Nevertheless what I found interesting digging through ancient battles that are decently documented was the common theme that who ever was in charge the army tended to be broken down at funcitonal level under a dozen or so "junior generals", lords, braons, rtirbal leaders, generals, sub-consul officicals etc.. These blocks of troops /units went into battle under the leadership os such a general with a fair bit of local C&C under general orders form the c-in-c. The top general then either sat above this or took over control of a BG themselves. At Granikos for example there are 13-14 named generals who commanded what we term a BG - ie. 4-5 phalanx units, all the Thracians etc. This is part of the point of a BG, albeit a bit hard to get across. So they are far from leaderless but do not have the morale boosting generals of the likes of Alexander or Parmenio allocated to them in general. IIRC even the famous companions were allocated to a "junior general" and Alexander went and joined them when ready to take charge.
However, to take your valid phalanx commanders point, they did not actually manoeuvre separately on the battlefield on the choice of those named commanders.
In some ways the army of Alexander is a bit of a red herring as unusually we know the names of a lot of his junior officers in way we never do with legionary legates, etc. (for example 35 unnamed tribunes died at Adrianople and these could all have been BG leaders in AoW terms). This gives a distorted impression IMO.
Good one to kick around further at Usk as you say....
On ICs we take the view that just because history doesn't list them it doesn't mean they didn't exist. This is because there is a lack of documented history attached.
The Alexander case may be unusual in that it is better documented, but are you really suggesting that 10 clans of Briton Warband did not have 10 clan leaders heading the Battle Groups with some independence of command under a general plan. Your point on the Romans is that the generals existed in those armies and this I agree and many seemed named - it is my reading of the Roman battles that the main battle leaders were the preators, legates, magistrates etc. working under the Consul. These started with general orders and then the Roman senior commanders took charge if local
to the action to alter these.
So they did indeed manourvre on their own intiative under general orders as far as I can see. The senior general then stepped in if these orders needed to change. Roman generals stayed close to them but behind the lines to do this. Now if by manouvre you mean re-deploy then I agree with you.
This to me is matter of drawing the right boundary between a simple move and na complex move. A simple move is representing what a BG may be reasonably expected to do under their own steam if need be. A complex move is something they woudl find difficult to do this way and need help with.
I must say I find myself presented with puzzling two propositions from the same data that I struggle to see co-existing: if Alexander is of leading companions and not leading the other troops in the centre or wing he has taken charge then...
1. Exactly who is leading the other BGs? It's not his other main generals as they are miles away on the other flank.
2. And how are they not doing so independently if Alexander is already involved in a fight and clearly not leading them?
It therefore seems to me that:
- Once deployed most of the fighting took place under the leadership of the BG commanders until such time as a change of plan was needed
The senior generals altered and influenced this by getting near to the action or even taking over the command of BG
One way to reflect the above on the tabletop would be concentrate the effect of the major generals so it is harder to CMT pass without them.
Another idea might be to have:
IC +4/3/2/1 for with, 4MU, 8 MU, 12 MU
FC +3/2/1 for with, 4MU, 8MU
TC +2/+1 for with, W4 MU
Combined with a higher threshold to pass this puts more C&C pressure on the generals once the armies are engaged.
Another dimensions is to increase the things one needs a CMT for. Non-shock charging might be one. An extreme version the other way would be that BGs can only go directly forward without a CMT. Then you will all feel the C&C effect very much as no generals nearby no manouvre.
Perhaps therefore it is just about striking the right balance on these in terms of how many are taken and how easy they are too fail. It feels like we may first want to make them easier to fail unless the generals are close or with the troops.
One thing that I am wondering reading the posting is whether the implicit C&C system we have in place is feeling more effective to the people who have played a lot and less so to those who haven't. Could we add the number of games played to comments in this stream for a bit. It would help interpret the comments. I think this may be important as peoples use of generals evolves as they get used to the rules and clearly having chosen and implicit rather than explicit chain of command concept one might wonder about it on first read.
Its an improtant one to get right over Usk and the folloing week or so.