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Subject: The Battle of Stare Dinohradi rss

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Scipio O.
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This one deserves to be called The Battle of Stare Dinohradi (don't ask me to pronounce it; aka Hill 298). My plan as the Allies in this game was a significant move in force against LeGrand on the French right wing. The goal was to break through and force my opponent, an experienced player, to bring on the reinforcements.

Moral of this story: be careful what you wish for.

7AM - with my setup I tried not to telegraph a push on the French right; Kienmeyer was just 4 blocks, for example (but they were big ones!).


8AM: The French advance; I hate when that happens. The Allies barely manage to plug a gap near the center when a 2-strength French cav almost retreats into Pratze, before chosing a more cautious course back down the hill. (My detached unit was in fact just a 1-strength cavalry and thus he could have broken through had he gone into the town.)


9AM: Kollowrath, my "throwaway" corps at just two 1-strength infantry and an artillery, had moved up and is drawn to the approach in the center. I sensed an opportunity to (A) fire the gun, which is always fun, and then (B) draw a French corps or two onto the Stare Dinohradi at a relatively low morale loss (3 points). Where I figured I could pick them apart.

On the Allied left, Kienmeyer and Langeron advance.


10AM: Hill 298 falls to the French, and Kollowrath's command is obliterated. But two 2-strength French units are reduced. It feels like an acceptable cost for the Tsar to pay. (But the weakness it reveals emboldened the French.) My right flank commences its assault in earnest, with a Guard infantry prepared to take the Schloss at 11am. But - surprise - the French reinforcements arrive, at least Bernadotte does. The heavy weight of the strong French left looks very formidable. Meanwhile, St. Hilaire sits quietly on his approach, effectively freezing Lichtenstein and Dokhtorov.


11AM: The Allies retake the heights of Stare Dinohradi; the French lose two morale. I had thought it would be more satisfying... and Murat & Vandamme retake the hill on their 11am turn. Now that the reinforcements have arrived, Allied corps - Legrand, Prebyshevsky - commence their strategic withdrawal to defend the town of Austerlitz.


Noon: More than half the day is gone, and there are far too many Allied forces on the left side of the Pratzen, far away from the battle. Around the slopes of Hill 298, Milaradovich is wiped out by Murat & Vandamme. The French onslaught up the main road only gathers strength, with Davout (leaving one independent block still off the board) charging into the fray.


1PM: Kienmeyer is steadily chipping away at Legrand, limiting the threat on my left where several black stars could be within French reach. Bagration retreats, and detaches a 3-strength infantry to hold the three-star locales (just outside the photo). Constantine wants to advance and open a new front in the battle for the northern flank of the Stare Dinohradi - but he thinks better of it. Up on the hill, a weakened Prebyshevsky occupies the approach.


2PM: St. Hilaire finally gets to unload the two artillery units he's been lugging around all day. Bernadotte has reinforced the increasingly stressed forces under Murat & Vandamme. Napoleon realizes that capturing three star locales is virtually impossible.

Morale is 14-3.

3PM: Legrand is smashed and driven back, to Kienmeyer's enormous satisfaction - but to little strategic advantage. Kienmeyer is unaware of the catastrophe building on the other side of the battlefield as the attacks continue on the Stare Dinohradi. The Allies have to guess - where are the French guards? I figure it is with St. Hilaire and his artillery, and send another independent to that approach.


4PM: I figured wrong. A guard attack on Prebyshevsky ends the day and destroys the Allied morale. (The cavalry could also have done it.)


Final morale was about 9-0.

The game did see the early entrance of reinforcements, but it was more to exploit the holes and weaknesses of my own right flank than because of my plan's success. I think the French player's aggressive push is a partial answer to some recent discussion on this site about whether the game rewards cautious, defensive behavior.
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Was George Orwell an Optimist?
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Scipio Oaklandus wrote:
I think the French player's aggressive push is a partial answer to some recent discussion on this site about whether the game rewards cautious, defensive behavior.

I agree. When the French brought on reserves, they went for throat. That's the way to do it.
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Jan Ozimek
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Scipio Oaklandus wrote:
I think the French player's aggressive push is a partial answer to some recent discussion on this site about whether the game rewards cautious, defensive behavior.

In my last couple of games the French have lost using defensive, reactive tactics (without reinforcements). Now, we haven't played that many games so I wouldn't make any general conclusions on game balance based on those games, but currently I have the feeling that the French can't just take up a strong, stationary, defensive position and hold the Allies long enough.

EDIT: And thanks for another interesting report!
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Alan Richbourg
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ozimek wrote:
Scipio Oaklandus wrote:
I think the French player's aggressive push is a partial answer to some recent discussion on this site about whether the game rewards cautious, defensive behavior.

In my last couple of games the French have lost using defensive, reactive tactics (without reinforcements). Now, we haven't played that many games so I wouldn't make any general conclusions on game balance based on those games, but currently I have the feeling that the French can't just take up a strong, stationary, defensive position and hold the Allies long enough.

EDIT: And thanks for another interesting report!


That's certainly true, but a probing / threatening French posture combined with fall back defensive positions is still extremely strong, perhaps too much so imho.
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I wonder if the outcome would have been different had the allied triggered French reinforcement a turn or two later? They could run like heck and the French might not have the time to capture three stars.
 
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R Larsen
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Thank you for the fantastic AAR!
Reminds me that I dont play this enough!
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Kåre Dyvik
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Thank you for a well illustrated and interesting report!
I have several times stood my ground against an Allied onslaught without bringing on the reinforcements.
Is the first picture the setup? One French unit is positioned next to a red star; this is illegal.
(and it is called Stare Vinohrady; "old vineyards")
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nappeto wrote:
I have several times stood my ground against an Allied onslaught without bringing on the reinforcements.

That indicates that your opponent is either inexperienced or insufficiently aggressive (or both). The ball starts in the Allies' court; it's up to them to generate a threat sufficient to win the game if the French fail to bring on their reinforcements.
 
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Scipio O.
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WalterLai wrote:
I wonder if the outcome would have been different had the allied triggered French reinforcement a turn or two later? They could run like heck and the French might not have the time to capture three stars.


Bringing the reinforcements on too late is a good way to lose in this game.
 
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