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Subject: Contingency orders. rss

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Matt
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This looks like a great game I am excited to give it a play soon.

I have one question about writing orders.

Is it ok to write in a contingency to your orders such as "attack the CSA forces defending Millers farm but hold your march and attack until 5th Corps is also ready to attack"?

What if you wrote it as. "support 5ths corps attack on Millers farm by attacking the CSA forces from the west after 5th Corps has commenced their attack"?

Or "March and secure the ford at Johnsons pike, then cross the river and attack the rebels defending the bridge to the west of the ford"?


It would seem to me that the spirit of the order rules would be violated if this were to become the standard. I can see writing up a flow chart order to cover several situations and that would be very unrealistic in my opinion.

Let me make clear Im not trying to find ways to loop or manipulate the order system I see these kinds of orders as making sense for the way I would plan an attack to avoid having one unit attack alone while another is delayed. Problem is when these orders get to a length of several paragraphs and start to look like a legal document. Perhaps I will look up some real orders from the conflict and see how they were worded?
 
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ian morris
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Your second version of the order sounds OK to me. Of course, making one order conditional on the carrying out of another order might mean that neither order ever gets fulfilled !



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Eric Brosius
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Needham Heights
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In general, a complex order should involve taking only a single geographical objective that you do not currently control.

And the way we play it, you may not make your orders conditional on whether or when some other corps does something (though in some cases the pre-set orders given to you at the start of the scenarios may do so.)
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Matt
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Thanks for the reply's. I was able to try this out with the Jerico Mills scenario and there is no order writing in that. I love the system but its still the idea of writing orders that most intrigues me. I will have to try and develop a player who is willing to do one of the larger scenarios with me before I get to experience that part of the game. Or I play it solo... not as much fun. If anyone from the Twin Cities area needs a foe for this series send me a geek mail.
 
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Chris Montgomery
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Joliet
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I think that some limited amount of contingency orders should be okay. The first example the OP gives is probably beyond the mien of the rules, since it gives, essentially, two orders "attack and capture this, then attack and capture this."

But the other example the OP gives seems fine to me. In fact, the examples given in the rules provide for just such a contingency as the OP suggests:

"When 2nd Corps attacks, attack to capture the Blue House and cut the Big Road from enemy use. When you get there, set up a defense straddling the Big Road facing north." (Complex)

Just my $0.02, but I don't have much breadth of experience with the game. Until I do, I think conditional orders are fine as long as they don't list multiple objectives. Does any experienced player think this is a bad idea?

Chris
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Giorgio Clavelli
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My 2 cents,

I tried the first version of thunder at the crossroads long time ago, when it came out and I only remember the orders system being too ambiguous, although very interesting.
More recently (12 years LOL) I played Leros, which uses a somehow similar approach to the CWB serie. Also here I found the same problems triggered by this kind of command system. In specific I remember the case of 2 forces attacking their respective objectives (2 hills close to each others). It happened that by the LOS rules one of the 2 forces artillery spotters, could call a strike on a tasty target, which was on the 'other' hill, that is that one attacked by the other force. This situation triggered a (friendly) discussion with my adversary (the hills defending player) if artillery assets allocated to a force could be allowed to fire to what we can consider an opportunity fire outside the scope of its force objective.
The problem with this open command system is that in both cases, too detailed, or to generic orders you can abuse of it.

Said it, I love the concept, the potential fun and more historical flavor these command systems could add to the hobby.
However, as almost all of us (luckily), have never experienced real battle conditions, we lack the criteria, when disagreement arise, to assert if an order is abusing the spirit of this command system, or not.

I guess the only way to solve these problems could be either, by having a third part acting as umpire, or a clear set of limits rules well supported by plenty of examples.
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