David McKenna
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Click here to withdraw to the fourth day of the long retreat home!

Turn 19: November 29, Morning (French morale 4, Russian morale 7)
(random event = “Blizzard”. For this turn and subsequent enemy turn, all units have -1 MA, cannot enter EZOCs or commit reserves)
IX heads (slowly) north, and that’s it for French movement.

Bag Cav disengages to their NE

VII opts NOT to attack out of fortified terrain.

(random event = “Command Confusion” Routed marker placed on III (rem: Blizzard still in effect))
Bag cav heads north and Fo crosses the Borrisow bridge as WR moves into Borrisow proper.

Ja, Fo and Rsv all attack VII, suffering an exchange of troops in doing so (as Russians lose 2 units to the French 1, Net result is +1 French morale, -1 Russian)

‘Sudden death’ roll = game continues

Situation at end of turn 19


Turn 20: November 29, Mid-day (French morale 5, Russian morale 6)

(random event = “Panic in the ranks!” May only move if end closer to a LoC)
The French forces do just that: moving further north and then declaring this a ‘lull’ turn (+1 French morale)

(random event = “Cross over and Press them!” Really a No Effect at this stage)
The Russian pursuit continues, with all Russian units moving after the fleeing French IX.

‘Sudden death’ roll = game continues

Situation at end of turn 20


Turn 21: November 29, Afternoon (French morale 6, Russian morale 6)

(random event = “Confusion and Uncertainty”. No effect as not using Fog of War)
IX continues to make good their escape!

(random event = “Follow them more closely” Sa arrives)
Sa arrives, moving towards Nemonitsa as the rest of the Russian forces chase after IX

‘Sudden death’ roll = game continues

Situation at end of turn 21


Turn 22: November 29, Evening (French morale 6, Russian morale 6)

(random event = “Abandoning the Loot” Either -1 French morale, or no Stragglers may move. French forces choose the latter option, since they have no Stragglers left anyway!)
IX marches to Zemblin, then off the map (+1 French morale), effectively ending the game with a French marginal victory since there’s now no way the Russians can cancel out that morale gain.

Situation at end game – French morale 7, Russian morale 6


Final Thoughts

… and so it was that the beleaguered remnants (in this case: IG, II, a single Cadre and IX) of the once-proud Grand Armee were able to escape from the Russian forces in pursuit: Russian forces that (as happened historically) seemed to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.

If I had been playing the game as ‘standard’ rather than using the optional Designer Variant, I have to say: I think I would have chosen to cross further north, with the crossing point chosen by the game with Russian forces both above and below its terminus. For a while, it looked as if the French army were going to be trapped and annihilated on the Eastern side of the Berezina – particularly when the Russians were able to destroy the pontoon bridge – but they were then able to make good their escape across the newly-repaired Borrisow bridge. In a complete role-reversal, it then became the Russians trying to cross the Berezina, with the French IX, in particular, putting up a spirited rear-guard action that allowed some of the other French units to escape.

It also helped the French cause that the Russian Rsv (foolishly) allowed themselves to be pulled out of position from Stakhov: if they had been able to delay the French escape for even slightly longer, the rest of the Russian forces may well have been able to catch up and the end result would have been very different indeed …
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Lance McMillan
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It's an enjoyable little exercise, isn't it? A huge problem for the French to get more than a handful of units off the map, yet almost as tough for the Russians to apply enough force to overwhelm them. Kim really rose to the challenge with this design -- he took an incredibly complex and chaotic situation and turned it into one heck of a fun game!
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Kim Meints
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Great ending David

The historical Studenika crossing point is the best followed by either the Veselow or that Ford you crossed at.Veselow can be tricky because the Northern Russian's (Wittenstein) can catch you the fastest.The southern crossing at Borrisov gets units over the fastest since it's the closest spot but the redoubt is there and the Russian AG which can be booted out by the II corps.It's a matter of delaying the southern Russian reinforcements then.

I've had games where I did cross down south,get hung up clearing the redoubt.The darn southern reinforcements come in for the Russian's and then I draw the French card for the What If force who comes in behind the Russian's. One big swirling fight then.

Your decision on finally havinfg the Russian's re-build the Borrisov bridge is something I tend to do later on in the game to allow the Russian's a spot to get units across to try and catch the French.But I've also had the French as you head that way if their main crossing was captured.It sure does become a foot race to escape or catch in this game.

So many things can go right or wrong in this game. Lance came up with that marvelous rule re-write for the French pontoon crossing after some trial & error on my original rule(basically close to Lance's but not as refined)

I like that the pontoon bridge could become damaged after each French unit crosses which is historical since the larger Wagon bridge was down for over 3 hours at one point plus the French sappers were always repairing both the foot & wagon bridges throughout the crossing.

And Lance gets full credit as always for the super/marvelous Development work he does on this and all the Nappy20 games.Without him they sure would be run of the mill affairscool

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Benjamin Hopp
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Nice AAR. My question is whether the Russians can cross on the French Pontoon bridges. My thought would be the answer is no but the exclusive rules don't seem to give any data regarding the Russians using anything except the Borissow bridge once repaired.

Thanks,

Ben
 
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Kim Meints
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The answer is No the Russians can't use the French pontoon bridges.

It's sort of referred too they can't because as soon as a Russian unit enters a hex at either end of the French pontoon crossing site the bridge is destroyed and cannot be rebuilt.
So yes most likely it should have been stated they can't use it


Kim Meints
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David McKenna
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Morale over course of battle

 
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Kim Meints
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Damn David, I know it was a good game played but didn't remember the FRench being behind for almost the entire game until right at the end.

The morale graph is a great added feature for your AAR's

Lance likes to have us during playtesting to give current morale levels at the end of each game turn(I think Andy does it at the end of each players turn which is even better)for easy reference on how a game proceeds along .
 
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David McKenna
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Quote:
The morale graph is a great added feature for your AAR's


I think I'm going to start including them in my 'Final Thoughts' (conclusion) from now on it, starting with Fading Glory's Borodino replay (when I get round to doing it).

Quote:
Lance likes to have us during playtesting to give current morale levels at the end of each game turn(I think Andy does it at the end of each players turn which is even better)for easy reference on how a game proceeds along .


As the AARs all show morale at the beginning rather than end of turn, I've deliberately included an 'end game' morale on the chart. I did, at one stage, think of giving it at the end of each players turn, but I couldn't work it in smoothly enough.
 
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