Severus Snape
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Pascal said, "The eternal silence of these infinite spaces terrifies me."
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"The heart has its reasons which reason knows nothing of."--Pascal
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Now that you have had time to play the game--a great deal, one would think--and perhaps read the odd history book (you remember history books? they are what set many of us on our wargaming paths) on the Hundred Years War along the way, how do you feel the leader ratings match with your understanding of the history? Do you see things matching up? Do you see any distortions, major or minor?

goo

 
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Chris Montgomery
United States
Joliet
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I'm moderately ashamed to say so, but I haven't read a single book on the Hundred Years' War, yet I've played the game about fifteen times! The most I know about this period is what I learned reading Shakespeare and watching movies about Joan of Arc (Jean de Arc?).

I thought quite a few of the "1-1" French 3-star leaders in the 100 Years' War scenario seemed to be too low. And I have always wondered if those rating were assigned because those kings were actually cowardly men with no leadership skills, or if it was because, historically, they simply had poor battlefield results and so their ratings are assigned retrospectively (he was rated poorly because he had historically poor battlefield/siege results) or if the ratings attempt "actual" values (he was rated poorly because based on reading historical accounts, this leader, regardless of his battlefield/siege outcomes, was an objectively poor leader).

That's a bit more expansive than your question, though - because it can be applied to many games. For the People has some great discussions of leader ratings and why they are the way they are (based usually on the retrospective model).

Cheers.

Chris
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Wendell
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Yellow Springs
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cmontgo2 wrote:
I'm moderately ashamed to say so, but I haven't read a single book on the Hundred Years' War, yet I've played the game about fifteen times! The most I know about this period is what I learned reading Shakespeare and watching movies about Joan of Arc (Jean de Arc?).

I thought quite a few of the "1-1" French 3-star leaders in the 100 Years' War scenario seemed to be too low. And I have always wondered if those rating were assigned because those kings were actually cowardly men with no leadership skills, or if it was because, historically, they simply had poor battlefield results and so their ratings are assigned retrospectively (he was rated poorly because he had historically poor battlefield/siege results) or if the ratings attempt "actual" values (he was rated poorly because based on reading historical accounts, this leader, regardless of his battlefield/siege outcomes, was an objectively poor leader).

The bad French leaders probably weren't cowardly. Just not very effective. But like you I haven't read much on this so I can't really comment on how well the ratings reflect reality.
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Chris Broggi
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Southwick
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Checking out Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_VI_of_France on Charles VI (the 1/1 French king), it appears that he was insane.
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Chris Montgomery
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wifwendell wrote:

The bad French leaders probably weren't cowardly. Just not very effective. But like you I haven't read much on this so I can't really comment on how well the ratings reflect reality.

Well - I just would quibble with the ratings, a bit, then. Bravery (cowardice?) is basically a leader's dash and daring - his ability to "lead from the front" - it's charisma - morale boost, if you will - an ability to give his men a willingness to fight and die regardless of enemy numbers. That's my take on it, anyway - which is why it affects sieges and battle outcomes via a die roll modifier. He'll fight the battle regardless of the odds, and the enemy will bleed out and pay dearly if they want to defeat him. An example from Shakespeare might be Henry IV (from the play of the same name) or Harry "Hotspur" Percy (from the play Richard III).

I see the Leadership rating as the leader's ability to organize his troops, outwit his opponent, and strategize for best effect . . . basically applying force at the appropriate times to maximize its application. While not particularly glamorous, these types of leaders are effective not at fighting and leading troops, but at maneuvering in such a way as to maximize each individual battalion's effectiveness (i.e. more dice, not better dice). An example from a movie might be Edward the Longshanks (from the move "Braveheart").

I suppose a totally insane ruler might qualify as a 1-1.
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Severus Snape
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Pascal said, "The eternal silence of these infinite spaces terrifies me."
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Thank you, each and all, for contributing to the discussion, small in number though we be.

I raised my question without having much in the way of specifics to offer at this point; but I do have Charles of Navarre as one example of my concerns over leadership ratings.

In the game, Charles is a two-star 1-3 leader, whose home turf, naturally, is Navarre, which is a "neutral" area. In volume two, of Jonathan Sumption's series on the Hundred Years War, Trial by Fire, Charles is hugely influential in both the political and military fighting during Edward III's time. Charles is the "joker in the deck," in his propensity to betray John II, attack the French, raid and raid again, double-cross Edward III, and participate in a revolution in Paris where he, more or less, declared himself the true king of France.

There is no way that a 1-3 counter, in Warriors of God, can have this much influence. And as for Charles' "ability" to switch sides, he would have to be disgraced repeatedly; a tough act, given his propensity to win most of his battles.

So, what's up with the research backing this game? Sumption's first two volumes were published years before the game came into being; volume two came out in 1999. He is but one scholar, but he is the one to beat, unless you want to study specific battles.

I know that I--that others--will find more examples like this with which to quibble (and it is true for other wargames, as we know). This does not lesson how much I like Warriors of God, but it makes the game less than it could be.

As for the Charles who was "mad," he was only insane for part of the time. Which parts, I have to see. There was certainly a political battle for control going around this particular Charles, which helped to paralyze the French at critical times.

After we kick the leaders around for a bit, I have two other things to bandy about in a comparison of history and the game: first, raids--the main operational device which the English used in France; and, second, . . . I can't remember! But it will come back, likely right after I post this thread.

goo

 
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Severus Snape
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Pascal said, "The eternal silence of these infinite spaces terrifies me."
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Okay, so I thought of the second "thing." In reading the history of the time, one sees, that there were many--too many--men who were not French or English, but who were out for themselves. Control over areas was lost in a way that did not benefit either side, though it clearly hurt the French.

How can a modification of the game allow for one side to lose an area, but an independent force to control it?

goo

 
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Mike Szarka
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Waterloo
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bentlarsen wrote:
Okay, so I thought of the second "thing." In reading the history of the time, one sees, that there were many--too many--men who were not French or English, but who were out for themselves. Control over areas was lost in a way that did not benefit either side, though it clearly hurt the French.

How can a modification of the game allow for one side to lose an area, but an independent force to control it?

goo


Well that does happen to an extent when you remove an enemy control marker but fail to convert it.
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Richard Lea
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broggi wrote:
Checking out Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_VI_of_France on Charles VI (the 1/1 French king), it appears that he was insane.

Indeed he was.. the poor chap thought he was made of glass.

The victorious English King Henry V married his daughter and this likely accounts for the periodic insanity of their son Henry VI which contributed to the political turbulence in England leading up to the Wars of the Roses.
 
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