III; and that it's hard to reflect these adequately without some command and control rules.

                                        (btw, the BBB Sedan scenario has produced some cracking good games!)

                                        Chris
                                      • vtsaogames
                                        I think Little Mac pretty much created the Army of the Potomac. It could fight but it was in his image: slow and cautious. When Grant was in charge he was
                                        Message 19 of 19 , 23 Jun 16:03
                                          I think Little Mac pretty much created the Army of the Potomac. It could fight but it was in his image: slow and cautious. When Grant was in charge he was frustrated by how cumbersome the AoP was. This was evidenced by the joke that they should get Parke drunk and have him kill 6 generals in that army. Grant asked which 6 and was told "any".

                                          In the same vein, Bragg pretty much created the Army of Tennessee and it remained in his image: fractious.
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