Saturday, March 08, 2008

..the British and American first move..

...while I waited for the British first move, I sat down and had an enjoyable thirty minutes deploying my troops on the map (some of which was pre-decided by the scenario), deciding which unit to place my HQ with (important when orders need issuing), and deciding orders for all my remote units (ie. those not under direct command of the C-in-C).

For me this is one of the joys of campaigning, the decisions you're making are not the usual table-top one's - probably much closer to the decisions that the real military we are simulating (badly) would have to make... for right or wrong though, my basic set up is as follows...

  • In essence the American response is based round the premise that if the British advance via the eastern route they will withdraw so as to consolidate & give battle at 9.; if the advance is via the western route they will consolidate at 7...
  • As a result of the scenario requirements my numerically inferior forces (may as well start making excuses now...!) are scattered throughout the peninsula - all villages and towns are occupied by varying numbers of troops. In addition one cavalry regiment is deployed to patrol the road between 1. and 2. - I decided where it was by counting the road squares between the two locations and generating a random number in that range... by the time I finished, the Berthier deployment map for the Americans looked as follows ie. the red squares mark where the Americans are deployed (please click on any of the following for a better/bigger view)

  • Most perplexing of all was the decision as to where to place my C-in-C, I must have changed my mind at least half a dozen times, but basically you have three choices -

    • gamble on either a west or east advance and place the commander in 1. or 2. respectively - but putting the commander in either of the two frontier towns and then having the British arrive on the other flank didn't bear thinking about - it just didn't make sense.
    • adopt the WWI approach and keep the commander well to the rear in 8/. where he's able to marshal his forces in a more relaxed and orderly manner. This is also the peninsula's major town so it has the biggest garrison, another plus point... my concern though is that you are a long way away from where the major action is going to be when located here... and that could add delays..
    • the middle ground - and that's what I went for - I placed my HQ in 4/. where I'm near enough the front line troops to be able to influence their actions fairly quickly, and also central enough to be able to react to an advance on either flank. I'm also able to bring up my re-enforcements "fairly" quickly.. 'no brainer' as they say, lets hope it doesn't turn out to be a description of my performance!
...when the British move arrived - and I didn't have to wait long (DG is obviously keen!) - I was ready to go.. so without further ado..

09:00 Day 1..

When I fire it, the first thing I go to is the Red deployment overview map as that shows me where all my units are, and also any sightings that I may have - this is it:'ll notice that there is an ominous blue square just to the north of town 2/. It looks like the British have opted for an advance with at least some of their units on the east of the two roads - no idea who or how many though, so I need to find out what or who they are...

This move is a pretty easy one for the Americans - I only have two units that can move. I give the cavalry on the road between 1/. and 2/. orders to move towards 2/. and set them off on their way, I then order the American unit in 2/. to move towards the sighting - I need to find out who and what they are...

When I arrive at the square I find the following:
...British cavalry. My advance has brought a number of units within recon range and they are now known to me.

I send messages to all other American units advising of the British advance on the east axis, I then advise DG that it's my intention to break off from the engagement. In our campaign rules, where this happens and one side wishes to force battle, then the side breaking off takes 10% casualties and withdraws straight back (it's a fighting retreat) - we'll see what DG wants to do... if he doesn't wish to force battle, then we can both withdraw without taking casualties.. but I know what I'd do if I were him!

My plan is now to withdraw on 2/. then my orders are to withdraw to 9/. as above... it promises to be a long retreat!

Position at end of American move.. things are hotting up..

1 comment:

  1. This is a good tutorial for Berthier use! I'll watch it! Thanks for sharing