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French replacements

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French replacements

Post  Mr. Digby on Tue Mar 03, 2015 8:41 am

The existing mechanism for this is cumbersome and management intensive. I have been tinkering with ideas for a new system/rule. Here is what I have so far. What I like about this is it depends on how many settlements the French control encouraging them to capture real estate instead of destroying enemy armies.

I need to watch the numbers here, things can easily be too little or too much, so the values are provisional.

Before I throw this one in as an official rule I am seeking feedback.

Thanks.

====================

French Replacements System

At the end of each month (not per turn), the number of cities, towns and fortified towns friendly to the French that can trace an LoC back to Bayonne or Perpignan will be counted.

A 'major city' (see below) will grant the French 1000 replacement men.
Each city or fortified city will grant the French 500 replacement men.
Each fortified town will grant 300 replacements.
Each open town grants 200 replacements.

The total is given to the French C-in-C to be divided among and allocated to the army corps. Corps commanders then allocate replacements to their units.

Up to 15% of a cavalry or infantry unit's existing strength can be replacements without impact. Greater concentrations of replacements will lower the unit experience by 1.

Artillery strengths may be made up by 50% of the existing strength without impact. More than this lowers the unit experience by 1.

If replacements cannot be allocated or if the C-in-C wishes, excess numbers will be allocated into garrison units available to defend captured settlements. Garrison units are always infantry and each must be a battalion of a minimum strength of 250 men. These will represent Garde Nationale or Legion de Reserve troops. They are rated a 2 experience.

Replacements will appear in the corps at once. Garrison units may be allocated to Bayonne or Perpignan and need to be ordered to march where they are needed.

'Major Cities' are the seven most populous settlements in the Peninsular: Madrid, Lisbon, Seville, Barcelona, Valencia, Cadiz and Malaga.


Last edited by Mr. Digby on Tue Mar 03, 2015 4:30 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: French replacements

Post  Mark87 on Tue Mar 03, 2015 3:37 pm

This is just my opinion, and I would not be bothered if you implement this system; however, the conquest of territory is important but I would not prefer that it be directly linked to the strength of the army: other than supply. I was always operating under the assumption that the Spanish and British armies are the true objective of the campaign. Of course, taking the capital, Madrid, should be vastly important and trigger benefits to the controlling side. But, other than establishing or denying supply, I find the seizure of cities to be unimportant to my objectives. Perhaps I am playing the scenario incorrect!

I just cannot see the how the increase of Spanish occupied territory would increase French troop levels.

But I do not have a great opinion in the matter Martin, so do as you may!
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Re: French replacements

Post  Mr. Digby on Tue Mar 03, 2015 4:22 pm

You're right, occupation of cities would have nothing to do with volumes of replacement troops. However the purpose of Napoleon's campaign in Spain is part of his overall aim to be master of Europe. He originally wanted to deny Portugal to British trade and invaded it when they wouldn't stop trading with Britain. He then decided to invade Spain, occupy it's key cities and put a puppet king on the throne so that Spain would supply troops, money and other resources for his military adventures, plus close her ports to British trade, exactly as he had done a dozen or more times elsewhere in Europe already, from Italy to Sweden and from Holland to Poland.

By the way, in 1806 when Napoleon was planning his campaign against Prussia, Manuel Godoy, the Spanish first minister and effective ruler of Spain in King Carlos IV's name issued a very provocative statement that while naming no names was clearly supportive of Prussia against France. And this was while Spain was technically an ally of France! After Napoleon defeated Russia in 1807 and forced the Tsar to sign the Treaty of Tilsit he was at the height of his power and chose then to turn his eye on Spain and Portugal with the results we now see. Napoleon had been dissatisfied with Spain as France's ally since about 1803 or 04 because the Spanish assisted his plans hardly at all, sent no armies to support him, didn't pay all the gold that their treaty obligations required and in his view, caused the defeat at Trafalgar because their admirals, sailors and ships were so bad.

Napoleon had decided it was time for change in the Iberian Peninsular.

So the French objective is to occupy the country, suppress the Spanish rebellion, restore peace, get Joseph on his throne and sit back and watch the dollars and soldiers roll in.

Beating Spanish armies is obviously linked to this I agree, but the games rules define French success by how many cities and towns they occupy as well as how many battles they win. Beating the English is irrelevant; they are just annoyingly poking their nose in again where it's not wanted.

The British are only here because they saw Portugal (their long standing ally) as a good base, easily supportable from England via the Royal Navy, from which to annoy Napoleon, distract him from his other campaigns in Germany, Austria and Russia by obliging strong French forces to oppose them and hopefully, if successful, to clear Spain of French troops, free her (and Portugal) and then attack southern France.

The French objective is really aimed at capturing the major settlements of the country, particularly Madrid, Lisbon, Cadiz, Seville, Barcelona, Valencia and Malaga (the biggest cities), and as many lesser places as necessary to keep the French boot-heel on the Spanish neck and make them play nice.

So I want to encourage this by tying in a concrete benefit in some game mechanic, hence the "troops for cities" idea.


Last edited by Mr. Digby on Wed Mar 04, 2015 12:06 am; edited 2 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: French replacements

Post  Mark87 on Tue Mar 03, 2015 4:30 pm

Seems effective. Probably be a nice caveat on a plan. Gives me something else to consider, so if these pesky Spanish keep avoiding combat I will keep getting stronger.

Nice! Very Happy
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Re: French replacements

Post  Mr. Digby on Tue Mar 03, 2015 4:34 pm

Exactly - the idea of the Spanish adopting some kind of scorched earth policy and avoiding combat really should not work for them. They need to focus on stopping the French controlling the settlements too. This rule gives them an incentive to do that.

I just need to keep an eye on the values allocated. If we get to 1811 and France controls 80% of Spain and they are getting 15,000 men a month, then that would be a problem!

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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: French replacements

Post  Mark87 on Tue Mar 03, 2015 4:38 pm

eh, make it so the French cannot exceed their original or historic strengths. So you loose a battle you get replacements quicker but you don't get a fresh division each month!
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Re: French replacements

Post  Mr. Digby on Tue Mar 03, 2015 4:44 pm

The replacements will only go into existing weakened units and provide crummy garrison troops. I hadn't intended the French to allocate 5,000 men and call it a fresh division.

However by 1811 I think there were something like 350,000 troops in Spain so yeah, we have plenty of wiggle room. The fact they could still only field one army of about 50,000 for the Salamanca campaign and a couple of lesser ones of around half that size in the south facing the Spanish gives you an idea of how much effort was tied down in garrisons and keeping the guerillas at arms length.

_________________
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: French replacements

Post  MJP on Tue Mar 03, 2015 6:06 pm

I actually like this idea. On thing I've noticed is that Garrison duties really sap the strength of the French and the more cities they capture, the more garrisons they need and the more lines of operation they need to defend against from counterattack. They just don't seem to have the strength to both advance and hold everything. Sort of like the flanks of the 1812 Russian campaign where the tip of the spear continues to be dulled by the need for garrisons and defending LOC's. Under this method with replacements every month, it encourages the French to try to control cities without the worry that they will be punished for it. I'll be curious to see how it plays out in practice.
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Re: French replacements

Post  WJPalmer on Tue Mar 03, 2015 6:26 pm

No problem with the basic idea. I'd expect the replacement rate to be adjusted, however, as the various wars of the coalitions fire up elsewhere that draw French resources and attention from Iberia.


Last edited by WJPalmer on Tue Mar 03, 2015 7:08 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Re: French replacements

Post  midgetmanifesto on Tue Mar 03, 2015 6:42 pm

There are two immediate 'diminishing returns' aspects to help control the too many replacements that I can see.
1/. More garrisioned locations = higher chance of unrest/rioting/etc. This will drain the manpower on the garrisons.
2/. Longer Lines of communication become much easier to disrupt, removing chunks of the occupied states. This really can create key map locations of tiny crossroads that would cost the french 100's+ men per month. One also assumes rioting in 1 would cut the replacement lines of communication as well.

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Re: French replacements

Post  Mr. Digby on Tue Mar 03, 2015 11:59 pm

There's a rule in place that means I make a die roll check once a month for every French-controlled settlement that is providing or allowing through it a 'good' level of supply. Because the French garrisons not only protect their own LoCs but actively punish guerillas, tax the citizens and generally behave in a heavy handed way, the more garrison there is, the tougher the taxation and the more chance there is of unrest. Its a double edged sword situation since in order to support big armies the French need to install big garrisons and doing this also generates high tax levels (which count towards their victory conditions), but at the same time it annoys the locals more. It's rule 4.0 and its been implemented already but no rioting has occurred yet. I'm not completely happy with the rule as its a bit crude and a bit harsh as well. I shall almost certainly soften it a bit if there is a riot.

@ Ron - yes, fair point, but please bear in mind that one of the key aims of the British in this conflict was to try and draw in more French troops so they could not be used in Germany, Russia, Austria, etc. A year or two into the war saw the British financing the guerillas to a heavy extent, supplies to them were even landed on various remote beaches by RN ships. Yes, more and more French replacements will arrive but these should not be making the French field armies bigger. Note that I call them replacements for a reason; they'll also probably be pulled into garrisons in a big way as well. And yes, I will keep a careful eye on the numbers. I could even cap them at various levels depending how many of the major cities are controlled, say a max of 5,000 per major city. This would become a real driving factor to get the French to launch military campaigns towards the objectives they historically did. Its no surprise to learn that significant effort went into attacks towards Barcelona and later Valencia on the east coast, Madrid in the centre, Lisbon in the west and Cadiz and Seville in the south.

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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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