Victorian Napoleonic Championships - Dan's Report

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Carriage
Corporal - 5 cm Pak 38
Corporal - 5 cm Pak 38
Posts: 41
Joined: Thu Mar 27, 2014 1:01 am

Victorian Napoleonic Championships - Dan's Report

Post by Carriage » Mon Jul 21, 2014 2:18 am

This is a report of my experience at the Vic Naps Champs 2014. I forgot to take photos every turn but I got enough to give an idea of what's going on. Richard will be releasing the missions at some point so my descriptions will be more general. I took 1810-11 Anglo-Portuguese. I'll hopefully get my lists up in the other thread by tonight.

Day 1
First scenario was "Saving the Emperor's Undies – or Eylau, the night before 7 February 1807" The objectives were the two built up areas. Given that the emperor's baggage was in Eylau, there were rules for units being drawn into the town. Also, the armies would progressively arrive. Both sides used their 800 lists. My opponent was Keith and I rolled up being attacker.

Historical Background
The evening before the actual battle of Eylau, a major fight broke out when a unit of Russian soldiers attacked Napoleon's entourage who were busy establishing his quarters for the night in the town. This fight gradually drew in thousands of men and became as much a fight over the Emperor's baggage, as it was a fight for the shelter that the buildings would provide against the -30 degree Polish winter. Eight hours of fighting and several thousand casualties later, the battle died down. This scenario represents this "pre-battle".

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How we deployed our starting divisions. Keith has 3 light infantry brigades, 1 line infantry brigade and a large heavy artillery battery with an extra attachment. I've got 3 line (including highlanders) and a light brigade.

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Shot of the battlefield

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We've moved up and one of Keith's light brigades has declared a charge on my rifles. I stand and shoot and manage to roll three 6s on 4 dice to stop them. This is where my luck(skill?) ends.

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At this point I've failed a compulsory assault on the buildings and my most of my units are suffering cohesion losses and are about to begin making outcome moves to the rear.

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My men manage to break themselves. After so many breakthrough retreat moves and seeing each other breaking, my men decide they've had enough.

Keith was a wonderful opponent and even though it was a circus, this game was thoroughly enjoyable.

Learning points:
I rushed the attack. I was lucky that my infantry reserves came when they did but my cav didn't even turn up. My initial thoughts were that I would need to attack Eylau as I wouldn't be able to get in first and he could dance away from my army trying to break his. However, in hindsight he would have to support Eylau, so his army would be there to try and break it. Another thing I realised too late was that being an unreformed moving army, I could sit outside of charge range of Eylau (so not be forced in) but could still skirmish with it. Also, though I can handle a few burst throughs due to being mostly veteran, I still have to be careful about curving my line such that they all flee to the same point. Keith didn't need to move to close range or charge to break my army.

Game 2 - My second scenario was "Battle of Borodino, 7 September 1812" The objectives were the three redoubts. I was using my 650pt list as defender and Kendall his 800pt list.

Historical Borodino
Deep in Russia and frustrated by weeks of trying to pin down the retreating Russians, Napoleon finally gets his chance to win a decisive battle and end the war, when Kutusov turns to make a stand before the French reach Moscow. To reinforce their lines, the Russians have built a number of redoubts. With little finesse, Napoleon launches a series of frontal attacks frontally on the redoubts, suffering enormous casualties, but inflicting them too. Possession of the redoubts see-saws through the day until finally the Russians are pushed back. Napoleon is too cautious to risk sending in the Guard to deliver the coup de grace, and Kutusov is able to extricate his army in the night and continue the retreat with his force still intact.

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Pretty much how we deployed. Kendall has swung his line forward and started to cross the bridge.

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I've moved to fill both gaps but should have really done it with infantry in the first place rather than cav. Kendall's shock heavy guard cav swings around on my right.

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I end up charging with my cav on my left which gets exploded as expected but given my misplacement it was better charging than not. One of my cav units on the right gets ganged up on not long after this and my highlanders on the left get charged by his cav and two infantry units. I elect to stand and shoot and stop the infantry but I fail the cohesion test causing the highlanders to drop three cohesion levels and break (charged within 2 by cav, failed test, hit in flank), breaking the army.

This was another great game against a great opponent.

Day 2

So after day 1 I came to the conclusion that given my lists were so small, I couldn't afford to have infantry in reserve as I needed them to fill gaps and not leave both ends of my line hanging. I could use the cavalry to cover gaps or exploit enemy cavalry passthroughs.

Game 3 - Battle of Marengo, 16 June 1800. I had to take two of the four towns and hold them by the end of the game. I was using my 650pt list as attacker and had to leave a division off that would arrive on the road behind where I ended up chosing to deploy, on my first turn. My opponent Nigel was using his 800pt list and could only deploy half of it. The rest would arrive on either road but would need to be diced for and maximum 3 units per turn.

Historical Marengo
Bonaparte, First Consul of France, fought the Austrians under General Melas. Bonaparte had split his forces and was surprised by the Austrian attack. The fighting went badly for the French to the point that the Austrian General Ott handed over command to his second in command to finish things off, as he had suffered a light wound. However, the timely arrival of General Desaix, who had force marched the whole day, swung the battle for the French and routed the Austrian army. This pivotal battle effectively ended the war, leaving Italy in French hands and Bonaparte firmly in control of France.

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How we deployed. I decided that given my army was so small, I would try to take the rightmost town and from there try to take the neighbouring town. Nigel obliged and left his left flank rather undefended and some units that would be stuck away from the action for a while. In his defence, this was his fourth game ever and was still getting the rules down let alone having learnt how to use his army yet.

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Me trying to be vaguely artistic. Portuguese in foreground.

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I quickly advanced across the river and with 4 units firing at the town broke the unit inside who fled down the road. My leftmost infantry unit were being slowed down by his battery. My cav were playing be a reserve at this stage.

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I take the town and cross at the bridge to begin attacking the second town. On my right, I form up to give mutual support in case of a cavalry charge and can try to shoot them away. Nigels reserves are coming.

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My unit in the town has left to attack the second town and the highlanders have taken their place. The unit that was previously very close to the town has been driven back. Luckily, the enemy unit in the town failed a key recovery check and are wavering. Nigels reserves get into a bit of a jam.

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The town is cleared.

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My unit (KGL) manages to get into the town passing all three tests, test to advance due to firing from the artillery that unlimbered on the road, move up to town, test for a second move, test to enter a town.

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They manage to hold on for the next turn staying above wavering (required to hold the building) and time is called. I have my first win

This was another enjoyable game against a great opponent.

Learning Points:
My new plan to extend my line and have less in reserve worked but my line wasn't overly threatened. It did feel better though that more of my units made a contribution instead of sitting around being expensive.

Game 4 - Battle of Salamanca, 22 July, 1812. I got the bye and ended up playing the Richard the TO. I needed to take two of the town or the hills on my left. Richard used his 800 list but had to deploy in a long line facing my right. I was using my 650pt list and one of my divisions had to come on as a flank march on my right on a random turn and the rest (2) had to be in different sectors.

Historical Salamanca
Seeing a column of dust and so believing that Wellington was retreating behind the cover of a rearguard, Marshal Marmont launched a flanking manoeuvre to cut off and destroy the Allied rearguard. In performing this movement, the French army became strung out on the march. The Allies were not in fact retreating but as usual were concealed behind hills, and the column of dust was the armies' baggage being moved back. Seeing the vulnerable position the French were in, Wellington launched an aggressive attack that swept onto the French flank and routed them. Marshal Marmont and his second in command General Bonet were both wounded early on and so the French army was virtually leaderless for much of the battle

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After first turn movement. My left divsion successfully double moves up but my right division fails so is slowed. Richard manages to reorganise some of his units quickly.

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The rest of my army moves up and we enter skirmish range. Richard tells me he just bought new dice and is jokingly expecting good luck. He in fact gets it and pushes one of my units back, disorders 2 others and I fail to do much. I then go on to recover none of them.

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Richard presses the attack around my flank after my own attack stalled, breaks a unit and wavers some others. I do manage to waver his cavalry which was protecting the right of the hill, but he successfully withdrew them.

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More of my units break, dropping me to break point. My cavalry come in too late and charge some stuff to see if I can do enough damage so that my army is no longer broken. They don't achieve much. While I felt I was particularly unlucky in this game, apart from a brief chance early on I never really created a dominating position so I don't expect much would have changed.

This was another great game. Richard even beat me quickly enough such that I could get to my hockey match on time.

Learning Points:
I'm not sure how I should have conducted this battle but I had a couple of other options. Given that my cavalry was forced to flank march on my right, I could have foregone that objectives and tried to break his army by putting my larger division in my right sector and getting the smaller division behind them. I could have also done a similar thing on my left and with my cavalry had the choice of tying up his forces or racing across to the right of my line. Although unlucky I found myself stuck with neither end of my line secure. Had I pushed further left, perhaps I could have had an extra unit that could protect the left of my line and use the buildings to protect its own flank.

In terms of my lists, my 650 which was used 3/4 times was untested but I'm not sure what other options I have given the minimums so I'll have another look when I get some time but it seemed reasonable though perhaps too small. Given I haven't tried my 800 list with my new thoughts on how to play it, I'll probably be keeping it the same until I get some more games in as it doesn't seem to be a dog of a list.

So I finished 1-3. I thoroughly enjoyed myself over the weekend. The scenarios and my opponents were excellent. I still have much to learn.

Blathergut
Field Marshal - Elefant
Field Marshal - Elefant
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Re: Victorian Napoleonic Championships - Dan's Report

Post by Blathergut » Mon Jul 21, 2014 2:44 am

Thank you for this!!

deadtorius
General - Elite King Tiger
General - Elite King Tiger
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Re: Victorian Napoleonic Championships - Dan's Report

Post by deadtorius » Mon Jul 21, 2014 4:47 pm

Great reports, thanks for taking the time to file the reports.

Blathergut
Field Marshal - Elefant
Field Marshal - Elefant
Posts: 5733
Joined: Tue Jan 22, 2008 1:44 am
Location: Southern Ontario, Canada

Re: Victorian Napoleonic Championships - Dan's Report

Post by Blathergut » Fri Jul 25, 2014 10:43 pm

One question:

When your KGL unit made three tests to get into the second buildings area, was this legal? Second move has to stay 6MU away from enemy, including all parts of the building you are going into, does it not? It looked like enemy was closer than that.

Carriage
Corporal - 5 cm Pak 38
Corporal - 5 cm Pak 38
Posts: 41
Joined: Thu Mar 27, 2014 1:01 am

Re: Victorian Napoleonic Championships - Dan's Report

Post by Carriage » Sat Jul 26, 2014 12:44 am

Hey you're right. I feel bad now. I'm not sure I had an extra movement phase before time was called either.

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