Rather than launch into a 5,000 word essay on the historical case for and against various sorts of command control roles, let me just say that modern games that present a player with difficulties can be fun or frustrating or both all at once. Of all the various systems I've played, the oldest, that of simultaneous moves to written turn orders is still probably the best at capturing Generalship, especially if there is limited time for order writing as under pressures many players will misjudge their opponents intentions, forget minor but important rules, estimate distances incorrectly or just plain forget units. Enemy actions and combat results are then what add friction and prevent a player's tidy plans from coming to fruition. I've never been able to properly capture this in solo play though.
The current Orders (or PIP) dice system I use (inspired by DBA) where you roll a die to indicate how many groups of units you can move has a nice "boardgame" feel to it and it has worked well with the Square Brigadier where each unit was a battalion. Now that I am using companies as units, grouped in battalions based on historical OB's, no matter how I tweak it, I am having trouble getting it to work seamlessly with scenarios that might range from 6 individual companies up to 8 or more battalions of 4 companies each plus a number of supporting units. I could probably solve it by ignoring historical organizations or having various systems depending on the size of the game but its not really doing a good job of "feeling right" at the company level anyway.
|An Oberhilse cavalry patrol approaches a Rebel held town c 1904|
To test the upper limits a bit and add a dash of colour, I think I will head back to Atlantica and break out some red and blue coats. I should jot down some actual rules to back up the concept while I am at it, especially since I've realized that I need to tweak the unstated ground scale to accommodate the .4 man companies. The goal is to play either on Sunday or the next cold rainy day.