Recommend
8 
 Thumb up
 Hide
25 Posts

Commands & Colors: Napoleonics» Forums » Rules

Subject: Leaders: what are they good for? rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
Erick Sais
United States
California
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
Am I missing something? Seems to me leaders are weak in this game. No dice bonus. No leader plus 4 adjacent units card. The only benefit seems to be morale. Is this right?
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Peter B
United States
Pittsburgh
Pennsylvania
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
"Weak" is probably not how I would describe it. They are different than in C&C:A, certainly. Consider that much more damage is done in C&C:N via ranged combat, and if infantry has to move to come into range, the number of dice they get to roll is halved. Thus, the leaders' ability to let a unit ignore retreat flags is more significant than it is in C&C:A (where most damage is done by closing to melee range anyway).
4 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
René Christensen
Denmark
Solroed Strand
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I don't have the game, but thinking back of that period the leader only took part in the battle from a distance and could rally their men when needed, so perhaps that's why there is no extra dice?
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Dan Poole
United States
Goldsboro
North Carolina
flag msg tools
Udu Wudu
badge
Udu Wudu
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
There are plenty of command cards that affect units with attached leaders. As mentioned above, ranged combat is much more powerful c/w C&C:A, not to mention the combined arms. Ignoring a retreat flag is also very nice
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
StevenE Smooth Sailing...
United States
Torrance
California
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
This line of thinking is probably why the +1 die for attached leaders was dropped in Battle Cry 150.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
BrentS
Australia
Sydney
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Historical rationalisation aside, the dilution of a Leader's tactical importance is something I'm certain I will miss from C&C:A, where their effective positioning creates all sorts of tactical options. In Ancients the challenge of balancing the risk of exposing Leaders against the significant benefits of getting them to where the action is, is one of my favourite parts of the game.

Despite some tactical benefit to to their placement in C&C:N (and knowing I haven't yet pushed a block in anger ), I can already see that my first and foremost consideration will be to protect them in an effort to keep them out of the enemy's banner tally.

Brent.


4 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Jonathan Davis
United States
Virginia
flag msg tools
mbmbmb
Leaders aren't useless. There are cards where only units with leaders are ordered and then battle with +1 die. This is quite powerful, especially for cavalry units, and I have spent a couple turns moving my leaders to the most advantageous position before playing these cards, so you still care where they are from an offensive stand point.

Also you still care where they are from a defensive standpoint as they help you ignore banners. And are the *only* way a unit in square can ignore banners.

So, proper placement of your leaders is still very important. I don't know that they are weaker so much as 'different'.

The +1 for attached leaders seems rather inappropriate given the differences in time. Davout was no Alexander the Great, leading his cavalry cutting a bloody swathe across the battlefield. Ancient armies were much more personality driven than the professional armies of the 19th century. Lose your king, your whole army melts away. Losing a corps commander in the 19th century had nowhere near the same effect. The next guy in the chain of command stepped up to the plate.

Also, take it from me, that combat doesn't need to be even more bloody than it is. If leaders started adding more dice willy nilly units would just absolutely evaporate
7 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
T. Wesley
United States
Mechanicsville
Virginia
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
Jim Wright wrote:

Leadership Cards CCA = 6 CCN = 0

I don't think this is strictly true, as in CCN there are "Leaders" cards which allow you to order any/all Leaders & whatever units they are attached to. I think there's at least 2 of these cards.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Read the rulebook, plan for all contingencies, and…read the rulebook again.
United States
Austin
Texas
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
The one novel way Leaders can be used that hasn't been discussed is as an element of support to friendly units. Since Leaders can't be selected as targets of ranged fire, you can risk some exposure if you know where the enemy's Cavalry are. Don't get them closer than three hexes to the enemy line unattached, however. You never know when an untimely Forced March or Bayonet Charge will catch you flat-footed.

Edit: Removed reference to Rifle Lights.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Ken Coble
United States
Graham
North Carolina
flag msg tools
badge
The Lead Cotillion - http://flintlocklaser.blogspot.com/
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Jim Wright wrote:
Don't be afraid to use them. Attached to a charging cavalry unit, they can keep the cavalry next to that unit in square by ignoring flags.


Don't the square rules say nothing, not leaders or support or anything else, can protect cavalry from a bounce flag rolled by infantry in square? Or are you talking about protecting them from flags applied by other enemy units?

(this sounds combative in my head but I can't figure out how to reword it since I've been chugging Robotussin all day; please take my word that it's meant as an honest question, not snark)
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Read the rulebook, plan for all contingencies, and…read the rulebook again.
United States
Austin
Texas
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Jim Wright wrote:
Not quite sure why you are worried about Rifle Light Infantry? They shoot three hexes, but only move one to battle like other infantry.Jim


You're right. Unless they get the Force March or Bayonet Charge. Point being, Rifles can't hit Leaders in ranged combat anyway. I'll edit my post...
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Glenn Drover
United States
Plainfield
Illinois
flag msg tools
designer
publisher
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I agree that one of the issues in this set of rules is a lack of impact of Leaders on a player's strategy. This seems a shame, as the role they played in C&C:A added a nice layer of benefits that not only felt historically right, but gave the players one more interesting decision to make when trying to optimize their play.

I don't really buy the arguement that leadership is less important in the Napoleonic era. If anything, it is much more important. I see this impacting the game in three ways:
1) Leadership at a tactical level: Getting a '+' for having a Leader Unit inspiring the troops as well as directing the attack or defense.
2) Morale: Ignoring flags and rallying troops
3) Command Control: Moving larger groups of units if there iis a Leader nearby.

C&C:A had all three roles for Leaders, but C&C:N has only 2a. In an era where charismatic officers added elan to many attacks (Many of Napoleon's Marshalls won their batons this way), tactical leadership played an important role; But in an era of larger armies where command control was critical, and where the army with the best and most experienced officers usually won, I think that it is an even bigger miss to not model this.
4 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Doug Acker
United States
Hartwell
Georgia
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
In my recent game of Rolica 1, played both ways, I positioned leaders twice with tactical intent.

As French, I attached a leader to support a cavalry unit sure to be attacked by cavalry the next turn. I did not want the enemy cavalry to retreat me and charge again.

As British I placed a leader behind an advancing infantry line that was likely to receive considerably musketry and artillery fire and be pushed back out of its place where it could bring full fire on the frogs.

I think the "Move units with leaders and attack with +1 die" card is enough to model the bridge at Arcola, etc.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
mark motley
United States
Ohio
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
I'm OK with the fact that leaders don't add dice (though, I agree with Glen above that a command and control dimension would be nice - perhaps with an order to a leader also ordering any adjacent units). But I digress - this post is not to gripe about weak leaders.

My (minor) quibble is that leaders in this arguably somewhat diminished role take up a disproportionately large chunk of the rules. They add a fair amount of complexity without adding equally to the play of the game. In other words, their game impact appears to me to be relatively less than their associated rules complexity.
3 
 Thumb up
0.05
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Cole Wehrle
United States
St. Paul
Minnesota
flag msg tools
designer
publisher
badge
"Work as if you live in the early days of a better nation"
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I've played the first five scenarios. At the beginning I found leaders a little cumbersome, but with each play I think I've used them better. Their ignore one flag is a big deal, especially for holding key positions (like a town, hill or forest), as well as helping your units follow through their melee attack so they don't get thrown aside in the battle back.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Read the rulebook, plan for all contingencies, and…read the rulebook again.
United States
Austin
Texas
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Have any of you ever read John Keegan's "The Mask of Command"?

I think you'll see that as you progress through the Commands and Colors games that the role of the battlefield leader in each game roughly parallels the evolution of leadership in the book.

Leaders of the Alexandrian variety disappear by the time of the Napoleonic Wars. The battlefield commander is not at the head of a charge as he might be in the Ancients. Instead, and what you see is the emergence of leaders who appear conspicuously where the fighting is hot and and inspires the officers and NCOs in the Napoleonic Wars. By the time you get to Grant, the battlefield leader is riding and encouraging the senior officers in their army on the eve of battle. They may visit the front, but they are not leading charges. The direct the action by delegating roles to trusted subordinates.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
BrentS
Australia
Sydney
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
davisjh wrote:
Leaders aren't useless.....

-snip-

Also, take it from me, that combat doesn't need to be even more bloody than it is. If leaders started adding more dice willy nilly units would just absolutely evaporate :p


Lots of excellent points, thanks, to illustrate how leaders can be used to effect in the game but I'm sure nobody is saying they're completely useless or bemoaning the fact that they're not battlefield powerhouses. For me it's not their power but the variety of benefits leaders provide in C&C:A which make them central to the game and an exciting resource for good tactical play.....this will always be one of my favourite aspects of that game. Leaders won't provide that scope in C&C:N, in which the units themselves and unique formation plays seem more strongly featured and that's great......different game, different challenges.....but I'll always prefer how they're modelled in C&C:A, from a purely game play perspective.

Jim Wright wrote:

Also they can retreat off the board at any time to deny a banner to the enemy. Less of a loss to you than retreating a leader off in CCA.

Jim


Leaders have always been able to evade off their baseline in C&C:A to deny the enemy their banner. In fact, as regards detaching, movement, evading and escaping, leaders in C&C:N seem to function pretty much identically to their C&C:A counterparts.....with the interesting exception that units can take ground against an evading lone leader in C&C:N, which they couldn't do in C&C:A......as they can against Retiring and Reforming Cavalry, which they couldn't do against evading units in C&C:A).

Brent.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Glenn Drover
United States
Plainfield
Illinois
flag msg tools
designer
publisher
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I actually don't view the 'LEADER' units in this game as single individuals, but rather representing the impact of superior command control and leadership. The player is tasked with trying to maximize their leadership assets to get the most out of their troops by getting them to the critical point in the battle and utilizing them effectively.

What makes the C&C system so cool to me (and such great design) is the abstraction of the factors that impact combat. This keeps the weight of the rules down and makes the game more playable, while at the same time allowing the players to make interesting decisions. The player is able to play the game rather than the other way around.

Diminishing the role of leadership and the leader units seems to take some of this away.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Mario Nuñez Jimenez
Spain
Madrid
Madrid
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I have just readed the rules and I am very surprised about how leaders have lost their value.

Only 4 cards involving units with leader attached is ridiculous. Since the meaning of a leader is to command and order units in battle, I think the best way to represent this is to include cards that let you move several units as the leader +3 or leader +4 that we saw in C&C:A.

I think that a well leaded army is the one that have good leaders that make it more agile and flexible in the battlefield.

I think it could be good to not have the dice leader result, but they leave very little value to the leaders so I prefer them out of the board since they could represent a banner for my opponent. So a lot to lose for the little they give.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Richard Borg
United States
Orlando
Unspecified
flag msg tools
designer
mbmbmbmbmb
We have only just gotten started with the Napoleonic game, so it is way to early to comment.
We all will just have to - WAIT FOR IT!

Richard Borg

4 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.