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Subject: Portland 2013 - part 6 - War breaks out in the west! rss

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Warren Bruhn
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Portland 2013 - part 6 - War breaks out in the west!

On Sunday, June 30, we played one of our most intense sessions since 2012. War finally came to the previously quiet west. We were scheduled for 10 hours, an unusual benefit for Andrew’s birthday. But we didn’t all gather around the map until an hour and 15 minutes after the scheduled start. Later in the afternoon we took a break to grill German sausages from Edelweisse Deli. So the end result was that we again finished only 3 months of game turns. But those were action packed. And lack of combined movement broke each turn up into many phases. But it is convenient to end with an economic phase. We scheduled the next session for Sunday, July 28.

January 1812:

Napoleon’s strategic rating when he is outside of France dropped to 4. Wittgenstein arrived as a new Russian leader.

There were no declarations of war or changes in alliances. I didn’t note any combined movement.

Britain placed a new VII fleet at London with 1 ship transferred from the VI fleet. Austria removed Schwarzenberg at Trieste, and placed Mack on the corps there. Blucher was removed from Berlin, and Hohenlohe was placed there.

Spain moved 2 fleets and 2 corps to Naples, and another fleet and corps to Algiers. The Portuguese fleet moved to Lisbon. Britain moved 2 fleets to Copenhagen, 1 fleet to Yarmouth, and 1 fleet to Portsmouth.

There was minor maneuvering in Russia. The Russians did not take any foraging losses in Moscow. The Turks did a bit of shuffling up and down the long supply chain, and then failed to breach at Moscow.

The Prussians built a depot at Czernowitz and shuffled more corps eastwards, along a line from Kustrin to Czernowitz, with 3 corps at the pointy end of the spear aimed at Izmail, the base of the Turkish supply line to Moscow.

Austria moved Charles & 5 corps to Theresienstadt, 1 cav corps to Krakow, 3 corps to Linz, and left 2 or 3 corps at Trieste under Mack.

France moved 2 cav corps to attack cossacks just west of Taganrog (they escaped), and moved Napoleon’s main army south, to just west of Kharkov. France lost nothing to foraging inside St. Petersburg. Then the St. Petersburg garrison of 15i did a garrison attack against the besieging Russian corps of 7i. The Russians lost 4i, and the French lost 2i and broke in the 2nd round.

February 1812:

Austria declared war on France! Napoleon didn’t call any allies. This broke the Franco-Austrian alliance that had made the rest of the game impossible for the other players (such a combination is really too powerful), and dropped Austria to the D1 status box. No combined movement.

Britain moved 6 fleets with 6 corps to Hamburg.

France moved the Venetia, Lombardy, and Piedmont corps to Milan (no leader). Soult and the Bavaria, Wurttemberg, and Baden corps moved to the mountain area in Bavaria. France moved corps from Le Havre to Strassbourg. Napoleon, Murat, Jerome, and 6 corps moved to attack a lone Russian corps and a cossack just SW of Taganrog. The French garrison at St. Petersburg again did not lose any factors to forage (rolled another 1), and again attacked the Russian besieging corps. This time the French broke, but the Russian corps was eliminated, lifting the siege.

The Russian corps of 8i and the cossack SW of Taganrog both failed to withdraw. They were annihilated by 20gd, 22cav, 41inf, 1mil, & 12 arty in the 1st round, failing to kill any of those Frenchmen.

The Russian eastern stack under Bagration and Tormazov moved from Taganrog to Tsaritzn. The Russian western stack under Kutuzov moved to a depot at Novgorod. A corps moved to an area adjacent to St. Petersburg. The last of the Russian garrison in Moscow starved! The Turks finally took Moscow, though they were never successful there in siege assault. The Turks installed a 10inf garrison to keep the unrully Muscavites under control.

Austria placed a depot at Rome, moved 1 cav corps from Krakow to Czernowitz, moved the freikorps to Prague, moved 1 corps to Vienna, moved Mack & 2 corps to Venice, moved John & 3 corps to Munich, and moved Charles & 5 corps to Dresden. Austria failed to breach at Venice & Munich, but did breach at Dresden. 3 French mil were killed by 5gd, 6cav, 41inf, & 4mil.

Prussia moved 3 corps under Blucher to Galatz, achieved a breach, and the Prussian 5cav, 32inf, & 3mil killed the 3 garrison factors.

6 British corps disembarked at Hamburg onto a new depot.

Spain moved a corps to Tangier, and moved Castanos & 3 corps to Rome, onto an Austrian depot.

March 1812:

Britain & Spain both declared war on France! France did not call his one remaining ally, Turkey, against Britain. Enfored peace between Turkey and Spain does not end until after April 1812, so Turkey could not be called against Spain. This broke the long standing alliance between Spain & France. Britain dropped to the N2 box, and Spain dropped to the I9 box. Spain had corps stationed in Algeria, Gibraltar, Morocco, and Tunisia, so didn’t lose any minors. Remarkably, there was again no combined movement. With everyone at war, and everyone's moves sequenced, this made for a very long turn.

Naval actions:

The Portuguese fleet added 9 ships at Lisbon, bringing its strength up to 10 ships. The British VII fleet added 6 ships at London, bringing its strength up to 7 ships. A Swedish corps appeared with Bernadotte at Sveabourg.

The British moved 1st in the naval phase. The VI fleet with 21 ships and the Swedish fleet with 9 ships blockaded the 11 French ships in 2 fleets at Amsterdam. The V fleet with 30 ships blockaded 7 French ships in Le Havre. The IV fleet with 30 ships blockaded St. Malo, where 4 new French ships had just arrived, but without a French fleet to put them in.

Meanwhile, Nelson led the combined 90 ships of the I, II, & III fleets to attack the French I fleet of 19 ships in the Gulf of Finland. The French failed to evade, but both sides rolled a 6 for the wind gauge. So, in spite of the British advantages, both sides fired simultaneously. The British lost 4 ships of III fleet to the French fire, but sank all 19 French ships. Nelson dogged a few cannon and musket balls on a roll of 10, and survived.

The Russians moved 2 fleets with 38 ships from Taganrog to the Odessa blockade box.

Spain moved fleets carrying corps into the blockade boxes at Benghazi, Tripoli, Palermo, and Ajaccio.

France:

France moved first in the land phase. Davout led the Venetia, Piedmont, and Lombardy corps with 4cav & 28inf in a limited field combat to relieve the 13inf garrison of Venice. Mack had 2 corps with 1cav & 30inf. Davout picked and eschelon vs Mack’s defend, a very nice chit pick for Davout. Mack’s forces broke in the 3rd round, losing a total of 5inf & 1cav. Davout’s forces lost 7inf, and scored no pursuit against the Austrians as they retreated to Trieste. Venice is probably the 3rd most popular location for battles in this game, after Vienna & Berlin.

Ney led 2 French corps with 2cav, 35inf, & 5mil in a rapid march from Strassbourg to Munich to relieve the 19inf Bavarian garrison, resulting in another limited field combat. John (should have been Schwarzenberg, but there had been a goof in leader assignments) led 3 besieging corps containing 5gd, 3cav, & 30inf. Somehow I failed to record the chit picks for that battle. But John lost in the 2nd round, his forces losing 1cav & 14inf. The French lost 5mil and the Bavarians lost 2inf. There were no pursuit losses inflicted as the remnants of Johns forces retreated to Linz.

Meanwhile, Soult led the Bavarian, Wurttemberg, and Baden corps in a bold attack on Vienna itself. The Austrian corps retreated inside. Soult’s forces achieved a breach, and 12 Bavarian, 6 Wurttemberg, and 8 Baden, all infantry, assaulted the Austrian garrison of 1cav & 19inf. Soult’s forces broke in the 2nd round, and both sides lost 5 infantry.

In the east, France left a small corps or two, including 1 cav corps, at Moscow. But the main French army under Napoleon marched south to Odessa.

Russia:

Russia moved its eastern stack under Bagration & Tormazov back to Taganrog. Russia’s western stack under Kutuzov, with 7cav, 52inf, & 10art, moved to Tver, achieved a breach, and killed the 1inf Piedmont garrison. Russia also moved 1 corps to St. Petersburg to commence another siege.

Turkey:

The Turks left 10inf to garrison Moscow, but marched the rest of the army south, removing most of the long depot chain that had stretched from Izmail to Moscow. Pechlivan Khan & Kushanz Ali led 6 Turkish, 1 Syrian, & 1 Egyptian corps into an attack on Blucher’s 3 corps at Galatz. Khan picked Assault and Blucher picked Escalated Counter-Attack. There were 12inf & 4cav of Egyptians, 6cav & 6inf of Syrians, 6cav regulars, and 24cav & 14inf of feudals on the Turkish side. The Prussians had 7cav & 36inf. Both sides broke in the 2nd round, with the Prussians losing 1cav & 17inf, and the Turks & Ottomans losing 1cav & 8inf. The Khan’s army retreated to Izmail, having seriously bloodied the Prussians.

Austria:

Mack & 3 Austrian corps moved to Vienna to relieve the siege, resulting in a limited field combat against Soult’s Bavarian (10inf), Wurttemberg (5inf), & Baden (6inf) corps. The Austrians inside Vienna foraged successfully. The total Austrian force, including those attacking from inside the city, was 1cav & 54inf. Mack chose eschelon vs Soult’s outflank. Soult kept the Bavarians as a pinning force, and sent the Baden & Wurttemberg corps on the flank march. Unfortunately for Soult & the Bavarians, the Baden & Wurttemberg corps failed to arrive in either the 2nd or the 3rd round! The end result was that the Bavarians were wiped out and Soult was captured. No pursuit losses were inflicted on the Baden & Wurttemberg corps as they retreated NW across the Danube.

Charles led a force of 5gd, 8cav, & 35inf in 5 corps into the mountain area of Bavaria and killed a Bavarian infantry garrison on the depot there. John remained at Linz with a couple of corps. Another Austrian corps moved to Erfurt, but I don't remember if it achieved a breach.

Prussia:

Blucher rapidly retreated to the area west of Czernowitz, linking up with other corps arriving from the west, and leaving a corps behind in the NW corner of Bessarabia. Prussia also built a depot in Magdeburg

Britain:

A depot appeared in Sveaborg, and the Swedish corps under Bernadotte that had been placed during the reinforcement phase moved east to besiege the French 1inf garrison in Viborg. But the Swedes failed to achieve a breach.

The British moved 6 corps under Wellington from Hamberg to Hanover, with supply largely paid for by Prussia from the depot in Magdeburg, but this substantial army also failed to achieve a breach.

Spain:

Castanos & 3 corps moved to Florence, where an Austrian depot was waiting to supply them.

The Portuguese corps landed at Ajaccio, Corsica, but failed to achieve a breach.

A Spanish corps landed at Tripoli, Libya, but failed to achieve a breach.

Another Spanish corps with 1cav, 4inf, & 2mil landed at Benghazi, Cyrenaica, and did achieve a breach, killing the 1inf Piedmont garrison.

A Naples corps landed and occupied Palermo, the undefended capital of Sicily.

End of turn:

Saxony was conquered by Austria at the end of the land phase. Because Moscow was occupied by unbesieged enemy forces, Russia would not be getting money during the economic phase, and no trade could occur with Britain or America. Obviously Russia will need to receive a transfer of money.

We found out that France still had +2 economic manipulation set, as in the previous few economic phases. Apparently, being at war in Russia had not been enough of a strain on the French economy to stop the +2 economic manipulation. June might be different, unless Napoleon figures that he can fight off all the allies while still doing +2 economic manipulation.

End of quarter:

After the VP step and moves up and down the political status chart, the victory point totals, followed by difference from VP target (based on # of VP needed each turn to reach final VP target) in parenthesis, and final political status positions were:

1. Turkey - 213vp (+5.39vp) - N8
2. France - 260vp (-3.64vp) - D3
3. Spain - 210vp (-4.20vp) - N2
4. Austria - 204vp (-13.50vp) - N9
5. Prussia - 188vp (-22.91vp) - N6
6. Russia - 188vp (-32.80vp) - I10
7. Britain - 173vp (-70.86) - N5

All I can say about this game is, WOW! Tense, dramatic, and now, once again, action packed. New player Raven Z, after fighting a series of battles in February & March of 1812, is finally understanding why this game is so addictive. Substitute player Steve O has been great to have around to help with Prussia & Spain. This big war has gotten everybody’s blood pumping. Really looking forward to the next sessions. They should be exciting.
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Raven Zachary
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An excellent write-up, Warren. Sunday's session was the first time I've sat in, either an an observer or as a player on EiA, and did not feel conflicted about the game. The rulebook really is incomprehensible to most gamers and getting some play in is a much better way to absorb these rules than just sitting down and reading. This is another one of those games that deserves an in-depth video tutorial series to get people up to speed. You've got to really love a game to sit in a chair for ten hours and know that it's just ten hours of hundreds more to come. I think I am finally there after struggling in past sessions as to whether I really wanted to do this or not.

I was inspired by the past session to go out and pick up a copy of Empire in Arms ($35!) at Guardian Games in Portland. The used box claimed nine pieces missing, but it wasn't any of the important chits. Probably just garrison or militia counters.

Lots to learn! I still think I am missing out some aspects of the economic phase math and will be studying up on the rules until we all meet again in late July. Corps combat has gone from perplexing to enjoyable. Supply depots and supply chains now actually make sense to me.
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Warren Bruhn
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ravenme wrote:
... The rulebook really is incomprehensible to most gamers and getting some play in is a much better way to absorb these rules than just sitting down and reading.... I think I am finally there after struggling in past sessions as to whether I really wanted to do this or not.

Lots to learn! I still think I am missing out some aspects of the economic phase math and will be studying up on the rules until we all meet again in late July. Corps combat has gone from perplexing to enjoyable. Supply depots and supply chains now actually make sense to me.


Yes! The only real way to figure this game out is to just get into the fighting and have other people explain how it all works. But once you do, having such a complicated diplomatic and military system makes diplomacy so much more intriguing. (Had to add that last bit because you are a long time lover of Diplomacy.)

Don't hesitate to call me or email me with questions. Now that you have your own paper copy of the game, we can discuss anything over the phone and have the conversation mean more.

...and, as Britain & Austria, we've got some serious military planning to do for the next session.
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Nigel Twine
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An EPIC report Warren! Well done!!
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Hofrat Behrens
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Thanks for the dilligence, much appreciated!
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roger miller
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Great reporting. Still my favorite multi-player game of all time.
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