Napoleonic Wargame Club

Campaign Eylau-Friedland Lives!
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Author:  Bill Peters [ Tue Nov 28, 2017 1:26 am ]
Post subject:  Campaign Eylau-Friedland Lives!

While development on the game (which I will hereafter refer to simply as "CEF") has gone through several hands through the years it has now come to me and I am very happy to assume the role of Scenario Designer on this project. With my usual great team I know we will see this one through.

The progress: we are well into testing the full Battle of Eylau and its smaller segment scenarios. I have finished work on the river crossing scenario of Davout's III Corps at Czarnowo against the Russian 2nd Division under the command of Osterman-Tolstoi. Today I handed off the order of battle view scenarios for Pultusk-Golymin and the Winter OB of 1806 to a small group I call the "Lead Team" which reviews all of the major materials before I create scenarios.

There are a lot maps completed by the previous teams. This is saving me a lot of work to be sure. Cezary Pluskwa and I are finishing up the maps to give them a bit more flavor. Paco, as ever, works with me on the French OB while Bill Cann and Alexander Zaytsev are our "Russian Team."

I should have scenarios for the Battles of Putlusk and Golymin ready for testing by this weekend.

Meanwhile, Mark Adams is finishing up compiling the 3D image files for the next game JTS will be releasing in the series which I have been working on for the last year. I should have the files by this weekend. Paco and I will review the artwork and I will then put out the Tutorial PDF - Started.pdf - and then the images for the product webpage.

While I finish up work on the past game title I will also be working on the smaller actions on the Wkra River during the Winter of 1806. There are a couple of other actions I will do as well prior to both armies going into the winter quarters in January.

Now that I have the Eylau OB pretty much done I can also add in the rearguard action at Hof and then the Clash at Eylau Village on the evening prior to the battle.

Getting good OB information for the Russians is very difficult. Its hard to find any OB that will list numbers. Kevin Zucker, in his Special Studies books, has decent OB info but I cannot collaborate any of it with other OBs as hardly anyone gives strengths for the regiments. Primarily the data is given for the entire division.

James Arnold's works on the campaign are very good. Rich Hamilton loaned me his copy of Volume 1 - Crisis in the Snows. Paco purchased the 2nd Volume for me. Summerville's book on the campaign is of almost no use.

Alexander has helped me out with a lot of information on the Russian regimental names, battery compositions, etc. Its great to have helpers on this one.

Once we finish up the Winter campaign period I will then work on the Spring campaign. There are a total of about 15 battles and engagements that I have listed that I will complete. There are more to do but for this title I plan on looking to get a good compliment of scenarios done and then hand it off to John for release. The goal here is to get the game published with as much as we can include but not to the point where we hold up release to find information for a couple of "obscure" battles.

My hope is to see the game completed by May. I know that the artwork will probably not be completed that early but I will do my part to get the work done by then. After that ... well I am working on my own Napoleonic series too.

CEF has been in development for a long time and its long overdue. I think I speak for most of us that its best to get it out with a good compliment of scenarios and campaigns (3) so that we can finally add this one to the series titles.

I will keep you posted from time to time with our progress. If anyone has good source material in English or Russian on the Russian army strengths I would appreciate finding out about it. With Alexander on our team anything in Russian can be translated.

This is a real challenge of a game. The weather was absolutely pathetic. The Spring campaign will be much simpler to complete.

So here's hoping we meet the timeline I am setting out for the game. Again, with the map work pretty much finished its just a matter of completing the OB and PDT files and then putting the scenarios together.


Author:  Bill Peters [ Tue Nov 28, 2017 1:59 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Campaign Eylau-Friedland Lives!

I am adding in some supplemental information here and a bit of design philosophy which I have practiced through the years. This is the second title that I have picked up that someone else had had to let go. The other being Campaign Leipzig.

When I get a title like this I prefer to do as much of my own work as possible. I guess for me the feeling is that I need to earn my way. I don't like to use the work of others if I can help it. On this project I will use the maps but I am building the OB files from scratch and only referring to the previous work AFTER I do my own research.

With Leipzig I felt that the maps were not to scale so I created my own set. With this game there are a couple of versions of the same maps so I had to spend time sorting things out. There is nice large map already completed that includes both Eylau and Friedland as well as individual maps for both locations. Rather than toss out one and keep the others I actually will use all three maps offering to the players two versions of the same area. This is a bit of a departure from my usual goal of keeping things simple.

The merging of the two single maps of Eylau and Friedland is not possible due to the elevations and the contour difference being only 5 meters. Freidland starts at almost sea level while the heights west of Eylau are high. This meant that both maps used up all of the available 27 levels. I would need over 45 levels to merge the maps together. For the large Quadrilateral map I was able to "fudge" the upper elevations and thus merge all of the maps together. For this game it wont work.

The large Eylau-Friedland map is a bit different and perhaps not totally accurate but it will allow for large scale maneuvering, something that you wont see in the Winter campaign but more in the Spring. Maneuvering in Poland during December through February was almost impossible with the guns sinking in the mud and the men and animals as well. Cezary and I will need to do some work on this large map to make it work.

Order of Battle files - I really like to build my own files. The flare of the older versions with their accurate French unit names and org titles that were in the file set I inherited were nice but the fancy titles overflow and slip off the sides of the Info area view. In other words you cannot read the full title. My simplified version works. I admire the fancier titles but they are best left for a nice order of battle listing than for in the confinements of the game.

As usual we are using squadrons for the cavalry. As the Russian regiments have odd numbers of squadron (Dragons, Cossacks, etc) a simplified 4 squadron regiment would not work. As the squadrons are small in manpower and horses in some of the regiments I have doubled up a lot of the squadrons to where you will see something like this:

"1,2/Kiev DR" which is the 1st and 2nd squadron of the Kiev Dragoons. The same will go for the 3rd and 4th squadrons. The 5th squadron will be a unit on its own. Yes, it can split up into two parts making it excellent as a scouting unit.

The Russian batteries are divided up into 2 or 3 sections per battery. For the Light and Position batteries - 3 sections. For the horse batteries - 2 sections. There are two kinds of 12lb guns and two kinds of 6lb guns as well as two kinds of Licornes (10 and 20lb).

The French were using captured Austrian guns in some of their batteries. While there were plenty of captured Prussian guns as well they were not specifically called out as being part of a battery. I can only guess that the French had not come up with a way to use them in their batteries at that time (or maybe there was a lack of green paint ;)).

The French dragoons of Milhaud's 3rd Dragoon division had been replenished with newer recruits and thus at Eylau they are rated lower than the typical Dragoon regiment.

And lastly ... the Russians have fanatical +2 morale. There is more than enough information from what I am reading to justify this. The Musketeer regiments are 4 morale but when they test their full value will be "6." The Eger regiments are 5 morale but when they test they will be "7." However, unlike the original OBs that came from the previous teams I am dropping the use of supplemental leaders. There were up to 3 additional leaders for some of the brigades (French mainly). The players can add on the brigade leader to a stack of two Russian battalions to get them that additional +1. Likewise for the French.

We will be experimenting with lower command ratings. For Eylau the playtesting has shown that in the scenarios with only French cavalry (Murat's Charge for instance) all the Russian has to do is form square and pretty much its over. What I am doing is starting the Russian infantry Disordered from the previous action (Augereau's attack) and then lowering the Russian command ratings just for one scenario to see if we can get Murat to penetrate deeper in to the Russian lines. In actuality the Russian laid down and the horses passed over them. They then raised up and fired in to the backs of the troopers. Not sure how many of them got trampled but there you have it. They didn't square up .. they let the French cavalry pass by and trapped them. It took the charge of the French Guard cavalry to free them from their dilemma.

For the "NATIONS" - we will have the French, Russians and Prussians in the game. The Swedish presence was minimal and not really worth including in the game. About the only thing I could consider for the Swedes is to add in the artwork from Campaign Bautzen and then add in some scenarios for inclusion in my own "Mod." The goal here is to get the game out - this last game I worked on has over 240 images. This game will have around 130 at the most. We want to keep it simple but at the same time cover as much of the French vs. Russian/Prussian actions. However, each hussar regiment will have its own unique image. I am doing what I can to make the game as unique as I did for my current project I worked on for the past year.

So I just wanted to add in some supplemental info. I will add in more information later ... look for an update some time after the New Year.

Author:  Christian Hecht [ Tue Nov 28, 2017 9:00 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Campaign Eylau-Friedland Lives!

Great to hear that this long awaited title is now in your hands! :thumbsup:

Author:  Bill Peters [ Wed Nov 29, 2017 4:33 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Campaign Eylau-Friedland Lives!

Battle of Pultusk is now being playtested ... Golymin is next. Finishing up the deployment of the French and Russians today.

Probably drop back and work on the Rearguard Action At Hof and then the Eylau Village night fight action. After that the smaller river crossing actions.

Author:  Paul Synnott [ Fri Dec 01, 2017 7:08 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Campaign Eylau-Friedland Lives!

Great work Bill. :frenchsalute:

Author:  Bill Peters [ Tue Dec 05, 2017 6:15 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Campaign Eylau-Friedland Lives!

Rearguard at Hof is being playtested. I just updated the Battle of Eylau OB and full battle scenario and we move on to phase 2 testing of the battle. This scenario starts at 6am and allows both players to do some maneuvering. We will have other scenarios that cover the later stages of the full battle. A start time of 9am will be in one of the next scenarios. Still a scenario covering the battle from 1 pm onward will be added.

Since Eylau is one of the two main battles we want to be sure that its about as perfect as can be expected. We may be playing this battle right up to the end of playtesting.

Author:  Bill Peters [ Sat Dec 23, 2017 6:07 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Campaign Eylau-Friedland Lives!

A quick update - end of the year.

I have finished with almost all of the actions and battles that were fought during the Winter Campaign of 1806-07. I have Bergfried left to do. For Jankowo I plan on having a "Variant" scenario that allows both players to fight the battle if they like. Historically, Bennigsen left the fine position at Jankowo once the bridge at Bergfried, further to the north, was taken.

This week I completed work on the Mohrungen action as well as four actions along the Wkra River (23-24 December 1806).

Joe Amoral has sent me a nice map of the campaign area to work with so now I can start working on the Situation maps for the main folder as well as the campaign information image maps for the campaigns. Once I finish up with Bergfried and Jankowo I will start working on the Situation maps for the Winter campaign and then move into working on the campaign file itself. Once those are done: off to work on the Spring campaign.

Everything is moving along nicely. The Battle of Friedland will be the first battle I tackle for the Spring campaign followed by Heilsberg. After that the smaller actions will be completed thus ending the battles of the May and June. Then the campaign file.

I have been doing some updating of the game maps. Other than that its been research and scenario design work mainly.

Most of the team is taking a break for the holidays. Then we resume in January.

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