A The Battles of Borodino & Polotsk 1812: Two Battles from Napoleon's Invasion of Russia egy kiváló társasjáték, 1 - 2 játékos részére. A játékmenet erősen épít a szimuláció mechanizmusra.
Borodino 7 September 1812 was the single bloodiest day of the Napoleonic Wars. The Russian forces which, since June, had retreated eastwards in front of Napoleon’s advancing...
7 September 1812 was the single bloodiest day of the Napoleonic Wars.
The Russian forces which, since June, had retreated eastwards in front of Napoleon’s advancing Grande Armee at last made their stand at the village of Borodino on the road to Moscow. Their newly appointed commander, Mikhail Kutuzov, had chosen his ground wisely. The marshy and wooded terrain around the village favoured the defender and Kutuzov strengthened his position still further by fortifying many of the natural obstacles. Here the Russians waited.
Far from friendly territory, short of supplies, and with Winter approaching, Napoleon had little choice but to attack in order to open the way to the relative safety of Moscow. A series of frontal attacks by both sides resulted in an orgy of slaughter. The fighting involved around 250,000 troops and nearly 70,000 were left on the battlefield.
Both armies suffered terribly; but, it was the Russians who left the field and the way open for the Grande Armee to march on to Moscow. Too exhausted to follow their beaten foe, nearly week was to pass before the leading units entered the city. The victory proved to be pyrrhic. The Russian Tsar Alexander had no intention of suing for peace; but, instead waited for Winter to come to his aid. With supplies running out and the weather worsening, the Grande Armee evacuated the city in October. So began the famous retreat from Moscow.
The Battle of Borodino is a tactical level two player game covering this bloodiest of battles. One player takes the role of Napoleon, commanding the Grande Armee, and the other of Kutusov leading the Russians. The battle is a source of great debate amongst historians, and players have the opportunity to try some of the options available to both commanders. For example, had Napoleon committed his Imperial Guard, the only significant unit on the battlefield that remained in reserve, or had he heeded the advice of Marshal Davout to try to out-flank the Russian position, might he have succeeded in destroying the Russian army and winning not only the battle, but the entire war?
The First Battle of Polotsk
This relatively little-known battle, which took place on 17 August 1812, was one of the most significant of Napoleon’s invasion of Russia. Leading the majority of his Grande Armee ever eastwards, Napoleon had reached Smolensk. He had assigned Marshal Oudinot, commander of the II Corps, to protect his northern flank and to test the strength of the Russian forces defending the road to St Petersburg, the Russian capital. It transpired that these comprised only a single Corps, perhaps 25,000 men, commanded by General Wittgenstein. Impatient with Oudinot for failing to attack Wittgenstein, Napoleon dispatched St. Cyr's VI Corps to reinforce II Corps, bringing its strength up to about 32,000 men. The aim was to defeat the Russians and, if possible, threaten St Petersburg.
Faulty intelligence lead Oudinot to believe that Wittgenstein was too weak to mount an attack and so split his forces to making it easier for them to forage. He deployed II Corps on the southern bank and VI Corps on the northern bank of the River Dvna. Wittgenstein recognised that this left VI Corps, the weaker of the two, particularly vulnerable. The Russians attacked and heavy fighting ensued; but, the VI Corps fought bravely and held their position. Towards the end of the first day’s fighting Marshal Oudinot was seriously wounded and command of both Corps passed to St. Cyr. The second day saw St. Cyr take the initiative. By feigning a retreat he was able to mislead Wittgenstein and suddenly launch a furious attack against the Russian centre and left flank. Just as defeat seemed inevitable, Wittgenstein ordered his cavalry to counterattack. They cut through the advancing enemy units only to be thrown back in confusion by French Cuirassiers.
At this point, both sides were exhausted and had suffered heavy casualties. Each withdrew to a defensible position where they remained, watching each other, for the next two months until Napoleon’s retreat from Moscow saw his northern flank again become the scene of desperate fighting.
Although tactically it was a French victory, in strategic terms the First battle of Polotsk was a draw. Nonetheless, the strategic significance of the battle was immense. With his northern flank no longer threatened Napoleon was able to continue his advance upon Moscow. A grateful Emperor rewarded St-Cyr with a marshal’s baton. The Russian Tsar Alexander was similarly grateful to Wittgenstein. The threat to St Petersburg had been nullified. He awarded Wittgenstein the Order of St George and conferred upon him the title of "Saviour of St Petersburg".
The First Battle of Polotsk is a tactical level two player game covering this strategically significant engagement. One player takes the role of Oudinot, commanding two Corps of the Grande Armee, and the other of Wittgenstein leading the Russians. There is a range of options open to both players to see if they can achieve the decisive and strategically decisive victory which eluded their historical counterparts.
The Seven Hex System (SHS) derives its name from the map which is divided into areas comprised of seven hexes which enables the player to adopt various positions within an area to reflect different tactical formations thereby making it more likely that an attack will succeed or defending units will stand firm. The SHS incorporates several unique features intended to replicate in a simple and intuitive way the options available to a commander (the wargamer) of a large army. So whilst the commander has complete freedom to devise a plan, and a good deal when positioning units which have yet to encounter the enemy, once battle is joined the options become increasingly limited and unforeseen events can play a part in determining the outcome. Nonetheless, even at a tactical level a commander's decisions are crucial in shaping events. The key to success is a sound plan with a margin for error which allows for ill-fortune, the shrewd deployment of units so as to be able to implement that plan, and the timely commitment of reserves.
-description from publisher