Wednesday, 23 November 2011

1809 Campaign: 19th April at 11pm

Here is the situation at the close of play on the 19th April. Following the major battle at Abensberg, Napoleon has fallen back to the west to await the arrival of 2nd and 4th Corps. To the north, 7th Corps and substnatial parts of 3rd Corps are isolated from the rest of the army.

The Austrian army is re-gathering its strength at Abensberg. I and II Korps have finally reached Regensberg but are still some way away. The units who gained the famous victory over the Emperor are fatigued, but so are their opponents.

On the map, orange outlines indicate formations subject to attrition tests, while red outlines are for units who have double-attrition.

Both sides now have some difficult decisions to make...

Battle of Abensberg 19th April, 16:00

I have finally got round to concluding the battle I began reporting on a while back. The map above shows the situation at 4pm. Napoleon with 8th Corps and Davout's 3rd Corps are withdrawing westwards towards reinforcements while the Bavarians of 7th Corps are crossing to the northern bank of the Danube accompanied by the 1st and 2nd Heavy Cavalry divisions and the light cavalry of 3rd Corps.

The Austrians have taken a beating during their advance but have secured the battlefield and inflicted an embarassing reverse on the Emperor, all of Europe will take note.

The next post will summarise the current campaign situation...

Tuesday, 15 November 2011

Battle of Abensberg 19th April, 14:00

I have managed to get a few turns played, taking this battle up to 14:00 as shown in the map above. Action kicked-off at 6am with the Austrians making a determined effort with VI Korps in particular, supported to its right by V Korps. Initial attacks bore little fruit and resulted in significant casualties for VI Korps in particular. By noon it looked to be going awry for the Austrians.

Concluding that any withdrawal would be difficult in daylight and still hoping that Rosenberg's IV Korps may yet arrive, Charles opted for a final push. Siezing command of V Korps from his brother Louis (Ludwig) he drove forward into Abensberg itself, destroying the French defenders. The assault was supported to the left by VI Korps and the Heavy Cavalry of the reserve while the Grenadiers advanced through the wooded hills to the left. Casualties were high on both sides but as the dust began to settle it was clear that Davout's 3rd Corps had been firmly shoved backwards.

The central and eastern parts of the battlefield were less intense. The Austrian light cavalry is trying to make its presence felt on the left and III Korps is slowly advancing against the hard-pressed Bavarians.

The French would probably be wise to consider possible lines of retreat at the moment. Napoleon, Davout (3rd Corps) and Vandamme (8th Corps) can probably make an escape via Ingoldstadt but Lefebvre (7th Corps) along with the heavy cavalry and the 5th Division of 3rd Corps may find it easier to slip away over the Danube to Kelheim and then retreat westwards. Of course, the Emperor and the Iron Marshal may see things differently and they could try to hang on for Lannes, Oudinot and 2nd Corps...

Sunday, 13 November 2011

Two Decades On

While this blog has and will continue to show my ongoing wargaming activity, I also like to look back at how the hobby and my experience of it has developed.
To contribute to this I have started a second blog "Two Decades On" in which I'll post a monthly discussin/review of the issue of Wargames Illustrated dated 20 years ago. In the first entry I look at the November 1991 magazine. Please take a look and leave your comments.

Friday, 11 November 2011


Abensberg, 19th April 1809. Deployment

Here is the set-up for fighting the battle that has been generated by the campaign.
The second picture shows more clearly where each formation is deployed. The French (blue) are to the north and the Austrians (yellow) to the south.

On the eastern flank there is a balance between the light cavalry of each army, but the french heavies are lying in wait so the Austrians will probably not push their luck too far. Their lights are of good quality however and they may form a useful link should IV Korps arrive before the end of the battle.

In the Centre the french have 7th (Bavarian) Corps and 3rd Corps. These are deployed on the wooded hills and it is unlikely that Austrian III Korps will be able to drive them off. The most likely scenario is that each side will hold the other in the centre.

This makes the western flank the one more likely to generate a result. Over here the Austrians have V and VI Korps, totalling some 30,000 infantry with supporting cavalry and artillery. The French right consists of the 8th (Wurttemberg) Corps, a mere 10,000 strong. (In the photos I have Saxons standing-in as Wurttembergers). Each side will have to consider carefully how to proceed her. The situation is complicated by this flank including the french line of supply/communication and this also being the likely point of arrival for 2nd and 4th corps, should they arrive.

Lots to think about when drafting orders. I don't use written order when playing most games, but as this is part of a campaign and played solo, these might add an extra dimension.

More soon!

Tuesday, 8 November 2011

Abensberg: Order of Battle

Here is a quick run down of the units I'll need to assemble for the Battle of Abensberg in my fictional 1809 campaign. This is just a rough run through and some of the details may change.


III Korps: Hohenzollern
Div Kayser: 2 x INF
Div Thierry: 2 x INF (roll for attrition)
Div St Julien: 3 x INF
Div Vuk'vich: 1 x INF, 1 x MIXED (roll for attrition)
Div Pfanzeleter: 1 x INF, 1 x LC
Artillery: 2 x Foot Artillery

IV Korps: Rosenberg
Div Hohenlohe: 2 x INF
Div Stutterheim: 1 x INF
Div Somariva: 1 x INF, 1 x MIXED
Div Radivojev: 1 x INF, 1 x LC
Div Vecsey: 1 x INF, 1 x LC

V Korps: Archduke Louis
Div Lindenau: 3 x INF
Div Reuss Plauen: 2 x INF
Div Sch'tkh: 1 x INF, 1 x MIXED
Div Radetxky: 1 x MIXED, 1 x LC
Artillery: 2 x Foot Artillery

VI Korps (minus detachments): Hiller
Div Kottulinsky: 2 x INF
Div Vincent: 3 x INF
Div Reinwald: detached
Div Nordmann: 1 x INF, 1 x MIXED
Artillery: 2 x Foot Artillery

Grenadier Reserve: Leichtenstein
4 x INF (Grenadiers)

Cavalry Reserve: Hessen-Homburg
Heavy Cavalry: 4 x HC
Light Cavalry: 3 x LC
Artillery: 1 x Cavalry Artillery

Totals (excluding IV Korps): 25 INF, 4 MIXED, 5 LC, 4HC, 6 Foot Art, 1 Cav Art


7th Corps: Lefebvre
Div Pr Royal: 2 x INF, 1 x LC, 1 x Foot Artillery
Div Wrede: 2 x INF, 1 x LC, 1 x Foot Artillery
Div Deroi: 2 x INF, 1 x LC, 1 x Foot Artillery (roll for attrition)

3rd Corps: Davout
Div Morand: 3 x INF
Div Friant: 3 x INF
Div Gudin: 4 x INF
Div Demont: 1 x INF
Light Cavalry: 3 x LC
Artillery: 1 x Foot Artillery, 1 x Horse Artillery

8th Corps: Vandamme
3 x INF, 2 x LC, 1 x Foot Artillery

Heavy Cavalry
Div Nansouty: 3 x HC
Div d'Espagne: 2 x HC

Totals: 20 x INF, 8 x LC, 5 x HC, 5 x Foot Artillery, 1 x Horse Artillery

The French are outnumbered on paper, particularly if the Austrian IV Korps should appear, but they will have a definite edge in their command quality. Both armies have a mix of average and veteran troops so the French will not have the advantage here that they may have experienced in 1805-1807.

1809 Campaign, Battle of Abensberg, 19th April

The orders issued have resulted in a significant engagement, worthy of playing out on a table. The map below shows the general situation at around 6am. The initial Austrian attack has been by III Korps and this has pushed the bavarians back onto high ground.

The Austrian IV Korps may arrive later inthe day, but the Austrians are notoriously slow marchers! There is an outside chance of French 2nd corps arriving from the west but this is unlikely to occur until early evening at best.
The dotted white rectangle shows the battlefield area to be recreated on the 8x4 foot tabletop.

The campaign will now take a short recess while I clear up the garage to set-up this battle.

1809 Campaign, overnight 18th-19th April

Issues ordered overnight 18th-19th April:


III and V Korps to engage enemy to front. Attack to commence from 3am
VI Korps to support left flank of V Korps.

Army reserve will be reorganised. All grenadiers to be placed under direct command of Gen Leichtenstein. Reserve cavalry to be commanded by Gen. Hessen-Homburg. Grenadiers to support III Korps. Light cavalry of the reserve to cover right flank of III Korps. Heavy Cavalry to remain in reserve.

IV Korps to march with all speed from Eggmuhl to Langquaid and then join in the assault on the enemy.

I and II Korps to seize Regensburg. After securing and garrisoning the fortress, then march to Kelheim via Abbach. Be aware of expected major engagement at Abensburg.


3rd and 7th Corps to expect enemy to front. Orders are to hold and seek opportunity for counterattack. Light cavalry of 3rd Corps to provide screen to the east. 8th Corps to secure right flank at Neustadt. 1st and 2nd HC Divisions along with Demont's Division (III/5) to provide reserve support and act under orders of Marshal Davout.

III/4 Division (St.Hilaire). Leave rearguard at Regensburg and withdraw to Abbach. If pursued by enemy in force then act to delay them. be aware that the Emperor expects to engage the enemy main body at Abensburg.

Marshal Lannes: Ride via Reichertshofen to join 2nd Corps and assume command. Lead the corps to join the Emperor at Neustadt/Abensberg
Marshal Bessieres: Accomapny Marshal Lannes and join the Emperor

2nd Corps. Due to arrive at Pfaffenhofen. Upon arrival, immediately march for Neustadt via major roads. Force-march if necessary. Marshal Lannes will join you and assume command from Gen Oudinot.

4th Corps. Advance element expected to arrive at Pfaffenhofen. Orders are to hold and await remainder of Corps and 3rd Heavy Cavalry Division


Monday, 7 November 2011

1809 Campaign, 18th April

The action continues.

After the early-morning activity the Austrian main body continues to press on the stoic line of Bavarians while IV Korps advances to the east. VI Korps threatens the Bavarian right flank but is itself somewhat diminished by the detachments left behind on its march.

The French 3rd corps under Davout has now deployed half of its strength in direct support of the Bavarians of 7th corps with its remaining infantry divisions and light cavalry just crossing the Danube.

2nd Heavy cavalry division is attached to the advance elements of 3rd corps.

Advancing from Ingolstat are 8th Corps (Wurttemburgers) with the 1st Heavy Cavalry Division in the lead. They are racing to join 3rd and 7th corps:

The main activity of the day was the fighting between the Austrian main body and the Bavarian Divisions of the 7th corps. The bulk of 7th corps was pushed back towards Abensburg, but 2nd Divison is still holding Rohr.

The French have now accumulated a sizeable force at Abensburg and if they wish, a significant battle could be fought tomorrow. Alternatively they could withdraw to the west to await the arrival of 2nd and 4th Corps.

Austrian options include a continued push north by the main body, or a westwards move by part of the army to threaten the French supply line. Reinforcements are due from the north, with two corps converging on Regensburg which is held my the few thousand men of St.Hilaire's Division.

Orders will be interesting and the role of the Austrian IV Korps could be key. Will they be ordered north to ensure Regensburg falls quickly or will they turn west to fall upon the left flank of the Abensburg position?

Sunday, 6 November 2011

1809 Campaign, 17th April

...and on to the second day. The maps below should explain events fairly clearly. The engagement between the Bavarian divisions and the advancing Austrians resulted in a rapid collapse of the Bavarian left which fell back on Rohr. As a consequence the other two Divisions were compelled to retreat also, despite putting up a stout defence. These two have now combined at Siegenburg. The first elements of Davout's III Corps are now forming up at Kelheim just a short way to the north, while 2nd, 4th and 8th Corps are due imminently.

Austrian orders remain as before, with the main body heading for Abensburg if it can push aside the Bavarians. French orders will be dependent on their view of the situation which is shown in the map below:

French: Orders for the 18th April:

7th Corps (Bavarian): Hold current positions if practical. Fall back on Abensburg if necessary.

3rd Corps : Divisons at Kelheim to advance to Abensburg and support Bavarians, Divisions due to arrive today will collect at Kelheim with the exception of 2nd HC division and LC2&3 who will march to join other forces at Abensburg. Light cavalry 1 to recce Langquaid.

8th Corps: Advance with all speed to Neustadt to cover right flank of Bavarians.

1st HC Division: March immediately to Abensburg by way of Neustadt to join 2nd HC and place yourself at the disposal of Marshal Davout. Marshal Bessieres is expected tomorrow and he will assume command of a newly-constituted HC reserve subsequent to this.

1809 campaign: 16th April

I ran throught the first day of the campaign. The start positions are as shown on the map below

The following text shows the orders issued and events of the day. Comments on rule mechanisms are given in italics. Initial orders are:
I and II Korps to converge on Regensburg and capture the fortress. (not expected to arrive until 19th)
IV Korps, cross the river at Dingolfing and march via Worth to join main road and head for Eggmuhl
V Korps to force river crossing at Landshut then march on Abensburg via Pfeffenhausen
III Korps to cross at Landshut then march on Abensburg via Rottenburg
VI Korps to cross at Freising and establish line along road to Abensburg to cover right flank of army.

IR and IIR Korps. Army reserve to follow main body of III and V Korps respectively (expected tomorrow).

Main body of army: III, IV and V Korps along with reserve are intended to form-up at Abensburg
Right wing of army: I and II Korps to capture Regensburg
Left wing of army: VI Korps to secure army flank and warn of enemy approach


VII Corps. 1st and 2nd Divisions to defend crossings at Freising and Landshut. If forced to retreat then the corps is to gather on the position of 3rd Division and defend the line Mainburg-Pfeffenhausen-Rottenburg. Establish strength and position of enemy and report back to HQ via Ingoldstat

III Corps. 4th Division to garrison regensburg and hold until further orders. Remainder of Corps is to gather at Kelheim on the Danube.

2nd HC Division. To consider itself attached to III Corps until further ordered.

Other units are en-route

Austrian I and II Korps on the march towards Regensburg from the north. Regensburg being held by St.Hilaire's Division (III Corps, 4th Division)

Austrian V Korps engaged Bavarian 2nd Division at Landshut and successfully captured the fortress in an action taking 8 hours. The Bavarians fell back on Rottenburg. V Corps then followed orders and advanced on Pfeffenhausen where it encountered Bavarian 3rd Division.

Austrian III Korps (Accompanied by Archduke Charles) reached Landshut but was unable to move further today (rolled 4+ when entering the location). Expect IR and IIR Korps to arrive at Landshut tomorrow.

Austrian VI Korps sucessfully pushed the Bavarian 1st Division from Freising, taking just a few hours. The Bavarians fell back and put up a rearguard action at Au but were further pushed back to Mainburg. Evening prevented any further pursuit. The corps left a regiment to guard Freising.

The positions at 11pm are shown below. The Austrians are pushing northwards on a broad front, while Lefebvre's VII Corps has estsablished a new defensive position but is somewhat overstretched.

To determine the delays caused by the Bavarians I assumed that the Autrians would win as they had overwhelming numbers and this was just a case of how long the skirmishes would take. I rolled a d6. This determined how many hour elapsed, with a re-roll for results of 5 or 6 which was added to the first roll. Freising fell quickly on a "2", but Landshut took longer on a "5" and a subsequent "3".

Overnight orders:


I and II Korps. Unchanged: aiming for Regensburg

III Korps. To attack Bavarinas at Rottenburg and march on Abensburg
IV Korps. Unchanged. aiming for Eggmuhl
V Korps. Attack Bavarians at Pfeffenhausen and march on Abensburg
VI Korps. Unchanged. Secure left flank

IR and IIR. Unchanged. to follow III and V Korps towards Abensburg.


III Corps: Unchanged. Collect at Kelheim

VII Corps: delay Austrian advance and if forced back then establish defence at Sigenburg-Abensburg. Attempt to hold Mainburg if possible. Expect reinforcement/support from III Corps

Other corps en-route

Everyone seems to be "in supply" at present apart from IV Korps whose countryside ramble means they will acquire an attrition marker which will need to ne rallied-off at some future point.

Stand by for the 17th!

Campaign rules, 1809 etc

Here are some rough rules for using my 1809 campaign map. Feel free to use/adapt/ignore! They are deliberately brief as the purpose of the campaign is to generate tabletop battles.

Campaign Rules

1. Movement

Movement Allowance:
Independent officers are allowed 4MP each turn
Commands consisting of all cavalry are allowed 3MP each turn.
Other commands are allowed 2 MP each turn.
Each turn represents one day.

Movement Costs:
Major road = 1MP
Minor road = 2MP
(all movement must be along roads)

Upon entering a location, (unless all MPs are already exhausted anyway) roll 1d6 to determine if the command halts:
French Cavalry 6+
French 5+
Austrian Cavalry 5+
Austrians 4+
(add one to the roll if the weather is rain/mud/snow/etc)

Forced Marches:
A command may move 1MP further than it usually would by declaring a “forced march”. A command that force marches acquires an attrition marker.

A unit that currently has 1 or more attrition markers may not use forced march.
Independent officers may not use forced march

2. Supply
Supply lines must be drawn from the command to a friendly supply source, using major roads only.
A command that can draw such a line is considered “in supply” and suffers no adverse effects
A command which cannot draw such a line is “out of supply” and acquires an attrition marker.
Independent officers are not affected by supply or attrition

3. Rally
Commands may attempt to rally instead of moving. If the command is in supply it may remove an attrition marker if it rolls 4+ on 1d6.

4. Attrition Markers
Attrition markers are acquired when a command is out of supply, force marches or when a command has engaged in combat.
The effect of attrition markers is determined at the start of a battle, before deployment. For each unit in the command roll 1d6 for each attrition marker currently affecting the command. Each roll of 4+ inflicts a hit marker on the unit before the battle begins.

5. Battle & Marching to the Sound of the Guns

Once two opposing forces attempt to enter the same location a battle may occur. Depending on the sizr of the forces this may be resolved by a dice roll, a tabletop wargame or some other mechanism. If a battle is fought, then forces currently occupying adjacent locations may attempt to reach the battlefield - this will depend upon the nature of the roads, how far units have already marched and whether units have attriton markers.

Campaign map, 1809

Apologies for my recent absence from the blogosphere.

I have a few things behind me now and can concentrate on some more personal wargames activities. First up is a slow-burning campaign based on the fighting in Bavaria in April 1809. For this I need a decent map and a bit of playing around with Photoshop Elements and MS-Word gave me the following:
The basic map was produced in PE which I then pasted into a drawing fram in Word. I then added the point-to-point roadmap using Word drawing tools (circle shape and curved connectors). This does not attempt to represent every town, village and road but gives an approximation of where the main routes of march were.

My plan is to kick off from the situation of around April 16th but to allow the Austrians to vary their direction of attack (they can enter from any/all of the orange nodes) and allow the French to deploy as they see fit.

Most of the French & allied Army of Germany begins off map. Davout's corps is north of the Danube and can elect to concentrate at any of the towns between Ingoldstat and Regensburg (inclusive). Lefebvre's 7th Corps [Bavarian] begins on the map and can spread its three divisions as it wants. The remaining components of the AoG arrive from the west via Ingoldstat and Pfaffenhofen according to a schedule based upon their actual arrival times.

At the moment I am just planning this as a solo scenario to generate (a) some battles and (b) some enthusiasm. At the same time as working through it I might even finish painting my Bavarians as I currently only have one Division finished. I also need to get the Wurttemurgers done. The only disappointment is that the Saxon's aren't around at this stage - however if the Austrians do well then there is the possibility of extending the campaign and drawing-in the more widely scattered forces.

I thought the map might be of use to others so feel free to use it if you like. I'll post some guidelines for map movement later on.


Saturday, 24 September 2011

Dux Bellorum

I have kindly been allowed to see a draft of Dan Mersey's upcoming dark age rules that Osprey will be publishing. I am very impressed with what I have read and am looking forward to trying them out as soon as I have a couple of other projects put to bed.

Overall impression is a game in the same spirit as Impetus, but with a nicely thought out set of mechanisms to reflect the difficulties and character of warfare in post-roman Britain. As I had planned to re-work my armies for Impetus anyway, this should dovetail nicely and still allow those diorama bases. Measurements are in base widths which helps! I think I'll go for the Impetus standard of 120mm bases as these allow about 12 infantry or 4-5 cavalry.


Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy

Went to see this film on Thursday and can't recommend it highly enough. It might not appeal to action junkies but it gets 5 stars from me. The acting is superb and the whole film immerses you in the early 1970s. Really, really, really good.

Monday, 19 September 2011

Unit stats

Hi all, in answer to a query here is an idea for some of the stats I have been allocating to units in my napoleonic "squares" rules. Units are rated for skirmishing/fighting/morale

French infantry, typically these have:
1. reasonably good skirmishers (d10),
2. average to good fighting ability so an average quality small unit might get d6, an average quality, average sized unit would get d8 and an average quality large unit would get d10. If the unit was higher quality then I might up these by one dice type, but try to avoid d12 and instead split the unit into two smaller ones.
3. average to good morale: d8 or d10.

So, units of St Hilaire's experienced Division at Aspern-Essling tend to get d10, d10, d10 but much more "average" units in Tharreau's Division are more like d10, d8, d8

Conversely, Austrians are usually worse at skirmishing so an "average" unit of infantry would get d8, d8, d8. If a unit has Grenzers or Jagers attached then the skirmishing increases to d10.

I try to keep most units to d8s and d10s.
d6 skirmishing applies to infantry who did not routinely send out many skirmishers, even if they could do so in theory (Austrian grenadiers, 1806 prussians perhaps, 1809 saxons)
d12 skirmishing I'm not sure about but perhaps British brigades which include a substantial numer of riflemen

d6 combat for very raw or small units
d12 combat for very experienced AND large units

d6 morale for very poor units (Spanish, 1809 saxons, neapolitans?)
d12 morale for guard or very experienced units (Old guard, British guards, British penninsular veterans)

All this is of course very, very subjective. With four dice types and three categories there is plenty of wiggle room!

Cavalry are similar but have no skirmish die

Artillery only have a morale.

Sunday, 11 September 2011

Slight error

Poo! I have realised that the battalion I finished off as the 52nd Foot should have been in stovepipe shakos, so this unit will need to have its facings re-painted and a "new" 52nd painted up.
Not a big problem but I'm gald I spotted it before basing the units up!

Painting again

Hurrah! Finally put brush to miniature again and finished off a British battalion (1/52nd foot) to make a start on Adam's brigade for Waterloo. Plan to finish the British inf then cavalry while waiting for Baccus to bring out the minor nations. In the meantime I can also look at French lancers and finishing off the 1809 Bavarians and Italians.

Next up, 71st Foot and more 95th rifles.

Progress will be limited as I still have a couple of writing projects to finish and lord knows what work might chuch at me. Still, I do have four years left to get Waterloo finished...

Wednesday, 7 September 2011


Well, the battlefiled was roughly Marengo
The Austrians had more-or-less I and IV Korps from Aspern-Essling plust two brigades of grenadiers in an ad-hoc reserve.
The French had various Divisions from II and IV Corps from Aspern Essling and a reserve of one Young Guard brigade and the Guard light cavalry.

There was some artillery too, a little more for the Austrians.

We played 7 turns with honours about even. Everyone seemed to pick-up the gist of the rules - just need to clarify how to attack over a bridge!

A good night at the club!


rules update

I have added some ideas about rallying units that I tried out in the game on Sunday. I have also added the date of the last update to the rules tab on the blog so I won't be making specific blog entries to announce every update!

If anyone out there does try the rules then let me know how you get on.

Tonight at the club I'm going to try a little battle based on Marengo but with some of the Aspern Essling OOB. Should work OK :-)

...and crikey, I have just checked the Picasa album linked to the blog and there are nearly 900 pictures in it!


Tuesday, 6 September 2011

One last photo of the Aspern-Essling game, courtesy of Tricks:

Here we see the French defenders of Essling:

Other games at Partizan

Lots of good games at the show. Here are a few: