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Movement Strategies and Tactics in GBACW


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How should you tactically maneuver in GBACW? Here are some thoughts by players.

Russ Gifford writes:

"Realize that in GBACW, as in the Civil War, maneuver may be a more effective way of taking a position than force of arms. Moving your troops into threatening positions causes your opponent to respond. They may have to turn a flank, or  pull back,  or at least bend their line to prevent flanking. That gives you opportunities. "

Greg Laubach writes:

"I always tell people that play these games to think of brigades and even divisions as one unit. Don't go throwing the individual regiments in piecemeal, just because the breakdowns allow you to. Take your time. Pretend that you are moving on a six hex map, maneuver with a brigade as if it was one counter, maneuver with a division as if the army leader was watching the maneuver. This will usually result in firstest with the mostest. And if it doesn't, it will usually scare the stuff out of your opponent. Those pretty lines from one horizon to another did have a function."

 Nathan Summerside says:

"Stretch the enemy out. Widen your frontage of attack, and you threaten to push past the defender. They will have to respond, since their flank could expose the unit to an extra  firepower shift and a lowered morale. But worse, an enemy in the rear risks the whole regiment. If a totally surrounded unit fails morale, that regiment has to surrender. That's not just losing a strength point,  but a regiment. Few brigades last too long when an entire regiment disappears!"

Nathan demonstrated this in the last TSS campaign we played. Using his brigades as maneuver elements, he detached Brockenbaugh, a very small brigade - but this allowed him to send those troops further to the left of Gamble's skirmishers, who had to stretch out their frontage to prevent being flanked or surrounded. This pulled the Union front line further apart, preventing interlocking zones of control for the defenders. Nate then slammed Davis forward to smash into the defenders with great impact - and fewer losses for Davis' boys.

Russ Gifford writes:

"Remember that troops will rout. At the very least, they will become disrupted (that's how I think of pins).  This means you need to consider where your troops will end the turn so you know where to place your leaders. (A regiment out of command in this game is almost like losing that unit for the turn!)

"Your leader can only command units in his range, and the same is true for ralling routed units. So be mindful of where you place your leaders!

 "I do two things to try to make this easier: Keep your troops together by brigade. Specifically, try not to intermix regiments of different brigades, since command lines will get confused and someone will be left out of command!

"Second, I wait to move my leaders after my troops have moved, so I can 'see' where my leaders need to be. Also, it helps me visualize where my troops will rout to if my line were to fall apart under fire. Thus I can try to set up rally locations with officers.

"Another bonus: By waiting until after troops move, I can also see which regiment might need the Brigade leader's morale support to withstand Defensive Fire, or his direction to get into an important Melee.

"(And remember, if you intend to have your leader melee, it might pull him another hex ahead, so be certain that won't leave your regiments out of command!) 

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This site was last updated 01/13/13