Sunday, 3 June 2012
Unity! Remember That Terrible Word...Some Thoughts on Command & Control
(Minifigs Pbs Alexander the Great - Maybe he needs a more dynamic looking horse?)
On his Gathering of Hosts blog Ross speculated as to why the Persian commanders in Grant's refight of Plataea didn't use their cavalry to exploit the space on the tabletop to their advantage - a tactic so obvious even I adopted it. One possibility Ross mentions is a command and control issue. Since Grant offers no explanation for the Persian tactics we can't be sure, but Ross' question raises the vexed point of how far in front of the main body of the army units should really be allowed to operate. In our refight the Persian cavalry galloped merrily about between Greek lines, often cut off from all sight and sound of their commanders. Would they, could they, have done that?
In the excellent Russo-Polish board-wargame Strike of Eagles at the end of each turn units are assessed to see if they are cut off from their supply lines. Those that are suffer a degree of disintegration. Might we introduce something similar in Parum Pugna? We might say that units that are more than 90cm (36 inches to the Imperialists) from the main body (we would have to define what that is, of course), or cut off from it by the enemy or terrain features, must test morale in the usual manner - those that fail such a test suffering a hit.
(Garrison 20mm Macedonian officer. Rather more dashing than the Minifigs Alexander)
I have long tinkered with the idea of a rule ammendment along these lines. And while Longuelade's Law states that "Rules improve until they are unusable", it is still worth thinking about.
You can read what Ross had to say on Grant's Plataea and much more good and wise stuff at: