Saturday, 3 December 2016

End of 1813 Eisenbach Campaign

Strategic map showing battles fought

We have just finished the Eisenbach phase of our 1813 campaign.   A daily record of the campaign and reports on each battle can be found on the Campaign Diary Blog

This was the fourth campaign phase in central Germany between the Second French and Russian armies.  It lasted 13 campaign days and there were seven battles fought.   The French won four, the Russians won two and there was one draw.

We started the campaign on 22 September and finished on 30 November 2016.

When we were wargaming the PBEM phase of the campaign I expected to game about one battle each week.  But now that it is a solo game we only managed seven in ten weeks.   This is mainly because there is no pressure to maintain the pace of the campaign required when other players are involved.   I can also take much longer on the map movement, and play around with manoeuvre and plan battlefields.

The most important change during this campaign is the change in recording battle casualties.   Previously casualties were replaced at the rate of 400 infantry or 100 gunners or cavalrymen each day that the corps did not move.   Providing that they could avoid battle long enough, the corps would be returned to full strength.

I have now changed the rules so that any brigade which suffers battle casualties will always have at least 400 infantry or 100 gunner or cavalry casualties.    This is 10% of a brigade strength.  It means that the brigade will suffer loss of combat and morale for the remainder of the campaign.

By the end of the campaign most brigades started the battle with 10% casualties.   This had a huge effect on wargame tactics, because those brigades were always at  a disadvantage when engaged by a full strength brigade.  

A simple amendment, but one which has greatly improved our enjoyment of the campaign battles, and which presents interesting penalties even when both sides are evenly matched.

Sunday, 27 November 2016

New Campaign Maps

Eisenbach Tactical Map

This is the map which we use in the current campaign.

There are three squares between towns/cities.   This is one day’s movement on road for infantry, artillery and supply vehicles.   Depots can only be established in a town/city, and to resupply a corps must be within three squares of a depot.  Using this map an army can remain within supply distance providing that they move their depot from town/city as they advance.

A wargames table is also three squares by three squares.   Therefore one town/city will always be included in each battle.  There is a tendency for defending armies to put a corps in a town/city, giving it a big advantage over an attacking army.
Erlangen Tactical Map
This is the tactical map for our next campaign.  

At first sight it looks very similar to the Eisenbach map.   But you will note that there are now four squares east to west between towns/cities.   This will make it easier for attack armies to manoeuvre without having to attack a defended town/city.

It will also make it much more difficult to resupply an attacking army.   They will have to move outside resupply range of their depot in order to attack the enemy.   This make it even more necessary to stockpile and to ensure an attacking corps is fully supplies before they advance out of resupply range.

No doubt unexpected problems will arise once we start using the new map.