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Subject: St Cyr & Suchet rss

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Tom Cundiff
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Has anyone ever given thought to why St. Cyr, a man who Napoleon once said was the only man he ever feared, and Suchet who was the only man ever to win in Spain were never included in the game except perhaps abstractly as o Leaders? St. Cyr especially should have been included as a 2 or even 3 rated Marshal. He was named by Louis XVIII as the Minister of War and the current French military school is the Ecole du St. Cyr. The man was a phenomenal commander and a fascinating individual. In on battle he was subordinate to Ouidunot who was something of a bungler. And true enough he bungled things badly to the extent he was badly wounded and forced to turn over command to St. Cyr. It was at this point that the French/Bavarian army being beaten and outmaneuvered was turned on its head and beat back a superior Russian Army. After the battle St. Cyr returned to his tent to play his violin, of which it was said he was a master.

Yet, boobs like Marmont and Eugene are included.

Has anyone ever given thought to rating the other of Napoleon's Marshals so they can be substituted for those useless 0 Leaders used to abstractly represent them?
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Mark Sterner
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Rating leaders is a difficult exercise in wargames, usually. And of course part of the reason otherwise excellent leaders aren't recognized is that perhaps they didn't have critical/material commands that warrant their inclusion like other leaders. The countermix or force pool of the game can simply limit inclusion of some leaders of merit itself.

It's been a while since I've played W&P, but are there French leaders in there whom you believe should not be represented as opposed to these two?
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Tom Cundiff
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Well for 3, having already called out Eugene and Marmont, Murat, though brave, and useful commanding cavalry while under Napoleon's eye, was terrible in independent command. He was also duplicitous and self centered. He should never have made it into the counter mix except as an abstract Leader 0. Jerome another less than stellar commander. Bessiers and Victor, acceptable commanders when under Napoleon's thumb, but independently were ho hum. More Leader 0 fodder.

Poniatowski, an under rated commander. His men would have followed him to the end, and many did. Never given an opportunity to command independently, and made a Marshal of the Empire very late in the game, he was none the less a better than average commander. Since Ney was a 1, and an inspiring commander and the bravest of the brave, He was none the less not the best in independent command; he bungled Waterloo. I can accept him as a 1, thus, in comparison I can see that Poniatowski might be a 1, I somehow believe he might have been better represented as a 2.

 
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Mark Sterner
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Well, Murat was a huge figure in the Napoleonic Wars. No way does he get left out. Eugene I believe was an important leader for the Army of Italy throughout the era, so it's likely his command that matters. Marmont was a Marshal who figured prominently in the campaign of 1814, and also in earlier campaigns. Again, sometimes it's not raw ability -- i.e. taking the best leaders and representing them in-game -- but their overall role in the war. I've always admired Poniatowski too.

You make a strong argument for inclusion based on talent, but again that's not the sole determinant for the decision.
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Tom Cundiff
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Those guys can easily be included as Named 0 Leaders, while the others should have been included as described.

Yes, Murat was a flamboyant character, but not so much a good leader. In some ways he was like Mark Clark who was described by some of his subordinates as "Marcus Clarkus", a self promoting bungler.

Jerome and Joseph historical figures, easily Named Zero Leaders, but as commanders, MacDonald, who might be described as a Named Leader 1, was sent to Jerome to help push him along during the 1809 campaign.

The really difficult leader to quantify is Bernadotte. His performance wavered between a 1 and a 2 and was definitely an independent commander of some note, or perhaps notoriety (1806 & 1812). When he wanted to, he proved more than capable. The question, however, was just what motivated him? At times he clearly despised Napoleon. And, perhaps, with justification.

Yes, there is always the limitations of the counter mix, but W&P had lots of blank counters.
 
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Mark Sterner
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Cundiff wrote:
Those guys can easily be included as Named 0 Leaders, while the others should have been included as described.

Yes, Murat was a flamboyant character, but not so much a good leader. In some ways he was like Mark Clark who was described by some of his subordinates as "Marcus Clarkus", a self promoting bungler.

Jerome and Joseph historical figures, easily Named Zero Leaders, but as commanders, MacDonald, who might be described as a Named Leader 1, was sent to Jerome to help push him along during the 1809 campaign.

The really difficult leader to quantify is Bernadotte. His performance wavered between a 1 and a 2 and was definitely an independent commander of some note, or perhaps notoriety (1806 & 1812). When he wanted to, he proved more than capable. The question, however, was just what motivated him? At times he clearly despised Napoleon. And, perhaps, with justification.

Yes, there is always the limitations of the counter mix, but W&P had lots of blank counters.


I have no recollection on that, but if so (and AH games did seem to have a bunch of blanks typically) then you'd be right.

You're approaching the issue as one of leadership ratings as opposed to the prominence of the leader. Certainly worthy of consideration. But as I've been saying I don't think that was the perspective of the designer. On such matters it is as we say in law, "reasonable minds can differ".
 
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Paul Brown
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Yes agreed with Marconis last posting viz 'prominence' as a factor for inclusion as well as 'leadership'. I would also say the leadership model is matched to the game's mechanics i.e. simplified so they are not going to bring out the full complexity of the Marshalate. As such the designer has to do tradeoffs and make decisions where the rationale can be questioned (guess it comes with the territory). These tradeoffs cause particularly massive debates about leaders and leadership when its an ACW game ;-)

Cundiff: why not give your ideas a try using the spare counters and report back on how the game worked?
 
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Marconi wrote:

You're approaching the issue as one of leadership ratings as opposed to the prominence of the leader. Certainly worthy of consideration. But as I've been saying I don't think that was the perspective of the designer. On such matters it is as we say in law, "reasonable minds can differ".

This.
Perhaps the greatest appeal of War & Peace, along with it being a hex-based Napoleonic grand strategy game, which is fairly extraordinary in itself, are it's depictions of the influential leaders of that time, which include many of the old aristocratic names of Europe. It's nothing short of charming, imo.
 
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