Feldmarschall Karl-Philipp Schwarzenberg’s Memoires on the 1814 Campaign (or How I Did It)
The new year opened on a promising note: The “Corsican Ogre” was thrown back into France and all there was to do was to finish the job and banish the beast from Europe. However, the ‘Ogre’ had other plans, summoning more of his French toadies to protect his so-called “dynasty” - and so it was that the Allied Armies of the 6th Coalition had to re-form and go forth for what was to be the final campaign to defeat Napoleon for the last time.
The “Allied Army of the North” consisted of two Prussian corps (I, II), one mixed corps (VI), and three Russian corps (IX, X, XI), led by the intrepid Feldmarschall Blücher: brave, fearless, tenacious, but often impetuous.
The “Allied Army of the South” consisted of three Austrian corps (I, III, IV), the Tsar’s Grenadier corps (G), and two mixed corps of Austrians and either Bavarians (V) or Russians (VI).
Planning: The first map shows the Allied corps locations and suspected French concentrations.
There appeared to be only two options open to the Allies:
- Go after the French directly and try to defeat them in battle (Plan ‘A’) – or
- Try to out-maneuver them to capture Paris while tying up Napoleon with inconclusive battles and defeating the other French forces. (Schwarzenberg’s Plan ‘B’) This plan was bolder, but the flanking corps had a greater risk of being isolated and defeated if the French found them and used their “Central Position” to gain a local advantage.
Schwarzenberg summoned the Council of War and the majority favored Plan ‘B’. Schwarzenberg would remain CinC of the Allied Army of the South until a junction between the two Allied armies occurred, when Blücher would assume overall command of all armies.
Detailed orders were written to each corps commander to direct them on how to act under a variety of situations that each could encounter:
Detailed Orders for Plan ‘B’
- Prussian 1st Corps (Yorck) moves west from Mezieres to Laon (Maneuver Order).
- If no enemy present, move to capture Paris (Maneuver Order) by Soissons-Villers-Cotterets-Paris.
- If one French corps is present at Laon, report details to CinC and Kleist and engage if Napoleon is NOT present. (The French Imperial Guard will be too powerful to handle alone.)
- Conditional Engagement Order: If 50%+ of your command has taken Morale step losses, you may consider disengagement to retreat to >12” away from enemy or another table to execute a Rally Order.
- If 2+ French corps present at Laon, report details and retire back to Mezieres.
- Report to CinC and Kleist when at Mezieres. If French pursue, find a suitable defensive position and adopt Defend orders, but if French outnumber you significantly or you feel the position is hopeless and have not seen Allied reinforcements, report and retreat to Rethel, then to Berry au Bac or Reims if you have not seen other Allied forces or received any new orders.
- If going to Reims, report when arrived and find a suitable defensive position to adopt Defend orders, unless you receive new orders.
- Prussian 2nd Corps (Kleist) moves to Mezieres.
- If no enemy present, move to Rethel and then to Berry au Bac.
- Can go north from Berry au Bac to attack Laon from a different direction (if 1st Corps is engaged) or go south to attack Reims from a different direction. Decide based on any new reports from Yorck, Lieven, or Blucher.
- Conditional Engagement Order: If 50%+ of your command has taken Morale step losses, you may consider disengagement to retreat to >12” away from enemy or another table to execute a Rally Order.
- Russian XI Corps (Lieven) moves to Stenay.
- If no enemy present (which is expected), move to Mezieres.
- If enemy is present, report details to Blucher, Kleist, and Jellecic.
- If enemy is 2+ corps, or Napoleon is present, if French are not near your side of the table, deploy to demonstrate, but do not attack. If French close to within 18”, retreat back to Verdun.
- If no enemy present at Mezieres (which is expected), move to Rethel and then to Reims.
- If enemy is present, report details to Blucher, Kleist, and Jellecic.
- If enemy outnumber you (2+ corps), or Napoleon is present, if French are not near your side of the table, deploy to demonstrate, but do not attack. If French close to within 20”, retreat back to Stenay.
- When at Reims, report arrival to Blucher and any details on any enemy present.
- If one French corps present, report details and Attack if Allies are not outnumbered and Napoleon is NOT present.
- If 2 French corps are present, report details and Attack if Allies are not outnumbered and Napoleon is NOT present.
- If outnumbered and/or Napoleon is present, report details. If French are not near your side of the table, deploy to demonstrate, but do not attack. If French close to within 20”, turn around and exit back to Mezieres. Report and find suitable defensive positions at Mezieres and await further orders.
- Allied VI Corps (Jellecic) initially functions as a reserve.
- Respond to any new orders from Blucher as required.
- If you receive reports of “contact with enemy” at Bar-le-Duc, Clarmont, Saint Menhould, or Rethel, but the Allied command is demonstrating/holding position (and NOT actively engaged), remain in reserve.
- If you receive reports of engagements at Bar-le-Duc, Clarmont, Saint Menhould, or Rethel, you may move to reinforce, based on the information received. If you decide to respond, report this to Blucher and the command you will be reinforcing.
- If you receive reports of enemy engaged at Laon, Reims, Chalons or Vitry and reinforcements are requested, move to that battlefield and engage.
- Russian X Corps (Tuchkov) moves from Clarmont to Saint Menhould (Maneuver order).
- If no enemy present, go to Chalons.
- If enemy are present at Saint Menhould, report details to Blücher and Jellecic,
- If one French corps present, report details and engage if on better than equal terms (ie: you have more units – your artillery and cavalry will be inferior to the French, so you need to be careful and/or have support). Otherwise, if French are not near your side of the table, deploy to demonstrate, but do not attack unless reinforced. If French close to within 20”, turn around and exit back to Clarmont. Report and find suitable defensive positions at Clarmont and await further orders
- If you are outnumbered, outclassed, or Napoleon is present, if French are not near your side of the table, deploy to demonstrate, but do not attack. If French close to within 18”, turn around and exit back to Clarmont. Report to Blucher what you are doing.
- If you decide to retreat to Clarmont from enemy pressure report to Blücher when you have arrived and find a suitable position to defend. If any French follow, you will need to assess how well a defensive position you can present and if you have received any word and/or see any Allied reinforcements. If the Allied position is not defendable with the forces available, retreat back to Verdun.
- If you decide to retreat to Verdun from enemy pressure report to Blücher when you have arrived and find a suitable position to defend. If any French follow, you will need to assess how well a defensive position you can present and if you have received any word and/or see any Allied reinforcements. If the Allied position is not defendable with the forces available, retreat to Stenay (north) or St. Mihiel (south) and let Blucher know what you are doing.
- Russian IX Corps (Ossuliev) moves to Bar-le-Duc (Maneuver order).
- If no enemy present, go to Vitry (Maneuver order).
- If French are present, report details to Blücher and Jellecic. Also report if Napoleon is sighted.
- If one French corps is present, you may engage if on equal terms (ie: same # or units or you have more). Otherwise, if French are not near your side of the table, deploy to demonstrate, but do not attack unless reinforced. If French close to within 20”, turn around and exit back to St. Mihiel. Report what you are doing and find suitable defensive positions at St. Mihiel and await further orders.
- If more than 2+ French corps or Napoleon is present at Bar-le-Duc, if French are not near your side of the table, deploy to demonstrate, but do not attack. If French threaten to attack and close to within 20”, turn around and exit back to St. Mihiel.
- If you decide to retreat to St. Mihiel from enemy pressure report to Blücher and Jellecic when you have arrived and find a suitable position to defend. If any French follow, you will need to assess how well a defensive position you can present and if you have received any word and/or see any Allied reinforcements. If the Allied position is not defendable with the forces available, retreat to Verdun, report this move, and await further orders.
- Austro-Bavarian V Armeekorps (Wolfskeel) moves from Joinville to St. Dizier (Maneuver order).
- If no enemy present, move to Vitry, but report to Schwarzenberg if there is a route available from St. Dizier to Bar-le-Duc (to the north/northeast).
- If enemy are present, report details to Schwarzenberg and Gyulai (III Armeekorps). Also report if Napoleon is present.
- If one French corps is present, attack if on equal terms or better (ie: same # of units or you have more).
- If outnumbered, if French are not near your side of the table, deploy to demonstrate, but do not attack unless reinforced. If French close to within 20”, turn around and exit back to Joinville. Report this move, find suitable defensive positions at Joinville and await further orders.
- Austrian III Armeekorps (Gyulai) & Russian Grenadier corps (Uvarov) initially will function as a reserve.
- If French are reported at Vitry, La Rotherie/Brienne or Arcis s.Aube AND Napoleon is reported present, move to that battlefield to reinforce.
- If French are reported at Vitry, St. Dizier, La Rotherie/Brienne or Arcis s.Aube, but Napoleon has not been sited, do not respond unless asked to support.
- If summoned to reinforce a battle and Napoleon is not present, use your own discretion.
- If La Rotherie/Brienne is reported as captured by the Allies (or no enemy present), move to La Rotherie-Brienne (Maneuver order) and then to Arcis s.Aube to engage any French and open up southern and western routes to Paris.
- Austrian IV Armeekorps (Davidovitch) moves from Bar s.Aube to La Rotherie/Brienne.
- If no enemy present, move to Vitry. Report this to Schwarzenberg and Wolfskeel (V Armeekorps) as Vitry is on his path of advance.
- When you arrive at Vitry, report details to Colloredo, Wolfskeel and Schwarzenberg. Also report if Napoleon is present.
- If no French are present at Vitry and Wolfskeel (V Armeekorps) or Ossuliev (IX Corps) are NOT present, that suggests either may be engaged at St. Dizier or Bar-le-Duc.
- Move to St. Dizier if Wolfskeel (V Armeekorps) is not sighted or known to attack any enemy engaged with Wolfskeel at St. Dizier.
- Move to Bar-le-Duc if Ossuliev (IX Corps) is not sighted or known to attack any enemy engaged with Ossuliev at Bar-le-Duc.
- If Wolfskeel (V Armeekorps) and Ossuliev (IX Corps) are sighted at Vitry or their positions are known and safe, move to Sommersous (west), unless new orders from Schwarzenberg have been received.
- If opposing forces are present at Vitry, talk to any other Allied commanders present at the table to determine if any conditional orders trigger: Join the battle (Attack order) if other Allied forces will attack the French upon being reinforced, or retreat to Brienne if other Allied forces are retreating (from Napoleon being present or outnumbered).
- If any French are present at La Rotherie/Brienne, report details to Schwarzenberg and Gyulai (III Armeekorps). Colleredo and Wittgenstein will be following you.
- If the French outnumber you at La Rotherie/Brienne and are very close to your Deployment zone, this may be too dangerous to fight a battle (especially of Napoleon is present). If you determine this is unsuitable to fight, retreat (go back) to Bar s.Aube and report this to Colloredo, Wittgenstein, Gyulai and Schwarzenberg. The path of advance may be through Joinville/St. Dizier/Vitry instead.
- Otherwise, if one or two French corps are present at La Rotherie/Brienne, prepare to engage and attack: move to flank the French if practical and make room for Colloredo & Wittgenstein to take advantage of our greater numbers. (This is an expected site to engage the French and you will be backed up by two more commands.)
- If Napoleon is present, report this fact to Schwarzenberg and Gyulai: The reserve will be committed to this battlefield.
- Austrian I Armeekorps (Colloredo) moves to La Rotherie/Brienne, following IV Armeekorps (Maneuver order), but determine if a route west to Troyes is available.
- If no enemy present at La Rotherie/Brienne, do not follow IV Armeekorps to Vitry (north). Instead, move to Arcis s.Aube (west/northwest).
- When you arrive at Arcis s.Aube, report details to Schwarzenberg, Wittgenstein, and Gyulai. Also report if Napoleon is present.
- If no enemy at Arcis s.Aube, move to Troyes, attempting to reach Paris by Troyes-Sens-Pont s.Yonne-Montereau-Melun-Paris.
- If enemy is present at Arcis s.Aube, attempt to maneuver to exit to Troyes. If the enemy attempts to block this move, attack unless outnumbered 2+:1 and Napoleon is present: Find a good position to fight and await reinforcements.
- Otherwise, if French are present at La Rotherie/Brienne, reinforce IV Armeekorps and attack the French.
- Austro-Russian VI Armeekorps (Wittgenstein) moves to La Rotherie/Brienne (Maneuver order). Follow Austrian I Armeekorps (Colloredo) unless new orders received.
Game Day: As soon as the Allied forces were placed on the table, Schwarzenberg quickly observed that I, III, IV, VI, and G Armeekorps were all on the same table (Table J) and that La Rotherie and Brienne were on Table J and absent of any French. Of much greater significance, an additional road was present on Table J that was not on the campaign map:
This prompted Schwarzenberg to issue new verbal orders:
- Austrian I Armeekorps (Colloredo) move from Musey west to what appears to be a road that leads west to Troyes. Determine where this road actually leads to and report any enemy present.
- Austrian III Armeekorps (Gyulai) & Russian Grenadier corps (Uvarov) move to Arcis s.Aube (west/northwest).
- Austro-Russian VI Armeekorps (Wittgenstein) becomes the new Reserve, replacing III Armeekorps. Remain at Musey.
Turn 1: Colleredo’s I Armeekorps dutifully took the road west from Musey (now called the “Yellow Brick Road”) and voila, it led directly to Troyes (Table T). As Colleredo entered the Deployment Zone a few inches away from Troyes itself, he spotted the tail-end of a road-column of French entering the Deployment Zone north of Troyes (Ney’s corps). This prompted the French to halt and recall the head of the column in response. If Colleredo could win the next initiative, there was room enough to enter and take Troyes and offer battle, but alas, the French won and crowded the Deployment Zone. Colleredo looked long and hard, but decided against fighting in what would be the “Twilight Zone” at the edge of the table and reluctantly returned back to Table J.
Upon returning to Table J (Musey), Colloredo prepared his troops to receive Ney’s corps properly. Schwarzenberg summoning Wittgenstein’s corps to reinforce Colloredo.
Colloredo’s “reception” was imposing, with two infantry & artillery on a nearby hill, and three infantry and another artillery guarding a small plain, anchored on the head of a river, presenting no open flanks.
Ney, indeed, followed up. Ney too, looked long and hard, itching for the battle (and taking in the enemy dispositions to report to Napoleon), but also reluctantly concluding that the enemy position was too strong and not worth fighting in the “Twilight Zone”. Ney turned around and left, going back to Troyes.
Colloredo followed up Ney with his cavalry to see what the French would do next. Ney adopted a similar “reception” for Colloredo, should he wish to return. Colloredo’s cavalry returned to Musey with Ney’s cavalry following up.
Schwarzenberg could see this pattern repeating all day, so Wittgenstein was ordered to replace Colloredo’s men in the “reception” formation, while Colloredo placed his men in reserve and in road-column to prepare to go north. (The player for Wittgenstein was a “walk-in” and had never played Snappy Nappy, so he was given a “crash course” of the rules, but still needed attention and guidance to handle his corps effectively.) As these maneuvers were in progress, Schwarzenberg received a report from Gyulai’s III Armeekorps at Arcis s.Aube asking for reinforcements. Ney’s cavalry returned to Musey to see that the “reception” was still in place.
Ney’s cavalry returned to Troyes, followed by the Cossacks from Wittgenstein’s VI Armeekorps. Colloredo’s I Armeekorps was ordered to follow the road the III Armeekorps took to reinforce Gyulai at Arcis s.Aube. This took some time to execute, as Colloredo was still segregating his troops from Wittgenstein’s as the exchange of roles was executed.
Ney and Wittgenstein would each send out cavalry probes to see if the other was still in place 5 more times before Ney tired of the exercise and resumed his march from Troyes north.
When Wittgenstein’s Cossacks reported this move to Wittgenstein and Schwarzenberg, Wittgenstein was ordered to go to Troyes with his command with Schwarzenberg coming along. The southern approach to Paris was unexpectedly open, and Schwarzenberg wasn’t going to miss the opportunity to take it.
Follow the Yellow Brick Road: Arriving at Troyes with no French in sight, Wittgenstein asked what to do next: “My orders are to follow you.”
Schwarzenberg replied “Then we will keep the orders simple: I’m going to Paris, and you’ll follow me there. Based on the campaign map, I initially ordered Colloredo to Arcis s.Aube to turn south to get to Troyes and find a southern route to get to Paris and avoid the bulk of the French army. This unexpected “Yellow Brick Road” has led us directly to Troyes, and Ney has unwittingly allowed us to follow it to Paris, which I may rename the “Emerald City” after we take it.”
So instead of following Ney north, Schwarzenberg took Wittgenstein’s corps south, exiting Table T. The new table (Table B) was also empty, but Wittgenstein was confused as to where to go next. “Follow me” said Schwarzenberg, spying the one road that had no Deployment Zone and quickly dismissing it as an option. Schwarzenberg took Wittgenstein on a long “U” shaped pathway to eventually exit Table B to Table N.
New reports came in that Napoleon was spotted at Chalons and that Davidovitch would engage with his IV Armeekorps. Concerned on a 1-on-1 with Napoleon alone, Schwarzenberg asked if Davidovitch had any help, and if not, to keep his distance from the French. Davidovitch had Wolfskeel’s command in support and was driving Napoleon back in the response. Surprised, but pleased, Schwarzenberg resumed his attention on the long march. Another report to Schwarzenberg from Gyulai at Arcis s.Aube confirmed that Gyulai (with the small Grenadier corps) was in a stiff fight with Ney’s command, but Colloredo had arrived in support. A second French force (Durette) arrived at Arcis s.Aube from the North, so the Austrians had French to the north & south of their position, but had captured Arcis s.Aube itself.
After entering Table N, Wittgenstein asked “Are we there, yet?” Schwarzenberg quickly said “No”. The road led to a “T”. Wittgenstein was inclined to go right, but Schwarzenberg insisted on turning left, leading the long column down one of two long parallel roads. His suspicions were reinforced when a small French force under Rusca entered at the other parallel road, heading in the same direction. Schwarzenberg said to Wittgenstein “We’re in a race now. The French know we’re making a run at Paris.” The reports Schwarzenberg received from Gyulai at Arcis s.Aube indicated that the battle still raged (and Napoleon was now present as well), but Schwarzenberg had no new reserves to commit to the battle, so Gyulai & Colloredo were going to have to keep the French occupied while he led Wittgenstein to Paris.
Rusca’s column inexplicably turned around, but soon resumed its westward march, but that provided a comfortable lead. Wittgenstein’s column exited Table N to enter Table P.
Entering Table P, Wittgenstein spotted the towered structure at the near corner of the table. “What is that?” he asked. “That, herr General, is the “Emerald City”, Paris. We have, indeed, been on the “Yellow Brick Road”. That is our objective. Now all we have to do is take it,” replied Schwarzenberg.
A French command under Fontanelli held the river line separating Wittgenstein’s command from the way to Paris, but he had to split his forces to cover the two bridges that were a significant distance apart. There was only a single 6 Pdr. artillery unit present, but it helped guard the southernmost bridge with some infantry in line formations. Wittgenstein had a 6 Pdr and a 12 Pdr, but both were inferior in quality. Rusca’s command had not arrived, yet, but it was certain to arrive in a short while.
“How are we going to get across the river?” asked Wittgenstein.
Schwarzenberg explained: “There are several options, and each differs in risk and reward. You have heavier artillery, so you can go after the enemy artillery at long range to drive it off. It will only be one die per shot, and you’ll need an 8+ to hit, but you’ll be outside his range and it’s just you and him right now, so you’re not in a hurry (yet). Park your 12 Pdr 10” away and start shooting. Keep your other troops 10” away as well, so you don’t get any return fire.”
Following this advice, Wittgenstein did drive off the battery a short distance. As fair play, Schwarzenberg reminded the French player that he could move his leader (currently with the other force at the other bridge) to attach and rally his battery. Fontanelli did so and soon rallied his battery.
Schwarzenberg advised further: “Now you can move up your 6 Pdr to get within 9” of the enemy infantry to start driving them off. If the enemy artillery comes back, you can shoot at it with both of your guns.”
Wittgenstein followed that advice as well, but when the enemy artillery returned, he missed it with both of his guns. The French returned fire, hitting the Russian 6 Pdr.
“Now you have to roll for a Morale Check for the hit on your 6 Pdr. Roll a D10, looking to the number listed on your Roster Sheet.” said Schwarzenberg.
The 6 Pdr was “Seasoned”, so he had to roll 7 or better: 2, 3, 5, 4, 8. The 6 Pdr limbered up and retreated 1” + ½ move, + a full move, now in “Panicked” status.
“That’s how you resolve hits and Morale Checks. You can see, now, that your more aggressive options to get across could potentially involve rolling a lot more Morale Checks on your units. That why we parked the 12 Pdr unit 10” away to avoid getting hit.” Schwarzenberg moved his command stand to attach to the damaged Russian battery to be able to Rally it at the end of each full turn. Rather conveniently, the damaged battery was now close to the small Russian force guarding the nearby Deployment zone that Rusca was due to arrive at.
Wittgenstein resumed firing on the French battery while Rusca’s command showed up. The 3-unit French command was intimidated by the small Russian force acting as the flank guard, so it made no attempt to attack, but it was in the range of the Russian 6 Pdr that Schwarzenberg had successfully rallied back to “Firm”. The Russian artillery started to fire at the French units, occasionally getting a hit and occasionally wearing down the enemy.
Surprisingly, no further French forces appeared, which allowed Wittgenstein to leisurely pound away at the enemy artillery. Finally it suffered too much damage that Fontanelli could not reverse and it was driven off the battlefield.
“Now what do we do?” asked Wittgenstein.
“Again, we are several options, and each differs in risk and reward. You have a cavalry unit available and within charge range. The enemy guarding the bridge are in Line formation. You can charge it. The infantry will have the opportunity to form Square, if they do, you won’t win – but if they don’t, you’ll still have to survive the enemy fire phase where they will get two dice at you. Then you get to melee them, which will be in your favor if it gets that far. If you win, the bridge has been cleared. In the meantime, you can now move your infantry columns up to get within 6” or closer,” replied Schwarzenberg.
Wittgenstein committed the Cossacks. The French succeeded in forming Square and the Cossacks were severely repulsed: Wittgenstein need a ‘7’. He rolled 5, 4, 2, 6, and finally passed with a ‘10’ on the last opportunity to do so. The Popov Cossacks were driven back 19” to the rear (1” + ½ move + a full move).
“You can go and try to get the Cossacks back by attaching your leader,” commented Schwarzenberg. “You still have your infantry to go get that bridge.” Try as he might, the Cossacks had no interest in rallying back, being content to let their horses graze by the woods while they smoked as Wittgenstein’s overtures bored them to sleep.
Wittgenstein’s lead infantry unit made a go for the bridge: The Brunko Musketeers charged it, but took a hit from the French (now back in Line formation). Wittgenstein failed the first two rolls before passing, so the Russians recoiled 1”, checking their would-be charge.
“Now what can I do?” asked Wittgenstein.
“You can try again with the Brunko Musketeers at much greater risk, pull them back to let another infantry unit charge the bridge, or a second infantry unit could move next to the Brunko Musketeers to form line and try to outshoot the enemy infantry and drive them off,” replied Schwarzenberg.
Wittgenstein tried the latter idea. The Austrian Graf Paul Radivovitch advanced next to the Brunko Musketeers and formed line, while Schwarzenberg attached to the Brunko Musketeers to rally them. The French would have 2 shots from their line infantry unit, while Wittgenstein could get up to 3 shots from the column and line units. The French hit the Brunko Musketeers, which passed its MC. The Allied infantry returned fire and the Austrian infantry hit the French line twice, driving them off. The bridge was cleared of enemy. The road to Paris was open! Schwarzenberg rallied the Russian infantry back to “Firm”.
During the time it took to accomplish this, more French appeared at the far end of Table P. A new French command arrived from the north, but stopped near the town of Villars and turned around to deploy.
Wittgenstein exclaimed “I think we need reinforcements. Can you ask for reinforcements?”
“I see why you’ve asked that of me,” replied Schwarzenberg – “but look at how the new French force is deploying. They are facing away from us. That means that one or more of our Allied commands is going to be coming on. According to my plan, we should be seeing our Prussian allies any moment.”
A second French command appeared at Meaux from the east. This was Napoleon with part of his Imperial Guard. The Empereur had arrived to try to save Paris from falling – but the new French forces were still a good distance away.
“The enemy has arrived too late. The road to Paris is open. As soon as we break in, it will be too late for Napoleon to do anything about it. We press forward!” ordered Schwarzenberg.
The Brunko Musketeers (with Schwarzenberg still attached, apparently using the term “we” literally) charged the French that were just driven back from the bridge, finishing them off (and earning the Brunko Musketeers a recovered Morale Step, bring them back to ‘Bold’), as Wittgenstein moved the rest of his command over the bridge (minus the three units still facing Rusca’s slowly disintegrating command). The 12 Pdr stayed on the east side of the bridge to shoot at a lone French Chasseur a Cheval unit racing to Paris, successfully driving it away.
“How do we attack the city?” asked Wittgenstein.
“Well, you have one infantry column in range, but you might consider bringing up the rest of your infantry within charge range and try to position them so you can attack with 3 or 4 columns at once, rather than using a single column. You have the men and you still have some time to bring them into better positions. The Prussians have arrived, and they are attracting a lot of attention, as very few enemy seem to be directed against your force,” replied Schwarzenberg.
Wittgenstein took the time to bring up the bulk of his infantry and position them around the Paris fortress. By this time, Table P had about 8-10 players present (some representing the Prussian players and French opponents, but some spectators as well). The Austrian and Russian columns assailed the walls, with Schwarzenberg leading (or following, as the Tsar’s version would have it) the charge at the gates with his new best friends, the Brunko Musketeers. After some feeble fire from the battered French unit desperately trying to hold their beloved capital, a complicated melee calculation was adjudicated by assistant umpire Mark. The Austrian and Russian columns captured the fortress, giving Schwarzenberg a fine view of the rest of the “Emerald City” and the surrounding battlefield as the war-weary population gave a half-hearted cheer to the liberators, but were nonetheless grateful that the war was finally over.
The word would reach the French laboring hard to hold back Yorck and Tuchkov’s commands. The “sounds of the guns” soon fell silent. Even Napoleon had conceded that it was over.
Feldmarschall Blücher heard about the capture of Paris after accepting the surrender of two French commands at Chalons, when Colloredo’s Austrians from Arcis s.Aube cut off the last road the French could have taken out of Chalons. “What about Napoleon? Has he been captured? Well, even if he’s still loose, Paris is no longer your home, Ogre. It’s just a matter of time before we run you down, has-been.”
Schwarzenberg’s bold plan was executed successfully, such that some called it “brilliant”, elevating the Feldmarschall’s military reputation to rival that of Napoleon.