Friday, August 16, 2013

Field of Battle 2 Random Scenario

FOB 2cover
FOB 2cover, a photo by The Gonk on Flickr.
The year is 1807. The Prussians have been humiliated, and the late arriving Russian Army, now under Bennigsen, is trying to surprise the French in a sweeping movement through Prussia.

In the van is Major General Barclay de Tommey (Tom G.), leading his corps on the Prussian town of Morunnin, where Marshal Francois Dalé's (K. Dale) French corps is assembling to halt the Russian advance.

De Tommey's plan relied on Flexibility in the face of a wily French foe-- he prioritized his ability to Tactically Adjust over all else. Next would be ensuring that he could arrive with more force than his opponent. What few light troops he could spare would be used for Recon, although of course he knew exactly where the French were. And he gave little thought to his Deployment-- they were catching the French unawares, and the battle would unfold in his favor no matter how he formed up.

Dalé's plans were largely the opposite. His Deployment would no doubt be the key to his success, as he hurriedly formed up defensive positions around Morunnin. His Hussars and Chasseurs à Cheval were tasked with shadowing de Tommey and providing information about his troops' dispositions. No doubt his defensive posture would compensate for the Strength advantage the Russians would have. And there was little thought to Tactical Adjustment once the battle was begun-- Dalé would be the rock the Russian wave would crash apart upon.

But, of course, nothing ever goes according to plan.

De Tommey was forced to deploy from march sooner than he had hoped due to French outposts, which hampered his ability to Adjust Tactically. Those outposts then withdrew, leaving him unsatisfied with his Deployment. And he had yet to receive maps from his Prussian allies, and his inadequate Russian maps hampered what Recon he tried.

Dalé had his own problems. His well-intentioned Recon plans were largely thwarted by incompetent planing by his staff, and the suddenness of the Russian arrival. Worse, his outposts had withdrawn in the face of the Russian advance, further disadvantaging his Deployment!

In the end, the Recon and Deployment problems on both forces offset each other. However, the confusion around the disappearing French outposts left one of de Tommey's brigades in a poor position for the battle. And while the French Recon had been largely unimpressive, the information brought back by the withdrawing outposts providing Dalé and his staff all the information they needed about the Russian deployment!

This is from FoB2's random scenario generator. Here's the background of how it was developed.

The setup resolves around four areas of competition between the two forces: Reconnaissance, Strength, Tactical Adjustment and Deployment.

Each force prioritizes those four areas, and gets an appropriate dice based on their C-in-C's leadership dice. For this, I rated by C-in-C's as Average, or d10. This gives them a d10, d10, d8 and d6 in each area, based on their priorities.

Tom's priority order was Tactical Adjustment (d10), Strength (d10), Recon (d8), and Deployment (d6).

I couldn't get in touch with K. (sorry for the late notice!), so I simply reversed Tom's priorities: Deployment (d10), Recon (d10), Strength (d8) and Tactical Adjustment (d6).

Next, each side gets three Fate rolls. These are simple one word descriptions of something out of the C-in-C's hands that modifies the four areas.

For the Russians, I rolled: Deployment -1 due to "Withdraw," Tactical Adjust -1 due to "Outposts," and Recon -1 for "Bad Maps."

For the French, I rolled: Recon -2 for "Enemy in Central Position" and "Poor Staff Planning," and Deployment -1 for "Withdraw."

This left the following to roll off and get a result:

Tactical Adjustment: Tom's d8 vs. K.'s d6, result 3 to 5, since <= 2, no advantage.
Strength: Tom's d10 vs. K.'s d8, result 4 to 7, 1 level advantage to French
Reconnaissance: Tom's d6 vs. K.'s d6, 3 to 1, no advantage
Deployment: Tom's d4 vs. K.'s d8, 1 to 6, 2 level advantage to the French

The end result is that one Russian division will be late to the table, and the French will be able to redeploy two units during set up based on what the Russian deployment looks like.

Throw in a bit of the Battle of Mohrungen, and you got yourself a game, baby!

1 comment:

  1. Interesting.... I have yet to ever use the pre-battle scenario set up rules for FoB2 myself!