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Subject: NT Training game at Invalides rss

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Tom H
Australia
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Basil Hilder KIA Lone Pine, Gallipoli
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We had been planning a multi-player training game of Napoleon's Triumph for the last week. All were NT virgins except myself who had played a few games of NT and BAM.

After running quickly (and messily) through the rules we got underway. The Coalition was concentrated in the centre and south while the French had massed their best units in the north (all unknown to the opposition of course).

As dawn broke and the mists clung the Pratzen Heights the Austrian Corps moved forward tentatively. A number of French light cavalry scouts roamed ahead of the French positions harrying the Allies and holding their advance up.

For the French, Lannes advanced aggressively down the road towards Austerlitz – sizing up his Russian opposition Bagration. Bessieres moved to support his colleague. Murat also advanced in the north to cover Bessieres and Lannes wing. The other French generals held their positions and waited for the Coalition onslaught.

Bagration seeing Lannes advance moved his battery forward to commence shelling Lannes' Corp. This was supported by an infantry division. Bagration maintained the majority of his corp in reserve to see how the situation played out. Lannes moved his own artillery and infantry to block Bagration's tentative advance with a brief exchange of fire between the batteries.

The Allies continued their advance in the centre and south but were slowed and hampered by the continued presence of French light cavalry. The French continued to refuse their right and centre.

Bessieres advanced in support of Lannes. French cavalry feinted Bagration's position drawing vital troops from Bagration's Corp. Rashly Lannes ordered his best troops forward following an artillery barrage from his battery. Too late Bagration realised the exposed position that his piecemeal defense had left him in as Lannes fusiliers swept aside the meagre defense before them. Bagration's camp was hastily withdrawn with the general lucky to avoid capture. Things had not started well for the Coalition with their right wing seriously weakened with heavy losses.

Meanwhile messages furtively flicked between generals as Allied Aide'd Camps raced backwards and forwards with orders.

In the Allies centre Langeron moved forward strongly from the Pratzen Heights but his flanks were obviously exposed. French light cavalry threatened and sapped Langeron's strength.

In the south Keinmayer advances to attack Legrand in the village of Sokolitz. Due to the narrow approach to the village between the lake and the marsh his troops are fought to a standstill and pushed back by the French. He is forced to withdraw in disarray as Dokhtorov moves up to support his Austrian ally.

In the centre Langeron continues to advance in force towards St Hilaire. More French light cavalry attacks disrupt his equilibrium. St Hilaire gambles that Langeron is overextended as he reels from attacks on his wings. The French advance and route Langeron who falls back towards his lines. Van Damme moves up on St Hilaires wing to support him. The coalition are seriously stretched at this point with the balance moving in favour of the French.

In the north, seeing the success of Lannes, St Hilaire launches an assault against Milorandovich. He masses 8000 of his heavy cavalry for a charge on the Russians position and leads them forward. Milorandovich expecting a feint is caught unawares by Murat's boldness and annihilated with the Russian general losing is life in the melee. The Coalition right wing is on the point of collapse.

In the centre and to the south the Allies regroup with Dokhtorov and Lichtenstein forcing their way forward but in the end it is too little too late as Bessiers moves to engage Constantine's Corp with support from Lannes. Again the French left wing proves unstoppable as co-ordinated cavalry attacks peel the Russians forces like an onion to leave him exposed.

The sun has risen over Austerlitz and at 12 noon the field is the Emperor's (and all in abut 2 ½ hours!).

As mentioned earlier this was purely a training game and moves have been interpreted with a little artistic license.

Some surprises that came out of the game -

Lannes very aggressive moves against Bagration and his early success. This was more luck than good play, but this also shows the danger of a piecemeal defense against a strong enemy.

Murat's folly (and brilliance) in committing his heavy cavalry to engage and rout Milorandovich without any prior “softening” up.

...as Bowen says “more poker less chess”.
The French use of some of their light cavalry to control the pace of the game and where they would choose to engage the Allies was crucial.

At the end of the game there was a lot of discussion, learnings and questions but I for one thoroughly enjoyed the experience and look forward to the next bout. Until then I'll continue to dream of imperial glory.
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Great report, Tom.
 
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Tom H
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Thanks George. As you can guess I really enjoyed the game
 
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Marcus Tregenza
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Tom, thanks for the report - I think that is an excellent (narrative) summary of the events as the game unfolded. As one of the key architects of my own Allied defeat (thanks for showing us how it's done!)... I spent much of yesterday with the board and pieces laid out and worked my way through a number of basic options and methods to get it right the next time we meet.

Many of the posts on this website (and others) discuss the game system and describe battles fought but I'm yet to see much analysis of the military options open to the players in Napoleon's Triumph. In addition to the basic principles of combined arms manoeuvre and mutual support it would be nice to see some work done on various "gambits" or approaches i.e. holding a flank, weighting certain corps with all the "3s" etc. As a complete novice to the system it would be good to see some more analysis of the battle rather than the game system.

Marcus
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