I mentioned this before, but I aided Welles because I figured light cavalry against infantry would be better off against infantry than Church Hussars, and the artillery could take out the Hussars because they stuck moving slowly across the river and I correctly assumed banehardened armor was not bulletproof.
Anyways, the problem with killing off the Experimentals is that you have no veterans to use in the next unit. Reyes gets crippled and (as Cataphrak mentioned, I think) psychological damage. With the budget the way it is, they may simply decide it’s not worth rebuilding (why would you need a unit like that in peacetime?), or if they do rebuild it then it will require all new men/leaders and will likely be inferior.
A crippled man can still develop a training manual and lead his men. Many Generals and officers have lost a limb and still continued to lead their men.
For instance, General Longstreet lost the ability to use his right arm after he got shot at by his own men and he still commanded a corps for Lee. With the evolving role of a Tierran commander, I’d imagine that it’ll soon be expected for them to entrust personal leadership of their battalions and the like to subordinates. He can still write and teach.
Also, cavalry against infantry is a chancy thing, it all depends on if the infantry forms squares quickly enough. If they don’t then you need to still not get caught and systematically killed off. Also, Church Hussars are more dangerous and scurry than infantry.
Think of it like this, I’d rather keep my experienced sergeant alive than an utter jerk in the form of Lewes. Also it’s really not that hard to beat off the Church Hussars. I just volley them to death because my squadron is very capable.
Lewes could be important for increasing Baneless freedom, though. A baneless soldier who received a temporary officer’s commission but managed to do the job just as well as most other Banebloods is living evidence that the Baneless can handle army command or political office. And if they change the Experimental Corps to an Experimental Regiment (with Reyes as the Colonel), he could serve as a good Captain.
Also he’s not an utter jerk. He’s a bit hostile to you because as far as he’s concerned, you’re just another highborn git (and a cavalry officer at that), the sort who has been spitting on him his entire career. After you actually help him and are nice to him, he becomes a lot more friendly towards you.
Achieving the 70 Discipline necessary to do so is actually very hard, if you requested reinforcements and don’t have high charisma. Also, I’m talking about knowledge at the time that the decision was made. At the time, I had been told that banehardened armor was bulletproof and that Church Hussars exclusively wore it, so I figured bombing them into the ground was a much better idea than facing them head on.
How do you propose ensuring baneless soldiers can fill the ranks of officers? Baneblooded Tierrans aren’t educated formally in the art of war, only those who wish to learn more about the science of war in independent study tend to do so. Now, with that in mind, it’s considered surprising if a baneless like Garing has the education and intelligence he does. At least Baneblooded women are able to learn and have the same capacity for command as a male baneblood does, less the delicate nature of her sex. Lewes is still a sergeant wearing the two pips of a Lieutenant and even then he’s so hostile and bitter that he will never be able to work with anyone.
Actually educating and training them? I’m not saying you can just take any baneless off the street and put him into officer training, but if a baneless from a wealthy and educated background decides to buy a commission, then let him. Or if you find a particularly capable sergeant who shows potential, then give him a basic formal military education and pay for his first commission.
Surprising that they have the education. Not the intelligence. Some people are highly intelligent but never received or were never interested in a good education so people think they are unintelligent. Baneless aren’t inherently stupid - they have just as much physical and mental potential as any Baneblood, the only difference is they can’t use Banesense and don’t have the opportunities and resources necessary to develop their minds.
He works just fine with the people in his own unit, and an MC who successfully demonstrates his competence and maintains a friendly respectful attitude towards him.
What we see in game is pretty solidly mediocre to me. Even being as generous as possible, Lewes is unnecessarily rude (He has to be reminded to use “sir”. I’m not okay with that from Cunaris’s son, why should I be okay with it from someone who is used to saluting?) and uneducated in any of the aspects of command - and it shows.
Lewes frankly strikes me as wasted in an officer’s billet from what we do see of his better side. He’s not comfortable with it and he’s not good at it.
I’m not saying in a theoretical world where Tierra had a military’ academy I’d ban him from it, but I certainly wouldn’t commission him permanently on the basis of sheer skill as he stands.
Edited to add: And from what we see of him, I would not take Reyes’s endorsement as entirely encouraging. Reyes might be able to get a lot of good out of Lewes, and semi-irregular light infantry doesn’t need the same discipline as line infantry, but…
I’m not convinced he’s not taking that too far, with potentially predictable consequences, and that does matter when asking him about his subordinates.
That in no way speaks to his competence as an officer. Except the ‘uneducated in any aspect of command’ part, and that is a major exaggeration.
Look at things from Lewes’ perspective. All his career he’s been taking orders from baneblooded officers, some of whom could have been the infantry equivalent of Carrecourt or Butler. Still, he does his job.
Then one day, some people approach him and offer him a brevet to Lieutenant. He says yes - a chance to prove himself and become one of the first Baneless officers, equal to the people who had previously ordered him around. Only… he isn’t equal. If anything, he gets treated even worse. Not just by the officers, but by the men he used to march beside. And he isn’t even getting paid for all this extra responsibility and social ostracism.
Naturally he’s going to have a chip on his shoulder.
He seems comfortable with it, he’s just not comfortable around baneblooded officers who think they are better than him. And while he may not be a military genius, he does seem pretty good at his job (knows how to motivate his men and inspire loyalty, and while his plan isn’t perfect it is still pretty decent.)
Yeah, he may be taking it too far, but it hasn’t really steered him wrong yet. His men are already crack shots, so by loosening up he keeps them happy and loyal. And he’s still willing to make the difficult decisions in the end by ordering his men to hold position against the Church Hussars (which they do without complaint.)
Also keep in mind that this is the first time a unit like this has been created in Tierra’s history. If he makes any mistakes, they are to be expected.
War is not a D&D game where the party thief being Snarky McSnarkypants and generally being “Why do we put up with this guy again?” guy is okay because he’s the only one who can pick locks.
Being able to get along - or act as if you can - with peers, subordinates, and superiors is important.
If we’re talking “understandable human responses”, all I can say is that - as a grudgeful and peevish guy - “understandable human responses” cover a lot of things that we’re not supposed to do.
If Lewes was superbly competent at what he does, him being a bit tetchy would still be set against that. But from what we have to work from (as opposed to things that happened off screen, so we don’t know how much was Lewes and how much was others) , he’s not.
I defer to Cataphrak on how comfortable he is, but he certainly sounds like he’d prefer to be where he’s used to being. And we’re not talking “not a military genius”.
His plan is - at best - simple. It might not be any worse than we could expect of an unmentored Lord Renard (say), but it isn’t proof of laudable ability either.
Which really doesn’t answer the question. Being really good at making your men love you doesn’t mean you’re a great officer when talking the Dragoon PC. Same for Reyes. I don’t think he’s a complete failure, but I wouldn’t regard him as either unbiased (he seems to personally like Lewes) or sufficient to indicate anyone or anything is all good.
That doesn’t mean that they’re not mistakes that if/when Tierra tries to have a permanent force of light infantry would be best not repeated.
It speaks to his lack of respect for the chain of command and general unwillingness to comply with general army discipline. Loosening regulations for light infantry is one thing, refusing to enforce basic discipline is quite another.
And the fact that he has a chip on his shoulder impacts his ability and willingness to readily follow a superiors orders and display the proper respect due to them.
His anger may not be unjustified but it is absolutely harmful.
The problem is he automatically assumes that every baneblooded officer, minus Reyes, has a problem with him. As soon as he meets the MC he immediately cops an attitude.
At best, he’s kind of casual and laid back in a way that I’m sure meshes just fine with Reyes, but isn’t necessarily going to go over well with others (given Tierra’s “first name basis is reserved for people closer than your own brothers.” tendencies). At worst he’s just casually rude.
What’s far more important is actually getting results. Their actual ability and competence is far more important than how fun they are to work with. Lewes and the Experimentals do their job.
And yet we still do them. The point is, you can’t blame Lewes for being a bit resentful.
But there’s no evidence that he is incompetent either. So why assume that he is? Because he, an infantry officer who is used to sneaky ambushes from cover, decided that was the best approach approach to take on an attacking force?
The ‘best’ plan for that situation is literally: “Let’s do the exact same thing, but use a cavalry charge instead”, and has the potential to turn out even worse if your discipline isn’t high enough.
I’d say the fact that the Experimentals served with distinction and played a vital role at 2K is solid evidence of his competence.
The point is that mistakes are inevitable and can be fixed as time goes on. That said, I really don’t see how being friendly with his men is a ‘mistake’ when he has already shown that won’t stop him from ordering them to their deaths. Sure, the late-night drinking was irresponsible, but many other men (and even some officers) had been doing that as well.
Except it doesn’t. He follows your orders just fine.
Because every Baneblooded officer has had a problem with him. Reyes and the MC are the exceptions.
Don’t get me wrong, he could do with scaling back his attitude and not making such assumptions, but he’s also not the only person in the world who pre-judges people based on their background/appearance. In this case I personally can tolerate it because he actually gets shit done.
So why do you assume he falls on the lower end of the scale?
I think you completely misunderstood.
You criticized Lewes’ plan for simplicity. There’s nothing wrong with simplicity, which is why I pointed out that the plan you replace his with isn’t any more complex, and actually has the potential to turn out even worse if your discipline isn’t up to standard.
I assume Lewes falls on the “It was a good idea, it didn’t work out, thank you for your service Sergeant.” end of the scale.
Lewes can be a perfectly adequate sergeant without being a good lieutenant.
“At best simple” is me saying that’s the positive description of it I can give. I don’t think complicated is strictly necessary, but I do think that “Well, it’s simple.” on its own is not proof of tactical acumen.