Tactical use of the officers
Nikolai Alexandrovych Orlov (Russian Empire)
General Orlov is an infantry officer with strong support abilities. In order to enable him to use these effectively, it is important to pay attention to choosing an appropriate position when placing him on the board. He is capable of granting significant support to other units fighting around, and especially in front of, him, but is also able to continually deploy further units to the front from behind. Make sure that General Orlov is always situated next to multiple other own units.
His “Aggressive tactics” ability provides +2 APs to a neighbouring infantry or cavalry unit (including, of course, other officer units) in both own and opponents’ rounds. This is especially useful if Orlov is able to support a unit possessing an extra attack and even more so in the case of elite units such as Machine-gunners or the Guard regiment. In this scenario, this unit is capable of inflicting losses even upon officer units; because it has an extra attack, this may immediately cost the enemy 2 RPs in losses.
Orlov’s second ability is the “Human wave”, enabling him to move with an extra unit in each round. While this move is only possible if a rather strict condition is met (at the end of its move, the marked unit has to arrive next to Orlov), this will be open in almost all rounds by adopting an appropriate strategy and the smart movement of units.
Consequently, Orlov is able to push units situated behind him forward with ease while also being capable of quickly ordering retreat when in defence. Players should consider that the restriction does not apply to the unit’s location prior to the movement. Therefore, Orlov is even able to persuade a unit to move that was situated immediately next to him prior to beginning the move (and will, or course, arrive next to Orlov, but on a different field, at the end of the move).
General Orlov’s weakness is that he is unable to use any of his abilities to support himself during battle. Consequently, he is not very efficient when fighting in the frontline despite possessing major combat value as an officer unit. Above this, in the absence of other own units nearby, he is unable to use his abilities, which may result in an enormous strategic disadvantage. Therefore, all means should be exhausted to prevent the isolation of Orlov from the army corps’s other units.
Edward Vladimirovych Eck (Russian Empire)
Among Russian army corps fighting around Bártfa, General Eck is the officer unit most capable of launching an offensive. At the beginning of the game, it is advisable to place Eck into a starting position from where he can launch an attack with ease. Above this, consider placing infantry units next to him so he can use his abilities effectively.
General Eck’s “Sweeping charge” ability urges him to launch an attack in all situations where possible. The +4 APs provide the opportunity of establishing a dominant position because he is able to fight with level 12 attack value against all defending units, increasing to 15 in the case of artillery units. Due to the same reason, General Eck should seek to avoid situations in which he has to take part in clashes as the defender as he is not assisted by any of his abilities in this case.
General Eck’s second ability, the “Russian Steamroller”, also support attacking tactics. This enables Eck to move another infantry unit out of turn. Therefore, he may effortlessly outnumber the enemy, especially if a third unit is also in movement parallel to this, exploiting the possibility of a second action within a single round. Combining his two abilities (establishing a numerical majority and +4 APs), Eck is able to wipe out any hostile unit within a single clash. If the opponent avoids the clash, a superb opportunity opens up to break through the frontline and threaten tactical and strategic targets in the hinterland, because he is still able to adopt an attacking position with up to three units within a single round.
Sándor Szurmay (Austro-Hungarian Empire)
Szurmay is driven by his abilities to fight in the first ranks and preferably seek possibilities of close combat. While only moderately effective when fighting on his own, he becomes a formidable enemy when near infantry or cavalry units belonging to his army group.
Through his “Organised advance” ability, Szurmay is able to immediately deploy units arriving next to units under his attack. Therefore, in most cases when Szurmay is able to launch an attack, he may do so by outnumbering the enemy. The player controlling the army group only has to play attention to continually stationing a deployable cavalry or infantry unit in Szurmay’s vicinity.
The Lieutenant-General’s “Relegating attackers” ability enables him to displace a hostile unit from its position at the end of a clash and force it into retreat. Once the enemy has pulled back, the ability also enables Szurmay or an infantry or cavalry unit attacking together with him to immediately occupy the attacked unit’s original position. Therefore, the ability opens up the possibility of breaking through enemy lines and immediately occupying hostile territory. If the enemy unit has nowhere to retreat to, it shall suffer further losses.
It is important to note that this ability is applicable both in attack and in defence, meaning that Szurmay is able to force an enemy unit into retreat and immediately occupy its position even when surrounded by a hostile army corps.
Szurmay is a formidable enemy due to the combination of two of his abilities. He is easily able to generate situations enabling him to launch an attack while outnumbering the enemy; furthermore, at the end of the clash he either displaces the hostile unit from its position or inflicts further losses upon it. Consequently, Szurmay may effortlessly take control of important strategic and tactical targets even when surrounded by the enemy.
Imre Hadfy (Austro-Hungarian Empire)
Imre Hadfy is the officer unit most capable of launching counter-attacks among Austro-Hungarian forces defending Limanowa. At the beginning of the game, consider placing him in the first ranks or immediately in the second rank, preferably on a field with a road connection, in order to improve his chances of applying his abilities to achieve strategic advantage.
By applying his “Raid” ability, Hadfy is able to move than then immediately launch an attack within a single round. This enables him to continuously threaten hostile units stationed nearby. Consequently, Hadfy has the opportunity of taking the first step in the vast majority of cases; because he is capable of launching an attack when his enemies are still unable to do so due to the distance, he can decide on whether to enter into battle against the enemy.
Moreover, this ability makes for vast assistance for allies positioned nearby and ready to fight, because with the help of Hadfy arriving to the front from afar, they are able to immediately launch an attack in a numerical advantage. Taking this into consideration, it makes sense to make the appropriate preparations ahead of Hadfy, i. e. pushing other units capable of close combat (such as Hussars or the infantry) into the frontline while Hadfy waits in attacking position a single field away. If Hadfy is stationed even further back, on a field with road connection, there are even greater chances of him advancing from this secure position and launching a surprise attack against hostile units.
Successful escape is made almost impossible for his enemies by Hadfy’s “Swift reaction” ability. Provided that Hadfy has previously managed to adopt an appropriate combat position, his enemies are able to avoid clashes only if they accept that Hadfy may launch an out-of-turn attack against them when attempting to move away. Furthermore, this also implies the danger of Hadfy repeatedly initiating an attack in the coming round, with the help of his “Raid” ability. Therefore, if somehow Hadfy has managed to establish a numerical advantage against an enemy, he has high chances of eliminating the hostile unit under threat.
In addition to this, the following should be considered when using the ability:
- When using “Swift reaction”, Hadfy becomes the attacker, while the unit of the army corps in turn (which is seeking to distance itself from Hadfy) becomes the defender. Therefore, modifications caused by the terrain, as well as the abilities of own and hostile units either attacked or situated nearby, should be taken into account accordingly.
- If more than one unit is seeking to move away from Hadfy within a single phase, he may launch an attack against only one of them. In such cases, the target shall be set by the player representing Hadfy.
- If a hostile unit is moving next to Hadfy (meaning that it was situated next to him at the beginning of its movement), “Swift reaction” cannot be used against it.
- Hadfy poses the greatest danger to hostile artillery units. Due to the combination of his two abilities, artillery attacked by him has almost no chances of escape. Moreover, attacks against artillery units can be launched with +3 APs, enabling Hadfy to attack hostile artillery units near him with level 11 power. As a result, any attempt by these units to flee only increase their chances of being eliminated. Therefore, these artillery units – in the absence of nearby infantry or cavalry units posing a threat to Hadfy – only have a single possibility before being wiped out completely, namely launching an artillery attack against him in all round before being eliminated by the Lieutenant-General.
Tactical use of the infantry
K.u.K. infantry, Russian infantry, Russian Guard regiment
Infantry units take part in operations in significant numbers on both sides. The infantry can be used effectively to carry out tasks of both defence and attack. Lacking a large number of movement points, special attention should be paid to marking their starting positions already when placing units on the board in order to deploy them effectively later on.
Thanks to their “Bayonet fighting” extra ability, the infantry is able to inflict major losses upon all enemies, especially when outnumbering hostile troops. In this case, the infantry may easily wipe out the target unit with a single attack.
Above this, infantry units can be used excellently to protect own or allied artilleries if these are under attack from hostile infantry or cavalry units. In this case, infantry positioned next to artillery provides +2 DPs to the attacked artillery (these cannot be aggregated) and also prevents hostile units from adopting an attacking position from a direction of their choice. Therefore, attackers will find it more difficult to hit out at the artillery unit without taking risks or suffering losses.
The Russian Guard regiment, which possesses greater combat value than other infantry units and is therefore especially suitable to extort breakthroughs or to hold up the advancing enemy, stands out in strength among the infantries.
In certain cases, core infantry units may enter the game as reinforcements. Selecting the infantry is a rational decision if the player is hard-pressed and faced by a major attack, and his/her line of defence is near replacement fields. Through this, a fully manned infantry may reinforce the defence and reverse the course of battle.
K.u.K. Polish Legion
The Polish Legion is an infantry unit that can be lead into battle on the Austro-Hungarian side; as part of the Hadfy Group, its primary task is the defence of Limanowa. At the beginning of the game, it is recommended to place it on a position of strategic position that can be effectively defended by the Polish Legion. The best choice for this is a mountain, a settlement or perhaps a forested area, which provide it protection from hostile artillery fire.
Thanks to its special ability, “Patriotic zeal”, the Polish Legion is the perfect unit for defence. When hit by an attack – especially if being able to defend on a mountain or in a settlement –¸it may stand ground even against hostile officer units and push back their attacks. In this case, weaker units are unable to inflict substantial losses upon the Polish Legion (for example, the attacking infantry is entirely unable to inflict losses upon the Polish Legion if it is in defence on a mountain), unless they are able to attack in superior numbers or apply artillery support. However, it should be borne in mind that this ability does not provide protection against hostile artillery attacks, meaning that the Legion has to manoeuvre appropriately or retreat to forested areas in order to be protected from hostile fire.
During attack, the Legion is less effective because its ability is to be applied exclusively in defensive combat, while most other infantry units have an ability that can be used in attack. Therefore, generally it is only recommended to lead the Polish Legion into battle against hostile infantry or cavalry units if the player’s side outnumbers the enemy. Evidently, the Legion may be used effectively against artillery units also in attack.
Infantry units with higher combat value than the line infantry. Similarly to the Polish Legion, Machine-gunners will prove useful especially in defence; therefore, it makes sense to choose a strategically significant or well-defendable position as the unit’s starting-point.
A special ability of these units is the “Machine-gun section”. This form of attack may be used exclusively in defence; its effect shall be applied against all hostile units attacking it. This too reflects that machine-gun units are able to provide an outstanding performance primarily in defence; even if defeated, they are still able to inflict horrific losses to the attacker prior to being eliminated.
While machine-gunners are less effective during attack, their core combat values are higher than most infantry units, as already explained. Regardless of this, it makes sense to lead machine-gunners into attack mostly only if the target has already suffered losses or they are able to outnumber the enemy by attacking together with other allied units. Once it has broken the enemy’s resistance and advances to occupy a new position, it may use its ability to adopt a defensive post hard to capture. Following this, it is highly challenging to effectively attack the unit or force it into retreat with the help of infantry or cavalry units.
The Artillery observer’s primary task is to support artillery units fighting in the bond of the given army corps. Because each army corps initially only has a single Artillery observer, it is generally afforded a privileged role and should be safeguarded because as long as there are artillery units next to it, the observer may be of decisive importance. Because its combat values and special abilities do not enable it to stand ground in face-to-face clashes on the frontline, it should seek to avoid close combat if unable to attack in superior numbers.
If it is nevertheless hit by an infantry or a cavalry attack, it may use its “Defection” ability to avoid major losses. Furthermore, this opens the possibility of retreating to an area from where it will be able to effectively support artillery units.
The Artillery observer’s other special ability is “Indirect targeting”, which serves to significantly increase nearby artillery units’ accuracy while engaging in an artillery attack. The +1 attack power provided by the observer may in several cases prove to be valuable assistance to artillery units, especially if the target is situated on a well-defendable field or is an officer unit. In the absence of an Artillery observer, the forest provides effective protection against any kind of artillery attack (+3 DPs), while artillery attacks cannot be launched against such units; an exception from this is if the Artillery observer is within range of vision.
Because Artillery observers’ range of vision extends from two to three fields if standing on a mountain, it is recommended to place them on an appropriate elevated position (this being impossible, on a forested area), and artillery units should be positioned accordingly. Coordinated operations with the involvement of artillery units and an Artillery observer have the potential of inflicting major losses upon the enemy. The observer may also assist army corps’ artillery (when attacking charging hostile units in exchange for an artillery token), especially when the enemy is launching its attack from a forested area.
If weather conditions assume a role in the game, the effects these bring on may prevent the effective use of the Artillery observer in several cases, due to rainy weather and snowfall significantly deteriorating observers’ range of vision.
It is worthwhile to bring an Artillery observer into play as reinforcement if the given army corps still possesses artillery and the observer can be moved into its vicinity with ease. In this case, the extra Artillery token joining the game due to the Artillery observer may also be of great use to the given army corps.
Tactical use of the cavalry
Russian line cavalry, K.u.K. Uhlans
These cavalry units possessed extremely poor combat value and were generally beaten by their enemies in face-to-face clashes. However, their purpose is not to undertake such demanding struggles.
Due to their high movement points, such units are extremely skillful in manoeuvring on the battlefield and areas less thoroughly controlled by hostile units, especially if they are able to use roads to do so. Their primary task is prowling in the enemy’s hinterland and hunting down artillery units, and may even be deployed as replacements as a last resort if there is a risk of the enemy breaking through the lines at some point.
Their special ability, “Prowling”, enables them to easily eliminate weakened, fleeing units. With the help of +3 APs, they are able to inflict major damage even on hostile units with superior combat value.
These mounted soldiers may be used effectively also to reach the allied frontline in a short period of time and take part in their attack together with the units of the army corps fighting there, thus providing a numerical advantage for the ally. In such cases, they are of course quickly destroyed by the enemy, but this sacrifice can help allied army corps to achieve breakthrough and victory in the meanwhile.
If joining the game as reinforcement, the cavalry can be used superbly during attacking operations; their high MPs enable them to quickly arrive on the front, where hostile units already having suffered losses can be wiped out by light cavalry. During the later phase of the game, when the number of units on the battlefield is reduced, such units may also prove useful on account of having more room for movement.
K.u.K. Hussars, Russian Cossacks
Both Hussars and Cossacks are highly trained elite cavalry units. During close combat clashes, they play a far greater role than regular line cavalry, especially when assuming the role of the attacker.
Thanks to their “Horseback riding” ability, Hussars and Cossacks are able to manoeuvre with ease on the battlefield. If needs be, these units pursue the enemy’s weakened units; in other instances, they play the role of a swiftly-moving strategic supply to quickly reach areas threatened by the enemy, where they are then able to reinforce the defence. Similarly, they can be used superbly to quickly form a numerical preponderance over the enemy because owing to their high MPs and roads’ effects, they may easily manoeuvre into the appropriate position.
Above this, of course, both types of unit can be used splendidly to cause disturbances in the enemy’s hinterlands. Having broken through hostile lines, they are able to cause major difficulties by menacing artillery units, or threatening or even occupying any tactical or strategic targets weakly protected by the enemy.
However, these units are most useful when they are able to launch an attack, especially when applying their “Cavalry charge” ability. At the beginning of each attack, the player can decide to charge with +2 APs in exchange for surrendering 2 DPs. In most cases, it is advisable to do so against weaker units. In this case, the cavalry may attack a hostile artillery unit with level 13 attack value; this means that the unit may wipe out the target in two rounds even if entering combat on its own. Hussars and Cossacks are also recommended to charge into the enemy if multiple units are able to attack at once; in this case, units’ +2 APs add up, while the attacked enemy may launch a counter-attack only against a single cavalry unit.
Tactical use of the artillery
(Russian M1902; K.u.K. 1875M; K.u.K. 1905M)
Field artilleries’ most important task is to weaken and eliminate hostile units, preferably from a distance in which the artillery units themselves are in safety. Furthermore, they are able to provide artillery support to allied units engaged in battle, which is hugely helpful for infantry and cavalry units during both defence and attack.
Thanks to their “Artillery attack” ability, field artillery units are able to fire at hostile units from up to two fields’ distance. Through this method, losses can be inflicted upon targets while not endangering the artillery engaged in the operation. Therefore, it makes sense to try to use this ability whenever there is a possibility of launching such an attack. Naturally, it is worthwhile to ponder the likelihood of hitting the target and the degree of strategic advantage brought on by a possible victory prior to marking the action.
Another method of using field artillery is by assisting infantry or cavalry units launching an attack through “Artillery support”. This provides valuable assistance to units engaged in battle because it involves the hostile unit fighting with -2 APs and -2 DPs throughout the entire clash. Furthermore, these penalties shall be applied to both preventive and extra abilities, even if these are avoided. For example, an enemy infantry unit weakened by artillery support will struggle to use its “Bayonet combat” ability, while “Bayonet combat” actions used against it are almost certain to prove successful and result in further losses.
If artillery tokens are also in play, it is advisable to manoeuvre with artillery units in a manner enabling them to provide protection to both own and allied units while in defence. In this case, artillery units are able to assist units in defence through both artillery attack or artillery support, provided that the attacking hostile unit is within the artillery’s firing range. This provides outstanding opportunities to discourage the enemy from launching an attack. If he nevertheless decides to do so, heavy casualties are likely to occur.
Consider placing the artillery in a location from where it can fire at several different targets. Above this, among all units featured in the game, the impact of various terrain modifiers both in attack and in defence is the greatest upon the artillery. For artillery units situated atop mountains, both the +1 DP and the +1 AP provide valuable advantage when using the “Artillery attack” ability. However, artillery units are almost entirely powerless against hostile troops hiding in forests, as the forest provides them with +3 DPs against artillery attacks and fully shelters against the effect of artillery support. In such cases, the artillery may effectively enter into battle with the help of an Artillery observer.
All along the game, players shall pay attention to the fact that hostile infantry and cavalry units are able to attack artilleries with high efficiency, as all of these units have +3 APs against artillery units. For this reason, the artillery shall be protected against such dangers at all times. The +2 DPs provided by settlements, as well as own or allied infantry and cavalry positioned on a neighbouring field, may be highly helpful in these cases. Because forested areas provide valuable shelter against hostile artillery, it may make sense to place an own artillery unit there in some cases. At the same time, players should consider preventing hostile units from approaching their artilleries through forested areas.
Bringing the field artillery into play as reinforcement is advisable when operations are under way nearby or when it is possible to quickly move the artillery to the proximity of the frontline, for example with the help of an artillery token. Furthermore, take time to consider that together with artillery units joining the game as reinforcement, an artillery token also enters into play; however, this may also be used by other artillery units, which may be highly helpful, especially if they are already fighting on the front.
The usage and other strategic possibilities implied by the field gun largely equals the field artillery’s scope of use. The chief difference is that the siege gun does not possess the “Artillery support” ability but is instead able to carry out a “Long-range strike”.
The “Long-range strike” ability enables the field gun to fire at hostile units located up to 3 fields away. While it does so with -2 attack modifiers, the extended firing range means that the cannon is able to continuously jeopardise an area of vast dimensions. The penalty due to the gun’s greater firing range may be compensated by the effect of a mountain or an Artillery observer, resulting in the gun being a major threat to any unit with its value 7 attack power. In this situation, hostile units stationed outside forests or settlements are exposed to continuous danger because with such a high attack power, the siege gun has high chances of hitting even elite and officer units.
Because only a single M1877 cannon takes part in the clashes during the siege of Limanowa, meaning that it is afforded a privileged role. As long as the player manages to protect it effectively, it poses a major threat to the Austro-Hungarian army defending Limanowa because it will have a target against which launching an attack is worthwhile in almost all rounds. However, when playing as the opponent, avoiding such attacks is among the hardest tasks and the destruction of the cannon sooner or later is of vital importance, even at the cost of heavy losses.