Campaigns on the Danube AAR with House Rules

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Rasputitsa
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RE: Campaigns on the Danube AAR with House Rules

Post by Rasputitsa »

The game feels 'alive', it's not like placing chess pieces which dumbly follow your orders, but all units from corps to brigades can make their own decisions.

MOUTON was ordered to join NAPOLEON in PASSAU, but when the full strength of Austrian units on the North bank of the Danube was revealed, he thought better of it and retreated towards DEGGENDORF. St Sulpice, with his division of cuirassiers, was attached to MOUTON, but he decided that it was better to head back over the river towards the LOC at LANDAU.

NAPOLEON himself, when he found himself alone in PASSAU, with nobody else coming, and surrounded by Austrian units, decided not to hang around and bugged out.

So nobody, from the Army commander down to a single divisional commander, felt that they had to follow my orders blindly, when the situation obviously required a more sensible action.

Morand on the, other hand, obedient to his orders, threw his infantry division into PASSAU, against overwhelming odds, with more Austrian units coming. Fought them to a standstill, at heavy loss, and is still in PASSAU.

It 'feels' much more realistic when you have active commanders at all levels.

What a game !
"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
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RE: Campaigns on the Danube AAR with House Rules

Post by Rasputitsa »

3rd May 1809 continued :

If DAVOUT's III Corps can achieve the capture of PASSAU and keep the Austrians separated there will be the opportunity for a great victory.

The Victory screen show the trend, with 5 Austrian units 'shattered' and army confidence down to (1), whilst French confidence has risen to (3),

They must not be allowed to recover and the pressure must now be increased, as it looks like the Austrians are beginning to crack, but I have thought that before and been surprised.

A couple of turns back I mapped out the Austrian escape routes, but they don't seem ready to retreat just yet, so I have misjudged the situation, see what happens next.

Orders :

DAVOUT – objective PASSAU, 'defend/regular', but noted that Hilaire is not attached, so find Hilaire (used Find button) and re-attach.

Re-set retreat point DEGGENDORF (want to keep DAVOUT close to the river) and reset supply depot as LANDAU (was DEGGENDORF, but this is needed for MOUTON)

MOUTON - objective 37,14 (just outside PASSAU), 'defend/regular' and reset supply depot DEGGENDORF, retreat point also DEGGENDORF. Some of MOUTON's units are brittle, or wavering, but he does not have much immediately in front of him right now.

Deselected 'To the guns' and not using 'engage' orders for both, as I don't want them to be drawn away from their objectives.

LEFEBVRE – objective 37,15 (just outside PASSAU), 'defend/regular', his supply and retreat points are already OK (no change).

Deselected 'To the guns', don't want LEFEBVRE to be diverting in supporting DAVOUT towards PASSAU.

NAPOLEON is anxious to re-capture PASSAU, after his embarrassing and ignominious flight from the town previously. PASSAU is the key to keeping the components of the Austrian army separated, whilst those on the South bank are driven to destruction. The remainder can be dealt with later and then on to VIENNA, for a comfortable and DRY bed in the Schönbrunn Palace.

MASSENA 39,18 (crossroads on the road to LINZ), 'engage/regular', retreat point SCHAERDING. MASSENA's IV Corps has passed LANNES into the advance and LANNES will now support MASSENA.

LANNES 39,18 to follow MASSENA with the same orders, with the intention of defeating the large group of Austrian units still with MASSENA and opening up an advance towards LINZ. This will also cover the slight possibility of more Austrian units appearing from LAMBACH.

Essentially the French corps will be operating in pairs, DAVOUT/LEFEBVRE and MASSENA/LANNES, whilst MOUTON waits to be re-united on the North bank and NAPLOEON remains attached to DAVOUT, as PASSAU is the main objective to be secured.

It has not been raining continuously, but the rain has not stopped long enough to let the roads dry out, so they have been continuously muddy, affecting movement, whilst the rain affects combat, by reducing the effect of firearms and cannon.

The muddy conditions are shown by a darker map in the CHEMKID mod, but the change is subtle as CHEMKID wanted to keep the antique map look, but sometimes I don't notice that it has changed. I have added some text to my version 'Mud' map to highlight the change, but placed in the top left corner, which is what you see when you first start the game and so as not to affect the quality of the map in the main playing area.



Image


Also not using the game hex-grid with the CHEMKID map mod as the grid is too heavy (hot-key H), the integral hex grid that comes with the map mod is just right for me.

Note that in v3.05, if you select a new gamesave when already playing a scenario, the map (Clear, or Mud) will stay it was before the gamesave was selected. The gamesave map situation (Clear, or Mud) is only guaranteed to be correct for a gamesave selected from the start screen. Hopefully, this will be fixed in v3.06, whenever.


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"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
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RE: Campaigns on the Danube AAR with House Rules

Post by Rasputitsa »

The Victory screen shows that French confidence remains high (3), whilst Austrian confidence has slumped to (1) and now Austrian units are showing as surrendered (1) and shattered (5).

The performance of Austrian commanders in the latest battles has not been good, is this the effect of lowering confidence.

So my forces reached both PASSAU (not captured) and SCHAERDING (was captured), so can the French achieve the breakthrough in the next turn ?



4th May 1809

Turn Resolution – Weather is clear, roads are muddy

Messages :

Enemy division forced back at 40,18

NEUMARKT supply depot is burnt, this is the 3400+ captured supply which is thought to be the contents of the Austrian LOC from PASSAU.

BERNADOTTE is sitting quietly 'parked' North of NURNBURG (house rule), this French corps and VANDAMME will not be used to provide better play balance against the Austrian AI and this has certainly led to a more challenging and enjoyable game so far.

MOUTON did not receive his new order's until he had already continued his retreat as far as DEGGENDORF, the effect of orders delay, and was followed by Austrian Vukassovic infantry, with more of Austrian III Corps behind.

Morand detached and sent to LANDAU, then before sending the order changed objective to hex 34.14, just one hex back. I was going to send Morand to the LOC at LANDAU to recover, but a longer march would make it difficult for stragglers to re-join and Morand just needs to get out of the hex where a battle may take place, in which he might be destroyed. One hex should do it, unless there is a disaster, and Mortand will still be close to DAVOUT and NAPOLEON to be revived and have the unit morale restored.

Checking through the stacks to see where Austrian units are mixed in with the French. This reveals 9 Austrians units (II and V Corps) being driven towards LINZ by MASSENA and LANNES, with LANNES now in the lead.

There are no battles, but Austrian losses have increased by (5), so the Austrians are shedding troops in the retreat.

NAPOLEON and DAVOUT did not succeed in taking PASSAU and Austrian forces are massing against them. PASSAU was not taken, but the cavalry units of d'Espagne and Montbrun have reached the Danube between SCHAERDING and PASSAU and affected the split of the Austrian army, if they can keep their positions.

At least 26 Austrian units are in the area between DEGGENDORF and PASSAU.

Considering a move of the LOC to SCHRAEDING, but the battle lines are still too close, until PASSAU is secured. Sending some supply from LANDAU (100) to start a depot.

I see odd supply convoys heading for AMBERG and NEUMARKT, which has not been ordered, and are assumed to be captured supply being sent to the rear by the computer supply system.

Sending more supply (100) to DEGGENDORF for MOUTON.

The choice now is whether to let MASENNA stay with LANNES on the advance towards LINZ, or bring him back to help contain and destroy the Austrians around PASSAU. Decide on the latter, as the Austrians heading for LINZ are not fighting, they seem to be in full retreat and LANNES should manage alone. There is supply at BRAUNAU (172) and LANNES is set to use that closer depot, so (100) more sent from LOC LANDAU.

The Austrians around PASSAU are not retreating and still seem ready to fight, so MASSENA is needed here.

MOUTON should start reacting to the order to advance towards PASSAU from DEGGENDORF, although he is now South of the river, to try and change the order now would only confuse things. MOUTON can re-join the army when the actions around PASSAU are successfully completed. Hopefully.

LEFEBVRE is ordered to follow through PASSAU and, as he has slowed himself to 'cautious' march, this has been changed back to regular.

Hilaire has still not obeyed the re-join order, so repeated again. This is happening a lot, where units have been detached, or have detached themselves, and then will not re-join.

Things are happening slower than anticipated, probably due to the weather, but we will see if PASSAU is taken next turn !




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"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
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Rasputitsa
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RE: Campaigns on the Danube AAR with House Rules

Post by Rasputitsa »

5th May 1809

Turn Resolution – Weather is raining roads are muddy - again [:(]

Messages :

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 !
[X(]



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"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
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RE: Campaigns on the Danube AAR with House Rules

Post by Rasputitsa »

I have had a problem later in the game, with a feature that I have seen before on a small scale. After a battle, one enemy unit survives in the battle hex and seems to hold the attacking forces attention permanently in that hex, this time three French corps are held frozen by one Austrian unit, with nobody attacking, just sitting and not accepting orders.

So I am going to replay from turn 6 avoiding the situation which caused the freeze, but there will be a delay in posting the new turns.

This does not happen often, but hopefully it will be fixed in v3.06

"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
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