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Thread: Napoleonic Tactics

  1. #1

    Default Napoleonic Tactics

    Hi everyone,
    Im currently reading this site wich is very interesting. Ive visited it before but now that Napoleon TW is released its become eveb more interesting to me:
    http://napoleonistyka.atspace.com/Napoleon_tactics.htm

    From the little Ive read ive gathered that Napoleon mostly used 2 tactics.
    If he was in superior numbers he would use something called the Indirect approach.
    Basically meaning he would try to pin down the opponent with a few corps, and then move the bulk of his troops, in a huge flanking movement and cutting of the enemies means of communications and lines of supply and basically surround the enemy.

    Or, we would, if numerically inferior, use the central position appoach.
    This meant aiming towards the center of an opponent, create a gap and try to finish of them one at a time and obstructing any reinforcements the other half tried to send.

    However, what would Napoleon usually do if he found himself facing an opponent with a army similar in size of his own, the first or the second?
    Or something else?War of attrition?

    Thanks beforehand : )
    On the battlefields of Steam my name is Dilleman, find me there

  2. #2

    Default Re: Napoleonic Tactics

    Here's a link to a little something I wrote on this a while back. Click the Strategy spoiler and it has some information on the stuff you are talking about...

    http://www.twcenter.net/forums/showthread.php?t=310122

    When faced with a numerically equal enemy he would usually try to use his indirect approach to force his enemy into grounds of his own choosing on terms of his own. The central position was only really used when facing armies that were separated (as at Marengo and Jena-Auerstadt, but failing miserably at Waterloo). Napoleon pulled off many indirect approach battles when he was numerically inferior, it was just whatever the situation called for that he used. The indirect approach was many times used because he was outnumbered and needed to spread his enemy thin, and then concentrate his attack in one area...this was the key to his success.

    In fact, Napoleon more than likely did not even think of them as strategies, but rather just logical courses of action, so for us to think of them as such is kind of a mistake in the first place.
    Forget the Cod this man needs a Sturgeon!

  3. #3

    Default Re: Napoleonic Tactics

    Thanks Tiberius, tremendously clear and well written, thanks alot !
    On the battlefields of Steam my name is Dilleman, find me there

  4. #4

    Default Re: Napoleonic Tactics

    Are you sure he didn't just charge the enemy with his aides and staff. He loves to do that in the game.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Napoleonic Tactics

    Quote Originally Posted by irish437 View Post
    Are you sure he didn't just charge the enemy with his aides and staff. He loves to do that in the game.
    +Rep

  6. #6

    Default Re: Napoleonic Tactics

    Quote Originally Posted by irish437 View Post
    Are you sure he didn't just charge the enemy with his aides and staff. He loves to do that in the game.
    lol




  7. #7

    Default Re: Napoleonic Tactics

    LOL omg that made me bust out laughing ahaha

  8. #8

    Default Re: Napoleonic Tactics

    LOL how true.
    fascinating piece tiberius. I wish that the tactics would be neccessary on a larger scale in this game. all I ever do is establish a central position with massed cannon hopefully at least partially covering a flank. leave the other self supporting. one way or another the ai sends his units into my artillery killing field. end of battle. I have artificially created situations that require some small scale tactics but it is hard to accomplish since the ai insists on marching so many units back and forth.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Napoleonic Tactics

    Hi,
    thanx for some interesting reading.
    As France I just met a clever prussian captain defending Hannover. He decided to stay back and even defended at the high ground. I had to manouver to attack him and he inflicted heavy casulties on my fussilers. The best battle I have had so far.

  10. #10

    Default Re: Napoleonic Tactics

    Quote Originally Posted by PanzerHue View Post
    Hi,
    thanx for some interesting reading.
    As France I just met a clever prussian captain defending Hannover. He decided to stay back and even defended at the high ground. I had to manouver to attack him and he inflicted heavy casulties on my fussilers. The best battle I have had so far.

    Sounds like they gave you the only copy of Napoleon with a good BAI

  11. #11

    Default Re: Napoleonic Tactics

    My understanding of Napoleons favourite tactic was that he liked to attack a wing in force drawing the enemy into believing that this was where the main attack was to be launched. They would then draw in their reserves to protect the wing from being turned. Once the reserves were committed then Napoleon would unleash his main attack on the centre or the other wing. This was a tactic that was used to its most sublime extent at Austerlitz where the Austrian/Russian force believed that they knew where the main attack was being launched and they committed their reserves too soon - result calamity.

    In fact these tactics were not new but had been used in various guises throughout history. Frederick the Great used a similar tactic where he would weight his force on one wing and then advance his army in a staggered formation with his weak wing making contact with the enemy first. This would draw the enemy into thinking that that was where the main attack was being launched. Then the centre would advance and pin the enemy and finally his powerful final wing (the strong one) would make contact turning the flank and destroying the enemy. He repeated this tactic many times until his opponents got used to it and countered successfully.

    One should never discount in any discussion of Napoleonic tactics the quality of the French troops. They were excellent. The French soldiery fired up with revolutionary zeal and with past successes were a pretty formidable machine to face. This allowed Napoleon to carry out some pretty unimaginative assaults with success. The Battle of Borodino is in my humble opinion the classic battle which showed Napoleons growing lack of imagination - an attack straight up the middle into the teeth of the storm, expecting his excellent soldiers to win the day. The fact that they were not wiped out is testimony alone to the bravery and discipline of his soldiers.

    Towards the end Napoleon grew somewhat contemptuous of his men and expected them to accomplish great things despite losses and the odds. I believe he once famously stated ''What is 10,000 men to a man like me!'' Nice guy.

    Having said that his defensive campaign of 1814 when he marched up and down defeating the Prussians, Austrians and Russians in turn on his native French soil showed what a great man he could be when held at bay but again, it would never have been possible without the gallantry of the French soldiers.

  12. #12

    Default Re: Napoleonic Tactics

    Quote Originally Posted by Player2 View Post
    Sounds like they gave you the only copy of Napoleon with a good BAI
    heheh... well I really like my copy of NTW
    But untill now I just had to line up in a defensive stance in any battle to be succesfull. Now in my french campaign when Im the attacker the prussians are sitting back waiting for my fussilers to get in range of their 12pounders. Quite entertaining.
    Has it to do where I line up my forces? or has there been a patch-release?

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