Campaign Map on 5 November 1813
Wittgenstein moves supplies to Konnern and Gerbstedt
But has no more transport available to move large stocks from Landsberg
2nd corps finally has an opportunity to rally and resupply
Davout orders 3rd and 4th corps to attack Halle
14th corps is brought up to four days supplies from Schraplau and Merseburg
Battle of Halle
Wittgenstein has deployed his army to hold the road between Halle and Landsberg.
Davout creates an artillery reserve by combining the guns of both corps. He then orders 5th corps to pin the Russian right and centre. 6th corps attack their left, supported by the artillery reserve.
The French win the cavalry melee which opens the battle, and quickly overcome 4th Russian corps. They then swing to the left to attack 3rd Russian corps and Halle.
Wittgenstein is forced to retreat and abandon Halle and the depot there
In our order of battle we have one commander in chief (CinC) and four corps commanders.
The role of the CinC is to allocate objectives to each corps commander and to regulate how aggressive they are. Only he can change the objective, and only he can increase the tempo from engage to attack. On engage orders the corps commander can skirmish and volley fire, but he cannot charge and engage in hand to hand fighting. The wargame rules make it difficult to inflict heavy casualties when on engage orders. But hand to hand fighting on attack orders are usually decisive.
This works well as it prevents each player reacting due to the “helecoptor view” of the table. The corps commander has to wait to receive orders from the CinC to change from a skirmish to an all out attack.
The problem is how to move the CinC around the table so that he can issue the all important orders. Our wargames table is 6x6 foot. The CinC can move a maximum of 16”. So it would take 4 game moves to move him from one side of the table to the other. In a 12 move game this makes command and control very difficult.
We have experimented with allowing him a longer move, but that is equally unrealistic. We have also tried using ADC with the same 16” move. But whatever we do we end up with too long a delay to react to changing circumstances.
So we have changed the role of the CinC. We have allowed him to take brigades from the corps under his command to create a reserve. This gives him an active role, and adds a new element to the mechanics of the game. It also gives a big advantage to the player who has him present for the game. This in turn makes his location on the campaign map more important.
Corps commanders must still carry out their original objective, and only the CinC can change it. But the corps commander can now change his orders from engage to attack. However to do so he must use his own command points to do so. He gets one command point for each brigade under his command. He also gets one, two or three depending on whether he is a poor, average or gifted commander. To change from engage to attack takes three command points. So there is still a penalty for changing the tempo of his attack, and the poorer the general the greater the penalty.
We have used the new system for four games and it seems to work well.