513 Brienne (29 January 1814)
Brienne - 29 January 1814
As the Allies advanced into France, Napoleon planned to attack and defeat each in turn. Napoleon targeted Blücher’s Army of Silesia first for several reasons. Blücher’s army was closest, and needed to be defeated before it could link up with Schwarzenberg’s larger Army of Bohemia. Blücher was the most aggressive Allied commander. Putting him out of action by crippling his army could only benefit Napoleon. The Emperor’s initial plan was to attack Blücher at St. Dizier, but the weather warmed and the roads turned into mud, slowing his advance. This gave Blücher time to move to Brienne, where Napoleon had attended the military academy. Despite this setback, Napoleon decided on a frontal attack there, and Blücher could not refuse battle. His baggage train was still on the muddy road from Brienne, blocking is only route of retreat. The initial French attack, by Grouchy’s cavalry, went well, but by the time Napoleon arrived with the infantry, the French cavalry had been turned back. During the rest of the day and into the night, both sides committed troops to the fight. Napoleon, who led his raw conscripts into battle, was almost captured. Blücher was almost captured as well when sitting down to have dinner, thinking the battle was over. Both armies were exhausted around midnight. Blücher decided to pull his army back to join Schwarzenberg. In the end, both sides would claim victory.
The stage is set. The battle lines are drawn and you are in command. Can you change history?
• Commander: Blücher
• 5 Command Cards
• 5 Tactician Cards
• Commander: Napoleon
• 6 Command Cards
• 6 Tactician Cards
• Move First
• The French player gains a Sudden Death Victory when a French unit occupies the Chateau at the start of the turn. The Chateau is played as a walled farm.
• The 4 town hexes form a Temporary Majority Group Victory Banner worth 2 Temporary Banners for the side that occupies an absolute majority, at the start of its turn. The Russians starts with 2 Victory Banners (Temporary Majority Victory Banner Turn Start)
• The River Aube is impassable.
• French line infantry units are conscripts and do not receive one additional die in melee when attacking an enemy infantry unit.
• Pre-Battle Mother Russia Roll is in effect. Saber rolls have no effect.