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Campaigns v3.03 AAR

 
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Campaigns v3.03 AAR - 6/21/2015 10:19:37 AM   
Rasputitsa


Posts: 1819
Joined: 6/30/2001
From: Bedfordshire UK
Status: offline
Campaigns on the Danube 1805 - 1809. Scenario: '1809 Variant: Charles' original plan' (1st Apr. - 10th May 1809) - Game v3.03.
Coalition AI
Advantage neutral
FOW set- Hidden enemy units (unless detected by own units)

Known issues -

Corps commanders tend to follow units which you have ordered to detach from their corps, rather that stay with the main corps units on the set objective, as a work around: avoid using detach commands, or only detach from corps which are not on vital objectives.

Terrain display error, town hexes are showing correctly, but otherwise all hexes above row xx,16 mainly show 'Broken', hex rows below that row show 'Clear', irrespective of the displayed terrain. This is not a game breaker as rivers, bridges and towns are the terrain features with most strategic significance and they are correct.

When reloading a game-save of a mud turn, the game does not select the mud map. Keep notes on the start of turn situation when the map is correct.

Addition - Display issue with unit counter and red box showing number of stragglers in red numerals, which are not visible : see posts #16 and 17.

These issues do not markedly affect the enjoyment of the game, as long as they are taken into account and don't come as a surprise.

The developer is aware of these issues and hopefully they will be resolved, therefore, as v3.03 has just been released (3rd. June 2015), support for this game is active and ongoing. There has been an announcement of the Matrix Forum that v3.04 is soon to be released, which may deal with some or all of these items.

Not having played the game for some time, this has been something of a re-learning experience. Previous game versions sometimes had the wrong national counters displayed, which meant it wasn't worth playing, now that this issue is resolved with v3.03, the game is back on the front burner and fully playable.

Using Windows 8.1 - 28in. touch screen also Windows 7 - 18in. laptop, and 10.1in. mini laptop, game is stable, no system issues. Game has 12x screen definition options, between 1024x768 and 2560x1600

'Campaigns' runs in a window, so you can have other windows open in the background, Game Manual, or 'Word/Notepad' file to keep records, reminders and notes

I am going into some detail, because this looks like a simple game, which it is, simple to operate that is, but much more difficult to play well. The effort does not go into making the game work, a common problem with many mega-games; the phrase 'steep learning curve' comes to mind with micro-managing games. In 'Campaigns' the game functions are simple; the effort goes into getting the strategy right, which is just where it should be in a good wargame. A simple operating system which leads to potentially complex decisions - 'It's all in the strategy'. This game exercises your mind, rather than your fingers.

The game is operating on Daily turns and automatically has orders delay

Game scenario notes : In this scenario the Austrian forces are setup roughly according to the Archduke Charles original plan for the campaign, which was attacking out of Bohemia and taking the French in the flank and cutting them off from their bases.

Comment: It would be difficult to assemble a large army in Bohemia, without it being noticed, so I have some idea that there may be major enemy activity from PILSEN.

You could set the game FoW as ‘Reports Only’, in which case enemy units are not initially seen, but selecting the ‘Intelligence Report’ button provides reports of numbers of enemy troops seen and where, with some false reporting thrown in. This is an extreme realism setting and I have chosen to use the intermediate FoW setting of ‘Hidden Units’, which will show some enemy units on the map with limited information.

For this AAR, battles will be resolved by the computer, when using this choice, whenever a battle arises the player will have an opportunity to set the general tactics for the units involved, such as withdraw, or frontal assault and options in between. The available tactical choices will depend on the stance the units have been given in their original orders, as units with withdraw orders will not have the option to choose frontal assault in battle and similarly for more aggressive orders, withdrawal will not be an option.

The alternative the game offers is to resolve battle with miniatures and then input the battle results, so that the game can continue, but I have never used this.

Start the game.


< Message edited by Rasputitsa -- 6/26/2015 12:44:32 PM >


_____________________________

"We have to go from where we are, not from where we would like to be" - me
Post #: 1
RE: Campaigns v3.03 AAR - 6/21/2015 10:34:45 AM   
Rasputitsa


Posts: 1819
Joined: 6/30/2001
From: Bedfordshire UK
Status: offline
Turn Report

Turn 01 (weather clear – terrain clear)

Situation:
DAVOUT at ECKMUHL, LANNES at AUGSBUG, LEFEBVRE West of ECKMUHL, and the rest of the army is at ULM. Main supply centre is ULM, with further supply at MUNICH.

Results: None yet

Strategy:
Charles Variant, so expecting some activity around PILSEN. Plan is to move to advanced positions, assemble supply forward (under computer control), bring up units from ULM and avoid major contact initially.

Orders:
Moved Line of Communication (LoC) to REGENSBERG; set up Hospital at REGENSBERG.

NAPOLEON Army Commander; to REGENSBERG
LANNES II Corps; to BRAUNAU
DAVOUT III Corps; to CHAM
MASSENA IV Corps; to AUGSBURG
LEFEBVRE VII Corps; to DEGGENDORF
VANDAMME (Wu); to NEUBOURG

I don’t intend to detail every order, but concentrate on the main intent; there are many variations of stance and urgency available for corps commanders and individual detached units.

Information available from the 'Situation Report' side button
MOUTON (with the Guard) due to arrive ULM in 14 days
BERNADOTTE IX Corps due to arrive NURNBURG in 24 days
These estimates are approximate and may change as the game progresses.

I plan to move forward to the Danube to take the bridges and to protect the supply line that will start forming into REGENSBERG, therefore, DAVOUT will take an advanced position at CHAM with the intention of seizing a bridgehead over the river there, LEFEBVRE will be doing the same thing at DEGGENDORF, but not much more can be done until the rest of the army moves up. NAPOLEON is moving to REGENSBERG to be closer to the centre of events. I want to secure the left flank before pushing East. LANNES will secure the right flank.

Having a hospital close to the scene of any action will increase the speed that wounded strength can be returned to units, so have a hospital ready and be prepared to move it, as the action moves during the campaign.

Comments: The road ULM-DONAUWORTH-INGOLSTADT-REGENSBERG is going to fill with computer controlled supply columns and, especially if it rains for a few days when the terrain will become muddy (map will change to mud effect), movement will be difficult. Better to order corps commanders MASSENA and VANDAMME from ULM via GIENGEN, or AUGSBURG, set these as intermediate objectives.

If you set a far off objective the proposed route (shown by route arrows) may not be ideal, therefore, first set closer objectives and then, once units are committed to the desired route, the objectives can be changed to extend towards the final target. The ‘Additional’ orders button in the order confirmation box can be used to issue further orders for units to follow after they reach the initial objective.

If you change your mind, after the order has been issued, you can send another order which will follow on out to the unit. There is a time delay in orders reaching the units, which represents couriers riding out to deliver the message. It becomes important where you place your Army commander (NAPOLEON), to avoid unnecessary delay to messages, which could take all day and a night to reach distant units. As NAPLOLEON, you need to be where the action is (probably attached to a fighting corps), to add combat power, but also placed where your messages can get to critical areas of the campaign quickly, sometimes this is going to be a difficult balance to achieve.

Orders may can be delayed by enemy action, or captured and eliminated, in which case the message will be lost.


This is a map mod, a work-in progress by Chemkid, who has also produced a beautiful map for ‘Piercing Fortress Europa’. There are some issues in the way the game selects terrain, which is slowing further work on the mod, but it promises to be a spectacular alternative to the ‘look’ of the game. The significant terrain features are roads, bridges and towns, as all combat and movement takes place in these hexes and the incomplete map is sufficient for that purpose.

The development of the map mod will feature in later turns as more progress is made and the game terrain issues are hopefully resolved.







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< Message edited by Rasputitsa -- 6/22/2015 11:19:55 PM >


_____________________________

"We have to go from where we are, not from where we would like to be" - me

(in reply to Rasputitsa)
Post #: 2
RE: Campaigns v3.03 AAR - 6/21/2015 10:51:41 AM   
Rasputitsa


Posts: 1819
Joined: 6/30/2001
From: Bedfordshire UK
Status: offline
Turn Report

Turn 02 (weather clear – terrain clear)

Situation: My units are reacting to orders, whilst isolated Coalition single units are visible on the other side of the Danube. Computer controlled supply is beginning to move out to REGENSBERG and to the individual corps.

Results: None yet

Strategy: Unchanged

Orders: Engineers to LANDSHUT to be in a central position in case bridges have to be blown, or repaired.

Comments: Mainly using ‘forced march’, as I need to get the army forward, but this causes fatigue and must be balanced so that troops get to the battle in time, but also in a condition to fight.

Leaving supply under computer control is like having a staff, but you can still issue additional instructions, when necessary, to fine tune supply delivery. You may intend to send a corps towards a location later in the game and you could order supply to be sent to that town, in advance, so that it will be available when the corps eventually gets there. Movement of supply is slooow ! A little anticipation can help a lot.

Your supply staff doesn’t necessarily know the finer points of your strategy, Wellington was reported as saying that ‘if my hair knew what I was thinking I would cut it off’ (or so it was in the movie), I suppose Napoleon was no different. This is the ideal solution, let the computer do the donkey work (or horse and cart work), but you have an input whenever you like.

'Supply control' button cycles between player and computer control (outlined in blue) showing the setting for computer control of supply.

'Supply system' button (outlined red) gives access to the supply system and commands are applied here, chose towns to send supply from, or to, units to receive extra supply, clicking the names will open a window to create a supply convoy where you can chose how much supply you send.

The combination of commuter controlled background supply, with the opportunity to make player adjustments is ideal. Supply is moved on the map by individual supply convoys, travelling the same roads as the fighting units and affected by the same weather and combat conditions.





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< Message edited by Rasputitsa -- 6/21/2015 2:22:12 PM >


_____________________________

"We have to go from where we are, not from where we would like to be" - me

(in reply to Rasputitsa)
Post #: 3
RE: Campaigns v3.03 AAR - 6/21/2015 10:53:18 AM   
Rasputitsa


Posts: 1819
Joined: 6/30/2001
From: Bedfordshire UK
Status: offline
Turn Report

Turn 03 (weather clear – terrain clear)

Situation: NAPOLEON arrives at REGENSBERG, hospital is available, DAVOUT is defending CHAM with Austrian cavalry pickets across the river. I cannot do more until the rest of the army arrives.

Orders:

NAPOLEON Army Commander; wait, have banquet, generally take it easy.
LANNES II Corps; defend BRAUNAU
DAVOUT III Corps; defend CHAM
MASSENA IV Corps; forced march
LEFEBVRE VII Corps; defend DEGGENDORF
VANDAMME (Wu); forced march, Hurry up !! what’s the delay ?

Comments: Movement is slow, everything happens only with muscle power, no Blitzkrieg operations, but this means more preparation and anticipation with a lot to think about. Units can move quite quickly on clear roads, but it can take days to move when mixed in with supply convoys and it hasn’t started raining yet.

Clicking on a unit, or corps commander, will bring up an information panel, where you can monitor the condition and existing orders for the unit and issue new orders.

This is DAVOUT French III corps commander, outlined red box indicates current stance and urgency, buttons will allow changes, but changes will not apply until a courier rides out and reaches the commander. Outlined in pink is the current and future objectives, outlined in blue is the current retreat point if withdrawal is forced by events.

The corps commander will deploy his divisions to achieve the objective and in a way to match his orders, aggressive or cautious etc..







Attachment (1)

< Message edited by Rasputitsa -- 6/21/2015 7:07:31 PM >


_____________________________

"We have to go from where we are, not from where we would like to be" - me

(in reply to Rasputitsa)
Post #: 4
RE: Campaigns v3.03 AAR - 6/21/2015 11:24:45 AM   
Rasputitsa


Posts: 1819
Joined: 6/30/2001
From: Bedfordshire UK
Status: offline
Turn Report

Turn 04 (weather clear – terrain clear)

Situation: Now substantial supply columns are on the way to REGENSBERG


Comments: These early preparation turns can play through quite quickly, you are not moving all these units forward yourself, as having given the objectives, including marching instructions on how to get there (cautious, regular, forced, etc.) and what to do on reaching the objective (defend, engage, withdraw if pressed) it is up to corps commanders to do the job. You can intervene if you want to change the orders and it pays to check the corps commanders from time to time, just to ensure they are still following your orders.

I have sometimes found corps commanders doing something different than the original orders, mainly after combat, where they decide to fall back (you are able to designate a retreat position for each corps), but you will need to get them going again after a setback. Don’t set the retreat point too far in the rear, as sending exhausted retreating units miles back will do more damage, keep the retreat point updated to be easily reached so that troops can be rallied and brought back into action.

When you hit the 'Send orders' button, you get a chance to review the orders and see which units are included, some may have been detached and their check box will be blank, you can use the check boxes to take units in, or out, of any order, if you intend to detach a division and give it a specific task.

The yellow 'Additional' button will allow you back into the orders panel to set more orders, to be followed when the units have reached the first objective set.








Attachment (1)

< Message edited by Rasputitsa -- 6/21/2015 7:09:42 PM >


_____________________________

"We have to go from where we are, not from where we would like to be" - me

(in reply to Rasputitsa)
Post #: 5
RE: Campaigns v3.03 AAR - 6/21/2015 11:34:15 AM   
Rasputitsa


Posts: 1819
Joined: 6/30/2001
From: Bedfordshire UK
Status: offline
Turn Report

Turn 05 (weather clear – terrain clear)

Situation: War is declared, well not so much a declaration as a statement, Archduke Charles sent a note to the French minister in Munich and Marshall Lefebvre, commanding the Bavarian divisions :

I conformity with a declaration made by His Majesty the Emperor of Austria to the Emperor Napoleon , I hereby appraise the general-in-chief of the French army that I have orders to advance with my troops and to treat as enemies all who oppose me.

In other words we are coming and get out of the way, or else!

LEFEBVRE reaches DEGGENDORF, VANDAMME barely moving, mixed up with supply columns. Bad planning on someone’s part, cast around for scapegoat. MASSENA doing better on a clear road through AUGSBURG.

Strategy: unchanged

Orders:

NAPOLEON Army Commander; have another banquet
MASSENA IV Corps; force march to ECKMUHL
VANDAMME (Wu); forced march INGOLSTADT

Comments: The war is on, the Coalition declaration of war has been received. The player has the advantage of 20/20 hindsight, I have had several days to start preparations and get units into motion which NAPOLEON did not necessarily have and many players will have read the same books as the game designers, so we are better prepared than the historical characters could ever be. To increase the challenge of the game I could have not taken any action until the declaration of war was made, but within the scenario, time is short and I have other challenging features within the game, primarily learning how to get the best out of the game system. NAPOLEON was aware that the Coalition was intent on action at some time, but he didn't know when.

Along with a retreat point in case the worse happens, you can also instruct corps commanders where to draw their supply from, if it’s not working out in the normal supply system. You can make specific orders for supply to be sent to towns from the main depot, or for towns with supply to send selected amounts to the main supply point (presently REGENSBERG). In response to your orders, supply convoys will be formed and start to move the supply, but they are slow moving and vulnerable, so watch how supply is moving and be prepared to protect the LoC. Getting sufficient supply to your own units, in good time, is important, but so is interrupting your enemy’s supply lines.

At this stage, just keeping watch on the isolated Austrian units across the Danube.







Attachment (1)

< Message edited by Rasputitsa -- 6/22/2015 9:42:16 AM >


_____________________________

"We have to go from where we are, not from where we would like to be" - me

(in reply to Rasputitsa)
Post #: 6
RE: Campaigns v3.03 AAR - 6/21/2015 11:48:26 AM   
Rasputitsa


Posts: 1819
Joined: 6/30/2001
From: Bedfordshire UK
Status: offline
Turn Report

Turn 06 (weather clear – terrain clear)

Situation: Units of Austrian I, II, III corps units now visible in the area CHAM/KLATTAU/PILSEN, with the Austrian VI corps cavalry in PASSAU. First supply convoys from ULM to REGENSBERG now reaching INGOLSTDT, with VANDAMME held up on the road to DONAUWORTH by the supply columns, whilst MASSENA’s leading troops have reached AUGSBURG. The Engineers are making good time on an intermediate road between the two lines of advance. Setting objectives to get units onto different routings helps speed them along, letting them crowd onto the same route slows everyone. LANNES heading East, alone, is well on the way to BRAUNAU.

Strategy: Unchanged, there is nothing more I can do except watch the river line and wait for supply and reinforcement to come forward from the rear, but it is confirming that the Austrian main force seems to be, as expected, in the area of PILSEN

Orders:

NAPOLEON Army Commander; relax by the pool whilst waiting.
LANNES II Corps; repeated order to defend BRAUNAU.

New units, Nansouty-Bruyer both cavalry/ Rouyer - Gency both infantry have appeared at ULM, ordered to detach from NAPOLEON to proceed independently under forced march to ECKMUHL

Comments: The units at ULM were attached to NAPLOLEON and I did not want NAPOLEON leaving REGENSBERG, so I detached the units to give them the separate objective of ECKMUHL, to be in a central position as a reserve.

This screen shot is the map mod in an earlier form, whilst a work-in progress by Chemkid, there will be a separate discussion on the progress of the map.

Experimenting with the display of town names for the revised map and replacing the stock banners with text, blue for towns held by the French, red for the Coalition. Chemkid has various alternative ideas to discuss.







Attachment (1)

< Message edited by Rasputitsa -- 6/25/2015 12:46:21 PM >


_____________________________

"We have to go from where we are, not from where we would like to be" - me

(in reply to Rasputitsa)
Post #: 7
RE: Campaigns v3.03 AAR - 6/21/2015 11:49:58 AM   
Rasputitsa


Posts: 1819
Joined: 6/30/2001
From: Bedfordshire UK
Status: offline
Turn 07 (weather rain – terrain clear)

Situation: It has started raining, but this is not an immediate problem, as it will take several days of rain before it starts to have an effect on movement and combat by creating muddy conditions. Large numbers of Austrian units are moving towards the bridge at CHAM, with elements of several corps identified; this really is the main Austrian army.

Strategy: Hold the bridge and town of CHAM, a breakthrough here, before the rest of the army arrives, would threaten a crossing of the Danube at STRAUBING and my new supply centre at REGENSBERG.

Orders:

NAPOLEON Army Commander; move to CHAM
DAVOUT III Corps; set for Defence in Depth
MASSENA IV Corps; confirm forced march
VANDAMME (Wu); confirm forced march

MOUTON (with the Guard) due to arrive ULM
BERNADOTTE IX Corps due to arrive NURNBURG

Comments: NAPOLEON heads to CHAM to give combat and morale support to DAVOUT, there is precious little else to send at this time. Wellington is quoted as saying that ‘Napoleon’s hat is worth 50,000 men’, well we shall see, there is nowhere else to get 50,000 men from !

There are four Austrian unit counters showing on the road into CHAM, but FOW is selected, so that may not be all and the game screen top bar will confirm. If you mouse-over what may be a stack, the top bar will confirm how many units are present. The stack may contain supply units and they will add to the stack total, so you get more information, but not conclusive. Either way, there is a lot coming down that road !

I am only recording the main orders issued, but it is advisable to check corps and detached units’ objectives, urgency and stance, from time to time, just to ensure that they are following the orders you intended. You can repeat orders any time and I am giving MASENNA and VANDAMME a ‘hurry up’, as sometimes you see the urgency level drop.

I was unsure about moving to advanced positions before the rest of the army had moved up, but I thought the crossing at CHAM would be important and so it seems.






Attachment (1)

< Message edited by Rasputitsa -- 6/27/2015 8:34:49 AM >


_____________________________

"We have to go from where we are, not from where we would like to be" - me

(in reply to Rasputitsa)
Post #: 8
RE: Campaigns v3.03 AAR - 6/21/2015 11:59:55 AM   
Rasputitsa


Posts: 1819
Joined: 6/30/2001
From: Bedfordshire UK
Status: offline
Turn Report

Turn 08 (weather rain – terrain clear)

Situation: It is still raining, but the roads are still in good condition. On 7th April 1809 the Austrians attempted a probing attack at CHAM, which was beaten off with losses on both sides, but the Austrians came off worse. First supply convoy from ULM is about to arrive at REGENSBERG. The Austrians are not following up on the probing attack; we seem to have bought some time. LANNES cavalry has nearly reached BRAUNAU to secure the right flank.

Results: French loss 10 : Austrian loss 34 (including one unit shattered)

Strategy: Continue to hold at CHAM and DEGGENDORF (where LEFEBVRE is out of supply)


Comments: The Austrians made an advance on CHAM and when they moved onto the same hex as DAVOUT's corps at CHAM, it triggered a battle. You have an opportunity to set your stance for the battle, before it resolves, but you don't see your enemy's intentions, that is only revealed after the battle commences. I set DAVOUT to defend, the Austrians were set at probe, so it wasn't a serious attack, but I expect that if I had set 'withdrawal', the result would have been different as both sides would then have been on low intensity. Strategic and tactical decisions, on which stance to take, are very important, but sometimes these choices are forced on you, a weak unit has to be cautious.

The advanced units on the Danube are running out of supply (corps commander’s name turns red, full status available by clicking on corps commander counter). The supply staffs have supply columns enroute to each corps, but it will take days before supply reaches the forward areas and the new supply centre at REGENSBERG can be adequately stocked. Whatever strategy I may want to launch has to wait until the supply is moved forward. There is a large stock of supply at MUNICH, which I could redistribute to other towns, or use for a major move East, but that depends in what happens at CHAM.

Example : The unit counter for LEFEBVRE shows his name in red, a clue to look closer, the information panel shows his status (outlined in red) and although supply is 0, everything else is OK. LEFEBVRE will be ready for action.






Attachment (1)

< Message edited by Rasputitsa -- 6/25/2015 12:51:57 PM >


_____________________________

"We have to go from where we are, not from where we would like to be" - me

(in reply to Rasputitsa)
Post #: 9
RE: Campaigns v3.03 AAR - 6/21/2015 12:21:43 PM   
Rasputitsa


Posts: 1819
Joined: 6/30/2001
From: Bedfordshire UK
Status: offline
Here are the casualties so far.








Attachment (1)

_____________________________

"We have to go from where we are, not from where we would like to be" - me

(in reply to Rasputitsa)
Post #: 10
RE: Campaigns v3.03 AAR - 6/21/2015 12:24:31 PM   
Rasputitsa


Posts: 1819
Joined: 6/30/2001
From: Bedfordshire UK
Status: offline
Turn Report

Turn 09 (weather rain – terrain clear)

Situation: Still raining, but roads remain OK. LANNES captures BRAUNAU and seizes supply, which will help him hold this isolated position. REGENSBERG receives the first supply from ULM. VANDAMME’s leading cavalry has only just reached INGOLSTADT. The Austrians have at least three corps between CHAM and PILSEN, but are not pressing forward and there is the Austrian cavalry division of Vincent, who has been hovering around PASSAU for several days.

Strategy: Wait

Comments: There is a gap at SCHAERDING (just off the map to the East, between DEGGENDORF and BRAUNAU) where Coalition forces could advance unseen, should I send LANNES to SCHAERDING or forward to LAMBACH. The supply staffs have been on the ball and have supply enroute from MUNICH to LANNES at BRAUNAU. I decide not to move forward with LANNES, which may provoke a reaction from the enemy, when I have no reserves to counter them. Watch and wait.






Attachment (1)

< Message edited by Rasputitsa -- 6/21/2015 1:27:23 PM >


_____________________________

"We have to go from where we are, not from where we would like to be" - me

(in reply to Rasputitsa)
Post #: 11
RE: Campaigns v3.03 AAR - 6/21/2015 12:28:22 PM   
Rasputitsa


Posts: 1819
Joined: 6/30/2001
From: Bedfordshire UK
Status: offline
Turn Report

Turn 10 (weather clear – terrain clear)

Situation: At least the rain has stopped and the roads have stayed clear, but it hasn’t helped much, as MASSENA is only just reaching LANDSHUT and VANDAMME hasn’t got past INGOLSTADT. The Austrians are still on the CHAM road with another corps (V corps) identified. The Austrian cavalry from PASSAU is now probing the gap towards LANDAU.

Strategy: Still waiting

Orders:

LANNES II Corps; defend BRAUNAU
MASSENA IV Corps; take supply from REGENSBERG

Comments: DAVOUT and LEFEBVRE in the advanced positions are still out of supply, whilst still trying to keep MASSENA and VANDAMME at a forced march, but what state will they be in when they arrive. MASSENA, ringed in red, has units spread out near LANDSHUT and could join the action soon. A poor choice of route for VANDAMME has him trailing with supply columns, which are bringing up supply to REGENSBERG






Attachment (1)

< Message edited by Rasputitsa -- 6/21/2015 1:33:15 PM >


_____________________________

"We have to go from where we are, not from where we would like to be" - me

(in reply to Rasputitsa)
Post #: 12
RE: Campaigns v3.03 AAR - 6/21/2015 12:34:23 PM   
Rasputitsa


Posts: 1819
Joined: 6/30/2001
From: Bedfordshire UK
Status: offline
Turn Report

Turn 11 (weather rain – terrain clear) - 11th May 1809.

Situation: The rain started again and the Austrians made a determined effort to force the crossing at CHAM. NAPOLEON and DAVOUT, standing together under a tree in the rain, watching the Austrians massing on the Northern bank of the Regen and decided on a defence in depth deployment, the bridge must be held. Several Austrian divisions shattered themselves against DAVOUT’s firm defence and, as an early twilight brought an end to the fighting, the bridge was still in French hands. Pleased with the result, the Emperor left the battlefield to plan further operations, his time would have been better spent in paying more attention to the cost of the victory to those of DAVOUT’s divisions, which were in the at centre of the struggle for the bridge.

Results: French lose 11 strength points; Austrians lose 83 pts (including 3 units shattered)

Strategy: The battle may result in a change of strategy.

Orders:

NAPOLEON Army Commander; ordered supply (100 pts) from REGENSBERG to DEGGENDORF
DAVOUT III Corps; Battle order - Defend in Depth
MASSENA IV Corps; Continue to BRAUNAU


Comments: The Austrians made a strong attack on the CHAM crossing, but DAVOUT was in a good defensive position with NAPOLEON in support and with the most powerful of the French corps. As it turned out, DAVOUT had cavalry superiority and if I had set the battle orders for ‘counter attack’ there might have been an even greater victory, but that is hindsight not available in a WEGO game, you come to battle resolution with orders already set. Uncertainty rules.

You have to make your battle stance decision before you see your opponents stance and the battle is resolved, if two forces come together with fallback/withdrawal orders, nothing much will happen, but if both forces come to the fight in 'frontal assault' mode, when the battle is resolved it will be a bloody affair. Your battle options with depend on the stance you have given to your corps previously, if they have basic orders to’ engage’, then if it comes to a battle, you will not have a fallback choice, only choices on how you want to attack.

DAVOUT’s III corps seems to came through well, but Morand’s infantry division suffered serious loss, losing nearly half his strength and I should have paid more attention to the detail.

I have ordered some supply to DEGGENDORF in expectation of being able to use it as a base of operations, when the campaign moves East, assuming that it does. The main supply depot remains at REGENSBERG, where it will support operations against the PILSEN concentration.

This game might look simple compared to the hundreds of counters in some games, whilst with this game you just sit and watch while the computer moves the counters, boring, far from it, there is plenty to be done and plenty that you are able to do in command decisions






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< Message edited by Rasputitsa -- 6/21/2015 2:58:45 PM >


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Post #: 13
RE: Campaigns v3.03 AAR - 6/21/2015 12:55:49 PM   
Rasputitsa


Posts: 1819
Joined: 6/30/2001
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Turn Report

Turn 12 (weather rain – terrain muddy)

Situation: The rain has continued and after several days of this weather the roads have turned to mud. The Austrians seem to be pulling back toward PILSEN, with their III corps no longer visible (was it destroyed?), but there are still lots of units in some of the stacks, so they are not finished yet. The Austrian cavalry division of Vincent (VI corps) has continued to probe forward and is now just outside LANDAU - where is the rest of VI corps ??

Strategy: Launch pursuit of Austrian forces withdrawing from the CHAM battlefield, their artillery is in the rear of their column and we might pick up some guns on these muddy roads. There is a need to cover the gap around PASSAU and SCHAERDING, so that there are no surprises from that direction, otherwise still waiting to get more units and supply forward, before any general advance can be made and the Guard will be at ULM soon.

Orders:

NAPOLEON Army Commander; ordered supply (100) to CHAM from REGENSBERG, attached to DAVOUT to give maximum support
LANNES II Corps; forced march to LAMBACH
DAVOUT III Corps; advance towards PILSEN
MASSENA IV Corps; ordered forced march to PASSAU
LEFEBVRE VII Corps; forced march to KLATTAU
VANDAMME (Wu); hurry up ! (ensure he stays on forced march orders) ordered to DEGGENDORF

MOUTON (with the Guard) due to arrive ULM in 3 days
BERNADOTTE IX Corps due to arrive NURNBURG in 13 days

Nansouty’s cavalry (detached), nearly at DEGGENDORF, ordered to engage/screen PASSAU, Bruyer ‘s cavalry (detached), ordered to engage/screen LANDAU.
Marulaz’s cavalry detached from MASENNA corps enroute to BRAUNAU, to cover the Austrian cavalry near LANDAU.
Demont’s infantry detached from DAVOUT’s corps to guard (order defend) CHAM.

Comments: VANDAMME’s cavalry has reached REGENSBERG, but the rest of his corps is stretched down the muddy roads back to INGOLSTADT. Can I move without the Guard, still to arrive and then make the march from ULM, in this weather?

The weather feature is basic, but effective, as weather should be. There is a delay in the effects, as it takes several days of rain, before the roads become muddy and several days of clear weather, before they can dry out again.

DAVOUT’s corps, less Demont, chases (as much as the muddy roads allow) after the Austrian main force towards PILSEN. NAPOLEON is attached to DAVOUT to ensure that he stays close, to provide support, this is different from independently giving NAPOLEON the same objective, and the attachment effectively has NAPLOEON in the same camp.

All units, including DAVOUT are out of supply, but morale and confidence is high. LANNES is directed onward to LAMBACH, extending the right flank guard further East. VANDAMME has reached REGENSBERG and now sent on to DEGGENDORF, under the assumption that if the threat to CHAM is reduced, then the campaign might be moving further East. LEFEBVRE ordered, with forced march, to KLATTAU, to match DAVOUT’s move and close up towards PILSEN, we may not be ready for a general engagement yet, but we need to keep the Austrian main force under observation.

I am aware that I have all units under forced march orders, on rain soaked muddy roads, with little, or no supply, but hoping to make use of captured supply by advancing. It is early in the campaign and most units are showing low fatigue, except for DAVOUT’s corps who have some effects of the battle at CHAM. Later in the campaign when units’ info panels are showing higher fatigue, with units shaken, or brittle, these orders would be madness.

As the campaign progresses check the corps commanders’ info panel for his condition and then select ‘view units’ to see the basic condition of all the units in the corps. If you want more information, click units individually on the map for full details of their condition.

Elated by the repulse of the Austrians at CHAM, I failed to pay attention to the condition of DAVOUT’s corps after the battle, with unfortunate results later.

The game top bar becomes useful again, to reveal the size of the unit stacks on the road to PILSEN and show were the strength is. NAPOLEON's information panel shows how many replacements are available, as when selecting a unit which is below full strength, you will have an opportunity to add replacements to restore some of its power.






Attachment (1)

< Message edited by Rasputitsa -- 6/22/2015 10:03:55 AM >


_____________________________

"We have to go from where we are, not from where we would like to be" - me

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Post #: 14
RE: Campaigns v3.03 AAR - 6/21/2015 1:06:36 PM   
Rasputitsa


Posts: 1819
Joined: 6/30/2001
From: Bedfordshire UK
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Turn Report

Turn 13 (weather clear – terrain muddy)

Situation: The rain has stopped, but it will take some days before the roads dry out. The Austrians on the road between CHAM and PILSEN turn to fight a rear guard action with DAVOUT.

Results: French lose 21 strength points; Austrian lose 13 pts

Strategy: Stop DAVOUT and LEFBVRE, consolidate positions, rethink strategy.

Orders:

Wrede detached from LEFEBVRE (on the road to KLATTAU) to defend DEGGENDORF

Comment: The Austrians turned back on DAVOUT and although the battle, in the muddy lanes 18 miles NE of CHAM, was a draw, DAVOUT suffered most and the clues were all there. Even though I set DAVOUT to probe, so the pursuit would not be too aggressive, his units were just not ready for another battle, so soon after the battle for the CHAM Bridge.

I should have declared a rest day for DAVOUT’s corps and used some of the replacements that were available (6 pts shown on the NAPOLEON info panel), to rebuild the units which had suffered the most loss.

A hard lesson learned, don’t get carried away by success, so now consolidating by detaching an infantry division (Wrede) to guard DEGGENDORF against the Austrian cavalry (Vincent) prowling around LANDAU, until VANDAMME’s corps moves up from REGENSBERG.

The screen shot shows all the information that was available on the state of DAVOUT’s troops. DAVOUT’s own fatigue and stress levels building and several of his units brittle. To mis-quote Wellington, even a battle won can be very damaging.

Just to hammer the point, this is not a simple game; it has hidden depths for the unwary to drown in.






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< Message edited by Rasputitsa -- 6/21/2015 3:10:31 PM >


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Post #: 15
RE: Campaigns v3.03 AAR - 6/21/2015 1:08:46 PM   
Rasputitsa


Posts: 1819
Joined: 6/30/2001
From: Bedfordshire UK
Status: offline
Turn Report

Turn 14 (weather clear – terrain clear)

Situation: The weather has continued to improve and the roads have dried out, two days ago I wondered where the rest of the Austrian VI corps was, with Vincent’s Austrian VI corps cavalry probing LANDAU. Now they are revealed between PASSAU and LANDAU. LEFBVRE is receiving the first supply column to arrive from the depots. The Austrian main force is not pressing DAVOUT, after the action North-East of CHAM.

Results: Nansouty loses all 12 strength points.

Strategy: Decision is to withdraw to a bridgehead opposite CHAM and halt movements towards PILSEN. The discovery of Austrian VI corps between the rivers, near LANDAU, has to become the focus. What else might be following ?


Orders:

NAPOLEON Army Commander; move to DEGGENDORF to join LEFEBVRE
LANNES II Corps; ordered to LINZ
DAVOUT III Corps; defend at hex 27,6
MASSENA IV Corps; ordered to PASSAU, change supply depot MUNICH, retreat point LANDSHUT
LEFEBVRE VII Corps; ordered to PASSAU
VANDAMME (Wu); defend DEGGENDORF

MOUTON (with the Guard) due to arrive ULM
BERNADOTTE IX Corps due to arrive NURNBURG

Engineers to LANDSHUT, in case bridge demolition is required on the river line.
Woolwarth (VANDAMME) transferred to LEFEBVRE
Lauriston Artillery (NAPOLEON) arrives ULM, detached and quick march to STRAUBING

Comment: Nansouty, an elite and strong cavalry unit, was dispatched with engage orders to deal with the Austrian cavalry near LANDAU. Bruyer and Marulaz were closing in from other directions and if it had only been the Austrian cavalry, then the situation was well in hand. However, Nansouty found the rest of the Hiller’s Austrian VI corps (4 divs.) marching into the gap that I was concerned about, on the road between PASSAU and LANDAU.

Orders, Orders; a cavalry unit with the wrong orders can end up in ruin; the Charge of the Light Brigade has nothing on this. Whilst Marulaz was sent forward with defend orders to hold the bridge at LANDAU (see turn 12) and would have acted with caution, Nansouty, with engage orders, threw himself at a whole Austrian corps, with predictable results, losing his whole command.

Cavalry commanders are not the brightest cookies in the jar, but they have to be handled with care. It will be revealed later that it wasn’t as bad as it looks, as Nansouty’s men are not lost, but have all become stragglers, so Nansouty’s impetuosity has spread one of the finest cavalry units in existence all over the Bavarian countryside and it will take days to restore the unit.

Nansouty sheepishly returns to camp that night, alone, to write a report for the Emperor, declaring to anyone who will listen: ‘but I was only obeying orders’. He is a sad spectacle, still resplendent in his cuirassier uniform, but the sniggers from the tents of the Bavarian and Württemberger cavalry units are clearly audible in the still night air.

He contents himself with the thought that they will probably make a movie about the charge, maybe 200 years in the future.

Meanwhile back to the war; Nansouty is attached to VANDAMME’s corps, now heading for DEGGENDORF to try and rebuild the unit.

The appearance of Austrian VI corps, between the rivers, opens up the possibility of trapping it by seizing the crossings, but also guarding against the presence of more Coalition forces pushing through FREISING, LANDSHUT, or LANDAU, into the rear areas now crowded with supply convoys.

DAVOUT cannot go on alone against the main Austrian force and must withdraw into a bridgehead opposite CHAM, so that an advance can be quickly launched later when required. The first battle of CHAM showed how difficult and costly it can be to attempt to force a river crossing, so I want to hold the bridgehead on the North bank of the river Regen, opposite CHAM, to make it easier to advance later. Supply columns are close to CHAM.

LEFEBVRE, is now supplied and ordered to PASSAU to close in behind Austrian VI corps and guard against further Coalition forces approaching from the East. Woolwarth, leading VANDAMME’s corps into DEGGENDORF, is transferred to LEFEBVRE, who has no cavalry and needs observation into enemy territory, whilst heading East.

LANNES’ cavalry has almost reached LAMBACH and the discovery of Austrian VI corps has produced a difficult decision. I could redirect LANNES to SCHAERDING and close the ring on VI corps, but with NAPOLEON still at CHAM, there will be a long delay in passing the order, all the time LANNES will be marching onward to LAMBACH. When the order arrives he will then have to countermarch on a circuitous route to SCHAERDING.

The alternative is to keep LANNES heading further East to LINZ, supply is following him through BRAUNAU and he can close the Danube crossing at LINZ. When LEFEBVRE reaches PASSAU, the Danube will be barred to VI corps; it will be trapped on my side of the river. LINZ is a good defensive position surrounded by rivers and will give deep flank protection from other Coalition forces coming from that direction.

MASSENA following, LANNES through BRAUNAU, has been redirected to PASSAU, hopefully intercepting Austrian VI on the way. I have set the march pace at ‘regular’, as MASSENA’s units have become spread out along the road in forced marches, this should allow them to close up before they encounter VI corps. MASSENA’s corps has also been set to march ‘to the guns’, so that they will join any combat taking place. MASSENA was intended to head to LAMBACH, but with the change of orders, LANNES could be outflanked through an undefended LAMBACH. Will just have to deal with that when and if it happens, LANNES has retreat routes available on both sides of the Danube.

This has been a long turn and took sometime in revising strategy, providing replacements, considering new options, digesting the lessons. I have provided artillery replacements for DAVOUT’s III corps artillery, which turned out to be a mistake, as in later turns the unit regained its original strength with returning stragglers and those unnecessary replacements could have been used elsewhere. Better to wait a turn and see how many stragglers show on the unit counter (red box) before acting, unless it is urgent to use the unit immediately and it might take some time before stragglers are re-integrated into the unit.

I have explained this turn in some detail to show the possibilities in the game, how options open and close, uncertainty and calamities keep the mix turning. I am not drowned in information overload, the scale of the scenario just requires me to monitor a handful of corps commanders, but I can also quickly see the detail of individual units whenever needed (now I have learned to look). This is not high end graphics and lots of gloss, but it does a good job of presenting what is needed to play well.

There are many decisions to be made, which is what the player should be concentrating on, whilst the computer does the boring stuff, moving counters.

The game ‘feels’ right for the era and has sent me back to the books to research the history.

This seems a good place to stop for a break, I will continue with the AAR soon, hopefully integrating more of the new map mod developments from CHEMKID and v3.04, when it is issued.






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< Message edited by Rasputitsa -- 6/25/2015 1:02:54 PM >


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Post #: 16
RE: Campaigns v3.03 AAR - 6/23/2015 5:16:29 PM   
Rasputitsa


Posts: 1819
Joined: 6/30/2001
From: Bedfordshire UK
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Edit to TURN14 :

I wrote this -
quote:

I have provided artillery replacements for DAVOUT’s III corps artillery, which turned out to be a mistake, as in later turns the unit regained its original strength with returning stragglers and those unnecessary replacements could have been used elsewhere. Better to wait a turn and see how many stragglers show on the unit counter (red box) before acting, unless it is urgent to use the unit immediately and it might take some time before stragglers are re-integrated into the unit.


I was surprised when stragglers returned to III Corps artillery, because the unit counter did not indicate any stragglers in the red box on the counter. Chemkid is working on revised counters to go with his map mod and has toned down the unit counter RED box, to reveal that it can have RED numerals displayed (or as it turns out - not displayed ), because red text in a red box is invisible.




I guess the stragglers were showing in red, because they were at high fatigue, but not visible in red. The numeral becomes black when fatigue fades and only then becomes visible in the red box, but by then I had supplied replacements.

In the image - 'Tharreau' is the stock counter and any red numerals in the red box will be invisible, 'd Espagne' is the new mod counter and red numerals can be seen.

The point of this is that if a unit has stragglers likely to return, save your replacements for units which need re-building and have no expectation of re-building strength with stragglers.

Frank - if you read this; a counter mod will deal with the problem and if the stragglers are showing red with high fatigue, then that is useful information and nothing in the game has to change except the counters.

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< Message edited by Rasputitsa -- 6/25/2015 1:05:11 PM >


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Post #: 17
RE: Campaigns v3.03 AAR - 6/24/2015 8:26:36 AM   
Rasputitsa


Posts: 1819
Joined: 6/30/2001
From: Bedfordshire UK
Status: offline
The game counters are easily changed so that the red numerals are more obvious :






Here 'Gutschmidt' is the original format counter for use on the vanilla map, but with the stragglers box colour changed to allow the red numeral to show clearly.

'Feilizsch' is a counter in development for Chemkid's map mod and will not be the final version, the red numeral is showing, but could be improved.

'Polenz' is an original unchanged counter and a red numeral in the red stragglers box will be invisible.

Attachment (1)

< Message edited by Rasputitsa -- 6/25/2015 1:06:33 PM >


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"We have to go from where we are, not from where we would like to be" - me

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Post #: 18
RE: Campaigns v3.03 AAR - 6/26/2015 10:29:59 AM   
Rasputitsa


Posts: 1819
Joined: 6/30/2001
From: Bedfordshire UK
Status: offline
FoW for this AAR has been set at 'Hidden Units', which means that you see some enemy unit counters, type of units (infantry, artillery, etc.) the corps they come from and, additionally, you can see how many units, including supply, that is in a stack. Initially this is enough to be realistic, but when units have been in contact for many days, even in battle, there should be more information.

In the screen shot there are Austrian units, which have been behind my lines (such as lines exist in Napoleonic warfare) and in contact with my units for several days, but the strength box is still blank. There should be some indication of the size of the unit, even with a % error and maybe an indication if there are stragglers.

The chance for error should vary depending on the cavalry balance and whether the cavalry is set for engage /screen, or fallback. If confronted by cavalry in screen mode, then you would have to defeat, or displace, them to get through and obtain information.

The margin at present is huge, there might be 4 units with strengths of 1, which would be an insignificant force, but 4 units at strengths of 15, would be 60 and a large body of men. Realistically you would know the difference, even if the information was not exact.






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< Message edited by Rasputitsa -- 6/26/2015 11:31:23 AM >


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