Auteur Sujet: Formation for Defence Line  (Lu 11288 fois)

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Re : Formation for Defence Line
« Réponse #15 le: 13 août 2010, 01:46:52 am »
What is the difference between the "normal" Line formation of a regiment and the "defense" Line formation? Since the icons change, I wonder if these formations are not the same.

In reality, I'm not sure.  Possibly more of an attitude difference, with the troops told to hang onto their plot of ground to the death.

In the game, the defensive line gets a lot of special treatment.

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Re : Re : Formation for Defence Line
« Réponse #16 le: 13 août 2010, 03:49:13 am »
In reality, I'm not sure.  Possibly more of an attitude difference, with the troops told to hang onto their plot of ground to the death.
In the game, the defensive line gets a lot of special treatment.
Well, but if they are mathmatically different, some physical reason must be provided (unfortunately the manual leaves many details in the dark).
It could be that the men are allowed to use terrain features for their protection, but then this would be a sort of going from a well formed line into a skirmish cloud, which would have its disadvantages too (e.g. difficulty to reform into line or column...).

Maybe JMM can clarify.

But if this is the case, it is also true that several column attacks also degenerated in something of this sort... Specially when the units were inexperienced or poorly trained and the enemy did not immediately rout during the initial advance to contact - though I agree that an "improvised" skirmish cloud would not be exactly the same as a well prepared defensive skirmish cloud.

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Re : Formation for Defence Line
« Réponse #17 le: 13 août 2010, 04:09:57 am »
Well, but if they are mathematically different, some physical reason must be provided

"In battle, the moral is to the physical as 3 is to 1." -- Napoleon

If an attacking formation breaks into "impromptu skirmishers" the men are likely to just run away.  You can't control them unless they're in formation.  The actual skirmishers had some different training and indoctrination, and knew how to fight independently.  There wasn't anyone standing behind them keeping them in line, and this wasn't necessary.  There's a bit of fine balance going on here.

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Re : Re : Formation for Defence Line
« Réponse #18 le: 13 août 2010, 04:40:11 am »
"In battle, the moral is to the physical as 3 is to 1." -- Napoleon
If an attacking formation breaks into "impromptu skirmishers" the men are likely to just run away.  You can't control them unless they're in formation.  The actual skirmishers had some different training and indoctrination, and knew how to fight independently.  There wasn't anyone standing behind them keeping them in line, and this wasn't necessary.  There's a bit of fine balance going on here.
Yes, I agree. And most of those frustrated column-to-skirmish attacks ended-up with the attackers simply running away after some shooting (or a counter-attack...).

But again,  how to justify the special treatment of the "defensive line" relative to a "normal line" formation? I can understand the difference in the defense of building structures, but not in the open.

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Re : Formation for Defence Line
« Réponse #19 le: 13 août 2010, 07:52:31 am »
But again,  how to justify the special treatment of the "defensive line" relative to a "normal line" formation? I can understand the difference in the defense of building structures, but not in the open.

File closers (sergeants and officers) standing behind the ranks keeping them in place.  They don't expect to have to advance until after the enemy attack is broken, and they've been told not to retreat.  Basically, the attitude of the leaders and what they do to keep the men in place.  It's somewhat easier to keep men standing in one spot than to get them to advance, and if they're not in "defensive line" they'll be expected to advance.

For what it's worth, if you have conscript troops they can handle forming a defensive line a lot better than they can handle conducting an attack.  Conscript troops probably can attack, but they're not good at it.

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Re : Re : Formation for Defence Line
« Réponse #20 le: 13 août 2010, 14:00:03 pm »
File closers (sergeants and officers) standing behind the ranks keeping them in place.  They don't expect to have to advance until after the enemy attack is broken, and they've been told not to retreat.  Basically, the attitude of the leaders and what they do to keep the men in place.  It's somewhat easier to keep men standing in one spot than to get them to advance, and if they're not in "defensive line" they'll be expected to advance.
Honestly, I don't think this is enough to distinguish between a static "normal line" and "defensive line". They are the same to me. File closers are positioned at the same spots, and I guess that in both cases the leaders will instruct the soldiers to keep their positions.
If the difference is whether there is or not movement, the two formations should be the actually same (line formation), with movement having a bias on combat.

On the other hand, if the difference that the "defensive line" means using protective terrain, that I will be able to buy to some extent. However, it would not apply in all terrain types, only in terrain that can provide extra protection: trees, buildings, etc. And the question would remain of how much this use of terrain would affect the cohesion of the formation.

JMM, are you in there?  :D


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Re : Re : Re : Formation for Defence Line
« Réponse #21 le: 13 août 2010, 14:26:08 pm »
On the other hand, if the difference that the "defensive line" means using protective terrain, that I will be able to buy to some extent. However, it would not apply in all terrain types, only in terrain that can provide extra protection: trees, buildings, etc.
Also, reverse slope tactics could in fact fit here.

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Re : Re : Re : Formation for Defence Line
« Réponse #22 le: 13 août 2010, 16:04:09 pm »
Honestly, I don't think this is enough to distinguish between a static "normal line" and "defensive line". They are the same to me. File closers are positioned at the same spots, and I guess that in both cases the leaders will instruct the soldiers to keep their positions.
If the difference is whether there is or not movement, the two formations should be the actually same (line formation), with movement having a bias on combat.

On the other hand, if the difference that the "defensive line" means using protective terrain, that I will be able to buy to some extent. However, it would not apply in all terrain types, only in terrain that can provide extra protection: trees, buildings, etc. And the question would remain of how much this use of terrain would affect the cohesion of the formation.

JMM, are you in there?  :D



I really don't see your point here....having seen that you are a historically interested man.....you should know that there were differences between bataillons deploying in line but ready to move forward and bataillons deploying in line to hold a certain line without any offensive interest.....I think this is shown by the difference between line and defensive line in HWLG - you would never have men kneel when a bataillon will soon be advancing - there is simply no time for that!

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Re : Re : Re : Re : Formation for Defence Line
« Réponse #23 le: 13 août 2010, 16:33:50 pm »
I really don't see your point here....having seen that you are a historically interested man.....you should know that there were differences between bataillons deploying in line but ready to move forward and bataillons deploying in line to hold a certain line without any offensive interest.....I think this is shown by the difference between line and defensive line in HWLG - you would never have men kneel when a bataillon will soon be advancing - there is simply no time for that!

Dear Count,

Of course I know that. However we are talking about a static line formation. If all men are standing (ready to move forward) and suddenly you see the enemy column advancing towards them, if you intend to remain static, it is not difficult to order your front-rank men to kneel. It is also not difficult to take a different decision and just order your men to charge home when the enemy is close enough (as the British used to do).
In HWLG, you cannot micromanage these things, so it is desirable that the Regimental staff will do it for you.

My point is: if the regiment is static, and its the commander intends to receive the attack is a static posture, he will give the orders in a way that favors this intention. In order words, if your interpretation is correct, he would promptly order a change from  "normal line" to "defensive line". If this consists on little more than kneeling the first rank, this would not take much time to be implemented, since the relative position of ranks and files would remain the same.

My interpretation - i.e. that the "defensive line" represents using the cover provided by the terrain features, fences, etc - would justify much better that a different "line" representation is included in the game. But then there are other consequences that seem not to be addressed.

But again, I would  like to know JMM's interpretation because that is the most important.


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Re : Re : Re : Re : Re : Formation for Defence Line
« Réponse #24 le: 13 août 2010, 16:50:31 pm »
After all, maybe the secret rests in the fact that we are talking about "Regiment" formations and not "Battalion" formations. If we bear in mind this decoupling we can consider that in a "defensive line", the battalions of the Regiment will each form in line but they may be deployed in relative positions that use the terrain to a greater advantage. In a "normal line" we might consider that each battalion forms in line, and the ensemble of battalions also forms a rigid line.



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Re : Re : Re : Re : Re : Formation for Defence Line
« Réponse #25 le: 13 août 2010, 17:23:06 pm »
Dear Count,

Of course I know that. However we are talking about a static line formation. If all men are standing (ready to move forward) and suddenly you see the enemy column advancing towards them, if you intend to remain static, it is not difficult to order your front-rank men to kneel. It is also not difficult to take a different decision and just order your men to charge home when the enemy is close enough (as the British used to do).
In HWLG, you cannot micromanage these things, so it is desirable that the Regimental staff will do it for you.

My point is: if the regiment is static, and its the commander intends to receive the attack is a static posture, he will give the orders in a way that favors this intention. In order words, if your interpretation is correct, he would promptly order a change from  "normal line" to "defensive line". If this consists on little more than kneeling the first rank, this would not take much time to be implemented, since the relative position of ranks and files would remain the same.

My interpretation - i.e. that the "defensive line" represents using the cover provided by the terrain features, fences, etc - would justify much better that a different "line" representation is included in the game. But then there are other consequences that seem not to be addressed.



ahh ok....that is a fair point!

CvC
« Modifié: 13 août 2010, 17:24:52 pm par Count von Csollich »
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Re : Re : Re : Re : Re : Re : Formation for Defence Line
« Réponse #26 le: 13 août 2010, 17:24:18 pm »
After all, maybe the secret rests in the fact that we are talking about "Regiment" formations and not "Battalion" formations. If we bear in mind this decoupling we can consider that in a "defensive line", the battalions of the Regiment will each form in line but they may be deployed in relative positions that use the terrain to a greater advantage. In a "normal line" we might consider that each battalion forms in line, and the ensemble of battalions also forms a rigid line.




well as we all know the main unit was the bataillon - and not the regiment....due to several reasons though - JMM has decided to use regiments as the main unit....a regiment never deployed in a strict line....only a bataillon would! - simply due to reasons such as reserves or terrain as you mentioned!

CvC
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Re : Re : Re : Re : Re : Re : Re : Formation for Defence Line
« Réponse #27 le: 13 août 2010, 18:51:50 pm »
well as we all know the main unit was the bataillon - and not the regiment....due to several reasons though - JMM has decided to use regiments as the main unit....a regiment never deployed in a strict line....only a bataillon would! - simply due to reasons such as reserves or terrain as you mentioned!
I agree.
So, lets wait for JMM to provide a better explanation for the "defensive line" feature.


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Re : Formation for Defence Line
« Réponse #28 le: 14 août 2010, 00:57:27 am »
I think the biggest differences are that a defensive line will not move to attack, maintaining its cohesion between units, and if forced back will attempt to move back to the line position.  While it often seems that the defensive line is harder to break than a corps formed for offense, there may not be any mathematical differences at all... just the fact that the corps in defensive posture is always in line and always waiting for the enemy to advance into fire. 

Units in defensive line are more likely to have morale bonuses for adjacent units, for example, and will not be fatigued when the fighting starts.  They should also have better cohesion within the unit than an advancing unit.  If you're looking for mathematical differences, these are a few possibilities.

Infantry units on the field during this period did not take advantage of cover the same way units in the American Civil War did.  The terrain was usually more open, so there was less cover to be had even if they wanted to use it.  Think about cavalry charges:  if the terrain had been as broken in Europe as it was in the US, the cavalry couldn't charge through it.  This is probably why there are so few reports of cavalry charges from the American Civil War... there simply wasn't any opportunity.  I only know of one instance, during Gettysburg where a Union cavalry unit bluffed a charge and caused a Confederate infantry unit to form square.

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Re : Formation for Defence Line
« Réponse #29 le: 14 août 2010, 01:09:49 am »
I love starting a topic that elicits so much information and intelligent discussion.

Bravo Gentlemen