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Subject: Massacre in Jirzikowitz rss

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Kåre Dyvik
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So Furyn and I set up a Vassal game across the Atlantic. (I cannot help being fascinated by that it is possible to find another NT addict somewhere far away, and actually sit down and play with him live.) We had never played each other before, and have never met, so I think we both were unsure what to expect from the opponent. Playing against new opponents is always exciting!

Furyn set up as the Allies, with a conspicuous 8-unit corps under Bagration in the north. Miloradovich and Prebyshevsky had each received 2 more units than their minimum, otherwise, the setup looked pretty standard. What could this mean? Did he really intend to use Bagration as a sledgehammer in the north, or did he mean to trick me into placing much strength in the north, and attack in the south or centre?


I couldn’t entirely rule out the first option, but I favored the second. I gave Lannes some mediocre units to delay the expected diversionary attack along the main road, and gave Vandamme, Murat and Bessieres strength that could be distributed in a defense line in the centre. Legrand in the south was given enough to hold out for a while, and I left a conspicuous gap between Telnitz and Sokolnitz, hoping it might puzzle Furyn enough to waste some time deciding what to do with it. Bernadotte and Davout (shown in the forest on the picture) were given strength to deal hard blows to Allied units trying to penetrate the French lines.


The Allied advanced in the centre and in the north, while Legrand remained largely unchallenged in the south for the first hours of the battle. St. Hilaire fell back in the centre, as planned, and Vandamme detached some units into Puntowitz, and withdrew behind the Gold Bach, hopefully presenting Tzar Furyn with some difficult decisions as to how to advance further.

As it turned out, he was happy to keep up only a certain amount of pressure in the centre, while maneuvering seriously in the north. Bagration and Constantine advanced along the main road, forcing Lannes to take up position in Jirzikowitz. This suited me just fine. Lannes could make a stand there for a long time, controlling the area between Jirzikowitz and the Santon, where the French fixed battery was deployed, and being a nuisance to Allied troops attempting to advance south of the village.

The day approached noon, but hardly any shots had been fired; morale was high in both camps, and most corps were largely intact. I felt confident, and that my defenses were strong. But then things started to happen.

A cavalry unit detached from Bagration sneaked north of the Santon, closely followed by a French unit. This created room for another Allied unit to take the northern path. Combined with a feint from the south, the French position on the Santon was suddenly captured! The artillery cannot defend against simultaneous attacks from two approaches! A very unfortunate weakening of the French defense line (first time I’ve seen that happen).

This created an opportunity for the Allies to press Lannes from two sides. A gun salvo from Miloradovich, who had taken position in the southern outskirts of Jirzikowitz, took its toll on Lannes’ men, but Lannes quickly manned the approach facing Miloradovich. An hour passed before the Russians were ready to fire again; this time in vain, as the French were occupying the approach. An apparent mistake from the Russian side; one command wasted. But no – Miloradovich now knew that the approach was defended by a single 2inf. He waited until the neighboring locales were on Allied hands, and then launched the Imperial Guard against poor Lannes! With no places to retreat, Lannes was wiped out completely! 7 points morale loss! Even worse: the whole French position was at once more vulnerable. With Bagration marching briskly along the road north of the Santon, heading for the blue star at Nowabora (now where did that blue star come from? I’ve never even noticed it before!), and the French troops deployed to face an attack in the centre, bringing on the reinforcements seemed my only option. But it was already 1PM, probably too late to turn the tides.

Anyway, Bernadotte entered in the south to roll up the Allied flank, and Davout entered to face Bagration. In the face of all this, the Allied started a calculated withdrawal. With most of their corps largely intact, direct assaults were out of the question, and the French could only inflict a few Allied morale points, not nearly enough. A black star on the Pratze Berg was all I could reach; the other stars were too far away, and the Allied army too well organized to beat.

The game was lost; some desperate, but hopeless French attacks in the last hour only served to demoralize the French army, instead of letting it suffer a marginal defeat.

Furyn’s plan of a main attack in the north, with diversionary attacks in the south and center, was well carried out. I was led along to divert some of my forces from the north, and when the threat became acute, it was really too late for the French reinforcements. After the Santon and Jirzikowitz fell, I didn’t have much hope that the day could be won for the French, reinforcements or not.

We actually used 6 hours; excluding setup (was done before we sat down to play), but with a couple of technological glitches causing a little delay. I felt quite spent afterwards; nevertheless, nothing beats the gameplay experience of Napoleon’s Triumph; even if I sometimes must suffer the bitter taste of defeat. I’ll soon be ready for more.
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Brian Evans
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Thanks for the session report, as well as the game! It was a lot of fun. I'll say, your deployment in the south did throw me off. I noticed immediately the gap but my plan was to go north so I wasn't willing (or really capable) of taking advantage. I'm glad I didn't with that artillery ready to fire! Lannes occupation of Jirzikowitz was a real pain for my plans as I figured I couldn't afford to leave Constantine to hold the road by himself against so many forces and I really, really wanted to use Bagration to go for Nowabora.

I felt so foolish after firing with the artillery for no damage against Lannes but once I picked myself off the floor I realized the recon was exactly what I needed. It worked out really well.

good games! thumbsup

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Nels Thompson
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Great report, guys. I'd love to play one of you sometime.
 
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David
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Excellent AAR. Not quite sure how you stormed the Santon with simultaneous attacks. Could you elaborate? Looking forward to hearing about the rematch.
 
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Jan Ozimek
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Furyn wrote:
...
I felt so foolish after firing with the artillery for no damage against Lannes but once I picked myself off the floor I realized the recon was exactly what I needed.
...

I don't get this, and I didn't get it when I read the original report. Could someone please explain. Please don't tell me that the being in the approach defense bonus counts in artillery attacks... blush

Edit: And thanks for the great report.
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Kåre Dyvik
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Snowman wrote:
Not quite sure how you stormed the Santon with simultaneous attacks. Could you elaborate?

Furyn peformed this quite simply, actually.
Here's the recipe:
Deploy 2 cavalry units in locale 55.
Get rid of any enemy units in 64 and 42.
Perform two feints by road into 54 through 64 and 42, respectively.

Works when the artillery is alone on the Santon (locale 54). The unit cannot be named as defending against attacks from two different approaches in the same round.

Good luck!
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Kåre Dyvik
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ozimek wrote:
Furyn wrote:
...
I felt so foolish after firing with the artillery for no damage against Lannes but once I picked myself off the floor I realized the recon was exactly what I needed.
...

I don't get this, and I didn't get it when I read the original report. Could someone please explain. Please don't tell me that the being in the approach defense bonus counts in artillery attacks... :blush:

Edit: And thanks for the great report.


There is an artillery penalty in Jirzikowitz (as in every village). 1 is subtracted from artillery attacks against units in the defense approach (paragraph 6, page 6). Artillery does not inflict any damage on units in the approach (edit: and of course not on any other units in the locale, as long as the defense approach is occupied).

But I had to show a leading unit when he declared a real attack. So even if he didn't inflict losses on me, nor suffered any himself, he gathered useful intelligence at the low cost of one independent command.
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Jan Ozimek
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Ah of course! It's the terrain penalty. Not the generic-defeder-in-the-apprach-penalty. modest Thanks.
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Garry Haggerty
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Furyn wrote:
I felt so foolish after firing with the artillery for no damage against Lannes but once I picked myself off the floor I realized the recon was exactly what I needed. It worked out really well.


Heh. I've never seen a "reconnaissance by fire" with artillery before. But then I've never seen artillery enter the opposite approach of a village before, either!

I duly note, however, that the Allied gunners did get to earn their pay by actually hitting a unit while Lannes stood in reserve.

Anyway, I watched the entire game on Brian's Twitch Channel and enjoyed it. You both have my thanks for allowing us to look in on the proceedings.

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Brian Evans
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I'm glad to see someone found the broadcast useful. I'm editing the video to drop a few hours worth of "dead time" and will post it "soon".



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