This is the final part of my AAR (you can read the previous part here). Let’s see what events summer brought upon the Hungarian Revolution of 1848-49.
When we left our noble revolutioneers at the end of Spring, most of the country was liberated. The Austrians were pushed back to the border and the capital was being retaken by Görgei’s army. Transylvania was free as well, while the fortress of Arad (recaptured quite early in Winter) held the Serb forces in check.
However, now I’m going to face the biggest challenge in the game. Tsar Nicholas I signs an agreement with Emperor Franz Joseph I and the Russians begin pouring over the Carpathians from the north and east. Accordingly, the very first task I need to do is the Russian Intervention. Following the rules, I remove Windisch-Grätz and put Haynau (8) in his place, deploy Paskevich in Galicia, flip Puchner to his Lüders side, reduce Morale to 6 and remove the Proclamation of Vác event marker. (Nugent was already flipped to his Jellačić side.) Now the situation looks like this:
Turn 19: Cholera epidemic (#7) – 2 actions
Paskevich fortunately doesn’t advance yet (he’s probably busy arranging supplies for his vast army), but the smaller Russian corps under Lüders does invade Transylvania, capturing the Székelyföld and causing the loss of a Morale (5) and a factory. Jellačić sneaks back to Pétervárad, Todorović makes another futile attempt at besieging Arad (roll of 1). However, cholera takes its toll: since the Northern Army can’t be reduced, I must reduce the Main Army, which becomes +1.
I need to hurry with the siege of Budapest. The first roll is a 2, so I spend the other action for siege as well. The second roll is a 6, so the capital falls into Hungarian hands again! My Morale is 7 and I won a factory.
A new division is ready in the Reserve. The besieging division returned to Görgei’s army, which increases to +2.
Turn 20: Heroic defense of Komárom (#4) – 4 actions
A very lucky draw, since Komárom is not under siege (yet)! I can spare heroics for later... So only Lüders continues into the heart of Transylvania, capturing Marosvásárhely.
With the enemy invading on multiple fronts, I decide it’s time for another attempt to inspire the army. The soldiers don’t care for rhetorics, however, and the attempt fails at a roll of 2. Bem must content himself with an extra division redeployed to Transylvania. Görgei successfully attacks Haynau (roll of 5), pushing him back to Austria! With my final action, I try to raise my Morale, which succeeds on a roll of 6 (Morale is 8).
Bem’s army is at +0 now. Recrutiment of a new division starts in the 2 box.
Turn 21: War planning (#3) – 3 actions
Paskevich finally mobilizes his army and occupies Kassa (Morale is at 7 and I lose a factory). What’s worse, Lüders continues unstoppably, capturing Kolozsvár, for a further loss of Morale (now at 5). At least Jellačić’s siege of Pétervárad fails on a roll of 3. Following the event, Dembiński is appointed commander of the southern army, replacing poor Perczel. I decide to keep Klapka with Görgei – Komárom is not in danger now, and he’ll be of more use in the general staff of the main army.
The main army is paralyzed for the turn; fortunately it’s not needed as Haynau is licking his wounds in Austria. However, Transylvania’s situation needs immediate attention. Bem attacks Lüders, but the Russians defend hard (roll of 2), before they yield to the Polish general’s furious second attack (roll of 5): Lüders retreats from Kolozsvár, raising my Morale to 7 again. Meanwhile I realize that I have an entire army doing nothing in the Bánát, so I redeploy a division from there to the Reserve.
With the arrival of the Bánátians and the completion of the recruitment, I have now 2 divisions in the Reserve, waiting to be redeployed where necessary.
Turn 22: Popular uprising (#9) – 4 actions
Haynau has rallied his troops and now cautiously advances to Pozsony, while Paskevich captures Miskolc in the north. Komárom is still not under siege. I decide not to use the event as I need Morale more than new divisions now.
I redeploy the Reserve divisions, one to Görgei, the other to Bem. Görgei chases Haynau back to Austria (roll of 5). Finally I raise my Morale on a roll of 5 (now at 8).
The reinforcements arrive to strengthen the armies of Görgei (now at the maximum, +3) and Bem (at +1). Since I have lost Kassa earlier, I need to roll for recruitment because of Duschek’s manipulations: the roll is a 3, which means the new division is put in the Recruitment 1 box, finishing one turn later.
Turn 23: Haynau begins retaliations (#1) – 3 actions
Haynau doesn’t seem to take the lesson and captures Pozsony again, where he starts to hunt for traitors. Jellačić continues his unlucky siege (roll of 2), and the Russians take Kolozsvár again (Morale at 6). Meanwhile the Serbs awake from their slumber in the south and Knićanin is flipped to his stronger side. Then I roll a 5 for the event: Haynau’s cowardly and brutal behavior raise the rightful wrath of the Hungarian public opinion, which demands revenge for the executed patriots (Morale raises to 7).
Bem attacks Lüders, and with great losses pushes the Russians out of Kolozsvár (roll of 3, Bem’s army is reduced to +0), raising my Morale to 9. He continues the offensive, and with a lucky 5 pursues the retreating enemy to the Székelyföld. Görgei kicks the red-handed Haynau out of Hungary, but suffers some losses as well (roll of 2, his army is now at +2).
I have done nothing agains Knićanin, so I need to roll for Morale: it’s a 5, so nothing. The new division advances to the Recruitment 2 box.
Turn 24: German Reichstag dissolves (#2) – 3 actions
Bad news from Germany (Morale drops to 8), and the Austrians appear again in Pozsony. Luckily I roll a 6 for the event, which means Haynau will not dare to advance any further. Paskevich continues his slow campaign by capturing Gyöngyös.
I need some reinforcements, for which I turn to the Bánát again, redeploying a division from there (that army is now at the lowest, -3). Görgei makes a daring attack agains the Russians: with +5 I need to roll 5-6. The roll is a 5, and the surprised Paskevich retreats to Miskolc. I try to raise my Morale, but fail on a roll of 3.
The Serb insurrection is still on the rampage, and my roll is a 2, so my Morale sinks to 7. I have again 2 divisions in the Reserve, the Bánátian one and the new one.
Turn 25: Act of Ethnic Rights (#6) – 3 actions
With their ethnic rights guaranteed by the Hungarian Parliament, the Serbs make an armistice: Knićanin is flipped back. Optimism spreads and Morale raises to 8. Haynau advances to Komárom (placing the fortress under siege) and Paskevich to Gyöngyös. Jellačić besieges Pétervárad, but the garrison holds (roll of 1).
The Russians are blocking the path towards Haynau, so Görgei attacks Paskevich, failing on a roll of 1. The next attempt is similarly poor (roll of 2), but now I reroll. The second roll is a 5, so Paskevich retreats to Miskolc, leaving Görgei’s army exhausted (its strength is at +1). With the final action I send some reinforcements to him. (In retrospect I should have attacked Haynau instead, so that he couldn’t have done what he did next turn.)
Görgei’s army is again at +2, so I have some chance against the Russians. I roll 4 for the recruitment, and the new division starts in the 2 box.
Turn 26: Negotiations with the Russians (#8) – 3 actions
The sneaky Haynau sees his opportunity while Görgei is preoccupied with Paskevich, and he suddenly captures Budapest! The government hastily evacuates again to Debrecen, and Morale drops to 6. The Russians advance on all fronts, occupying Gyöngyös and Marosvásárhely. The only good news is Todorović’s failed siege attempt at Arad (roll of 2). The enemy’s numerical superiority is starting to overwhelm Hungary, but with a single turn left, I don’t see any reason to worry.
Bem attacks Lüders, failing on a roll of 3. Görgei’s attack agains Paskevich succeeds on a roll of 4, but at the price of severe losses: the army is now at +1. I quickly send him a reinforcing division. Finally I decide to use Comissars: Bem attacks again with a +1, and pushes Lüders to Székelyföld.
Görgei’s army is at +2 again, and a new division is ready.
Turn 27: Hungarian-Rumanian settlement (#5) – 4 actions
The final turn of the game sees Haynau advancing to Kecskemét, Paskevich to Gyöngyös. Komárom is unsuccessfully besieged by the Austrians (roll of 2), and the peace with the Rumanians raise my Morale to 7.
Bem attacks Lüders and defeats him, liberating the Székelyföld (Morale is at 8). Görgei repeats his previous offensive, pushing Paskevich back to Miskolc for the loss of a division. I roll twice for Morale, failing both rolls (1 and 2), but it doesn’t matter now...
VICTORY! The Austrian-Russian intervention is stalled in the heart of Hungary. The enemy leaders run out of time and must accept the mediation of the Western powers for a mutually acceptable peace that retains the most important achievements of the revolution of 1848. The final situation can be seen below.
If I must tell the single most important thing that helped my victory, I would say it was the early capture of Arad. It basically closed down an entire front (as Todorović could never get past that fortress), and even enabled me to divert most of the army from there to reinforce my forces elsewhere. I had some lucky card draws as well (e.g. with Komárom’s double siege in summer).
I hope this extended report clarified the working of the game’s rules and proved that 1848-1849: Hungary Fights for Freedom is a funny and quick historical game that is worthy to print and try!