Keeping the Allies in the dark at Austerlitz is critical for the French. Here are some tips to help you maximize this powerful weapon!
-1 Don’t rush all your troops to the front and blaze away! Be very mindful of which units you let the Allies see. Remember, once they see one unit from I Corps, they will know the entire Corps is there somewhere! If you’re going to commit one unit, blast them with the entire Corps at once.
-2 Delay!! The longer the Allies aren’t sure what you have the better for the French. The Allies start over a barrel. Look at it from their side. It is a terrible dilemma! They have to probe in force to determine if you really have the goods. If they haven’t been able to confirm that yet, they have to keep pushing their neck out further into your noose. That is exactly what you want! If you spring your trap too early, you will only catch their nose. We want their whole head! There are limits here. Don’t wait too long. You have to time to finish them off and win before nightfall.
-3 Double Bluff: Let’s look at this through the enemy’s eyes again. (A great habit to get into) Imagine we are pushing into the French line trying to ascertain their true strength. There are a couple of HQs lurking in the French rear. Who are they? What do they have? Do they actually have troops hidden in their reserve or are they just a bluff?
We get a breakthrough, we advance and are able to spot one of these HQs. Who is it?! Bernadotte. What is in his Reserve? Nothing!! Ah ha! The French are weak! Full steam ahead now right? WRONG!!!
Wait, what? Why? Because the other HQ we haven’t seen yet is Napoleon. What is he hiding in his reserve? Bernadotte’s I Corps!! Along with the Guard and Murat!! That’s right! Remember you can hide other forces in your reserve. Just because you’ve cleared 1 HQ, doesn’t necessarily mean that those troops aren’t at the battle. This is a great and very powerful tactic to use as the French.
Yeah, that’s a pretty nasty trick. What can the Allies do in response? Easy. Stick their neck out further into the noose. 🙂 I know. That’s not very comforting is it? A lot of this comes down to ‘feel’. You can’t go off of just one piece of intell. You have to look at the sum of all the pieces and what kind of picture are they painting.
You’ve got to push the French and push them hard. A couple of light attacks isn’t good enough. That doesn’t reveal anything. You have to press them hard enough to force them to use a reserve force if they’ve got one. If they are at the breaking point and they still don’t do anything, then you go all in for the kill.
Be careful as you get close to this point because this is when a good French player will drop the hammer on you. Watch his moves carefully. As you got close to this breaking point, did the French suddenly move a couple of reserve HQs that had been sitting idle? That could be an indication that they are getting ready to strike.
-On the other hand, this could also be another good French Double Bluff move. =)