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Technical Campaign Discussion (but not rules Q & As)

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Re: Technical Campaign Discussion (but not rules Q & As)

Post  Ike on Sat Oct 25, 2014 2:21 pm

I am enjoying this campaign tremendously, especially since it - as much as a game ever does - seems to replicate the overall 'feel' of the Peninsular War.  That is, the French win battles and win battles and the Spanish melt away and melt away and return to fight again and slowly but surely improve the quality of their field forces.  Frustrating!  and quite fun.  That said, I see Digby's points and agree that it would not lose us any interesting gaming by "fast-forwarding" - so to speak - to a later point in time.  There is something to be said for continuing and writing our own history of the war, as well.  All in all, I'm enjoying what we have and am willing to continue in whatever way suits the rest of the players.

I would be very interested in a campaign somewhere in Central Europe involving the Russian Army.  In my 15mm miniatures days - Empire rules and all that - they were my favorites and I had the entirety of Bagration's Second Army of the West plus the Konstantin's Imperial Guard Corps painted and mounted to the Empire III rules.  Never had a campaign in the miniatures, though, but enjoyed several years of one-off table top battles in imitation of one or another historical battles over a period of perhaps ten years.  Our group's crowning achievement was obtaining the use of an Army recreation center's ballroom for a four-day weekend during which we attempted Leipzig.  *sigh*  Ah, the mis-spent days of our youth, eh?  Laughing

All that said, I enjoy all our gaming and am ready for whatever the Committee decides ... so to speak.  And if I haven't said so before, Mr. Digby's administration and adjudication of this campaign takes first place.
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Re: Technical Campaign Discussion (but not rules Q & As)

Post  Mr. Digby on Tue Oct 28, 2014 8:20 pm

I still have 1 French player to send me his orders. I'm going to give him until the weeklend to do so and then close the turn. I don't think we'll have any more battles generated this turn, so if someone would like to offer up a stand-alone scenario for this weekend (I can make Friday and Saturday but not Sunday), please go ahead. I am open to all periods, not just Nap.

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The other Martin - Charles Reille, le dernier Maréchal de France.

"Any hussar who has not got himself killed by the age of 30 is a jackass." - Antoine Charles Louis Lasalle, commander of Napoleon's light cavalry, killed in battle at Wagram 6 July 1809, aged 34.

"I had forgotten there was an objective." - Generallieutenant Mikhail Borozdin I
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Re: Technical Campaign Discussion (but not rules Q & As)

Post  Martin on Thu Nov 06, 2014 12:26 pm

Hannibal wrote:

I know the Spanish are getting trounced on the battlefield, but on the other hand the French are getting trounced on the campaign level- their occupation is currently completely failing. Whether that is adequate compensation for one-sided battles or not I don't know. I'm not the one losing battles.

I think you have put your finger on the crux of the issue, Joshua.  

From what Digby has said, the deal for the Spanish players is as follows:  Your armies will probably improve (somewhat), but will never be as good as the French.  But your team will gain strategically as the British become involved, compounding the French difficulty of controlling Spain.  And you will also get to command good troops in battle whenever a British army fights.  

Is this enough, amigos?  

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Re: Technical Campaign Discussion (but not rules Q & As)

Post  Mr. Digby on Thu Nov 06, 2014 6:43 pm

There have been 12 battles. Of these we've done 10 as MP games.

French wins (6):

Atalayuclas
Adajo (but the Spanish did a lot more damage to their enemies)
Alagon
Valladolid
Navalcamero
Sesena

Spanish/British wins (5):

Ordal Cross
San Milan
Gerona (not played as MP game)
Vimeiro
Calahorra

Draws:

Barcelona
Rolica (not played as MP game)

Of the two draws both were strategic Allied victories.

I don't think this campaign, or the battles are one-sided at all. Those Spanish armies that have yet to fight are still the most brittle. Those that have a battle under their belts tend to be a good bit smaller but much better, which seems along the right lines to me. What we haven't hit yet is the influx of new regiments raised by the Junta, which will almost all be very green.

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The other Martin - Charles Reille, le dernier Maréchal de France.

"Any hussar who has not got himself killed by the age of 30 is a jackass." - Antoine Charles Louis Lasalle, commander of Napoleon's light cavalry, killed in battle at Wagram 6 July 1809, aged 34.

"I had forgotten there was an objective." - Generallieutenant Mikhail Borozdin I
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Thoughts

Post  Calpurnius on Thu Nov 06, 2014 8:32 pm

Enjoying it immensely. I would prefer to carry on playing this out for the next few months until the new SOW-Napoleon comes out and then running something in Europe with it.
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Re: Technical Campaign Discussion (but not rules Q & As)

Post  WJPalmer on Fri Nov 07, 2014 1:13 pm

While most would, I'm sure, enjoy the opportunity to command high-quality troops (no doubt the 1808 Spanish felt the same way), I'm fine taking the campaign wherever events lead us. A fast-forward would have the effect of a a reset and, I think, disturb the sense of immersion at the heart of this style of play. Besides, we'd never know how the current situation (which is fascinating) would ultimately have played out.

It'll be interesting to see how events unfold as we move into periods where other significant developments occur throughout Europe. For instance, it won't be long before the War of the Fifth Coalition will be striking up in 1809. I suspect this sort of thing will add much complexity to Digby's modelling challenge  -- I, for one, look forward to seeing how he does it! Smile
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Re: Technical Campaign Discussion (but not rules Q & As)

Post  Mr. Digby on Sat Nov 08, 2014 2:31 pm

Given the general concensus I'll keep the campaign running into the Autumn of 1808 for the time being. I too am interested to see the results of the seeds sown by both teams earlier in the summer.

I feel that the strategic situation is however tilting further and further away from the possibility of the French to redeem the position. Calahorra and the recent retrograde move by Reille which lifted the siege of Gerona (which was critically close to surrendering, though he couldn't have known it) are two events that might be enough to cause the French campaign to grind to a halt. In the Ebro valley the French now lack enough troops to deal with the several Spanish armies active there and around Madrid what looks like an ongoing stalemate draws the situation out in the Spaniard's favour.

The British are a factor but are still very distant.

For the late September turn I've had a lot of orders in for the Anglo-Spanish team and many interesting letters have been whizzing around. The mysterious disappearance of General de Brigada Luis de Las Casas' cavalry formation from the Andalucian 4th Division is one event that has caused probably more letters to be written than any event since the infamous Extremadura jambon incident. Where the HECK are those cavalry? It's most perplexing.

Not much activity from the French yet. Perhaps they are running out of ideas.

Awaiting Allied orders from:

Wellesley
Palafox
Cuesta
Blake
Villava
and the Junta Central

Awaiting French orders from:

Dupont
Bessieres
Verdier
Joseph
Reille

Thanks everyone.


Last edited by Mr. Digby on Tue Nov 11, 2014 9:16 pm; edited 3 times in total

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The other Martin - Charles Reille, le dernier Maréchal de France.

"Any hussar who has not got himself killed by the age of 30 is a jackass." - Antoine Charles Louis Lasalle, commander of Napoleon's light cavalry, killed in battle at Wagram 6 July 1809, aged 34.

"I had forgotten there was an objective." - Generallieutenant Mikhail Borozdin I
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Re: Technical Campaign Discussion (but not rules Q & As)

Post  Ike on Sun Nov 09, 2014 1:26 am

Send mine in, after considerable consideration of alternatives and possible consequences. Smile
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Re: Technical Campaign Discussion (but not rules Q & As)

Post  Mr. Digby on Mon Nov 10, 2014 9:44 am

Thanks Ike.

We have a battle to fight next weekend I think, a little depends on the reactions of one player who I've notified, but it seems extremely likely there is going to be a fight.

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The other Martin - Charles Reille, le dernier Maréchal de France.

"Any hussar who has not got himself killed by the age of 30 is a jackass." - Antoine Charles Louis Lasalle, commander of Napoleon's light cavalry, killed in battle at Wagram 6 July 1809, aged 34.

"I had forgotten there was an objective." - Generallieutenant Mikhail Borozdin I
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Re: Technical Campaign Discussion (but not rules Q & As)

Post  Mr. Digby on Sun Nov 23, 2014 9:31 pm

End of Chapter One
==============

Do we play out Chapter Two or skip it and fast forward to Chapter 3?

I feel as though Chapter 1 is drawing to a close. I don't see any real hope of the French holding onto Madrid any longer, with 5 armies closing in on the city from every direction except the north-east and only 2 very weak corps plus the Royal Guard defending. They may bolster their position in the Ebro valley if they can take Zaragosa. Miranda del Ebro and Burgos appear secure still and over on the Cataluna front we have something of an impasse with a set-piece French assault needed to break over the line of the Ter.

Napoleon has arrived in Bayonne with four new corps d'armee and is about to launch a major counter-attack. This "Empire Strikes Back" phase is Chapter Two.

We could fast forward at this stage, and some players have made a good point that playing MP games where Napoleon's army smashes back down south would not produce very entertaining games. However the campaign strategy side of this could be worth playing with the British hovering about stage left and more Spanish troops finally being recruited and released for field duty via the Central Junta.

Several players have also said that to do a time skip forwards to Chapter Three, which would mean going to about 1810-1811 with the French in control of much of the country and only (parts of) Valencia/Murcia/Andalucia and Galicia unoccupied, plus Portugal as a British base would mean losing the sense of continuity and personal investment in your characters.

My personal preference is to play on from now. It will mean a reshuffle of players to some degree and to give you some idea of what this would entail the basics are these:

Victor with I corps is a new force.

Bessieres corps is renumbered II but shortly after he takes leave of absence. Soult is appointed to II corps in his place. Ike may be willing to make the change-over, or take up a new command.

Moncey continues to command his corps which is numbered III.

Murat takes himself off home on sick leave.

Baron Verdier is dismissed and takes up a command in one of the garrisons (Bilbao I think it is). I need to check the OOBs more closely but I think his corps is either broken up or sent back to France. Parts of it may make up IV corps.

Lefebrve with IV corps is a (mostly?) new force.

Mortier with V corps is a new force.

Ney with VI corps is a new force.

Gouvion St. Cyr is appointed commander of VII corps and replaces Reille. Reille resumes command of 3rd div/VII corps only. This isn't much of a change - Sean who is playing Reille just wears a more frilly hat.

Junot with VIII corps arrives later when his men get home from their cruise courtesy of the Royal Navy.

Napoleon with the Imperial Guard has King Joseph and his Spanish Royal Guard in attendance and is a new force.

Dupont is dismissed home on leave following the Aranjuez debacle (in real terms he was a POW by now but in either case he takes no more part in the story).

Several reserve cavalry divisions arrive (almost all dragoons).

Therefore we need 8 to 9 French players. We currently have 8.

The French broken command system is fixed (mostly) and we get a single motivational leader, hopefully! Some corps commanders still don't get on with each other of course. Soult and Ney in particular disliked each other.

For the Allies with have a British political/command role and a Spanish political/command role (the British plenipotentiary and the Central Junta). I have players active for these or lined up.

Field commands are as before - Aragon, The Right (Cataluna, Valencia, Murcia, Granada), The Centre (Andalucia, Extremadura), The Left (Castila, Galicia, Asturias, Romana). The British need players for Wellesley and Moore. Baird arrives later. This requires as few as 7 players or as many as 14. We currently have 9, but several of the small armies are not much more than satellite forces to others.

I would be okay with players changing around if they want and even switching sides.

I'd like to hear everyone's views on all this so we can decide how to push onwards. Napoleon's army will arrive in mid-October so we have a couple of weeks to talk about this without a lack of time tripping us up.

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The other Martin - Charles Reille, le dernier Maréchal de France.

"Any hussar who has not got himself killed by the age of 30 is a jackass." - Antoine Charles Louis Lasalle, commander of Napoleon's light cavalry, killed in battle at Wagram 6 July 1809, aged 34.

"I had forgotten there was an objective." - Generallieutenant Mikhail Borozdin I
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Re: Technical Campaign Discussion (but not rules Q & As)

Post  WJPalmer on Mon Nov 24, 2014 5:06 am

I'd prefer to continue on our current course. To skip a "chapter" would interpose a lot of overlayed projections and assumptions beyond player control. It would be a bit like playing a hard-fought player v. player KS battle for the first couple of hours and then, at a critical moment, turning command of both sides over to the tender mercies of the AI. Wink

Reconsidered below


Last edited by WJPalmer on Tue Nov 25, 2014 3:29 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Change of mind)
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Re: Technical Campaign Discussion (but not rules Q & As)

Post  Ike on Mon Nov 24, 2014 5:08 am

I would be willing to stay with II Corps as the new O/C, but in the event that someone else desires that position I am willing to take what is available. Not a lack of interest, but two factors: (1) I realize I need a lot more practice on the battlefield and have been playing solo with the Nap Mod when I have had time from (2) I have re-married and will be taking our honeymoon next week and shall return and be available on or about 1 December. My apologies for not mentioning #2 sooner, but it was not a certain thing until just a short time ago. I won't bore with the details, but she is my age and someone I have known for quite some time and is also from Thailand. Wish me luck! Smile

The fast-forward would be my preference, but am willing (and cheerfully so!) to play in whatever is agreeable to the majority of the members (or to the Supreme Autocrat; I don't recall how we're structured as I sit here - see preceding paragraph #2 Wink ). I am trying my best to regain my tactical sense in the Nap Mod and I am getting better, but not really good enough to fight a tac battle unless there is simply no choice. Honest, if a little wry there. As soon as I can, I shall be back in fighting shape, so to speak.
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Re: Technical Campaign Discussion (but not rules Q & As)

Post  Iberalc on Mon Nov 24, 2014 2:19 pm

I just joined the campaign 2 turns ago, and didn’t play any tactical battle with Spanish defeat, so maybe I am not the best person to talk about this issue.
I’d say “go ahead with chapter 2”.
I understand that this might bring some disastrous defeats for the Spanish armies, but this is a campaign, and changes of fortune are going to be very funny and challenging on the strategic side, I believe. And sure better times will come for the allies.
I am Spanish and I rarely play Spanish troops against the computer unless there are some British troops on their side. So I understand those players that prefer to jump 1 or 2 years ahead.
If you play a Barabarrossa wargame as Russian, your losses are going to be very heavy and you can’t expect nothing more than some local successes until the winter.
The Napoleonic army always will be a though opponent, difficult to defeat.
When I joined the campaign and even before, I was surprised, excited and amazed at the level of detail, historic accuracy, playability (don’ know if this word is right), in one word it is awesome.  I also realize the great job and effort Martin/Digby does running the campaign, many thanks Martin.
I enjoy the campaign right now, and I am happy with my command at the moment, but I am willing to play any field command, better on the allied side. It is a question of honor to drive the invader out of my country.
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Re: Technical Campaign Discussion (but not rules Q & As)

Post  Uncle Billy on Mon Nov 24, 2014 11:26 pm

My preference is to skip ahead to a point where the battles become interesting. This next chapter will likely not produce any battles worth fighting. It is just some period of time where the French race to capture as many cities as possible before the Grande Armee is recalled to Austria. Without any real suspense I think people will lose interest and the campaign will slow to a halt.

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Re: Technical Campaign Discussion (but not rules Q & As)

Post  Martin on Mon Nov 24, 2014 11:51 pm

I agree with Uncle Billy on this.  Whilst I can see the attractions of continuity, there are some pretty big downsides to playing Napoleon's intervention.  A large French army including many veteran troops was involved.  I think that raises the following issues:

1. The Allied team will be in a very one-sided campaign, lasting for many months.  Historically the French inflicted heavy defeats of the Spanish and occupied large areas of Spain.  The Spanish armies are likely to be outnumbered and facing better troops than they have so far encountered.  The British troops are good, but there are just not many of them to set against the French hordes.

2. The large and initially fairly concentrated French force could potentially give rise to some very large battles, which might strain our PC specs, and also our capacity to find sufficient players.  

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Re: Technical Campaign Discussion (but not rules Q & As)

Post  WJPalmer on Tue Nov 25, 2014 3:25 pm

Kevin and Martin are quite persuasive, so I'm rethinking my earlier position on this. Perhaps a string of very one-sided or aborted battles would not be great for player morale, especially coming at a time when we're really trying to build the Campaign player base. (Of course, Chapter 2 would likely do wonders for French spirits)! So long as Martin can "build in" the results of Chapter 1 into Chapter 2 and beyond, I'd be fine with fast-forwarding to a happier times. Very Happy
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Re: Technical Campaign Discussion (but not rules Q & As)

Post  Mr. Digby on Tue Nov 25, 2014 6:00 pm

I've spent a couple of days now looking at the 'Grande Armee' that shows up in Mid-October... and its not so grande as I first thought. Half of it is made up of the existing corps already in Spain and the other half is clearly NOT Napoleon's main army that goes to Austria in 1809. Its corps are small, extremely weak in artillery and there are many 3rd and 4th battalions in there which are most likely depot units and not battle-hardened troops. Its one bonus is it does have a lot of dragoons.

I'd like to start by playing on and see how it goes. If we get one-sided battles I can 'Krieg' them.

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"Any hussar who has not got himself killed by the age of 30 is a jackass." - Antoine Charles Louis Lasalle, commander of Napoleon's light cavalry, killed in battle at Wagram 6 July 1809, aged 34.

"I had forgotten there was an objective." - Generallieutenant Mikhail Borozdin I
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Re: Technical Campaign Discussion (but not rules Q & As)

Post  Uncle Billy on Tue Nov 25, 2014 7:03 pm

They were good enough to destroy the Spanish armies, run the Brits off the continent entirely and capture nearly all the Peninsula. Not bad for a bunch of 2nd stringers.

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Re: Technical Campaign Discussion (but not rules Q & As)

Post  Mr. Digby on Tue Nov 25, 2014 9:37 pm

1) Napoleon was in command, possibly the finest military mind ever. He wasn't bound by any set of rules. He wrote a new rulebook to suit himself, then kept those rules hidden from his enemies who stumbled about using an outdated set.

2) I think our Spanish armies and especially the generals are far better than the people Napoleon met.

3) The British in our campaign are more than twice as strong numerically than historically.

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The other Martin - Charles Reille, le dernier Maréchal de France.

"Any hussar who has not got himself killed by the age of 30 is a jackass." - Antoine Charles Louis Lasalle, commander of Napoleon's light cavalry, killed in battle at Wagram 6 July 1809, aged 34.

"I had forgotten there was an objective." - Generallieutenant Mikhail Borozdin I
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Re: Technical Campaign Discussion (but not rules Q & As)

Post  Mr. Digby on Mon Dec 01, 2014 8:08 pm

I'm going ahead with the Napoleon in command chapter two option. We'll see how it goes. If it doesn't work out we can skip forwards but for the sake of continuity we'll give it a try. It also allows the British political and Junta players time to get to know each other and, er... work together.

I don't think it's going to be a walk-over since the French troops while better on average than we've had so far are not the veterans who go to Wagram and the skills of our teams are evenly split; the Spanish players are nowhere near as inept as the historical crowd.

We'll see...

Martin James has shown a preference for changing sides and would like to play a Spaniard or a Brit. I am a bit short on Spanish commands right now though you could take a minor Spanish army - Cataluna and Granada are without player commanders, Martin. Another British force will come ashore in November which will need a player. There might even be a role for a player to take control of the miquelets though this idea has literally just popped into my head and I haven't decided if it would be a good thing and/or enough to keep a player occupied.

I am still trying to get a player to play the Central Junta. I've had one failure so far and a second person is proving a bit slow to answer the opening e-mail so I'm still looking. If anyone would like to take the Junta role I'll consider it again. It is however going to be a very busy role but is probably also the most important in the game as it will be a C-in-C role and will shape strategy as well as how the British and Spanish armies work together (or don't!) so I need a person with both the free time to devote to it as well as a knack for role-playing.

If anyone else would like a change of scenery and/or a change of teams, speak up here or e-mail me.

Thanks all.

_________________
The other Martin - Charles Reille, le dernier Maréchal de France.

"Any hussar who has not got himself killed by the age of 30 is a jackass." - Antoine Charles Louis Lasalle, commander of Napoleon's light cavalry, killed in battle at Wagram 6 July 1809, aged 34.

"I had forgotten there was an objective." - Generallieutenant Mikhail Borozdin I
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Re: Technical Campaign Discussion (but not rules Q & As)

Post  Martin on Tue Dec 02, 2014 9:21 am

I will take the minor Spanish army of Granada please, Diggers.  It seems to be well away from any danger of fighting.  Granada is obviously a key strategic position, and a suitable area for me to commence intensive training.

My pure Spanish heart burns to eject the godless invaders!

Martin (J)

PS Do you have a historical name for me, or should I select one?

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Re: Technical Campaign Discussion (but not rules Q & As)

Post  Mr. Digby on Tue Dec 02, 2014 6:23 pm

The commander is Mariscal de Campo Benito de San Juan. I'll send you the OOB and some supporting documents in an e-mail.

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The other Martin - Charles Reille, le dernier Maréchal de France.

"Any hussar who has not got himself killed by the age of 30 is a jackass." - Antoine Charles Louis Lasalle, commander of Napoleon's light cavalry, killed in battle at Wagram 6 July 1809, aged 34.

"I had forgotten there was an objective." - Generallieutenant Mikhail Borozdin I
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Re: Technical Campaign Discussion (but not rules Q & As)

Post  Mr. Digby on Thu Dec 04, 2014 9:32 pm

I have had a lot of orders in but am lacking a few.

Still awaiting orders from:

Verdier

Palafox
Villava
San Juan
Blake
Cuesta
Acevedo
La Romana

Hookham-Frere (regarding military orders to British corps, not diplomatic comms)
Wellesley

Thanks all.


Last edited by Mr. Digby on Mon Dec 08, 2014 6:20 pm; edited 1 time in total

_________________
The other Martin - Charles Reille, le dernier Maréchal de France.

"Any hussar who has not got himself killed by the age of 30 is a jackass." - Antoine Charles Louis Lasalle, commander of Napoleon's light cavalry, killed in battle at Wagram 6 July 1809, aged 34.

"I had forgotten there was an objective." - Generallieutenant Mikhail Borozdin I
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Re: Technical Campaign Discussion (but not rules Q & As)

Post  Mr. Digby on Sun Dec 07, 2014 1:23 pm

Hi Everyone.

Still awaiting lots of orders, see above post. I now have a number of e-mail letters in the queue waiting to go out to players which can't be sent until orders are issued (they arrive late in the turn). I appreciate Christmas is coming and people are busy with family things. I want to try and get this turn finished this year then we can take a break and resume the game in January.

Thanks.

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The other Martin - Charles Reille, le dernier Maréchal de France.

"Any hussar who has not got himself killed by the age of 30 is a jackass." - Antoine Charles Louis Lasalle, commander of Napoleon's light cavalry, killed in battle at Wagram 6 July 1809, aged 34.

"I had forgotten there was an objective." - Generallieutenant Mikhail Borozdin I
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Re: Technical Campaign Discussion (but not rules Q & As)

Post  Calpurnius on Mon Dec 08, 2014 7:43 am

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Calpurnius

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Join date : 2013-04-08
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Re: Technical Campaign Discussion (but not rules Q & As)

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