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Borodino: Battle of the Moskova, 1812» Forums » Sessions

Subject: First Session rss

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Sean Chick (Formerly Paul O'Sullivan)
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Fag an bealac! Riam nar druid ar sbarin lann! Cuimhnigidh ar Luimnech agus feall na Sassonach! Erin go Bragh! Remember Limerick! Remember Ireland and Fontenoy!
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Well, I'm afraid it'll have to wait. Whatever it was, I'm sure it was better than my plan to get out of this by pretending to be mad. I mean, who would have noticed another madman round here?
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This is a solo session I played to learn the rules and get a feel for the game.

6:00am
The assault opens with ineffective artillery fire by both sides, while the French align their forces and concentrate on attacking the Russian left at Utitsa. First blood is drawn when The Polish V Corps strikes at the Russian left and pierce the line.
Eugene and his Italians occupy Borodino without incident.

7:15am
The game is now afoot. Eugene continues to show a good deal of initiative even without his emperor nearby. Sacharino in the north is occupied, while Eugene's guns batter the entrenched Russians. The real victory though is a foothold gained on the Great Redoubt by Eugene's Italians.
Ney's rashness knows no bounds, and he cuts right into the Russian artillery massed between the Great Redoubt and the Bagration flèches. Yet the losses are high and his command could melt under fire. Ney and his boys are lucky though and fall back to the woods t reform.
It is near Utitsa that the hard fighting is taking place. The French V and I Corps advance and seize the town, but the fighting is hard and many Russian units hold out and even mount some successful counterattacks. However, the news is not good. From his command post Bagration can see Napoleon massing is cavalry and the Imperial Guard to exploit the gains at Utitsa. Bagration sends frantic pleas for help and braces for the worst...

8:30am
Eugene makes no new gains in the north.
With Ney and Eugene having struck the flanks of the Great Redoubt, Davout's frontal assault on the redoubt begins but only makes marginal gains.
Bagration, with a flurry of dash, rallies his formations in a wild ride across his lines. Many of the disorganized brigades reform and a pair of cavalry charges shred the Polish V Corps, sending Poniatowski into fits. Napoleon withdraws with remnants of V Corps and spurns on the I Corps to shatter Bagration, but their attack has lost steam although they have managed to capture all of Tuchkov's III Corps artillery. In response Napoleon commits the guard, and while only a few formations manage to strike, they make their presence felt...but to the east Bagration can see the men of the Russian guard and the cavalry reserve of Barclay approaching. Any of the regiments that Davout's men had thrashed are also reforming and are ready to return to the colors.
Junot and his VIII Corps attack the Bagration flèches, now blown to pieces from the heavy shelling of Davout's guns.
V Corps's losses are too heavy for it to continue as a formation.

French losses are at around 9,400, while 6,600 Russians and 108 artillery pieces have been lost.

9:45am
The Great Redoubt is stormed by Davout and Ney's men, while Eugene tosses back a Russian counterattack.
Davout cannot break Bagration's forces near Utitsa, but the Imperial Guard does in a full attack that leaves Tuchkov's III Corps and Borozdin's VIII Corps in shambles. His command falling apart, Bagration cannot stem the tide of disintegration. Barclay, his forces almost untouched, responses to the crisis by ordering up II Corps to reinforce the defenses. The Russian guard are coming to save the Bagration flèches, which have been overrun by Junot's VIII Corps.

11:00am
Kutuzov panics and he fails to change his plans in light of the developing crisis. Bagration cannot control the continued collapse of his forces. Fortunately Ney and Davout are not pressed by Napoleon to attack, and both remain strangely stationary. Napoleon though, sensing hat Kutuzov and Barclay have shifted their reserve south to meet the advance of the guard, orders Eugene to attack the Russian right, with Gorki as his main target. Eugene has some success in no small part to his constant artillery barrages from the early morning, but Dokhturov's VI Corps is resilient enough to prevent collapse.
The drums and battle calls of the Imperial Guard now fill the farmland and forests east of Utitsa. Napoleon as the guard artillery, protected by Davout's men, hold the right flank against the Russian cavalry, who earlier had destroyed V Corps, while the guard infantry go to confront their Russian counterparts to the east of the Bagration flèches. Russian jaegers, confused and isolated, run out of the woods in terror as the Guard advance but the Russian guard stand strong and even whip elements of the vaunted Old Guard. The Russian guards then charge into the Bagration flèches and the Junot's men flee although the Imperial Guard's steady volley of lead makes their Russian counterparts halt. On the very southern edge the guard artillery blasts the remnants of the Moscow militia, and then pull back to clear a path. Behind them is the mighty cavalry reserve under Murat.

12:15pm
Barclay makes strides in his counterattacks along both flaks of the Great Redoubt, and Eugene and Ney are losing ground. Napoleon orders Eugene, Ney, and even Junot to back off so as to avoid the fate of the Polish V Corps. In return Davout's I Corps, now mostly reformed, is shifted into the fight amid the Russian center.
In the great contest between the elite guards of each side, the Russian are gaining an advantage although the struggle is far from decided and the Russians, expected aid from the II Corps, sweat away unsupported in the noonday sun.
Murat's cavalry reserve juts forward in a grand dash at Bagration's horsemen and some Cossacks brought up to bolster the defense. The French cavalry are victorious, and the Russian left is in danger of folding.

Losses now stand at 12,100 French, and 24,350 Russians with 160 artillery pieces lost. Of the lost Russians 8,000 were the unfortunate members of the Moscow militia, sacrificed to slow down the French advance.

1:30pm
The fighting seems to become a lesson in stagnation, for even as the Russians are driving Eugene back into Borodino, Ney is creating a wedge between the two main fortifications.
Murat's cavalry attack continues, and while most of the screening cossack riders are retreating in the face of determined combat, the attack is not without setbacks for the French. One particularly embarrassing moment come when the remnants of the Moscow militia, holed up in the woods south of Utitsa, actually stop an attack by Hussars. Yet the situation is not good. Davout is overrunning the Great Redoubt, while the Guard are now winning in their grand contest and shattering Baggovut's II Corps, which has finally come to flank the Guard.

2:45pm
Kutuzov continues to operate in a daze while the Russian lines waver.
In a grand sweep the Imperial Guard all but wipes out the Russian guard and now threatens the rear of the Great Redoubt. Barclay, seeing that without a miracle all will be lost, orders IV Corps to dash at Borodino in a desperate attempt to relieve the pressure on the left. There is also a renewed effort to retake the Great Redoubt. Both attempts fail and situation in the south is becoming critical, as Ney and Davout drive a wedge between the Great Redoubt and the confused remnants of the Russian left, formed in a thin line for defense. The suddenness of the Russian collapse forces Kutuzov and his staff to run before they can be captured by Davout's victorious men.
The only good news for the Russian's is that Murat, having carved up the Cossacks, is disorganized and too spread out to do further damage.

At this point the Russian army has all but melted away, and rather than risk losing the artillery reserve, Kutuzov orders a full retreat. Napoleon, his headquarters now in Utitsa, is told by Davout that they have won a victory every bit as great as the 1807 triumph at Friedland.

Losses stand at 14,100 French and 40,500 Russians who have also lost an astonishing 192 artillery pieces. There is no telling how many Russians will be lost in the retreat or will desert in the days ahead.

Conclusion
I ended the game with two turns left, as a Russian victory looked impossible.
I enjoyed the system, I am fascinated by the battle, but I wonder if the Russians, out of position and hurt by a terrible command chain, can win this fight or even inflict the heavy losses they historically managed to achieve. It seemed like everytime I counterattacked it was my undoing, save the cavalry charges that wiped out V Corps. The last two critical turns became disasters in part because of Kutuzov's inability to change his orders. Does this game favor the French too much, or is it a case of the Russian player needing to better than his French counterpart?
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Sean Chick (Formerly Paul O'Sullivan)
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Fag an bealac! Riam nar druid ar sbarin lann! Cuimhnigidh ar Luimnech agus feall na Sassonach! Erin go Bragh! Remember Limerick! Remember Ireland and Fontenoy!
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Well, I'm afraid it'll have to wait. Whatever it was, I'm sure it was better than my plan to get out of this by pretending to be mad. I mean, who would have noticed another madman round here?
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From my experience, the game favors the French too much. When the slugfest gets into full gear, the over-rated Imerial Guard are just too much. My opinion, the cohesion ratings are off for important units on both sides.


The Imperial Guard are a mighty beast. Which ratings did you find to be off? Have you seen the Russians win?
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Sean Chick (Formerly Paul O'Sullivan)
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Fag an bealac! Riam nar druid ar sbarin lann! Cuimhnigidh ar Luimnech agus feall na Sassonach! Erin go Bragh! Remember Limerick! Remember Ireland and Fontenoy!
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Well, I'm afraid it'll have to wait. Whatever it was, I'm sure it was better than my plan to get out of this by pretending to be mad. I mean, who would have noticed another madman round here?
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I should first mention, I have kept all the other games in this series, I did give away Borodino. It is just not my cup of tea for a battle. I do enjoy this system with the new rules that came with Borordino with the other battles this series has.

So going off memory, the Imperial Guard, though they are top notch, are too much like supermen in this game, as well as some of the other French infantry. Some of the Russian infantry and artillery are underrated, some of these units had met the French before in earlier years, resulting in the French even adapting some of their tactics.

There is the "rubber routers" weakness also. There are too many units that recover too fast.


I agree, this is an excellent system. I know of the first Trimuph and Glory game, but are their other titles in this series?

Imperial Guard are too good, and there are a lot of rubber units. I'm getting rid of it, although I don't think the system or situation are bad, just the play balance.
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Chris Milne
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The Jours de Gloire series, published in Vae Victis magazine and by Canons en Carton, is very similar to T&G, and it covers a host of battles. If you're willing to go down the DTP route, they're good value. Fred Bey, the designer, publishes them on the 200th anniversary of the battle, so we're up to 2008 and seeing the first encounters with the British in Spain and Portugal. I think the usual publication schedule is of one Vae Victis issue a year (Eylau was the last one, the October 2008 issue will have two small Spanish battles) and a CeC release if there are the battles to justify it (Friedland was the last CeC battle).

Fred's website has the details, and an English translation of the rules: http://pagesperso-orange.fr/jours.de.gloire/CeC_US.htm


As for Borodino, I've only just started playing, but I note a few things: there's only one accredited playtester, and the unbalancing part of the game seems to be the Imperial Guard, which Napoleon historically refused to commit, despite being repeatedly asked by his subordinates.
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Sean Chick (Formerly Paul O'Sullivan)
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Fag an bealac! Riam nar druid ar sbarin lann! Cuimhnigidh ar Luimnech agus feall na Sassonach! Erin go Bragh! Remember Limerick! Remember Ireland and Fontenoy!
badge
Well, I'm afraid it'll have to wait. Whatever it was, I'm sure it was better than my plan to get out of this by pretending to be mad. I mean, who would have noticed another madman round here?
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Quote:
If you're willing to go down the DTP route


What is DTP?

Quote:
As for Borodino, I've only just started playing, but I note a few things: there's only one accredited playtester, and the unbalancing part of the game seems to be the Imperial Guard, which Napoleon historically refused to commit, despite being repeatedly asked by his subordinates.


I think that and the Russian command rules are what make it difficult for the Russians. You just don't get the feeling of a close battle out of this game.
 
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Chris Milne
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gittes wrote:
What is DTP?


Desktop publishing. The VV game counters are printed on thin card and need cutting out and pasting together. While this is pretty easy, it's time consuming and a lot of work if you're not going to play the game more than a few times.
 
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