In this variant I reorganize the Coalition army into 3 large Corps. Like many strategies in Pub Battles, there is no “best” way to do something. Large or small Corps have their advantages and disadvantages. Large Corps are great for concentrating a lot of forces on a narrow front for an assault, but can be challenging if trying to react with any precision. They tend to be big hammers. On the defensive, where combat command isn’t so crucial, they can be quite adequate.
(DISCLAIMER) Pub Battles Austerlitz is an excellent game as is. This variant is only presented as an alternative that highlights the flexibility of the system.
Smaller commands can make mounting an effective attack difficult, but can make for a more flexible defense.
The big factor to consider is your Leadership rating. The French (or the Confederacy), with a 4 rating, can usually make their Alter Turn Order rolls, and gain both flexibility in concentrating their efforts, and in reacting to enemy actions. On the other hand, the Coalition (or the Union), with a rating of 2 (or 3), can have a very tough time.
For this variant, while I allow the Coalition player to reorganize their army, it comes with a limit. The original Corps can’t be broken up, only combined with others. This is because of the intermixing of troop quality. In most armies, the lower quality troops were intermixed with higher quality troops. The regiments tended to be of one quality, but different regiments would then form higher level organizations. A Corps may be comprised of 50% conscripts, but those battalions would be spread around. In pub Battles, that is shown when half the blocks of the Corps are militia. The Corps with 50% militia is less effective than one without, so it works at the Corps level. Remember that the names on the blocks are given for color, not because that division was actually all conscripts (or elite!).
In the foto above, I only intend on attacking with Docturov’s Corps (on the left), but to disguise my intentions I have my army organized into 3 large Corps. This disguises my intent, and is very unnerving to the French player as he sees three large threats to contend with. Which one does he prepare for?
Because the French begin with over half their army off board, this gives the Coalition player a slight edge in the early turns. If they can do enough damage early on, the French may never recover. If they decide to remain on the defensive, the French can chip away at their less adaptable army and where them down while watching for an opportunity to administer that “one final blow.” Either strategy is viable, and either can be countered.
War is uncertain. Sometimes, using the above setup and strategy of having Docturov attack the French right, will see all his attacks thrown back, other times will seem him sweep the stretched French defenses, most times it will be a combination. Every game will play out differently. Often the chit draw will serve to compliment or confound your plan! You must have a plan, and yet be flexible.