Wednesday, 8 June 2011

Hanover PBEM Campaign Summary

Campaign area outlined in white

The PBEM campaign is now three months old, and I thought it might be interesting to post a summary to date. It is quite possible that some of the corps commanders may read this blog, so I will have to be careful not to give away any information which might be useful to them in the campaign.

23 July 1813

This was the deployment of both armies at the start of the campaign. Obviously they were not aware of enemy locations.

Having crossed the river Elbe Blucher orders his corps to advance west until they make contact with the French. His strategic objective is Hanover, but he can not develop a plan until he locates the enemy corps.

Davout has received reports of a large scale Prussian advance over the river Elbe. He has ordered his corps to move east and take up defensive positions between Uelzen and Brunswick.

24 July 1813

The first battle of the campaign was west of the northern town of Uelzen. 2nd Prussian corps was marching west, IV French corps marching east. The battle opened with an indecisive cavalry skirmish, followed by a full battle. The Prussians won and the French retreated to Munster. Both sides suffered moderate casualties.

25 July 1813

Steinhorst was the site of the second battle. V French corps occupied the town, but moved east at first light. 1st Prussian corps was ordered to attack the town from Bodenteich and they met in the middle. The result was a French victory, and the Prussians retreated towards Bodenteich. Again both sides suffered moderate casualties

26 July 1813

VI French corps attacked Wolfsburg at first light. 4th Prussian corps fought a hard fight, but withdrew at nightfall leaving the French in possession of the town. It was an inconclusive battle, with minimum casualties. But the French claimed a victory.

27 July 1813

IV French corps was recovering at Hanover, when their cavalry reported that 2nd Prussian corps had abandoned Uelzen and marched south. The French moved to take the town, the Prussians realised that its loss would sever their lines of communications and immediately marched north again. The result a hard fought second battle for Uelzen. The result a decisive French victory – the first of the campaign. The Prussians retreated towards Rosche with heavy casualties.

And that brings us up to date on the campaign. To say anymore would give away information which would be very useful to the players.

Each move in the campaign is 4 hours, with three moves to a campaign day. So the campaign has reached 15 moves in three months. Just a little better than one move a week. That was my objective, so I am pleased to have achieved it.

Four battles, and all single corps per side, is less than I had hoped. One battle per month is not enough to keep us busy. It is also considerably less than we achieved with our solo campaign.

The administration of the campaign takes a lot more time than I had anticipated. On the other hand the PBEM campaign is much more interesting and enjoyable than our previous solo campaign.

So overall a gold star for the campaign to date. It has worked much better than I dared hope and provided sufficient interest and satisfaction to make me want to develop PBEM rather than revert to solo campaigning.

2 comments:

JWH said...

Paul,

Is it ever likely that there will be a multi-corps battle when, in some ways, the rules and maps seem to make it very difficult to get two Corps from the same side onto the same battlefield, but which helps to avoid the 2:1 gang-up battles you fear?

Regards

thistlebarrow said...

JWH

The whole solo campaign was designed to cater for wargames with four corps per side. When it was a solo campaign this was easy to arrange.

It is proving very difficult in PBEM.

For the past year or so I have been working on making the PBEM an enjoyable experience for the corps commanders. This requires that they have the maximum freedom of choice. This usually results in one on one corps battles.

Now that this first objective is working ok, I will have to see if I can design a mini campaign with the objective of achieving a four corps per side battle.

I have looked at ways of changing the maps to avoid the grid system, but without success. The purpose of the map is to be a large wargames table, and the grid works best for that.

regards

Paul