Author Topic: "Death Ride of Lannes" -- Austrian team pre-game 2018 discussions  (Read 2418 times)

JasonPratt

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Reply #15 on: October 28, 2020, 11:36:00 PM
************** Extensive commentary from Lance/Ecnal. He copy-pasted my prior notes to reply to, but I won’t include those here. I’ve added some {{Sabrenotes}} for contextual explanation of what I’m skipping past.

I would suggest being somewhat circumspect about concentrating our cavalry too heavily. In addition to leaving corps commanders who'd be surrendering their cavalry "blind" it's also important to realize that cavalry can be a significant force multiplier in combat resolution (you get to roll an additional die if you have cavalry present in a particular sector of the battlefield).

In our recent 1806 campaign, the French enjoyed the benefit of having a very powerful cavalry corps largely because each individual corps already had its own cavalry attached. Even so, as Murat (the French cavalry commander) I made a deliberate point of detaching and re-assigning about half my cavalry divisions to the infantry corps operating the western wing, and I think it's pretty clear that decision helped us rapidly overwhelm the Prussians we were facing. In this campaign we, the Austrians, are much less robustly supplied with cavalry than the French were in 1806, so again I must urge caution in trying to over-concentrate an already very limited asset.


{{skipping over discussion retracting the mechanics of Hohen/Barth as Wing Commander}}


As I mentioned in a separate communication about an hour ago, I think it would be prudent to get clarification from Control about the whole "exit the map to the west" thing. It's very vague and we don't want to be committing ourselves to a strategy that might not actually be a viable one.

I would be leery of "feinting" towards Ratisbonne while committing the bulk of the army to the south. The lines of approach for the French suggest that it would be relatively easy for them to either entrap the feinting force or simply bypass it and head directly for our LOC at Passau (leaving the rest of our slower-marching army in a desperate race to get there before the French do, and the French will have a shorter distance to march to boot). Perhaps a blocking/intercepting force in the north, operating behind the Isar, would be more prudent?

Given the huge degree of leeway we have in our initial deployment, I have to wonder whether the French might not also have some similar flexibility in their reinforcement schedule. A corps or two arriving directly from the west of Munich, or from the northwest via Dachau, could completely upset the viability of the "Munich-then-exit" strategy. Honestly, it's a bit of a crap-shoot since we don't really have a solid idea of what we're up against...

I know that historically the Austrians chose to go over to the offensive, but there's little in the victory conditions that forces us to adopt that same approach. We *COULD* opt for a more passive/reactive strategy and try to draw the French who begin the game already in the area of operations onto us, hoping to destroy them piecemeal before the rest of the reinforcing French forces arrive. I'm not advocating this, but it's at least something we should perhaps consider... If the French players -- even just some of them -- are overly aggressive, this plan could yield big rewards.


{{On the idea of punching Munich while center and right stay on defensive, then everyone marching north, consolidating in a line as they go.}}

It's not a bad scheme, but does have the potential for a serious defeat if we suffer a communications failure at the wrong moment. If the French strike north or in the center and a few of our couriers get "lost" or are intercepted at an inauspicious moment, we won't even know we're in a trap until it's already too late. Again, not advocating for or against, just pointing out possible issues.

Optimally we want to try and concentrate about 3 corps (one of them being Hohenzollern's corps) with you at our point of main effort, possibly with another corps (the Reserve Infantry being a good choice) in support. Everywhere else, we're realistically looking at individual corps operating in proximity support. Unlike 1806 as the French, the 1809 Austrians don't really have the ability to operate effectively in "Wings."

Unless they get exceptionally lucky, "bot" orders don't typically work. The VdA system is designed so that the NPC division commander will almost inevitably stop at the first sign of enemy forces and await instructions from higher up.


{{On the notion that a right-hook attack needs to secure the north Danube as we go.}}

An intriguing idea, but that'd be a lot of marching in mountainous/heavily forested terrain, mostly on secondary roads. Not sure how effective it would be, or what sort of march attrition (morale loss) we'd suffer attempting it. If the system differentiated our Grenzer and Jager light infantry from regular foot it might be worth a try, but since the VdA system treats all infantry as functionally identical, probably not the best idea.



JasonPratt

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Reply #16 on: October 28, 2020, 11:38:42 PM
************** Banzai_Cat, Tuesday Jul 17th (possibly summarizing his email, I don't recall)
The ground around Munich looks very defensible. Is it feasible given the distances involved to concentrate in taking Munich, then send a force eastwards, and if the French come charging down to take Munich, to hit them from the flank or rear - or just harass their LoC?

************** Neal likes B_C’s plan.

************** Ecnal/Lance Jul 17th
We are on the strategic offensive in this scenario. If we're going for a geographic victory (rather than the "destroy half the enemy army" victory) we have to take both Munich and Ratisbon. We can either divide the army and attempt to take both at roughly the same time, or keep the bulk of the army together and try take them sequentially (either by taking Munich first and then sweeping north towards Ratisbon, or taking Ratisbon first and then sweeping south towards Munich).

1) Dividing the army and attempting to take both objectives at the same time is risky. Indeed, due to our leadership inadequacies (outlined in an earlier message), I think it's questionable whether we can actually mount more than a single effective offensive effort (e.g. Charles & Hohenzollern together) at a time. I would recommend against adopting this scheme.

2) A north-to-south sweep (i.e. taking Ratisbon first and then advancing on Munich) presents problems. First, the distances from our initial deployment zone to Ratisbon are fairly long -- roughly a two day march to get near Ratisbon, and then likely another day or two to actually deploy and assault it. This affords the enemy time to detect our movement and react to it. It also exposes our flank as the primary assault force moves against the initial objective (meaning we'll have to detail forces to cover that flank, both weakening the main effort and causing road congestion behind the main advance). Then, because we can expect the bulk of French reinforcements to arrive in the north, it means we need to leave a stronger force behind to garrison Ratisbon as we move to the second phase of the operation and advance on Munich. Finally, if you look at the road network, there are really only two viable routes we could take when marching from Ratisbon to Munich (e.g. Ratsibon-Landschut-Moosburg-Freisling and Ratisbon-Abesnberg-Pfaffenhofen). These routes diverge to the extent that our march columns would be roughly 30-35km apart, and unable to quickly support one another if either is attacked independently due to the limited net of roads crossing between them. While the north-to-south sweep certainly could work, it relies more on luck (good on our part, poor on the French side) than I'm comfortable with.

3)  I believe a south-to-north sweep (i.e. taking Munich first and then advancing on Ratisbon) offers the best potential for success. Because it is so close to the border, we can easily attack it before the enemy have time to react -- if we're skilled and/or lucky we might even envelop and destroy whatever enemy forces are in the area before they can withdraw or be reinforced. Then, as we re-position northwards to attack Ratisbon, the road net works in our favor because it converges (rather than diverges) as it approaches the objective, making it easier for our march columns to mutually support one another as we get closer to where the enemy are likely to be waiting for us. The main vulnerability of this scheme is that it leaves our depot in Passau rather exposed should the French elect to advance in that direction. Accordingly, we would need to leave a few of our stronger corps in the vicinity of Landau and Deggendorf to counter such an eventuality; a third corps, split between Landschut and Moosburg, would provide connectivity through the center. I think this option works best to our force structure and offers us the best chance of success.

4) I would be remiss if I didn't re-state the possibility of the "passive/reactive" option. In this case we simply stay quietly in our deployment area and let the French come to us, using interior lines to (hopefully/presumably) cut off and destroy whichever of their corps are overly-aggressive enough to rush ahead and put their heads into the noose. Again, I don't favor this course of action, but it does offer some interesting possibilities (not the least of which is that it would be totally unexpected and confuse the hell out of our opponents).

- Lance/Kienmayer



JasonPratt

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Reply #17 on: October 28, 2020, 11:43:00 PM
**************Neal on Tuesday
It appears to me there is a Munich First consensus developing, for reasons.

If so, and if our leader agrees, then the next we consider that the French calculus will also reach the same conclusion.

The French will ask:

1. Can we stop them?
2. If not, how do we frustrate or capitalize on the Austrian thrust toward Munich? --Do we even bother to defend it?

Then, once we work that out, we might want to consider economy of force. Assuming a competent move against Munich, how little a force do we need to ensure victory? What then, can we do with the balance of our forces? Would it be possible to promote more than one objective at the same time?

I'm thinking aloud...

-Neal/Louis


************** Barth on Tuesday
I've been contemplating the Munich first plan as well. Please see the attached map. {{Sabrenote: not available for posting unfortunately}}

We use 3 Corps, including my III Corps, under Charles' direction to take Munich. Historically it was lightly defended if I remember correctly. From there we move north to Freising or the other village overlooking the river spur to the north, or both and prepare to receive whatever the French throw our way.

The other Corps are positioned along the Isar acting as a screening force so the French move against Munich. They can then move against the French flank and/or march on Ratisbonne with  Lischenstein's 2nd Reserve appearing behind on the 20th.

It does split our forces but I don't think there's any way around it what with having to protect our LoC and having to such far spread target cities.

Just some musings and a fun map to draw. Feel free to poke holes as required.

Vance/Hohenzollern


************** Neal likes this plan, too


************** Dom on Tuesday
I would lean towards Munich as well. 

Munich should be the easier nut for us to crack .. and we should assume the French also think this.
What won't they think we would do in taking Munich?

Dom/Hiller


************** Pinetree on Tuesday
I'm always swayed by nice graphics and this plan looks pretty good. I assume the frogs are restricted to deploying north and west of the Isar? Those marshes north of Munich could cause trouble if they decide to defend there instead of Munich itself, V Corps would have to move quick to cut off the Frog's supply route.

Rich/Bellegarde


************** Neal is confident he can cut off Munich’s supplies.

************** Dom on Tuesday
In looking at the map of the proposed Plan X .... would a force located opposite Freising at least threaten French LOC to the north... thus either causing him to think twice before sending potential reinforcement to Munich.  I.e., we haven't "bagged" or threatened to "bag" any potential French in Munich.

Anway ... back to training this corps.

Dom/Hiller



JasonPratt

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Reply #18 on: October 28, 2020, 11:46:03 PM
************** Gill onTuesday

Some initial observations:
1. The dispersal could be dangerous, but perhaps we could mitigate by holding V Corps back until Munich falls and then have it join the Victorious March to the Northeast on Regensburg after Marching through Munich?

2. What do you have in mind for distribution of troops among R1, R2 and C? (I like Kienlancemayer's notion of reorganizing the reserves into a Gren Corps and Cav Corps.)

3. Quite correct ref history: Munich was not defended at all. Austrians only sent one division (Jellacic of Hiller's corps) who occupied the city but otherwise contributed nothing to the opening campaign. N did not care about Munich; he cared about Regensburg, Ingolstadt, Neuburg, Donauwörth, Rain and similar places strategically because they provided solid bridges over the Danube so he could operate on either side of the river with minimal hindrance; Munich was just a city and could be retaken once the enemy army was defeated.

4. Useful to keep in mind that most of Davout's corps started (9/10 April) well north of the Danube historically; only one division at Regensburg (a BIG division, but still only one). Seems unlikely Control would give the French much pre–war flexibility, but who knows? See attached map {{note: map is copyrighted, thus for personal use of our team only}}

5. N is not yet on the scene, so we will be dealing with Berthier as overall commander for the first few days (he soon found himself completely under water!).

And...Passau Passion? Are we absolutely tied to Passau? That is, is there any reason not to shift our LOC further south (Braunau or even Salzburg)? Just a question to see what flexibility we might have, rules may leave us no choice.

Your servant, Jack von Liechtenstein

**************Jim will confirm later that we CANNOT shift our supply LoC from Passau, under the simplified supply rules.


************** Lance/Ecnal Tuesday


As Jack/Liechtenstein noted in his recent comments, historically the Bavarians barely defended Munich, and honestly I can't envision them doing so in the game either. Any force stationed there would likely be enveloped and forced to surrender. At worst they may try to screen the approaches and delay our taking Munich; at best they'll simply abandon it.

The key to the entire campaign will hinge on our march north towards Ratisbon/Regensburg. This is where the French won the historical campaign, by getting in behind the Austrians as they moved north/west, nearly repeating the same sort of encirclement/trap that they accomplished at Ulm in 1805. To prevent a repeat of that disaster we'll need to coordinate our movements and maintain a strong scouting screen on our left (and behind us) as we advance.

If Jason/Charles is willing to accept some degree of risk, we can simply attempt to take Munich "en passant" with just a single corps (under the assumption that the French will not make a concerted effort to hold the city). This will, instead, allow our main body start further north (e.g. Freising, or even Moosburg), reducing the time it will take for us to reach Regensburg by a day or two. If we find Munich strongly held, this still puts the main body within reasonable striking distance if we have to devote more forces to take it. However, starting our main body at Landschut (or even further north) effectively means a significant delay in diverting forces south to take Munich if we determine that's necessary.

 - Lance/Kienmayer



JasonPratt

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Reply #19 on: October 28, 2020, 11:49:11 PM
************** Wednesday Jul 18th, two emails from Barthheart

Good points all. My initial thoughts were that we wanted the French to respond to the show of force at Munich to draw their forces that direction. Only then would our forces move across the Isar in the East. Hence we are trying to envelope them.

With a large force moving north from Munich, I'm hoping the French panic about having their forces coming from the West cut off from any deployed near Ratisbonne and move to keep us south. But they have to move though the hilly terrain to get to us on only a couple of small roads.

But as pointed out this is very risky by spreading out our Eastern forces....

Hohenzollern

******* Second email from Barth

Great map John, thanks for sharing.

{{Replying to Gill’s analysis of  Plan X}}

1. Yes all other forces stay in place screening until Munich falls and those 3 Corps advance to the Freising line.

2. I had thought to just leave the original troop assignments. R2 is a large infantry force and would be good for a surprise arrival at Ratisbonne to take the city.

Hohenzollern


************** Some discussion about pre-start local recon; Cyrano confirms we’ll be supplied with some.

**************Wed, next email from Barth


Some further thoughts, sorry about all the emails, trying to have breakfast and get ready for work while planning the downfall of Napoleon is a challenging...

Having a large force take Munich serves 2 purposes:

1. If the French are restricted in their setup the we can take Munich and march north threatening any French force moving to help bolster Ratisbonne. They'll have to respond and come to meet us or risk getting flanked.

2. If the French have a fairly free setup, like we do, then they might actually march through Munich in force for a direct drive to Passau while we're all located north of the Isar.  Or they can continue to let Munich fall and then we revert back to situation 1.

Not trying to hard sell my Plan X, but I wanted to you all to have all my thoughts.

Hohenzollern



JasonPratt

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Reply #20 on: October 28, 2020, 11:56:11 PM
************** Friday Jul 20th, 2018, from Cyrano
Greetings and Good Morning (hereabouts anyway),

I have GREATLY enjoyed your conversations and, as was said, find them very helpful in understanding your thoughts and intentions.  I still won't like conditional orders.

With the week drawing ot a close, may I ask the Emperor to have orders out to his team by the close of business on Saturday.  Remember, there are choices that must be made in this scenario and I will ask that you be clear which of the choices you have chosen.

Once this is settled and the Daleks are up, I will send out a call for day one march orders!

Gentlemen, Today's Fox,

Jim


************** Saturday July 21st, from me, JRP. Remember, {{double-bracket notes}} are my current additions

Yeek, thoughts in some kind of sequence....

.......

...phew. Gosh where to even start...

0.) I've asked this before, but (1) is Ratisbonne / Regensburg the French supply source? I figure it is, but want to be sure. Relatedly, (2) could our team change our supply source over to Munich if we take it? If so (WHICH SEEMS HISTORICALLY REASONABLE!) then obviously taking Munich pronto would be our best move, redirecting our supply route there, and moving up with simultaneous defense of our LoC. (3) How important is Munich to French scoring? -- the concept here is whether we can provoke an expected reaction from them and make plans about it. (4) Do the rules exclude between a geographical win OR a half-defeat win? -- or do points scored either way contribute to a sudden death win? (5) Is there a minimum time for the operation, e.g. the game must run at least five game-days?

{{Interjecting a brief Cyrano/Jim email here on these Zero point questions}}

[Jim replies: 1:  You don't know.
2:  No.  Checked this.  This is the "short" system and Didier doesn't allow for that in the short system.
3:  I guess I'll just point back to the brief sheet which says your goals are Munich and Ratisbonne and if possible exiting off the map to the West.  I've taken this as different from the Jena game where army destruction was given as a specific victory condition.  Obviously at a certainly point they can't stop you, that's more subjective this time.
4.  Answered in 3.  Repeating:  this, for the Austrians, is a geographical win scenario.  Implicit in this, though, and this may be what you're driving at, is you've got to prevent them from taking it back.  This will, at the end, require you to fight.Or at least defend...
5.  No.]

{{I don't know these answers yet of course, but this seemed the most reasonable place to include them for topical connection. Continuing my email, I'm NOT referring by points to these, just continuing my own topical point list after '0' above...}}

1.) I'm glad to hear that we can pre-organize a dedicated cavalry corps (and thus grenadier corps), but recent discussion has convinced me that the Gren Reserve should retain its cav division. However, DEPENDING ON ITS MISSION the Cav Reserve may be better off sending its infantry over to the other reserve. (Relatedly, I'm no longer playing with the idea of creating a second cav corps from our other cav divisions If I did, though, I would presume those other corps would be set to local defense.)


2.) Those trash light divisions are going to cause us trouble if we aren't careful. Nominally their best use would be purely as local corps reserve, sending them in only to exploit a local breakthrough or as a last resort to stiffen the line once someone in the front line has weakened down to worse than the light divs' own morale levels!

Creatively, I was thinking about pulling them out to create an ad hoc corps with me as the commander, so that my buffs would make them useful for one short-range fight. Logically that would be taking Munich, presumably as the auxiliary aid to the primary assault (like, blocking escape into our own backfield over the rivers or something, while the main assault envelops Munich, cutting them off from retreat and supply). Then marching those divisions off the map for points! -- especially if they've been scarred while attempting a bridge assault to divide the effective defense of anyone in Munich.

Either way, I want to avoid them acting as morale time-bombs in our corps. (I think a few corps have decent ones.) I realize the rules have been set up to provide JUST THAT KIND OF HISTORICAL RISK: they're useless (even the good morale ones) for their intended purpose, and most of them suck as plain infantry. Some more discussion on this before orders would be appreciated. Default would be their nominal usage as tactical reserve, tho.


3.) If we're going to sweep up from Munich, it makes the most sense for this to be our CavCorps' job. That's the largest march distance, and they would be our fastest corps (if their grenadiers are detached for someone else, either before or after settling Munich.)

I'm not much worried about Munich defenders appearing from the west, clever though that would be (using Munich as bait, and then hitting our besiegers from the rear), since the map ends not far to the west and at best they'd be detected before they could spring their trap.

Hitting our Munich assault from the north-ish would be more likely to work, but would depend heavily on how much leeway the French are given for pre-battle dispositions.


4.) Playing around with an offtackle-right plan, moving up from Deggens generally: should we even care about taking Munich early? As long as we have a nominal blocking force to keep them from counter-blitzing toward Passau, any defenders in Munich will be cut off from supply within a few days. Heck, unless they have pure cavalry there, we could probably cut them off from supply before they could reach Passau from a day one starting march anyway! Blocking corps might position a division to guard the bridges as initial scouting, if it's infantry in Munich then the rest of the corps (screened from detection) heads north to cross the Isar and join up on the left side of the assault blob. If it's cav in the city, the corps commander crosses the Isar and envelop-assaults against cav defending in a city!

I mean, for score purposes I assume we care, but if we take Rattisbone (Rathbone?) they should be a LOT weaker and we can send an expeditionary force to mop them up while we're preparing to receive visitors at and around Rat.

An offtackle-right strategy would, as previously noted, minimize our largest inherent weaknesses.


5.) While I am very much in favor of our enemies having no idea what we're doing, I worry about a purely defensive plan (perhaps with taking Munich), for two reasons: first, I'm not sure how we can win on score that way if the French just chill and maybe accept Munich as a loss. Second, and maybe more important, I'm worried players would be bored with it. Third, we'd be effectively ceding almost all our early-operation advantages.

HOWEVER -- having said that -- the French puppies can run away faster than we can chase them, so I don't know that we can keep them from ganging back up together around Regensberg anyway, if they're determined to do so. And the boredom factor would cut both ways, tempting the other side to do something. Also, boredom on an asynch email game isn't quite the same as at a live game. We can be going about our merry ways in real life while snickering at their consternation. I presume on this defensive anti-plan, we still take Munich off the bat, and (as previously suggested) we leave an apparently weak broad center screened with the cavalry corps's divisions as tripwires, ready to collapse around an invader as a backfield assault force moves up for the hard fighting. Once we've achieved a solid edge in casualties (by Munich win unless the French simply abandon it, and by trapping a counter-blitz), we start the assault from positions of strength on either side of our front.


6.) How would the off-map deep-flank option (allowing forces to arrive from the north after a few days) affect any of those three general option strategies? Seems like it would only work for an offensive right.


7.) Those of us from our previous game will recall I harmonized strategy suggestions around three principles:

a.) protect our LoC.
b.) minimize morale damage.
c.) Malfoy's Bell, and Malfoy's Corollary. (This might be from Machiavelli, but I'm a fan of Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality. {g})

Malfoy's Bell states that you should assume the failure of any plan that requires more than three things to go right for victory. Malfoy's Corollary states that since only fools or the seriously desperate would take the minimum option of victory, the real rule is: only two things at most (ideally one) to go right for victory.

I broke down the strategic parts into two (or one) step goals, with each group or corps assigned those goals in sets. In case of victory, move to the next minimum-step goal; in case of defeat, fall back in accordance of principles a and b, and replot. Each corps had plans which would allow flexibility in case of some other plan's defeat, too.

So I'm going to be looking at how the various general strategies (offtackle sweep left, offtackle sweep right, defensive trap with Munich capture) fit those principles before I make my final decisions.

(And also taking more aspirin. {g})

JRP



JasonPratt

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Reply #21 on: October 28, 2020, 11:58:54 PM
************** Summarizing a set of emails, Lance/Ecnal ultimately arranges to take command of the two-division Grens, with Jack Gill taking command of the two-division Cavs, effectively pairing the two corps together as an independent strike force.


************** Saturday, from James Sterret
In effect, the territory is the specified task.  Defeating\destroying the French Army is an implied task, as accomplishing it materially contributes to the specified task.


************** Barth confirms from Cyrano that French victory conditions could be different from and not related to ours.



JasonPratt

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Reply #22 on: October 29, 2020, 12:03:44 AM
************** email from me Saturday July 21st, 2018

Game will start 16th of April (in-game). Any deep Blitz-loop cannot arrive until April 20th, but might need to be later!

Okay, I'm caught up on all correspondence, and harmonizing a plan.

7:30ish central standard time. I may be rather late sending out the Plan. Need to go eat something and plot.

Remembering that the two Reserve Corps only have two divs each, has fundamentally altered my whole calculus about capabilities.

Remembering that most of us can only march TWENTY-FIVE-HUNDRED STEPS A DAY has also fundamentally altered my whole calculus about capabilities.

I can guarantee that everyone will get action. Someone will (probably) be getting delayed but important action. We're going to hit hard and completely mess with our German traitor cousins. After all, many of them can only march twenty-five-hundred steps a day, too. {g}

JRP

****** Incidentally, this turns out to be a wrong expectation, which I just learned this evening from Cyrano, October 28, 2020, more than TWO YEARS LATER! -- all German forces are under French command, and any forces under French command move at basically twice our speed, like the French! Fortunately our operational plans and tactics end up assuming for safety they're all moving at French speed anyway.



JasonPratt

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Reply #23 on: October 29, 2020, 12:22:03 AM
************** very late Saturday evening July 21st 2018, I finally finish synthesizing and sending out the operational plan. I thus indulged in some dramatic flair, since I am delivering a speech to gathered commanders.  8)

Operational Plan: MIGHTY GLACIER

Friends! Marshals of the Oesterreich!

The False Emperor took advantage of his alliance with our Rhineish cousins, and of my wholesale reorganization of our army to more modern principles, to sneak some fresh recruits onto our territory, stealing Munich and Regensburg from us among some other places.

I am sure he also took advantage of my famous and, usually, correct preferences for solid defense, expecting that I would fort up at the Isar and Danube, to repel his eventual crossing attempts someday. Consequently, while he has stiffened his occupation forces with French commanders of renown, he has clearly not expected us to throw out his puppies. Rather, he expects to take his time to settle other matters and then come deal with us, planning that I would prefer to finish reorganizing and training our new armies, and to strike back at him once we have annihilated his coming assault.

I have fostered this impression, for the sake of any spies among our courts, by speaking to each of you alone, as it were, through correspondence, asking you to prepare forces for defending our Reich. I have shown him, so far as he can possibly see us, what he expects to see.

Having gathered you together now, I intend to show him that the True Holy Roman Emperor will tolerate his blasphemous presence on our fair continent no more.

Corps Commanders of this Army of the Eastern Reich! We have achieved total strategic surprise!

We admittedly still move too slowly to achieve full tactical surprise, about which I grit my teeth but must accept the reality -- and so I will assume that he will know what is coming, by the time we arrive. But no sooner than that.

I genuinely feel sorry for our Rhinish cousins. But not too sorry for their commanders. They should have known better. And now they will pay.

Each of you will leave here to ride to your nominally defensive corps preparations, and begin immediately to move into assault positions according to the plan which I will detail below. I have allowed plenty of time for everyone to be in place, and rested, for the operation to begin at dawn on April 16th.

Look, friends, at the beloved mountains around us, home of our hearts! See the frozen sheets on the tallest! Those who live in the valleys and who visit from the plains, may think those sheets simply sit all year, as immovable walls. A fine comparison!

Those who seek the Eidelweiss, as a symbol of our manhood, will know that those sheets do move. And that they destroy, implacably, all that they touch.

Similarly, like a sheet of cold iron, we shall descend unstoppably, scooping up our enemies to sear them over the flame of war, until the smoke of their destruction ascends into the centuries of the centuries.

This operation shall so be named: MAECHTIGER PANZER!

[OOC: if we can’t win with a name as awesome as that, we deserve to have our asses kicked.]

If you will allow me a play on words, a Tiger may not be fast, but it will kill you. We shall strike with the hind claws, with the front claws, and with the fangs.

With the hind claws we shall rake the enemy where he is most vulnerable and with the most damage for the effort.

With the front claws, we shall wrap around the enemy and rend his back.

With the fangs, we shall chew through his throat, and end his resistance to death.

Each shall be a heroic effort, worthy of an opera! Before you even leave this room, your glory has been assured!! I feel _actual_ _jealousy_ for your roles! -- for who am I, who am even I, compared to what you shall do!?

More prosaically, we shall operate on the following principles, which I assume you will recognize from my normally defensive strategies.

1.) Protect our supply line. Usually I do this by creating extensive supply depot points and letting the enemy crash against them like foam until they are tired of losing and rout from the field at our laughing counterstrike. This time I plan to do so by finishing our opponent as quickly as our glacier-like marching can feasibly accomplish, and by aiming our fangs the shortest distance from Passau to the enemy’s throat.

2.) Protect our troops’ morale. We need not rush, if we do this correctly. We only need to win. Let our enemies rush around, tiring themselves out, in panic. Or, if they want to scramble for Passau, we shall cut their own breath off methodically with our fangs before they can sever our artery.

3.) Simple steps. Each thrust needs only two things, generally, at most to go right for a sufficient victory. These steps can themselves be broken down to one or two smaller steps in sets. But while this is not schlaeger fighting, where we stand in defense and parry and strike, neither will we be leaping around for our enemies to intercept, unable to change our vector’s gravity. Our feet stay on or near the ground, not sliding exactly but barely lifted as with short steps we force our foes off the fencing strip.

To these main principles can be added the following:

4.) The operational plan should minimize problems from our slow speed, and maximize problems from the mostly-similar slow speed of our opponents. Any French in the mix will, sadly, be faster, but mixed with the Army of Germany they must either operate faster at much lesser strength, or be similarly hampered in speed. {{{Sabrenote: as it happens this expectation was incorrect, but I don't think our mistaken impression mattered anyway.}}

5.) The operational plan should concentrate power effectively. I must confess that my hopes of creating useful light infantry divisions has not borne fruit, yet. I have saddled most of you with liabilities. I will find something very useful for them to do, indeed heroic, and in return your corps will be stronger, with better reserves.

6.) The operational plan should focus on recovering our geography, with efficiency of effort, destroying the enemy efficiently along the way.

7.) The operational plan should, as soon as possible, disrupt the enemy line of supply -- even though we are not yet certain where it is!

8.) The operational plan should provide some opportunity to move forces west into the enemy’s backfield, as a consequence of securing our geography.

9.) The operational plan should minimize interior lines, or else render a lack of interior lines meaningless.

{OC: 10. the plan should also make use of any special abilities allowed to the Austrian side of the game. And 11, it should give everyone something important and active to do, so that the game will be fun.}

This will require some swapping out of divisions among you, but if the enemy knows of our ostensible defensive organizations already somehow then this will catch them by surprise.

Enough of the principles! -- to the Rendings!

HINTEREKRALLENMACHT
-------------------------------------
To the hind-claw force, I assign Marshals Kienmeyer [Lancer/Ecnal] and Lischenstein [Jack Gill]!

Kienmeyer, you shall have Fresnel’s and Rohan’s Grenadier divisions. Lischenstein, you shall have the cavalry divisions between you, including Ulm’s. Your divisions have the highest morale, and the best equipment and experience. The French may be expecting us to use you as rear reserve, sending your brigades forward piecemeal.

I expect you to take back Munich, and secure that quarter from any Napoleonic opportunism. I do not expect you to come to our aid.

Kienmeyer will have initial wing command, since the infantry must lead in taking the city, but I give you free rein to work out what seems best among yourselves; for example if you decide to advance north (once Munich is yours) into the marshes and then perhaps into the ridgeline roads, you may wish to cede command to Lischenstein who will be presumably scouting ahead and so in better position to make informed decisions.

How you take the city I leave to your preferences, since we don’t know for sure what we’ll find there. I presume the ideal situation, if the enemy doesn’t simply flee the area and let you have the city gratis, is to pontoon over the river not far to the north (but away from city defenders) with the cavalry corps, and envelop them while at least one grenadier prevents them from retreating across the Isar toward, if not both such divisions assaulting over the bridges -- either spreading out their defenses or leaving one side fatally weak.

But that is only a guess; you may adjust things as you will. You may stay in Munich and rest as you will, you may set up defenses in or outside Munich as you prefer, or if you wish to adventure north in pursuit or after resting and regrouping -- all this I leave to your recognizance and judgment. I will send no orders.

If you send me news couriers, they have some real chance of being intercepted at any time during the operation. But all we really need to know is how well things are going. Tell me a story of ducks at a wild pond, use any details you like -- amuse yourself with any imagination! But the key detail will be the weather.

Snow shall mean your plans are going well.

A cold rain shall mean your plans aren’t going well. It should be cold either way, of course.

You may vary weather intensity for emphasis; but don’t spend much effort on that description, it should seem incidental to other (fake) emphases. DO NOT TRY TO SEND US INFORMATION WITH OTHER DETAILS! -- I will ignore them.

If you decide to move north toward Regensburg, change the SNOW to SLEET. (Snow is good, so you’re changing to a different good. Rain stays as signal for trouble with your plans.)

If you must fall back toward Passau for some reason, change the RAIN to WIND. (Snow stays as signal for your plans going well.)

If Napoleon shows up at Munich, or on your way north (if you decide to try that after Munich), add a Troll to your story.

{{Sabrenote: everyone promptly ignores or forgets this code plan.  ::) I have no idea yet, whether the enemy intercepted our couriers and learned anything useful. But I DID TRY to plan ahead for such problems.}}

{{Splitting the email here for forum post length limits}}



JasonPratt

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Reply #24 on: October 29, 2020, 12:22:30 AM
{{Second half of the operational plan email}}

I’ll be with the Fangs, as you might have guessed, although naturally any news I can send of our progress or problems will be much delayed. I’ll send you stories of something, I’m not sure what yet, but with the same protocols, except that I’ll change snow to sleet if we’re finished enough at Regensburg to come back south toward you.

{{Sabrenote: I did try to keep to this plan for contacting the Hindclawforce with updates, although eventually I risked some uncoded couriers.}}

Oh, as for initial deployment, obviously you should start as close to the river as you care to for any final plans you devise. {OOC: Cyrano should assume that you’re in direct contact with each other for such purposes, until you actively declare separation for go-position.}

With only four high-quality divisions to manage, you should be able to deal with any relatively minor French/German problems, or hold out in various ways, tying up their precious troops, until the operation has ended. Gross Gott to you!


VONDERKRALLENMACHT
-------------------------------------

For the Front Claw Force, I designate Hohenzollen. He will take his corps in a large northern loop through Bavaria to hit Regensburg from the north, in a blitzkrieg.

However, I intend for his 3rd corps to have a somewhat different disposition than the German or French spies may have already heard about.

Take with you Reuss (9000 infantry div); Bartenstein (10000 infantry div); and Klenau (7000 infantry div). You may keep our Slavic ally Vukassov (7000 infantry div).

Total force: 33 thousand, four divisions, which should not be a command problem for you.

You will also notice that these are the worst morale divisions in our current army. They will not be good for fast marching or for more than one fight, and ideally they need to hit from the side or the rear, and God in Heaven knows they will need any skillful command bonuses we can give them! -- and that’s you. (I had toyed with the idea of going myself, but rejected that eventually.)

This will keep them from dragging down the rest of our army, yet give them something important to do within their power, which will not require them to deal with enemy forces before their only real fight. They can be safely shepherded to where they can hit the hardest.

You will of course give up your standard light cavalry division, but you will not need its scouting effects. Admittedly you will have to make do without their local tactical help, but in attacking Regensburg from the north their influence would be minimized anyway.

You must also give up Lusignan, and St. Julien, but we’ll put them to good use somewhere, too, never fear.

Obviously you will be out of contact, and so must operate on your own recognizance, until we can reconnect at a Regensburg siege, and even then you may be out of courier contact at first. I have no concerns: with your experience and skill, I entrust you to sharpen and salt the front claws. They may be weaker than the hind claws and the fangs, but you’ll know what to do with them. Gross Gott!

(Note to self, calculate when they should no-sooner-arrive.)


TIGERTEETHMACHT
-----------------------------

Our basic plan is to deploy close to the Isar/Danube confluence, and then march upon Regensburg, each corps along a road, eliminating anyone daring to slow us down.

Bellegard’s 1st Corps {OOC: Pinetree} shall take a special vanguard position, racing across the bridge of the northernmost town of the Isar (between Landau and Deggendorf), marching slightly cross country once across the bridge, to cross the Danube at Deggensdorf on day 1. From there you will proceed in parallel along the road (should be no need to get off it) on the main thrust’s march to Regensburg.

We will set up some basic signals and have a cavalry brigade of one of the closest corps’ divisions shadowing as close as possible to the Danube, so that effective (if minimal) communication can be established; you should do the same.

(OOC: considering the minimal distances involved, Cyrano should allow a very minor cav brigade detachment like this, seeing as it should at worst only oblong the detection radius of a division that won’t be at the front of a march anyway.)

{{Sabrenote: to spoil the plot in a minor way here, Cyrano did allow this.}}

If necessary, we should be able to mutually support any digging-out operations near the Danube, on either side: you’ve got the most balanced corps (Vogelsgang, Ulm, Fresnel, and a standard light cav division as your vanguard scout), so even though it’s only a single-lane road you should be potent at dealing with roadblocks until/unless we need to help. I seriously doubt our enemies will have ambush squads waiting in the low mountains north of the river, to amount to anything. Ideally you’ll arrive to help Hohenzollern besiege his side of Regensburg, but you (and perhaps he) may have to root out some forward defenses nearby. Do not combine your commands, however! -- otherwise you’ll get overworked. You may have to operate effectively out of communication as you get closer to Regensburg.

If 1st Corps meets no obstacles, then conservatively we can expect them to be at Regensburg on the afternoon or evening of the 21st. They have the shortest path, except for the corps crossing the Isar behind them which necessarily must be delayed! -- so they are our minimum travel time. We may expect to need more than that for various reasons.


Hiller’s 6th Corps {OOC: Dom Dal Bello} is our biggest puncher, with Kattulinski, Jellacic, Vincent, and a standard light cav division. He will follow 1st Corps over the northernmost Isar bridge, and then take the south-bank road along the Danube to Regensburg, with his light cav division scouting ahead of him of course. 6th will be in the most direct possible contact (under the circumstances) with 1st, and each will be expected to be the first aid for each other, where possible. (Keeping in mind that the Reserve Cav has the pontoon engineers to cross the Isar near Munich.) The basic mission should be sufficiently obvious. However, you may not be able to get much of your corps across the bridge on Day 1, due to 1st Corps going first. I will estimate that, assuming no problems, you can be at the major crossroad southeast of Straubing by evening on Day 2. If there are no roadblocks, though, you should still be pulling up to assault distance from Regensburg on July 20th.


Kollowrath’s 2nd Corps {OOC: Banzai_Cat} will have Brady, Treunen, Luisgnan from Hohen’s corps originally, and a standard light cav div. You should be near the crossroad southeast of Straubing at the end of Day 1, ahead of 6th Corps (who has 1st corps in the way). If there’s trouble at Straubing, you’ll be the first to deal with it on Day 2, and 6th Corps will be your reinforcements (not to say 1st Corps on the other side of the river!)

I’ll be riding with 2nd Corps, where I can lend tactical help on either side of our advance without much delay.

Straubing is basically the Fangs’ first goal. By concentrating force upon it from two or three directions, we should be able to eliminate any opportunistic defenders; or if the situation is sticky but still doable we can send a corps onward toward Regensburg.


The Fangs shall be screened by Rosenberg’s 4th Corps {OOC: James Sterett} and Louis’ 5th Corps {Marshal Neal}. 4th has Dedovic, St. Julien (from Hohen’s corps), Somariva, and a standard light cav division. Louis has Brady, Shustekh, and _two_ standard light cav divisions (one from Hohen), so will work best screening the west side of our advance. [OOC: you’ll have a little more flexibility with the cavalry scouting bubbles. Have fun!]

There are fords or small bridges west of Landau, between it and Landshut. If you can cross there {OOC: if Cyrano says it’s doable without any problems}, each of you take a bridge, Louis westmost, and work your ways up the wishbone road system. Each of you take a leg (Louis may have to go cross country a little) to the town at the crossroad southeast of Regensburg. You have the most distance to travel, so you can pick up a little fatigue along the way, but you may well get there in time to rest for a day or two. Communications with me may be a little limited, but if you get into serious trouble I can come help. Don’t advance on Regensburg until we’re caught up to a similar position on the Danube!

If the flooding has washed out the bridges or the fords, you’ll each have to cross at Landshut, a little more out of communication. {OOC: Cyrano should be able to tell us before game-start positioning what the river situation is for those two tracks across the river, so you should either be both starting at Landshut or at those two closer crossings.}

I presume Louis will go first, with the more cavalry scouting to surge, in that case, and you’ll both trail on the closest road directly north toward the aforementioned crossroad as the forming-up point for our final push, Rosenberg following behind Louis in this case.

This should simplify and amplify everyone’s tasks, allowing for flexibility in meeting and digging out enemy outposts (or defensive stands) where necessary.


In Summary:

Hind Claw Force are the two former reserve corps, now Grenadier and Cav Corps, tasked mainly with taking Munich on their own recognizance, and then operating according to whatever conditions they find.

Front Claw Force is Hohenzollern whose 3rd Corps will be reconfigured to make the best possible use of the low-morale divisions, by blitz-looping them safely around behind Regensburg. All things considered, I recommend you plan to arrive on April 23rd, which will give us some time to deal with problems on the way; but if the enemy wants to assault you across their bridges (or is fool enough to post defense in front of their bridges!) fine, have fun until we get there. Otherwise you can pepper them with some arty fire or whatever you deem fit until we arrive.

Tiger Teeth Force is the rest of us. 1st Corps will secure and move up the north bank road of the Danube, eventually to help Hohenzollern with an eastern front to the city siege-attack.

6th corps will follow 1st Corps across the Isar bridge and stay parallel roughly on the south-bank road.

2nd corps will strike off from Landau, and will probably be in position to scout-attack Straubing before 6th can arrive (6th thus being expected as the reinforcement in effect). I’ll be riding with 2nd corps unless problems develop.

4th and 5th corps will cross the small bridges between Landau and Landshut, if possible, and wishbone the roads up to the crossroad southeast of Regensburg, to wait for our arrival. Or if the bridge/fords don’t allow crossing there, cross one at a time, 5th corps first, at Landshut, and take the same road one after the other (5th corps first) to the forming-up point.

Roughly speaking, we expect to attack Regensburg sometime from the 21st to the 24th, with the Front Claws arriving on the 23rd to prepare for action on the 24th.

Even if the supply route happens to be Ingolstadt, this should mess with their supply status before they have a chance to mess with ours, even if they cross at Moosburg, Freisino or even Landshut. At any rate, we’re going to risk it.

Marshals! Heroes! You have waited long enough! Let us grind these dastards to powder, and hear their wailing for absconding for those powdered French embraces!

Charles of the Eastern Reich



JasonPratt

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Reply #25 on: October 29, 2020, 12:26:05 AM
************** Sunday July 22nd from Lance to his fellow Hindclaw commander

General Lischenstein -
In accordance with his highness Archduke Charles' instructions, I have been designated Southern Wing Commander. Your corps and mine are tasked with the capture of the city of Munich and are then to maneuver so as to retain control of that location while protecting, as feasible, the rear of the main army which will be advancing on Regensberg to the north of us.

I will initially deploy my Grenadier Corps directly opposite Munich and, upon commencement of operations, attempt to storm the sole bridge over the Isar River to establish a secure foothold on the western bank. Your corps should deploy immediately to my rear, and once a bridgehead has been established I desire that your Cavalry Corps cross the bridge and swing around the city to the north, behind my corps, and attempt to block the retreat of any enemy forces out of the city. Optimally our immediate goal will be to envelop and destroy any defenders in Munich. If my corps is unable to successfully force the bridge, we will pull back slightly, regroup, and consider alternate options (which, considering our lack of a pontoon train, may be limited...).

Discussion of potential follow-on operations will be discussed after we have secured Munich.

Request acknowledgement of receipt of this message.
- Keinmayer


************* I sent a note asking whether they’re not planning to use the pontoon bridge; and if not to let us know so I can give it to someone else.

************** James Sterret Sun Jul 22


Understood - 4th Corps, with Dedovic, St. Julien (from Hohen’s corps), Somariva, and a standard light cav division, will cross the Isar SW of Landau, no farther than Landshut, and move to the crossroads town SE of Regensburg.

4th is following 5th if we both cross at Landshut.

As a flank guard, should we consider moving towards Kelheim to create a flank threat to the French?

Control - what is the state of our crossings from Landau to Landshut?



JasonPratt

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Reply #26 on: October 29, 2020, 12:29:07 AM
******************** Several emails from me, same day, Sunday July 22, 2018

That's very reasonable, but I'm trying to keep our interior lines as close as possible given the road network situation, and our very limited speeds.

However! -- if HindClaws won't be using the pontoon bridge, you might effectively use it to cross the Danube west of Regensburg once we arrive near your forming-up point! This will require some cross-country marching, but we can't all effectively hit Regens from the south anyway. (I assume your corps would have the pontoon bridge simply for better protection of it, but in that eventuality whoever leads the way to the western Danube would need it of course.)

Otherwise we may play it by ear, and have you both go after the crossing at Kelheim. Until we arrive near Regens, though, we should try to not be divided by the enemy. (Another problem with splitting you off like that, however, is that you'll have to create separate fronts for any fight, since your combined strengths will be more than 4 divisions, causing a field commander to lose one die.)

JRP


******** Next email, sent to everyone as an addendum clarification of the main operational plan

Oh, also -- I meant to make this more explicit in my operational plan, but I guess I got too tickled at how anime-ish my operational title turned out to be. {G} (It was supposed to be Mighty Glacier at first, but when I saw that one German adjective for "mighty" was maechtiger, I literally could not resist angulating the metaphors around to a WW2 pun. With proper historical context of course, panzer coming from armor chest plating which was nicknamed after the metal of a frying pan.)

(What was I talking about... oh, right. Speed.)

Everyone should _ideally_ march no more than 8 hours a day, and keep to the roads as much as possible. Theoretically this will accrue only 2 points of fatigue a day, but I've arranged things so that we're consolidating the more experienced divisions together, so this should probably allow some fatigue shifts in our favor. (Observe that the divisions most likely to get tired marching have been gathered together for off-map strategic travel and so should arrive fresh! -- a gamey application of the rules, I know, but still.)

The 4th and 5th corps might end up needing to march with more daylight to get to the Forming-up point in time, depending on their river situation, but I've acknowledged that they may need to gain a few more fatigue points than the rest of us.

Of course, fighting any roadblocks along the way will complicate the fatigue and timing factors, but I've tried to keep things flexible. Even in the worst case advancing situation (I mean if we aren't screw-blocked by the French/German side out of the gate), we may have time to rest a full day before advancing to the assault, or we can cycle corps in and out with a full day rest in between (at least on the south side of the assault).

So, in short, most of us (in the Fangs) should only need 8 hours a day marching, maybe a few more hours for our westernmost edge of the Fangs. The game doesn't allow for different marching SPEEDS, really, only TIME.

JRP


********** From me, same day, replying to the question about opening start positions

Yes, everyone (on the map) starts up next to the bridges of the Isar we must cross (except for 6th corps naturally, since 1st is in the way.)

HindClawForce has some leeway in how they want to make that work, but seem to be planning to both storm across the Munich bridge at once.

4th and 5th corps may end up starting near the Landshut bridge, depending on weather conditions, and have to cross one at a time.

1st, up next to the Plattling bridge; 2nd up next to the Landau bridge. 6th behind 1st. 4th and 5th, hopefully up next to those small bridges between Landau and Landshut, otherwise 5th nominally starts up next to the Landshut  bridge with 4th behind him.

Note that in the event of storming the Landshut bridge, 4th (with more infantry) should be ready to go first! Send word to us and 2nd Corps will loop around to help, though that'll take some time (including courier travel to me with the news.)

JRP



JasonPratt

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Reply #27 on: October 29, 2020, 12:30:05 AM
**********************
Archduke Charles/Jason -
I did not realize that your highness intended to assign the pontoon bridge to the southern wing for the opening phase of the operation. This will change (slightly) my planned scheme of attack on Munich (far better, obviously, to cross the Isar north of the city and then advance down upon it, rather than assaulting directly over the existing highway bridge, straight into the teeth of any Bavarian defenses). Thank you for clarifying this point. The "Hindclaw" force will make good use of the pontoon train and then dispatch it immediately northwards once Munich has fallen.

Your humble servant, etc...
- Kienmayer/Lance


**********************

I mentioned it a couple of times in the operational orders, but not very prominently I suppose.

I like the idea of sending it north once you've secured Munich, since you won't need it again but 4th-and-5th might! If it never gets to the siege base south of Regensburg, that won't be any different than you keeping it after all, so you might as well try and good luck to it!

JRP



JasonPratt

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Reply #28 on: October 29, 2020, 12:31:00 AM
********************* From B_C
Thanks, JP.

I understand that II Corps is to advance from Landau, just south of the Isar River crossing, and advance to Straubing, a distance of approximately 28 kilometers. At four km/h, that means if you want II Corps there by the start of Day 2, we'll need to march for about 7-8 hours on this first day. I believe the men can handle it.

I'd want to send a small force of cavalry eastwards along the road to Deggendorf, once we cross the river and make it to that crossroads , as well as a small force of cavalry westwards along the north bank of the Isar to ensure no surprises are waiting for us. Further, I'd of course want cavalry screening our move northwards.

Should I find French forces to my flanks in either area, do you wish me to engage or press forwards to Straubing? (I do not know if there are follow-on forces behind me or not that might deal with such a thing. If not I imagine I will need to face them, otherwise I'll have French in my rear area.)

Will further orders come if/once Straubing is secured, or do you wish me to merely deploy around the city to defend it? I'd want to have a small force in a bridgehead to the north of the Danube, but am wondering if the bridge would need to be destroyed there if the French threaten to take it. (I've not even a clue if that's a possibility; I might be thinking far too in the future.)

II Corps


*********************** reply to B_C

Yes my schedules assume a nominal 8 hour marching day, to avoid early fatigue accumulation (though 4th and 5th corps may have to leg a little more to arrive at their forming up point on schedule). You may not quite be at the crossroads after 8 hours, but that's fine. If you want to spend an extra hour getting there to secure it, we shouldn't have problems, but I've assumed you might not quite make it. The key point is that you're certainly going to get there before 6th Corps does, so you'll have priority to avoid traffic jams -- and you'll be the one recon'ing Straubing in force with initial assaults perhaps as you see fit.

Note that your infantry are going to be going 2.5 km/h! So while your cav division may be screening ahead nicely (at 4kph), they'll probably need to wait if there's trouble at Straubing.

I'm certainly fine with the idea of sending out some scouting cav brigades on the road left and right after you cross the bridge, but you need to check with Cyrano about that.

If you detect French/Germans potentially in your backfield, we'll need to do something about that, yep, before you or the rest of us really advance. Otherwise they'll just mess with us (although we'll be cutting off anyone between you and Prattling, too. ..........I realize that's not it's name, but that's now my headcanon. {g})

Relatedly, 1st Corps needs to get across the Danube, but if they can let a scouting brigade from 6th corps across the Isar first to sweep back in your direction on the north side of the river, that would be handy! -- then the brigade can return and link back up with 6th.

I have no idea if bridges can be destroyed in this game, but I suspect not. It would certainly simplify our lives! -- but with the Germans on defense, I'd rather those bridges not be destroyable. {wry g}

I'm definitely okay with you taking Straubing to secure it until 6th and 1st Corps arrive. Once everyone gets together nearby, we'll have to figure out an effective way to share the road south of the Danube. (1st will still be north of the Danube of course.)

It occurs to me that we're talking like who knows where I'll be -- but I'll be with you in 2nd Corps! So you and I will have immediate communications and can email each other directly and freely freely, unless and until our HQs split off. (Though as a safety policy we should keep Cyrano in email addresses to each other.)

This means, among other things, that I'll be available to lend my 2 dice advantage if we find problems at or on the way to Straubling.

JRP



JasonPratt

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Reply #29 on: October 29, 2020, 12:39:59 AM
And that ends all the pre-game correspondence!

I am very pleased to compile and present this to the audience and opponents of this Kriegspiel, because it illustrates very well how all the Austrian players collaborated together for our operational plan (which really all I did was synthesize together at the end).

Up to this point, we were treated as doing initial correspondence over some period of game-weeks, and then direct conversation at the operational planning meeting.

After this point, NO DIRECT COMMUNICATION WAS ALLOWED unless players were in immediate map proximity. All Austrian players were effectively sent forward to our starting positions, and provided with initial scouting reports of what could be seen across the Isar.

On this basis we sent courier messages to our (npc) divisions, and some local interchanges with nearby marshals, plus couriers sent out to other portions of the starting line letting each other know about our discovered initial conditions.

And from there the game began, which can now be tracked of course by Cyrano's videos. (Although I expect more commentary about the game in the main thread, as linked above.)

One extra detail I'll add here, however (and probably elsewhere), is that Banzai had to drop out early in the game for an extended unknown time (which turned out to be all game), so as Charles I took over direct command of 2nd Corps rather than only riding along acting as the central news routing service. ;) But we kept Banzai in the loop about what was happening with 2nd Corps, in case things cleared up for him to return to the game. I decided where interception was possible, though, to obscure my whereabouts as Charles (with my combat buffs!) by writing in Kollowrath's name when sending risky couriers out.

Thanks to all my fellow Austrian players for a wonderful game, and I look forward to seeing in the videos how it played out after all!  :applause: 8)