Ladies and Gents.
Napoleon, the Duke, Blucher, and their subordinate Generals all met on a soggy battlefield two hundred years ago to decide the next stage of European history.
Much has been written, much has been read, and all of you know more than I ever shall. So what to do to mark this date?
Should we walk in their shoes for a while?
Sit in the saddle?
Ram the rod?
Dress the lines?
Unfurl the Regimental colors?
All that and more.
Effective immediately a play by email campaign begins recreating the June 14th through June 30th [extension of 14 days if needed] campaign in 1815!
The French know this much:
You came back from exile less than a year ago, you have rebuilt your Empire in less than 100 days. A brand new army for an adventure started ten years ago. Europe is united against you, and you only want peace.
You have to show again that your will is still strong and that the French people still follow you.
The Anglo-Allied and Prussian armies are in Belgium. The first is a gathering of uneven quality containing your former Belgian and Netherlands allies, around 100,000 men, set in a large square with Bruxelles as the north-east corner. Its main base is Anvers. The Prussian army, also around 100,000 men including Landwehr, is on a line Charleroi-Namur-Liège, where his base is
Belgium is flat and with little woods, but with a lot of secondary rivers. No primary river.
You must « destroy » the two enemy armies, which means break the morale of two thirds of their units.
You know that the Belgian soldiers will not like their Capital to be occupied, and that the British would not like either to see their line of communication to Anvers cut.
The Allies know this:
You know the story… The Corsican Brat could not stay on his tiny Elba island, he escaped and resumed putting a mess in Europe. Our closest armies are twice his numbers, he will see at his first move that he should have stayed in Elba.
You know that the French are south of the border, not exactly where or if they are moving. Their latest estimate is around 120,000 men.
You must destroy the fighting force of the enemy by breaking two thirds of his units.
But there are rules.
We have a full complement of players.
We require 3 Overall Commanders to fill the role of Napoleon, Wellington and Blucher. Each OC will command once or more Corps personally.
We shall require Corps Commanders.
Ideally one per Corps
French, A du Nord FR:
Left Wing: Ney,
Right Wing: Grouchy,
Reserve: Of course a Mssr. Drouot for the Guard
Each Corps has 2 or more units (typically Divisions or Brigades of Cav. Those units may be ordered discretely or collective as a Corps.
Players and their roles:
Game Rules Summary
Each OC and Corps Commander (CC) will need to read a brief 7 page document. The primary goal is to get you comfortable with concepts and to be able to estimate movement and the correct process for order creation. Your Umpire will sort the rest out.
Found in Google Drive along with everything else you need:
[I have now edited permissions to this folder so that you are able to edit files. ]
A folder for each faction, no peeking at your enemies sheet. If I have to lock the folders or manage spying game over, and I will make fun of you constantly on Facebook and BGG.
The map for the campaign is in this folder also. You will need a copy of the blank map. You may place your orders on the map and save as a new file (details below)
There is now also a VASSAL module to allow you to plot your moves, rather than the JPG of the map.
Each of you will receive a VSAV file [save file] of your starting positions.
You can simply go to the forces tab drag a Corp (inf or cav) and place it where you are headed to. Note that it would be nice if you add labels to your stuff (right click edit label). The LOS tool will tell you estimated travel distances, that and the rule book will help you understand how far you can get within the time you elect to march.
There is an order form in the folder also. You will need a copy of that, to place your orders on, and upload to the appropriate day along with your Vsav file/map jpg.
One for each day of the campaign that you survive in.
An Overall Commander (OC) will send orders to the Corps Commanders (Wing Commanders for French), but OC is allowed to order any division or Corps directly also, either overriding the CC orders or making adjustments.
Each CC once done with the document shall submit his orders to the Umpire (by uploading to Google Drive link above). The orders are based upon how he or she feels he wants to act or participate based upon the orders from the OC/Wing Commander. i.e you may think you know better and want to do something different, or circumstances may have changed with orders or on the ground in front of you.
The Overall Commander will be given a briefing and everyone else will know just enough to get them started (which is the intro above).
- Napoleon is in a hurry and has reasonable intelligence about AA and PRU dispositions.
- Wellington is oblivious to the situation as of the 14th.
- Blucher is doing what Blucher does best as a Prussian! But he will know at some point during the 14th that the French are on the move.
I’m hoping to have a vassal play aid. If we do, this will measure distance for you and allow you to place ‘unit’ representations on the board for your moves and then take a screen grab and place in the Google Drive folder in the current day. Done!
There may be some minor scaling issues with the VASSAL mod but it will work for us to place units you command and label. Then make a save or take a screen shot!
Folder organization: Each “Team” Has a folder FR/AA/PRU, then Current Day. You look only in your folder at the current day at your documents.
Map edit format:
Labelled top left side:
- Your Commanders name
Save the file as the current turn date, i.e. June17_FR_CC# [Corps Commander IVCorps].
Use the scale to state travel distances or choose the nearest town, river, junction etc. All movement will be assumed road unless you state otherwise. Simply draw the line on the map from where you are, to where you want to go for that day, or a circle to denote no movement. P1, P2 etc for patrols. You will get a report back on how far you got and what Patrols reported at some point.
I’ll be using the time stamp of the file where needed to sort orders (there may be Road congestion and blockages etc.
- Note in this version of the game, you may be as specific as you care to, the Umpire will sort out movement rates, notify you of fatigue levels, and Patrol reports if you send patrols out. By reading the rules you will have a basic understanding of how far you may get on a given day, what you are capable of the next day and how to do patrols. But you are not expected to calculate any of that.
- There will be cut off times for the submission of your orders. Failure to submit twice and you are out of the game and an alternate or OC will take on your role. Units that do not submit stay on current orders.
- How you submit orders. ALL orders must be a submission to Google Drive and be accompanied by a map with your plot of your move. Written Orders must be in the format suggested in the rules submitted via word doc that will be made available via Google Drive see link above.
- Discrepancies between map and written mean miss interpretation, which means you end up, lost, delayed or dead. Don’t end up lost, delayed or dead.
- Period color is encouraged in order writing.
Please message me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org to ask questions during the game. ALL game messages will come from that email address.
If information needs to be shared with all I shall post to the blog and broadcast email. Intel and snippets may be found on the blog from time to time.
Files for Turn 1 will go out in the next 24 hours.
Best of luck players.