Kriegsspiel That Would Never End™ – An AAR, part 1

What happens when you cram 10 days of battle into 18 months of forum posts? ~

Jim Owczarski, 12 May 2018

It took nine game days rather than the postulated six.

It took a tiny bit over a year and a half of real time.

It resulted in 568 forum posts and 33,553 forum views (as I write this).

The umpire sent out 825 dispatches.

And it is over.

Jokes to the contrary notwithstanding, the Kriegsspiel That Would Never End™ actually ended on 5 May 2018.

But that would be to begin at the ending, and no one wants that.

In the beginning, I was planning a trip to the Jena-Auerstedt battlefields and I had always had a love of Dr. Didier Rouy’s “The Flight of the Eagle” Napooleonic campaign system.  I also enjoy the company of the crew from the GrogHeads forums and was delighted when a fair number of them responded to the idea of playing one of these Kriegsspiels with something other than derisive laughter or knowing dismissal.

So, I scanned the basic rules and orders of battle, selected commanders at random, enlarged the campaign map to wall size, and set about my business.

The first thing I discovered was that the way the game system wanted me to record movement — writing directly on the map — would not work for my purposes.  The map you will see as this progresses bears the marks of some of my failed attempts at using it as intended.  My wife, however, ever-indulgent of my passion for battlefields, and more clever than I by half, came up with the idea of letting me use her pad of sticky-note Daleks to mark the location of the belligerents’ divisions.  Thus was born the odd tableau that has decorated our dining room wall ever since.

I then fussed about with different ways of recording game events and trying to create a record of something that, it turns out, would take over a year to resolve.  I came to the conclusion, a game-day too late as it turns out, that the best way of getting this done would be a simple series of short videos.  I have been creating and uploading these videos all along and so they are all hidden away on YouTube ready to go.  I have nearly an hour and a half of them, though, so the management figured it would be best if I shared them a few game-days at a time. I learned a lot about running these via e-mail through this process and will share a few thoughts about it and the players as we go along.

With that in mind, and in the interest of getting your proverbial feet wet, I give you day two of the Jena-Auerstedt KS, the events of 11 October 1806.  They are what they are and — as I will admit as I make my way through the videos — I make my share of mistakes.  Still, I hope you will enjoy them.  I would very much like to hear your thoughts in the comments and in the forums.

 

 

 

 

Vive L’Empereur!

P.S.:  Lest I forget, we could not have done this without this rogues’ gallery of commanders.  I will call them by their forum names.

  • Napoleon I — Emperor of the French — Jason Pratt
  • Marshal Bernadotte — Commander I Corps — Duke of Earl
  • Marshal Davout — Commander III Corps — James Sterrett
  • Marshal Soult — Commander IV Corps — Pinetree
  • Marshal Lannes — Commander V Corps — PanzerDe
  • Marshal Ney — Commander VI Corps — Dom
  • Marshal Augereau — Commander VII Corps — Blackhorse
  • Marshal Murat — Commander Cavalry Reserve — Lancer4321

 

  • Prince Hohenlohe – DoubleDeuce
  • Prince Brunswick – Hatricus
  • General Blucher – MetalDog
  • General Ruchel – Barthheart

I shall have more to say about these gentlemen as we go forward.  Medals will be awarded.


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