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Thread: The First Global War

  1. #101
    Field Marshal loki100's Avatar
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    The Dresden Campaign, 15 July-30 September 1758

    The outcome of the Prag campaign opened up threats and opportunities for both sides. The Prussian army fell back eastwards into Silesia and brought Koenigratz under siege [1]. For Daun, he had to balance continuing to defend Prag with the opportunity to strike into Saxony now that Frederick's army was unable to contest such an advance.

    By the end of June, Serbolini with additional fresh brigades arrived at Prag and Daun ordered Nadasdy to commence a cautious advance along the Elbe, with the initial goal of clearing the last Prussian forces from northern Bohemia. Of importance, the Bavarians were now fully committed and, their mobile units were organised into two columns under the command of Saxe-Hildburg [2].



    Nadasdy was ordered to advance along the Elbe and one Bavarian column moved across the mountain chain into South-West Saxony near Leipzig while Hohenzollern marched to join with Nadasdy.



    By early August, it appeared as if there were no major Prussian forces between Nadasdy and Dresden, and in attempt to push the pace of operations, Roeder was detached from the Reichsarmee, now at Chemnitz, to sieze Leipzig. Unfortunately, Moritz's cavalry were recovering from their battering at Prag in the city [3].



    Despite this setback, Nadasdy's veterans swept into Dresden on the 1 September 1757, 11 months after Saxony had surrendered.



    In an attempt to exploit the victory, Nadasdy struck at Leipzig while Saxe-Hildburg moved to secure his line of communication.



    In a confused campaign, Moritz was able to hit the Bavarians at Wurzen, inflicting a substantial defeat when his heavy cavalry caught the under-trained Bavarian units in the open, inflicting substantial losses when the Bavarians panicked rather than form squares



    However, the Prussian advantage was short lived, and on 20 September, Nadasdy's veterans struck the exhausted Prussian horse. The result was less a set piece battle and more a series of isolated encounters. Most of the battle was a series of encounters between the respective cavalry forces but Nadasdy was able to bring his infantry to bear, driving Moritz's horse from the field.



    By the end of September, despite the defeats experienced by the Bavarians, the Austrians had secured Dresden and Bautzen, thus securing southern Saxony. Nadasdy was ordered to try to seize Leipzig and Torgau in an attempt to cut the Prussian communications between their forces in Silesia and the Hannoverians. It appeared as if the gamble of attacking into Saxony had paid off.


    [1] – I'll come back to this in the next sequence of posts.
    [2] – There are a lot of loose battalions not allocated but I use for rear area security
    [3] – I was so afraid that Frederick would intervene against Nadasdy that all Hussar scouts are out screening and protecting his advance, I forget to check what might have been at Leipzig.

  2. #102
    Alien Space Bat PrawnStar's Avatar
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    Saxony looks a promising move. Is it possible to attack Prussia's Rhenish territories?

    Also, are you entirely comfortable with an Austrian general named Hohenzollern?


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  3. #103
    Field Marshal loki100's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PrawnStar View Post
    Saxony looks a promising move. Is it possible to attack Prussia's Rhenish territories?

    Also, are you entirely comfortable with an Austrian general named Hohenzollern?
    The Rhine campaign I'm leaving to the French for now, what I am now hoping is that Narwhal has to ignore one front in order to menace me somewhere, the Rhine is in the short term the least vital for him (I need to take a lot of meaningless cities to get to the real targets), so my guess/hope is I'll get a relatively free hand there, and can build up some momentum. My instinct was he has to tackle my Saxon adventure as pretty soon Berlin comes into play.

    If he was Austrian, I'd be worried, fortunately he's Bavarian, but is operating as Nadasdy's defense force (I often like to keep one corps in defense stance even when attacking, just in case i get caught out)

  4. #104
    Field Marshal Stuyvesant's Avatar
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    That seems like a pretty aggressive move on Austria's part, coming so soon after the desperate (and costly) battles around Prague. Unexpected, at least to me. Perhaps that makes it just the ticket to throw Narwhal off balance.

    All in all, taking those Saxon cities is quite a feat, but as to how solid your hold on those towns will be - only time will tell. Knowing Narwhal's aggressive playing style, I expect a swift and forceful reaction.
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  5. #105
    Quote Originally Posted by loki100 View Post
    If he was Austrian, I'd be worried, fortunately he's Bavarian, but is operating as Nadasdy's defense force (I often like to keep one corps in defense stance even when attacking, just in case i get caught out)
    Actually that Hohenzollern isn't Bavarian. The Hohenzollern dynasty originated in South-Western Germany (Swabia). In the 12th century it aquired the Burggrafschaft Nürnberg (a special sort of count with limited powers since Nuernberg was a free city). At that point the dynasty divided into two branches: the older son remained in Franconia and his successors soon aquired extended territories nearby (Bayreuth, Ansbach). The younger one remained in Swabia as count of Zollern.
    The franconian branch eventually acquired Brandenburg which transformed into a Kingdom when Friedrich III of Brandenburg became Friedrich I, King in Prussia. This branch had long since become Protestant while the Swabian branch remained Catholic. Eventually this branch gained a kingdom as well when Karl von Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen aquired the Romanian throne in the 19th century.

    As far as I know the Hohenzollern in the HRE army is a member of the less prominent swabian branch.

    Quote Originally Posted by Narwhal View Post
    Finally, while I am clearly defeated decisively, this is clearly NOT crippling for me. One has to remember that 1/3 of the losses in men are recovered in manpower. This "recovery" of manpower is useful for the Prussian, short on MP, but useless for the Austrian, for whom the limitating ressource will be money or war supplies. Furthermore, my losses were fairly well distributed, and by late 1757 most of my Prussian infantry elements were full-force again. I was more worried for the 10 000 + dead horses, which I will never recover. I still fell it now.
    Agreed, not yet crippling losses. You will indeed be able to replace the Prussian infantry. But not the cavalry! Cavalry replacements can only be gained via options (if I am not mistaken 2 heavy and 3 light every 6 months) + a small yearly allocation via events. As a result the Prussian cavalry slowly but surely gets depleted. Especially light cavalry replacements are a problem (hussars and dragoons make up for 4/5 of the cavalry units). After two or three years of campaigning entire cavalry regiments will be in such a pityful state that you can't really dare to throw them into combat anymore.
    For that reason I believe your aggressive use of cavalry may be a mistake. Pure cavalry stacks can make sense (pursuit of fleeing enemy stacks, strikes deep behind enemy lines). But only important gains justify losses to this irreplacable weapon. Like De_Spinoza, I have my doubts whether it was a good idea to throw your cavalry corps into the thick of the Prague campaign.

    That said, one should also remember that Narwhal has the much more challenging part in this game. Austria has a tough first year but after that it should be able to crush Prussia by sheer weight of numbers. In that quest the Austrian player can afford to lose a few corps. The Prussians on the other hand are always strapped thin, the loss of an entire corps will be their end.

  6. #106
    Historically plausible Dewirix's Avatar
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    From what everyone had already said, Prussia's cavalry losses looked worrying, and now Bornego has confirmed that. Seen in that light, the Austrian victory at Wurzen looks all the more important, despite the heavier losses loki suffered.
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  7. #107
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    Well done us - no one needed an explanation as why loki might be worried about a Hohenzollern general.

    I could claim we're well educated but I have a sneaking suspicion our countries educational systems had f**k all to do with it


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  8. #108
    Field Marshal loki100's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stuyvesant View Post
    That seems like a pretty aggressive move on Austria's part, coming so soon after the desperate (and costly) battles around Prague. Unexpected, at least to me. Perhaps that makes it just the ticket to throw Narwhal off balance.

    All in all, taking those Saxon cities is quite a feat, but as to how solid your hold on those towns will be - only time will tell. Knowing Narwhal's aggressive playing style, I expect a swift and forceful reaction.
    Well my fundamental strategy in 1757 is to build up my forces - in effect not to lose one of my 5 major forces (viz 2 Austrian armies, 2 French armies and the Russians) or the minor irritant that is the Swedes. If I can manouver all those into a decent position by year end I should be able to make steady progress overall even if Narwhal drives me back on one front or the other. So in effect, I'm aware that I can't win in 57 but a mistake can really damage my long term options (which is one reason in the next update why I left Daun et al in Prag for so long to recover properly). On the other hand, I've played Narwhal enough now to know that sitting passively is not a sensible choice.

    In truth if I get driven out of Saxony and just lose the cities I don't care, if he's retaking what was his, he ain't taking what is mine. If I lose an army in Saxony I do, very really do, care. Its that dilemna that will dominate the final months of 1757 -- this time there is an awful lot of winter campaigning by both sides.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bornego View Post
    Actually that Hohenzollern isn't Bavarian. The Hohenzollern dynasty originated in South-Western Germany (Swabia). In the 12th century it aquired the Burggrafschaft Nürnberg (a special sort of count with limited powers since Nuernberg was a free city). At that point the dynasty divided into two branches: the older son remained in Franconia and his successors soon aquired extended territories nearby (Bayreuth, Ansbach). The younger one remained in Swabia as count of Zollern.
    The franconian branch eventually acquired Brandenburg which transformed into a Kingdom when Friedrich III of Brandenburg became Friedrich I, King in Prussia. This branch had long since become Protestant while the Swabian branch remained Catholic. Eventually this branch gained a kingdom as well when Karl von Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen aquired the Romanian throne in the 19th century.

    As far as I know the Hohenzollern in the HRE army is a member of the less prominent swabian branch.
    Quote Originally Posted by PrawnStar View Post
    Well done us - no one needed an explanation as why loki might be worried about a Hohenzollern general.

    I could claim we're well educated but I have a sneaking suspicion our countries educational systems had f**k all to do with it
    As ever on these forums, I remain impressed by how much I learn, as well as how much fun I have reading AARs etc. One of the delights of the traditional AGEOD design of focussing on discrete chunks of history is the level of detail and immersion. Actually my wing of the Hohenzollern's does a pretty good job for me against the barbarous northern wing of the family.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bornego View Post
    Agreed, not yet crippling losses. You will indeed be able to replace the Prussian infantry. But not the cavalry! Cavalry replacements can only be gained via options (if I am not mistaken 2 heavy and 3 light every 6 months) + a small yearly allocation via events. As a result the Prussian cavalry slowly but surely gets depleted. Especially light cavalry replacements are a problem (hussars and dragoons make up for 4/5 of the cavalry units). After two or three years of campaigning entire cavalry regiments will be in such a pityful state that you can't really dare to throw them into combat anymore.
    For that reason I believe your aggressive use of cavalry may be a mistake. Pure cavalry stacks can make sense (pursuit of fleeing enemy stacks, strikes deep behind enemy lines). But only important gains justify losses to this irreplacable weapon. Like De_Spinoza, I have my doubts whether it was a good idea to throw your cavalry corps into the thick of the Prague campaign.

    That said, one should also remember that Narwhal has the much more challenging part in this game. Austria has a tough first year but after that it should be able to crush Prussia by sheer weight of numbers. In that quest the Austrian player can afford to lose a few corps. The Prussians on the other hand are always strapped thin, the loss of an entire corps will be their end.
    Quote Originally Posted by Dewirix View Post
    From what everyone had already said, Prussia's cavalry losses looked worrying, and now Bornego has confirmed that. Seen in that light, the Austrian victory at Wurzen looks all the more important, despite the heavier losses loki suffered.
    Aye, I'll trade 1:1 losses all game long, even against the Hannoverians. 1:1 against Prussian horse is steadily degrading one of Narwhal's most potent formations, even if they win or draw, as long as the battle is not utterly decisive (ie I lose an army to subsequent starvation etc), its something I can live with. I too struggle to replace my cavalry (mainly lack of Engagement Points - EPs which you need to trigger reinforcements), but I have a lot more to lose, especially with the Austrians and Russians.

    Equally, as in my reply to Stuyvesant above, Narwhal really has to cripple one of my main field columns in 1757, if he doesn't and especially if I do solve his 'Koenigsburg gambit' and get the Russians into play, then he can use Frederick to drive me back on one front while I steadily snip away on 2/3 other sectors.

  9. #109
    Field Marshal loki100's Avatar
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    The Koenigratz Campaign, 1 July - 1 October 1757

    In effect, after the battles around Prag, the war between Austria and Prussia split into two separate compaigns in the Summer and early Autumn of 1757. One element was the Austrian-Bavarian offensive in Saxony, the other was the operations on the Silesia-Bohemia border and in particular around the strategic fortress of Koenigratz.




    In both respects, Daun faced a similar problem. Despite substantial reinforcements, his army around Prag was badly weakened and needed time to recover. He had allocated the bulk of the fresh troops to Nadasdy, and preferred to keep the rest of his forces at Prag where they could recover until sufficient reinforcements had arrived.

    Throughout June and early July, the two armies were disengaged. Keith's Nord Army and a smaller column under von Wedell, were identified as being in Silesia and von Wedell seemed to be trying to contain Kollowrat's campaign on the Oder [1]. However, Frederick and his Elbe Army had withdrawn out of reach of any Austrian scouts. Uncertainty about his intentions [2], were one reason for Daun's caution as Prag was vulnerable to an attack from Bautzen and so were Nadasdy's formations in Saxony.



    By late July, Serbolini had arrived with another fresh formation and eliminated the small Prussian force abandoned at Ritschan.



    With this cleared out the way, by early August Daun was in a position to consider whether to reinforce Nadasdy's offensive or move to threaten Silesia and cover Koenigratz. However, the Prussians under Keith moved far quicker and drove off a small cavalry screen and brought the city back under siege by 13 August.



    Given Kollowrat's threat on the Oder, it seemed possible that von Wedell would not risk joining Keith and, if so, he was potentially isolated with only 25,000 men against the 50,000 that Daun had available around Prag. Accordingly, Daun moved towards Koenigratz hoping to either lure von Wedell away from Kollowrat or catch Keith. However, the Prussian siege progressed far quicker than either army had expected, and Keith stormed the fort on 1 September, even as Daun's relief army reached Pardubitz, just to the South.



    It was clear that the entire Prussian army in Silesia had combined, but even so Daun had a numerical superiority. Equally, it appeared as if this unexpected defeat, also opened the possibility of trapping two Prussian forces in the fortress.



    Daun gambled on being able to reach and encircle Koenigratz before Keith could either ready his forces for battle or slip away. If they were trapped in the fortress, the Prussians would struggle to break the Austrian siege as they had no other field forces in Silesia, especially as Frederick's Elbe Army was in no position to intervene in Silesia.

    In the event, Keith anticipated the trap and fell back leaving a strong garrison.



    Thus by the end of September, the Prussian offensive in Bohemia was over. The vital fortress of Koenigratz was in their hands, but isolated. Daun and Charles had a number of options, including opening up a fresh offensive into Silesia or reinforcing Nadasdy in Saxony. Equally the Prussians had to decide whether to concentrate in either Saxony or Silesia or stay on the defensive in both.

    Strangely, it was the events at Kassel, in SW Germany, that led both sides to make the same decision.

    [1] – which I will come to in a later post
    [2] – you'll have to wait to find out

  10. #110
    General morningSIDEr's Avatar
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    Great to see another contest between you two once again, although I am rather irked as not having noticed this AAR until now. Lots of action and drama already, Saxony's speedy capitulation, three very bloody battles during the Prague Campaign and now a promising Austrian offensive into Saxony. I'm looking forward to seeing what happens next.
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  11. #111
    Field Marshal Stuyvesant's Avatar
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    Too bad that Keith took Königgratz - even though he withdrew, you now have Austrian forces tied down to make sure the Prussians don't reinforce their position there. I hope it doesn't weaken your operational freedom too much.

    Of course, all this could be nothing but a sideshow once Freddy starts haunting your nightmares again.

    And what (what) is this event in Kassel? I'm not familiar enough with the game (or the time period) yet to know what is coming, so this is a blatant and merciless cliffhanger. Harrumph!

    Anyway, going on a sense of geography and 'what-the-hell-I'll-just-take-a-wild-stab-at-it'aphy, I'm going to predict bloody clashes in Saxony: for you, loki, the 'event' in Kassel reinforces your decision to be on the offensive; for Narwhal, it provides the spur to go and try to eliminate your presence in Saxony, before the Kassel incident adds yet another threat he has to defend against.

    Go ahead, show just how utterly wrong I am. I'm used to it by now.
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  12. #112
    Field Marshal loki100's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by morningSIDEr View Post
    Great to see another contest between you two once again, although I am rather irked as not having noticed this AAR until now. Lots of action and drama already, Saxony's speedy capitulation, three very bloody battles during the Prague Campaign and now a promising Austrian offensive into Saxony. I'm looking forward to seeing what happens next.
    With the new patch, Saxony is unsaveable (I think), I tried about 8 different combinations of Austrian moves against the AI and one worked but its hugely risky - in effect stick a strong cavalry force on the East bank of the Elbe and you can hold the road open for a short while. Against a human player I think all you'd do is to add some dead Austrian cavalry to the final disaster, especially as they would be very hard to supply.

    All in all, after the end of the Ritschan battles, this becomes a classic campaign of manouver and threat, unless something happens in the final turns (we are in late Nov 57 in game), I think those are the last big set piece battles this year.

    Quote Originally Posted by Stuyvesant View Post
    Too bad that Keith took Königgratz - even though he withdrew, you now have Austrian forces tied down to make sure the Prussians don't reinforce their position there. I hope it doesn't weaken your operational freedom too much.
    I'm not that fussed actually. Odds on snow will close the passes from Dec-March so I have plenty of time to take it back with no interference, and with Bohemia and Silesia separated by the mountains, there is not a huge amount I can do in any case (& vice versa)

    Quote Originally Posted by Stuyvesant View Post
    Of course, all this could be nothing but a sideshow once Freddy starts haunting your nightmares again.

    And what (what) is this event in Kassel? I'm not familiar enough with the game (or the time period) yet to know what is coming, so this is a blatant and merciless cliffhanger. Harrumph!

    Anyway, going on a sense of geography and 'what-the-hell-I'll-just-take-a-wild-stab-at-it'aphy, I'm going to predict bloody clashes in Saxony: for you, loki, the 'event' in Kassel reinforces your decision to be on the offensive; for Narwhal, it provides the spur to go and try to eliminate your presence in Saxony, before the Kassel incident adds yet another threat he has to defend against.

    Go ahead, show just how utterly wrong I am. I'm used to it by now.
    The next map may help, Kassel is that very isolated city on the hinge between S Hannover and Frankfurt/Bavaria. Its hard to take but gives its owner quite a lot of freedom of movement. So yep, it becomes quite a focus and an event (yet to be told) has consequences for my freedom of movement in Saxony. In effect, Narwhal starts using Frederick in a very aggressive manner across multiple fronts, I'm not sure yet if it leads to another bloodbath between him and Daun but I think it might.

    We've had a few delays and had to go back a little from where we'd got to. In part we discovered a very wierd bug (now solved in the latest patch-ette) that turned Bautzen and a single HRE battalion into a re-enactment of Stalingrad complete with Prussians freezing in the snow. In part, Narwhal has had IT problems and in part I've been off playing in the sea and camping in all sorts of hard to find places (irl). So till 1757 is resolved, I may, frustratingly, have to skip around quite a few things.

    But there is a quite a lot that can be covered with no risk of exposing too much.

  13. #113
    Field Marshal loki100's Avatar
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    December 1756 - 1 May 1757, Opening Moves on the Rhine

    France formally honoured its defensive alliance with Austria in late December 1756. However, it was not until early March 1757 that the armies in Eastern France were ready to move.

    Divided into two major Armies, L'Armee Francaise at Bruxelles and the Colonne d'Alsace at Worms on the upper Rhine, the French plan for 1757 was to first secure Wesel and the east bank of the Rhine. Subsequently L'Armee Francaise was ordered to capture Dortmund and then Munster before pressing on to Minden.





    At the same time Colonne d'Alsace was ordered to form up at Frankfurt and then besiege the isolated city of Kassel.



    If the two campaigns worked, Prussia and her Hannoverian allies would have lost substantial ground and the possibility in 1758 would be to seize Bremen and Hannover. In addition the southern, Colonne d'Alsace, would be able to move into Eastern Saxony in support of the Austrians.

    Key to the French campaign was that if Frederick and a major Prussian army moved to protect Hannover, they would try to avoid battle if at all possible. In that case, it was expected that the Austrians would be able to take advantage by pushing deeper into Saxony. However, as Frederick was heavily engaged in the Ritschan/Prag campaign, this seemed very unlikely as either French army approached their initial objectives

    The opening moves saw the Duc d'Orleans and the advance guard invest Wesel by early April as the main forces marched to the front. By the end of April, Wesel had fallen



    However, even as the bulk of L'Armee Francaise entered the theatre at the start of May, a British-Hannoverian army under Cumberland arrived at Munster. A new theatre of war was about to commence.



    At the same time fresh Irish regiments were raised to reinforce the Colonne d'Alsace with the goal of bringing that up to 2 full corps in strength.


  14. #114
    Lt. General Narwhal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Searry View Post
    The Prussian casualties are massive. As the winter comes I would try to rebuild those lost infantries. Those fusiliers with a grenadier platoon are very good. Did you build any Garde de Corps? You could push for quality as MP is always low.
    I did not build the Garde du Corps has they have, like all Guards unit, the bad, bad habit of NOT commiting (and making their division not committing either, I suppose). I discovered this when I saw after a serie of large battles that my division with all the guard units was the ONLY one with no cohesion hits.

    Quote Originally Posted by Stuyvesant
    Bruising series of battles. And while the Prussians win consistently (do those losses have any impact on the Austrian NM?), they don't really affect the strategic situation. Which means that, considering how things could've been, the Austrians are doing fairly well.

    Even considering Narwhal's comment that the manpower losses aren't too bad for him in the long run, I imagine the Prussian army right now is still badly battered and in need of rest and reinforcement. If nothing else, all those dead Austrians should buy more time for the reinforcements to arrive.
    Yes, the Austrian NM took a large hit, but RoP got a system given the player with less NM some NM back, and the leader some NM away, in exchange of EP and VP. I don't really need VPs, and I now have more EP than I need.

    Also, you are right. After this defeats, my troops ended up on the wrong side of Prague, so they need to do a trek through Silesia to come back, which obviously is long long long.

    Quote Originally Posted by Loki100
    Narwhal can best answer to his logic of an all cavalry force. I tend to use mixed forces myself to spread the losses around. That Moritz force is a pain as he moves it around a lot (as will be clear in the next post), but then it is taking very expensive and hard to replace losses (as in the next post).
    To answer on cavalry. My usual strategy is to keep them away from the battles, and use them as a "force-in-being" where needed, i.e. force my opponent to retreat due to the threat they are, which is great because once my opponent has moved away I move my cavalry on the other side of the map, as needed. And if my opponent does not move his smaller corps, I butcher it, which is good, too.
    But I needed all the forces I could muster in the attack on Prague, that's why Moritz and his cavalry contributed. Unfortunately, the battle turned sour, and I had irremplaceable loss. Note, though, that to avoid my cavalry taking too much hits I don't attack directly with it but count on the "Sound of the Gun rule" to arrive during a battle, when the opposition is softened. Did not work this time, and retrospectively I should not have. Lesson learned .
    In y game versus Baris, I was able to keep it in shape until mid 1759, and then lost half of it due to a miscalculation on supply. Raging.

    Afterwards, my cavalry was the only force that retreated on the West of Prague, and thus the only force that could protect Saxony until some other forces could arrive. That's why it took quite a beating - I overexposed it. Now, my Prussian cavalry force is about at 50% strength of how it started, so I will have to merge it with the Hannoverian force to put my "force in being" strategy in effect - AND MAKE SURE I STOP RISKING IT SO MUCH.

    As for my attack on Koeniggratz, it was an indirect way to protect Saxony. One of my retreating corps was hit by disease, so in no condition to move for say 2 turns (1 month), time for it to recover. I wanted my corps to stay together, that's why I used the other corp to attack Koeniggratz "meanwhile".) My hope was that it would force Loki100 to keep some troops in Prague to protect it, and / or to commit some troops to take it back.
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  15. #115
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    loki: looks like a sensible plan for your French forces, but of course no plan survives first contact etc. etc.

    Narwhal: thanks for the response to my and others questions. Always very interesting to learn the reasoning behind actions taking place in the game.
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  16. #116
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stuyvesant View Post
    loki: looks like a sensible plan for your French forces, but of course no plan survives first contact etc. etc.

    Narwhal: thanks for the response to my and others questions. Always very interesting to learn the reasoning behind actions taking place in the game.
    Well this one was less a plan and more a sustained act of cowardice on my part. In truth, given where the French armies are at the scenario start, I'm not sure what else you could do with them than my basic idea - I suppose you could send the Alsace forces into Bavaria but unless that was to match off against a Prussian move, it seems just a way to spend the entire summer marching.

    The creative bit, from both us, is going on around Koenigratz. Problem is till we start to play into 1758 we won't know if (a) either of us has gambled correctly nor will it (b) be feasible to explain too much about what is being tried. Needless to say I've read 'Learning from Prussia' and Narwhal has refined his side of that manouver in the meantime.

  17. #117
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    The Rhineland Campaign, May-August 1757

    By comparison to the sequence of bruising battles in Bohemia, the opening phase of the Rhineland campaign was one of manouver as both sides sought battle only on their own terms. In consequence, few major towns changed hands except for the poorly defended Dortmund which fell to the French in July.

    The start of the campaign was badly delayed as it took till late May for the bulk of L'Armee Francaise to form up at Dusseldorf and for the Colonne d'Alsace to reach Frankfurt. Here it joined with the rest of Soubisse's Armee d'Alemagne and commenced operations against Kassel.



    Even as the French started to deploy in force, ordnances were signed to regularise the recruitment of non-French formations into the army and to raise more Hussars to scout and raid the Prussian lines in Hannover.



    By the end of May it appeared as if the Hannoverians intended to contest any attempt to capture Dortmund with 2 British and 1 Prussian columns deployed near the town.



    The result was a relative stalemate. D'Estrees wished to take his time and bring up the full power of the army before engaging with the enemy. However, in June the British shifted their attention from defending Dortmund to forcing Chevert to break off his siege at Kasssel



    The French court was becoming increasingly frustrated at D'Estrees and Richelieu was ordered to leave his relaxing villa on Menorca and take over command of the main L'Armee Francaise.



    With the change of command, and with Cumberland operating near to Kassel, Richelieu quickly took Dortmund at the end of July. In turn the British fell back again from Kassel, presumably in an attempt to prevent the French at Dortmund from moving on to Munster. In turn, Chevert renewed his siege of Kassel.



    However, as the two armies manouvered around Kassel and Dortmund, by mid- August it became clear the French had been too slow. Much to Richelieu's shock, his scouts found Frederick and a major Prussian force only a few miles north of his army clustered around Dortmund.



    Faced with the possibility of attack by the Prussians under Frederick and the Anglo-Hannoverian force under Cumberland, Richelieu ordered his forces to retire from Dortmund. For the moment, preservation of the main army was deemed more important than any territorial gains. Messages were rapidly sent to Wien, and in turn Daun was ordered to redouble his efforts in Saxony.

    Equally it appeared as if a campaign so far marked by marches and sieges was to see the first sustained combat between the French and the British on the continent.

  18. #118
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    Manoeuvre and feints, rather than all-out battle. At least you took Dortmund - temporarily. Shame you didn't have the 'special matches' available.
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  19. #119
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    Quote Originally Posted by loki100 View Post
    All in all, after the end of the Ritschan battles, this becomes a classic campaign of manouver and threat, unless something happens in the final turns (we are in late Nov 57 in game), I think those are the last big set piece battles this year.
    Having read the last two updates I see what you mean, some very tense stuff as both forces are attempting to outmanoeuvre one and other. With things so tense and this having becoming a campaign of manoeuvre I simply hope you have the Jaws music playing in the background!
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  20. #120
    This AAR makes me want to play RoP again.

    Your plans with the French for 1757 seem a bit conservative. Muenster is the bare minimum. It is possible to take Minden and Hannover in the first year. It all depends on you out-maneuvering your opponent.

    If I may play the armchair general here: it seems a bit over-cautious that you retreated as soon as Friedrich showed up. I can't imagine he brought any troops with him (the way from Slesia is too long). His mere presence will affect the combat performance of his troops but you are still superior on this front. Moreover, it is to be expected that some first rate Prussian three star gets dispatched to the West (I usually use Keith or Heinrich if he already got a promotion).
    If the Prussians want to gain time/space, they should have to fight for it (or at least commit some troops not just generals). Judging from your screenshots, you should have been able to repel a Prussian attack at Dortmund. But I doubt Narwhal would have risked it, he is aggressive, not suicidal (most likely this was a bluff, he never intended to attack, he just wanted to scare you into halting your advance). Besides, him attacking you instead of you having to attack him is something you might want to encourage. It's the most efficient way to deplete the Prussian army.

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