” A good way to force players to act historically, if you want them to”
That’s two of the key points I think we are discussing, and upon which there is a disagreement.
1. Should you have to, or even choose to “force” players to act historically? I’d say that depends on whether you are having a game or not. The players should be allowed to play at their own skill and knowledge level, and command skill. If you are forcing them to do other things, either by blatant hints, subtle suggestions, or whatever, it ceases to be the gamer’s game and becomes your game. I’d submit that isn’t why they are playing.
2. Should the game be driven to be “historical?” In my earlier post I indicated all of the reasons, dice notwithstanding, and player skill which will not replicate that the historical leader did, the game, unless scripted with scripted results isn’t going to be “historical” anyway. Who wants to play historically and get the same results the loser did, historically? If you say, “Well, he can see if they can do better” then that is an ahistorical result, which you would presumably not want if you are in the “…but it isn’t historical” group..
3. Does it matter? I’d say no. If the players want to do research and fight historically in their GAME they can do that. If they don’t do the research, or did the research and don’t like what the historical counterpart did or did not do, why should they be encouraged or forced to make the same mistakes? So the host can feel good about an attempt at a historical representation? Charging the Scots Greys without infantry support IIRC (not a nappy player) was a big, big mistake, and one that the leader should not have made. Should the player HAVE to do the same? Or other mistakes that were “historical” and a disaster? WHY?
Bottom line for me is:
1. What you are trying to do with your game/reenactment/history lesson, and
2. what your players want to be doing. It will assuredly be different for all of us, but I don’t see that it matters, or that anyone here’s opinion of how it SHOULD (or MUST) be matters outside their gaming group for a normal game.
The answers to those two questions, whatever they are, will inform your decision.