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Subject: Kulm and Dennewitz rss

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Sean Chick (Formerly Paul O'Sullivan)
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Fag an bealac! Riam nar druid ar sbarin lann! Cuimhnigidh ar Luimnech agus feall na Sassonach! Erin go Bragh! Remember Limerick! Remember Ireland and Fontenoy!
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Well, I'm afraid it'll have to wait. Whatever it was, I'm sure it was better than my plan to get out of this by pretending to be mad. I mean, who would have noticed another madman round here?
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For the earlier battles: http://boardgamegeek.com/thread/407244

Kulm
Late on August 29th Vandamme's I Corps, strung out on the road, encounters the Russian army just south of Priesten. The Russians make an attack on Straden to the north of Priesten, so as to flank Vandamme's line. They succeed, and Vandamme must now counterattack or fall back to Kulm. Vandamme chooses the latter course, but begs Mortier to bring up the Young Guard to battle. This, Mortier promises, and rushes to the battlefield. At this time discipline breaks down in the ranks, and Vandamme's troops start pillaging the countryside. Vandamme takes control, and his staff exerts itself over the situation, dispatching orders and making sure the lines are ready for the Russian assault sure to come the next day.

Mortier is ordered to occupy Ebersdorf, in order to flank the Russians and prevent a possible flanking attack by other Coalition forces. As night falls Eugene and his Russian II Corps keeps up its attacks on Vandamme while the rest of the Russians march forward. Early cavalry skirmishes south of Kulm favor the French. Unfortunately Mortier's orders are confusing and his arrival is delayed until twilight. Barclay orders Eugen and Raevsky, commanding the Russian Guards, to attack Vandamme, while he goes to Ebersdorf to coordinate the Austrian forces, each in a position to march on Vandamme's flank tomorrow. Ostermann is left to keep up the pressure at Kulm and his twilight attack is a success, and the French fall back in the face of elite Russian troops, abandoning part of Kulm. Vandamme leads a counterattack personally to restore the French position, but it fails. The Russians press further into Kulm and the cavalry overrun and French horsemen, causing horrific losses. The Kulm position has collapsed in the waning hours and by day's end France has suffered greatly, and Mortier has been further delayed. The superior quality of the Coalition troops has been telling, and while the Young Guard's arrival is a joyous occasion, the Coalition has received part of Kleist's force earlier than expected, although Kleist's main infantry are lost on the road.

Vandamme is at a crossroads: press the Guard towards Ebersdorf, or to Kulm, where he has just been battered. He gambles and chooses the Ebersdorf option. Kliest is being ordered north to stall this drive and daylight sees both sides call for more men. St. Cyr responds and orders his XIV Corps west to save Vandamme. Chasteler's Austrian reserve division is called up by Barclay. Meanwhile Vandamme draws up his corps, reformed over the night, from Auschine to Sernitz., with artillery firing and driving back the hardy Russians. Ostermann takes his time to draw up his forces, with the elite cavalry of Galitzin, ready to pound Vandamme's flank and destroy the French lines.

The battle swings violently from one side to the other. The Guard are unleashed on Kleist's II Corps. 1st Division Young Guard charges the lines and takes Hinter Tellnitz. Even as Kleist loses control of the battle, Barclay commits the Austrians. To the south Ostermann attacks, but it is uncoordinated and leads to the first heavy Russian losses. At 8am the most astounding turn of events occurs: St. Cyr force marches to the battlefield on the Dittersdorf road, putting them directly south of Barclay's position! If Barclay doesn't fall back, all will be disaster. Despite this news Ostermann makes one more attempt at glory, ordering Raevsky and Eugen to try Vandamme's center. The result is a French disaster and the line cracks. Bad news comes from the battle at Ebersdorf, where St. Cyr and Mortier fail to press their advantage and lose control of the fight, although fortunately Kleist's infantry is still delayed and Austrian losses are piling up. Still, the best chance to smash the Coalition before it can form a proper defense is slipping away.

Ostermann's drive continues unabated; Galitzin's cavalry smash through the French lines and Vandamme is still falling back, although his men repulse Yermolov's V Corps. Kleist's infantry then come out of nowhere and capture's St. Cyr's supplies and threaten his rear. This prompts Barclay to make a desperate gamble. He attacks St. Cyr, knowing that it is his best chance to destroy XIV Corps before Mortier can have the Guard ready to make a full attack. Barclay's gamble is a bust, and he takes heavy losses, including Bianchi who is killed in action. Barclay now starts to have his men fall back towards Priesten, giving up Kulm and all of Ostermann's achievements. Ostermann does convince Barclay to make a go at holding Kulm, indicating that the French haven't the strength to make an attack in that area. Vandamme, seeing the Russians retreat near Kulm, goes to Ebersdorf, where Mortier is still slow and plodding, but St. Cyr is pressing his attacks forward. Then, a thunderstorm breaks out over the battlefield, and the French drive slows to a crawl. The weather improves, but Vandamme fails to push his men and eventually the French bivouac for the day and declare "victory."

Losses
French Empire: 8,250 infantry, 2,000 cavalry, 48 cannon.
Coalition: 11,850 infantry, 0 cavalry, 24 cannon. Bianchi killed.
French MVP: St. Cyr's XIV Corps
Coalition MVP: Eugen's II Corps

Victory Points
-14 French, 43 Coalition: Coalition Strategic Victory

Conclusion
I found out through the errata that the Austrians start with a march order in retreat, and they cannot be given one to advance at start. This would have made it a more crazy game I feel, although as it was it was exciting until the Coalition player drew EVERY card imaginable that could delay the attack on their forces and prevent my victory. This was a frustrating session for the French!



Dennewitz
The battle begins as Ney's column marches east towards Dennewitz, the entire force moving with purpose. Fortunately Bulow and Gneisenau, filling in for the captured Tauentzien, are both unaware of the danger coming their way...

At 10am Reynier and the cosmopolitan VII Corps are delayed by a sandstorm and fail to promptly push onto Dennewitz, recently occupied by Arrighi's cavalry. Two divisions of the Young Guard are set to come. Bertrand aligns his IV Corps at Wolmsdorf, thus covering the vital crossroads at Dennewiz and Gohlsdorf. At the same-time Bulow sees the danger and gets his men up and into the fight.

Bertrand forces his way through the storm and unto the battlefield. Bernadotte orders his Swedish Corps to rush forward, and they press on. Gneisenau is now aroused by the danger, and orders his battered IV Corps forward. Oudinot's XII Corps arrives, but part of it is delayed by duststorms. At the same time the erstwhile Napoleon, seeing a chance for a great victory, orders Marmont and his VI Corps to the battlefield. However, with Bertrand still out of position, Bulow is determined to attack his corps before it can form up. Bertrand ignores the duststorm swirling about, and orders 38th and 12th Divisions forward to flank Bulow and thus compel him not to attack. Bulow instead strikes; he successfully charges 38th Division, but his men fail to win the day and the attacks only turn up heavy losses for each side.

The weather clears, but the less trustworthy men fall out of the French ranks to pillage. Ney arrives with the rest of XII Corps; Marmont pushes from the south behind the Young Guard. The Coalition position looks impossible and is getting worse by the hour. Ney has an improved staff and manages to control the battlefield with great skill. He orders Bertrand to attack Bulow with all his might. Bulow now calls a general retreat, trying to save his forces before they can be destroyed. Luck comes as well: Bertrand is captured during a desperate counterattack by the Prussians, thus making his force inert for the time being. Arrighi's cavalry chase Gneisenau, capturing the baggage train, while Juterbog is occupied. Meanwhile, the Swedish Corps manages to occupy the route to Wittenberg and cut off French supplies going west. Bulow finds 14th Division of Oudinot's XII Corps blocking his retreat, but Bulow defeats them and sends the grenadier marshal flying west, allowing some of his men to escape. A lull in the battle begins as night falls. Part of III and IV Corps escape, but many of them are heavily engaged by the French and escape only at night.

Losses
French Empire: 8,800 infantry, 400 cavalry, 12 cannon. Bertrand captured.
Coalition: 7,800 infantry, 1,000 cavalry, 0 cannon.
French MVP: Arrighi's III Cavalry Corps
Coalition MVP: Hessen Brigade, for holding off IV corps and capturing Bertrand.

Victory Points
+ 13 French, -1 Coalition: French Strategic Victory

Conclusion
I assumed that the Guard divisions that were not at Kulm could take part in this battle, but they would not have Mortier in command. The French took their objectives, but failed to destroy the Prussian corps, despite having many advantages. Ultimately Dennewitz was a missed opportunity and while Bonaparte might be able to occupy Berlin, I doubt he can hold it.



Campaign Losses
French Empire: 29,650 infantry, 3,400 cavalry, 144 cannon. Bertrand captured.
Coalition: 39,850 infantry, 11,200 cavalry, 168 cannon. Bianchi killed.
French MVP: MacDonald's XI Corps
Coalition MVP: Bulow's III Corps

Campaign Victory Points
34 French, 60 Coalition: Coalition Victory

Campaign Conclusion
The French came out better historically speaking, but still the road to Liepzig is open, although the result might be in doubt. I for one would like to play a game of Leipzig using the same rules.

Most games that are linked are only linked superficially, but here each victory and defeat impacts successive battles. If you don't mind the chaos of the cards this is a great game, but if being in absolute or near absolute control is important to you, then stay away from this game. Stay very far away.
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Quote:
If for one would like to play a game of Leipzig using the same rules.


That game is available anyway. If you buy Clash of Arms' Napoleon at Leipzig (or its earlier brethren from OSG) it has virtually the same rules; I'd estimate them to be 80% functionally identical. All that has changed in 4LB is a bit more chrome in the combat, the initiative mechanism, the cards (which wouldn't really work for Leipzig since it was the mother of set piece battles), and the trains (which wouldn't really make a big difference for Leipzig due to the concentric layout of forces). The 3rd edition (with the Rick Barber map) even has the 4LB style March and other orders.

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If you don't mind the chaos of the cards this is a great game, but if being in absolute or near absolute control is important to you, then stay away from this game.


I find this ironic since I think this game gives you far more control over the context of a battle than most others. Where else do you get to choose the most fortuitous timing of a thunderstorm or which set of reinforcements to make disappear? You'd have a case if these were random events, but the fact that you have a card hand and chose which ones to play turns it into the opposite.
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Sean Chick (Formerly Paul O'Sullivan)
United States
New Orleans
Louisiana
flag msg tools
designer
Fag an bealac! Riam nar druid ar sbarin lann! Cuimhnigidh ar Luimnech agus feall na Sassonach! Erin go Bragh! Remember Limerick! Remember Ireland and Fontenoy!
badge
Well, I'm afraid it'll have to wait. Whatever it was, I'm sure it was better than my plan to get out of this by pretending to be mad. I mean, who would have noticed another madman round here?
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That game is available anyway.


The COA version seems out to be out of print unless they just put it out again.

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I find this ironic since I think this game gives you far more control over the context of a battle than most others. Where else do you get to choose the most fortuitous timing of a thunderstorm or which set of reinforcements to make disappear? You'd have a case if these were random events, but the fact that you have a card hand and chose which ones to play turns it into the opposite.


I couldn't disagree more. You have a choice in cards but it is a limited choice. You may want a thunderstorm, but you are unable to just call one up at anytime. Both players are also at the whim of the opponent's cards: for every thunderstorm you call up, the enemy can send some of your reinforcements elsewhere. Also there are the mode cards, which modify the set up, sometimes drastically. The other NLB games give you more direct control, fewer events to consider, and no variable movement values.
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