To halt a steamroller
FORGOTTEN BATTLES Scenario No 3
1. UNIT COLORS
1.1. CENTRAL POWERS - white boxes(numbers/counter)
- Black/Green - German reserve inf
- White/Lt Green - German Landwehr
- Black/Lt Green - German Landsturm
- White/Dk Green - German cavalry
- Black/Dk Green - German recon cav
- Green/White - German HQ-artillery
- Mint Green - German artillery
- Green/Lt Grey - German HQ-supply
- White/Blue - AH regular infantry
- Black/Blue - Honvéd infantry
- Grey/Blue - Austrian Landwehr
- Lt Blue/Blue - AH jäger
- Green/Blue - AH b.h. infantry
- Black/Lt Blue - Hungarian Landsturm
- Dk Blue/Lt Blue - Austrian Landsturm
- White/Dk Blue - AH cavalry
- Black/Dk Blue - Honvéd cavalry
- Lt Blue/Dk Blue - AH recon cavalry
- Blue/White - AH HQ-artillery
- Blue/Lt Grey - AH HQ-supply
- Navy Blue - AH fort units
- Grey - Polish Legion infantry
- Dk Grey - Polish Legion cavalry
1.2. RUSSIA - black boxes(numbers/counter)
- White/Red - regular infantry
- Red/Red - Rifle
- Rose/Red - Siberian infantry
- Tan/Red - Caucasian infantry
- Orange/Red - reserve infantry
- White/Lt Red - regular cavalry
- Black/Lt Red - Cossack cavalry
- Tan/Lt Red - Caucasian cavalry
- Brown/Lt Red - recon cavalry
- Tan - Artillery
- Black - HQ-artillery
- Grey - HQ-supply
- Brown - Siege units
2. STRATEGIC SITUATION
Russian Steam-Roller approaches industry area of Silesia. Austro-Hungarian HQ withdraws forces from Galicia to conduct counter-strike.
3. HOUSE RULE
It is forbidden to assign more artillery units (including HQ's) to an attack than there are infantry regiments engaged in the attack.
4. SUDDEN DEATH
The game is over if one of the Players reaches 400VP. From turn 16, the losing Player gets a TO that allows him to end the scenario earlier, with a normal victory tally. If the PO is losing then the theatre option can also occur.
5. OPERATIONAL OBJECTIVES
Destruction of enemy forces was a primary operational objective of the 1914 Eastern Front. For the reasons loss intolerance is 300. The Central Powers Player gets 40VP for each destroyed Russian HQ, including Army HQ-supply unit. The Russian Player gets 30VP for each destroyed Central Powers' HQ, including Army HQ-supply unit.
The Player gets 5VP each turn he wins MV (101VP) and next 5VP if he wins SV (201VP). The bonus is received each turn the player is winning. But the Player lost 5VP each turn, if he lost the victory he was winning before.
6. RUSSIAN STRATEGIC OBJECTIVES
The Russian Player gets some VP for each turn when his unit occupies new hex:
- of Festung Krakau - 15 VP (fortified hexes around Cracow /41,40/)
- of Industrial Area - 15 VP (area around Katowice /20,33/ shown by red line)
- of the area west of Festung Krakau -10 VP (shown by red line)
- of Silesia - 5 VP (German territory west of the border shown on the map, but excluding the Industrial Area)
7. CENTRAL POWERS STRATEGICAL OBJECTIVES
There are two areas in the North-East part of the map creating a strategic menace of the Russian fronts if occupied by CP. The area around Kielce (58,14) creates a threat for Russian South-West Front and gives 20 VPs for the CP Player for each turn when his unit occupies new hex in the area. The area around Kamiensk (32,3) and Przedborz (40,7) creates a threat for Russian North-West Front and gives 10 VPs for the CP Player for each turn when his unit occupies new hex in the area. Both areas are shown on the map by a red line.
8. CENTRAL POWERS REINFORCEMENTS
The CP Player has 8 pools of reinforcements, activated by TO. Each pool contains 12 units, see the details in the attached htm file. The units of a pool enter the game 2 turns after triggering its TO. Two pools are available from turn 1 - "Reserves of 2.Armee" and "Reserves of 4.Armee". Next options appear depending on the game variable called "Central Powers Initiative" - CPI. Initial CPI value is 10. Next TOs appear when CPI has reached value:
- VI.Korps - 12
- XIV.Korps - 14
- XVII.Korps - 16
- XI.Korps - 18
- Komb.Korps - 20
- Korps "Gerok" - 22
CPI increases by 2 at turns 2-6 and by 1 at turns 7-11. Additionally, if the CP Players wins CPI increases each turn by 1. If a new TO is available, the CP Player gets proper "info" unit at a separated "information hex" in the SW map corner.
Each used pool decreases CPI by 2. So, the use of the pool delays the next pools and can eliminate the last pool of the queue. If you are patient, you get more. Some Russian option can increase CPI, too - see below.
The CP Player has additional possibility to ask for German Korps "Gerok" at turn 1 only. The corps enters the game at turn 4. The use of the pool decrease CPI by 4 - but this is just changing sequence of the queue.
9. RUSSIAN OPTIONS AT TURN 1
The Russian Player gets three TOs at turn 1. The TOs are withdrawn at turn 2 if not used.
- "Leave V Corps to protect the right flank" - the corps starts the game on the board with "garrison" order but it's withdrawn at turn 2 if the TO isn't selected. If TO is selected, the Russian Player gets additionally Turkestan CB as reinforcement at turn 2. The TO increases CPI by 4 at turn 4 and by 2 at turns 5 and 6. So - the reinforcements are balanced by a possibility of additional CP reinforcements.
- "Ask for XI Corps to protect the left flank" - if the TO is selected, the pool enters the game at a random turn, but not before turn 4. The pool arrival is announced by an "info" unit at Russian "information hex" one turn before. If the pool arrives, CPI increases by 4 at the DD+2 turn, and by 2 at the DD+3 and DD+4 turns.
- "Prepare assault of Festung Krakau" - the pool with heavy siege artillery and miner battalions enters at turn 2, but all options possible at later turns are cancelled.
10. POOLS OF RUSSIAN 6TH ARMY
If the "Prepare assault" option wasn't selected, the Russian Player gets next option at turn 2 - "Organize 6th Army on the left flank". The TO is withdrawn at turn 3 if not used. The 6th Army consists of three pools - XXVII Corps, IV Siberian Corps and II Caucasian Corps, entering the battle on the northern edge of the map. If the TO is selected, the pools can enter at random turns. Each pool enters as an independent random event. Each pool arrival is announced by an "info" unit at Russian "information hex" one turn before. The Russian Player loses some VPs per turn for each of the pools present in the game. This is 3VPs for XXVII Corps, 5VPs for Siberian Corps and 5VPs for II Caucasian Corps. The VPs for the first two turns are delayed to the DD+2 turn to avoid early revealing of their appearance to the CP Player.
11. POOLS OF RUSSIAN 3RD ARMY
If the "6th Army" option was available and wasn't selected, the Russian Player gets three TO's of 3rd Army pools - pools entering the battle on the southern edge of the map:
- XXX Corps - turn 3
- XXI Corps - turn 5
- X Corps - turn 7
Once such TO appears, the Russian Player can select it anytime. Each of the TO's is separated event. The Russian Player loses 5 VPs per turn for each of the pools present in the game. The VPs for the first two turns are delayed to the DD+2 turn to avoid early revealing of a pool appearance to the CP Player. Each TO arrival is announced by an "info" unit at Russian "information hex".
Each Player gets "empty" units at turn 1, except the game against PO. The patrols may be used to perplex the opponent, as they look like normal units when partially uncovered. This is for better simulation "fog of war" - not only lack of information, but false information, too.
They also could serve other ends. For one, they are great for converting hexes off the main axis of advance and so slowing any enemy counterstroke. For another - a player can also place them so as to draw an advancing enemy unit of the road and into trees or a river. The patrols can be used as "battue" for routed enemy unit, too.
13. SECOND LINE UNITS
Russian reserve infantry divisions cooperate with HQ's of other formations.
14. FORDING CAPABILITIES
The shown rivers are really small, so all units have improved fording capabilities:
- Austro-Hungarian Army HQ - 17%
- Russian Army HQ - 15%
- Russian Corps HQ - 27%
- Austro-Hungarian HQ - 13%
- Cavalry Brigade - 4%
- Infantry Regiment - 5-6%
The capabilities depend on readiness and supply, of course.
If the total fording capability in the location, including that of the moving unit is greater than 20%, the moving unit is exempt from river movement costs. If the total fording capability in the location, including that of the moving unit is greater than 10%, the river adds only one point to the movement cost. Total fording strengths less than 10% have no effect on river movement.
I've used 15 km hexsize, however the map simulates 5 km/hex, to get the proper troop density and movement rates (with movement bias 150).
Both sides shock effect of 111 makes the game quicker. Attrition divider has been reduced to 9 for the same reason.
Army HQ's have supply ability.
Unit defending in urban hex doesn't get any bonus. This is to simulate lack of WW2 type of street fighting in 1914.
Some type of units can't be divided. These are: recon cavalry regiments, Austro-Hungarian Landsturm regiments, Russian rifle regiments, rifle battalions and patrols.
16. REINFORCEMENTS BASIS AND HINTS
Why is the system of reinforcements so complicated? I use a system like this whenever a main feature of the battle was an intervention of reinforcements. This is the case for all the 'Forgotten Battles'. To reduce the benefits of hindsight, both sides' reinforcements can be altered. What can be changed is timetable or direction. There are two kinds of such options - an assumption and a request. In the first case the basis is that many commanders had made a false assumption about enemy position and strength. So, if a player has a possibility to alter his reinforcements at turn 1, without any signs of enemy plans and actions, he just can create a pre-battle assumption, and his opponent is in a historical position - the opponent is facing a uncertainty about enemy and hindsight can't help him. A player could be prepared for everything, but uncertainty can discourage him from really bold actions. He can made an assumption about his opponent's decision. The assumption can be false, which usually causes an operational surprise. It's happened some times to me and I really like this risk. Of course, a player can try to guess his opponent's decision by looking at the actions of his on-board forces, but his opponent can perform misleading steps.
The second kind of option is "a request". In some causes, reinforcements entered the battle depending on present situation. I really don't like fixed timetable in the case like this. There would have been no reason to send two corps of Russian 3rd Army to the northern blank of the Vistula River in November 1914, if there had been no successful Austro-Hungarian offensive against left flank of 9th Army. The Austro-Hungarian 4th Army could have sent some troops to support 1st Army on the frontline north of Cracow in early November 1914, but the High Command decided to wait until mid-month, when more troops would be ready and able to conduct a strong counter-stroke. So, some reinforcements can enter the battle "on request" , but there is a price. The easiest solution is VP balance. The second is a rule "patient gets more". The third is a trade-off - you can strengthen your forces, but your opponent gets an equivalent reinforcement, too.
Cracow - What to do?
As the Russian Player you need a plan at turn 1. You have a line of defenders just on the straight way to the most valuable objectives. Your troops are stronger than the defenders but you have two relatively open flanks and you should expect a counteroffensive against one or both of them (who knows?). You can try to strike the line and seize the initiative, forcing the Central Powers Player to abandon his plan of attack. You can send more troops on the flanks to prevent the menace. You can also prepare a counter-counteroffensive and try to defeat enemy striking forces. The numerous options could help you to secure the direction you find the most threatened and/or to concentrate more forces for your own offensive. You can strengthen one or both flanks, with different strengths and different prices. Try to do something that your opponent can't predict.
As the CP Player you can choose which flank should be decisive, too. You can get more troops on the right flank, but the terrain is more difficult there. Also, your dilemma is how long you should wait with own offensive. Each turn can add some troops to your striking forces but the scenario is short and your terrain objectives are relatively far away. You can lose an initiative, if you try to wait too long, too.
- Thanks to Yves Le Rhun for his ACOW BioEditor.
- Thanks to Pavel Voylov for his information about Russian commanders.
- Thanks to Andrzej Fiett, Pierre Gandarme, Pelle Holmen, Jose Maria Serrano and Daniel Zlikovski for testing and comments.
18. Unit Name Abreviations
- HID - Honved Infantry Division
- HKD - Honved Cavalry Division
- SchD - Rifle Division
- HR - Hussars Regiment
- DR - Dragoons Regiment
- r.SchR - Mounted Rifle Regiment
- FJB. - Rifle Battalion
- FJ - combined regiment of independent rifle battalions
- b.h. - Bosnia-Hercegovinian
- Ers. - Ersatz