The corps commanders have been given must more freedom of action in this campaign than in the previous one. This is particularly true of the Spanish. They are given a general objective at the start, but left entirely on their own as to how they might achieve it. The result is a mixture of caution and excessive daring.
The Spanish have a short window of opportunity to take advantage of isolated French garrisons, before the French commanders can concentrate their corps and engage the Spanish. All of this is new to the campaign, and neither the corps commanders nor I have any previous experience to guide us.
I have made it almost impossible for a Spanish corps to take a town by assault, unless the garrison has suffered earlier casualties. Obviously at the start of the campaign all of the garrisons are full strength.
The second option is to lay siege to the garrison. This will work, providing the French do not appear to raise the siege. In that case the Spanish commander will have to decide whether to risk a battle or abandon the siege.
So the Spanish problems are obvious.
Not so obvious the French ones. They have had to detach three of their four infantry brigades as garrisons at the start of the campaign. That only leaves them with one infantry and one cavalry brigade, plus artillery. Not enough to take on a full Spanish corps. So they have to calculate how long they can spend calling in outlying garrisons, against leaving a siege in place too long and losing the garrison.
And then there are the increased umpire problems. Last campaign I only had to control eight corps on the campaign map, plus a few cavalry brigades on recce. At present I have nine corps and about fourteen independent brigades. Then there are the supply depots, and ensuring that everyone is within range of their corps depot. Last, but not least, trying to keep track of the mass of messages. After just four campaign moves the register shows sixty nine messages.
I am not sure how the corps commanders are dealing with their fog of war. I do know that I am having problems keeping track of everything – even though I have them all plotted on the master map.
My only regret is the lack of battles. This is perfectly understandable, as no one wants to commit to battle unless they are confident of winning. But it does mean that Jan and I do not have any wargames to fight. So it looks like we will see a return of our Wellingtons Battles series to keep us occupied.