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PostPosted: Fri Dec 08, 2023 2:54 pm 
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Gentlemen,
I would like to bring your attention to the recent and welcomed changes in version 4.07, which now allow extended line battalions to form squares. I am contemplating the idea of making the transition for 800+size battalions into extended lines a more regular practice.

While forming into extended columns does require sacrificing two turns, the potential reduction in fatigue seems to be a significant factor worth considering. Specifically, Austrian battalions of 1000+ are likely candidates to go into extended on turn one, as they are too clumsy and cannot even form a reasonably sized melee stack of two battalions.

However, having a variety of battalion sizes within each division may prove beneficial in some cases. For instance, a large 1000+ battalion is optimal for defense, especially when facing enemy artillery. On the other hand, splitting battalions of 900+ into half battalions to form a melee task force of 3-4 battalions could be effective in reducing fatigue gain.

Just tried this concept in my latest PBEM, splitting ~750 Prussian battalions and using them for multiple melees. It proved to be justifiable so far, as fatigue is split among a higher number of units, reducing the probability of reaching the threshold of medium fatigue. Additionally, if a musket FP boost is needed; apparently, a skirmish company can be detached from half battalion “a” and attached to half battalion “b”. So instead of two half battalions of 375 each, you get one of 250 and another one with an optimal musket FP of 500 men. However, keeping a 3-hex distance is a tactical limitation.

Of course, these split battalions would suffer more from artillery FP due to column pass through being ON, so there is a trade-off. It seems like going for the largest variety of battalions replicating 'Ordre Mixte' within each division is the way to go:

1. Having one large battalion of 1000+ as a defense task force and having the FP required to support the attacking column.

2. Having some 750+ battalions split into half battalions of either 375+375 or 250+500:
• to melee enemy infantry positions (to minimize fatigue)
• to hold extended/secondary lines of the front
• to provide better frontage cover against enemy cavalry.

3. Having some 800-900 sized battalions unsplit to assault enemy artillery positions (to minimize damage from columns pass through fire ON).

4. Splitting the light battalions and spreading them out among the stack to boost numbers where needed and to absorb fatigue, sparing formed battalions

eager to hear your opinions on this matter

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PostPosted: Sat Dec 09, 2023 9:41 pm 
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Warren Bajan, who did a scenario design of the Battle of Dresden for the Leipzig game, split up the big Austrian battalions as he said that that is how they fought historically. For the smaller battalions that can form 3-rank lines, I like the concept as it would be half the companies of the battalion (9 for the early French Empire period or 4-5 companies per half-battalion) forming the square or a company on each front with one in reserve. I am not sure how historical it is to allow the 6 company battalion to split into halves and then form square but a lot of the game is abstract anyway.

So I like the idea. I think that the Austrians in the Eckmuhl & Wagram games will get a bonus from this. The hit was always that if a French force ran into an Austrian force that the former had more maneuver elements. Now the Austrians might actually have more in some cases. Same goes for those big British Guard battalions in some of the games where they are not split up into parts.

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For Club Games: I prefer the Single Phase mode of play. I prefer to play with the following options OFF:

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 12, 2023 2:04 am 
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Bill Peters wrote:

So I like the idea. I think that the Austrians in the Eckmuhl & Wagram games will get a bonus from this. The hit was always that if a French force ran into an Austrian force that the former had more maneuver elements. Now the Austrians might actually have more in some cases. .


The battle of Teugen-Hausen would be a good example of that.
The questions remains - if there is enough time to deploy into extended.
Perhaps this can be reviewed for future patches: it should not take 20-30 min to split the battalion into two half battalions.

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 12, 2023 2:22 pm 
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Totally in Rich's hands now. I do some things with the older titles but something on the scope that you are speaking of would involve a LOT of hours and I doubt Rich wants to have one of his team members spend time on that. Teugn-Hausen uses a smaller OB so some interested individual could easily take the larger battalions in it and split them up. Nothing below 1000 men, though, really.

Warren split up almost ALL of the Austrian battalions which was not something I was willing to do hence his choice to include his own OB file for Dresden (Alt_Dresden-WB1.oob). I just took another look at it and he split up the Prussian battalions too. One battalion would be left alone while another would be given the "V" flag (light bn). The French were left as is pretty much.

The problem with that is that the Allies already have a lot of units to move around. This adds in quite a few more to push on the map.

I would have just split up the 1000-1400 strength battalions and left the rest as is. We were not considering doing anything like that for Eckmuhl or Wagram so pretty much the games were released as you see them.

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Generalfeldmarschall Wilhelm Prinz Peters von Dennewitz

3. Husaren-Regiment, Reserve-Kavallerie, Preußischen Armee-Korps

Honarary CO of Garde-Ulanen Regiment, Garde-Grenadier Kavallerie

NWC Founding Member

For Club Games: I prefer the Single Phase mode of play. I prefer to play with the following options OFF:

MDF, VP4LC, NRO, MTD, CMR, PR, MIM, NDM, OMR (ver 4.07)


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 23, 2023 3:57 pm 
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Battalion Masses ... Paraphrasing German, sorry.

Archduke Charles introduced the concept in the 1807 regulations. It was used at Wagram and perhaps Essling. The April campaign in Bavaria didn't see it used much if at all.

Basically, a Battalion was split in two and operated in unison with about a 100-meter gap. Easier to move about. If threatened by cavalry the companies closed up into a solid mass with troops facing out on all four sides.

There was a spin-off of this formation called the Division Mass. This was formed by breaking the battalion into divisions, remember at the tactical level the term division means two companies. These three bodies also moved in unison with about a 100-meter gap. There was another distinction with the Division Mass, the companies would form into half-companies and march half in front of the other, so instead of one company up front and one behind it would be the left half of the formation consisting of a company at half width alongside the other company doing the same, the second 'halves' would trail at normal interval. In case of cavalry, they formed solid square as well.

At Wagram the Austrian corps commanders were under the direct eye of Charles, I suspect that's why they tried to follow the regs and used Massen.

The British Infantry Regiment could also be broken in half. These were called 'wings' and were commanded by a Major. During the American War of Independence, forming regiments by wings was used ... I've forgotten the battle ... in this case the forward wing was in Open or Extended Order while the rearward wing kept in Close Order. All three orders are line formations and merely tell how far apart the files were.

Hope this helps. So, splitting your large battalions using the extended line rule is historical.

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PostPosted: Sun Dec 24, 2023 3:53 am 
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Really interesting thread, thanks for licking off Alexey.

i must confess to frustration when handling early Austrian armies. The word clumsy is most apt. I will certainly be looking to deploy this tactic next time I am commanding the men in white.

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PostPosted: Sun Dec 24, 2023 1:45 pm 
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Sir Davies,

I'd be delighted to face your Battalion masses.

Say at Wagram? No house rules, default optional rules. A long non-fixed scenario of your choice?

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 28, 2023 5:19 am 
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Al,

You know it is difficult for me to to decline a challenge, so I won't :)

Allow me to get past the current festivities (we are all being very jolly and merry here in Wales at the moment) and there are some games coming to a close and I shall wee you a Wagram Sir! I fully expect t be as lucky as at our last encounter in sunny Spain!

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 13, 2024 1:34 pm 
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Al Amos wrote:
Battalion Masses ... Paraphrasing German, sorry.

Archduke Charles introduced the concept in the 1807 regulations. It was used at Wagram and perhaps Essling. The April campaign in Bavaria didn't see it used much if at all.

Basically, a Battalion was split in two and operated in unison with about a 100-meter gap. Easier to move about. If threatened by cavalry the companies closed up into a solid mass with troops facing out on all four sides.

There was a spin-off of this formation called the Division Mass. This was formed by breaking the battalion into divisions, remember at the tactical level the term division means two companies. These three bodies also moved in unison with about a 100-meter gap. There was another distinction with the Division Mass, the companies would form into half-companies and march half in front of the other, so instead of one company up front and one behind it would be the left half of the formation consisting of a company at half width alongside the other company doing the same, the second 'halves' would trail at normal interval. In case of cavalry, they formed solid square as well.

At Wagram the Austrian corps commanders were under the direct eye of Charles, I suspect that's why they tried to follow the regs and used Massen.

The British Infantry Regiment could also be broken in half. These were called 'wings' and were commanded by a Major. During the American War of Independence, forming regiments by wings was used ... I've forgotten the battle ... in this case the forward wing was in Open or Extended Order while the rearward wing kept in Close Order. All three orders are line formations and merely tell how far apart the files were.

Hope this helps. So, splitting your large battalions using the extended line rule is historical.


Good input, Al :thumbsup: And I like how you point out that there was a 100 meter gap between the units which basically coincides with how Rich Hamliton & Team decided to restrict them to having to stay in close proximity on the map. This will not happen with Warren Bajan's version of Dresden where they are able to move anywhere on the map. I think that was part of the reason why I did not go with his suggestion of splitting up the big battalions into two units. The Extended Line rule allowed for that. What it did not allow for was being able to form square. The new code change allows for that so we have the best of both worlds.

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Generalfeldmarschall Wilhelm Prinz Peters von Dennewitz

3. Husaren-Regiment, Reserve-Kavallerie, Preußischen Armee-Korps

Honarary CO of Garde-Ulanen Regiment, Garde-Grenadier Kavallerie

NWC Founding Member

For Club Games: I prefer the Single Phase mode of play. I prefer to play with the following options OFF:

MDF, VP4LC, NRO, MTD, CMR, PR, MIM, NDM, OMR (ver 4.07)


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 13, 2024 1:38 pm 
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Alexey Tartyshev wrote:
Bill Peters wrote:

So I like the idea. I think that the Austrians in the Eckmuhl & Wagram games will get a bonus from this. The hit was always that if a French force ran into an Austrian force that the former had more maneuver elements. Now the Austrians might actually have more in some cases. .


The battle of Teugen-Hausen would be a good example of that.
The questions remains - if there is enough time to deploy into extended.
Perhaps this can be reviewed for future patches: it should not take 20-30 min to split the battalion into two half battalions.


A version of the scenarios where the big battalions are already split into two units is possible. I would go with anything over 1000 men as the baseline for that. Just copy the .scn file and rename the filename and title to include the letters XL or something like that. Put them into Column so that the players are able to move them forward quickly at the start of the game.

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Generalfeldmarschall Wilhelm Prinz Peters von Dennewitz

3. Husaren-Regiment, Reserve-Kavallerie, Preußischen Armee-Korps

Honarary CO of Garde-Ulanen Regiment, Garde-Grenadier Kavallerie

NWC Founding Member

For Club Games: I prefer the Single Phase mode of play. I prefer to play with the following options OFF:

MDF, VP4LC, NRO, MTD, CMR, PR, MIM, NDM, OMR (ver 4.07)


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