Emperor Returns p2

Picking up from yesterday:

June 9, 1815

Let us begin.

Session Commences

The Coalition forces are not able to do much of anything until France invades Belgium. Some “Forced Marching” is possible at a high cost of attrition.

France will be driving the action these first few turns.

Day of Invasion

Prior to the invasion of Belgium the French forces have excellent movement capability. 6 Administrative Points for moving forces on the board. The day after the invasion (whenever that happens) the value drops by 33.33% to 4.

Consequently, the decision to move forces across the border and/or to enter the ZoC of enemy forces is a big one and not to be taken lightly.

That day will not be today.

The French forces will move some units and some Dummy units around and up to the border of Belgium. The purpose is to provide conflicting information as to the direction of the offensive thrust.

The screenshot below shows the movement for June 9. Coaltion forces will perform some Forced Marching but not enough to merit a separate screenshot. This concludes the first turn, and the first day, of the campaign.

June 10, 1815

A reinforcement arrives for France today in the form of General Mouton.

The big day will not be for a couple more days. On June 12 we see the following arrivals:

 Napoleon

 Ney

 Drouot with the Imperial Guard

 Gerard

 Groucy

 Major General E

Big day. Starting the invasion on or around the day of these reinforcements seems to make sense.

Today will see very, very little.

Coalition

Again, the Coalition forces are limited to Forced Marching during the French phase.

Screenshot below shows a closeup around Mong:


1815_0610_1_movement

June 11, 1815

Just one French unit moved today, right up to the Anglo-Allied unit in Mong but just shy of the border with Belgium.

Some Coaltion Forced Marching happened as well. Mostly Prussians moving up closer to the bulk of their forces.

Anglo-Allied Forces

Before the invasion begins lets take a look at the way Wellington has placed his forces.

Corps

Most striking is the divisional use for force disposition. Strikingly different from the French forces as we shall soon see. The Prussians are similarly distributed. A leader typically has one division, of significant strength, under his command and no more.

Here are the major forces just north of Mong and south of Brussels. Wellington is enjoying the social life in Brussels at the moment.

Net

He has a screen of Major Generals spread out widely in front of his divisions, then divisions, and supporting divisions. This reminds me of a gigantic net looking to flexibly collapse in to one point as the offensive thrust is revealed.

200 years later I admire this defensive posture.


Anglo-Allied_Force_Disposition

Prussian Force Disposition

The Sambre River is the major terrain here and dictates much of what will happen.  A major French effort to the east of the river would open the French flank wide for the Anglo-Allies.

This is unlikely, however if the French push hard on Ghent a Prussian force east of the river could cut off their lines of communication.

Mostly the two sides take a watchful stance on that side of the river and the Prussian forces are aligned along the western bank.

Namur is the heart of the defense and Blucher is the heart of the Prussian forces.

Corps

Once again the forces are distributed on division level. Each leader has one strong division with him.

French Force Dispostion

Most of the French forces at the start of the game are west of the Sambre River but some are east and much more arrives on both sides.

The bulk of the French forces are on display in the screenshot below in the three Corps you see: I, VI, and II.

These are:

 I General Drouet Comte d’Erlon

 VI under General Mouton Comte de Lobau arriving as a reinforcement

 II under General Reille Comte de L’Empire

Marshal Grouchy has the bulk of the cavalry and will arrive east of the Sambre River on the same day the Emperor arrives.

The three corps you see there represent around 50 strength points. This is the bulk of the French fighting force.

 

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