Médecine Politique: A Qt3 Empires in Arms PBF Game


#163

The Battle of Fehrbellin ( La bataille de Fehrbellin/Die Schlacht von Fehrbellin ), January 22, 1805

Part One – The Setting and Forces

Wer alles verteidigt, verteidigt nichts.

“He who defends everything defends nothing.”

Friedrich der Große

Ce ne sont pas les grandes armées qui ont gagné les batailles, ce sont les bonnes.

“It is not big armies that win battles, it is the good ones.”

Maurice de Saxe, Comte de Saxe

“L’Empereur, when informed of the fait accompli of the Austrian and Prussian declarations of war, immediately set upon a determined course, intending to knock Prussia out of the war with a winter campaign and then turn on Austria. Accordingly, Le Grande Armee massed in Hanover to accomplish this purpose. He divided his forces into two Armies; the Army of the Elbe, under his command, and the Army of the Weser, under Marshal Massena. Ignoring Berthier’s advice to delay the Campaign until the Spring due to the costs of campaigning in the Winter he said, “Bien que les fleurs puissent pousser, la taille de la force ennemie augmentera également.” As well, the Austrian declaration of War on Bavaria did not distract him from this object, as he said to Talleyrand, upon hearing of the urgency with which the Bavarians desired assistance, “L’électeur a aussi une armée, n’est-ce pas?”

Brunswick, meanwhile, had deployed the Prussian Army anticipating a French move on Brandenburg via a direct crossing of the Elbe in the vicinity of Rathenow. Accordingly, he had two Corps positioned there under Hohenlohe, anticipating that when Napoleon attacked there, he would attempt to reinforce with his three Corps in Berlin from the East and the Saxon Army would also move in from the South.

Massena’s move on Magdeburg seemed to confirm this course of action. In fact, L’Empereur, as was his wont, discussed this very course of action with foreign diplomats and amongst his Marshals. However, when orders were dispatched by fast courier to Massena, Napoleon, in a typical frenzy of late-night activity, gave orders for the Army of the Elbe to march on Berlin, through neutral Mecklenburg. When warned of the offense the Grand Duke may take to this violation of his territorial sovereignty, L’Empereur replied, “Il peut me battre avec un pêcheur armé de hareng plus tard.

The march was well prepared and organized by Berthier and the Army of the Elbe sped into Brandenburg from the Northwest early on January 21, 1805. Brunswick, reacting, spun the Army of Brandenburg to the North, and hoping to hold off the French Advance and buy time for reinforcements to join him, established a position at Fehrbellin intending to protect his flanks from the fast approaching Army of the Elbe, as the individual corps were now spread coming towards the capital from the North Northeast, North and Northwest, with Murat commanding the first, Eugène commanding the latter, and L’Empereur commanding the Northern line of march with Jérôme at his side.

However, a flanking maneuver was impossible to execute given the strung out condition of the three lines of march, given the speed of the advance. Not wishing to give the Prussians any more time to prepare but needing more time for any more complex tactical dispositions, Napoleon, in council on the night of the 21st, ordered a general assault the next day, eschewing a reserve, commenting to Murat, “Pour un sou, pour un Livre.

The sun rose that morning, obscured by mist over the half-frozen ground…

The Wars of L’Empereur: Napoleon’s Campaigns, 1805-1815, Chapter 2: The Fehrbellin-Magdeburg Campaign, p.1-4

Dr. Solomon Candle, University of Attica Press, 1977.

Forces

French (@Juan_Raigada)

Key Leader and Commander: Napoleon 5.5.6 A

Other Leaders: Murat (Cavalry Leader), Eugene, Jerome

I Corps with 20 Infantry and 3 Cavalry, all have 4.0 Morale

II Corps with 20 Infantry and 3 Cavalry, all have 4.0 Morale

III Corps with 10 Infantry and 2 Cavalry, all have 4.0 Morale

IV Corps with 10 Infantry and 3 Cavalry, all have 4.0 Morale

71 Factors, 11 are Cavalry, at 4 Morale

Prussian (@Cuthbert )

Commander, Brunswick, 2.1.3 A

II Corps with 14 Infantry at 3 Morale and 3 Cavalry at 4 Morale

III Corps with 14 Infantry at 3 Morale and 3 Cavalry at 4 Morale

Depot Garrison with 10 Infantry at 3 Morale

44 Factors, 6 are Cavalry, at 3.2 Morale

Leadership, Terrain, Environment, Operational Factors

Leadership: Attacker has +1 to Combat Rolls, Defender has -1 to Combat Rolls. Attacker has a Cavalry Leader.

Operational Factors: Defender will attempt to Reinforce from the West and the South each round on each day.

Chits: Attacker Chooses Escalated Assault, Defender Chooses Cordon


#164

These expositions are a thing of wonder.


#165

Truly peerless.


#166

The Battle of Fehrbellin ( La bataille de Fehrbellin/Die Schlacht von Fehrbellin ), January 22, 1805

Part Two - The First Day

Forces

French (@Juan_Raigada)

Key Leader and Commander: Napoleon 5.5.6 A

Other Leaders: Murat (Cavalry Leader), Eugene, Jerome

I Corps with 20 Infantry and 3 Cavalry, all have 4.0 Morale

II Corps with 20 Infantry and 3 Cavalry, all have 4.0 Morale

III Corps with 10 Infantry and 2 Cavalry, all have 4.0 Morale

IV Corps with 10 Infantry and 3 Cavalry, all have 4.0 Morale

71 Factors, 11 are Cavalry, at 4 Morale

Prussian (@Cuthbert )

Commander, Brunswick, 2.1.3 A

II Corps with 14 Infantry at 3 Morale and 3 Cavalry at 4 Morale

III Corps with 14 Infantry at 3 Morale and 3 Cavalry at 4 Morale

Depot Garrison with 10 Infantry at 3 Morale

44 Factors, 6 are Cavalry, at 3.2 Morale

Leadership, Terrain, Environment, Operational Factors

Leadership: Attacker has +1 to Combat Rolls, Defender has -1 to Combat Rolls. Attacker has a Cavalry Leader.

Operational Factors: Defender will attempt to Reinforce from the West and the South each round on each day.

Chits: Attacker Chooses Escalated Assault , Defender Chooses Cordon

Attacker Chits (Here, Escalated Assault) are Compared against Defender Chits (Here, Cordon) on the Operational Possibilities chart, resulting in Three Rounds of Combat (potentially) on this Table. We use the top set of values (the bottom set are used only if the attacker is crossing a river).

E%20Assault%20v%20Cordon

Each Set of numbers for each side (A for Attacker and D for Defender) are the columns on which each side rolls for each round. Each round is conducted simultaneously (both sides always get a roll for each round the combat lasts on a day).

The First Number is the Casualty Level and Second the Morale Level, as indicated on the below Chart which is rolled.

The Attacker (Le Grande Armee) has +1 to each round’s roll, and the Defender (The Prussian Army) has -1 to each round’s roll due to the Comparison of Commander Tactical Ratings (The Second Leader Number above, 5 and 1, respectively to each side) on this Chart here:

Commander%20Chart

It’s good to be L’Empereur!

If the French had one more Cavalry Factor, they’d get another +1 due to Cavalry Superiority of at least 2-1 (if they needed it, you can only get a maximum of +1 on the Combat rolls). They do not, however.

The Prussians may attempt to reinforce from adjacent areas, in this case the South, in Saxony and the West, in Rathenow at the end of each round. The Leader’s Strategic Rating (in this case Hohenlohe, to the West and the Intrinsic Saxon Corps Strategic Rating, which are both 1).

Also, keep an eye on Murat. A Cavalry leader’s presence, even if not in command, can pay dividends in Pursuit, if the Prussians break.

Day 1

Round One:

The Le Grande Armee Rolls a net 7 on the 5-1 and the Prussians Roll a net 2 on the 3-1. Hohenlohe rolls a 5 and the Saxons roll a 2 on their respective reinforcement attempts.

Round One Results:

A-Inflicts 0.2 (20%) Casualties (on the below table) and inflicts -2.6 Morale.

D-Inflicts 0.05 (5%) Casualties (on the below table) and inflicts -.2 Morale.

Casualties inflicted are a percentage of that side’s overall numbers at that point.

Le Grande Armee inflicts 14 Casualties and -2.6 Morale on the Prussians.

The Prussians inflict 2 Casualties and -.2 Morale on the French.

Le Grande Armee has 69 Strength and 3.8 Morale after Round One.

The Prussians have 30 Strength and a shaky .8 Morale after Round One.

Le Grande Armee, surged over a slow, lazy rise to the north of the town just as the sun’s orb appeared, gauzily over the horizon. Eugène’s II Corps in the van, accompanied by IV Corps, smashed into the Prussian positions. The positions were too widely spread out to deal with the weight of the onslaught and the misty weather allowed the attackers to close to point plank range in some places, before laying a murderous fire and then overwhelming the Prussian redoubts. As well, the sheer élan of the attack was remarkable. Napoleon said later,Aucune charge à laquelle j’ai assisté n’était jamais aussi audacieuse ou terrible que l’attaque de l’aube à Fehrbellin .” (“No charge I’d ever witnessed was ever as bold or terrible as the dawn attack at Fehrbellin”).

Day 1

Round Two:

The Le Grande Armee Rolls a net 7 on the 5-3 and the Prussians Roll a net 5 on the 3-1. Hohenlohe rolls a 6 and the Saxons roll a 4 on their respective reinforcement attempts.

Round Two Results:

A-Inflicts 0.2 (20%) Casualties (on the below table) and inflicts -3.3 Morale.

D-Inflicts 0.05 (5%) Casualties (on the below table) and inflicts -1.1 Morale.

Le Grande Armee inflicts 14 Casualties and -3.3 Morale on the Prussians, who break so one of the losses must be Cavalry.

The Prussians inflict 2 Casualties and -1.1 Morale on the French.

Le Grande Armee has 67 Strength and 2.7 Morale after Round Two, having lost 1.3.

The Prussians have 16 Strength (losing 27 Infantry and 1 Cavalry) after Round Two.

The fury of the initial charge continued into late morning, but the Prussians began to fight back more vigorously as redoubts needed to be reduced more deliberately, the Prussians routed, but Le Grande Armee lost momentum after an enervating, and devastating morning’s fight. Berlin belonged to L’Empereur.

Now for Pursuit. The Combat went two rounds, and the Attacker lost 1.3 Morale. So we have a Pursuit Class of 4 on the below chart. Murat gives a +1 to the roll.

Pursuit%20Chart

Le Grande Armee Rolls a net 2.

They do .1 of their 11 Cavalry on the Defending Cavalry on the Casualty Chart, which is 1 Cavalry. The Prussians got lucky. If Le Grande Armee had broken them earlier, or lost less morale or gotten luckier in the pursuit, once the Cavalry is eliminated, other units (Infantry, Guard) lose at a 3-1 ratio. 6-1 if Militia.

+2 PP for France (Napoleon winning the battle gives an extra PP), -1 PP for Prussia.

Final Result:

Le Grande Armee (@Juan_Raigada) takes 4 losses and win the day. Please note your losses on your information sheet and notify me where they are taken privately.

The Prussians (@cuthbert) take 29 losses, 2 of which are Cavalry, lose the day and must Retreat. L’ Empereur (@Juan_Raigada) please tell us here where they shall retreat to, either Kustrin or Colberg as they are equidistant from the nearest Depot. Please also note your losses on your information sheet and notify me where they are taken privately.

As well, L’Empereur (@Juan_Raigada), do you wish to Assault Magdeburg?
If not that will end the French Land Phase. The Allies (@Cuthbert, @Matt_W) will be up next, followed by Spain (@Mark_Weston).

Brunswick withdrew West, towards Königsberg, his tattered spent Army departing with the court, which hurriedly made its way east, abandoning the Capital.

Leader Casualty Rolls in order for: Napoleon, Murat, Eugène, Jérôme, Brunswick are 9, 7, 7, 3, 4.

No casualties.

General Exposition


#167

It’s a good thing France is rolling those 6s. They need every advantage they can get. :P

Did Prussia get a chance to try to reinforce after round 1?


#168

Le%20g%C3%A9n%C3%A9ral%20de%20l%E2%80%99exposition%20small

General Exposition


#169

Ah, sorry I missed that on first read through. :)


#170

Leader casualties don’t work like that. This is not the Ancient World, this is civilized war :P

One roll per side. Then if there’s a casualty choose randomly from the leaders present.

This rule is the reason Napoleon keeps such ample company :P


#171

Also, there will be no assault. Let them starve.

And our forces force the retreating Prussians towards Kustrin


#172

Reinforcements would not have amounted to much. Maybe 1-2 extra loses for France and would have made all the corps retreat together, which can be good or bad, depending the circumstances.


#173

OOC:

These expositions are very useful and educational @Navaronegun.


#174

Agreed! Awesome job @Navaronegun.


#175

As a lurker, I concur. Great stuff @Navaronegun!


#176

I also concur to the obvious. This is going to be an epic game! @Navaronegun


#177

Gratias Tibi!

A special Gratias Tibi. As well, to all lurkers and other observers, what we all do here, in terms of character-driven missives, play , expositions and narratives is as much for those not playing the game as for ourselves. A truly special Historical game lends itself to the telling of a history; a plausible alternate history. A great Historical game (wargame, political game, etc) is one that can transport you; make you view the events, combined with your own knowledge, as a history that occurred differently.

So I urge all lurkers, observers, and anyone else in the audience to ask questions, about anything. The rules, they “whys” of the narratives, or anything like that. It won’t “disturb the flow”. In fact, it makes what we are doing here even more interesting and fun!

Gratias Tibi,

Et Historicus, Moderator est DIsceptator


#178

This is correct. Le Moderateur was deep in the throws of flipping through dusty tomes. But He is infallible. so never fear, he was correct when he did what he did.

This ends the French Land Phase

Political Point Status at the end of the French Land Phase

Prussia (@Cuthbert) and Austria (@Matt_W), we now commence the Allied Land Phase.

I shall send each of you the Vassal file. The moves will occur simultaneously, but Practically speaking one must manipulate the file before the other, so coordinate closely, but Prussia, please complete your Depot Placement and Removal Step and make movements of your forces, and then Send to me. Then Austria will do the same (so the file you are getting now is for “sandbox” purposes). Then we shall ask for “in/out decisions” and the like. Then supply will be paid for (and any forage rolls made). Then we shall prosecute any battles or assaults that may occur.

Comprenez vous? Bien.

General Exposition


#179

Reporting in as another lurker who is very much enjoying this!


#180

image

Gratias Tibi!


#181

On Vacations, Obligations, Travel and this thing that I have heard referred to as “Real Life”

To All Heads of State or Government

So, what is more real than being a Sovereign, handling issues of state, managing an Empire and issuing orders to one’s Troops and Fleets? Nothing, I say! Nothing!

Just to add a little thought to our venture and try to see some circumstances that may arise before they occur; real life will happen and may attempt to delay the important, globe-shaping occurrences we propagate here.

So as Der Berater, I want you all to be aware of what I can and cannot do, if such circumstances arise.

  • The Short Term Micro Stuff: I can, if needed process a Land/Naval turn for you in Vassal if given explicit instructions; this requires no prior coordination whatsoever, just let me know and I can easily be a “bot” and move your stuff around on map in response to emails, PMs or the like (this has already happened).

  • More Extensive Absences: I can, if needed, handle a Land Phase and/or Naval Phase or two. I’d prefer not if a Nation was in the throes of a Campaign, but Chit Choices in a battle (for instance) can easily be sent to another player or avid lurker in such instances and then sent to me for resolution. This has happened before in Moderated Play EiA games, and may happen here. If such a circumstance arose, though, I’d need some form of communication for truly momentous decisions (to include Political Phase decisions). I would not feel comfortable taking those important decisions using merely my judgement or my interpretation of those choices, nor resolving the simultaneous decisions of the other 6 powers while operating freely. A Player would have to use me merely as a conduit for his Political Decisions via email, PM, Heiliograph, Courier or whatnot. This would have to require prior notice/coordination.

I’d like to hear the thoughts of the Nations on this matter. It will occur, and is probably best if we have an idea of how we’ll handle such things. No need to hold up the action while we respond and consider, just post your thoughts and ideas on the matter as you see fit.

Der Berater ™


#182

We think those arrangements are sensible and reasonable.

– Alexander