CyborgManatee
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Division composition question

Mon Nov 04, 2019 10:38 pm

So after doing a fair bit of searching around, it seems like I've found conflicting information out there about the best way to organize divisions. Some people seem to claim that it's best for them all to be mixed (infantry, cavalry, artillery within the same division) whereas others claim it's best to have them more specialized (a mostly infantry division, mostly cavalry, mostly artillery etc.) within the same corps. (I'm aware it's hard to do the latter perfectly because some brigades come with cavalry elements already.)

What I'm wondering is what do most people consider optimal? Is it dependent on the scenario? Or is it personal preference?

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Durk
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Re: Division composition question

Wed Nov 06, 2019 12:38 am

You are correct there is conflicting information, but I suspect general agreement. My take on why this split, is focus of explanation, that is, I think all your authors primarily agree, but are explaining differing concepts. Most play, whether on offense or defense, favors balanced divisions. This is mainly due to the March to the Sound of Guns feature where each corps ought to be able to hold it own for at least one round of battle prior to the rest of the army arriving. If divisions are relatively equal, then shifting them from corps to corps is relatively simple. But this meaning of divisions is infantry divisions. Pure infantry divisions are not as strong as one with at least one cavalry and some artillery.

Specialized artillery divisions can often stand off from losses, they are very fragile. I do build one for the Army of the Potomac.

Of course cavalry division are a totally separate question. All infantry division need one cavalry to help them 'see' and engage; but all other cavalry are more useful in independent cavalry divisions, so this is where your embedded cavalry contribute to a balanced division. This frees the pure cavalry units for cavalry divisions. Which can function as independent divisions or join for a cavalry corps raid. For pursuit after winning a battle it doesn't matter where cavalry is located in the corps.

So I am saying, infantry divisions need a cavalry and some artillery to be solid; an artillery division is ok; and cavalry divisions are desirable, but not at the expense of any divisions without any cavalry.

CyborgManatee
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Re: Division composition question

Thu Nov 07, 2019 10:37 pm

So I'm clear, are you saying that sometimes you build an artillery division at the army stack level? But regardless you should always have some artillery in each division so they can hold their own to some degree?

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Durk
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Re: Division composition question

Fri Nov 08, 2019 3:08 am

I realize my reply was kind of disjointed, but yes, infantry divisions and cavalry divisions need some artillery units, not many, but some.
I do build a Union artillery division for the Army of the Potomac with an artillery capably leaders. You can do the same with the South if you can gather enough units for a specialist artillery division with an artillery leader.
Yes, ordinary infantry divisions must have artillery and a cavalry unit.

CyborgManatee
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Re: Division composition question

Fri Nov 08, 2019 8:53 pm

I just wanted to make sure I understood because I've been absorbing a lot of information about the game. It's easy to get confused! I appreciate the information though.

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Durk
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Re: Division composition question

Sun Nov 10, 2019 2:52 am

I offer my best advice. Once you have begun to dig more deeply into the game and enjoy its complexity, you will find your own 'best' division composition.
One thing I do is to stage new units to a city, two in the west and one in the east, where my 'available' leaders wait to form divisions. This allows me to form divisions in the rear and forward fully formed division to the front. Of course as in all things in game play, sometimes I just rush newly formed units to the front to plug holes.

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pgr
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Re: Division composition question

Mon Nov 11, 2019 5:33 pm

There has been a lot written on the topic, but I'll make a few points. Mixed divisions are best for small CP limited stacks, or if you need flexability in detaching forces from a main stack.

Cav is nessary in a stack for screening/pursuit After battles. I believe a 16 cp stack needs 4 cav to screen fully in retreat, so a cav element per division is a good rule of thumb.

Pure cav divisions are useful if you need the speed, and in that case, anything else in the stack but cav and horse arty misses the point.

Finally arty only divisions. These should never be alone in a stack, or else they will get mauled. A corps with an all arty division should have ( pure line element divisions and a single arty division). Pure arty divisons are targeted last by the other side as they are made up of only support elements. Second, because all the elements of a division/Unit attack elements of the division their division targeted, arty only divisions create a Grand Battery effect that can wreck whatever division they target.

Rod Smart
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Re: Division composition question

Mon Nov 18, 2019 7:05 pm

My thoughts:

A division by itself:
1 elite brigade (never more than 1, or you waste an elite unit)
1 sharpshooter (never more than 1, or you actually make the division worse)
2 cavalry regiments
1 Marine/Sailor (if applicable, and never more than 1)
0 specialty units (engineers, pontoons, hospital- leave them by themselves)
1 or 2 artillery. The 6 pounders than come attached to brigades is fine (useful for shooting at riverine movement)
the rest should be infantry

A division in a totally filled out Corps/Army:
1 elite brigade
1 sharpshooter
2 or 3 cavalry
1 marine/sailor
0 specialty
0 artillery
the rest infantry

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