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Subject: Strength Points (SP) Comparison to Brigades' Historical Strengths rss

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Michael Power
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Virginia Beach
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I'm at the beginning of studying the Battle of Gettysburg by reading simultaneously and chronologically seven books on the battle. These books are:

Civil War A Narrative Vol. 2 Fredericksburg to Meridian by Shelby Foote
Lee's Lieutenants (abridged) by Douglas S. Freeman
Gettysburg by Stephens W. Sears
Gettysburg A Testing of Courage by Noah Andre Trudeau
Gettysburg The Second Day by Harry W. Pfanz
Gettysburg Culp's Hill & Cemetery Hill by Harry W. Pfanz
The Maps of Gettysburg An Atlas of the Gettysburg Campaign by Bradley M. Gottfied

As I progress through the reading I'll be moving units on the mapboard of Avalon Hill's Gettysburg game. Additionally, I'll be adjusting the SPs on the board as historical casualties are assessed.

In the index of Trudeau's book is a comprehensive order of battle for both armies which include the strengths prior to engagement and the casualties incurred. However, the SP assigned by the game for the brigades does not derive a common number of what one SP represents when compared with the historical strengths. These values range from 69 to 137 men per SP. The average came to 101 men/SP a figure that I may use in the end.

If there is anyone familiar enough with the history of the battle and this game to understand the game's SPs assigned and what they actually represent could respond, I would be most grateful.
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Jenkster 65
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Are you going to create a photo or video log of your maps updates?
 
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Aaron Kulkis
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Michael Power wrote:
I'm at the beginning of studying the Battle of Gettysburg by reading simultaneously and chronologically seven books on the battle....

As I progress through the reading I'll be moving units on the mapboard of Avalon Hill's Gettysburg game. Additionally, I'll be adjusting the SPs on the board as historical casualties are assessed.

In the index of Trudeau's book is a comprehensive order of battle for both armies which include the strengths prior to engagement and the casualties incurred. However, the SP assigned by the game for the brigades does not derive a common number of what one SP represents when compared with the historical strengths. These values range from 69 to 137 men per SP. The average came to 101 men/SP a figure that I may use in the end.

If there is anyone familiar enough with the history of the battle and this game to understand the game's SPs assigned and what they actually represent could respond, I would be most grateful.



Have you tried correlating those roster/SP ratios with unit qualities?

Look at the backs of the counters, and note the color of the unit strength (intermediate game). Green are the worst troops -- I'm willing to bet those are the ones in the 140 men/SP range. At the other end are units like the Iron Brigade (either blue or black, I can't remember which, it's been a while since I played Gettysburg '77), and such units will probably be towards the 69 men/SP.

ALSO note that when cavalry dismounted to create a line formation, 1 out of ever 4 cavalrymen would be a horse-holder. Thus, for the same roster number at the same experience level (green,red,blue,black), you'll probably see a higher cavalrymen/SP ratio than for infantry riflemen/SP.
 
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eric locke
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Outstanding! I just returned from a visit to Gettysburg and did a search for the unit rankings (green, black, red, blue) from the game that I played countless times as a kid. That game did so much to solidify my understanding of units and organization on both sides. So glad to see that people still enjoy stuff like this.

An SP was supposed to represent 100 men. It was not adjusted as the previous poster suggested, it's just difficult to pin down the precise combat strength of Civil War units at a given moment. You can't simply use rosters because so many of these paper documents were destroyed or were out-of-date. Federal units included far more non-combat support men than Confederate brigades who used slaves for most of these roles. It gets very complicated, but I think the game designers got it mostly right.

As you know from playing the game, the differences in effectiveness between green and blue units - or infantry and cavalry - was accounted for by using different tables. A red unit was more effective than a black one, and so on.

Which leads to my reason for responding. The various unit ratings still fascinate me. I could debate and discuss for hours. For example, if you've completed Pfanz's 'Second Day', then you have an appreciation for the amazing performance of Barksdale's Mississippi brigade. Their successful assault on the Peach Orchard and the ensuing drive up The Emmitsburg Road is one of the greatest single actions by any unit during the conflict. Yet they're rated 'Red'? What about the two U.S. Regular brigades? Rated Black I think (it's been 30 years). Harrow is Blue? The Stonewall Brigade isn't?I could go on and on.
 
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