Dev Log: 1813--Napoleon's Last German Campaign

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Re: 1813: Napoleon's Last German Campaign

Post by bcgames »

Nikel wrote: Mon Nov 28, 2022 9:44 am In Frank Hunter game the scale of the map is 9 kms per hex. Divisions, corps and armies, though the cavalry are probably brigades. 1 turn per day. And in your project?
Ground Scale: 5km per hex; movement is all about roads and adjacent terrain--cross-country-all-over-the-place wasn't THE THING back then...BUT...You can do big battles like Dresden and Leipzig. Depends on the terrain...

Time Scale: AM, PM, Night or 6 hours, 6 hours and 12 hours (3-turns per day).

Ground Scale: Infantry and Heavy Cavalry Divisions with brigade breakdown capability; Medium and Light Cavalry Brigades with regiment breakdowns. Current engine organization and supply rules will cause players to tend keep organizations "close to home"...but leave room for bold maneuvers.
Nikel wrote: Mon Nov 28, 2022 9:44 am A reference map of the period, perhaps too much detailed. Leipzig is in rectangle 70.

https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Topograph ... %20180.000)%20f%C3%BCr%20Mitteleuropa.
WOW! Solid Gold! These maps will get an operational treatment in the game. Never seen these. Thanks for sharing.
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Re: 1813: Napoleon's Last German Campaign

Post by bcgames »

kch wrote: Mon Nov 28, 2022 11:00 am A good book to read, for a Prussian /Allied point of view of 1813-15, is Blücher: Scourge of Napoleon. It does well in illustrating all the issues that the Allies had in coordinating actions, due to very different personalities and objectives/goals. Also shows how the French army really struggled to inflict decisive defeats with the lack of trained cavalry, and the Allies avoiding direct confrontation with Napoleon, while advancing in other areas.

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Bl%C3%BCcher-S ... C79&sr=8-1
Thanks for the recommendation. I'll certainly check it out.
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Re: 1813: Napoleon's Last German Campaign

Post by Nikel »

bcgames wrote: Tue Nov 29, 2022 3:46 am
Ground Scale: 5km per hex; movement is all about roads and adjacent terrain--cross-country-all-over-the-place wasn't THE THING back then...BUT...You can do big battles like Dresden and Leipzig. Depends on the terrain...

Time Scale: AM, PM, Night or 6 hours, 6 hours and 12 hours (3-turns per day).

Ground Scale: Infantry and Heavy Cavalry Divisions with brigade breakdown capability; Medium and Light Cavalry Brigades with regiment breakdowns. Current engine organization and supply rules will cause players to tend keep organizations "close to home"...but leave room for bold maneuvers.

WOW! Solid Gold! These maps will get an operational treatment in the game. Never seen these. Thanks for sharing.

Thanks for the details.

And what would be the extension of the map? To the east Danzig, Thorn, Modlin, Zamosc were besieged and the French and allied troops left behind. I guess one of the strategic objectives of Napoleon would be to recover the Duchy of Warsaw.

So probably the map of Prussia and Poland is also needed. Found this reference:

Topographisch-militärische Charte von dem Konigreichen Preussen und Polen. Dated in 1815 and the scale is the same of the map of Germany 1:180000.


https://polona.pl/item/topographisch-mi ... U/1/#index
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Re: 1813: Napoleon's Last German Campaign

Post by bcgames »

Nikel wrote: Wed Nov 30, 2022 3:51 pm
And what would be the extension of the map? To the east Danzig, Thorn, Modlin, Zamosc were besieged and the French and allied troops left behind. I guess one of the strategic objectives of Napoleon would be to recover the Duchy of Warsaw.

So probably the map of Prussia and Poland is also needed...
One map, one time, one Napoleonic game. The map will extend from Berlin, 1000km East, 1000km West, and 800km South. That puts the map coverage from just West of Paris to just East of Minsk, and just south of Bologna. Scenario designers will enjoy having the entire playground of the Napoleonic Era at their finger tips--except Russia and the United States circa 1812 (somebody else will have to take up these map challenges and campaigns). I like the study of the last legs of the retreat from Moscow to Napoleon's defeat in 1814...and thus the requirement for the expanse of the map in this game.
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Re: Dev Log: 1813--Napoleon's Last German Campaign

Post by Nikel »

That is going to be a huge map! :)

At least in the East-West direction.

But North-South, you mean from the Baltic sea, not from Berlin?
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Re: Dev Log: 1813--Napoleon's Last German Campaign

Post by bcgames »

Nikel wrote: Thu Dec 01, 2022 8:42 am That is going to be a huge map! :)

At least in the East-West direction.

But North-South, you mean from the Baltic sea, not from Berlin?
I mean Berlin. Add 200k north and you get the relevant Baltic Sea area. The game engine can handle a max of 400x400 hexes or 2,000km x 2000km using a scale of 5km per hex.
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Re: Dev Log: 1813--Napoleon's Last German Campaign

Post by Nikel »

Sorry, I understood from Berlin to Bologna.

Besides the book commented, M. Leggiere published more volumes on the 1813 campaign, however he is "Prussian-centric." :)

https://history.unt.edu/people/michael-v-leggiere

I have recommend these videos elsewhere, but will do also here.


Epic History TV channel, fantastic narrator, music and details in strategy, operations and above all tactical battles of the Napoleonic wars. I specially like the climatic moments in the battles of Austerlitz (1805) and Salamanca (1812), and operationally, the 1814 campaign, I think I did not know what happened that year until watched that video :)

https://www.youtube.com/@EpichistoryTv/playlists


Regarding the 1813 campaign, there are 2 videos:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ky9xet0 ... Y&index=14

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P9hDA0u ... Y&index=16
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Re: Dev Log: 1813--Napoleon's Last German Campaign

Post by maheb »

Looking forward to a 1813 Game. I too played the old, flawed 1813 game. I didn't like the tactical game that much, but liked the operational part.

I also own the Frank Hunter Game (Danube Campaign), and I agree, you should have a look at that game, it models the command & control aspect very well (it's rather small in scope, certainly one of the best Napoleonic games).

For Non-German readers: down below I give a very brief summary of the final chapter of Rudolf Friederichs (very good) book 'Der Herbstfeldzug 1813'. This chapter is basically an essay about the reasons why Napoleons suffered defeat in 1813


Some ideas and suggestions:

These aspects I would like to see in an operational game that models the warfare of that period:
    1) Non-Combat Casualties, i. e. Attrition. For example: York's I Corps started the autumn campaign (end of august) with about 40.000 troops, at the beginning of november it was down to 10.000 - true, it suffered heavily at Wartenberg and Möckern, but most of its losses were caused by exhaustion, forced marches, insufficient food, shelter and clothing
      2) Problematic Communication/Command & Control[/i]: delays, misunderstandings, non-execution of orders, dealing with orders that no longer match the situation, dispatches lost, and so on - which leads to (or could combined with)...
        3) Leader Personalities (cautious ones, aggressive ones, leaders who disobey, obstruct, act on their own, don't act - often for very sound reasons, sometimes for not so good reasons)
          4) Problematic Intelligence (through cavalry and some other means like informants, spies, peasants, POWs): often unreliable, unclear, outdated - problem of 'bad' intelligence more severe than in a WK II game (also potentially more interesting gamewise)
            IMHO Point 3 is pretty important, not only to give the game itself more personality and color, but also to more faithfully portrait the warfare of that period: it shouldn't be a game where the player just pushes some anonymous forces across the map. Military leaders played a prominent role as commander 'in the field' often deciding situations on their own or interpreting orders due to circumstances. Dispatches delivered on horseback - arriving late - created fertile conditions for all kinds of misunderstandings and bad feelings.
              Example: In the beginning of the Silesian campaign, the Russian corps commander Langeron found his corps - following orders by Blücher (who tried to catch Ney off-guard) - in a difficult situation (Battle at Löwenberg). Langeron suffered painful losses and felt Blücher had unnecessary exposed his corps. From then on he followed orders by Blücher 'reluctantly' (to put it mildly, :D )*. - Later, at Katzbach Langeron (on the left wing of the Silesian Army) thought the battle - led by 'impetuous' :evil: Blücher - was already lost and began to send back his heavy artillery and train ('ha, not gonna make the same mistake again' :roll: ) - obviously preparing for a retreat of the whole corps; only after urgent pleas by a Prussian staffer (send by Blücher) could Langeron be convinced to hold his ground. This led to a lasting loss of trust in Langeron on the side of Blücher/Gneisenau. After attempts to have him removed failed (denied by the czar), they decided to watch the 'unreliable Frenchman' closely. This then resulted in the situation at Möckern where Yorck was not supported at all, while Blücher/Gneisenau stayed for the whole battle close to Langeron and held Sackens Corps in reserve behind Langeron, against a threat from the North-East that never materialized.
                *From Leggiere's book about the 1813 autumn campaign, quoting Count Nostitz: "On this day [20 August, Battle of Löwenberg], the large loss of men, the pressing danger that the vanguard - which had been pushed too far forward - was exposed to for many hours, made an impression on Langeron that detrimentally influenced his behavior during the entire campaign. He reproached himself for having executed Blücher's orders too punctually and too willingly, and henceforth would be more cautious - a resolve that he honored to the slightest detail."
                  Points 2-4 (Command & Control, Personalities and Intelligence) are closely connected of course, as the above example [Battle of Löwenberg] shows: both sides acted on incomplete, partially wrong or outdated information, leader personalities and their feelings/lack of trust towards each other played a crucial part in the decision making, battle success (destroying Ney's Corps) eluded Blücher not least because orders could not be given or received at the right time, and were only reluctantly executed or outright disobeyed.

                  Leaders acting in Situations
                    Units should be under a commander with 'personality'. Personality = leader stats who influence how orders are executed, if at all. Commanders therefore should act with a considerable degree of randomness and freedom according to their character and the situation they are facing.
                      The task of the Player would be to deal with these unforeseen circumstances and (command) problems - and to make the best out of it (as Napoleon, Blücher etc. tried).

                      Getting immersed in the game
                        If there are leaders, there should be images of these leaders somewhere (not necessarily on the counters if this is not feasible), not just names
                          Players should get a clear picture of the foggy situation they are dealing with through reports or messages (also to avoid player frustration): how long a 'dispatch' takes to get to a commander, when such a dispatch is delayed and why, if a leader disobeys an order, acts on an order or doesn't, and why he does or doesn't, and so on
                            Weather Events, Attrition Events (Non-Combat losses) and other Events: rain and mud hinders operations, illness and starvation weaken soldiers, canons and wagons get stuck, rivers cannot be crossed, Cavalry cannot operate on muddy ground, etc
                              What I'm trying to get at with 'immersion': What kind of features would turn an operational WKII game into an gaming experience that feels/plays like a game about 1813?' - In modern war you have mass production, standardization, weather forecasts, radio communication, ECM, computers, tanks, jets etc. - in Napoleonic times you have cavalry, infantry, guns, commanders, food for the men, fodder for the horses, solid canon balls, handwritten letters, a logistics system that doesn't work that well, diseases/high attrition, and so on. - So what could be in this new game that anchors it in the Napoleonic Period?

                              Replay Value vs Puzzle
                                Each game might play out differently, not a puzzle to be solved. A lot of Napoleonic games (like the Zucker Board games or the John Tiller games) try to re-create a historic situation, a campaign or battle, and they do a lot of shenanigans (in the form of additional 'rules') so that everything plays out 'historically'. I find that a bit boring.



                                Books
                                  I too read Leggiere's 'Napoleon and the the struggle for Germany. The Franco-Prussian War of 1813' and can recommend it. It is written from the point of view of the Silesian Army und Blücher, but that does not mean that Leggiere is a Prussian fanboy. It's not an operational study and very often get's down to tactical fights on the battalion level, but it also gives a vivid picture...
                                  • of the many, many conflicts between Blücher/Gneisenau and the corps leaders of the Silesian army (some due to clashes of personalities, misunderstandings and other due to structural problems of 1813 warfare)
                                  • of the diplomatic maneuvers between Blücher/Gneisenau and the two other allied armies (not to forget the three monarchs and their military entourage)
                                  • of the exhaustion and attritional effects when men fight, march and bivouac in (most of the time) terrible weather conditions (Weather in 1813 was extremely bad! :cry: )
                                    But the best books I have read so far about the 1813 Campaigns are from Rudolf Friederich: "Der Frühjahrsfeldzug 1813" and "Der Herbstfeldzug 1813", two old books, but not outdated (I don't know if there's an English translation) - Friederich was Head of the historic department II in the Prussian Generalstab. Although a Prussian and an admirer of Napoleon, he has - in my opinion - good judgement and gives an apt analysis of the operations, battles and participants of this conflict (Kevin Zucker in his guide to his 1813 Operational Game makes heavy reference to Friederich).
                                      In the final chapter of 'Der Herbstfeldzug 1813' the author sums up the two campaigns and explores the reasons why Napoleon got defeated: after discarding some common myths (like old Nappy no longer up to the task, quality of troops, superior allied leadership, crappy marshals), he finds two problems that Napoleon couldn't solve, both have to do with scale:

                                      1)Command & Control (Führung): the theatre of operations and the forces in it become too large/big for Napoleon to command (for example sending Oudinot north and trying to push the marshal towards Berlin without having sufficient intelligence about the strength of the allied forces there - often, when Napoleons very detailed dispatches arrive the situation already had changed..)
                                        Friederich, Herbstfeldzug: "Napoleons masterful skills in operating on interior lines came to nothing because the Army - due to its monstrous strength - had become so cumbersome, that despite the finest art of Napoleonic Marching Technique, it could not be brought where it was needed and exhausted its strength in military efforts intensified to the extreme" ("weil die Armee infolge ihrer übertriebenen Stärke so schwerfällig geworden war, dass sie trotz aller Künste der Napoleonischen Marschtechnik entweder nicht dahin gebracht werden konnte, wo man ihrer bedurfte, oder ihre Kräfte in den bis aufs Äusserste gesteigerten Anstrengungen aufrieb")
                                          Supporting forces had do be brought up to army strength in order to balance the allied forces - often commanded by military leaders not used to independent command (if beaten their defeats neutralized all gains Napoleon made personally)

                                          2) Logistics (Erhaltung der Armee): the troops in the theatre were too numerous and could not adequately be supplied. Although Saxony was a well developed country and could theoretically maintain such a force, it proved increasingly impossible the longer that force did not move and more or less stayed at the same spot
                                            Two Examples:
                                            • In the beginning of the autumn campaign (August 1813) about 90.000 - IIRC - of Napoleons troops already out of action and in hospital, many commanders reporting severe shortages of food and fodder
                                            • In the Silesian theatre: the desperate hunt for food and fodder influences the decisions on both sides; Blücher breaking the truce (before it ran out the following day) in order to get his army in the neutral zone first, to harvest resources before the French snatch them away
                                            Didn't the Allies have to deal with similar problems? Friederich: yes, but less severe, because:
                                            • Allied forces divided in 3 Armies operating in 3 theatres (Brandenburg, Silesia, Bohemia), not sharing the same base of operations
                                            • No partisans and activity of Fliegende Corps (allied light Cavalry corps operating in the hinterland)
                                            • Mostly friendly population
                                            • Bringing sick and wounded soldiers back to the hinterland for care
                                            • Still ongoing reinforcements (Napoleon in Summer 1813 mobilized to the maximum)
                                            Why did Napoleon suck in 1813?
                                              According to Friederich Napoleon made no grave mistake in 1813, but he made little ones that added up (he mentions: offensive against Berlin with too weak a force and an ill-suited commander, giving up on the pincer movement south of Dresden - leaving Vandamme exposed, insufficient pursuit after victory at Dresden, holding his position for too long at the right bank of the Elbe, leaving Saint-Cyr at Dresden),
                                                Friederich also claims that the so called 'Trachenberg Plan' (in its modified form) didn't influence the real behavior of the three army commanders in a noticeable way (I disagree*), according to Friederich their success came down to a lucky combination of leader personalities, including - and above all - their flaws and often old-fashioned 18th Century doctrines, which made them avoid any decisive battle until Leipzig (16-19 October):
                                                  "The Warfare of the Allies presents us with a rather unpleasant picture, so it comes that we, despite repeated defeats of the French, never get the impression of skillful superiority on the side of the Allies, that we cannot suppress a tragic feeling that a genius in the end only succumbed to the dominance of clumsy masses ("dass wir trotz der fortgesetzten Niederlagen der Franzosen, nirgends das Gefühl der inneren Überlegenheit der Verbündeten erhalten, (...) dass wir sogar das Mitgefühl über das Tragische nicht zu unterdrücken vermögen, das Genie schliesslich dem blossen Übergewicht plumper Massen unterliegen zu sehen")
                                                    *At least Blücher/Gneisenau - ironically - followed that plan, almost to a t.
                                                      My take: I cannot find that Napoleon really made a severe misstep, he just could not find something to counter the allied strategy: running away from him, ganging up on his marshals, forcing him to fruitless marches and thereby wearing him down, until they got him trapped at Leipzig (= the modified so called Trachenberg Plan, presumably agreed in the last weeks bevor outbreak of hostilities in August; it never was written down). So the Allies denied him the decisive blow he was craving for. Napoleon calculated that 2 month would be plenty of time for that, even if he would be cut off from his lines of communication, but in the end time was running out for him (the force ratio in August was almost 1:1, in October almost down to 1:2)
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                                                      Re: Dev Log: 1813--Napoleon's Last German Campaign

                                                      Post by bcgames »

                                                      Nikel wrote: Fri Dec 02, 2022 3:01 pm Sorry, I understood from Berlin to Bologna.

                                                      Besides the book commented, M. Leggiere published more volumes on the 1813 campaign, however he is "Prussian-centric." :)

                                                      https://history.unt.edu/people/michael-v-leggiere

                                                      I have recommend these videos elsewhere, but will do also here.


                                                      Epic History TV channel, fantastic narrator, music and details in strategy, operations and above all tactical battles of the Napoleonic wars. I specially like the climatic moments in the battles of Austerlitz (1805) and Salamanca (1812), and operationally, the 1814 campaign, I think I did not know what happened that year until watched that video :)

                                                      https://www.youtube.com/@EpichistoryTv/playlists


                                                      Regarding the 1813 campaign, there are 2 videos:

                                                      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ky9xet0 ... Y&index=14

                                                      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P9hDA0u ... Y&index=16
                                                      Nice.
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                                                      Re: Dev Log: 1813--Napoleon's Last German Campaign

                                                      Post by bcgames »

                                                      maheb wrote: Sat Dec 03, 2022 12:19 am Looking forward to a 1813 Game. I too played the old, flawed 1813 game. I didn't like the tactical game that much, but liked the operational part.
                                                      Need to read and think about your post before I respond.
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                                                      Re: Dev Log: 1813--Napoleon's Last German Campaign

                                                      Post by maheb »

                                                      Some Additional Thoughts about Leaders/Commanders

                                                      Ageod games have
                                                      • 1) 'postures': a commander can have four stances: assault, offensive, defensive and passive. Even if an army commander orders a corps commander to go on the offensive, that commander might decide to switch to the defensive stance, depending on his leader stats and circumstances (for example when that commander thinks he's facing overwhelming odds)
                                                      • 2) Rules of Engagement (ROE:) a leader with offensive posture can do an all-out attack, sustained attack, conservative attack or feint attack; a leader with defensive posture can hold a position at all costs, defend, defend & retreat or retreat if engaged.
                                                      • In most cases and circumstances leaders will switch from offensive to defensive or will stay defensive (in Ageod games, also in reality) - following a common behavioral pattern when 'dangers lurk in the dark'
                                                      • In Tiller Games leaders have to pass certain 'tests', in order to give certain benefits ('morale', rallying/reorganization of troops, etc. )to troops or pass them on to other leaders in the chain of command. So a certain leader trait only comes into play when the corresponding leader check succeeds.

                                                      Leader Casualties
                                                      • Another difference between WK II and tbe Napoleonic Era is how exposed leaders are to danger and the elements. While more protected from cold, rain etc. than the ordinary soldier on the battlefield casualty rates for officers were pretty high (not uncommon for a French marshal to get wounded several times during his career)

                                                      Disobedient Commanders - Conflicting Interests
                                                      • We may tend to side with an army commander who gets upset when one of his corps commanders derails his plans, especially when we 'play' such a commander, but from the point of view of that corps commander, couldn't his disobedience be justified?
                                                      • For Example: in November, after Leipzig, Blücher pushed his commanders forward to destroy the retreating French army, York's badly beaten-up I Corps had to march in ghastly weather, on horrible roads (the better main road reserved for the Russian Corps), in rain and mud. Finally Yorck had enough. He refused to go any further and quartered his men in surrounding villages. - He might have defended himself by saying: 'My corps is at breaking point, if I go any further it will fall apart. I need time and rest to recover and reorganize.' - Blücher might have responded: 'If I learnt one thing from the French, after Jena and Auerstädt, it is to relentlessly pursue the enemy after a victorious battle. Even if I have to pay in heavy losses, the prize of a destroyed enemy army is worth it. That army will not oppose me in the field again.'
                                                      Addendum. From a letter of York's chief of staff, Zielinski, November 5th 1813 (quoted in Leggiere's book): "The survivors of the corps are in such a weakened condition because of the extremely strenuous marches on the poorest roads that they arouse compassion. All of my requests, all of my suggestions to conserve as much as possible the precious remainder of this brave corps have gone unheeded; what has not been struck down by enemy balls will be overcome by fatigue if it remains under the leadership of these 'ingenious' people, who take no consideration of the material needs of an army and move around all of the corps as if they are knights on a chessboard. We have seldom if ever maintained our order of battle: first we stand on the right wing, then on left, now in the middle; that the extreme fatigue of the troops is directly connected to these 'brilliant' moves is clear to see."

                                                      Delayed orders, derailed plans, disobedient generals - could that be fun for players?
                                                      • I think so, under 2 conditions:
                                                      • 1) the player knows what's going on, why something happens or does not happen
                                                      • 2) these mechanics play together to create an interesting experience, a 'story' of 'war in a difficult medium'.
                                                      • as Clausewitz puts it ('Im paraphrasing): "Everything in war is very easy and simple, but war is a combination of simple things and therefore difficult. These difficulties pile up and create frictions that no one can imagine who hasn't seen war with his own eyes." ("Es ist alles im Kriege sehr einfach, aber das Einfachste ist schwierig. Diese Schwierigkeiten häufen sich und bringen eine Friktion hervor, die sich niemand richtig vorstellt, der den Krieg nicht gesehen hat.")
                                                      • According to Clausewitz without these frictions (he names weather, intelligence, qualities of leaders, physical exhaustion, morale & motivation, physical danger, not least random accidents) you only have the theory of war, but not its reality
                                                      • So: friction = frustration = fun? What do you think?
                                                      Last edited by maheb on Sun Dec 04, 2022 12:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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                                                      Re: Dev Log: 1813--Napoleon's Last German Campaign

                                                      Post by Nikel »

                                                      Great posts maheb! :)

                                                      Thank you for taking your time to write down all of this stuff.


                                                      The two books you cited by R. Friederich may be downloaded, and read online, at least those you you who know German and can handle the font they used in those times :)

                                                      https://dfg-viewer.de/show/?tx_dlf%5Bid ... d425309568

                                                      https://dfg-viewer.de/show/?tx_dlf%5Bid ... d425309673


                                                      The Trachenberg plan

                                                      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trachenberg_Plan

                                                      https://www.salzburg-wehrgeschichte.at/ ... -war-plan/

                                                      Image
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                                                      Re: Dev Log: 1813--Napoleon's Last German Campaign

                                                      Post by maheb »

                                                      Nikel wrote: Sat Dec 03, 2022 6:02 pm Great posts maheb! :)

                                                      Thank you for taking your time to write down all of this stuff.

                                                      The two books you cited by R. Friederich may be downloaded, and read online, at least those you you who know German and can handle the font they used in those times :)

                                                      https://dfg-viewer.de/show/?tx_dlf%5Bid ... d425309568

                                                      https://dfg-viewer.de/show/?tx_dlf%5Bid ... d425309673
                                                      Yes, they can be found in some online libraries. I don't have physical copies of these books and used internet resources when I read them about two years ago. But to my knowledge no English translation exists or is available. They're well written and I was pleasantly surprised* about the lack of patriotic bombast (given this books were published just before the centenary 1813-1913 and targeted towards a broader audience) - [* shows more of my bias than anything else]
                                                      Last edited by maheb on Tue Dec 06, 2022 1:28 am, edited 3 times in total.
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                                                      Re: Dev Log: 1813--Napoleon's Last German Campaign

                                                      Post by maheb »

                                                      The Trachenberg plan

                                                      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trachenberg_Plan

                                                      https://www.salzburg-wehrgeschichte.at/ ... -war-plan/

                                                      Image
                                                      [/quote]

                                                      About the Trachenberg Plan
                                                      • I used this term to simplify things, because the original plan (Trachenberg) had been agreed between Russia, Prussia and the Crown prince of Sweden (Bernadotte), in early June IIRC [correction: July], and is rather, in my opinion, a narrowly focused battle plan in the situation at the beginning of the armistice; it is more aggressive in nature, calculates with fewer numbers and only two allied armies - the 'modified' Trachenberg plan had been agreed between the aforementioned powers plus Austria - and I think Austria, and especially Radetzky, had a significant influence on it. It is much more defensive in nature
                                                      • Again (like in the original plan) armies not facing Napoleon directly should operate in the rear and flanks of the emperor as soon as he would turn his back towards them, but the army facing Napoleon should avoid battle with the emperor and retreat, forcing Napoleon to a cat and mouse race - knowing that N. always would seek a decisive battle. After N. would have sufficiently weakened himself, all armies should take the offensive and force him to a battle. In a sense this 'plan' [of which to my knowledge no written document exists] resembles a compromise between the more aggressive minded Prussians and Russians and the more defensive minded Austrians. Also some other ideas were around, like maneuvering Napoleon out of Germany without a major battle, at least not a battle in Saxony.
                                                      • The Radetzky plan, in the link you posted, is - IIRC - the memorandum Radetzky drafted for Schwarzenberg, but was never the basis for discussions between the allies ( I might be wrong). IIRC several documents, memoranda and plans were produced or discussed in the meantime, but Radetzky might have introduced his ideas at a later stage and he might have significantly influenced the strategy of the Allies.
                                                      • I think, naturally, the involvement of at least four powers, three monarchs, their courtiers, advisers, diplomats and members of general staffs would make for a difficult decision process, not easy to follow by later historians?
                                                      • Also, I have to say, I'm not an expert on these matters, I just like to read about them, occasionally, and my memory might deceive me.
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                                                      Nikel
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                                                      Re: Dev Log: 1813--Napoleon's Last German Campaign

                                                      Post by Nikel »

                                                      There is a text in French in Londonderry Narrative of the war in Germany and France in 1813 and 1814. In page 372.

                                                      https://books.google.es/books?id=sjMOAA ... &q&f=false


                                                      And translated into english in this reference by Kuehn, in the appendix.

                                                      https://books.google.es/books?id=oB9wCw ... &q&f=false
                                                      maheb
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                                                      Re: Dev Log: 1813--Napoleon's Last German Campaign

                                                      Post by maheb »

                                                      Why harping upon themes like attrition, friction, commanders, etc?
                                                      • There's a Matrix game called The Operational Art of War IV. Its ambition is that it can provide scenarios for every conflict between 1800 and now, but if you play a Napoleonic scenario, it does not really feel like it, because it's engine is best suited for 20th century conflicts.
                                                      • WEGO 1813 should not just play like a mod for WEGO WW II Stalingrad, it should be its own game**, e. g. by adding some mechanics that simulate characteristics of Napoleonic Warfare and that distinguish it from being 'just a mod'.
                                                      **within limits - as I understand you are a small team
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                                                      Re: Dev Log: 1813--Napoleon's Last German Campaign

                                                      Post by maheb »

                                                      Play like Blücher or Bernadotte?** - Interesting Decisions

                                                      With added features like attrition or commanders the player would have to ponder these kind of questions:
                                                      • Should I push for a certain target - despite the awful weather and muddy roads, even with the serious risk of wearing down my forces and stressing my relationship with my corps commanders?
                                                      • Or should I preserve my forces, bide my time? Wait for the right moment when my opponent is weak? - But what if I am Bernadotte, crown prince of Sweden (and former French marshal) and I have a general like Bülow under my command, patriotic, ambitious and so paranoid :? that he thinks all my cautious measures and maneuvers are in reality treason?
                                                      • Should I pursue the enemy, which costs me dearly but may completely annihilate the enemy army? But what if I'm encountering on my way - hidden by the fog of war - a fresh enemy army, in good shape? (the risky situation the Silesian Army was running into after after Katzbach)
                                                      • Should I offer battle or should I deny battle? Strike or maneuver? Wage war in the old-fashioned 18th century style or in the brutal 'modern' fashion?
                                                      • Corps commanders A, B, C and D have these kind of stats/leadership qualities. What task can I entrust them to fulfill? What can they reasonably achieve? What better not to ask from them?
                                                      ** or God forgive, Schwarzenberg :lol:
                                                      maheb
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                                                      Re: Dev Log: 1813--Napoleon's Last German Campaign

                                                      Post by maheb »

                                                      Victories and the difficult element* - something to ponder
                                                      • It is a known fact that in most battles victor and defeated suffer roughly the same rate of casualties. So a victory (a battle which is decided) only becomes really impactful if the victorious commander can bring his army (and himself) to go after the beaten enemy, preferably in a vigorous pursuit. Only after the battle might the victor reap the fruits of his success. The defeated suffers losses which he cannot share (in Clausewitz words) with his opponent: guns, wagons, prisoners
                                                      • A vigorous pursuit? Easier said than done. After a victory the defeated are weak and vulnerable - but so are the victors. Both may be disorganized, both may have force-marched, both are exhausted, both are in need for food, fodder and rest.
                                                      • When the victor goes after the defeated both suffer: from fatigue, sickness, weather, need for food, clean water, fodder, from marching on bad roads. But for the defeated everything is much harder, unpleasant and intimidating. Because the enemy (cavalry) might prevent him from collecting food, deny him rest when he desperately needs rest, dictate which roads he can safely take, and so on.
                                                      • So in theory - and sometimes in reality - a defeated army can be completely wiped from the map through a skillful and vigorous pursuit (examples: the French Army after Jena & Auerstädt, or Blücher's pursuit after Waterloo)
                                                      • But very often a victorious army cannot be brought to go on a vigorous pursuit, because it has itself become to weak and/or cannot mobilize the morale strength to go after the enemy in a forceful way.
                                                      • So what we see at play here are the famous 'frictions', which cause that commanders 'underperform' and armies suffer non-battle casualties (attrition).
                                                      • Without these attritional factors a victory (a battle decision) would be meaningless (nothing would be decided, because victor and defeated suffer equally during a battle). So a victory becomes, in that sense, only real through these factors.
                                                      *At one point in his book 'On War' Clausewitz uses an image to depict the difference between theory and reality of war, I paraphrase from memory: It is as if doing a physical exercise on land, and then trying to do the same thing under water, in a difficult element or medium
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                                                      bcgames
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                                                      Re: Dev Log: 1813--Napoleon's Last German Campaign

                                                      Post by bcgames »

                                                      F. Loraine Petre's, Napoleon's Last Campaign in Germany 1813, is a good read. You can find a copy on Amazon.
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                                                      Nikel
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                                                      Re: Dev Log: 1813--Napoleon's Last German Campaign

                                                      Post by Nikel »

                                                      If you like digital copies, both Petre and Maude are in the public domain.

                                                      Napoleon's Last Campaign in Germany, 1813

                                                      https://archive.org/details/napoleonsla ... r/mode/2up

                                                      The missing maps

                                                      https://babel.hathitrust.org/cgi/pt?id= ... up&seq=424


                                                      The Leipzig campaign, 1813

                                                      https://archive.org/details/cu31924024321782
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