What do I do now

Frank Hunter's Campaigns on the Danube is an operational study of the campaigns along the Danube in 1805 and 1809. Campaigns on the Danube's system focuses on trying to present the player with the same sort of decisions placed on their historical counterparts; how to feed an army and move that army according to a plan, all the while trying to fight a campaign. There is also an option to allow players to play out the battles with miniatures and input the results.
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What do I do now

Post by Rasputitsa »

Trying out v3.05, just a quick test game playing the Coalition - scenario '1809 Variant : Charles original plan', but quickly got hooked by the situation which developed.

Turn 9, 9th April 1809 - The French (AI) have taken KLATTAU, with DAVOUT's corps and NAPOLEON himself present on the battlefield.


Image


The Emperor moved very quickly, crossing the Danube at DEGGENDORF pushing back HOHENZOLLERN's corps, with CHARLES on scene, attached. At first CHARLES is content to draw DAVOUT deeper into Austrian territory, as BELLEGARDE takes STRAUBING, pushing back LANNES' small corps and LIECHTENSTEIN closes in behind the French, by moving on DEGGENDORF.

None of this deterred the Emperor, as he drove DAVOUT on to KLATTAU and then into a two day battle just North of the town. At first CHARLES and HOHENZOLLERN cautiously withdrew, as the French made escalating assaults, but with KLATTAU lost and the centre of supply at PILSEN threatened, a stand had to be made and CHARLES ordered a defence, which resulted in HOHENZOLLERN being completely shattered with all his units and heavy casualties being suffered by both sides.

The situation made worse, as ROSENBERG had been in reserve at KLATTAU and would have been crucial in stopping the French, but two days previously CHARLES had ordered ROSENBERG to REGENSBERG, via CHAM, to support BELLEGARDE.

I never thought DAVOUT, or NAPOLEON, would push on, but what now, who has got who trapped. Can NAPOLEON survive with his supply line through DEGGENDORF cut, will he press on to PILSEN and use captured supply, with the Austrian supply convoys bringing in more supply. CHARLES immediately changed the LOC to BUDWEIS to stop the flow of supply to PILSEN, but there is already enough there to keep NAPOLEON happy for some time.

Every time I start this scenario is has a different effect, last time DAVOUT was hesitant, now NAPOLEON is present and there's no stopping them, previously the advance was on a different route through PASSAU, so good replay value and you cannot rely on anything.

So what do I do now, HOHENZOLLERN is finished until he rallies, do I hold on and hope NAPOLEON gives up and tries to fight his way back over the DANUBE, or might he push on further using captured supply and should I bring back the Austrian corps now on the Danube.

HILLER has made a strong defence on the Inn, at BRAUNAU, against LEFEBVRE, whilst KOLOWRAT has reached AMBERG, trying the flanking move again. Good news, but a long way from being able to help in the disaster unfolding at KLATTAU, does the AI have a memory, does it know what to expect, have I been too predictable, psychosis is setting in.[:(]
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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: What do I do now

Post by Rasputitsa »

NAPOLEON at bay:



Image

Here's what happened next, CHARLES had to decide whether to stay with HOHENZOLLERN, between KLATTAU and PILSEN, to add his attributes to rallying the shattered corps commander and his troops, another attack might destroy the corps, but it was not clear where the French would move and he decided that DEGGENDORF was the vital bridge that had to be held, to hold the trap closed. CHARLES moved around DAVOUT's corps, via CHAM, to reach and attach to LIECHTENSTEIN defending DEGGENDORF.

KLATTAU had been lost and had been HOHENZOLLERN's designated retreat point, which I had not updated, something which should always be checked. Corps need a retreat point, as when units, or their commanders, are 'shattered', they will not respond to orders and the retreat point provides a rallying point and should be chosen to move them away from lost battles in the best direction. Keep the retreat point updated as units move, not too far, as shattered units will be destroyed in a long match, it should be towards supply to help recovery, and away from further attack, if possible.

Re-set HOHENZOLLERN's retreat point to PILSEN, where there is supply, but it is not far from the French at KLATTAU. DAVOUT had heavy losses in the two day battle and may need time to recover, but when he moves, HOHENZOLLERN is not out of danger.

The hospital at KLATTAU was over-run so I suppose I have lost the wounded that were there and they will now not return to their units, which adds to the battle losses.

Not knowing whether NAPOLEON and DAVOUT would chase HOHENZOLLERN, turn on to the Austrian supply route from BUDWEIS, or try and fight their way back over the Danube at DEGGENDORF, there was a slight panic.

LOUIS, heading West on the flanking movement toward AMBERG, was ordered back to PILSEN to support HOHENZOLLERN, CHARLES began to strengthen the position at DEGGENDORF, by taking a veteran infantry division from BELLEGARDE and a cavalry unit from KIENMAYER and attached them to LEICHTENSTEIN at DEGGENDORF. This may make LIECHTENSTEIN's corps too big for his administrative skills, but by keeping CHARLES attached to LIECHTENSTEIN, he brings his superior skills to make effective use of this bigger corps. DAVOUT's corps is the biggest in the campaign and no single Austrian corps can stand against it, especially with NAPOLEON present. ROSENBERG at CHAM could, either move on KLATTAU, or support LIECHTENSTEIN at DEGGENDORF, but as HOHENZOLLERN retreated the sighting of DAVOUT was lost and the French units disappeared. Nothing to do but wait.

The image above shows the moment when Austrian cavalry detached from LIECHTENSTEIN, to probe out of DEGGENDORFF, met the French cavalry of Montbrun coming down from KLATTAU, the first indication that NAPOLEON was heading back for the Danube crossing, orders could now be given for ROSENBERG to close in from CHAM towards DEGGENDORF.

A further precaution was to order the Engineers from PASSAU to move to DEGGENDORF, as if DAVOUT could not be stopped by battle, then the bridge could be blown. The Engineers never arrived, as can be seen in the image they took the Northerly road, which was about to be blocked by the French forces closing in on DEGGENDORF. I should have been more precise in setting them on a more Southerly road, but managed to get them back to PASSAU before they were overwhelmed by the oncoming French units. The bridge cannot be blown, this will be have to be done in battle.

Meanwhile KOLOWRAT, KIENMAYER and HILLER were set to block further French units advancing on the Danube, mainly with a delaying strategy, to avoid major battles until DAVOUT is dealt with.

This started as a quick check of v3.05, but quickly became a story in itself.[8D]
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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: What do I do now

Post by Rasputitsa »

20th April 1809 : The big day

Three pitched battle in progress

Image

Near DEGGENDORF there are 17 Austrian and French units massed in the hex with ROSENBERG, whilst CHARLES observes the battle from a church tower in the town. CHARLES is directly attached to LIECHTENSTEIN to add his higher attributes to the corps, this will help in battle and organisation. The corps of LIECHTENSTEIN (in the same stack) and ROSENBERG are trying to stop DAVOUT from re-crossing the Danube to re-join the rest of the Allied army. The image itself does not show all the units, but you can now shuffle through the stack and see both friendly and enemy units (new in v3.05), except that enemy commanders do not show, although they must be there.

ROSENBERG has been heavily engaged and has become brittle, which is reflected in the status of his units, which can be seen by selecting 'View Units' in his panel. Enemy units are still in FOW, visible, but you cannot see their status, or loses, which can only be assessed from the overall battle result reports. The Somariva cavalry unit is on the road between DEGGENDORF and KLATTAU, so there should be no more French units hidden in the area.

DAVOUT has been out of supply for several days and at first just probed DEGGENDORF, without making an attack, he may be suffering. CHARLES has taken the initiative by throwing ROSENBERG in from his flank march out of CHAM, and ordering LIECHTENSTEIN to attack from DEGGENDORF. In line with house rules, I am not selecting 'To the guns' for Austrian commanders, therefore it will be difficult to co-ordinate attacks, but historical.

NAPOLEON has abandoned DAVOUT and is now with MASSENA confronting KOLOWRAT, who was closing in on INGOLSTADT and REGENSBERG as a distraction, unfortunately the distraction has worked and he is in deep trouble, with the Emperor on his heels. Not for the first time, NAPOLEON is involved in a peripheral battle, leaving DAVOUT to fight the enemy main forces alone. I had hoped to trap NAPOLEON himself, but either army commanders have a 'get out of jail free' card, or there might have been a route out whilst the Austrian corps were manoeuvring, either way it's OK, a small escort could get through the lines.

At LANDAU, KIENMAYER is sparring with LEFEBVRE trying to keep him away from the main battle on the Danube, whilst picking up several French supply convoys which I guess were trying to get through to DAVOUT. My computer controlled supply staff are re-routing these captured convoys to ENNS, out of harms way. I can intervene later and send supply from ENNS to the main LOC.

BELLEGARDE is moving out of STRAUBING to help KIENMAYER, who is suffering, I am reluctant to leave this crossing open and hope that KOLOWRAT can keep NAPOLEON and MASSENA occupied a little longer.

The French Engineers have been wandering around REGENSBERG and wondering if they intend to blow any of the bridges. New to v3.05 are additional messages during turn resolution and there have been several notification of supplies being burnt. It doesn't say whose supplies and I haven't ordered any burning, so I am hoping it is French supply going up in smoke. Along with supply capture, this must be doing some damage to the Emperor's cause.

HOHENZOLLERN has retaken KLATTAU after several rest days at PILSEN, he and his units are 'steady' again, but will be vulnerable to any further setback. They still have stragglers to recover, so not moving too far just yet.

Away off the image, HILLER is sloooowly moving on MUNICH, with cavalry detached ahead to scout the road. Learning from the last game, I have directed HILLER to take supply from LINZ, as there is huge delay in getting supply from the main LOC. It's not much improvement, but at least he is moving.

LOUIS has been marching and counter-marching, my fault, but is now moving down to CHAM where I hope he can support KOLOWRAT and/or BELLEGADE, but he also is so sloooow. In line with house rules I am not using 'forced march' in Austrian corps commands, but still use the full options available to detached units which have a separate panel. This reflects the historical situation where the Austrian lower level younger commanders were more enterprising than the elder corps commanders, fixated on completing their 'dispositions' and following orders.

tm.asp?m=4296629

Note that ROSENBERG now has a stress level over 10 and, under the house rule that I am using, is eligible to forced march. Fear is a great energiser.

The LOC and hospital are moving back to KLATTAU and CHARLES has 17 replacements available, but units will have to be close to the LOC to receive them (about 5 hexes). When these battles are over, assuming I win[:D], there will have to be a re-organisation and units moved to receive replacements. ROSENBERG's info panel shows 2 stragglers, which should re-join if their units don't move away too far, too fast, and 5 wounded, but were these wounded lost when KLATTAU was over-run, or are they enroute to the new hospital site, in which case they might re-join later. The depth and historical uncertainty in this game is enormous.

Still coming to grips with what may have changed, or been added to the game, but it is still a gem and one of the best there is, the continued development is much appreciated. The game well deserves it. [8D]
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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: What do I do now

Post by Rasputitsa »

Still 20th April 1809 - This how it looks on the Flank :

Image

KOLOWRAT is in deep trouble, confronted by MASSENA's IV Corps, with NAPOLEON attached (know this because 'Napoleon' is listed as commander in the battle reports), but worse is that he has been cut-off.

In the image, each French counter is a stack of two, or three, and they block the roads in both directions. Orders delay means that there is little that CHARLES can do, as by the time any orders arrive, even if they are not intercepted, it will all be over. There are more French and Allied units there, Bruyer hides Muralaz, two cavalry divisions blocking the road to REGENSBERG. The St-Cyr Infantry division hides IV Corps Artillery, blocking the road back to NEUMARKT, whilst Gency hides Boudet and Molitor, three more infantry divisions. Commanders MASSENA and NAPOLEON are not visible, but must be there. Additionally, there are further enemy units, Neubronn infantry (Allied IV Corps) and Legrand infantry and more artillery from the 'Wurttemberg' Corps which are stacked with KOLOWRAT, who will be overwhelmed facing two Allied corps and an emperor.

KOLOWRAT is already 'wavering' after previous attacks and his stress level is sky high (65), with a large number of stragglers and wounded. The only good thing is that he has plenty of supply, but I suppose the French might get that (does unit supply get lost to the enemy ?). His stance shows 'shattered', so I doubt if orders will have any effect. The 'View units' panel shows the damage, there's no hope from this position.

KOLOWRAT's 'retreat point' is BUDWEIS, which I did not set, so he's out of control and intending to flee to the rear (BUDWEIS), if he can get away. You can still set orders, but he will take no notice until he rallies, which you could help by getting CHARLES there, but that's not likely, or desirable at this time.

All the information required is in this image, the game gives simple displays and doesn't flood you with detail, but it is all important and relevant to how the situation is developing. It's worth taking the time to see how all these features inter-act, as it greatly improves the understanding and enjoyment of the game.

We will see how this works out, but the AI seems capable of pulling off the same strategy which I am trying on DAVOUT. Whilst DAVOUT will be a big loss to the French, the cost will be high. I hope DAVOUT's stats look this bad, but FOW means I cannot know.

I did try and direct KOLOWRAT away from INGOLSTADT and onto the REGENSBERG road from NEUMARKT, but the message didn't get through, another risk in the game. I knew it was risky sending KOLOWRAT into the flank, not knowing what was there, but at least MASSENA and NAPOLEON have been distracted away from the main battle on the Danube. I hope it pays off and will be worth the cost, because KOLOWRAT is one of the best corps in the army and a serious loss.
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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: What do I do now

Post by Rasputitsa »

What is noticeable and I'm not sure if it's always been there and I haven't noticed it, or it's new to v3.05, FoW applies to your own units. Maybe it's because I am manoeuvring units on the far flanks more than in earlier games, but friendly units are not always in the positions that they show on the map.

Both Kolowrat and Hiller appear in different positions when something happens to highlight them, like a battle, or after a game save.

Kolowrat and Hiller are both operating at longer distances from Charles and so the information lag is correctly appearing on the map, which is good, even if more challenging.
"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: What do I do now

Post by Rasputitsa »

There has been a massive two days of battles in three locations and it's not going well for the Austrians.

LIECHTENSTEIN and ROSENBERG, engaged with DAVOUT, have been ordered onto a defensive stance, all they have to do is keep DAVOUT isolated and stop him re-crossing the Danube.

HOHENZOLLERN, at KLATTAU, still has stragglers to re-join and looking in 'View units', two of his units are still 'brittle', so ordered a 'Rest Day'. HOHENZOLLERN himself is restored to 'Steady' and has low fatigue and plenty of supply, so the wait at KLATTAU is helping to restore this corps, although two units have significant stragglers and are indicating as 'brittle' and not yet fit for battle.

KIENMAYER is showing as 'shattered' with high stress, although the units of his corps were not as bad, if 'wavering', but it's not good as my corps commanders seem to be going to pieces and my army starting to collapse. I hope the French and their Allies are suffering too, or this is going to be a disaster. The stack at LANDAU shows KIENMAYER in action with both II and VII French corps, now that with v3.05 I can see all the units in a stack, both friendly and enemy.

It gets worse on the second day at LANDAU, as KIENMAYER's troops, with their commander finished, now suffer the same fate and become 'shattered' themselves.

BELLEGARDE already had orders to march on LANDAU to help KIENMAYER, but will it be enough and is it too late ? BELLEGARDE is only just reaching the battlefield at LANDAU and is already showing 'brittle'. Not sure if this WAD, or coincidence, but the collapse of the Austrian army is starting at the top with the corps commanders.


Image

This is the first game with v3.05 and Bavaria is aflame, HILLER has nearly reached MUNICH and expecting to find large stocks of supplies to either destroy, or divert back into the Austrian depots. This might be the most significant part of the campaign, because if the disaster unfolding on the Danube continues, then the only thing that might stop, or slow down, NAPLOEON will be lack of supply. I am losing control of the army as commanders become shattered, so the only strategy left is to try to recover what is left and burn any supply that may be useful to the enemy.

HILLER is becoming very exposed, his only retreat is back via BRAUNAU and if KIENMAYER and BELLGARDE are defeated at LANDAU, which looks very likely, HILLER could be cut-off. I am reluctant to give up on the raid at MUNICH, because this might be the only success in the campaign so far, destroying a large supply depot would be a big advantage. The cavalry of Vincent is now only one hex away from MUNICH and it is worrying that the depot icon is not visible yet, has the AI seen HILLER coming and moved the supply out already. That really would add to the disaster.

This has only been 21 days of campaigning, but this game certainly packs a lot of action into neat package and there is so much going on.[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: What do I do now

Post by Rasputitsa »

I cannot do anything for KOLOWRAT, as his surviving units and he himself, are showing as 'shattered' and would not respond to orders, KOLOWRAT's info panel shows that he has set an objective and retreat point at NEUMARKT, but his chances of escape are slim.

CHARLES has 19 replacements and there are units to rebuild, but the LOC is at BUDWEIS and units will have to get within range (about 5 hexes) to receive replacements, so either units most be sent back, or the LOC brought forward to KLATTAU, or WIMPERK. However, the army might be about to retire, so this is not the time to bring the LOC forward …... decisions, decisions.

The supply depot at PILSEN is low, down to 24 supply points, as I made the decision earlier to move the LOC back, this means there is not much supply here to lose if the army retires. The supply could be left as a reserve for any units driven that way, moved out back to the LOC, or burnt to stop it falling into enemy hands. Even with supply controlled by the AI, you still have many options to intervene and make supply choices yourself.

LOUIS directed on to STRAUBING, as a covering force to delay the Emperor, in the event that the army has to retire along the North bank of the DANUBE. I think all the French and Allied forces are engaged so there should be no more surprises for a while and there may be enemy units weakened by battle to attack. The alternative was to send LOUIS towards DEGGENDORF to join the battle with DAVOUT, but, after reviewing the state of LIECHTENSTEIN and ROSENBERG, I thought that they could manage, while BELLEGARDE and KIENMAYER may need assistance to disengage.

HOHENZOLLERN is given one more rest day, one of the 'brittle' units has been restored, but there is still one other that is 'brittle', and stragglers still to re-join.

HILLER is left to continue his advance on MUNICH, then he will have to make a quick exit to get back to the main army.

On the next day, 22nd April the cavalry of Vincent from HILLER's corps enters MUNICH to find the supply depots almost empty (53 supply points), the Emperor has moved his precious supply elsewhere ! Now what, give up and retreat back to BRAUNAU, or press on the AUGSBURG, or FREISING, to try and get the French to worry about their rear areas and release their grip on the rest of the Austrian army.

KOLOWRAT is down to one shattered infantry division, so the end is close, but how long before MASENNA and NAPOLEON are ready to move again, or is NAPLOEON even still with MASSENA.

KEINMAYER at LANDAU is completely shattered and has set his own retreat point to BUDWEIS, so there might be something to save from this, if he can get away, as he is not cut-of like KOLOWRAT. KEINMAYER himself is still near LANDAU, but three of his divisions have arrived back at the DEGGENDORF crossing, heading back in rout, to the rear, the other two divisions have disappeared. I intend to attach these fleeing units directly to CHJARLES, to try and get them back under control and restored.

BELLEGARDE is still 'brittle' with two of his units 'wavering' and has pulled back towards STRAUBING, leaving KEINMAYER to his fate.

DAVOUT made an attempt to breakout through DEGGENDORF and seemed to be weak, as the forces committed to the attack were much less than DAVOUT should have. Emboldened in the belief that DAVOUT was suffering from being cut-off from supply for many days, CHARLES ordered a 'counter attack' against DAVOUT's 'hasty attack'. This turned out to be a mistake, because the Austrian losses were greater and DAVOUT is in DEGGENDORF, whilst a 'defend' order may have been more effective in holding DAVOUT back. Most of the Austrian forces in the area are holding back and it is difficult getting them into action, which is historical, as due to house rules I am not using 'To the guns' for the Austrians.


Image

The Austrian commander in this battle is noted as LIECHTENSTEIN, but CHARLES is attached to this corps and he should have been in command of this battle.

KIENMAYER got mixed up in this battle at DEGGENDORF, but he was retreating after being driven back from LANDAU, so it is not surprising that the Austrian performance was so poor, as most of the troops of ROSENBERG and LIECHTENSTEIN were not involved. It looks as though they had recoiled from an earlier inconclusive encounter with DAVOUT and the house rule not using 'To the guns', to replicate the Austrian historical lack of co-ordination, had an effect.

When I ordered a counter attack I had not noticed that although the Austrians had a large superiority in infantry, it included Vaczay and Argentau from KIENMAYER's IIR Corps, both 'green' units retreating through DEGGENDORF after the battle at LANDAU and totally unsuited for a counter attack strategy.

The lesson is, if it's on the screen it's important, this game doesn't have pages of information and data, but what it does show is ALL relevant. It is a lesson that I keep having to re-learn.[:(]

Despite his difficulties, DAVOUT performed well, as seen in the right side of the battle panel, the Austrian commanders did not do so well, even with a large infantry advantage they only achieved a 'draw' and failed to stop DAVOUT escaping over the Danube.

HOHENZOLLERN is still not fully recovered and I am tempted to move him towards the action, but that would delay, or even stop, the stragglers from rejoining, leaving his corps permanently weaker. I am trying to take the long view, as after these battles are over there is still a long campaign to fight and I will need a full strength corps to make up for the battle losses.

Order another rest day, until I realise that it's not stragglers which are missing, but wounded and since the loss of the hospital at KLATTAU they may never be coming back. Cancel the rest day and order HOHENZOLLERN to DEGGENDORF.

I have decided against sending HILLER further into the enemy rear, seeing what happened to KOLOWRAT when he became surrounded, so HILLER is being ordered to return towards BRAUNAU. The cavalry of Vincent is kept detached and sent on a raiding mission to FREISING, it's not much, but it may cause a diversion and there may be more supplies to intercept. In line with my house rule, I can give a 'forced march' order to detached units like Vincent, but also set 'fallback' in case he meets danger. AUGSBURG is tempting, but just too far to risk running into large French units moving to the Danube.

CHARLES decides to bring the LOC and hospital forward to WIMPERK to make it easier to provide replacements and get wounded men back to their units.

The Engineers remain at PASSAU in case the bridge has to be blown, as otherwise the defence here is weak being 'green' units.
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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: What do I do now

Post by Rasputitsa »

23rd April 1809, DAVOUT has escaped, pushing past the Austrian corps gathered to stop him. KIENMAYER escapes back across the Danube to join his broken troops. BELLEGARDE is now vulnerable, left on the far side of the Danube and is ordered by forced march (house rule – stress level over 10 'forced march' available) back to STRAUBING, whilst the first of LOUIS' troops are nearing the town from the direction of CHAM.

ROSENBERG has moved back to DEGGENDORF, but too late, DAVOUT has gone and LIECHTENSTEIN alone could not stop them. The Austrian co-ordination was bad, but house rules are intended to create that historical reality. There is now a concentration of French forces around LANDAU, as a result of the battles in that vicinity and MASSENA has disappeared leaving the remainder of KOLOWRAT's corps (one shattered division) to limp back to NEUMARKT.

Apart from HILLER, what remains of the Austrian army is gathering around STRAUBING and DEGGENDORF. KIENMAYER and most of his units are back over the Danube and heading for BUDWEIS, but I'm still sending orders to try and get them to WIMPERK to re-organise.

Image

I know my corps have suffered large losses and disruption, but I don't know how much the French have suffered and how soon they will be able to move. DAVOUT was showing as being weak in the battle stats, only throwing 22 infantry points into the battle at DEGGENDORF to escape, whilst he had 107 infantry points at the earlier battle with CHARLES and HOHENZOLLERN at KLATTAU. CHARLES knows that a great opportunity has been missed to totally destroy the biggest French corps, only time will tell how much of the damage that DAVOUT has suffered is permanent.

The battle reports tell a sorry story, with two Austrian corps in the area, LIECHTENSTEIN was only able to mass 36 infantry points (still a superior force) to close the DEGGENDORF crossing, but some of those were retreating 'green' troops from IIR Corps and no artillery, DAVOUT was on even terms with the Austrians in cavalry, but had artillery to blast away the ill-conceived Austrian counter attack. If CHARLES had ordered a defence, instead of counter attack, then DAVOUT's force may have broken in their hasty attack and not been able to cross the river. It is on such decisions that battles succeed, or fail.

Three Austrian corps are 'shattered', KOLOWRAT is beyond repair and far from help, KIENMAYER has returned across the Danube and can probably be restored, but it will take time, LIECHTENSTEIN, himself, is also 'shattered' although his units are not in too bad a condition. Reforming some of these corps and switching commanders could put a large part of the army back into shape, if only there is time. A retreat now could make the damage worse, by preventing stragglers from returning to their units and destroying the morale of already shaky units.

The important thing is that this game can reflect these imponderables and deliver a brilliant representation of the events of the Napoleonic period.

It looks like this phase of the campaign is over and CHARLES is hoping for a chance to re-organise and re-think the next phase, but will NAPLOEON be that generous with his time ?
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RE: What do I do now

Post by Rasputitsa »

CHARLES has spies in the French camp and received reports of the state of DAVOUT's corps when it re-joined the main army near LANDAU (I had a sneak-peek by changing sides). The Emperor was reported as shocked and distraught over the condition of his favourite marshal and his troops, which he had left on the far side of the Danube.


Image

Remembering that DAVOUT was able to field over 100 infantry points at the battle of KLATTAU and now has only 4 to join the colours. The corps is 'shattered' and heading back to AUGSBURG, with a large list of stragglers and wounded. Only the artillery is in any condition to fight. DAVOUT started with 8 units and now has only 4 damaged divisions left, I didn't look at all the French deployment, so maybe those divisions are still there somewhere and might re-join.

Historically, DAVOUT was placed in an exposed position at the beginning of the real campaign and was in great danger of being cut-off and surrounded, well now it has happened.

It will be interesting to see if these 20 stragglers and 13 wounded (which is a significant loss) can re-join their units having been lost on the other side of the Danube, where the crossings have been closed again.

DAVOUT has a high stress level, and some fatigue, but after such a tough series of battles and losses, his morale is remarkably good. Some of the Austrian commanders had worse morale even before they reached the action, which demonstrates how the game is modelling different personal characteristics and how important they are in deciding the outcome of combat.

I took this sneak look to see how the game is handling the situation from the other side and it is pleasing to see that although DAVOUT was able to escape, it was at great cost. The more you see of this game the more impressive it becomes.

CHARLES will sleep more easily tonight, but he knows that his army was unable to stand against the French and their Allies, only NAPOLEON's impulsive advance on KLATTAU leaving DAVOUT dangerously exposed gave some recompense, he will need a better strategy for the next phase of the campaign.

This game has delivered so much in only 23 turns.

Both sides have suffered severely, but the campaign is far from over. [8D]
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RE: What do I do now

Post by Rasputitsa »

More on DAVOUT's escape :


Image

The corps of ROSENBERG and LIECHTENSTEIN seemed to move aside after the first contact, allowing DAVOUT to move through to DEGGENDORF and finally escape.

Initially, I was confused by the movements of these Austrian commanders, including CHARLES, to which I had recently attached some of the fleeing units of KIENMAYER. It looked like the bug had returned, where commanders go chasing after attached units instead of the commander remaining on his objective and waiting for the attached units to come to him. Further checks proved that this was not the case.

What I think happened is that ROSENBERG has the retreat point set as CHAM, LIECHTENSTEIN has the retreat point set at PASSAU. Although both commanders had been ordered to defend DEGGENDORF, after contact they both recoiled towards their respective retreat points with CHARLES attached to, and following, LIECHTENSTEIN.

Because of the importance of properly defending the crossing at DEGGENDORF, to prevent DAVOUT's escape, I should have given both corps commanders the 'objective' AND 'retreat point' of DEGGENDORF to nail them in place.

This has it's own dangers as, in the case of failure, the corps do not have a safe route to retreat and it will be a random chance where they go, but in this case the importance of holding the crossing closed was the imperative.

I did repeat the order to defend DEGGENDORF, which may be what got LIECHTENSTEIN moving, just in time, and having the army commander (CHARLES) close to the critical point reduces orders delay, which was important in getting units to react in time.

The result was that LIECHTENSTEIN eventually got back to DEGGENDORF, but with only two of his own divisions and no artillery. However two of KIENMAYER's infantry divisions were retreating through DEGGENDORF after KIENMAYER was 'shattered' at the Battle of LANDAU and were drawn into the battle to hold the crossing. All could still have been saved, except for CHARLES' ill-considered order to 'counter attack' and although the Austrians managed a 'draw' in the battle for the bridge, they could not stop DAVOUT crossing the Danube. DAVOUT's weakened corps may have broken against a firm defence, if only CHARLES had paid attention to the pre-battle report, noticed the 'green' troops involved and issued a 'defend' order. CHARLES was left behind, or blocked by French troops, in the scramble to get back to DEGGENDORF and was unable to add his attributes to the subsequent battle for the bridge.

Why is any of this important ? It shows how the game can reproduce intricate situations and the importance of choosing the best order for each circumstance. KIENMAYER's retreating troops were not attached to LEICHTENSTEIN, but he used them just the same. Which shows the game using realistic behaviour in its varied AI personalities, something missing from many other games. LIECHTENSTEIN is timidly recoiling from DAVOUT's weakened corps, then heroically scraping together troops in a last ditch attempt to hold the bridge.

The Charge of the Light Brigade at Balaclava shows how important it is to correctly match orders with circumstances and to be able to reproduce this feature in a game is a work of art.

This has all played out in v3.05, which seems to be good step towards refining the game.

The depth in this game is unfathomable, but very rewarding. [8D]

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RE: What do I do now

Post by Rasputitsa »

After 23 turns in v3.05, playing as Austrians against AI French - 'Charles Original Plan', the Victory status :


Image


The 4 French surrendered units will be the units of DAVOUT's corps, which did not make it back over the DANUBE and if the defence at DEGGENDORF had been better handled, none of them would have got back and the French surrendered figure should have been 8. [:(]

The 4 Austrian surrendered units are mostly KOLOWRAT, which might have been avoided if I could have diverted him to REGENSBERG, instead of the more exposed INGOLSTADT. [:(]

The Austrian losses have been higher overall, but more significant is the loss of army confidence, the French are down to 2, but the Austrians are down to 1. [:(]

How different this victory panel would look with just a few more carefully considered decisions.

CHARLES will now have to be very careful not to break the morale of the army with more defeats.
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RE: What do I do now

Post by Rasputitsa »

NAPOLEON is shocked and dismayed to see how few of DAVOUT's men have managed to escape the trap at DEGGENDORF. A trap of his own making, brought about by his reckless advance.

He now has to re-build this Corps and hope that the stragglers and wounded can be rescued, whilst on the other side of the river CHARLES is facing the same daunting task, but in the knowledge that his army was unable to face the French and their Allies in open battle, only guile and better decision making will suffice now.

What a game !


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RE: What do I do now

Post by Tejszd »

Great AAR, thank you Rasputitsa
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RE: What do I do now

Post by Rasputitsa »

ORIGINAL: Tejszd

Great AAR, thank you Rasputitsa

It's the game, so many realistic 'historically accurate' games have a complicated game system such that success is not in the strategy, but in learning to work the system better than anyone else.

In CotD you really feel that you are playing through the history and you don't need to be a systems analyst to make it work. The decisions that you make are close to the historic choices and your selections can make a big difference.

I am reading up on the 1805 campaign in preparation for running one of the 1805 scenario options and it is pleasing to see how NAPLOEON's and CHARLES' correspondence and orders match with what the game demands of the player.

So far the AI has been good, the French supply depot at MUNICH had 1000 points at the start of the scenario, when HILLER arrived to capture the city three weeks later it is nearly empty, has the AI used all those supplies, or just moved them to safety, either way it's no push-over. [8D]
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RE: What do I do now

Post by Rasputitsa »

I thought I would check the effect of alternative commands on the situation at DEGGENDORF, where I thought that the battle orders I had issued resulted in DAVOUT escaping.

DAVOUT is attempting to re-cross the Danube at DEGGENDORF, LIECHTENSTEIN and ROSENBERG have been positioned to block him. KEINMAYER and BELLEGARDE are positioned between STRAUBING and LANDAU to delay the rest of the French forces coming to DAVOUT's aid.

I replayed the turns with LIECHTENSTEIN and BELLEGARDE given a 'Defend' stance, instead of 'Engage', and both have DEGGENDORF re-set as a retreat point, hoping that it would concentrate the defence at DEGGENDORF.

Previously, I had recognised that the forces building up against KIENMAYER and BELLEGARDE where bigger than expected and I wanted to finish with DAVOUT as soon as possible, therefore had issued 'Engage' orders at DEGGENDORF.

Now on the replay, with just two orders and retreat points re-set, the Austrians have been able to establish a larger concentration at DEGGENDORF, CHARLES has not been drawn away and is able to command the battle at DEGGENDORF, bringing his higher attributes.

The Austrians now have a significant superiority and, more importantly, plenty of artillery operating in open terrain (see Artillery effect +20%) and DAVOUT cannot breakthrough with his units weakened by the two day battle with HOHENZOLLERN at KLATTAU and several days being isolated from supply.

DAVOUT's attempt to break-out is inconclusive with both sides fighting at lower intensity, both ending with a 'Withdrawal' from the battlefield North of the bridge, but the crossing remains in Austrian hands and closed to DAVOUT's enfeebled corps, which starts to dissolve until by the 24th April, only one doomed division remains.

The effects of the battle, shown in the right hand panel, indicate both French and Austrian units routed, but the Austrians can retire, the French units have nowhere to go and are destroyed.


Image


This battle is taking place 6 miles from DEGGENDORF, in the open countryside North-east of the town, on the KLATTAU road. The Austrians just have to keep DAVOUT from reaching the bridge.

The battle panel shows Austrian units from both LIECHTENSTEIN and ROSENBERG, but it is still not a full concentration, as I am using house rules to replicate the historical Austrian lack of co-ordination. However, it is enough to contain the weakened DAVOUT.

This shows how important player decisions are in this game, making the correct assessment of the situation and providing a suitable reaction.

The assessment in this case is that DAVOUT has to win to escape, but the Austrians just have to do enough to stay in place at DEGGENDORF, to prevent the break-out and achieve the break-up of DAVOUT's corps.

What else can be seen from these screens :

Comparing the battle results in the re-run, against the situation shown in post #7 when I first played these turns.

In the battle panel detail the French divisions of Friant and St Sulpice are seen, for the Austrians the unit of Hessen-Homburg is listed as routed (from the strength points [4] this is Hessen-Homburg cavalry). None of these units are in the initial line-up for the battle shown in the left section of the panel, so they have been drawn in after the battle had already started. Even though I am not using 'To the guns' for the Austrians, some additional units are blundering onto the battlefield.

Two points here, when you see the initial balance of forces for a battle, it is likely that this will change before the battle actually starts, or even whilst the battle is in progress. I have had battles where at first I had a big advantage and chose the battle stance accordingly, only to find as the battle progressed that I became outnumbered. Secondly this shows how the game system is tracking the relative movements of all the units, enemy and friendly, to reproduce a realistic situation. Even great commanders such as NAPOLEON can come undone, when fresh units unexpectedly arrive on the battlefield (such as the Prussians at Waterloo).

Agentau and Vacsay from KEINMAYER's corps, defeated at LANDAU, played a part in the first run through, by retreating through DEGGENDORF and getting mixed up with the battle for the bridge. On the turn re-run they can now be seen retreating along the Southerly road to PASSAU and will not get involved with the battle against DAVOUT, so the game AI is not blindly running on rails and various outcomes are possible.
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RE: What do I do now

Post by Rasputitsa »

Here is the Victory screen to compare with the result in the earlier post #11 :


Image


A simple change of orders resulted in an additional 36 strength point loss to the French and there is still one further French infantry division trapped on the wrong side of the Danube, which will add to that loss.

The situation is still bad for the Austrians after three weeks of combat, but after a successful defence at DEGGENDORF and the complete destruction of DAVOUT, the French have suffered more. The Austrian loss is similar to the previously posted victory screen, which is inescapable as the French and their Allies are formidable, even in the hands of the AI, but with more considered orders for the Austrians, it has been possible to make the French pay a higher price.

The battles between STRAUBING and LANDAU have resulted in both KEINMAYER and BELLEGARDE being shattered and in retreat, KOLOWRAT is also shattered and almost destroyed, with little hope of escape.

It's worth taking some time to absorb all the information the game displays, it is all relevant and can have an impact on your decisions.

This was just a test to see what effect changed commands would have, I will have to live with the earlier decisions to play on with this scenario, but now a little wiser.

It is good to see that the player's decisions are so important, as it was in reality, where the interpretation of orders by subordinate commanders could lead to great success, or terrible catastrophe.

I realise that I am not looking at ALL the information available before making decisions and that I need to pay more attention to what the game is showing.

It pays to look at all the info panels, the game has a lot to give.[:)]
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RE: What do I do now

Post by Rasputitsa »

Taking up the scenario in turn 23 (April 23rd 1809) after the remains of DAVOUT's III Corps has escaped back across the Danube to rejoin the Emperor, this is the original run-through where CHARLES attempted to have LEICHTENSTEIN and ROSENBERG attack DAVOUT and destroy him, before he could cross the river. This resulted in LIECHTENSTEIN being shattered and some of DAVOUT's units escaped, I did take a peek at the French side to see DAVOUT shattered and replayed the turn with 'Defend' orders, which resulted in DAVOUT's total destruction, to show how played decisions have a big impact in the game.

In the image of the original turn, the stack with Montbrun contains the IIIrd Corps artillery and the infantry of Gudin, all that remains of DAVOUT's shattered corps. This is the result that I shall play on with, not as favourable as the second result, but it's how it was first time.

KEINMAYER is shattered from the battles around LANDAU, retreating towards BUDWEIS and will not respond to orders until he can rally, but at least is safely back over the DANUBE.

KOLOWRAT was caught by MASSENA, with NAPOLEON, in a injudicious flanking move on INGOLSTADT, as CHARLES' vain attempts to redirect him into safer route to REGENSBERG failed. KOLOWRAT is shattered and has only one shattered infantry division remaining from his corps and is finished, the best might be to provide a spare commander, when he has recovered, but he will always be shaky after having been shattered. The only good news is that he has been able to hold on to his supply (100 pnts), which means the French did not get it and it should be easier for him to restore what is left of his corps, provided the French leave him to get away.

Where did NAPOLEON and MASSENA go ?

LIECHTENSTEIN was shattered at DEGGENDORF, but seems to be recovering quickly and has been ordered to PASSAU to keep him out of immediate danger to restore his corps and to defend the crossing. LIECHTENSTEIN is given the retreat point as LINZ to cover the DANUBE valley and the depot in that town, in the event of general withdrawal. Montgomery had all plans for retreat in Egypt scrapped, but I think that I am going to need a Plan B.

Other units could follow the same route, with the intention of having a covering force remain in the DANUBE valley and the direct route to VIENNA, whilst other units could retire on BUDWEIS to establish in a position to threaten the flank of any French advance.

BELLEGARDE has been ordered to fallback to STRAUBING, where he could combine with LOUIS, now moving South from CHAM. CHARLES has transferred the good veteran infantry division of Reuss-Plauen from LOUIS to strengthen the small corps of BELLEGARDE, to help him hold the STRAUBING crossing, as some of I Corps units have become brittle and wavering.

LOUIS is approaching CHAM, with some of his advanced units already close to STRAUBING, where together with BELLGARDE he will have to hold that river crossing and also guard against MASSENA moving through REGENSBERG into the Austrian rear, as due to KOLOWRAT's disaster, the REGENSBERG crossing is unguarded.

HILLER is returning towards BRAUNAU after the abortive attack against MUNICH, whilst covering his retreat by detaching the cavalry of Vincent to make a raid in FREISING, in the hope of convincing the French that there is still a threat to their right flank, now that the threat to their left flank has dissolved.

HOHENZOLLERN has been resting at KLATTAU and has regained his confidence, whilst his units are now in a 'steady', or 'confident' state. CHARLES has ordered III Corps back into action and to march to DEGGENDORF, but CHARLES must remember that a commander and units which have been shattered before, are more likely to break again and must be used with care. A quick review of HOHENZOLLERN's orders to confirm his objective (DEGGENDORF), retreat point (KLATTAU), supply depot (BUDWEIS) and that he has no stragglers, but 20 pnts wounded. Contact stance (Defend), march urgency (Regular), all in order and easy to check in the commander's info panel.

The hospital is now at WIMPERK, so not sure how quickly the wounded can return to their units, or how many survived when the original hospital was over-run at KLATTAU.

The Austrian army is in ruins, but it remains to be seen how aggressive NAPOLEON will be after the experience that DAVOUT has been through. His other corps have been victorious and will be anxious to continue the attack.

CHARLES has decided to attempt a stand on the DANUBE, at STRAUBING and DEGGENDORF with what remains of his forces, but it is very likely that a fighting retreat back towards LINZ and VIENNA will result. He decides to keep the LOC at BUDWEIS, rather than risking bringing supplies any further forward. This results in the delay in providing replacements, as units need to be closer to the LOC before they can be reinforced, but if a scorched earth policy is needed then it would be folly to bring supply within NAPOLEON's reach, in case there is a sudden collapse.

In this situation there are very few good decisions left, just a collection of bad options and hope to chose the least damaging.

CHARLES has three green divisions under his direct command defending the bridge at PASSAU, but does not expect much from them and has the Engineers available to blow the bridge if necessary.

To re-cap, Austrian two corps shattered with heavy loss, a defence forming on the DANUBE, the French seem to be concentrated in the triangle ECKMUHL, LANDSHUT, LANDAU, with DAVOUT shattered and heading back to AUGSBURG, where more French units should be gathering to head for the DANUBE. Austrian army confidence severely shaken, the French also lost some confidence but not as bad.

Supply situation is good with all corps with supply on hand, BUDWEIS building supply and a large depot at LINZ (1352 pnts)

As CHARLES rides though the broken remains of units shattered in the battles for DEGGENDORF and over the river at LANDAU attempting to shield the crossings, he knows that ROSENBERG is the key and must hold DEGGENDORF. CHARLES has reinforced ROSENBERG with Hessen-Homburg and Vogelsang infantry divisions, but he must get there himself to bolster the defence. The dragoons of his escort are driving the human flotsam and broken wagons off the road so that he can pass through, whilst writing orders in the saddle all day, attempting to rebuild a defence on the great river. But what of tomorrow, will he be riding these roads again in the opposite direction, with the French on his heels. The Emperor had moved rapidly at the start of the campaign and DAVOUT had suffered for it, did the Corsican upstart still have the stomach to cross the river again so soon ?

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RE: What do I do now

Post by Rasputitsa »

Turn 24, Over-ruled caution and moved LOC to WIMPERK and now HOHENZOLLERN can receive replacements from 4 hexes away. His units have large numbers of stragglers and may still rebuild themselves over time, but Vukassovich infantry was originally a small unit and made smaller by stragglers, so added some replacements to build up the unit. When the stragglers return this unit will be of a more respectable size, but I am holding back some replacements (16), as the situation may become worse.

The flexibility of the game system is brilliant, with the ability to change commanders, switch units, attach, detach and re-build units. The whole corps organisation could be re-arranged if you wanted.

DAVOUT's surviving III corps units are still seen in retreat, but the position of the main French army was still confused. A Wurtemberg division has appeared near LANDAU, but more importantly the French IMPERIAL GUARD has appeared at MUNICH. This is good news as it means that this unit and maybe more following units are being drawn off by HILLER's flanking mission. The bad news is that HILLER's retirement is being delayed and he is in a very exposed position, meanwhile CHARLES cannot afford to lose another corps.

If DAVOUT is retreating on AUGSBURG, which I saw in my 'sneak peek' earlier, then the French LOC must be at AUGSBURG, which is why the Guard has been committed to its defence. Either way, I don't have to face this unit on the DANUBE, but what is worrying me is that there has been no sign of NAPOLEON and MASSENA for several days since they left KOLOWRAT. Might they descend on HILLER like they did on KOLOWRAT, or strike through REGENSBERG and SCHWARNDORF and bypass my defence on the Danube.

LOUIS is slow moving, as always, and has not yet fully passed CHAM, so fortuitously is in a position to cover that route if NAPLOEON appears there.

Would the Guard confront a whole corps alone, there must be more units following and now I have to decide whether to have HILLER make a stand at MUNICH, or try to withdraw, but orders delay over such a large distance will make controlling this flank difficult and, as with KOLOWRAT, HILLER is most likely to be on his own.

This game never lets up, it keeps you guessing every turn.

I should have learned to check the map more closely by now, KOLOWRAT is not alone, there are 4 French units in the same hex, two from MASSENA's IV Corps and two from the VANDAMME's Wurtemberg Corps, so this reveals where some of the missing French Units are. This is looking better for the defence on the Danube, if French units are still involved on both flanks, although it is not good news for KOLOWRAT and HILLER.

I went back over the previous game saves and, although KOLOWRAT and his only surviving division seem to be alone, the stack numbers clearly show 4 other units present. Shuffling though the stack quickly reveals the French units which have not left the area and KOLOWRAT is still in great danger.

I should be sweeping the mouse over all stacks to see how many units are there and, with multiple unit stacks, I need to shuffle through the units to see what is there.

Image

Never stop learning.

Taking a closer look at the map and rethinking the strategy.

Near LANDAU and under Tharreau, the Austrian infantry and cavalry of Fresnel are trying to disengage and retreat with BELLEGARDE to the STRAUBING crossing, there was a battle here last turn with these two Austrian units not yet having managed to pull back.

Meanwhile, the realisation that the French are still engaged on the two flanks at INGOLSTADT and MUNICH have given CHARLES the confidence to attempt to hold his present positions on the DANUBE. The French army is not concentrated and some of it's corps are split, with DAVOUT still apparently in retreat. There should be time to bring LOUIS into line at STRAUBING and HOHENZOLLERN into position at DEGGENDORF, whilst KIENMAYER and LIECHTENSTEIN may have the opportunity to rally their shattered corps at PASSAU. If I can stop their flight, with KIENMAYER heading for BUDWEIS and LIECHTENSTEIN making for LINZ, in panic and rout. KIENMAYER may be beyond recall, but LIECHTENSTEIN is not as badly stressed and may recover sooner.

There is a large supply depot at LINZ, which could supply the units gathering at PASSAU and the LOC at WIMPERK is closer to provide replacements.

There may still be an opportunity to hold the line of the DANUBE, except that the Emperor may choose to cross at REGENSBERG (undefended), or bludgeon through one of the other defended crossings and can the Austrian army hold, with it's confidence shaken by the battles of the previous week ?

HILLER could have his retreat cancelled and be ordered to hold at MUNICH, consolidate his position as the cavalry raid on FREISING is cancelled and Vincent reattached, but this is a potentially dangerous move as HILLER could be cut-off by French units moving down from LANDAU and trying to control a situation at long distance, on the flank, has already failed catastrophically for KOLOWRAT. However, if the Guard is alone, what a coup to destroy the EMPEROR's pride and joy. What a temptation, but is the risk worth it [&:]

Most of the uncertainty of the last few turns has been of my own making, as the information was there on the map, if only I had taken the trouble to look deeper.

LANNES II Corps appears to be engaged near LANDAU, assisted by part of VANDAMME's 'Wurtembergers', the rest of the 'Wurtemberg' Corps is with MASSENA's IV Corps at INGOLSTADT, whilst the Guard is at MUNICH. LEFEBVRE is unaccounted for, but his corps was badly damaged earlier by HILLER on the River Inn and maybe is not fully recovered, but I have been wrong before. [:(]

Where is NAPLOEON ??

Comment has been made that the game is limited, if movement is restricted only to the roads, but as can be seen, the strategic possibilities are extensive and, historically, large armies were mainly using the roads for strategic movement and operational plans were based on the road net.

The replacements available to HOHENZOLLERN, from the LOC at WIMPERK, seemed to be based on the cross country range from WIMPERK (about 5 hexes or less), not the distance by road. This would replicate the need for active units, ready for combat and accompanied by artillery and supply wagons, moving along roads in compact formations ready to deploy from the roads into battle formation (each corps is carrying its own supply, additional to the overall supply system). Replacements are moving in smaller, looser groups, using the by-ways and lanes to reach their assigned units, leaving the main roads clear for major movement, which makes sense. You can also picture stragglers, moving across country, attempting to find their units by any route available.

The game system is not far from the historic realities of the time. I have been travelling over the last two months and unable to play, but have taken the opportunity to read and nothing in the detail of the Danube campaigns has clashed with the game representation of the events.

This first test game in v3.05 quickly developed into an intensely interesting situation, which just keeps coming up with surprises and new challenges, never boring, and right in the sweet spot of Napoleonic gaming.

NAPOLEON worked with maps stretched out everywhere, often across the floor, he had two card indexes, one with details of his own units and another containing details of the enemy forces. Which is essentially what the game provides in a more simplified form, superb map (using mod) with details and attributes of your own commanders and units. The enemy is partially hidden in FOW, which afflicted the commanders at the time. NAPOLEON was also blessed with a phenomenal memory, which I do not have, such that on coming across a lost unit, NAPLOEON was able to tell the officer where his parent division could be found and also a short history of the divisional commander.

I am still left with the question, What do I do now ? [8D]


P.S. - Have decided to halt HILLER's retreat from MUNICH and take on the Guard and any following units, if only the orders get there in time. I may also be forced to make a demonstration across the Danube to keep the French units at LANDAU in place. This plan is developing more holes than a Swiss cheese. [8|]
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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: What do I do now

Post by Rasputitsa »

Turn 25

LOUIS is not moving fast enough, CHARLES sent repeat order.

BELLEGARDE detaches infantry of Ulm (shattered) and sends them to CHAM, tranferred Lindenau from LOUIS as a replacement.

As soon as supply builds up at WIMPERK I will send depots to KLATTAU, CHAM.

At MUNICH there are now three divisions of the Imperial Guard North of MUNICH, both infantry and cavalry, plus one other Guard infantry division stacked with HILLER, which I discover later – (remember to look at the map !!!!!) and expect Guard artillery is near, again change order for HILLER to retreat. The diversion has worked and HILLER needs to get back.

Using the battalion carré movement strategy, corps sized units should be within 2 days march of each other, I broke the rules with KOLOWRAT and paid the price, don't want to do the same with HILLER

LIECHTENSTEIN has rallied quickly as expected, but has no infantry, his units are still brittle and need a rest day

Hessen-Homburg is detached to cover road between LANDAU and BRAUNAU (orders: fallback-forced march), hopefully to cover and delay any French incursion onto HILLER's retreat path.

KIENMAYER is still shattered, but detached units are still useful when transferred to other corps.

Need to reorganise the crowd of units at PASSAU, based around the recently recovered LIECHTENSTEIN.

CHARLES is happier now army is regaining balance except for LOUIS, the crossings being covered. Should CHARLES/ROSENBERG attack to relieve BELLEGARDE, as LOUIS is so slow in providing support.

Supply – manually set 400 supply from old LOC BUDWEIS to WIMPERK.

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

Turn 26

MUNICH, in response to CHARLES' orders, HILLER delayed his departure, but now the whole Imperial Guard is present and the whereabouts of LEFEBVRE's VII Corps is revealed, closing in on MUNICH from FRIESING. It is time to go.

The delay in leaving MUNICH has netted more French supply, 91 points of captured supply already on the way back to BRAUNAU, whilst 359 points captured this turn as French supply convoys keep arriving in the city. There has also been a notification of the French burning supplies in MUNICH when they briefly re-captured the city, then gave it up again, so the overall loss of supply to the French has been even greater.

CHARLES again orders HILLER to retreat and hopes that the orders delay will not result in HILLER being pinned by the two French corps sent against him. However, if HILLER can get away from the city and away from the road junctions then LEFEBVRE will not be able to get behind him and HILLER should be able to make a fighting retreat back along the only road to BRAUNAU.

HILLER is facing 8 French units against the 5 in his VI Corps, but also the French force contains the elite Imperial Guard, infantry cavalry and artillery. Where is NAPOLEON, at least that would confirm the French priorities.



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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: What do I do now

Post by Rasputitsa »

The situation at MUNICH gives an indication of AI behaviour.

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The sequence of events over the last few turns is that HILLER was sent as a flanking manoeuvre to firstly, distract the EMPEROR, and secondly, to seek and destroy supplies known to be at MUNICH. From previous experience with this scenario there should be 2000 points of supply at MUNICH, a very big French supply depot.

When HILLER arrived at MUNICH he found the cupboard almost bare, just 49 pnts of supply left. Was this just coincidence and all the supply had been used, or was the AI being clever and had moved out the supply from the threatened city. If true this is smart behaviour.

HILLER was ordered to retreat to BRAUNAU, as his position was very exposed and French units, victorious at LANDAU, could move and block HILLER's escape route.

Then one division of the IMPERIAL GUARD arrived outside MUNICH and CHARLES was tempted to strike this lonely, but valuable, unit before any others could arrive. Orders delay to HILLER at MUNICH is 18 hrs, so controlling actions at this range is going to be problematic and would one French unit advance alone.

With orders delay, HILLER had already left MUNICH when the new order arrived and the GUARD unit already re-occupied the city, for the French, and had the temerity to chase after HILLER's corps alone. It was hidden in HILLER's stack just outside MUNICH, hence the encouragement to always check the stacks and shuffle the units looking for unexpected moves.

Under 'engage' orders HILLER re-took MUNICH and the lone Guard division wisely pulled back, but French supply continued to arrive at the city and the 'seek and destroy' mission now seemed justified (additional 359 pnts taken), with more supply being reported as burnt by the French after their short re-occupation of the city.

The first instinct was to save the supply and send it back to WIMPERK, but then the AI's plan is revealed, as the rest of the IMPERIAL GUARD arrives and LEFEBVRE's VII Corps appears on the FRIESING road.

The image (figure 1) shows the map with units removed, with the IMPERIAL GUARD arriving on the road from the North, but more significantly, VII Corps' approach from FRIESING is aimed the road junction East of MUNICH marked by an X. If the AI reaches this junction before HILLER can evacuate MUNICH, then he is trapped and the AI has pulled off another smart move. Just as it trapped KOLOWRAT near INGOLSTADT.

The cavalry of Vincent is on the crossroads, as it had been ordered on a probe to FRIESING, but we now know what's on the road and the mission has been cancelled and Vincent re-attached to HILLER.

CHARLES has sent further orders for HILLER to retreat to BRAUNAU, but the attempt to save the supply has filled the road with supply wagons, with hindsight the smart move would have been to burn the supply, but it is too late now, as that option is no longer available.

With most other games I would have just mouse clicked HILLER on his way and been a great general, but with CotD I am going to have to sweat it out and hope that HILLER can move fast enough, or else this AI will make a fool out of me. Hopefully, LEFEBVRE may be fragile having been 'shattered' in a previous engagement with HILLER, but where is NAPOLEON, if he joins this flank, the bonus he will give the French units could be overwhelming.

In the image (figure 2) the French stacks are showing 4 units each, but only 3 units in each are visible when shuffling through the stacks. The stack shuffle feature is new in v3.05, but I am not sure what units are counted, does it include enemy commanders and supply units which are not normally visible.

This is just one small part of a bigger battlefield and there is LOT going on. This game delivers so much from an apparently simple package and v3.05 has improved it, whilst you cannot take liberties with the AI. [:)]
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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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