Friday, October 05, 2012

Campaign Planning

I have had some response to my call out for game players interested in taking part in the LEIPZIG 2013 campaign that I have in the works, thank you gents.

One question has come up and I felt it worthwhile answering here.
Osprey Campaign Series #25 : LEIPZIG 1813

I have been reading up plenty on the campaign, a primary source of inspiration for me has been the Osprey Campaign Series #25 book.

The concern has been whether there would likely be more than 12 cavalry squadrons in action - per side in any one battle.  As I am planning on letting the players decide their force compositions based on historical precedent it is possible for a battle like Liebertwolkowitz to take place.

In the event that such a game needs to be played out, all that need be done is to break down the forces into formations that the player can support - I have one that says he can do 2-3 Corps per side in any battle - though they may not all be 'perfect' uniforms [I can totally accept that as I cannot do them in perfect uniforms either] with up to 12 cavalry formations per side.  Immense!

His concern is that the 'scale' of his rules would make doing something like Liebertwolkowitz not possible for the minis that he has.
The formations in a game setup can be 'compressed'

I counter-argue with the image from Campaign Series #25, in it (though it may be hard to see as they are near the 'fold') the battlefield of Liebertwolkowitz has eleven Cavalry formation for the allied side and eight for the French.  Meaning that (as long as some 'large scale' fudging is done) the minis that he has will more than do the job.

While on the subject of planning, and referring back to the maps that I have posted on the blog recently, I have come up with some 'formation' ideas and movement rates.  As well as some formation 'statuses' for use in the game environment that come from Campaign Series #25 as well.

First up the movement rates:  (all move rates are doubled on roads)

French - Austrian - Prussians - Swedes:
Infantry & Foot Artillery 1 hex (6 miles) per day
Heavy Cavalry & Horse Artillery 2 hexes (12 miles) per day
Light Cavalry 3 hexes (18 miles) per day

Russians (plus ANY Allied formations that are moving WITH Russians - an often occurrence in the context of this campaign)
Infantry & Foot Artillery 1/2 hex per day (3 miles)
Heavy Cavalry & Horse Artillery 1 Hex (6 miles) per day
Light Cavalry 2 Hexes (12 miles) per day
Cossacks 3 Hexes (18 miles) per day

Unlimited number of units (Divisions) per hex, however only 8 may move down a 'main' road (such a road can be seen between Hamburg and Schwerin - upper left) and 6 down a 'secondary' road (such a road can be seen from Schwerin and Domitz).  Whenever crossing a river the road rate is 'halved' so only 4 divisions may cross a river on a main road and 3 on a secondary.

zoom in of the campaign map - Hamburg to Schwerin with no grid

Other crossings of rivers will be by pontoons only (both sides have pontooniers and engineers or bridging trains) likely at a rate of 2 divisions per day in open country - less in more questionable terrain.

What constitutes a Division is still going to be hashed out I suspect, the basic 2 brigades minimum or about 4 cavalry squadrons - 6 infantry battalions - 4 batteries (for a corps artillery 'support') are what my thinking is at the moment.  With a Corps simply being 2 or more formations of 'division' size combined (so yes it is possible to have an all cavalry corps - just as the French used historically).

The Campaign Series #25 also has some great notes sections about 'gaming out' the huge Leipzig campaign:

Participants will take the roles of army and, if sufficient players wish to take part, corps commanders.  The tactical unit will be the division, which will be assigned a points value prior to the game representing numerical strength, morale and training/experience in one Combat Value [here I plan to use GURPS Mass Combat].  Divisions will be regarded as marching/Maneuvering when moving out of contact with the enemy, when arriving on the battlefield, or executing a flank march, for example; Formed when stationary on the battlefield, out of contact with the enemy and able to march or deploy at short notice, as when held in reserve awaiting orders; Deployed when drawn up in battle formation for attack or defense; Engaged when in contact with the enemy, whether making or receiving a determined attack or merely skirmishing and feeding troops into the firing line; and Spent/Dispersed after having been Engaged for several hours, repulsed after making several unsuccessful attacks on a position, or driven off in disorder by an enemy attack.  Troops cannot Deploy easily or rapidly unless they are Formed, or March/Maneuver quickly from Deployed without first being formed, preventing the rapid reactions and redeployment so often seen in tabletop war-games, which take little or no account of the way bodies of troops had to change formation in reality.
~ p. 96, Campaign Series #25 : LEIPZIG 1813

So my plans revolve around handling the Divisions in the 'virtual' environment for their big moves across the map and then to have proxy battles engaged (and do a few myself - of course!) all over the world with reporting back about those battles coming into a single blog site - something newly setup most likely.

I am still recruiting for the army commanders and any and all tabletops that want to take on a piece of this gigantic action.  Email: with your interests and ability to support games (or if you are not at all able and just want to take on the command role).


Jiminho said...

Hi Murdock - I think that you are talking about me! You already had me convinced that "we can do it"... I've been enjoyed re-reading my copy of the same Osprey number (gathering dust for quite a few years) and Wartenburg's atlas of the nap. wars at the end of the evening. Also, I've being painting a new cav. unit with Leibertwolkwitz in mind.


MurdocK said...

Yes I was Jim,

I did not want to single anyone out - you have definitely been a great connection!

I thought we had reached a positive consensus and I did not want to waste the clear thoughts that I had about the subject and wanted to share it with others who may be thinking about coming into this bubbling pot ...

Lots of room for all sorts of gaming and we are not fussy about 'perfection'.

Awesome that our discussions have inspired your paintbrushes again!