Monday, September 8, 2008

Some musings on team Napoleon's Triumph

When played as a team I suppose folks probably just divvy up the corps evenly and have at it, but it occurs to me that the simulation value might be enhanced a little bit by experimenting with a chain of command based on the historical mess the Russo-Austrian army command structure was.

For the French side, one might have just one experienced player control everybody. Napoleon had a pretty good handle on this fight. All his subordinates were capable and experienced and there were no real command issues. If you have two players one could portray Soult who historically commanded the IV Corps with divisions Saint Hillaire, Vandamme and Legrand while the other one is Napoleon and leads the rest. With three players have one be Soult, have Napoleon just control Bessieres and maybe Murat and have the third player use Bernadotte, Davout and Lannes.

The Russo-Austrian side is more interesting.

Kutusov is the overall army commander and ought to have control of Constantine and Bagration only. To represent Tsar Alexander borrow a kid brother, spouse or distracted player from another nearby table to issue overall instructions that Kutusov is honor-bound to execute, at least partially.

A second player should be Liechtenstein and be in charge of the Austro-Russian columns of Liechtenstein, Kienmayer, Kollowrath and the Russian Miloradovich.

The third player should portray Buxhoewden and be in charge of the Russian I, II and III columns led by Dokhturov, Langeron and Prebyshevsky, respectively.

If there's a fourth player divide up player 2's troops into pairs of Liechtenstein/Kienmayer and Kollowrath/Milaradovich.

If there's a fifth player then make him or her Bagration and leave only Constantine under the overall commander.

If there's an odd number of players the extra one should always be Russo-Austrian. It will be even better if they don't get along well.

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