Napoleon’s Greatest Gamble: The Invasion of Russia (1812) Campaigns of the Napoleonic Wars vol. I



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Napoleon and Davout give a minus one (-1) modifier to any unit(s) accompanied throughout a Strategic Move [Rule 8.4]. This is in addition to any adjustment conferred by Advanced Rule 16.2.
Napoleon also Increases by one (+1) the CF of each unit in good order with which he is stacked, up to a maximum of three (3) additional CFs.

Murat gives a plus one (+1) modifier to any unit(s) for which he instigates a Strategic Move [Rule 8.4].
When attacking, Murat and Grouchy increases by one (1) the CF of each cavalry unit in good order in the same stack.
16.5 Until the appointment of Kutuzov as supreme Commander of the Russian forces, the Russian senior command was beset by back-stabbing, bickering, and confusion. To reflect this chaos, for Turns 1 to 5, inclusive, before each stack undertakes a Strategic Move [Rule 8.2] a d6x1 is rolled: if the result is a one (1) or two (2) the decision to move is deemed to have been garbled or rescinded and the units remain in situ. (Units stacked with Constantine will need to roll twice if the first roll is other an a one (1) or two (2); see Advanced Rule 16.4.)

Cavalry and Climate

16.6 Napoleon invaded Russia early in the year to maximise the length of the campaigning season. This brought about its own problems for the cavalry in that the new harvest of hay and oats was not yet ripe. To reflect this, where Rule 8.5 applies during Turns 1 and 2 cavalry units must be disrupted/eliminated in preference to infantry units.



Play note: The following Rule is intended to reflect the catastrophe which befell the French cavalry during the first month of the campaign brought about by a combination of unseasonable torrential rain and flooding, followed by extreme heat. The concentration of a 40,000 strong Cavalry Reserve in such circumstances occasioned what Adam Zamoyski describes as “the greatest forage problem in the history of warfare”.

If, however, the weather had been less inclement, and more of the cavalry had survived, this would have put an even greater strain on the already over-stretched French system of supply.
16.7 At the start of the game the French player deploys the Cavalry Reserve (4Cv, 3CL, 4Cc) on hexes 2309, 2409, 2509, and 2510. The Reserve is accompanied by Murat and Grouchy.
At the end of the General Supply and Attrition phase of Turns 1 and 2 (only) the French player throws 1xd6. A number of divisions of the Cavalry Reserve equating to the result are removed from play (Russian player's choice). If the result exceeds the number of divisions remaining in the Cavalry Reserve, other cavalry divisions (only) may be removed to frank the excess.  
Further, if four (4) or less cavalry units are eliminated as a result of this Rule, beginning on Turn three the number of Supply Trains available to the French (Table 7.3 in Charts and Tables)  is reduced by two (2); and, if five, six or seven (5, 6 or 7) units are eliminated, the number of Supply Trains is reduced by one (1).
The Political Dimension
Play note: Russia had acquired Lithuania and eastern Poland by conquest only twenty or so years prior to 1812. It is likely that, had the invading French treated the inhabitants of these areas more kindly and/or promised them some kind of independence, they would have not have supported their Russian masters.
16.8 To reflect the possibility of a significant anti-Russian uprising in the Ukraine tying up Tormassov’s 3rd Army, on the first Turn (only) that a unit of Poniatowki’s V Corps occupies Kiev a 1xd6 is rolled to determine whether such a rising takes place. A score of three, four, five or six (3, 4, 5, or 6) up to and including Turn 5 or of five or six (5 or 6) on Turns 6 to 9 means that it does. All units of Tormassov’s 3rd Army are immediately removed from play to represent their involvement in suppressing the revolt.

16.9 If such an uprising occurs, at the start of the following Turn the French player may opt to declare “independence for the western territories”. The consequences of this are twofold. Firstly, henceforth any city in the western part of Russia (the area including and to the north and west of the file of hexes numbered 1317, but excluding the area north of the River Dvina) occupied by a French unit(s) becomes “friendly” to the French (and “unfriendly” to the Russians) within the meaning of Rule 1.1; and, maintains this allegiance until the end of the game. Secondly, the French win the game only if at the end of Turn 16 they occupy all of the objective cities listed at Rule 14.7

16.10 The Austrians were very reluctant allies of Napoleon and deliberately managed to avoid any serious fighting for most of the campaign. To reflect this, Austrian units may only attack if stacked with non-Austrian units. If attacked, they may defend as normal. 

16.11 Once it became clear that the campaign was a failure, many foreign contingents withdrew from La Grande Armee. Sometimes this was done formally - for example, the Convention of Tauroggen in December 1812 neutralised Prussian units – sometimes less so with foreign contingents simply "slipping away". To reflect this, unless the French occupy Moscow and/or St Petersburg, at the start of each Turn beginning with Turn 11 one (1) foreign contingent combat unit is removed from play (Russian player’s choice). This is in addition to any losses sustained as a consequence of Cards 25 and 30.

16.12 The only country which might have sent troops to assist the Russians was Sweden. To reflect this possibility, at the end of Turn 6 the Russian player rolls 1xd6. If the result is a four, five or six (4, 5 or 6) one (1) Swedish line infantry unit, one (1) line cavalry unit and a Commander (CR 1) are added to the Russian reinforcements which join the game at St Petersburg on Turn 6.
A Two Year Campaign
Play note: one of the great “what if’s” is what would have happened if Napoleon had heeded the advice of some of his most experienced commanders and, rather than pushing on to Moscow during the Autumn of 1812, consolidated by moving to winter quarters. The campaign would then have re-commenced in the Spring of 1813 with the French ensconced upon Russian soil and having taken advantage of the break in operations to establish more robust supply lines. However, they would probably have found themselves confronted by a more formidable and better organised Russian army.
16.13 On the earlier of the first Turn that the French have eight (8) depots deployed, or the completion of Turn 7, the French player may decide to go to winter quarters. The consequences are as follows.




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