Sunday, 9 August 2020

1813 Brunswick Campaign - Initial Deployment

Corps Deployment at Start of Brunswick Campaign

My last, failed, attempt to get this campaign going was a painful reminder of how important it is to get the initial deployment right.

It is really important to make allowance for things going really badly wrong.

It is quite possible that the first couple of battles will go against the attacking army.   When this happens it becomes more difficult with each defeat for the attacker to continue to attack.  

This applies not only to the defeated corps, but also to the other three corps not yet engaged.

My expectation of each campaign phase is that it will provide at least three or four battles to wargame.   The first few battles are usually one corps per side.   These are usually very straight forward wargames.   Both corps enter the battle at full strength.   The attacker has the advantage that he can concentrate against any weakeness in the defence position.

Each battle usually opens with a cavalry engagement.  The attacker gains plus 1 for impetus, and heavy plus 1 against light cavalry.  This encourages the side who can charge first to do so.   A low dice results in the attacker losing and routing, a high dice in the defender doing so.   But the usual outcome is a stalemate.  Both brigades then have to return to command range (8”) of the corps commander to rally.

But if the attacker should lose the melee and rout it is pretty well the end of the game.   It is pretty well impossible for infantry to attack without cavalry support, if the defenders still have cavalry.

If this happens in the first game of the campaign it is not too bad.  But if it is repeated in the second game then the whole campaign is pretty well over.  This obviously applies to any defeat, not just the initial cavalry melee.

So it is important to set out the initial deployment to overcome this type of setback.

On the map you will see that the Prussians have deployed one corps in front of each town, with a fourth corps in reserve in the centre.   The French have deployed their army in a mirror image.

This means that there will be at least three battles, even if the French lose each one.   A single defeat will not affect the other three corps.

Hopefully the outcome will not be three victories to one side.   For example if the French win in the north, but lose in the south, they can then reinforce their victory.   By the time the Prussians redeploy they will hopefully have inflicted casualties to redress their initial set back.

And, of course, having to stop to resupply at least every four days allows both sides to recover from any initial defeat.

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