Sunday, 15 September 2013

1814 Campaign Phases

Brussels Campaign Area

The campaign has six campaign areas, each with its own allied and French army.   It was designed that way to allow me to use my Austrian, British, Bavarian, Prussian, Russian and Spanish armies.

In addition each campaign area is divided into ten smaller campaign areas, or phases.   This is to allow me to restart each area when one side has defeated the other.   If I had not done so the each campaign area would have finished when one side won a major battle.

To illustrate what I mean, the above map is of the Brussels Campaign Area.   The Prussian Army starts at Dusseldorf and its ultimate objective is Brussels.   Each square on this map is 15 miles, and each square is also a wargames table.

The area in white is the Neuss Phase.   The Prussians start in Dusseldorf, the French in Mongladbach.  Both are tasked to take and hold the town of Neuss.   

Neuss Campaign Area

This is the map used by the French and Prussian players.  It covers the same areas that outlined in white on the map above, but shows much more detail.  Each square is 5 miles, and each square is also a scenic 2x2 foot square on the wargames table.

The Neuss Phase of the campaign ends when one side has to abandon all hope of taking the town.   It’s not enough for one side to just occupy the town.   Indeed it can be a mistake to do so too early, as the other side can launch a counter attack with superior odds.   To win one side has to defeat the other in a major battle.

When that is done we immediately move on to the next phase, which will be the Mongladbach Phase.   The white grid on the top map is moved one square to the left to provide the campaign area.   Both armies are brought up to full strength.   Each deploy at opposite ends of the map and off we go again. 

I have decided that we will always move to the left at the end of a phase, no matter which side has won it.   This will avoid fighting over the same area again and again.  It will also avoid parts of the campaign moving east into Germany, whilst other parts move west further into France.   This is very artificial, but it makes my life easier as the campaign umpire.

As far as the player is concerned, each new phase is a new campaign.   But I can use the same strategic maps and the same orders of battle.   This ensures that there is very little delay between Phases.   All three have restarted within one campaign day.

One of the major advantages of this phase system is that it allows players to commit for a short period, usually two to three months per phase.   At the end they are welcome to carry on with the same command, but if they want a break it is easier to introduce a new player at the start of a campaign phase than it would in the middle.

It does mean that I have a constant need for replacement commanders.   So if anyone would like to have a go they would be more than welcome.

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