For it is was a harbinger of Wagram, and of disaster.
We will explore this title, as well as two additional titles (OSG& NBS system titles)on the topic of Aspern-Essling, along with some background history over the course of the next few months.
With the focus on tactical level detail we have a nice opportunity to see how the various systems capture the essence of combat in this era and deal with the specifics of this seminal battle at a scale that will reveal significant detail to us. Many historians note that Napoleon was likely at his Zenith during 1806, and that the battle of Eylau showed he was at the very least able to be battered to a draw. Post Eylau tactical, strategic and political choices were driven in a manner that suggests Napoleon was less included to see reality and more inclined to believe his own….well his on B.S!
This take nothing away from the mans genius as a General, but raises questions about his Statesmanship and ability to see the situation as it really is. I’m still learning a lot here, so bear with the innocent commentary!
I happen to think that this battle is where his ability to adapt was overtaken by his foes ability to adopt his own methods. Thus my interest in playing it across the titles.
Our first title is from Vae Victus, and has its roots in Richard Bergian design. The Jours de Glory system has forked and taken a life of its own since the initial design in 1997 for the title Victory.
JdG is a 17 page page carefully worded rule set, covering all the major aspects of Napoleonic era combat, Charge, counter charge, counter battery fire and shock combat. Given the scale it eschew musketry fire, which at this Regimental/Brigade level is a good thing.
A typical JdG title uses Strength points are approximately 200 men, 150 Cavalry or 2-4 guns per point, depending upon type. In this title it is 400 men and 300 horse. Terrain scale is 300m per hex.
The game system uses a chit pull mechanic in a turn and uses some interesting mechanics to reflect leadership impact. For instance the Leader Lannes and Massena can attach up to 4 formations to them and remove the chits for each from the formation pull cup, replacing them with theirs. This give the French a better shot at coordinating things.
The VP conditions are draconian, a win will require a lot of dead units, or physical capture of significant terrain features (towns & bridges), to be a meaningful victory.