Author Topic: Historical élan and veterancy  (Read 2749 times)

Maethor

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Historical élan and veterancy
« on: September 22, 2015, 04:28:22 PM »
Hey guys

I was wondering if any of you got a quick and simple way to bestow a veterancy and élan level on a historical unit.
In other words: if you got an order of battle, how do you class each unit in that order of battle in the most historical accurate way?
Deciding whether a unit is a veteran or a recruit one, might be rather easy. You can look up the number of battles they fought in, and maybe look at the number of casualties sustained.
But for the élan level, I have no idea how to decide what kind of élan a unit should have...

Can you guys help me out?

Hejnał

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Re: Historical élan and veterancy
« Reply #1 on: September 23, 2015, 07:52:41 AM »
That's a tough one. This is such a subjective issue. I don't see an alternative to reading accounts of the battle you are representing (or around the year you are campaigning in) and allocating élan based on their performance. We have made half a dozen scenarios for Gettysburg and a couple for First Bull Run. Generally units get a mention for exceptional valour or for performing below expectation. If they don't get a name check we conclude that makes them seasoned.

The list below was one we made for Wadsworth's division on the first day of Gettysburg. This was a particularly hard fighting formation so longer on eager veteran units than most.

First Division, First Army Corps (Brig. Gen. James S. Wadsworth)
First Brigade (Brig. Gen. Solomon Meredith)
19th Indiana (Col. Samuel J. Williams) 6 seasoned veterans
24th Michigan (Col. Henry A. Morrow) 8 eager veterans
2nd Wisconsin (Col. Lucius Fairchild) 4 eager veterans
6th Wisconsin (Lieut. Col. Rufus R. Dawes) 6 eager veterans
7th Wisconsin (Col. William W. Robinson) 6 eager veterans
Second Brigade (Brig. Gen. Lysander Cutler)
7th Indiana (Col. Ira G. Grover) 8 seasoned veterans
76th New York (Maj. Andrew J. Grover) 6 seasoned veterans
84th New York (14th Militia) (Col. Edward B. Fowler) 6 eager veterans
95th New York (Col. George H. Biddle) 4 eager veterans
147th New York (Lieut. Col. Francis C. Miller) 6 seasoned veterans
2nd Maine Battery (Capt James Hall) 3 Rifles

And on the other side for the same scenario, this is Davis' brigade in Heth's division.

Fourth Brigade (Brig. Gen. JOSEPH R. DAVIS)
2nd Mississippi (Col. J. M. Stone) 8 seasoned veterans
11th Mississippi (Col. F. M. Green) 8 seasoned veterans
42nd Mississippi (Col. H. R, Miller) 10 eager recruits
55th North Carolina (Col. J. K. Connally) 10 eager recruits

Our main source was Stephen Sears' account and the middle volume of Shelby Foote. These are only our interpretation and others would no doubt interpret the OOB differently. But it's fun trying.

Maethor

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Re: Historical élan and veterancy
« Reply #2 on: September 23, 2015, 01:04:03 PM »
Wow this is just really cool!
I am collecting this very federal division also focussed on 1st july 1863.

Concerning Cutlers brigade I came up with this:
- 7th Indiana 6 Seasoned Veterans
- 76th NY 5 Seasoned Veterans
- 14th Brooklyn 5 Eager Veterans
- 95th NY 3 Seasoned Veterans
- 147th NY 5 Eager Recuits
- 56th Pennsylvania 4 Seasoned Veterans
= 177 pts

Concerning the Iron Brigade: I'd make them all Eager veterans  :P

Davis' Brigade:
- 2nd Mississippi 7 Seasoned Veterans
- 11th Mississippi 8 Seasoned Veterans
- 42nd Mississippi 7 Eager Recruits
- 55th North Carolina 9 Eager recruits
= 170 pts

First I looked up how many engagements each regiment took part in. Then I looked up the number of men in each regiment and then I tried to give an appropriate élan (that last was more guessing and personal taste than basing it on real facts). This way the points value is also balanced, which makes for a fair game.

Although it is great fun looking all this up, time isn't always on my side when preparing for a game... It would of course be useful to find some kind of guide to lead me in this matter. But finding it isn't that simple so it seems.

About those scenarios you made for Gettysburg and 1st Bull Run. Would you like to share them Hejnal?  :)

Hejnał

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Re: Historical élan and veterancy
« Reply #3 on: September 24, 2015, 11:25:09 AM »
I guess it's a popular day to reenact! And interesting to see the different interpretations. I'm guessing from unit sizes that we are using different figure ratios (the rules do offer a spread) but the relative unit sizes within formations seem broadly consistent.

I'm planning to put all the scenarios on my website once they are tidied up and I can add maps that don't infringe copyright. We've been using the excellent maps from the Civil War Trust to set out our table and starting positions. If you're interested in the OOBs and scenario rules without maps, send me a message with your email address and I'll be happy to share. So far we've  fought four scenarios for Day 1 and one for the Peach Orchard. We'll do Devils Den when I get around to finishing the pile of boulders...

Maethor

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Re: Historical élan and veterancy
« Reply #4 on: September 25, 2015, 10:37:21 AM »
You're probably right about using another ratio for the stands. I use 70 men for 1 stand (4 minis). But as you say it seems fairly consistent.

Alright, super! I'll wait for you to put in the maps. That way I'll have the entire package in one go!
I'll keep an eye on your website, but if you happen to remember me when putting them on your site, it would be nice to give me a heads up!

Cheers anyways!

GamesPoet

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Re: Historical élan and veterancy
« Reply #5 on: October 04, 2015, 08:45:25 AM »
This is interesting, thank you!

Looking forward to seeing more posts on Hejnal's log, too.


Captain Darling

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Re: Historical élan and veterancy
« Reply #6 on: November 25, 2015, 06:19:04 PM »
Hi Maethor,

With regards to this topic I see two options for calculating these unit values:

* Historical units in an actual engagement
* Historical units in hypothetical battles

If I were going with the first one I would only use references from the actual battle you are recreating, if I were going for the second option then your comment of looking up a units history would be the path I would follow.

Cheers!
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