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Subject: Command Radius again rss

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R P
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mb

I've read a couple explanations of the command radius rules, but I'm finding myself still not entirely clear. Let me see if I can identify my confusion by talking through the rules.

10.2a Command Radius is the maximum allowed distance between leaders, HQs, and their units. All units must be within appropriate Command Radius.

This sounds very strict: "maximum allowed" and "must be within" suggest a hard limit. But this is quickly qualified and softened by subsequent rules.

10.2b. Command Radius begins at each Command HQ. From there it branches like a tree down to the actual combat units. Formations that have been sent outside of normal Command Radius use their senior leader in the place of an HQ.

So in fact it is possible to be out of command radius. But the general picture seems easy to visualize. The command network is a hierarchy of nodes; each lower-level node must remain within the CR of the next higher-level node. Importantly, each HQ can function as a highest-level node.

This last point is reinforced by:

10.2c Command HQs do not need a “higher” HQ to trace Command Radius to—they are only controlled by their orders.

This seems to suggest that the lines linking nodes can be broken between HQs (commands with a discrete HQ counter). Thus units below the break between HQ nodes may still be in command and able to act normally.

10.2d. Leaders that actually mark a Command Radius center (such as most all brigade and many divisional commanders) are constrained by the Command Radius that links through them to their units or subordinates. Such Leaders are used to determine Command Radius effects on Order Delivery and provide their own HQ for Command Roll purposes.

This applies to Leaders/commands without HQ counters. These leaders (including "most all brigade commanders") act as HQs "for Command Roll purposes."

10.2e Count Command Radius in hexes. Always calculate Command Radius down the chain of command—from the Command HQ down through to the individual units.

So in-command status is traced across multiple CRs, down from the relevant HQ node: from that HQ starting point down to individual units.

10.2g If a stack out of Command Radius (at the moment it begins to move) moves, it must move to re-establish Command Radius, and must choose to do a Move Activity. No stack outside Command Radius may make an initial Charge.

This rule seems to indicate the costs of being out of CR. A unit out of the CR of its higher-level command node can, basically, only sit in place or move to reenter CR.


I have to say, I find these rules exceptionally confusing every time I read them. It seems to me that two kinds of Command Radius effect are being mixed together: 1) propagating orders down the chain of command; 2) determining if units can act freely.

For #1: in general, orders start with the Army commander. From that origin, they flow down the chain of command--this means they are sent out according to the hierarchy of command radii. But in this case, there is no actual limitation enforced for being out of command. Lower-level command nodes can be either in or out of command. Orders will take 1 additional turn to reach an out-of-command node--but that's it.

For #2: an individual unit (an acting counter on the board, i.e. typically a regiment) can only act freely if it is in command. There will always be some standing order at the local HQ--even if that local HQ is out of command of its higher-level HQ. But that is not the kind of "being in command" that is in question here. What's in question is whether the unit can act according to that order--and for that, we need to determine if it individually is "in command."

But what does that now mean? Is it that the unit must be within CR of its brigade leader? Or that the unit must be in CR of its brigade leader and the brigade leader must be in CR of its division HQ/leader--and so on up to the local HQ?

I feel as though the latter is intended by the rules, but that the former makes more sense given the localization of HQs.

We're told that every leader (including brigade leaders) "provide their own HQ for Command Roll purposes." So if HQ counters can be out of CR without limitation (only a delay in orders transmission), shouldn't the brigade HQ (i.e. leader) be allowed to be out of CR (from his division) without limitation?

I guess it's just not at all clear to me when or whether the multi-step chain of linked CRs is a hard limit. It's clearly not so for delivering orders. For unit actions, the idea seems to be that the CR trace back up to the local HQ must be intact. But then, since each leader can explicitly function as a mobile HQ, why should a unit within CR of the brigade leader be out of CR if that brigade leader is in turn out of CR of the next-higher HQ?

Summary questions: when exactly in an individual unit (regiment) out of CR and unable to act freely? Which HQs/leaders can act as highest-level HQs for purposes of tracing unit in-command status? Is a unit free to act only due to an unbroken chain of CRs from an HQ that is a physical counter?

Many thanks for any clarification.
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Dean Essig
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RAPhomme wrote:

For #1: in general, orders start with the Army commander. From that origin, they flow down the chain of command--this means they are sent out according to the hierarchy of command radii. But in this case, there is no actual limitation enforced for being out of command. Lower-level command nodes can be either in or out of command. Orders will take 1 additional turn to reach an out-of-command node--but that's it.

For #2: an individual unit (an acting counter on the board, i.e. typically a regiment) can only act freely if it is in command. There will always be some standing order at the local HQ--even if that local HQ is out of command of its higher-level HQ. But that is not the kind of "being in command" that is in question here. What's in question is whether the unit can act according to that order--and for that, we need to determine if it individually is "in command."

But what does that now mean? Is it that the unit must be within CR of its brigade leader? Or that the unit must be in CR of its brigade leader and the brigade leader must be in CR of its division HQ/leader--and so on up to the local HQ?

I feel as though the latter is intended by the rules, but that the former makes more sense given the localization of HQs.


We're told that every leader (including brigade leaders) "provide their own HQ for Command Roll purposes." So if HQ counters can be out of CR without limitation (only a delay in orders transmission), shouldn't the brigade HQ (i.e. leader) be allowed to be out of CR (from his division) without limitation?

I guess it's just not at all clear to me when or whether the multi-step chain of linked CRs is a hard limit. It's clearly not so for delivering orders. For unit actions, the idea seems to be that the CR trace back up to the local HQ must be intact. But then, since each leader can explicitly function as a mobile HQ, why should a unit within CR of the brigade leader be out of CR if that brigade leader is in turn out of CR of the next-higher HQ?

Summary questions: when exactly in an individual unit (regiment) out of CR and unable to act freely? Which HQs/leaders can act as highest-level HQs for purposes of tracing unit in-command status? Is a unit free to act only due to an unbroken chain of CRs from an HQ that is a physical counter?

Many thanks for any clarification.
[/q]

Let me see if I can help... you covered a lot of ground above, even with the rules quotes clipped out, so if I miss a point, be sure to ask for clarification.

In general terms, the important part for Command Radius (rather than order issue which are two separate animals as you have noted) is that a given unit be within range of its Brigade leader who must be in range of his division leader who must (usually, depending on how Commands are set up in the game) be in range of the Corps HQ.

If the Command level shown (by the HQs) is at the division or lower level in the game (NbH uses Confederate Divisions, for example), then that required distance tree ends at the Command HQ provided.

HQ's above the Command HQ (Army HQ's always, sometimes Corps HQs), are there to pinpoint the location of order issue and not for Command Radius itself.

Units out of Command Radius (being the chain all the way to their appropriate Command HQ) are never free to do whatever they like, they must attempt to move back in.

All of that is to keep the historical command and control systems intact.

Now, the player can send a Command-level Formation (usually a Corps) off on its own (with all its sub parts) on whatever mission the player decides is important and that's why orders can fly all over the map (with various transmission delays), but within a Command, a tight grip is needed to keep the player from having his units wander all over the map in some sort of 20th Century manner.

Dean
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R P
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mb
Hello--thanks for that, it helps a lot. I think talking it through with myself in the first post clarified most of the issues--your confirmations have brought it all into good focus now.

The confusion was stemming from my not separating 1) command radius for orders delivery, and 2) command radius for free action. Individual leaders can sometimes function as their own HQs in the former case but not in the latter.

So I guess I was missing the concept of the "command-level formation" that's defined by having a physical HQ counter. Any command branch that starts with such an HQ can operate more or less independently. All of its subordinate individual units can be in command (for free action), even if it takes a long time for orders to arrive from the higher-ups far away.

I appreciate your authoritative quick response! I'm a big fan of the games and of your contribution to the hobby. Many thanks--RP
 
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Dean Essig
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That's correct. Except for the Army HQ, which exists as the center of the loose spider web of command, the key maneuver elements are the Commands which as you point out are whatever formation which comes equipped with an actual HQ counter.

Within a Command, the lower leaders act as the center of their Command Radius either linking to that HQ or to the next higher leader in the chain as needed, while units link to whatever level they are assigned to... for a typical infantry regiment, that will be its brigade leader...but for, say, artillery assigned to a Corps, it would trace Command Radius to the corps HQ.

Orders are a different animal than Command Radius. There orders flow from the Army to the Commands and are implemented there usually by ordering the physical movement of the HQ... which pushes that whole tree of sub-units by the tree of Command Radius around the map to do what you want them to do. No need to re-issue an actual order down the chain of command (unless it is an Attack Order, which has a special requirement to make it down to the divisional level).

If you envision the Command HQ as a stake in the ground with lengths of chain reaching to each of its divisional leaders, further lengths of chain running from each one of them to their brigade leaders, and the same set up running to the units from each brigade guy... the chains (Command Radius) determine how far the units can wander around and do things... while Orders give you permission to move the master stake in the center somewhere new.

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