Posted By Terham at 02:26 AM - Wed May 15 2019
Glad to be on the podium, but I'm confused with your criteria. The winner and the runner up seem to be the ones who found the closest strategy to your historical reference. I think more explanations would help the other participants for the next rounds, myself included.
Do you have other criteria, and how much important they are for you ?
Could you explain why you choose Huldric and not Kokorozash or me ?
It wasn't intentional that the top plans happened to correspond most to the historical outcome, that's just how things happened to work out.
The issues many people had included; plans which were too complicated; underestimating the enemies capabilities; or anticipating certain behaviors from the enemy which it is unlikely they would conform to.
Since you commented here instead of e-mailing I'll address yours directly. The coordination required of your units in order to pull off your plan is too great, and if the enemy does not act as expected the plan starts to fall apart. Command and Control on a chaotic battlefield is an important factor to remember. Most units do not see the whole battlefield or even a very big part of it. In order for a complicated plan to work in which many units are maneuvering precisely each unit must have precise orders at the precise moment and the enemy must behave as expected. Well, that just seems like too much to ask.
Further, it's a little much to expect that the enemy won't do effective reconnaissance and discover hidden units. Historically there were hidden units, but these were hidden behind the line of battle where the enemy would be unlikely to spot them prior to the engagement. While there are instances of armies being caught by hidden units hidden in front of the line of battle, such as Cannae the stereotype battle, the inexperience of the Roman commanders and army at Cannae is what made this situation possible. It was mentioned in the scenario presented here that the enemy commander was experienced, and that his men were veteran warriors despite their circumstantial disadvantages. Additionally, it was mentioned that they were a tribal force with experience in living off the land and path-finding ie travelling without roads or through wilderness. At least one submission presented a battle plan which took place on a road and assumed that the enemy would therefore approach on the road, obviously that isn't something one can necessarily assume.
Many people ended up falling behind on account of simple oversights. Someone, who I am pretty sure knew the battle's historical outcome, wanted to begin the battle in a V formation to catch the enemy's charge. In this instance if you begin in such a formation you expose your left and right flanks to the enemy. It's ridiculous to think that when they see your pre-prepared V the enemy will charge right into it.
Once again, the two overall biggest issues I saw were over-complication and failure to anticipate the enemy's decisions and capabilities (other than assuming they will fall into your plans).
Finally, all of that being said, there was only ever going to be one anyway. Most people who submitted were going to lose from the beginning as that's just the nature of the beast regardless of simply whether their plan would have worked or not. Many flawed plans presented in this scenario probably still would have worked in practice, but that's just it, we weren't looking for any plan that would work, we were looking for the best plan presented. Even minor flaws could knock a submission out of the running.