wsatterwhite
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Sat Aug 25, 2012 8:02 pm

I think an argument could be made that Bragg was, after Lee, the most competent Southern army commander and that his failings were mostly due to the completely dysfunctional command situation that existed between the Mississippi River and the Allegheny Mountains throughout the entire war. This might be blasphemous but if you simply compare Bragg's record to Lee's, you see that as a strategist and a tactician there isn't much difference between the two- the difference came in their ability to get their primary subordinates to do their jobs. On two different occasions (Stones River and Chickamauga, though I'll gladly accept it if people choose to give Longstreet more of the credit for the latter) Bragg came closer to actually destroying a Union army (that great southern goal) than Lee ever did only to be undermined in both situations by the performance of his top corps commander (Polk). Tullahoma was mentioned but one a) has to give credit where credit is due, Tullahoma was a brilliantly conceived plan by an underrated general in own right that was in turn masterfully executed by subordinate commanders who, for all their various warts, at least knew how to work together as a team and b)has to take into account (again) just how much Bragg was undermined by his corps commanders (primarily Hardee in this case). Bragg certainly failed to inspire confidence in his men and (more importantly) his chief subordinates but as far as military competence goes, he measures up just fine.

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Sat Aug 25, 2012 9:42 pm

I can agree on some issues you have just mentioned. He did win at Stones River, I give him credit for that, but at Chickamauga it was entirely Longstreet's doing, and Polk not doing is the reason this victory wasn't decisive. I dont blame him for not pushing on Chattanooga. Attacking fortified positions was tricky business, and laying siege was logical choice. How he allowed Union army to survive this siege, is blunder worse than Pickets charge, only second to Floyd and Pemberton. They have lost their army. He failed to capture one.

FelixZ
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Sun Aug 26, 2012 12:02 am

Fully agree that Bragg was one of the three best CSA Generals (including A.S. Johnston).

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Sun Aug 26, 2012 9:12 am

What about Jackson and Longstreet?

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Stauffenberg
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Sun Aug 26, 2012 5:27 pm

FelixZ wrote:Fully agree that Bragg was one of the three best CSA Generals (including A.S. Johnston).

I agree but would think Joseph Johnston deserves mention too. Not one of the better offensive generals, he is nonetheless correctly rated high defensively in the game. A.S. Johnston is rated much lower, also correct I think, witness his early defense of Tennessee where he attempted to defend everywhere and ended up losing just about everything.
He was redeemed at Shiloh however and did far better than J. Johnston might have done.
Beauregard is also a brilliant innovator. If I was to apply some sort of negative attribute to his command abilities (he has none in the game) I would add "Grandiose Planner" and apply a 30% chance of a strength penalty--on his attacks only, as his plans tended to be often unrealistic and overly complicated.
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Wed Aug 29, 2012 4:27 pm

Well, I have to yield to majority opinion and give Bragg credit. Although, I still think he is a poor defensive general.

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Ol' Choctaw
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Mon Aug 12, 2013 2:02 pm

Anyone thinking Bragg was a good general must either be related to him or not have a good grip on his abilities in command.

No battle plan he ever developed succeeded in victory. He was incapable of adapting to change, be that in battle or campaign. He was jealous of success on the part of his subordinates and quick to blame others for his failures. Every attack he devised involved an attack in echelon. We all know the story of Chattanooga, or I would hope so. The best thing I can say about him was, he was very good in the retreat, and practiced it often.

wsatterwhite
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Tue Aug 20, 2013 6:00 am

"No battle plan he ever developed succeeded in victory"

How was Chickamauga not Bragg's battle plan? Even if you choose to give Longstreet as much of the credit as possible, he was still following Bragg's orders. If anything, Chickamauga showed what could have and likely should have happened at Stones River if Bragg had a subordinate of Longstreet's competence level at that battle.

As far as critiquing Bragg for favoring attacks in echelon, just about every commanding general planned their attacks in that manner- outside of the massed assaults at Malvern Hill, Fredericksburg, Spotsylvania and Cold Harbor, I can't think of any large-scale attacks that weren't planned to be in echelon flowing from one end of the battlefield on down the line. Again, Bragg's issues with his subordinates (some of whch I'm not sure can be laid entirely at his feet) detract from his status as a commander but I think an honest and fair appraisal of his record shows he wasn't that bad.

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Ol' Choctaw
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Tue Aug 20, 2013 10:43 am

When Polk bogged down that was the end so far as Bragg was concerned. He refused to support Longsteet’s success, went back to his headquarters and went to sleep.

Attack in echelon takes excellent coordination and timing. It takes cooperation between the commanders of elements and good working relationships. Does that sound like Bragg’s army? Does it sound like he was planning to his strengths?

Richmond did not allow him a free hand in choosing his subordinates that it did Lee and he had some difficult personalities to work with but still, he should have worked to his strengths rather than make grand plans that could not be carried out. His disciplinary measures also took a lot of the fight out of his troops but he refused to relent. Does “the beating will continue until morale improves” not describe his philosophies?

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Ol' Choctaw
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Mon Oct 14, 2013 12:25 pm

I am no fan of Bragg but he did have his strong points.

He did have strategic grasp and good tactical skills. He was hampered by subordinates as well as his own personality( mostly Polk).

He was an excellent logistician and staff officer. He was good at planning and picking his ground. That all broke down on execution as he could not deal with the changes on the field.

He was actually concerned for the welfare of his troops despite his hard discipline.

This all makes him hard to peg. While he might seem to be the poster boy for Dispirited Leader, because of its penalties, I think it may go too far.

Most of the time his troops understood his moves and agreed that it was wise and prudent to take those actions.

His aggressiveness and spoiling attacks kept the Union off balance. He never did what the enemy expected. And he was also able to keep his army supplied even in dire circumstance.

He did as good a job as anyone could have at Stones River and has taken too much criticism for that action. He did hand the Union a serious setback there.

His 10 day move from Florida to northern Mississippi also highlight his organizational skills.

These positive aspects of his command abilities make me question the dispirited leader penalty.

Instead, I would give him two positives and two negatives.

I see him with Training Master & Master Logistician on the plus side

And Arrogant & Quickly Angered on the negative side.

It is four traits but the man was complex and contradictory.

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Ace
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Mon Oct 14, 2013 12:56 pm

4 traits bring up military genius tooltip. I think that would be off indeed :)
Drop the master logistician and there you have it.

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PhilThib
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Mon Oct 14, 2013 1:38 pm

In theory 4 traits fit the space on the unit panel without requiring to use the "genius" trick...although it starts to "clutter" the counter :w00t:
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veji1
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Mon Oct 14, 2013 1:39 pm

I would drop the training master instead and keep the master logistician imho.

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Ol' Choctaw
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Tue Oct 15, 2013 9:13 am

That is one no one, or almost it seems, would say he didn’t deserve.

Even if it makes Bragg a military genius, I think this is the way to model him most accurately.

He was good enough to be important and had bad traits that made many detest him.

Complicated!

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Ace
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Tue Oct 15, 2013 9:39 am

Well I've red AoT was under-supplied most of the time. Maybe, this wasn't his fault and he done the best he could under the circumstances, but given, the fact I am convinced East Tennessee would remain CSA held if either Lee, Jackson, Longstreet or Forrest were commanding that army, seeing military genius icon next to his name would lower the flavor in the game for me. And if you hold Tennessee, Grant cannot march to Vicksburg, and suddenly you have alternate history at your hands...

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Ol' Choctaw
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Tue Oct 15, 2013 12:12 pm

I would like it better my self if there were only three traits go give him bun they don’t exist.

Rather than invent traits, I tried to work within what we have.

He should have a trait that makes him a good second in command and staff officer.

He was a very good trainer and logistics man who took good care of his troops.

He was a highly divisive commander who was jealous of others success, surrounded himself with sycophants and disliked an mistrusted everyone else. He was also a harsh disciplinarian. At least two attempts were made on his life by soldiers.

What would you recommend?

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RebelYell
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Tue Oct 15, 2013 12:47 pm

Ol' Choctaw wrote:I would like it better my self if there were only three traits go give him bun they don’t exist.

Rather than invent traits, I tried to work within what we have.

He should have a trait that makes him a good second in command and staff officer.

He was a very good trainer and logistics man who took good care of his troops.

He was a highly divisive commander who was jealous of others success, surrounded himself with sycophants and disliked an mistrusted everyone else. He was also a harsh disciplinarian. At least two attempts were made on his life by soldiers.

What would you recommend?


What would be the end result of Quickly Angered, Staffer, Training Master?

If the Staffer only works in his stack and the Quickly Angered goes to the subordinate Corps also?

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Ace
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Tue Oct 15, 2013 8:11 pm

I would like it better my self if there were only three traits go give him bun they don’t exist.


Since he is the only general with arrogant trait, this trait could be modified to give both quick angered and arrogant penalties, let's say -4 CP if in command, and -1 CP if not.

By the way, quick angered trait passes to subordinate corps if the Army commander has the trait? I would than pass the arrogant trait down the corps commanders as well.

Speaking of trait passing from Army to corps commanders, general wisdom is that Army stack should have only skeleton units while main force is in the corps. But, this way, some great abilities (for example admired commander or fast mover Lee's abilty have no impact on most of the units in his Army.

I would set that all army general abilities, good or bad are passed down the ranks.
For example, Bragg now has Dispirited leader trait. The way it is set now, once he is set to command AoT, the trait has no importance whatsoever. The historical performance of him (this trait included) is derived from performance of him and his subordinate corps (so it should spread down the ranks as well).

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