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Subject: Austerlitz - I was this close to winning with the Austrians rss

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Joseph
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I recently broke out War and Peace to play with a follow hex and counter wargamer at my local game club. He had never played War and Peace before so I let him play the French since I think they have the advantage in this scenario.

The French set up first and placed their troops on all of their start hexes, choosing not to offset them 1 hex in any direction as is allowed in this scenario. When it was my turn to set up I took advantage of the offset option to place my troops as far back as I could with Ferdinand 1 hex SE of Ulm and Charles 1 hex NE of Venice. I left John in Innsbruck in hopes of slowing down Massena.

The game started with the expected attack against Ferdinand from Napoleon. Ferdinand lost 1 infantry and fell back, an acceptable result in my opinion. Massena attacked John in Innsbruck and drove him out with a loss of 1 infantry due to battle and 1 infantry to pursuing cavalry. When it was my turn I withdraw everyone from the border with only John not heading for Vienna. I moved him to Ratisbon in another attempt to slow the French.

With their second turn the French force marched Massena around Charles and Ferdinand and put him 3 hexes NW of Vienna. Napoleon missed his forced march leaving Massena exposed. On my turn I took advantage of this and attacked Messina with overwhelming odds and forced him away from Vienna.

Turn 3 began with Massena moving back to 1 hex NW of Vienna while Napoleon moved to 2 hexes NW of Vienna. Soult and Devout Force March and join Napoleon who attacks Charles with a devastating result due to a horrible (or great depending on perspective) die roll. Charles retreats and on my turn I move everybody into Vienna, including a good number of Russians who arrive this turn after a series of Forced Marches. At the end of this turn I take a big hit from attrition but I still have a pretty big army.

Turn 4 has Napoleon move to the SW of Vienna with Massena still to the NW. The remaining French armies are cleaning up a few troops I left behind and protecting their supply lines. At this point I launch my counterattack. I attack Massena with Bagration and do well in the 1st round. The French reinforce with Napoleon while I reinforce with Charles and suddenly I am attacking a good portion of the French Army with 2 to 1 odds.

That is, until I see a stack of troops still on the French Player Aid Card and ask, "Who are those troops with?" My opponent looks and says, “They’re with Davout.” If he had played this game before I might have keep my mouth shut but it was his first time so I had to speak up. “Isn’t Devout stacked with Napoleon?” I ask. Sure enough he is, so the French add those troops to the battle. Now it’s a 1:1 fight and the dice go against me. I lose some troops and stop my attack.

Next turn, the last one of the scenario, the French attack Vienna (and remember to bring ALL of their troops this time) and force me to retreat. Some of my troops go to the SE of Vienna, the rest fall back into the city. Napoleon conducts an immediate assault and takes Vienna. On my turn I launch a desperation attack that fails and since the only victory condition is for the French to hold Vienna unbesieged, the French win the scenario.

Oh well, better luck next. I never mind losing when I play well and I think I played well I’m just going to blame the dice. I’m sure no one ever does that, right?

Edit: correct the spelling of Massena
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Michael Akinde
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Heh - I remember reading an article in the General with a strategy that pretty much ensured that the Austrians would win this scenario (IIRC, it involved placing speedbumps across the French path on the entire route to Vienna). It worked too.

Thanks for the read. I've always liked a lot of the elements in this game, even though the whole package ends up somewhat lacking.
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Joseph
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Thanks, I agree with you. It's a fun game but it doesn't really give a good Campaign. Anyway, I had fun, even when I lost.
 
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Bertrand Scholtus
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Note : it is Massena, not Messina.
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James Boyle
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I love that game! Just finished playing one last month. But that was before I discovered another game researched and designed by Mark McLaughlin, "The Napoleonic Wars". It moves much faster than "Warren Piece", and makes a fun multiplay. You can even finish a campaign game in one evening. I've taught five other folks how to play and it really seems to be one of the better card driven games from a historical and just plain fun perspective. Check it out if you get the chance!
 
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John Gant
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Cool post Joseph. Thank you very much for sharing!

I created an After Action Report over on ConSimWorld you may enjoy:
http://talk.consimworld.com/WebX?14@802.LRgWa2dmjbS.27@.1dd4...

The Austrian strategy is indeed to block the narrow valley of the Danube. By keeping a minimum of 3 sp's stacked in each hex, across the river between the mountains, you can block the corridor to Vienna and prevent Overruns. Effective. It then alters the French opening move. Must move aggressively East, while also cutting off the forces around Ulm. I also move to block Charles if possible, to make it more difficult for him to help with this blocking effort. That forces Charles towards Vienna where he can be dealt with in the open.

Finally, as for The Napoleonic Wars (Second Edition) it is a very different game from War and Peace. I despise card-driven games, the lack of a CRT, and area movement. That game moves so fast, so I hear, you'll be half way through the game before you realize you made a critical mistake that will cost you the entire campaign. Not for me, not at all.

Happy to hear of others continuing to play this fine game.

--JokerRulez
 
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Joseph
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boubou1966 wrote:
Note : it is Massena, not Messina.


Whatever do you mean? The spelling in my post clearly is Massena whistle

Your web browser must have messed with the spelling.

You know, when I bought that game some 20 years ago I COULD read those leader counters. They must have faded from having all that direct sunlight inside the box. Yeah, thats what it is.

Seriously, thanks for the correction.
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David Cannella
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I currently have this game out in the next room, and i am relatively new to war games. This gameplay is assisting me in my attempt to try and play solitaire. Just wanted to say thank you.

The game isn't too terribly difficult is it?
 
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Joseph
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Absolutely not difficult. In fact I've played this game more solitaire then I have against a live person.
 
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David Cannella
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ElCid91 wrote:
Absolutely not difficult. In fact I've played this game more solitaire then I have against a live person.

i have a question on setup. For the Austerlitz campaign when you setup Napoleon with Lannes and Ney (on or within one hex of Strasbourg) with 8 infantry, 2 guard infantry, and 4 cav, can you disperse those units among the three armies as you wish? or do they all go to napoleon? and so on for the other generals in respect to a locale..
any help will be appreciated.
 
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Joseph
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Ive always setup all each group together, but it never occurred to split them up. I think they are supposed to stay together, but ther rules don't say that.
 
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David Cannella
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ElCid91 wrote:
Ive always setup all each group together, but it never occurred to split them up. I think they are supposed to stay together, but ther rules don't say that.

yea. and that's whats throwing me off..its like you have three generals [lets say on Strasbourg], each representing a different army..and all these units...OK? now which army gets what? that's my point. you're saying you just keep all units/generals in the same hex..during the entire campaign? i would imagine splitting your corps would be more effective...to also reduce attrition, check the rules pertaining to attrition and i think it says something about the player who keeps smaller corps doesn't suffer as bad during attrition than a larger force, thus inferring that a split of forces is a perfectly valid method of play. I hope my rambling made sense.
 
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Wendell
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boubou1966 wrote:
Note : it is Massena, not Messina.


This is the less-well known general Messina, and his aide, Loggins.
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Robert
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Reviving (as it were) an old thread, for those who may even care...
last night I played this scenario as the Austro\Russians and actually won! Amazing laugh of course, I owe it all to my French opponent who did not exactly play with all the due aggressiveness that is called to win this scenario as the French player. My Austrian force under Mack and Ferdinand took a beating at Ulm, as expected, but I retreated 6 SPs with Mack into Munich, and the French dilly-dallied around this city, besieging it, and assaulting it once, and being repulsed, instead of pushing towards Vienna. Also, he failed to use Massena effectively in northern Italy, and even lost a field battle against Charles. That almost brought Prussia to declare war against France, on a couple of occasions. By the time the French reached Vienna, the Russians were already there, although weakened somewhat by attrition. It all boiled down to one large battle outside Vienna, bloody and undecided until the very end. Luckily, Napoleon retreated eventually and it was all over.
So, bottom line, if the French player is an extremely experienced player and takes full advantage of his superior quality of leadership and morale, there's no way that he can lose this scenario. However, a few hesitations, like wasting time around a fortress instead of bypassing it and go for the real objective, can be costly.
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A Goldman
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Strategy wrote:
Heh - I remember reading an article in the General with a strategy that pretty much ensured that the Austrians would win this scenario (IIRC, it involved placing speedbumps across the French path on the entire route to Vienna). It worked too.

Thanks for the read. I've always liked a lot of the elements in this game, even though the whole package ends up somewhat lacking.


IIRC the article was called something like "We May Frighten Them Too Much" and many disagreed with them. But in my most recent solo playthrough, I slowed Napoleon down by leaving behind troops inside cities. The greatest enemy of the French, IMHO, is attrition. A six in an early turn is bad.
 
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