From: Bedfordshire UK
5th May 1809
Turn Resolution – Weather is raining roads are muddy - again
DAVOUT captures 137 supplies (PASSAU)
NEUMARKT supply depot burnt again ???
It's raining again, so the roads are not going to dry out.
NAPOLEON, with DAVOUT, has taken undisputed control of PASSAU, without a battle.
The Emperor's earlier hurt pride at being driven from this town has been avenged.
LANNES is continuing towards LINZ, with the Austrians melting away in front of him, now only two enemy units seen (cavalry screen ?), the rest have skedaddled.
Morand recovering and ordered to PASSAU, intending to re-attach when in a better state.
MOUTON did not react to orders and now has the objective of PASSAU, which I did not set, and has chosen to use the road along the South bank of the Danube which left DEGGENDORF uncovered. Vukassovic followed to the outskirts of DEGGENDORF, where the brigade of Gency has been guarding the crossing and the Engineers have been ready to blow the bridge, but the Austrians have retreated back towards PASSAU, but have not gone far and could be back.
MASSENA has not started back towards PASSAU and is sitting on the crossroads on the objective of a previous turn, so I can only assume that the message from the last turn did not get through. The area around NAPOLEON was a confused mass of units with French and Austrians mixed in the same hexes, so the messenger may have be intercepted. I suppose I should use Berthier's method of sending three messengers with each order. I think the game has a limit on the number of messages you can send in each turn, but I have never seen a limit.
I am using mostly 'defend' march stance, as 'engage' has had some unfortunate results, such as the loss of DAVOUT's III Corps artillery, when other units went off on another road, chasing to 'engage' enemy units and the artillery, which stayed on the correct road to the objective, ran into an enemy rear-guard. This choice often delays action, but is much safer in uncertain FOW conditions.
There are 19 Austrian units opposing NAPOLEON and DAVOUT opposite PASSAU, but they have not fought for the town, can they be brushed aside ?
There are a LOT more Austrian units than the map shows, the single enemy counters may represent stacks and a 'mouse-over' will show stack numbers in the top screen bar, but be cautious as the 'mouse over' also works on apparently empty hexes. FOW will be destroyed if you are able to search all the hexes on the map and this should be fixed in v3.06.
MASSENA is well on the way to LINZ and MOUTON is routeing to PASSAU on the South bank of the Danube, neither of these results were expected, but do I try and change them now, or just accept want is happening and adjust the orders to match, leaving DAVOUT and LEFEBVRE to handle the PASSAU situation alone.
Replacements for Gency brigade not possible, as it is already at the full strength initially allocated, that is only (2) strength points, which I guess equates to only battalion strength (1000 men). One CotD strength point = infantry 500 men.
It seems wrong to use a Guard division from MOUTON's corps as a bridge defence, but 22 miles (36 kms) from the DEGGENDORF crossing is the French LOC. The Austrians cannot be allowed to cross that bridge, even if I have to order the Engineers to destroy it.
Last turn I expected that MASSENA would have joined NAPOLEON, DAVOUT and LEFEBVRE at PASSAU and MOUTON would be closing on PASSAU along the North bank on the DEGGENDORF. This turn I had expected to be able to sweep away the concentration of Austrian units opposite PASSAU, whilst LANNES continues to drive the remaining Austrian units towards LINZ. The end of the campaign in sight, maybe ?
But, MASENNA is sitting on the crossroads objective of previous orders and MOUTON has re-crossed the Danube and is making his way back to PASSAU on the South bank and in no position to threaten the Austrians. Did they not get their orders ?
PASSAU is now in firmly in French hands, but previously there was a confusion of mixed up units, French and Austrian around the town, so I guess the orders messengers did not get through and neither MOUTON, nor MASSENA, seemed to have received their orders.
For want of a horse the rider was lost.
For want of a rider the message was lost.
For want of a message the battle was lost.
So what now ? With MOUTON moving away, Austrian III Corps has probed DEGGENDORF, so I had little option than to order MOUTON to hold the crossing there. There is an advantage, in that MOUTON has many wounded (12) from previous battles, so with MOUTON (Imperial Guard) ordered to defend DEGGENDORF, it gives him more time to be close to the hospital at LANDAU, to restore his damaged units.
None of this would be important if I had the use of VANDAMME and BERNADOTTE and I could now be bulldozing the Austrians back towards VIENNA , so the what-if scenario of 'parking' these units has made for a more interesting game.
LANNES continue to push towards LINZ, detaching Bruyer cavalry to probe LAMBACH, to avoid any surprise on that flank. More (100) supply to BRAUNAU to keep LANNES and MASSENA supplied on this advance.
From LINZ, LANNES can close the direct Austrian supply route from VIENNA to the main Austrian army near PASSAU and intercept them if they retreat that way.
Decide to leave MASSENA supporting LANNE through LINZ, especially if the Austrians do come that way. So the quick strike out of PASSAU with the bulk of the army has now changed to an encircling strategy to choke off the Austrians before they can escape. PASSAU may become a holding operation, although the Emperor still wants to test CHARLES' resolve by attacking the Austrian forces facing PASSAU.
Sending MASSENA over the DANUBE crossing upstream of LINZ, to close the road on the North bank. Also sending (100) supply from LOC LANDAU to SCHAERDING to build up a depot to add to supply for this advance.
More strategy options, keep one corps holding PASSAU, send NAPOLEON with one other corps (LEFEBVRE is in the best condition – all units confident) to join MASSENA and LANNES and confront the Austrians further East, near LINZ, as they retreat, if they retreat.
The strategy combinations are mind-bending, what to do ?
So having been expecting to be able to concentrate around PASSAU for a quick closing battle with CHARLES, the Emperor has finds himself embarked on a wider and longer strategy of enclosing the enemy. This has been forced by events and the realisation that MOUTON, in particular, cannot face another battle so soon and needs time to recover and then the rain. Maybe the weather will improve and the roads dry out and it is a 'campaign' option, ending 14th July, so there is time.
What happens if the Austrians are not retreating and the Reuss-Plau (2 units by hex stack number) near SCHAERDING are hiding more enemy units in FOW and intend to strike back at PASSAU and close in on NAPOLEON from behind.
LEFEBVRE can deal with that, if DAVOUT can hold PASSAU alone ?
DAVOUT has concentrated his newly re-built III Corps at PASSAU, for the first time since being split by Austrian advances, including a replacement artillery unit. Keeping him at PASSAU will allow the Corps to improve its state, especially Morand who is recovering from being shattered in the first attempt to take PASSAU.
So maybe this enforced hiatus is a blessing, as it will give time to regenerate the army, before confronting the Austrians on better terms later.
Decision, LEFEBRVE will march on LINZ down the South bank of the Danube, to ensure that there are no surprises here, joining MASSENA and LANNES to create a strong force in the Austrian rear. NAPOLEON will initially stay attached to DAVOUT to ensure that PASSAU can be held. If the Austrian do attack, they have had difficulty in organising and DAVOUT should hold, whilst the longer the Austrians stay near PASSAU, the tighter the noose will close from LINZ.
DAVOUT is drawing supply from captured stocks in PASSAU, but sending more (100) from LOC LANDAU to keep the depot filled.
I am keeping the LOC at LANDAU, but sending supply forward, in anticipation of moving the LOC forward later.
Dorsenne and Curial of the Guard Cops near DEGGENDORF are eligible for replacements so I have allocated 1 point to each of them. I haven't resolved the issue of whether there would be elite replacements, but assume that the Emperor would comb through other units to find candidates to restore his beloved Guard.
There is another 3400+ convoy appeared at REGENSBERG, heading for NEUMARKT and I have no idea what that is !
I have spent some time and thought on this turn, as it the scenario seems to be at a critical stage and the were so many choice, but press the GO button !
< Message edited by Rasputitsa -- 2/20/2020 4:41:50 PM >
"In politics stupidity is not a handicap" - Napoleon
“A people which is able to say everything becomes able to do everything” - Napoleon
“Among those who dislike oppression are many who like to oppress" - Napoleon