Campaign Eckmuhl 1809

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#1
1200px-Thevenin-Storming_of_Ratisbon.jpg

The taking of Landshut..........since I have started a Campaign game - I may as well post a bit about it- but not today -Ha Ha !


I am always drawn to this Campaign for a unknown reason. I think it is because of the interesting strategic situation and of course the heavy involvement of Davout. He is again, as at Auerstadt outnumbered, and has to rely on his own wits, until the eventual arrival Of Napoleon and additional forces. The main difference now being, that he has control of 4 infantry divisions and 2 cavalry divisions in support. (A small army in itself).

The Campaign map is very long from top to bottom and is deceptive to a newbie who may not grasp the distance between say, Regensburg and Abensberg, and mistakenly look at the Campaign map and assume that the town of Saal is actually Abensberg , which could cost you a few hours of movement, especially if you are too slow to react in moving Davout's divisions. I have decided to play the Austrians against the A.I. for the simple reason that if you play the French- the A.I. has difficulty in crossing the Isar river. With the Ezjax download , the Austrian units look really good; my favourites are the dragoons and grenz grenadiers.
The battle begins at 2.00pm with the lead units of the Austrian 5th corps arrayed in the southern section of the town of Landshut, with most of them strung out along the road to the rear.

The opposition consists of troops of Siebein’s 1st Bavarian brigade who have a battalion and skirmishers deployed to block the bridge. As you have an unlimbered gun battery already deployed at the other end , it is a simple process of blasting until the skirmishers rout and then quickly moving across. You should note that you have a pioneer company in lead position which is arrayed in battalion formation , which fools you into using it as a combat unit. It is an engineer and should be used to repair the bridge further to the west. You should not worry too much about French opposition as the A.I., unless unduly provoked will retreat all of Deroi’s division away to the north. It will of course leave some skirmisher units, ridiculously , under the command of the general himself and even a supply wagon unit for you to mop up. Kill the skirmishers but let Deroi go. It makes sense in the long run.

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After Landshut is taken – it is an easy walk up the road to Pfeffen hausen. You can send some Austrian cavalry to chase down the rear elements of Deroi’s 3rd Bavarian Division, but be aware that it turns dark at 6 in the evening with a 1 hex visibility. Unnecessary loss to close enemy fire is not wise especially as the Austrians are quite weak in the cavalry arm at this stage of the battle. If you were playing against a human opponent , it would be suicidal to walk into a single rearguard deployed battery with infantry support. More so , than in other campaign games- your Austrian cavalry should be used as primarily your eyes and ears – it is very woody and ravine filled terrain. I am currently on game turn 38, with the advance guard, headed by Archduke Charles himself about 1200 metres south of Pfeffenhausen itself. It is possible to arrive earlier, but I chose to stop all elements of the Austrian army to rest until 5 in the morning. I do not know how it would play against a human opponent , but on average, the French army generally stopped at between 10 and 11 and then started moving again at 5 or even 4 o'clock, depending on season. Apart from that, it gives the A.I. a bit of a chance to organise a defence of Pfeffenhausen- which is probably a moot point. Pfeffenhausen is worth 100 victory points, so it is good to take it. Unfortunately the A.I.'s linear script also knows this and will move everything towards this position.


Napoleon addressing his Bavarian troops...........

Now is the time to dispense with the A.I. and start making it’s defensive positioning for it. Deroi’s and Wrede’s divisions should be enough to make a reasonablecontainment battle. You need to move Prince Ludwig’s 1st Bavaruian division back to cover the approaches to Abensberg. It is pointless using all 3 Bavarian divisions to defend Pfeffenhausen as Hillers 6th corps is snaking it’s way up the east side of the Ilm river and from the east. Rosenberg’s 4th Corps is moving inexorably forward. They can both reach and flank a strong Bavarian position in 6 to 7 hours. The result would be catastrophic, unless of course , you are a Bavarian military Genius.
Once you have deployed the 2 Bavarian divisions properly and to your liking, you can then switch on the A.I. again and play out the battle. It is also a good idea at this stage to help the A.I. move Morand’s division over the Danube, otherwise they will be pointlessly dancing around there for the whole of the campaign. The battle for Pfeffenhausen should be only a delaying action, so when you see that the Bavarians are beaten, which should be in the late afternoon- pull back and let them back-off and then turn off the A.I. and retreat one of the divisions to hold Rottenburg ( VP’s ) and the other to join the fresh 1st Bavarian division, defending the routes to Abensberg.

Now you see – why I have whinged before about a unit movement inhibitor, where you can stop the A.I. from making stupid moves- like leaving Abensberg unguarded and throwing all 3 Bavarian Divisions into one initial battle. A improved A.I. is , I think, is not possible in campaign terms, but you could have a relatively interesting game solo with a bit of tweaking.
As it stands ,I am going to thrash the Bavarians, but allow them a small to medium loss depending on my mood..................

Letter sent early on the 17th by Deroi to Lefevre..

General Deroi, at 9 o’clock in the morning of April 16, received a demand from the enemy to rebuild [de faire retablir] the bridge at Landshut. On the refusal of the general commanding the 3rd division of the Bavarian corps, the enemy commenced to attack the town. In the suburb Entre-les-Ponts (properly Zwischen-den-Brucken, but probably translated by Lefebvre for the benefit of Napoleon and his staff) where our soldiers found good cover, they engaged in a lively firefight, but at the other bridge called Pont du Suburb where all the ground was clean shaven(sic), skirmishers could not hold their position, and amongst the cannons with which I tried to reply the [enemy] fire was so telling on my gunners, that I had to abandon that plan, allowing the enemy to rebuild the bridge and menace my flank with a strong sortie. On the other hand, noticing a considerable corps which had crossed the Isar on the bridge which they had rebuilt [qu'ils avaient fait retablir] at Moosburg and was advancing by my left towards my rear, and knowing nothing of General Saint-Hilaire, I disengaged and made my retreat to Pfeffenhausen, where the division arrived between 4 and 6 o’clock this morning.

My troops being harassed, under combat from 9:30 until night-fall and then marching all night, I am resting them until 1 this afternoon, when I will retire on Rottenberg and there await the orders of Your Excellency [Lefebvre, le Duc du Danzig].


[signe] Deroi - 3rd Bavarian division.




 
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#2
Action at Pfeffenhausen.



Now it is turn 39 - I can at last see the opposition. The A.I. has 2 columns of Bavarian Infantry 6 hexes in front of Pfeffenhausen and I can see at least 4 regiments of cavalry milling about directly in front of the town. Deroi’s 3rd Bavarian Division. I have achieved 40 turns against the A.I. but now have to turn off thefog of war and view the French positions. I was expecting wrede’s 2nd Bavarian division also to be deployed in and behind Pfeffenhausen, but they seem to be about a one and a half hours march away to the Northwest. That is good as they will be needed soon. Lefevre and the 1st Bavarian division are wat to the southwest but could conceivably arrive in late afternoon- that is, if they want to leave the route to Abensberg completely open. Hiller’s 6th Austrian corps is very close to them and I had every intention to move them quickly to take Abensberg.

As for Davout’s 3rd Corps. The 1st and 3rd divisions are at Ratisbon while the 2nd is over the Danube , way to the North-west. I am happy with this , but not so happy that the 4th division is approaching Pfeffenhausen from the north and can arrive in 5 to 6 hours. Nansouty’s cavalry of the 3rd corps are even closer and should arrive in 2 hours.

I now have no choice but to make some small adjustments, otherwise the great, piecemeal ,destruction of 4 enemy divisions will occur. First of all ,I am going to re-route Lefevre and the 1st Bavarians directly to Abensberg, where they historically belong. I will exhaust their movement points so the A.I. cannot continue to move them to Pfeffenhausen. As for Nansouty’s cavalry- they are not needed as there are 6 cavalry regiments facing only one Austrian, namely the 8th Hussars. Playing against a human opponent with more cavalry at Pfeffenhausen would be initially problematic , but against the A.I. only a mild worry. Nansouty will therefore move and screen Rosen bergs 4th Austrian corps to the east. I know that they should not know the Austrian position, but it is not a leap of imagination, to believe that they would be ordered historically or by a human opponent to scout this area for the Bavarians and Davout at Ratisbon. The 4th French Infantry division will stop in it’s tracks and await developments. If the Bavarians at Pfeffenhausen hold – then they may move to intercept Rosenberg’s Austrians, or cover the withdrawal of the Bavarians.

I now, will take control of the Battle of Pfeffenhausen .

 
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#3
Do you ever play human opponents? That is the best format. Even with the best AI there is nothing like the human element.

But it is really good to see EC played after being out for going on 12 years.
 
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#4




I have had an offer for a game, but had to decline, as I am not on the internet on my home computer. I can imagine how different the experience is, especially in the timing and movement department.The paranoia element must be superb. It is good practice anyhow to play, with a bit of tweaking against the A.I.

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The initial moves in the Battle of Pfeffenhausen. Turning the fog of war off has brought up some interesting developments. I , as the Austrians, assumed that PF. was occupied only by Deroi’s and Wrede’s Bavarian divisions , and of course, attached cavalry of the VII Corps. It seems that the 1st Brigade of Wrede’s Bavarians are also in occupation with the second brigade on it’s way, a bit further north. Historical mal-assumption- very realistic. Also the fact that the A.I. on it’s retreat from Landshut in the dark , managed to send 3 of Deroi’s gun batteries away to a large wood in the south-east. Lost in the dark, which although not intentional, gives a feel of variety to the game. Deroi’s forces at PF. are also missing 2 supply wagons which also got lost in the dark. As for General Deroi himself, I am moving him manually to PF. And after the Campaign- he will be court-martialled for incompetence.

I have started to deploy the Austrian 5th Corps, left and right of the southern bridge before Pfeffenhausen and have switched the A.I. back on again. Lefevre and the 1st Bavarian division are generally heading north, so I will divert them to Abensberg later on. The Bavarians have sent out two 3-battalion columns on the slight elevation , left and right of the main road, south of PF. They are also moving 3 gun batteries down the road. The wood to the left of their position seem to be unoccupied, so I have sent skirmishers of the 50th Regt to harass them. The 3rd regt is deploying in line on the road while the 33rd are moving to the right. This Bavarian move looks intimidating. So i bring up a battery of 3pounders and deploy them to the left and a battery of 6 pounders to sweep the main road. The right-hand Bavarian column has sentv out skirmishers to harass mine but it is a uneven affair as mine are in the woods and gain a 30% defensive bonus and are concentrating on the massed Bavarian column. Four musket shots have already felled 42 Bavarians with only 3 loss to the skirmishers. The 3 pounders are also adding weight and have routed 2 of the 4 Bavarian skirmishers. Now , the deployment of the Bavarian gun batteries , on the road, would be quite brutal except for the fact that the right hand Bavarian column are partially blocking their line of sight and i have deliberately moved further to the left, in line formation. The musketry duel is uneven, and one Bavarian battalion routs, followed by a second, 2 turns later. However, I commend major beckers who stood his ground with a single battalion and even charged forward and killed 20 of my skirmishers. His elan was however short lived as my, infantry in line in front of his battalion in column are ripping great holes in him. He withdraws eventually.

I have made it to game turn 45 with the A.I. switched on again , but what is to happen next, makes me forget the minor tweaking. The 50th Regt.moving slowly into the right woods has deployed 2 skirmisher units in front .These are being melee assaulted by 2 regiments of cavalry who are suffering 18 to 26 man losses to the skirmisher’s nothing. This is interesting as it demonstrates the effectiveness of skirmishers against cavalry in woods. Then 2 more Bavarian cavalry regiments join in, and now have to face the entire 50th Regt. And opportunity fire from 2 of my gun batteries which have positioned on the ridge-line running south-west of PF. The Bavarian cavalry lost 153 horsemen for the loss of none of my Austrians. It was pointless , bloody slaughter and I could not bear it any longer , so now am in complete control of the battle for both sides.

I am not detailing these facts as a whinge – I am just seeing, how long and feasible it is to play the Campaign game without turning the A.I.off. I would say , roughly 50 ,initial turns. What I am going to do next is to exhaust the movement points of divisions i do not want to move and switch on the A.I. sporadically for close encounters. I do not trust the A.I. to make the big strategic moves , but want to see the tweak level. There is the advantage in this Campaign, that because of the great distances and ground to be covered, such tweaking is feasible.

The action at PF., whether played by the A.I. or a human opponent- has the distinct advantage of demonstrating the effectiveness of a compromised position. By, that, I mean , that the battle for the Bavarians is based on timing and positioning. The Austrian artillery, once established on the left- hand ridge, basically pound any reinforcements coming into PF or moving out to defend against a Austrian infantry assault. The main retreat road to the west is compromised as are any units arrayed to keep the road safe and open. The Bavarians are further compromised by my easy taking of the right hand woods, apart from the cavalry incident. I have redeployed 2 of the Bavarian batteries on the road leading west and they have some cavalry support in the rear. I am reluctant to move any Bavarian infantry to the west, apart from skirmishers. The 2 batteries are already taking a good toll of the Austrian lines, who are ready to move forward but are reluctant to become disordered by 2 tributaries of the Gros-Llaber stream – while also having to sustain a possible 3 volleys of gunfire to do so. Wrede’s 2nd brigade is moving into rear support position anyhow.

The Austrian 50th Regt. is on the edge of the woods to the right and is reluctant to move forward against 7 Bavarian battalions in line, supported by 6 cavalry regiments. The tweaking is working and at game turn 50 - I can turn on the French A.I. and make my move.
The Austrian 5th corps is deployed and after say, another hour of artillery bombardment will move forward andtake PF. Marshal Berthier is a half hour away and I believe that he will order a gradual withdrawal to the west.

Total losses at 10.30 am are 567 Bavarian Infantry and 153 cavalry. Austrian loss stands at 269 infantry and 6 supply. Major Radetzky was killed at the Landshut bridge, ( Bavarian swine ! ).:(

V Armeekorps: Feldmarschall-Leutnant Archduke Louis (32,266)

Reserve Artillery: Major Adam Pfefferkorn (18 guns)
Brigade: General-Major Ludwig Thierry (6 battalions, 8 guns) (Attached from III Armeekorps)
Division: Feldmarschall-Leutnant Karl Lindenau (Detached to I Reserve Armeekorps)
Brigade: General-Major Anton Mayer von Heldensfeld (6 battalions, 8 guns)
Brigade: General-Major Ignaz Buol von Berenburg (6 battalions, 8 guns)
Divisional Artillery: (6 guns)
Division: Feldmarschall-Leutnant Prince Heinrich XV of Reuss-Plauen
Brigade: General-Major Frederick Bianchi, Duke of Casalanza (6 battalions, 8 guns)
Brigade: General-Major Franz Johann Schulz von Rothacker (6 battalions)
Divisional Artillery: (6 guns)
Light Division: Feldmarschall-Leutnant Emmanuel von Schustekh-Herve
Brigade: General-Major Joseph, Baron von Mesko de Felsö-Kubiny (2 battalions, 8 squadrons, 8 guns)
Brigade: General-Major Joseph Radetzky von Radetz (2 battalions, 8 squadrons, 6 guns).

 
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The situation has improved for the Bavarians, now under my control. A further Bavarian battery has unlimbered on the road heading west of PF. The fire on the Austrian lines is punishing. The Bavarian cavalry have reformed behind PF. The 7 battalions of Deroi’s division are slowly moving to the left. Marshal berthier has arrived at PF. And is consulting with General Wrede. Berthier has already received information from scouts that an Austrian column has been sighted at Andersdorf – a mere hours march from Rottenburg and more importantly, roughly 4 hours march from Pfeffenhausen.

Historically, Pfeffenhausen was a minor skirmish between Major Radetzsky’s advance guard and Deroi’s Bavarian division. Deroi retreated towards Rottenburg in the early evening. This is not possible now in my game. Although there are 100 VP’s at stake- Berthier is intimidated enough by the Austrian deployment, especially, having 10 Austrian artillery batteries against 5 of his own, and what seems to be at least a Corps of the enemy arrayed against him , with the sighting of further Austrian troops approaching along the southern bridge road- to order a gradual retreat, starting with Deroi’s infantry, who will be covered by the Bavarian cavalry in a line extending northwards. Davout is still moving southwards with 3 divisions. Berthier has sent orders to Montbrun’s cavalry of the 3rd corps to move towards Rottenburg and assess the number and movement intentions of the Austrians there. Unfortunately , Rottenburg with another, 100 VP’s will have to be given up without a fight. The Bavarian retreat has been ordered to Siegenberg, away to the North-west, which joins the main road south, along which, Lefevre with the 1st Bavarian division is currently moving northwards, being closely shadowed by Hiller’s 6th Corps.

From the Austrian point of view , Charles has deployed the 5th corps before PF. and is happy to bombard the Bavarian positions with artillery and indulge in skirmisher tactics. He knows that the Bavarians are compromised and expects them to withdraw in the afternoon. To impress their situation on them, Major Rothacker , leading the 58th line regiment is moving to a further eastern rise with a battery of guns and the Freicorps Regt. so as to threatening the main -line of retreatr. A general assault is being prepared and awaiting the order. It is game turn 52 - 11 O’clock.........the bavarian artillery have scored hits of 20 and 18 loss on the main ridge line, southwest of PF. and Rothacker's Regt has been bombarded while conducting facing and movement further west.This added to, a redeployment of 2 batteries actually in PF. covering the main road south has had a hit of 48 on a single Austrian line battalion. The Austrians have suffered a total loss in half an hour, mostly from artillery fire of 223. I am not surprised that Archduke Charles is waiting for developments and would rather stand off and demonstrate , for the moment anyhow...

Behind the Austrian 5th Corps, strung out on the road , going all the way back to Altdorf are; Hohenzollern’s 3rd Corps, Liechtenstein’s 1st Reserve Corps and Somariva’s Division. It looks like they will not be needed. It is probably a good idea to leave them in road formation, as when the Bavarians retreat, they, then can fly through to whatever destination they need to.
Historically , Archduke Charles spent most of the first day after crossing the Isar river, organising and deploying his Corps, so, in theory, I am ahead of schedule. He also had no idea where Davout was, so any moves I make will not really be unhistorical. I think I will contain the Bavarians and try to hit Davout quickly with as many troops as possible, and of course, take Ratisbon (Regensberg )....


The bridge at Ratisbon........nice and solid.. not surprised that Couthard did not bother to destroy it.... not enough explosives apparently , and it had ice -floe guards on either side at the time to help it's structural integrity.

 
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It is now 1.15pm. ( game turn 61 ). The Bavarians are almost in full retreat, Deroi has already managed to move 7 of his battalions, well on their the way, on the main highway to Siegenburg. The most notable event to happen, was the movement of 8 Austrian battalions under the command of Major Rothacker, ( consisting the 58th and 60th line regiments and the Vienna Freicorps regiment ). All moving in line formation to take the lower rise, next to the large ridge, southwest of Pfeffenhausen. This was an unremarkable event, ostensibly meant to pressure the Bavarisans to withdraw early and to cut the retreat road heading west of PF. Four lines in front and 3 lines behind. One battalion left in the small ravine to maintain contact with the main ridge.

What happened next should be a warning to complacent maneuver and positioning. Apart from some artillery volleys from a single battery on the western PF. road , this formation looked good and solid, and more than capable to impose itself on the enemy. The Bavarians were withdrawing fully from the right of PF. There was a Bavarain line of light cavalry extending northwards from the town itself. Marshal Berthier had reached a small group of farmhouses about 1700 metres west of PF. and could clearly see Rothacker's advance , which was now only 200 metres from the main highway. Fortunately, the A.I. had positioned St. Sulpice’s Cuirassier Division here and I stubbornly left them there early on, with no intention of using them. The attached Horse- artillery battery immediately unlimbered and began firing at Rothacker’s lines. Berthier, in a fit of desperation, then ordered the 1st Cuirassier Regt. to charge the Austrian line formations. Fortunately, the french cavalry regiment was positioned with a facing capable of hitting the leftmost battalion of the first Austrian line. There was no intent on Berthier’s part, but to make a demonstration. He also ordered the Bavarian 13th Bavarian line, ( 2 battalions ) to move forward and protect the retreat road .

So, the 1st Cuirassiers Regt. , under the direct command of St. Sulpice charged 800 metres and contacted a Austrian battalion in line. They lost 14 men in the initial opportunity fire. The initial melee cost the 1st Cuirassiers 62 men. The Austrians lost 356. The Austrians were pushed back and were charged again with more moderate looss for each side and then finally, as the Austrians were on a lower elevation. St. Sulpice continued and inflictes a 129 loss. The Austrian battalion had gone from a 650 man strength to only 119 men. The Cuirassiers lost about 128 cavalrymen. A pretty good charge which was a bit lucky as the victim battalion was part of the Vienna Freicorps militiaregiment, with a quality C-Rating. There was now,a disordered , but still potent Cuirassier regiment in the left- rear of Rothackers formation. Berthier on seeing this resounding success, ordered Minuzzi with the 13th Bavarian line and a battalion of the King Wilhelm Regt. to move across the Gros- Laber tributary and support the isolated Cuirassier regiment.



The next Austrian turn saw one austrian line battalion turn and fire at the Cuirassies with limited effect and the two remaining militia battalions join together to face the French cavalry. The next French turn saw Minuzzi, with his 3 battalions in line firing at Rothacker and inflicting a good loss. Therefore, Rothacker had 3 of his line battalions pinned by Minuzzi, while the others faced the slightly retiring French cavalry, who were no doubt preparing to charge again. The next Austrian turn saw 4 of Rothackers battalions rout and Minuzzi pressed forward with his infantry and pushed Rothacker’s Austrians down the rise, reverse slope. A disaster in all but name. To add insult to injury, 2 of the Bavarian gun batteries on the western PF. Road bombarded the Austrians in flank getting good loss hits. The next French turn would have seen the 1st Cuirassier regt charging what was left, so , Rothacker moved his 3 remaining battalions to join the fresh battalion , left in the ravine and set up a defensive line behind the stream.

The Bavarians were in complete control of the western rise and their escape route. The Austrians had to hurry over a support regiment taken from the assault on PF . itself and turned 3 of their main ridge batteries to hit Minuzzi, who withdrew slightly. Archduke Charles, in a rage, ordered Beckenberg with the 3rd and 33rd Austrian line regiments to melee assault Pfeffenhausen immediately after the Rothacker incident, which by 1.00pm was successful. The Bavarians had been pushed out of PF. The Austrian line east of PF. pushed forward against limited skirmisher resistance, and is presently facing off the Bavarian cavalry. Reuss-plaeun has taken over the left flank while Rothacker is busy explaining himself to the Archduke.

Losses at Pfeffenhausen are about 2100 men for both sides, although that figue would have been about 600 lower , if not for the Rothacker incident. The Bavarians are setting up a good retreat, but are being constantly bombarded at long range from 13 Austrian batteries along the whole front.
If the Bavarians had control of the main ridge from the start of the battle- it could have been possible to hold the Austrians for an extra 2 hours and if deroi’s 4 artillery batteries were not sent all over Kingdom come by the A.I. , Austrian loss would have been higher still.

Overall verdict- a draw , although the Austrians have 100 VP’s and also are 15 minutes away from taking Rottenburg with another 100 VP’s , with no opposition.

 
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Marshal Lannes

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Overall, I am pleased with the action at Pfeffenhausen, as I tried a more relaxed approach. I think that in a Campaign game, people tend to think about the big picture too much and thereby have a tendency to rush things. I was more interested in having a elegant engagement, rather than a smash and grab affair, which was reflective of the bigger picture. Focusing completely towards the engagement , itself.

It was obvious that I was going to win from the onset with numerical superiority of the Austrians – so I deliberately chose to only deploy Louis’ 5th Corps for the battle. Although the A.I. made some stinker moves, especially with the cavalry; things like, leaving Deroi’s batteries and the general himself, a distance away , in deep woods, surprisingly, added a bit of unexpected variety to the general situation. Turning the fog of war off is annoying, but I suppose , you can circumnavigate this by issuing orders to Corps and Divisions for their objectives. Yes, I know, it’s boring and you will order both sides to move to the same place. Well, again – the Eckhmuhl Campaign is probably more accessible to this mode of play, as ,although there are clear objectives for both sides. The routes you can take are literally varied, and you can roll a dice to make a decision on routes or write out some brief orders and choose blindly. I am still going down the route of exhausting the movement points of the opposing side and playing out contact battles with the A.I. switched on, only after I have properly positioned both sides in facing each other. It will definitely be switched off for a turn or two, if I consider a move to be overly stupid.

For any “ newbies” reading this – you can switch on and off the opposing sides A.I. in a Campaign game, look at the header A.I. tab above the main screen. but ,you have to start the opposing sides move in manual control - make your adjustments, movements and then let the A.I. take control of firing in a battle. It is not brilliant, but works surprisingly well. Fudging is not brilliant, but if you were playing a boardgame against someone, you would be able to see their entire army and all their moves, so it can be borne and if you do it in a elegant way - it can pay-off to an extent. I try and put myself into the shoes of the commanders, especially within a contact situation, and choose what sort of battle it should be- minor skirmish , holding action , small battle , large battle, complete massacre or even just pin them in place and await re-inforcements. You can make the judgement of acceptable loss for both sides. A bit of role-playing helps a lot. You can choose which commander is lazy or incompetent or rash and make their moves accordingly. Fudge away to gain good, solo play !

Retreat from Pfeffenhausen.

It is now 2.15pm. Apart from Bavarian cavalry under Preysing and Cuirassiers of St. Sulpice’s division and the odd routing skirmisher- all the guns and infantry of 2 Bavarian divisions are well on the road towards Siegenberg. Louis’ 5th corps are reforming into a defensive position facing west, bringing up their , now out of range right- flank artillery. No attempt is being made by the Austrians to provoke the Bavarian cavalry apart from cannon fire, which is having an effect. They will withdraw, out of necessity, within the next half hour.



Archduke Charles is considering his options and for the moment has decided to order Louis and the 5th corps to follow the Bavarians with a view to taking Abensberg, while he takes the 3rd Corps under Hohenzollern and Liectensteins Reserve Corps towards Bachl. Rosenburg’s 4thCcorps are in complete possession of Rottenberg and have been sent orders to move northwards to Kalteneck and then on to Rohr , scouting the surrounding area for French activity. I still have not decided whether , as the Austrians- I want to take Abensberg or take on Davout’s 3rd corps and take Ratisbon. I will have to roll a dice , to simulate the Austrians complete lack of reconnaissance and of course, Charles’, historical laxity and indecision. As for French moves – the Bavarians will hold and defend Abensberg , while Davout looks for an opportunity to win the Campaign all by himself. Since the A.I. has left Friant’s 2nd Division well behind in bohemia, over the Danube; they will not be available to support Davout’s 1st and 4th divisions moving rapidly towards the Lanquaid area. Gudin’s 3rd division is east of Abensberg, so at least a link has been established with the Bavarians moving North-west. Davout could be marching nto a tricky situation – that is if the Austrians are able to detect him quickly- back to the dice rolls again, folks ! lovely....................:laugh:

 
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Marshal Lannes

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#10
Ratisbonne, 24 avril 1809.
Premier bulletin de la Grande Armée.

Bataille d'Eckmülh, le 22.

Tandis que la bataille d'Abensberg et le combat de Landshut avaient des résultats si importans, le prince Charles se réunissait avec le corps de Bohême, commandé par le général Kollowrath, et obtenait à Ratisbonne un faible succès.

Mille hommes du soixante-cinquième, qui avaient été laissés pour garder le pont de Ratisbonne, ne reçurent point l'ordre de se retirer. Cernés par l'armée autrichienne, ces braves ayant épuisé leurs cartouches, furent obligés de se rendre. Cet événement fut sensible à l'empereur; il jura que dans les vingt-quatre heures le sang autrichien coulerait dans Ratisbonne, pour venger cet affront fait à ses armes.

Dans le même temps, les ducs d'Auerstaedt et de Dantzick tenaient en échec les corps de Rosemberg, de Hohenzollern et de Liechtenstein. Il n'y avait pas de temps à perdre. Le 22 au matin, l'empereur se mit en marche de Landshut avec les deux divisions du duc de Montebello, le corps du duc de Rivoli, les divisions de cuirassiers Nansouty et Saint-Sulpice et la division wurtembergeoise. A deux heures après-midi, il arriva vis-à-vis Eckmülh, où les quatre corps de l'armée autrichienne, formant cent dix mille hommes, étaient en position sous le commandement de l'archiduc Charles. Le duc de Montebello déborda l'ennemi par la gauche avec la division Gudin. Au premier signal, les ducs d'Auerstaedt et de Dantzick, et la division de cavalerie légère du général Montbrun, débouchèrent. On vit alors un des plus beaux spectacles qu'aient offerts la guerre. Cent dix mille ennemis attaqués sur tous les points, tournés par leur gauche, et successivement dépostés de toutes leurs positions. Le détail des événemens militaires serait trop long; il suffit de dire que, mis en pleine déroute, l'ennemi a perdu la plus grande partie de ses canons et un grand nombre de prisonniers; que le dixième d'infanterie légère, de la division Saint-Hilaire, se couvrit de gloire en débouchant sur l'ennemi, et que les Autrichiens, débusqués du bois qui couvre Ratisbonne, furent jetés dans la plaine et coupés par la cavalerie. Le sénateur général de division Demont eut un cheval tué sous lui. La cavalerie autrichienne, forte et nombreuse, se présenta pour protéger la retraite de son infanterie; la division Saint-Sulpice sur la droite, la division Nansouty sur la gauche, l'abordèrent; la ligne de hussards et de cuirassiers ennemis fut mise en déroute. Plus de trois cents cuirassiers autrichiens furent faits prisonniers. La nuit commençait; nos cuirassiers continuèrent leur marche sur Ratisbonne. La division Nansouty rencontra une colonne ennemie qui se sauvait, la chargea et la fit prisonnière; elle était composée de trois bataillons hongrois de quinze cents hommes.

La division Saint-Sulpice chargea un autre carré dans lequel faillit être pris le prince Charles, qui ne dut son salut qu'à la vitesse de son cheval. Cette colonne fut également enfoncée et prise. L'obscurité obligea enfin à s'arrêter. Dans cette bataille d'Eckmülh, il n'y eut que la moitié à peu près des troupes françaises engagée. Poussée l'épée dans les reins, l'armée ennemie continua de défiler toute la nuit par morceaux et dans la plus épouvantable déroute. Tous ses blessés, la plus grande partie de son artillerie, quinze drapeaux et vingt mille prisonniers sont tombés en notre pouvoir. Les cuirassiers se sont, comme à l'ordinaire, couverts de gloire.

Just being cosmopolitan....:laugh:

 
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Marshal Lannes

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#11


Maneuvers before Siegenburg.

The time now is 5.00pm. It is dusk and visibility has gone down to 400 metres. There is still a rearguard action between 2 battalions and a cavalry regiment of Bavarians and the Austrians in the woods, north-west of Pfeffenhausen. Deroi’s 3rd division has arrived a hour earlier and are taking up position on the Steinberg heights to the northwest of Siegenburg. Wrede’s 2nd Bavarian division is just arriving followed by Preysing’s Bavarian cavalry. Marshal Berthier, in Siegenburg itself, has just had a meeting with Marshal Lefevre, who has just arrived with the 1st Bavarian Division from the south. Betrhier is glad to , now, have at his disposal- 3 Bavarian infantry Divisions. He is however not pleased with the worrying news that Lefevre brings with him. Behind his march columns, he has observed a large Austrian force, following his with barely 45 minutes distance. He did consider stopping at Mainburg (100Vps), and facing them, but could clearly see that their numbers indicated a Corps strength. Without close support and pertinent orders- he continued moving towards Siegenburg. The onset of darkness within an hour will make reconnaissance difficult, but it is almost a certainty that 2 Austrian corps are moving towards the Bavarian 7th Corps.

Fortunately- Gudin’s 3rd French Division is deployed on the eastern approach to Abensberg itself, to counter any Austrian move in that direction, but Lefevre will not be able to support it, if he is pinned in place by the Austrians marching north and of course the Austrians following from Pfeffenhausen. The situation is made worse, as no word has been received from Davout and the disposityions of his other 3 Divisions. The Battle to defend Abensberg will lay in Lefevre’s hands alone , without Davout , and of course Napoleon, who has only just jumped into his carriage at Donauworth.

Lefevre would be more horrified still, if he knew the true situation of Davout’s 3rd Corps. Due to A.I. dispersal and I admit, my own laziness as I have to maneuver both armies who are not directly engaged. Davout’s divisions will have no impact on events of the next day. To quickly move the frech units I have used Campaign map view and close-up- which led to Morand’s 1st Division , apparently moving south, which they did for about 3 hours. Unfortunately , on the wrong side of the Danube, they now have to march back to Ratisbon and then beginning marching south again. Davout himself, is on the correct side of the Danube with most of St.Hilaire’s 4th division. I say most as, the A.I. decided to split the division and add French sappers and cavalry units, instead of his second brigade.

I will assume that this is down to incorrect orders , but, again the A.I. has created a unfortunate but more interesting situation. A human player would already have all 4 of Davout’s divisions ready for an assault on the Austrian north flank. The situation is now more tense and interesting.
As for the Austrians, ArchDukeCharles has ordered Louis 5th Corps to follow the retreating Bavarians and engage them in co-operation with Hiller’s 6th corps , who have already passed Elsendorf. Rosenberg’s 4th Corps has moved past Rohr and may move on Bachl and threaten Abensberg on it’s western road. As for Hohenzollern’s 3rd Corps, who are currently moving to rottenberg. Charles is awaiting developments as to their further moves. Liechtenstein’s reserve Corps will stay in the Pfeffenhausen area, thus being able to support any future Austrian position.
Archduke Charles has the initiative, positioning, and numbers, the Bavarians have no choice but to stand and fight. The next day will be bloody and Lefevre will either cover himself in glory or shame.........



 
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Marshal Lannes

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#12


It is now game turn 100- since 5.15 pm to 7.15 am , the game has been totally about movement. There was still a little bit of skirmishing beyond Pfeffenhausen, in the north-western woods, but nothing of consequence. If you have ever tried moving from Pfeffenhausen to Siegenburg, it may look a short distance , but close-up, it is not. It is natural to choose the Siegenburg area for a defensive position as it has an enormous forest which stretches behind it almost to the western map edge. Siegenburg also has an elevated rise stretching to the north-east, including the Steinberg heights, with woods to it’s front. Although the woods may give some protection to the enemy, some skirmishers, can hold them for a while, and they will be coming out disordered to meet , whatever you setup.

Lefevre wakes at 4.30am, and is already with Karl Augustus and his 1st Bavarian division. They arrived about 7.00pm last evening and have set up a defensive position next to the great forest, blocking the main road north. At 6.00 am, with full visibility, Lefevre can see the Austrian positions. The Austrians have set up a line west and east of the main highway with their gun batteries in the front line, of which , they have quite a few. They seem to be still positioning . Lefevre rides back to Siegen burg itself and sees the last rea-rguard, Bavarian cavalry units , moving onto the rise about 800 metres before the village. A aide has already arrived and made his report to Preysing , who informs Lefevre that Loius’ 5th Corps is way behind and has only started to move forward to Siegenburg at first light.



The Bavarian positions are as follows- the 1st Bavarian division holds a position from the great forest to Siegenburg; the 2nd Bavarian division holds Siegenburg itself – the 3rd Bavarian division is arrayed to the north-east. Preysing’s cavalry are to the north and St.Sulpice is supporting the rear of the 1st Bavarians. It is estimated that Louis’ Corps is a good 4 to 5 hours away- the temptation to hit the Austrians quickly to the south-west of Siegenburg is overwhelming, but Berthier, being cautious overrules such an idea; especially as Gudin , deployed before Abensberg has reported sighting Austrian forces at Bachl, maybe 6 hours march from Abensberg.

From the Austrian point of view- Louis’ 5th corps has been reforming from the previous days engagement and has been blocked by a nuisance , small Bavarian rearguard, and of course has not moved during the night between roughly 10 and 5 in the morning. Hiller’s 6th Corps is positioned before the 1st Bavarians and is no doubt waiting for the arrival of Louis and his men. Rosenberg’s 4th Corps has already passed Bachl and I did consider attacking Gudin, but decided to throw a dice , which turned his Corps north. About 4 hours behind him, is Hohenzollerns 3rd Corps which will be given a slightly improved dice roll, which will either hot things up for Gudin or Davout to the north.

As for Davout and his 3rd Corps - he will be in a lot of trouble soon as he does not have either Gudin’s 3rd or Morand’s 1st division to support. He may have to defend the approaches to Ratisbon with only one and a half infantry divisions and 3 cavalry divisions. Nasty, but interesting.
At the moment, things are still looking rosy for the Austrians, that is , if the Bavarians do not put up a good fight. I will switch on the A.I. for the Bavarian fight at Siegenburg, and see if it can function any better, with an already deployed mass of my own choosing.
I should point out to any newbies playing the campaign game as the French- be totally aware of the Danube river- there is a nuance which may cost you ???????

VI Armeekorps: Feldmarschall-Leutnant Johann von Hiller (35,639)

Reserve Artillery: Feldmarschall-Leutnant Karl von Rouvroy
Three 12-pdr position batteries (18 guns), 6-pdr position battery (6 guns)

Division: Feldmarschall-Leutnant Friedrich Kottulinsky
Brigade: General-Major Otto Hohenfeld
Klebek Infantry Regiment # 14 (3 battalions)
Jordis Infantry Regiment # 59 (3 battalions)
6-pdr brigade battery (8 guns)
Brigade: General-Major Nikolaus Weissenwolf
Deutschmeister Infantry Regiment # 4 (3 battalions)
Kerpen Infantry Regiment # 49 (3 battalions)
6-pdr brigade battery (8 guns)
Artillery: 6-pdr position battery (6 guns)

Division: Feldmarschall-Leutnant Franz Jellacic (Jellacic detached at Munich)
Brigade: General-Major Josef Hoffmeister (Brigade attached to Vincent)
Benjowsky Infantry Regiment # 31 (3 battalions)
Splenyi Infantry Regiment # 51 (3 battalions)
6-pdr brigade battery (8 guns)
Brigade: General-Major Konstantin Ettingshausen (Brigade detached at Munich)
Esterhazy Infantry Regiment # 32 (3 battalions)
De Vaux Infantry Regiment # 45 (3 battalions)
6-pdr brigade battery (8 guns)
Artillery: 6-pdr position battery (6 guns)

Light Division: Feldmarschall-Leutnant Karl von Vincent
Brigade: General-Major Karl Dollmayer von Provenchères (Brigade detached at Munich)[5]
Warasdin-Kreutzer Grenz Infantry Regiment # 5 (2 battalions)
4th, 5th, 6th Vienna Freiwilligers battalions
O'Reilly Chevauxleger Regiment # 3 (8 squadrons)
3-pdr Grenz brigade battery (8 guns)
6-pdr cavalry battery (6 guns)

 
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Marshal Lannes

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#13


It is game turn 104. 8.15am. Lefevre and his Bavarian divisions are still positioned about Siegenburg. Marshal Berthier has moved north to confirm Gudin’s sighting of Austrian troops on theBachl road. He is interrupted in his journey north by the sound of guns coming from Siegenburg. A unfortunate incident occurred at 7.30 am. The Austrian forces under Hiller were repositioning an infantry regiment, (49th), to the right of their line, when they were fired upon by a Bavarian battery, causing the loss of 2 men. This was opportunity fire and was accidental, since a count of 13 hexes was made to keep clear of gunfire, but unfortunately, the battery of Bavarians were 12-pounders with a range of 1500 metres and were firing obliquely. Obviously , the Bavarians were testing the range, and while Berthier had explicitly instructed Lefevre to give no provocation- the incident led to the Austrians moving forward their entire gun-line to engage the Bavarians in a long distance artillery duel. Both sides have also deployed skirmishers, so it now seems that the Austrians, may be pounding the Bavarian lines in lieu of a impending assault.
The artillery duel is unequal as Hiller has 9 batteries in all facing 5 bavarian, and also has 3 batteries of 12 pounders. The shells are telling with 2 Bavarian skirmish units already routing. Austrian losses stand at 19 men whereas the Bavarians have lost 67 men. The Austrians are for the moment quite happy to soften up the Bavarians. Hiller is buoyed by the news that at long last, Louis’ 5th corps is racing up the Siegenburg road and his advance, hussar cavalry are only 1300 metres from the village itself. The infantry are moving in straggled columns behind and it is expected that they will be deployed and ready to attack by before noon.



To the north, a bit west of Abensberg, Gudin is anxiously watching the Bachl road and is surprised not to have encountered any Austrians thus far. The main reason for this being that Rosenberg’s 4th Corps has already turned North-east. In it’s place, at Bachl, the newly arrived Hohenzollern 3rd Corps, is definitely going to move towards Gudin’s position. Fortunately, for Gudin, only the advance element of the 3rd Corps has arrived- the rest of the Corps is still quite a way behind and will take till noon to close-up. The thought had crossed my mind to move Hohenzollern’s 3rd Corps to the south=west towards Siegenburg, but there is such a thing as overkill. Anyhow they work as a split between Davout and Lefevre, or thanks to the A.I., a split between half of the 3rd French Corps with the other half. Morand’s 1st Division is just crossing the Kelheim bridge north of Abensberg and will not be able to support Gudin for at least another 6 hours. Ou est Napoleon ??? et Grouchy.

Time is precious, especially in this campaign, and that is why it is interesting, and of course the reconnaissance aspect, which is crucial for the Bavarians and Davout. As the Bavarians, you cannot misinterpret Austrian movement, or pay a heavy price. From what I can see , the Austrian artillery is a major headache and could punish lazy defensive positioning. Good job, I am nominally, playing as the Austrians. The 3 battalions per regiment structure works quite well too..................

 
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#14


The time is 11.30am. Hillers 6th Corps artillery are still pounding the lines of the 1st Bavarian division. They have little choice but to accept the punishment as any withdrawal will uncover the crossroads behind Siegenburg and expose Wrede’s 2nd division to fire from their right-flank rear. An aide from archduke Loius has arrived to inform Feldmarschall Hiller that the 5th Corps is at the moment, arriving before Siegenburg from the east and is currently deploying and readying itself for the attack. Hiller has also been informed of the action at Pfeffenhausen, and so now knows that apart from the Bavarian division he has been shadowing for the last 2 days, there are also 2 other Bavarian divisions at Siegenburg.

The pounding of 3 12-pounders and other batteries, even at long range for over 3 hours has been telling. The light skirmish line deployed by the Bavarians has all but routed. The Hamerbein Lt. Battalion , positioned in line on the main highway north, has broken and fled with a 42% loss rate, solely down to cannon fire. Prince Ludwig, had initially positioned 4 battalions of infantry on the fringes of the great western forest. These were the first to be attacked by 5 battalions of Austrian infantry. The Austrians indulged in musketry across the clear areas of terrain skirting the forest but then decided to mass melee assault, which met with some initial success. A see-saw battle raged for about 2 hours with both sides suffering about equal casualties. The 3 battalions of Vienna Freiwilliger took the most punishing loss. Unfortunately, Major Rechberg was killed in the third melee assault by a bayonet thrust to the side, killing him instantly- the first Bavarian officer casualty of the Campaign. The Prince Royal Line did not live up to a more honourable reputation and near the start of hostilities, broke , but were quickly rallied and returned to the fray, with renewed vigour.

It is only a matter of time before hiller decides on a general assault- the news of Louis’ arrival, means that a noon assault is likely. A little bit more pounding may discourage another Bavarian battaluion or two to flee at little cost to Hiller, except tired gun rammers. For the moment, the situation for the 1st Bavarian division is mounting in tense anticipation. Prince Ludwig has already voiced his concern about being able to hold his position by asking for a support regiment from Lefevre. As for the eastern approaches to Siegenburg, Wrede has his 2nd Division firmly installed in the village, while Deroi is lined up behind the 2 wooded areas to the north-east. He has however failed to send a skirmish line into the woods to harass Louis’ 2nd Division , as it moves up the track to deploy. Louis’ 1st division is deploying left and more, intensively towards the centre. A warning shot from the Bavarians on the rise heading northeast has already curtailed an Austrian hussar approach. Louis is expecting to be ready to attack at about 1.00pm, all things being equal.

As for and his 3rd Corps, things are not looking good. Gudin’s 3rd division is aware of the approaching Hohenzollern 3rd corps, while Davout himself has contacted Rosenberg’s 4th Corps at Hausen. Unfortunately forDavout , he has only two of St. Hilaire’s brigades available. Two artillery batteries are about 3 hours distant, thanks (A.I. ).He is however slightly buoyed by the appearance of Pajol’s light cavalry division, from the north. Morand’s 1st Division has just arrived at Saal which is north-east of Abensberg, ( about 5 hours march. Davout now has to make the tricky choice of ordering Morand to aid Gudin who is about 4 hours march to the south-west or arrive at Hausen to help Davout defend Hausen against Rosenberg. Both choices are tactically correct , so i shall leave the result in the hands of the God’s and throw a holy dice.
What Davout does not know is that Rosenberg only has 2 divisions of his whole 4th Corps available, with limited artillery and has no cavalry support whatsoever. He also has his supply wagons straggled back, a fair distance away, so may defer heavy engagement until early evening. Friant’s 2nd division is still approaching the Kelheim bridge and it is doubtful that it will be able to support anyone until early evening.

Archduke Charles has received some cavalry re-inforcement from the eastern map-edge, in the form of Veczay but is as yet reluctant to release his reserve cavalry corps until the situation is clearer and developments, invite their deployment.

 
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#15


History remembers Wellington's defeat of Napoleon, but has forgotten the role of Field Marshal Radetzky in the battles which led to Napoleon's abdication and first exile in 1814. As Chief of Staff to the allied coalition of 1813-14, Radetzky determined the shape of the most decisive campaigns of the Napoleonic Wars by creating the strategy that defeated the Corsican in Germany and then France. Neither Russia nor Prussia had been able to overcome Napoleon in battle and it took the brilliant diplomacy of Metternich and the military genius of Radetzky to ensure victory over the Emperor. In short, the Austrian contribution decisively tipped the balance against Napoleon - a fact which has always been overlooked by historians. It was Radetzky, too, at the age of eighty-two, who defeated the Italians in 1848 and 1849 and thus saved Europe once again from the prospect of international war and revolution. The wars Radetzky fought - and won - throughout his extensive military career were of the greatest possible significance in European history, yet today, he is almost forgotten - remembered only in the music of the Radetzky March, dedicated to him by Johann Strauss the elder. In this, the first biography of Radetzky to be published in English, Alan Sked paints a vivid picture of an exceptional, yet neglected commander of genius in a book which will be fascinating reading for enthusiasts of military and modern European history.

Well, fill my breeches with gaseous odour if that does not beat all. The Austrians were responsible for the ultimate demise of the Emperor and his Empire. No doubt , I am going to totally buy into this, especially as the author in question is, " International History Lecturer" at the London School of Economics, LSE, for the uninitiated. And as we all know, anything that emanates from the nest-egg of conjectural, historical revisionism, based on personal bias, must be wholly true. I can sleep easy now knowing that it was the Austrians and not the Russians- the book proves it and should be considered wholly, holy writ.....:p

Radetzky is also apparently, a , "- Military Genius "- must be a Napoleonic contagion going around ..." Craposis" of the Brain, quite nasty and mainly affects authors.........apparently.

In my Camapaign- Radetzky was killed in the first half- hour , so I personally do not rate him....:D

 
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#16
Congratulations for your work, I am a faithful follower, but is hard to follow the campaign without some illustrative screenshot... :crosseye:
 

Nikel

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#19
USB memory sticks are very practical and so you don't need DVD :)

I don not remember the last time that burned a DVD :crosseye:
 
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Euro's Euro's pour le pauvres, pobres Anglais, Inglese ! I was actually thinking about memory sticks -never used one though. I will check them out, especially as I have a Tiny desktop which dislikes non-tiny hardware, which is no longer available. We shall see...........
 
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