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LEIPZIG 1813 AAR

 
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LEIPZIG 1813 AAR - 3/3/2012 1:03:59 AM   
Curtis Lemay


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LEIPZIG 1813 AAR


This is an AAR for analysis of my test of my “Leipzig 1813” scenario. As I did with the “France 1944 D-Day”, “Germany 1945 (Last Stand)”, and “Soviet Union 1941” AARs, I’ll play both sides in hot seat (“changing hats” each player turn). The game was played using TOAW version 3.4.0.202. With almost 600,000 participants, this was the largest pre-modern battle in history.

Before we start, let’s review the scenario a bit.

1. Special Settings: Not only is this scenario about a Napoleonic topic, it borders on Grand-Tactical scale. That stretches the TOAW system enough to require special rules and settings. First, editor settings prevent digging in, and allow free hex conversion. Movement doesn’t expend supply at all, and expends readiness at a reduced rate. Density penalties have been halved, but the forces are so large that they will still be experienced in many situations. Movement allowances have been increased to account for the fact that, while the nominal scale is 2.5km/hex, the true scale is 0.48km/hex. All pre-dawn turns are under a cease-fire – combat is not possible.

2. Special Rules: But even with these settings, special house rules still have to be employed to address issues with artillery and cavalry. At this scale, line-of-sight rules had to be devised for artillery. Furthermore, they may not be placed in any reserve deployment – so they can only apply their defense strength to the hex they occupy. And cavalry strengths are based upon the assumption that they are charging. Therefore, they are forbidden to be used against terrain where charging would be impossible (unless the defender contains cavalry as well).

3. The Forces: The composition of the forces is very similar. However, the French, thanks to the large Guard contingent, have a slight edge in average proficiency, and a significant edge in commander proficiency (expressed in shock levels). And the French are a more homogeneous force – sometimes giving an edge in cooperation. The Allies, however, have a huge edge in combined material – almost two-to-one. The Allies also have an edge in Night Combat – the one Night turn each day will give them their best opportunities. Neither side receives replacements nor can any units reconstitute.

4. The Map: Major rivers divide the map into east and west sections, with the city of Leipzig on the west side – making it a potential trap for the French. All woods contain badlands, making them almost unusable as defensive positions or flanking paths (not to mention that it gives them an “autumn” coloration). That allows them to secure flanks – as they did historically. Occupation of peak hexes is critical for visibility of the enemy lines. Since units can’t dig in, the rare fortified line terrain, as well as the few urban hexes, are important defensive possessions. Ridge hexsides (modified border hexsides) block artillery line-of-sight via house rules – even for adjacent units.

5. The Starting Situation: While they will ultimately field almost twice the material as the French, the Allies start out in a vulnerable situation. The French have most of their force already on the map, while less than half of the Allies have arrived. Worse, they are widely divided in the starting deployment. But they have the pre-dawn to straighten things out. And Blucher’s Silesian Army is about to start arriving to the north. However, they will have to hold out till the 18th for the Polish Reserve Army and the Army of the North to arrive. This gives the French player a short window of opportunity to exploit his concentration advantage.

6. The Ending Situation: Later, as the battle nears Leipzig, it may trigger the defection of the Saxon forces from the French to the Allies. And if the Allies get too close to the bridge out of Leipzig, it may be blown early – possibly trapping French forces in Leipzig, figuratively. By that, I mean there will be a victory award to the Allies depending upon the French communications with the map edges. On the 19th, the French supply point in Leipzig is removed. They will need to secure a map-edge supply point by then if they wish to remain supplied.

7. Victory: Except for that special award mentioned above, victory will depend upon the Loss Penalties and awards for each unit destroyed. There are no VP locations on the playable map section. Rather, every unit in the game has a VP associated with it, which will be awarded upon its destruction. With an Attrition Divider setting of 50, it’s hard to gain VPs via the Loss Penalties or even to attrit units. That makes it critical to actually destroy units, thereby gaining the VP awards for them, and for the bulk loss of equipment that unit destruction brings. To achieve that, it’s usually necessary to cut them off. That makes it critical for forces to prevent the enemy from flanking or penetrating their lines.

Let’s get started.
Post #: 1
Starting Situation: - 3/3/2012 1:05:33 AM   
Curtis Lemay


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Starting Situation:

This shot shows the Allied predicament at the start. In the south, they are scattered from one end of the map to the other. In contrast, Napoleon is concentrated, with interior lines. The Allies have to rectify this condition. Fortunately, they move first, and they have a cease fire in place. That will give them two turns to get into position. Meanwhile, Blucher will start to arrive in the north. Napoleon will have to decide what forces to leave behind to hold off Blucher.




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< Message edited by Curtis Lemay -- 3/3/2012 1:08:01 AM >

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October 16th; Pre-Dawn Turn; Allied Player-Turn: - 3/3/2012 1:07:09 AM   
Curtis Lemay


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October 16th; Pre-Dawn Turn; Allied Player-Turn:

This shot shows that the bulk of the Army of Bohemia has been moved across the Pleisse to be concentrated south of Napoleon’s position. Part has been left there, though, to try to siphon French forces off to defend Leipzig.




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October 16th; Pre-Dawn Turn; French Player-Turn: - 3/3/2012 1:10:03 AM   
Curtis Lemay


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October 16th; Pre-Dawn Turn; French Player-Turn:

This shot shows the French defense of the North has been set up. The III, IV, and VI Corps have been used. The XI Corps and II Cavalry Corps, as well as all the Poles have been sent south.




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RE: October 16th; Pre-Dawn Turn; French Player-Turn: - 3/3/2012 1:11:03 AM   
Curtis Lemay


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This shot shows how French forces are being concentrated to the south. Napoleon occupies a peak hex, for future visibility.






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October 16th; Morning Turn; Allied Player-Turn: - 3/3/2012 1:12:32 AM   
Curtis Lemay


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October 16th; Morning Turn; Allied Player-Turn:

This shot shows how the Allies have set up their southern defense. Note that a ridgeline will protect the defenders from French artillery. A minor river protects the left side. Woods secure the flanks. It seems like a strong defense. Napoleon will have his work cut out for him.




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RE: October 16th; Morning Turn; Allied Player-Turn: - 3/3/2012 1:13:54 AM   
Curtis Lemay


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This shot shows the results of Blucher’s attacks against the north. Some combat time was lost moving into position, and then the combat ended after only one phase. It still caused a bit of disturbance to the French defense that will have to be tidied up in their turn. Note that this will be the way I’ll usually illustrate the Allied attacks – by just showing the results. Detailing the attack setups tends to be of little benefit since they were almost always just frontal assaults that never got enough success to reach the exploitation phase.




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October 16th; Morning Turn; French Player-Turn: - 3/3/2012 1:15:24 AM   
Curtis Lemay


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October 16th; Morning Turn; French Player-Turn:

This shot of the French north shows that they were able to redress their lines this time.




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Turn 2; 1 Combat Round Expended: - 3/3/2012 1:17:11 AM   
Curtis Lemay


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Turn 2; 1 Combat Round Expended: Now we get to the main show. If the French are to win, they must exploit their concentration advantage right here, in the south. Note the microscreen in the lower right, showing the overall situation. This shot shows that I’ve thrown caution to the wind. The entire guard, and everything else I can afford to muster, are going to be immediately thrown at the Army of Bohemia. This is a divergence from Napoleon – who was always reluctant to commit his guard until the enemy had been softened up enough to ensure they would succeed. 20:20 hindsight tells me that I don’t have that luxury. If this doesn’t succeed, however, I’ll have blown the readiness of most of my force. When the Allies get their full force on the field, I’ll be in real trouble. Note that attacks across the ridgeline can’t include artillery. These attacks start one combat round late, due to the distance that was traveled to get into position.






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Turn 2; 3 Combat Rounds Expended: - 3/3/2012 1:19:12 AM   
Curtis Lemay


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Turn 2; 3 Combat Rounds Expended: This shot shows that the French enjoyed great success on the left side. Two defense locations fell, with the defenders pushed into a pocket that was formed when cavalry exploited the gaps in the lines. If the pocket is reduced, a serious breach in the Allied lines will be available for exploitation. Now even the Old Guard is committed (heavy infantry units).




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Turn 2; 4 Combat Rounds Expended: - 3/3/2012 1:20:33 AM   
Curtis Lemay


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Turn 2; 4 Combat Rounds Expended: Sure enough, the pocket fell, opening a really severe flanking path – one that the French have exploited. There now is the chance for an even bigger pocket being formed – one that could include Schwarzenberg and the Austrian Emperor!




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Turn 2; 5 Combat Rounds Expended: - 3/3/2012 1:21:42 AM   
Curtis Lemay


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Turn 2; 5 Combat Rounds Expended: No pocket yet – note that it is being held open by a defender in an urban hex. But that defense has only one unit left in it.




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Turn 2; 6 Combat Rounds Expended: - 3/3/2012 1:22:44 AM   
Curtis Lemay


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Turn 2; 6 Combat Rounds Expended: This shot shows that that pocket was formed – and it contains those two Austrian figures. Their loss (almost certain, now) will be a big VP hit, and will bump the Allied shock penalty up from 4 to 10. There is even a threat forming to the Russian Tzar. The Allies need this player-turn to get over.




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Turn 2; 7 Combat Rounds Expended: - 3/3/2012 1:24:02 AM   
Curtis Lemay


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Turn 2; 7 Combat Rounds Expended: The pocket has been reduced, but still holds out. This shot shows the danger to the Tzar. The French attacks this round are attempting to form a pocket around him.






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Turn 2; 8 Combat Rounds Expended: - 3/3/2012 1:25:23 AM   
Curtis Lemay


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Turn 2; 8 Combat Rounds Expended: : The pocket still hasn’t been eliminated, and the attempt to pocket the Tzar failed. Since this will be the last combat phase this turn, all attacks are set to ignore losses, and the Tzar’s hex is being attacked directly.




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October 16th; Afternoon Turn; Allied Player-Turn: - 3/3/2012 1:26:39 AM   
Curtis Lemay


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October 16th; Afternoon Turn; Allied Player-Turn:

This shot shows the final results of the French attack in the south from the Allied side. The Tzar survived, but Barclay de Tolly was lost. The Austrian Emperor and Schwarzenberg are lost, and the Tzar is in a tight spot. Furthermore, casualties for the Allies totaled 55,870 (and 221 guns) vs. 11,320 (and no guns) for the French. This is already an Austerlitz and is threatening to become a Cannae. From now on, the Allies will be under a greater shock penalty of 10% due to the loss of Schwarzenberg.




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RE: October 16th; Afternoon Turn; Allied Player-Turn: - 3/3/2012 1:27:40 AM   
Curtis Lemay


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This shot shows the Allied moves to address the situation in the south. The Tzar has only been moved one hex due to movement costs. An attack has been set up to try to clear the blocking French unit from his path. In the event, that attack failed, and the Tzar got no further.




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RE: October 16th; Afternoon Turn; Allied Player-Turn: - 3/3/2012 1:28:27 AM   
Curtis Lemay


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This shot shows Blucher’s results in the north, from the French perspective. Again, the Allied turn ended after only one combat phase. The effect on the French position was minimal.




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October 16th; Afternoon Turn; French Player-Turn: - 3/3/2012 1:29:42 AM   
Curtis Lemay


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October 16th; Afternoon Turn; French Player-Turn:

This shot shows the French adjustments in the north. No counterattacks were necessary.




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Turn 3; 0 Combat Rounds Expended: - 3/3/2012 1:31:00 AM   
Curtis Lemay


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Turn 3; 0 Combat Rounds Expended: Note the microscreen in the lower right corner, showing the overall situation. The French now continue the attack in the south. Forces weren’t in place to attempt to pocket the Tzar, so an attempt at a direct kill is being made instead.




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Turn 3; 2 Combat Rounds Expended: - 3/3/2012 1:32:11 AM   
Curtis Lemay


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Turn 3; 2 Combat Rounds Expended: Note that the two pockets have been eliminated, and a few other hexes cleared. Forces are now positioned on the southern flank of the Allied line. Note that the Tzar survived again.




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Turn 3; 3 Combat Rounds Expended: - 3/3/2012 1:33:20 AM   
Curtis Lemay


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Turn 3; 3 Combat Rounds Expended: A breach in the Allied line has been exploited with cavalry, while its southern flank has been overlapped. A huge pocket is about to be formed. The entire Allied position is starting to disintegrate.




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Turn 3; 4 Combat Rounds Expended: - 3/3/2012 1:34:40 AM   
Curtis Lemay


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Turn 3; 4 Combat Rounds Expended: The Allied position continues to disintegrate.




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Turn 3; 5 Combat Rounds Expended: - 3/3/2012 1:35:43 AM   
Curtis Lemay


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Turn 3; 5 Combat Rounds Expended: The breach in the Allied line was expanded enough to allow cavalry to close the pocket around the Russian W Wing and Reserve (not to mention, the Tzar). Work has begun on reducing the pocket and widening the breach even further.




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October 16th; Night Turn; Allied Player-Turn: - 3/3/2012 1:36:47 AM   
Curtis Lemay


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October 16th; Night Turn; Allied Player-Turn:

The French player-turn mercifully ended early. But now the Allies must deal with the bulk of their force in the south reorganizing. They do get to enjoy relatively better night-fighting factors this turn, though. The huge Russian pocket can’t be relieved, though. The Allied losses are now 69,060 (and 313 guns) vs. 17,830 (and 1 gun) for the French.




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RE: October 16th; Night Turn; Allied Player-Turn: - 3/3/2012 1:37:49 AM   
Curtis Lemay


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This shot shows the Allied moves to address the situation on the south. The Austrian IV Corps has been deployed to try to save the Prussian II Corps. The Russian pocket has had to be abandoned.




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RE: October 16th; Night Turn; Allied Player-Turn: - 3/3/2012 1:38:47 AM   
Curtis Lemay


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This shot shows Blucher’s results on the northern front, shown from the French perspective. While he did get three combat phases this time, progress was minimal.




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October 16th; Night Turn; French Player-Turn: - 3/3/2012 1:40:33 AM   
Curtis Lemay


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October 16th; Night Turn; French Player-Turn:

Turn 4; 0 Combat Rounds Expended: I’ll skip the French adjustments in the north, since they were insignificant. Here’s the first set of attacks in the south. Work continues to reduce the pocket.




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Turn 4; 2 Combat Rounds Expended: - 3/3/2012 1:41:39 AM   
Curtis Lemay


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Turn 4; 2 Combat Rounds Expended: The pocket is starting to implode. An attempt to flank the Prussians found the Allied adjustment. That will have to be pushed out of the way if the Prussians are to be trapped.




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Turn 4; 3 Combat Rounds Expended: - 3/3/2012 1:42:50 AM   
Curtis Lemay


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Turn 4; 3 Combat Rounds Expended: The pocket continues to shrink. The hex with the Tzar in it has been eliminated.




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