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"NapComII photo AAR: Fronthausen, 1809" Topic

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816 hits since 20 May 2017
©1994-2018 Bill Armintrout
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Personal logo War Artisan Sponsoring Member of TMP20 May 2017 3:54 p.m. PST

The Gentlemen Wargamers typically have a game in May to alleviate the withdrawal symptoms of those members who are too busy to game during the February-to-April tax season. For this scenario, our Host, the estimable Elliott James, chose a hypothetical action in 1809 Austria, in which FML von Hiller has decided to risk his force to delay Davout's advance long enough for engineers to mine the bridges over the River Vils.



The rules were Napoleonic Command, 2nd Edition. Figures are 10mm from a mix of manufacturers including Old Glory, Magister Militum, AIM and GHQ. Buildings provided by Yours Truly are mostly cardstock models, except for a couple resin models by Musket Miniatures, and Elliott's new bridges from The Wargaming Company. The game mat was made using the caulk-and-flock method, by the host.

There's an album of photos on my Flickr page here:


An abbreviated OB is in the album description. Click on the photos to view narrative captions.

John Miller Inactive Member20 May 2017 6:58 p.m. PST

Quite nice. Thanks, John Miller

Markconz20 May 2017 8:51 p.m. PST

Great looking game!

Yellow Admiral Supporting Member of TMP22 May 2017 12:21 p.m. PST

How long did this game last? Hours and turns would both be interesting answers.

I agree with the post-game dissenters the fight near the bridges would have been a really interesting tactical problem to observe. :-)

A fighting withdrawal is an interesting litmus test of a set of rules. I've found it to be nearly impossible in many horse & musket games, because "retire" moves are frequently limited to involuntary combat results (which tends to mean the "withdrawal" moves occur only in bad circumstances), and rules with cascading morale failure features tend to convert retrograde movements to panic and rout. It's just doesn't seem to be a tactical situation designed or tested for in many games. Did you deliberately design for it in NapCom?

- Ix

Sgt Steiner22 May 2017 1:26 p.m. PST

What an excellent looking game !

Personal logo War Artisan Sponsoring Member of TMP23 May 2017 2:26 a.m. PST

How long did this game last? Hours and turns would both be interesting answers.

Start to finish, the game was almost six hours, but only about four hours of that time was actual play time (the remainder of the time was devoted to a bit of explanation for a newcomer, a leisurely supper break and a couple of cigar-and-whiskey sessions). This was, I believe, the slowest game I've ever observed the Gentlemen Wargamers play, possibly because we hadn't all gotten together for a game since January and everyone felt like socializing more than usual. In that time, we completed eight turns, which is a paltry two turns per hour. We typically run three to four turns an hour, which, given NapCom's turn length scale of 15 minutes, is close to real time. This is important because it gives the players only about the same amount of time to ponder their options as their historical counterparts would have had.

A fighting withdrawal is an interesting litmus test of a set of rules. Did you deliberately design for it in NapCom?

Absolutely . . . partly because of the intriguing challenge of balancing withdrawal with the threat of counterattack against a disorganized or careless pursuit, and partly because the accumulation of fatigue and disorder inevitable in such a maneuver makes it essential to properly use second lines and local reserves. Doing it properly is quite as satisfying as executing a successful attack, if not more so.

I realize that systems that use "cascading morale failure" include it because it happened, but they tend to ignore or gloss over the reasons why. I try to make it a feature of all of my designs that things happen for reasons that bear a resemblance to those that caused similar historical events (i.e., the troops were tired or poorly trained, the artillery was sited badly or well, the brigade commander was in the right place at the right time, etc.) and not just because of the draw of a card or a roll of the dice.

138SquadronRAF Supporting Member of TMP24 May 2017 10:10 a.m. PST

Here's the OoB:

Austrian Forces:
VI Corp: FML von Hiller
Division GM Kottulinskey

Brigade GM Hohenfeld
IR 14 3 Battalions
IR 59 3 Battalions
Brigade GM Weissenwolff
IR 4 3 Battalions (veteran +1)
IR 49 3 Battalions

Division FML von Vincent
Brigade GM Hoffmeister von Hoffeneck
IR 31 3 Battalions
IR 51 3 Battalions
Brigade GM von Nordman
Grenz Infantry 6 2 Battalions
Rosenberg Chevalegers No 6 6 squadrons
Liechenstein Hussars 8 Squadrons

2 12 pdr Batteries
4 6 pdr Batteries
1 Cavalry Battery

Troops rated as Average except for IR 4 which counts as Veteran +1 

French 3rd Corp
Marshal Davout, Duc de Auerstadt

1st Division GdD Comte Morand
Brigade Lacour

13th Leger 3 Battalions
17th Line 3 Battalions
30th Line 3 Battalions
Brigade l'Huillier
61st Line 3 Battalions
65th Line 3 Battaions
1 Medium Foot Battery
1 Light Horse Battery

2 Division GdD Friant
Brigade Gilly
15th Leger 3 Battalions
33rd Line 3 Battalions
Brigade Grandeau
108th Line 3 Battalions
Brigade Hervo
111th Line 3 Battalions
Brigade Barbanegre
48th Line 3 Battalions
1 Medium Foot Battery

2nd Heavy Cavalry Division GdD San Sulpice
Brigade Clement
1st Cuirassiers 4 Squadrons
5th Cuirassiers 4 Squadrons
1 Medium Horse Battery
Light Cavalry Division GdD Montbrun
Brigade Jacquinot

1st / 2nd Chasseurs a cheval 4 Squadrons
Brigade Pire
8th Hussars 4 Squadrons
Brigade Pajol
5th Hussars 4 Squadrons

Artillery Reserve
2 12pdr Batteries

All troops are Average except Leger and Cuirassier which count as Veteran.

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