Campaigns v3.04 AAR

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Campaigns v3.04 AAR

Post by Rasputitsa »

I still have to finish the previous AAR started in v3.03 and I had hoped to use v3.04, but due to the effect of fix #6 this version cannot be used in the existing game. I will finish the first AAR, but I wanted to demonstrate the changes in v3.04 and take the opportunity to see the game from the Coalition side.

If there are balance issues and Napoleon was indeed supreme at this period, it is difficult to see how the game can give a balanced approach and still remain historically correct, so playing the Coalition should give more of a challenge.

Campaigns on the Danube 1805 - 1809. Scenario: '1809 Variant: Charles' original plan' (1st Apr. - initially ending 10th May 1809, see 'Campaign') - Game v3.04.
French AI
Advantage - Neutral
FOW set- Hidden enemy units (unless detected by own units)

Set ‘Campaign’ on opening page, which extends the game ending from 10th May until 14th July 1809.

Mods in use : Chemkid map and counter mod.
Town ‘Banner’ two colour text mod (my own mod).
Objective route arrows changed to target circles (my own mod).

The Austrian units are likely to be more fragile than the French and therefore it is more important to make the best use of the attributes of the corps commanders to maximise the capabilities of the units. Must pay more attention to commander and unit capabilities (especially inexperienced green units).

Image


Corps Ratings:

Administration – How quickly orders will be carried out – (modified by urgency stance).
Ability to reduce the effects of command stress
Lower rating will result in quicker loss of morale and unit shattering
Lower rating quicker build-up of command stress
Note: once shattered, a unit will break again more easily.

Inspiration – How quickly morale (confidence) can be restored among Corps units

Battle – Combat rating improves unit performance in battle (defines ‘Leadership Combat Modifier’)
Determines what battle strategies a commander is capable of performing (example: only commanders with a combat rating of 6, or more, can mount a counter attack)

The game flexibility enables the transfer of units between corps and create groupings to the best advantage to meet your strategy. With v3.04, units can now be transferred back to Army Commanders and could then form a reserve.


Patch v3.04 Fixes and Changes

1. Fixed Broken terrain display problem
2. Fixed “Label1“ display problem
3. Fixed loading saved game and clear weather map displayed when should be mud
4. Fixed issue of corps HQ following detached unit
5. Added the “h” hotkey to turn the hex-grid on and off
6. Fixed problem of lack of messengers.
(this last fix required changing the data footprint so previous saved games won't work with 3.04 unfortunately)
7. Made it easier to assign a corps to a separate supply depot than the rest of its army easier
8. Improved Austrian AI to make it more aggressive
9. Various minor bug-fixes (note : units can be transferred to Army Commanders)

I have noticed other changes, not noted above, and will comment as they appear in the game.

I have just returned from New Zealand and Christmas and New Year are rapidly approaching, so time is short and there will be a delay in progressing the AAR, but I hope that it will prompt some discussion on v3.04 and the game itself, now that the update and Chemkid's graphic mods have brought the game to a good state and well worthy of play.
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"In politics stupidity is not a handicap" - Napoleon

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“Among those who dislike oppression are many who like to oppress" - Napoleon
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RE: Campaigns v3.04 AAR

Post by Rasputitsa »

Turn Report

Turn 01 (weather clear – terrain clear)

Situation: Archduke Charles is in PILSEN with I, II, III, IV and V corps, with HILLER’s VI Corps and KIENMAYER’s II Reserve Corps South of the DANUBE at LAMBACH and ENNS respectively. Main supply is in PILSEN (1000), BUDWEIS (2000) and LINZ (2400). LIECHTENSTEIN’s I Reserve Corps at BUDWEIS, holding a linking position between these two main forces.

Instructions from Imperial Head-quarters are to attack and invade BAVARIA, so there are limited strategic choices, as an advance is expected, so sitting in defence is not option, although very attractive.

Intelligence shows that the Emperor Napoleon’s forces in Bavaria are isolated, with several of his corps still at ULM, there is an opportunity to use the river DANUBE as a screen, whilst manoeuvring through AMBERG and NEUMARKT. Intercepted correspondence indicates that NAPOLEON is expecting reinforcement through ULM and NURNBURG and it may be possible to cut-off such reinforcement and defeat the French in detail, before they can combine. CHARLES is aware that he must fight with the units now available, as there will be no reinforcement for the Coalition side.

For the DANUBE to act as an effective screen, the crossing points must be captured and held, destroying the bridges if necessary, to deny the French an opportunity to manoeuvre into the Austrian rear areas and cut supply routes.

CHARLES is satisfied with the plan, but concerned that his troops may not be able to move fast enough to achieve the destruction of the upstart Emperor. However, the messages from Vienna are becoming more insistent on immediate action.

Results: None yet

Strategy: To advance North of the DANUBE, using the river as a screen

HILLER and KIENMAYER are to act as a diversion threatening French position South of the DANUBE, but are to avoid being drawn into a major action. Initially most units are set to defend to avoid major action, before the situation becomes clearer and we can see how the French are re-acting.

Orders:

CHARLES Army Commander; move to KLATTAU to be in a central position for messages
BELLEGARDE I Corps; march to hex 29.5 (N/CHAM) - as Reserve ?? (set to defend- retreat point PILSEN)
KOLOWRAT II Corps; forced march to AMBERG (set to defend – retreat point PILSEN)
HOHENZOLLERN III Corps; forced march to DEGGENDORF (set to defend – retreat point KLATTAU)
ROSENBERG IV Corps; forced march to SCHWANDORF (set to defend – retreat point CHAM)
LOUIS V Corps; forced march STRAUBING (set to defend – retreat point CHAM)
HILLER VI Corps; forced march to BRAUNAU (set to defend – retreat point LAMBACH)
LIECHTENSTEIN IR Corps; forced march to PASSAU (set to defend – retreat point WIMPERK)
KIENMAYER IIR Corps; forced march to SCHRAEDING (set to defend – retreat point LINZ)

Ubrecht; quick march to defend LINZ (green unit)
Richter; quick march to defend DEGGENDORF (green unit)
Neustadt; capture defend DEGGENDORF (green unit)
Vacsay; quick march defend PASSUU(green unit)
Engineer; forced march to defend PASSAU

Set up Hospital KLATTAU
Supply set to computer control

Comments: CHARLES has detached units at, or near, the crossing points at PASSAU, SCHRAEDING and LINZ, which must begin to form the screen, until other units and Engineers can arrive.

This is an ambitious plan to out-manoeuvre the world’s most accomplished exponent of the art of manoeuvre, it is important that the DANUBE is held as a screen to keep NAPOLEON from crossing into the Austrian rear and cutting supply, which is what I hope to do to him.
REGENSBERG, STRAUBING and DEGGENDORF are crucial to the success of the screening operation; these crossings must be barred, or destroyed.

KOLOWRAT, ROSENBERG, from their attributes, can be expected to act quickly and will provide the striking force heading West, whilst LOUIS is slower to react, but tenacious in battle and will be the lynch-pin of the defence of the DANUBE. Other commanders will play their part and I am hoping to make the best of their attributes. BELLEGARDE can join the attacking, or defensive forces, as the situation develops.

BELLEGARDE has been given a slower march to hex 29.5 North CHAM to be in reserve and allow ROSENBERG to pass through to SCHWANDORF.

It will be difficult to communicate with HILLER and KIENMAYER as they will be separated from the main army whilst SOUTH of the DANUBE, but they will be ordered to maintain a cautious stance, as they are to act as a diversion to distract the French.
I don’t have full confidence that my Austrians can face the French in open battle, so I am looking for a force multiplier, which will be the DANUBE. I hope to use it as a shield, but if the shield is lost …..

I am not going to move the supply centre from PILSEN yet and have set computer controlled supply.
I considered re-organising the corps before being committed to action, but decided that they were already reasonably balanced and didn't change them, but the game gives you that option.

Screen shot overall situation :

The image shows the starting positions of the Austrian corps and the intention to throw out a threat towards NURNBURG whilst building a defence on the DANUBE, which continues round to VI Corps on the river INN, at BRAUNAU. The overall disposition is extended, but the corps are within supporting distance if the river line is breached (the corps to left and right can close in).
Two corps are not much of a striking force, even though led by my most fast acting commanders, I can add BELLEGARDE to the attack if conditions are favourable, but the force just has to be big enough such that it cannot be ignored and should divert some of the French deployment. The rest of the army can meet the French behind a strong river line and if necessary with the bridges destroyed (if that can be achieved in time).

With any plan, it can only survive up until the enemy re-acts.

Image

I am trying to get the most active commanders through to the West, as the striking force, but that could cause some confusion with the corps heading for the DANUBE crossings, but hopefully it should all shake out as they get on their way.

I am sure that there are safer strategies, but I want to provoke an interesting campaign, even though if it goes wrong it could turn out to be short, but any ideas, or suggestions, gratefully received. [:)]
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“Among those who dislike oppression are many who like to oppress" - Napoleon
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RE: Campaigns v3.04 AAR

Post by Rasputitsa »

Turn 02 (weather rain – terrain clear)

Situation: War is Declared

The orders that have been issued are now being enacted. The first effect was the capture of PASSAU and a small amount of supplies, it is probably this act which started the hostilities and if I had delayed the entry into French controlled territory by the leading units, I may have obtained more time to get my forces into position before provoking the little corporal.

It has started raining which will affect combat, but it is too early to have an effect on the roads and affect movement.

Results: None yet.

Strategy: No Change.

Orders:

CHARLES Army Commander; Has no replacements as yet (keep monitoring)
BELLEGARDE I Corps; unchanged
KOLOWRAT II Corps; unchanged
HOHENZOLLERN III Corps; unchanged
ROSENBERG IV Corps; redirected to a hex 30.01 to follow KOLOWRAT
LOUIS V Corps; unchanged
HILLER VI Corps; unchanged
LIECHTENSTEIN IR Corps; unchanged
KIENMAYER IIR Corps; unchanged

Order supply (500) from BUDWEIS to PILSEN

Comments: First problem, I had expected ROSENBERG to take the route though KLATTAU towards SCHWANDORF (that was the highlighted route when the objective was set) and I hoped that different march speeds would resolve congestion issues with BELLEGARDE, before they met further on, but I see him heading onto the same road as the other corps (LOUIS moving that way also) leading to potential traffic chaos and it's raining. The roads are clear at the moment, but if it keeps raining, they will turn to mud. Decide to give a change of direction and send ROSENBERG after KOLOWRAT on the Northern route. Sending him back towards KLATTAU will only delay things more, already the plan is unraveling.

I never expected that being an Archduke meant that you ended up as a traffic cop.

I need more supply forward, so moving 500 from BUDWEIS to PILSEN, which can in turn be moved on further West if the advance develops favourably.
"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 v3.04 AAR

Post by Rasputitsa »

Turn Report

Turn 03 (weather rain – terrain clear)

Situation: The French have arrived, infantry and cavalry units are on the bank of the DANUBE and from the stack numbers it is at least a full corps. HOHENZOLLERN's leading units are just reaching DEGGENDORF, but Neustadt's detached green inexperienced troops got there first. The French cavalry did not cross at DEGGENDORF, but moved down river towards PASSAU, where more green inexperienced troops of Vaczay are in possession of the bridge.

Results: None yet

Strategy: Becoming shaky, trying to move all these corps out of the PILSEN area was always going to be difficult and Napoleon was not going to give the time easily. However, Archduke Charles decides to stick with the plan and await events at the bridges. Will the river become a shield, or a noose ?

Orders:

CHARLES Army Commander; becoming nervous
BELLEGARDE I Corps; forced march STRAUBING
KOLOWRAT II Corps; unchanged
HOHENZOLLERN III Corps; unchanged
ROSENBERG IV Corps; forced march SCHWANDORF via CHAM
LOUIS V Corps; unchanged
HILLER VI Corps; unchanged
LIECHTENSTEIN IR Corps; unchanged
KIENMAYER IIR Corps; unchanged

Neustadt attached to HOHENZOLLERN

Image

Comments: So far Austrian troops have reached the bridges at DEGGENDORF and PASSAU before the French could cross, but the bulk of my forces are still on the road. The bridge at STRAUBING may be a bridge to far, as LOUIS is far back on the road and held up by ROSENBERG, BELLEGARDE is re-directed to that bridge, but the French may be closer and now I have lost my reserve (BELLEGARDE) already. ROSENBERG is now committed to the road via CHAM, following BELLEGARDE, so accepting the situation I send yet another order to confirm that route.
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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 v3.04 AAR

Post by Rasputitsa »

Turn Report

Turn 04 (weather rain – terrain clear)

Situation: Rain continues, but the roads remain clear. It is DAVOUT's corps that we are confronting on the DANUBE and the French have forced a crossing at DEGGENDORF. French cavalry attempted a crossing at PASSAU, but did not persist and were easily repulsed.

HILLER's cavalry has reached BRAUNAU and KIENMAYER's cavalry are at SCHRAEDING.

Results: French loss 2 stgth pnts – Coalition loss 2 stgth pnts.

Strategy: In tatters

Orders:

CHARLES Army Commander; Thinking about it !
BELLEGARDE I Corps; ?
KOLOWRAT II Corps; unchanged
HOHENZOLLERN III Corps; ?
ROSENBERG IV Corps; forced march CHAM and SCHWANDORF
LOUIS V Corps; ?
HILLER VI Corps; defend BRAUNAU
LIECHTENSTEIN IR Corps; defend PASSAU
KIENMAYER IIR Corps; defend SCHRAEDING

Argentau at ENNS forced march to PASSAU.

Image

Comments: The Archduke looked out of the window from his room in a KLATTAU inn, as the rain ran down the glass like tears, units of DAVOUT's corps had pushed across the river at DEGGENDORF, with little resistance by the Austrian units in the town. HOHENZOLLERN reports his units suffered little loss and were still confident. It was little comfort that they had confidently lost the bridge. The French had moved too quickly and had mustered a much stronger force, which easily brushed aside the inexperienced troops of Neustadt and Richter, whilst few units of HOHENZOLLERN's corps had reached the area. Perhaps the Archduke himself should have gone forward to stiffen the defence, but in the end the French had moved too quickly.

He looked back at the map to try and conjure something out of the situation, at least the bridge at PASSAU had been held. Napoleon’s main forces should still be back between ULM and AUGSBURG and perhaps we can deal with DAVOUT, but we will need more than confidence.

Six French units are showing in DEGGENDORF, but the town is still showing under Austrian control !

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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 v3.04 AAR

Post by Rasputitsa »

This little incident is worth looking at in more detail, as it tells a lot about the game. Charles has had time to take stock and review what happened at the DEGGENDORF bridge :

Image

The infantry divisions of Neustadt and Richter, composed of green inexperienced troops, operating detached, were under direct orders for forced march and defend DEGGENDORF and its bridge. These units arrived first, with HOHENZOLLERN's corps forced marching down from KLATTAU, to be the main force defending DEGGENDORF.

The cavalry of DAVOUT's corps arrived opposite DEGGENDORF, but did not attempt to cross, moving down-river instead, to attempt the crossing at PASSAU (they were repulsed there by Vaczay's green infantry and the leading cavalry of LIECHTENSTEIN's corps).

Back at DEGGENDORF the rest of DAVOUT's large corps arrived and started to cross, with HOHENZOLLERN's leading units just beginning to arrive. All Austrian units involved had orders to defend DEGGENDORF, with HOHENZOLLERN having orders for forced march, the highest level of urgency.

So what happened next, soldiers know they are expected to march into the jaws of death, but just not today. HOHENZOLLERN's units met Neustadt and Richter's green troops streaming away from DEGGENDORF, shouting of a vast army of French approaching. Neustadt and Richter have now set themselves to fallback and quick march back to KLATTAU and the cavalry of Vukassovic has also reset to fallback to the rear. HOHENZOLLEN has brought all of his other units back to 'regular' pace and although still set to defend DEGGENDORF, there has been no attempt to do so. Discretion is the better part of Valour.

There was no combat, none of this turn's losses happened here, the computer handled the whole situation, no battle resolution was offered. The AI handled the whole event within the movement phase.

If HOHENZOLLERN had been sent forward with 'engage' orders, it would probably have been different, his force would be in ruins and the bridge would still be lost.
A tale of two bridges, units with the same orders reacted differently to different situations. At PASSAU, LIECHTENSTEIN's two cavalry units arrived in time to support Vaczay's green infantry. They held the bridge in combat, taking some losses, against a cavalry probe. At DEGGENDORF with much bigger forces involved, an entirely different, but believable result.

It is always commented on how good the AI is, well here the AI is not just controlling the opposition units, it is also controlling the game mechanics for both sides. The nuances and variations are a valuable part of the realism in the game and the importance of orders, either forcing units into action with engage orders, or giving some flexibility in lesser intensity commands can make a big difference.

There will be a place for both types of orders, but the computer will do the hard work (no frantic mouse clicking), just deep thought required. It is essential to check the orders units and corps commanders are showing in their info boxes, because these can be changed by events. Units may no longer be carrying out the orders you gave them and you may need make adjustments to regain control.

A small incident but speaks volumes about how the game works. If the units had slavishly followed my orders there would have been a disaster, the bridge was lost, but the corps was saved.

I was deliberately using defend orders because I did not want major action just yet, Charles now knows where DAVOUT is and LEFEBVRE is also known to be in the vicinity.
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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 v3.04 AAR

Post by Rasputitsa »

Turn 04 Continued

CHARLES Army Commander; attach to HOHENZOLLERN
BELLEGARDE I Corps; unchanged
KOLOWRAT II Corps; unchanged
HOHENZOLLERN III Corps; defend at 34.9, set to cautious
ROSENBERG IV Corps; unchanged
LOUIS V Corps; forced march to KLATTAU
HILLER VI Corps; unchanged
LIECHTENSTEIN IR Corps; unchanged
KIENMAYER IIR Corps; unchanged

Argentau; at ENNS forced march to PASSAU.
Richter ; transfer to HOHENZOLLERN
Neustadt; reattach to HOHENZOLLERN

Send supply (500) from LINZ to PILSEN

Comments: Charles must now review his plans, at least the French have been revealed and no great disaster has occurred, yet !

Image

Archduke Charles of Austria, Duke of Teschen

Charles is compared in skill to Wellington, although Wellington only had to fight Napoleon once, Charles probably had more experience than many other generals in dealing with the Corsican ogre.

He realises that he must get a grip on the troops facing DAVOUT and decides to join with (attach to) HOHENZOLLERN, the rest of the corps will have to sort themselves out. Charles has been criticised for focusing too heavily on geographical objectives, but the French army must be the target and there will only be a short time available before the rest of Napoleon's forces arrive.

DAVOUT is a powerful force and could push in any direction he pleased, Charles does not want to give up the initiative, but has no choice but to see what DAVOUT does next.

LOUIS, who is getting tied up with ROSENBERG's corps on the same road, is ordered to return via KLATTAU. BELLEGARDE was to act as a reserve, but had to be committed towards the DANUBE crossings because of the delay to LOUIS. Roles will now be switched and LOUIS will become the reserve, able to support HOHENZOLLERN.

The biggest mistake so far is not to have co-ordinated the seizure of the DANUBE crossings better, the capture of PASSAU should have been delayed until the forces had advanced to take other towns at the same time, this would have delayed the French reaction. Probably bigger mistakes have yet to be revealed. [&:]
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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 v3.04 AAR

Post by Rasputitsa »

Turn Report

Turn 05 (weather clear – terrain clear)

Situation: The rain has stopped and the roads remain clear. DAVOUT made a probing advance out of DEGGENDORF, CHARLES has reached HOHENZOLLERN and decided on caution, as there are too many inexperienced troops in the force, advising a withdrawal from battle with the French. French cavalry try again to force the crossing at PASSAU, which is met with a successful counter attack by LIECHTENSTEIN's corps, now arriving in force at the town. BELLEGARDE's cavalry has reached the crossing at STRAUBING and captured supply. The line is extended along the river INN as SCHRAEDING and BRAUNAU are occupied, although not yet in force.

Results: French losses 8 strgth pnts – Coalition 3 strgth pnts. (6 – 1 this turn)

Strategy: Basically unchanged. Hold the DANUBE river line, send two corps to interfere with French supply and reinforcement routes.

Orders:

CHARLES Army Commander; elated that the situation is stabilising
BELLEGARDE I Corps; unchanged
KOLOWRAT II Corps; unchanged
HOHENZOLLERN III Corps; defend DEGGENDORF (set to cautious)
ROSENBERG IV Corps; unchanged
LOUIS V Corps; proceeding to KLATTAU
HILLER VI Corps; unchanged
LIECHTENSTEIN IR Corps; set to regular march (units now reaching PASSAU)
KIENMAYER IIR Corps; unchanged

Comments: KIENMAYER is moving ponderously slowly, although his cavalry is in SCHRAEDING, whilst HILLER is consolidating at BRAUNAU. The bridge at PASSAU has been held and Vaczay's green infantry are pleased with themselves, although they have not yet been seriously tested. DAVOUT has been hesitant, content to probe beyond DEGGENDORF, where CHARLES and HOHENZOLLERN agreed to avoid a major engagement, but merely to watch the French positions. The fighting, although at low intensity went in the Austrians favour and DAVOUT retired to the opposite bank of the DANUBE, leaving a covering force of 3 infantry divisions to watch the crossing (checked stack numbers to see how many units are present).

Image

Battle near DEGGENDORF screen - Austrians chose 'Withdrawal', DAVOUT is set at 'Probe' (not known until battle is joined), DAVOUT has the advantage in forces, but the battle stance of both sides means battle intensity is low.

The battle is resolved in 4 phases, the battle stance you choose dictates how intense the fighting will be through these 4 phases, as DAVOUT is set to 'probe' he starts at low intensity, which will not stop the Austrians withdrawing from the field under their chosen 'withdrawal' stance. If DAVOUT had been set at 'frontal assault' the intensity of battle would be high from the first phase and the Austrians would not have been able to withdraw so easily. Choice of battle stance is very important, unless you have an overwhelming advantage, but your enemy could get away if you chose the wrong stance. Conversely, the wrong choice could draw you into a battle that you don't want.

At PASSAU I knew I had the advantage, the French cavalry force was weak compared to the Austrian forces arriving, so I set battle stance at 'counter attack' to try and inflict some damage. FoW means that I cannot see the condition of St Sulpice's cavalry after the fighting, but I hope that he will not be back in a hurry.

After the fighting CHARLES looked at the empty town of DEGGENDORF across the fields, empty except for the flotsam of war and considered whether to regain the town. The master plan could yet be put back on track, DAVOUT had caused a scare and demonstrated the ability to force a crossing, but he is possibly waiting for support from the EMPEROR.

The possibilities of losing one of the DANUBE crossings highlights a weakness in corps dispositions, planning to have BELLEGARDE as a reserve near CHAM was too far West, LOUIS will be in a better position, near KLATTAU, to act as a meaningful reserve.

KOLOWRAT's cavalry has just reached the river NAB and by crossing toward AMBERG will give the EMPEROR something to think about.
Sending HILLER towards the supply centre at MUNICH would prod the Corsican further, but KIENMAYER needs to close up in support.

CHARLES would feel more confident if only the reforms, started after the disastrous 1805 campaign, had more time to become effective. It will be interesting to see if the green inexperienced units show an increase in quality, as they experience battle, provided that they survive such battles.

However, CHARLES decides to order HOHENZOLLERN to re-occupy DEGGENDORF, but cautiously.

Edit : last look at the map before pressing the go button for the next turn reveals that DAVOUT has not withdrawn, but is still close by HOHENZOLLERN with 4 infantry divisions and an artillery unit. CHARLES cancels the order to occupy DEGGENDORF and orders a withdrawal by one hex, to get breathing space and steady those units intent on running for KLATTAU. I don't want to give ground too easily, but I want to test DAVOUT's resolve to press on. Indications are that NAPOLEON is with DAVOUT.
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“Among those who dislike oppression are many who like to oppress" - Napoleon
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RE: Campaigns v3.04 AAR

Post by Rasputitsa »

Turn Report

Turn 06 (weather clear – terrain mud)

Situation: DAVOUT with NAPOLEON did not press HOHENZOLLERN, but HOHENZOLLERN has exhausted his supply and a supply convoy heading toward his corps is now vulnerable to the French. LOUIS is moving back towards KLATTAU, but slowly, so the expected reserve is not materialising yet. The corps of LANNES appeared at STRAUBING and drove BELLEGARDE's leading units back. The roads have turned to mud.

Results: unchanged

Strategy: The strike towards NURNBURG reduced to a one corps diversionary attack

Orders:

CHARLES Army Commander; Remaining with HOHENZOLLERN
BELLEGARDE I Corps; engage (attack towards STRAUBING)
KOLOWRAT II Corps; unchanged
HOHENZOLLERN III Corps; defend at 34.9
ROSENBERG IV Corps; unchanged
LOUIS V Corps; unchanged
HILLER VI Corps; unchanged
LIECHTENSTEIN IR Corps; order rest day
KIENMAYER IIR Corps; unchanged

Argentau; at ENNS forced march to SCHRAEDING

Send supply (100) to KLATTAU

Comments: HOHENZOLLERN's stress level is understandably rising, Despite BELLEGARDE being driven back and HOHENZOLLERN retiring, there has been no additional loss, so damage limitation is working.
Some of HOHENZOLLERN's units are shaky, although they show as confident, but they keep detaching themselves for a run back to KLATTAU. I have been regularly checking the units and re-attaching them to the corps. The loss of supply at this stage will be serious and I have ordered supply (100) to be sent to KLATTAU in case we are driven back that far. However, CHARLES orders HOHENZOLLERN to hold his ground.

BELLGARDE's leading units are unexpectedly attacked by LANNES and withdrew towards CHAM, this will cause cause congestion unless BELLGARDE can push forward again as more of his units come up, so ordered to engage. Could be risky but let's test LANNES.

The appearance of LANNES at STRAUBING threatens ROSENBERG's move through CHAM to SCHWANDORFF, but possibly the Austrian forces converging on CHAM may be able to deal with LANNES.
KOLOWRAT has taken AMBERG, but he might be by himself soon, as I may have to divert ROSENBERG, but I hope it will still be enough to form some kind of diversion, assuming NAPOLEON even knows he is there.


Battle screen - BELLEGARDE/LANNES near CHAM

Image

This involves only the leading units of BELLEGARDE' corps marching South from CHAM, heading for the river crossing at STRAUBING, encountering some of LANNES' units, who have reached the crossing first, driven back the Austrian cavalry outposts and are now continuing to push North. The force strength looks nearly equal, but LANNES has a cavalry advantage and is known to be an excellent commander, so I decide to set the battle stance at 'Withdrawal'. Which is fortunate, because when battle commences I find that LANNES is coming forward in a 'Frontal Assault', which would probably have gone very badly for BELLEGARDE's troops, if they had stayed to fight.

Ordered a rest day for LIECHTENSTEIN at PASSAU, as I don't know when the next rest may be available and he will still react if the French return.

Argentau at ENNS was ordered two days ago for a forced march to PASSAU and has not moved, ordered again now to move to SCHRAEDING, it is possible for messengers to be intercepted and the French have unexpectedly advanced and may have stopped that order. BERTHIER was responsible for turning NAPOLEON's thoughts into coherent orders and often sent 3 messengers to make sure orders got through. BERTHIER was not at Waterloo.

In fact the game is working as your BERTHIER, translating your orders into actions on the map, except that it works through a veil of uncertainty, you can never be quite sure what might happen next.

Playing as NAPOLEON I felt that, short of a series of monumental mistakes, I could get by, even if the strategy was not good enough to get the required victory points. Playing the Austrians feels totally different and you feel vulnerable all the time.
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RE: Campaigns v3.04 AAR

Post by Rasputitsa »

Turn Report

Turn 07 (weather rain – terrain mud)

Situation: DAVOUT has pulled back to DEGGENDORF, which allowed HOHENZOLLERN's supply to slip through to his defensive position. BELLEGARDE has held off LANNES, but is still in CHAM and needs to push forward to open the roads behind, for the movement of ROSENBERG. LOUIS has finally changed direction and some of his units have arrived at KLATTAU. Two units of the French VII Corps have appeared crossing the river ROTH, heading towards HILLER at BRAUNAU.

Results: French losses 10 SP – Coalition losses 4 SP (2 – 1 this turn)

Strategy: Keep trying to contain the French at, or near, the DANUBE, whilst attempting to threaten on the flanks, especially with a move towards NURNBURG. Intention is to distract NAPOLEON from heading to VIENNA, but to preserve the Austrian army.

Orders:

CHARLES Army Commander; remains with HOHENZOLLERN
BELLEGARDE I Corps; advance to STRAUBING with 'engage' order.
KOLOWRAT II Corps; forced march to defend NEUMARKT (retreat point AMBERG)
HOHENZOLLERN III Corps; cautious advance to DEGGENDORF (set defend)
ROSENBERG IV Corps; unchanged
LOUIS V Corps; forced march to KLATTAU
HILLER VI Corps; defend BRAUNAU
LIECHTENSTEIN IR Corps; unchanged
KIENMAYER IIR Corps; regular march to defend hex 31.16

Somariva (cav); probe to REGENSBERG
Argentau; defend LINZ
Ubrecht; defend LINZ
Hessen-Homberg; detached from LIECHTENSTEIN to probe DAVOUT (set fallback)

Comments: I forgot to give KOLOWRAT further orders last turn after he reached AMBERG, but now ordered on to NEUMARKT, but at least it has allowed his units to close up. However, the delay in ROSENBERG reaching SCHWANDORF to support KOLOWRAT, has left the road from REGENSBERG open and French movements along this road would threaten KOLOWRAT with isolation. I have detached Somariva (cavalry), from ROSENBERG, to scout the road as far as REGENSBERG, as a guard against surprises.
I found out why LOUIS was so slow in re-positioning to KLATTAU, he had reverted to a 'cautious' march. CHARLES is not pleased, but it is difficult to criticise a Prince Imperial of Austria, even one who is being cautious when furthest away from the action.

DAVOUT has 10 units spread on the road back from DEGGENDORF, but he still holds the town and river crossing with 3 divisions, but nearly all his force is back on the South bank of the DANUBE, are the flank diversions working ?

BELLEGARDE counter attacked LANNES on the second day of their confrontation and is shown to have superiority of force, so I order BELLEGARDE forward to STRAUBING on 'engage' orders. I won't have superiority very often, so better make the most of it now and try and regain the DANUBE line.

Image

BELLEGARDE's full corps has now arrived and I chose 'Counter Attack' to achieve the most against LANNES' smaller corps. LANNES is revealed on the battle screen to have chosen 'Withdrawal' and has cavalry superiority, so will be able to withdraw behind that cavalry screen and will probably suffer little damage. However my objective is to push out of CHAM, to win space for ROSENBERG to move through to SCHWANDORF.

HOHENZOLLERN received his supply, as the unexpected withdrawal of DAVOUT into DEGGENDORF allowed the supply wagons to slip through, but it was a close call. I think I need to keep up the pressure and order HOHENZOLLERN forward cautiously towards DEGGENDORF.
HOHENZOLLERN's personal stress level is raised, but his units are in a good state and I have added the detached units to his corps to match the size of DAVOUT corps, however they are green units of limited effectiveness.
Now a big decision, as the corps of HILLER, KIENMAYER and LIECHTENSTEIN have all achieved their positions on the flank, is it time have them close in, or wait and hold the routes to VIENNA in a defensive stance ?
French VII corps is approaching HILLER so I feel no need to go looking for them, but allow HILLER to wait in defence at the crossing of BRAUNAU.

I decide to send KIENMAYER forward to tease the Emperor, the strategy was to hold the river lines, but I cannot leave the initiative wholly with the French.

I sent orders for Vincent of HILLER's corps to scout towards MUNICH, but nothing has happened, although I had expected problems with order delay to these flank units, or maybe it is interception of messengers.
Detached Hessen-Homburg (elite cav) from LIECHTENSTEIN to scout the North bank of the DANUBE from PASSAU towards DEGGENDORF as an irritant to DAVOUT.

After some indecision, I order Argentau and Ubrecht to defend the supply centre at LINZ from any roving cavalry. They are green units and will be of limited use anywhere else.

There is a well developed supply line from VIENNA to PILSEN and supply on the move elsewhere.

CHARLES is satisfied with the situation so far, it hasn't been perfect and there have been some problems, but the objective is to keep the army in being and divert NAPOLEON from VIENNA. The losses have been light so far and CHARLES hopes to avoid a catastrophic battle, whilst trying to wear the French down.
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RE: Campaigns v3.04 AAR

Post by Rasputitsa »

Turn Report

Turn 08 (weather clear – terrain mud)

Situation: HOHENZOLLERN re-captures DEGGENDORF and seizes supplies (42) as DAVOUT withdraws all his units back across the DANUBE. BELLGARDE continues his attack on LANNES for the third day, but is making slow progress towards STRAUBING, however ROSENBERG's leading cavalry has reached SCHWANDORF.

Results: French losses 14 SP – Coalition losses 6 SP (4 – 2 this turn)

Strategy: Under review

Orders:

CHARLES Army Commander;
BELLEGARDE I Corps;
KOLOWRAT II Corps;
HOHENZOLLERN III Corps;
ROSENBERG IV Corps;
LOUIS V Corps;
HILLER VI Corps;
LIECHTENSTEIN IR Corps;
KIENMAYER IIR Corps;

Comments: CHARLES and HOHENZOLLERN re-entered the town of DEGGENDORF, recently vacated by French troops and CHARLES is relieved that he has regained the river defence and that HOHENZOLLERN's corps has held together.

BELEGARDE continues attempts to drive LANNES back to STRAUBING, but LANNES is achieving the same success in delaying a larger force that CHARLES and HOHENZOLLERN achieved against DAVOUT's corps.

Image

BELLEGARDE outnumbers LANNES again and I order a 'Frontal Assault' to try and break through to STRAUBING and regain the river line there. LANNES has set 'Defend' and succeeds in holding his position, although the casualties are in our favour and LANNES must eventually break, or fall back soon. Unless he receives reinforcement.

French VII Corps has closed up to HILLER at BRAUNAU, does this herald a new direction of attack and will NAPOLEON move into a direct attack towards VIENNA on this flank.

At this point there needs to be a re-think on strategy, so I will complete this turn later. Christmas is fast approaching and even an Archduke as to recognise other priorities.
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RE: Campaigns v3.04 AAR

Post by Rasputitsa »

Command Issues

I said that I would be paying more attention to command issues in this game, so here goes.
CHARLES is superior to all his corps commanders, as his attributes are higher in all cases (7/8/7) and, when attached to a corps, he brings these capabilities to the battle screen.

When DAVOUT crossed the DANUBE and advanced on HOHENZOLLERN, NAPOLEON's name appeared on the battle screen and was therefore attached to DAVOUT, bringing his superior attributes (9/9/8) into play, additionally there is an extra battle advantage to all French units when NAPOLEON is within 2 hexes : +33% bonus)

As well as the effects of attributes, the placing of the Army Commander is important, as although HOHENZOLLERN's troops did not suffer a significant defeat, or casualties, and they remained confident, several units detached themselves and made ready to head back to KLATTAU (especially the green inexperienced units). Having the Army Commander present meant that these units could be re-attached and kept in line instantly (no orders delay). If CHARLES had been somewhere else, these units would have been halfway back to KLATTAU before they could have been brought back under control.

Corps commanders are also likely to change their orders and stance from time to time, usually after a setback and you need to check that the commanders are set as you require, or that circumstances may require you to alter the orders,
LOUIS had reverted to a 'cautious' stance for no apparent reason, except that maybe he couldn't go any faster on the congested roads, but it was important to ensure that he got moving. Had the French advance on HOHENZOLLERN been more aggressive, the need for reserves would have been more urgent.

Image

Archduke Louis Joseph Anton Johann, Prince Imperial of Austria, Prince Royal of Hungary and Bohemia and Prince of Tuscany

CHARLES needs to take some action to bring the 25 year old Prince under control, but he thought better of it, no point in writing to Imperial Headquarters, there wasn't a sheet of paper large enough to carry the Prince's name and he had better things to do.

CHARLES held a staff meeting on the night after recapturing DEGGENDORF to review strategy and, after taking opinions, he withdrew to his own room. Some of the younger officers were all for marching on ULM in the morning, older more experienced faces looked more concerned.

After he was alone in his room, he heard the staff meeting below degenerate into a noisy drinking session, but the map drew his attention. NAPOLEON had not pressed the advance, as he surely could have pushed HOHENZOLLERN back to PILSEN if he had chosen. Now the French troops had fallen back onto the road to LANDSHUT, where they would meet more units coming up from ULM. NAPOLEON would certainly return again in greater strength, but which way would he strike. Another attempt to cross at DEGGENDORF, or turn on HILLER and KIENMAYER and head directly for VIENNA.

He was disturbed by the crash of a table being turned over in the rooms below, the French wine and brandy captured in the town's supply depot were having an effect, but how happy will they be tomorrow, if the French returned.

The engineers were awaiting orders at PASSAU, trying to keep their powder wagons dry during the days of rain and eager to ply their trade, but which bridges to blow and when ?

ROSENBERG's arrival at SCHWANDORF had brought another decision indicated in the original plan, should he go South to REGENSBERG to guard the close flank of the army, or North to follow KOLOWRAT through AMBERG and strengthen the wider flank march into the French rear areas ?

CHARLES had a lot to think about.
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RE: Campaigns v3.04 AAR

Post by Rasputitsa »

The overall situation along the DANUBE (8th April 1809), where will the attack come next ?





Image
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RE: Campaigns v3.04 AAR

Post by Rasputitsa »

Picking up where we left off during in the middle of turn 8, with some difficult decisions to make. This could be a long campaign – an army can be a very fragile thing, powerful when everything is going well, but easily broken if things go wrong and once broken difficult to restore.

Charles spent a restless night reviewing the first week of the campaign. His orders from Imperial headquarters were to attack into Bavaria and destroy the French army, thereby removing the threat to the borders of the Empire. However, he seemed to have disturbed a hornets nest and, despite the urging from Vienna, he had decided to take a longer view of the campaign.

Things must look very different in the candlelit Salons and Ballrooms of the Schoenberg Palace, but here in the muddy lanes on the banks of the dark brooding Danube it was all very different. To cross this river might place a barrier at our backs, if the bridges were lost behind his forces the river would turn from shield into a noose.

He had decided to order BELLEGARDE to continue the attack to drive LANNES back across the Danube and seize the crossing at STRAUBING. ROSENBERG to REGENSBERG. KOLOWRAT to continue alone in a mission to disrupt French communications through NEUMARKT.

Where to place LOUIS, who could end up just counter marching, going nowhere.

Where to place CHARLES himself.

There is a lot of supply on the way to PILSEN and should I designate a new Communication Centre further back, like BUDWEIS or WIMPERK, if we have to retreat there will be a lot of supply at PILSEN at great risk. Don't want all eggs in one basket

Flanking strategy (Charles has been ordered to attack) Do I move to an aggressive strategy and push forward, or do I remain on the defensive, use the river and strike where there is a opportunity to fight with the advantage, wearing down the enemy, rather than seek a major battle.

Replacements available : 3

Mud/Map - Not intended to show real world, it is after all a map, so the indication of mud conditions is subtle, but in keeping with the immersion effect the map provides.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Now Turn 8 continues:

Strategy: Hold in the centre at DEGGENDORF, close in on the flanks

Orders:

CHARLES Army Commander; remain with HOHENZOLLEN
BELLEGARDE I Corps; defend South of CHAM
KOLOWRAT II Corps; forced march NEUMARKT, retreat point SCHWANDORF
HOHENZOLLERN III Corps; defend DEGGENDORF, set at regular pace
ROSENBERG IV Corps; forced march to defend REGENSBERG
LOUIS V Corps; forced march KLATTAU
HILLER VI Corps; defend BRAUNAU, set at regular
LIECHTENSTEIN IR Corps; cautiously advance along the VILS (march to the guns), retreat point PASSAU
KIENMAYER IIR Corps; forced march N/E BRANAU (march to the guns), retreat point SCHAERDING

Vaczay attached to LIECHTENSTEIN at PASSAU
Hessen-Homburg (Lt. Cav.) - detached - forced march probe LANDAU, with fallback orders

Comments: Decisions, stick with the plan, I can see that the army deployment is becoming extended, but the plan was to threaten the flank of any French advance Eastwards, therefore, KOLOWRAT must continue to NEUMARKT to offer a threat to French communications. From NEUMARKT he can continue to NURNBURG, or turn South on INGOLSTADT, with a possibility to return by REGENSBERG, if it becomes necessary to re-join the main army. The very least could be a cavalry raid (by Klenau – II Corps cavalry) to burn supplies at NURNBURG, whilst the rest of II Corps could turn South.

ROSENBERG moves on REGENSBERG in a closer flanking movement, all of which is intended to draw the Emperor's attention back to the West and away from PILSEN and VIENNA.

HILLER is ordered to defend BRAUNAU, as I want to hold the French VII Corps there, whilst KIENMAYER and LIECHTENSTEIN move in from the East. There is no value in driving LEFEBVE back, even if that is possible. By moving KIENMAYER and LIECHTENSTEIN along the two parallel roads between the rivers ROTH and VILS, I can threaten both DAVOUT and LEFEBVRE.

The light cavalry is detached from LIECHTENSTEIN to probe towards LANDAU, whilst the bulk of the corps moves more cautiously along the South bank of the river VILS, watching for any movement by DAVOUT along the South bank of the DANUBE.

BELLEGARDE's orders are changed onto the defensive to hold CHAM, LANNES corps is now in full force at STRAUBING and unlikely to be dislodged, CHARLES will wait to see what effect ROSENBERG's move on REGENSBERG will have.

LOUIS is ordered for a forced march to KLATTAU to be in a position to act as a reserve in a central position, but this tardy prince needs to see the urgency of the situation.

A long supply line has developed into PILSEN, via BUDWEIS and ZWETTEL, if the action moves East, this supply line is threatened and the supply at PILSEN may be out of reach, therefore, CHARLES considers that a transfer of the communication centre may be required later. There is supply stockpiled at BUDWEIS and LINZ, so far so good, the computer controlled supply system is working well, but needs to be monitored to ensure all corps are included.

LIECHTENSTEIN is set to draw supplies from BUDWEIS, KIENMAYER and HILLER are set to LINZ, The game system of computer controlled supply, with player intervention is the ideal, realistic and easy to use. Apart from minor adjustments, the decision is to leave things as they are for now.

I have ordered a supply convoy (60) from PILSEN to KOLOWRAT who hasn't yet been allocated supply by the automated staff, as he is not selected for any depot. Hopefully he will capture supply at NEUMARKT, or NURNBURG. I have sent further supply (40) to AMBERG for any units driven back in that direction, but I do not want to place too much supply in this exposed position.

CHARLES is mainly sticking with the plan, trying to hold the line of the DANUBE and the INN, whilst manoeuvring on the right flank and wait to see what the Emperor will do.
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RE: Campaigns v3.04 AAR

Post by Rasputitsa »

Turn Report

Turn 09 (weather clear – terrain mud)

Situation: The sun is shining, the roads are still muddy, but messengers have ridden all night to bring the news of a victory on the river INN, at BRAUNAU, to CHARLES waking up after a restless night in the inn at DEGGENDORF.

CHARLES had been awake into the early hours, long after the sound of carousing had faded from the rooms below. He had decided on his strategy, to hold in the centre and close in on the flanks and now news was coming in from all sides. DAVOUT had continued to retire on LANDSHUT, LANNES has pulled back from STRAUBING, LEFEBVRE had attempted an assault across the river INN at BRAUNAU and been defeated by the vigorous counter attack from HILLER's VI Corps.



Image


HILLER has the advantage in numbers, but is set to defend, so the most aggressive battle tactic from a defensive stance is 'Counter Attack', which I chose, to find that LEFEBVRE is attacking with an 'Escalating Assault'. Both sides mean business and this is going to be a serious battle, not the manoeuvring and withdrawals of the earlier combats. The high casualties show the intensity of the battle and LEFEBVRE comes off worst.

Although the terrain is muddy affecting movement, the weather this turn was clear, so there was no restriction on combat, such as wet weather affecting firepower.

French losses had been significant, although none of their units had shattered, whilst HILLER's losses had been slight and his units were in good condition, although some of them were tired.

KOLOWRAT was on the move again towards NEUMARKT and Somariva's (ROSENBERG's corps) cavalry was nearing REGENSBERG, was the FRENCH retirement a result of the flanking movements finally having an effect. The French infantry division of Tharreau (LANNES II Corps) had taken the wrong road during the night retreat and was still on the North bank of the DANUBE, vulnerable to being trapped. The sunlight streaming through the grimy windows drove away the terrors of the night, now CHARLES had something to write for the doubters in VIENNA.

LIECHTENSTEIN in PASSAU had taken his orders to be cautious literally and had not moved, was it now the time to move the whole army into the attack. However, only part of the French army has been encountered, NAPOLEON was retiring onto his supplies and reinforcements, was this the time to climb into the cage with the tiger, or wait and play the long game, when only three of the French corps had been encountered so far.

CHARLES had been worrying about setting up supplies to the rear, but if there was to be an advance, then perhaps the communications centre should be brought forward to DEGGENDORF.

Results: French losses 40 SP – Coalition losses 10 SP (26 – 4 this turn)
Coalition Replacements available - 4

Strategy: Follow the French, but cautiously, until the position of the other French corps can be established.

Orders:

CHARLES Army Commander; remain with HOHENZOLLEN
BELLEGARDE I Corps; forced march STRAUBING
KOLOWRAT II Corps; has become cautious, order forced march NEUMARKT
HOHENZOLLERN III Corps; regular march towards LANDAU
ROSENBERG IV Corps; forced march REGENSBERG, cancel march to the guns
LOUIS V Corps; as already set for KLATTAU
HILLER VI Corps; order rest day /cancelled pursue LEFEBVRE
LIECHTENSTEIN IR Corps; forced march to LANDAU
KIENMAYER IIR Corps; forced march junction 29,17 N/W BRAUNAU

Klenau (cav.) detached from KOLOWRAT to probe NEUMARKT through to NURNBURG, forced march, but fallback if in contact.

Engineers to DEGGENDORF

Comments: KOLOWRAT needs to prodded into a faster pace to NEUMARKT (reverts to cautious), with the cavalry detached to probe ahead toward NURNBURG, the missing enemy corps could be in this area.

ROSENBERG also needed a prod to get moving toward REGENSBERG with his cavalry ahead to seek out the enemy.

LOUIS is taking his time and is still not in a position to be of much use, CHARLES is fuming, but what can be done with a prince of the royal blood. LOUIS is now ordered onward to a position N/E of DEGGENDORF where to road junction (33,10) will allow him to move in any direction to give support.

CHARLES is tempted to send HILLER after the retreating French VII corps, but initially sets a rest day. However, on reflection decides to send HILLER after LEFEBVRE, who lost 26 strength points out of 37 in yesterday's battle and must be weak, LEFEBVRE must not be given time to restore his corps. All orders can be countermanded with fresh orders until you press the turn 'go' button, provided you don't exceed the messengers available, which I haven't done so far. This is the ONLY way to play, WEGO rocks.

CHARLES, with HOHENZOLLERN, will advance towards LANDAU, moving at a regular pace and set to defend, which is a careful advance in the face of the largest French corps of DAVOUT.

LIECHTENSTEIN and KIENMAYER are ordered to advance between the rivers onto the right flank of DAVOUT, which eventually might develop into a threat towards MUNICH, that is sure to get the Little Corporal's attention.

I am mostly using forced marches, but this early in the campaign most units are fresh and there are few stragglers, however, you need to monitor the state of the units to ease up the marching pace later.
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RE: Campaigns v3.04 AAR

Post by Rasputitsa »

Here is the situation after Turn 9 with the French apparently retiring and CHARLES' plan to follow up



Image

What I did not notice is that whilst I was looking at French VII Corps down near BRAUNAU after the repulse by HILLER, DAVOUT's III near LANDSHUT having retired from the DANUBE and LANNES II corps having retired from STRAUBING, leaving Tharreau on the wrong side of the river, BUT there is also Marulaz (IV Corps cav.) at STRAUBING which means another corps has arrived, that of MASSENA.

Note for diary - LOOK at the map !!!

You will understand when I finish writing up Turn 10.

This game has strong FOW and you don't get many clues, so you don't want to miss the clues you do get. The units of DAVOUT's corps spread out along the road by LANDSHUT may have obscured the approach of MASSENA's divisions, as I failed to do a stack check on these units. You only get to see one enemy unit per hex, but by a mouse-over you can read the stack numbers in the top screen bar. The unit numbers may have been the clue that there was more than one corps there, remembering that commanders and supply units add to the stack total.

LOUIS has not turned out to be a very good corps commander, at least not in moving his corps, although he may be better in battle. However, I could break up his corps and allocate them to other corps, they may move to the battle area quicker individually and they will strengthen the other corps. Alternatively, new to v3.04, I could allocate them to CHARLES and use his higher attributes to create a more effective corps to use as a faster moving striking force, although CHARLES would have to keep this corps and therefore himself close to the vital action areas, or he could not be an effective army commander simultaneously. The game has a lot of flexibility in organising units.
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RE: Campaigns v3.04 AAR

Post by Recognition »

Nice series this.
Lets see how far the Austrians will go regards their LOC [;)]
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RE: Campaigns v3.04 AAR

Post by Rasputitsa »

ORIGINAL: Rush

Nice series this.
Lets see how far the Austrians will go regards their LOC [;)]

The Austrians don't need to advance very far, they just have to stop Napoleon getting to Vienna, whilst staying alive, but need to place the supply depots close enough to the battle area to be useful, but not so close that the supply is lost in a retreat.

This game has so many decision paths, whilst looking very simple compared to the mega games with hundreds of counters, here you are only giving orders to a handful of corps commanders, but the options on detaching units, choosing urgency and stance, setting supply, retreat points, etc., etc., all simple decisions, but can have mega consequences.

So this is the smallest mega game I know. [8D]

"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 v3.04 AAR

Post by Recognition »

ORIGINAL: Rasputitsa

ORIGINAL: Rush

Nice series this.
Lets see how far the Austrians will go regards their LOC [;)]

The Austrians don't need to advance very far, they just have to stop Napoleon getting to Vienna, whilst staying alive, but need to place the supply depots close enough to the battle area to be useful, but not so close that the supply is lost in a retreat.

This game has so many decision paths, whilst looking very simple compared to the mega games with hundreds of counters, here you are only giving orders to a handful of corps commanders, but the options on detaching units, choosing urgency and stance, setting supply, retreat points, etc., etc., all simple decisions, but can have mega consequences.

So this is the smallest mega game I know. [8D]



Yes I fully agree, its a real gem and runs fine on my Win 8.1 [:D]
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RE: Campaigns v3.04 AAR

Post by Rasputitsa »

It's been the summer, lots to do in real life, but always wanting to get on with this AAR. Part of the problem is not in playing the game, but in the extensive write-up that goes with each turn, but I am attempting to show the full capability of this apparently simple game. The more I play, the more I discover how a basic game system can deliver a real rollercoaster of ride.

.............................................................................................

Turn Report

Turn 10 (weather raining – terrain mud)

Situation: What a difference a day makes, we found out where one of the other French corps was, as MASSENA suddenly appears at REGENSBERG and straight into battle with ROSENBERG. MASSENA has the advantage, but after so many withdrawals and manoeuvres, I decided to stand our ground and set ROSENBERG’s battle stance to 'defence in depth', well that hurt, with the biggest loss of the campaign so far (see results).

The French retirement has stopped and NAPOLEON is moving forward again

Now almost a side show, KOLOWRAT captures NEUMARKT and some supplies (20)

BELLEGARDE was too slow at STRAUBING and Tharreau escaped back across the DANUBE to re-join LANNES.

Looking over the reports of the day, CHARLES discovers that news that a cavalry division (Marulaz) of MASSENA’s IV Corps had been seen in STRAUBING, before he had ordered the advance, which comes as an unwelcome surprise, looking around for scapegoats he realises that the information had been available, but he had failed to notice it. There had been a lot to do and it may not have altered the orders, but the change from the initial defensive strategy, into an advance across the DANUBE, had cost the first serious casualties of the campaign.

He kept these thoughts to himself and resolved to be more observant in future.

This is a real roller coaster of a ride, with the situation changing daily, but now things are getting serious, I became over-confident and I think will pay for it. MASSENA only arrived suddenly, because I missed the clue on the map, more of that later.

Better news from HILLER, although he has not moved, possibility because of the orders delay this far out on the flank, LEFEBVRE is reported as 'shattered', which is to be expected from the loses suffered in trying to force a crossing of the INN against HILLER, so it's not all bad news. If CHARLES can get things moving on this flank it may relieve the pressure on the opposite flank.

Note: none of LEFEBVRE's units indicated as shattered after the battle at BRAUNAU, so LEFEBVRE himself has shattered after the effects of the battle. No actual French units are shown as shattered in the 'Victory Report' button, although overall French confidence has taken a knock and is down to 2.

The Coalition advantage in confidence points in the ‘Victory Report’ is worth 2 additional victory points, but I am not sure whether it has any other effects in confidence calculations in the rest of the game calculations.

This is something of a victory, although the overall victory points are moving against the Coalition.

Results: French losses 51 SP – Coalition losses 35 SP (11 – 25 this turn)

Victory points -19 against the Coalition
Coalition Replacements available 6

Strategy: Survive in the centre, attack on the flanks

Orders:

CHARLES Army Commander; moving back with HOHERNZOLLERN
BELLEGARDE I Corps; defend STRAUBING
KOLOWRAT II Corps; forced march to defend SCHWANDORF
HOHENZOLLERN III Corps; move back towards DEGGENDORF
ROSENBERG IV Corps; forced march CHAM (retreat point)
LOUIS V Corps; forced march to defend CHAM, but all units detached.
HILLER VI Corps; forced march to MUNICH
LIECHTENSTEIN IR Corps; unchanged
KIENMAYER IIR Corps; unchanged

Klenau (Cav) detached from KOLOWRAT, forced march with 'fall-back' orders for a cavalry raid NURNBURG
Lindeau and V Corps artillery detached independently and ordered forced march to CHAM
Schustekh (Inf), Schustekh (Cav) and Reuss-Plauen attached to CHARLES and ordered forced march to CHAM

Comments: Reminder of the scenario victory conditions, NAPOLEON must capture VIENNA, or destroy the Coalition army, so CHARLES must keep NAPOLEON back, without suffering catastrophic losses. Up to now CHARLES was succeeding well, keeping the French in check, by manoeuvring and tactical withdrawals, but has now suffered the first significant losses.

All is not lost, the situation on the Austrian left flank is good, with LEFEBVRE shattered, the way to MUNICH is open. CHARLES does not expect to advance that far, except for perhaps a raiding mission, as there is known to be huge supply stocks in MUNICH, which the Emperor must defend, or see them burn. Any French units sent to defend MUNICH cannot be on the road to VIENNA.

CHARLES will have to give ground on the right flank allowing ROSENBERG to retreat through CHAM (it may not be possible to stop him being driven back anyway) and BELLEGARDE could pull back also, through CHAM, or DEGGENDORF, but where does that leave KOLOWRAT.

Looking back at the pre-battle screen, where I decided on ‘defend in depth’ battle tactics for ROSENBERG, that decision becomes highly questionable when noting that ROSERNBERG has no artillery, which means that a meaningful defence in the face of French firepower is doomed to fail. These stance postures are very important, both marching instructions and battle tactics and I should have been more careful, although not wanting to continually withdraw, it was the smart move in this case. Now I have a corps in such a bad condition that withdrawal becomes the only option.


Image

The top section of the image shows the forces when the battle is first notified, it is clear to see that ROSENBERG has no artillery, as this is a meeting engagement as MASSENA marching out from REGENSBERG runs into ROSENBERG moving out from CHAM and his artillery is behind on the muddy roads. This is what I saw before I made the battle stance decision and should have taken more notice.

The lower section of the image is the pre-battle screen after the battle stance decisions have been applied, I should have taken note that ROSENBERG had no artillery unit on the battlefield, so any meaningful defence was likely to fail, with ROSENBERG having a cavalry advantage, but MASSENA having an artillery advantage of +33%, with an additional 20% for artillery in the open terrain. MASSENA’s ‘frontal assault’ blasted through the ‘defend in depth’ that I selected and I should have given the battle stance more thought. The staff advice was there, but I failed to notice it and ROSENBERG paid the price, how much better would it have been to continue tactical withdrawal and delay MASSENA, until other corps could have been manoeuvred in support. Hero to Zero in one turn.

The divisions actually involved in the battle are severely damaged, however, this is not in actual casualties, but in strength lost as stragglers. This corps must be pulled back, but not too far if the stragglers are to be able to re-join, but another battle could ‘shatter’ the corps beyond repair. An extended retreat march could do more damage and the stragglers could never re-join. The retreat point for ROSENBERG is CHAM, which is what CHARLES instructs, with the urgency set at ‘forced march’ in hopes of keeping ahead of MASSENA.

When ROSENBERG pulls back from the crossroads at 24,06 (which is inevitable), then communications with KOLOWRAT will only be possible via PILSEN, the orders delay will increase, with a possibility that he will be cut-off entirely.

Getting LOUIS into position now becomes vital, CHARLES is not pleased that the survival of the army may depend on the young prince, who seems reluctant to leave the night-life and society to be found from staying near to PILSEN.

CHARLES’s patience is at an end, whatever the consequences in VIENNA, because LOUIS’ corps is split with half of his units at the designated reserve position at KLATTAU, but the other half still back on the road and an order to LOUIS now, would have some of the units counter-marching and wasting time re-joining the corps, whilst LOUIS’ administration level is poor at 2, meaning he is slow in getting units moving. He will be better in battle where he scores 5, which only KOLOWRAT matches.

CHARLES needs to get these units moving quickly to block MASSENA and give ROSENBERG some shelter to reorganise and decides to take command himself, by detaching units from LOUIS and giving direct orders to get each unit moving by the quickest route, intending to restore command to LOUIS when in the battle area. Timing will be vital as the corps must be reunited under LOUIS’ command before being thrown into battle, where LOIS should perform better. This does demonstrate the flexibility of the command system in the game, which allows higher command to intervene directly where necessary.

As an experiment I am going to allow some units to move independently and other to be attached to CHARLES to see how this affects the response to orders. All V Corps units, including LOUIS, himself have been given orders to ‘forced march’ to CHAM, where the corps will be returned to LOUIS’ command. However, the roads are deep in mud, when will this weather clear, long enough for them to dry out. Hopefully NAPOLEON is also struggling with the mud. All V Corps units on ‘defend’ order in case they run into the French, this will make withdraw battle stance available if required.

I have covered this section in some detail to show what the game is capable off, simple to operate, but with subtle commands and effects available.

ROSENBERG, retreat on CHAM, or SCHWANDORF ? : CHAM to retreat on supply and to the designated retreat point which should regain stragglers, or SCHWANDORF hoping to evade MASSENA, or draw him away from CHAM, threatening to close in behind if MASSENA decides moves onto BELLEGARDE.

CHARLES has chosen CHAM to avoid the army being split by MASSENA, at the risk that ROSENBERG may suffer further attack and suffer greater, even terminal damage.

KOLOWRAT can be a threat to MASSENA via SCHWANDORF, or stay with the plan and head INGOLSTADT/NURNBURG ?

Is CHARLES going stay on the far bank of the Danube and give the Emperor another Battle of ECKMUHL ?

On the left flank CHARLES sees a greater opportunity, an attack on MUNICH will be a rapier through the heart of the beast. MUNICH is known to hold a large supply depot and if HILLER (will he be a rapier?) can only get a cavalry raid into the town to torch the supply, it would be a huge blow to NAPOLEON’s ability to move his army and might act as a distraction from the action through CHAM and STRAUBING, whilst also pursuing LEFEBVRE to total destruction by not allowing him to re-organise. LIECHTENSTEIN and KIENMAYER will need to move quickly to cover HILLER’s advance, but the mud !

The replacement pool has grown to 6 and now is the probably the time to start using them, but carefully, as there will be no additional reinforcing units until JOHN arrives with his corps, near PRESSBURG, in 78 days (information from ‘Situation Report’ side button), many turns away and a long way East.

Units need to be about 5 hexes from the Operations Centre at PILSEN, then the 'Add Replacements' button should light up and I will be able to restore the units to full strength. The distance from the Operations Centre to be able to add replacements might vary, but I have seen up to 7 hexes.

Klenau has been detached from KOLOWRAT at NEUMARKT and sent on a raid to NURNBURG, having come so far with the flanking movement we cannot now retreat with just a few supplies captured, there must be more to achieve.

KOLOWRAT is ordered to cut short the flanking movement and move to SCHWANDORF, this is partially self-protection to avoid the French moving in behind and cutting him off from the supply base at PILSEN, but also to offer a threat to any move MASSENA makes into the Austrian rear area. I had already sent some supply to AMBERG (35), which is already on the way, KOLOWRAT captured a small amount at AMBERG (8) and has (56) on hand with corps. That should be enough to keep him going for a while, also I have ordered KOLOWRAT to draw supply from SCHWANDORF where there is captured supply (15), hoping that it will move before MASSENA gets there. I could have ordered the SCHWANDORF supply moved to PILSEN, but the convoy may have used the road that MASSENA is about to advance onto, designating the supply for KOLOWRAT should get it moving the other way.

I have described these supply possibilities in some detail to show how that within a simple control system you can have large variations and options and if you do nothing the computer can still control events.

Supply at PILSEN is down to 22, but a big supply column (461 supply points) is passing KLATTAU and should enlarge the depot in the next two days.

LINZ has a supply depot (1300), which can be used to support the left flank move towards MUNICH, whilst HILLER, LIECHTENSTEIN and KIENMAYER have all been set to draw supply from LINZ, this will reduce the dependency on the ‘Centre of Operations’ at PILSEN.
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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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