From: Bedfordshire UK
Progressing through this AAR to show some of the changes in v3.10, but the update is not complete, so other features and changes might appear.
Going into some detail to show as much as possible of the features and effects in the game, especially as the game Manual has not been updated from the first issue, so I hope this AAR will highlight the features in the game, including the changes and additions in v3.10.
CHEMKID map and counter mods installed, but using own mod town 'banner' files to show town names, red for Coalition control, blue for French control.
1805 Variant – CHARLES REPLACES MACK IN BAVARIA
Scenario Description - This scenario starts October 3rd and ends October 24th. It is a variant of the 1805 scenario whereby the Austrians have put their main effort on the Danube and Charles has accepted command. Additional forces are also now available to the Austrian forces.
The Austrians in this scenario are advancing more methodically and awaiting Russian forces coming from Poland.
Game settings : Coalition Solitaire, French AI, Hidden Enemy, Randomised Leadership (v3.10), Campaign option selected
Game scale :
CotD, uses a ground scale of 9 kilometres ( 5.5 miles) per hex, the unit of manoeuvre is the division and the time scale is single day turns that tick by in 24, 1 hour pulses.
The game is played over the map road-net and towns, with all movement on the roads. The game is mainly at the operational level, with tactical inputs to a battle resolution procedure, whenever significant combat occurs. Smaller skirmishes, units retreats, supply capture and enemy contacts are resolved by the AI during Turn Resolution and notified by message.
This may seem limiting, but many campaigns and battles of the period were fought over the roads and towns, with 'Waterloo' fought on the high road to Brussels and 'Quatre Bras' over the important crossroads. Whilst 'Borodino' was fought on the high road to Moscow and 'Gettysburg' shows the importance of the road layout in initiating a major 3 day battle.
Overall, the game system works well at the scale which is being represented, with unit movement and logistics, represented by actual supply depots and supply convoys, realistically reproduced.
'Neutral handicap', which is self explanatory
'Hidden Enemy', v3.10 has greater FOW, in that the unit stack number indication does not function, unless you have friendly units in the same hex, otherwise nearby sighted enemy units only show as one counter, although many more could be in the visible hex. Conversely in v3.10, during 'Turn Resolution' enemy units can sometimes be visible whilst they are moving, but FOW descends again when entering the following 'Orders Phase'. This visibility is limited and you won't see much of the enemy army, under 'Hidden Enemy'.
Using 'Randomised Leaders' (new in v3.10), where corps commander attributes can vary randomly from the historical values at scenario start, and the 'Campaign' option, which extends the scenario end date from October 24th, until December 5th 1805.
With these settings game time is 3rd October 1805 – 5th December 1805 – starts 'At War'
The main Austrian forces are concentrated on MUNICH and Russian forces under KUTUSOV at LINZ, with further Russian forces under BUXHOWDEN at BRUNN.
There are no Coalition reinforcements, but individual replacement points will appear in the Coalition Army Commander (CHARLES) information panel during the game. These replacements can be distributed to units which have deficiencies and are also within about (5) hexes of the LOC. The replacement points are distributed as (1) point for an infantry replacement, (2) for cavalry and (3) for artillery (new in v3.10). The 'View Units' panel, available from each corps commanders' information box, shows which units 'Need' replacements. When a unit qualifies for replacements and is in range of the LOC, then the 'Add Replacements' button, in the unit information panel, is highlighted and functions to 'add replacements'.
Speed of Playback Movement set (15), so that I can see what is happening during AI turn resolution. Especially as the FOW breaks slightly during turn resolution (in v3.10) and you may see enemy units whilst they are moving and before the full FOW is restored at the completion of turn resolution. This is useful low level intelligence.
NAPOLEON believed in 'Information Superiority', keeping a card index of enemy forces and also a similar index of his own units, so the information available in CotD is reasonably in line with historical reality, in as much as any game can be.
House Rules : self imposed
'To the guns', not used for the Coalition, to represent the lack of co-ordination
No 'Forced March' for Austrian Corps until corps 'Stress' is +10 and panic sets in. (excluding Russian corps and Austrian detached units)
(The Coalition movements were historically slower than the French, but they were often able to out-march the French when escaping)
From the Coalition Army Commander's (CHARLES) info panel :
Coalition 'Lines of Communication' (LOC) at LINZ (1000 supply points) – is 'Operating' (means that supply lines to the rear [VIENNA] are open)
Hospital is at LINZ
CHARLES' Administration level (7)
The basic game is very historical and most people want to play NAPOLEON, why wouldn't you, getting the NAPOLEON and French Imperial Guard battle bonuses and you have the better corps commanders, with the Coalition there to get a good kicking.
You have to do something really stupid to lose as French.
However, what about replay, how many times can you steamroller the Coalition ?
Playing the Coalition provides more challenge and now, with v3.10, there are 'Randomised Leadership' and 'Randomise Scenario' options. You now have to pay more attention to the condition of your corps commanders, because an army once broken is difficult to fix, which is very painfully historical.
Are these particular scenario set-up choices completely historical, maybe not, but it should be more fun and it is good to have more choice (v3.10), if you like having your plans derailed.
So starting the game,
Deployment Turn - 2nd October 1805 – Weather Clear
This opening turn cannot be saved, so I am calling it the 'Deployment Turn', as it is only the next turn and after the first 'Turn Resolution' phase that the game can be saved.
Additionally the game screen opens on 2nd. October when the scenario is posted as starting on 3rd. October, which will be the next turn and can be saved.
The game is split into the 'Orders Phase', where you can see your army and unit state, issue orders to your corps commanders on objectives, march urgency, enemy contact stance, detach/reattach/transfer individual divisional/brigade units, or monitor and manage supply.
Then there is the 'Combat Phase', turn resolution, in which the AI moves both sides' units simultaneously (WEGO), enacting orders, resolves skirmishes and, when appropriate, presents battles to be resolved after the player has selected a battle strategy.
CHARLES is in command of Coalition forces and has not deployed so far forward as MACK did historically, with a better chance of receiving support from the first approaching Russian corps (KUTUSOV), set to arrive near the frontier with Bavaria.
Friendly forces :
KIENMAYER I Corps at MUNICH
REISCH V Corps at MUNICH
WERNECK II Corps at MUNICH
JELLACIC VI Corps at MUNICH
BELLEGARDE VII Corps at BRAUNAU
KUTUSOV I C Corps at LINZ
BUXHOWDEN IIC Corps at BRUNN
Enemy forces :
BERNADOTTE I Corps
MARMONT II Corps
DAVOUT III Corps
SOULT IV Corps
LANNES V Corps
NEY VI Corps
MURAT CavR Corps
AUGEREAU VII Corps
BESSIERES Guard Corps
Set Supply Control – 'Computer' in CHARLES' info panel, leave LOC and Hospital at LINZ for now.
MUNICH supply depot (1500) is vulnerable, so immediately send (500) back to LOC LINZ and place all nearby corps on MUNICH supply to use up this depot. Although I have set 'computer controlled supply', the player can still order supply convoys to towns and corps of choice.
Send supply (500) from KREMS to LOC LINZ, before roads clogged by BUXHOWDEN's movements
Send supply (500) from LOC LINZ to SCHRAEDING to act as a forward depot
Supply orders cannot be cancelled so get it right !
Once supply is set in motion it cannot be stopped, except that convoys will try and avoid enemy units by stopping, or finding an alternative route, but they can also be lost to enemy action. Similarly, your units may capture enemy supply depots, or supply convoys, notified by message. With computer controlled supply selected, the AI will try to send captured supply to the rear, or set up a town depot, so look out for random supply depots, that you might want to direct elsewhere.
Previous versions of the game allowed for supply convoys up to (1000) points to be created, which was questionable to have a convoy that large, so now player created convoys can still be set for such high figures, but the AI supply system will only respond to player orders with a series of reasonably sized convoys, until the supply request is filled (v3.10).
When set at 'computer controlled supply' the AI will restrict its own supply movements to a series of more historically sized supply convoys (v3.10).
I am going to experiment more with the 'Transfer' option, to see how the game reacts.
Re-organise REISCH as a 'Cavalry Corps', which is not historically correct, but I am exploring the capabilities of the game system. Using 'transfer' to take out infantry divisions and replace with spare cavalry divisions from other corps. This leaves REISCH with (6) cavalry units and the corps artillery, whilst his infantry units are spread around the other corps, whilst not wanting to overload any individual commander, the spare (Auffenberg) will later attach to CHARLES.
CHARLES has been closely observing the Corsican Upstart's methods and is determined to beat him at his own game !
REISCH will match MURAT's French Cavalry Corps, as any arms race can consist of copying enemy doctrine, even though this one was unlikely, it will be interesting to see how the game handles it.
I will use REISCH to probe and menace the flanks, a bit like 'Jeb' STUART in the later ACW and I need to get early warning of the French approach and maybe disrupt some of their supply depots.
Reorganise forces at MUNICH, as above.
Transfer Nostitz cavalry from KIENMAYER to REISCH
Transfer Vogel cavalry from WERNECK to REISCH
Transfer Gyulay infantry from REISCH to KIENMAYER
Transfer Loudon infantry from REISCH to JELLACIC
Transfer Dinersberg cavalry from WERNECK to REISCH
Change – WERNECK now looks too heavy, check leader attributes set with 'Randomised Leadership' and monitor situation (WERNECK was always a big corps, but commander attributes may change and he may become overloaded)
Note : you can send multiple orders to corps and detached units and there is supposed to be a limit to the number of messengers you have each turn, but I have not seen a limit. Sometimes messages go astray (enemy action) and multiple/changed orders might not arrive in the correct sequence, whilst the corps/detached units will try and follow the last order received, but is that the order you meant to be the last? So, best to keep it simple (realistic), with the fewer order changes as possible, which I constantly fail to achieve.
Auffenberg infantry division 'detach', to (28,18), 'fall-back' contact stance, 'forced' march urgency, expecting to eventually attach to CHARLES as a reserve, when closer.
Transfers are immediate and you can see the result in the corps commanders 'View Units' panel straight away. However, if the transferred units are not close to the receiving commander, then that corps commander may be drawn away from the main part of his corps, in trying to be close to his newly acquired unit(s).
So it is best to move units which are about to be transferred closer to the receiving corps, by 'detached' orders, until they are nearer (4 hexes, or less) and have come under the new corps commanders influence range.
I am doing these transfers whilst the Austrian corps are together in MUNICH, as it is best not to confuse things by transferring at a distance.
I will watch the effects of these transfers, against the effects on commander attributes and morale, in case of commander overload. I could also use CHARLES' influence to maintain corps commanders' attribute level, by attaching him to any corps.
The game provides flexible controls, but we will see how it works out ! You don't get to drop your unit counters just where you want them, you have to get your subordinate commanders to do that for you, but an exhausting horse ride away and probably facing a situation that you cannot see.
FOW is working at all levels in this game, corps commanders are not automatons, just slavishly following your orders and will choose different actions in some circumstances, so check corps commanders and detached unit objectives, morale and stress levels, they may be doing something completely different from that ordered. It may look good on the HQ map, but the guy in the mud, surrounded by lancers may have other ideas. When you click on an individual unit, route markers show briefly on the map and is this the movement you wanted, or is this unit heading back? Usually it might be heading back for the designated corps retreat point (hope you kept that updated), or the LOC.
The overall intent is to move forward to the River Iser, expecting a concentration and action in the triangle REGENSBERG/ LANDSHUT/DEGGENDORF.
REISCH to AUGSBURG, contact stance 'defend', march urgency 'regular' (but shows as 'cautious'?), set supply from MUNICH, retreat point is also set as MUNICH.
KUTUSOV to SCHREADING, defend, regular march, supply from LOC LINZ, retreat point SCHRAEDING
BUXHOWDEN to KREMS, defend, forced (shows regular ?), supply BRUNN, retreat KREMS
WERNECK to LANDSHUT, defend, forced (shows regular?), supply MUNICH, retreat BRAUNAU
KIENMAYER to FREISING, defend, regular (shows cautious?), supply MUNICH, retreat BRAUNAU
Trying to space movements on the same road, by varying march urgency.
BELLEGARDE to LANDAU, defend, regular march, supply BRAUNAU, retreat BRAUNAU
CHARLES attached to BELLEGARDE, but expecting to transfer to WERNECK at LANDSHUT, as movements develop.
Could have left CHARLES detached/independent at BRAUNAU, to move forward later, there should be no danger in him being alone at this stage, but ...
JELLACIC defend MUNICH, regular, supply MUNICH, retreat MUNICH
JELLACIC will remain in MUNICH to cover the supply depot, until it is removed.
Reserve infantry units x3 at VIENNA to LINZ, fallback, regular march
Reserve cavalry units x2 at VIENNA to LINZ, fallback, forced march (house rule does not apply to detached units)
Engineers at LINZ to PASSAU, fallback, regular (I might want to blow some bridges to hinder the French)
It may seem at first sight that, as the computer is doing all the unit moving, that there doesn't seem much to do, but as can be seen, there is a lot for the player to work through in getting an army moving. The choices you make in contact stance and march urgency could have a big effect later, where the wrong order can result in a 'Charge of the Light Brigade' situation.
Unable to save, so go to 'End Orders' and move through 'Turn Resolution' to Turn 01.
< Message edited by Rasputitsa -- 4/10/2021 6:59:23 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