In which much of what was once shrouded in the fog of war becomes clear...
The 1809 Campaign in Inner Austria: Phase I – Opening Moves
The 1809 Campaign in Inner Austria: Phase I – Opening Moves
The Campaign Map Converted to Game Tables
Shown below is the initial campaign map provided to players before the game, now with 19 table designations superimposed. Note that all tables are not touching each other, and some tables are outside the confines of the campaign map.
Four tables (F, P, R, S) abstractly represented four larger areas that had a peripheral impact in the campaign, depending on decisions made by the players (especially the CinC’s). Tables G, H, Q permitted an off-map flanking maneuver to the north that could be tracked on-table. Table F represented the entrance to Hungary (the Raab battlefield). Table P represented Slavonia. Table R represented Tyrolia, using Innsbruck as a focus point. Table S represented Dalmatia and was the ‘jump-off’ point for Marmont’s Army of Dalmatia. Before setting up the tables for the game, based on players’ responses, I recognized that Tables P & S would not be needed, so they were not set-up.
French forces started on:
Table O: Sahuc, Pacthod, Durrette at the north edge; Pully, Fontanelli, Rusca at the south edge; and Seras held back in reserve.
Table R: MacDonald entering from the south.
Table S: Marmont (a late walk-in) had 4 roads to choose from, selecting the one that led to Laibach.
Austrian forces started on:
Table J: Gyulai and Frimont at Villach.
Table B: Hadik, defending Gorizia and the bridges.
Table Q: Colleredo defending Salzburg.
Table L: Mescery at Voberhardt/Marburg.
Table A: Stowchewich (a late walk-in) at the west edge.
Table R: Jellacic had three roads to choose from, selecting the one that led to Villach.
Opening Moves and Battles
In the North: Jellacic sees a French column entering, but exits Innsbruck (Table R), arriving at Villach (Table J). MacDonald sees Jellacic’s column exit, but marches to exit on the road to Salzburg (Table Q) instead of following the Austrians. MacDonald arrives on Table Q and attacks Colleredo’s force defending Salzburg.
In the Center: Sahuc exits Table O, arriving at Table I (Tarvis), followed closely by Pacthod and Durrette. No Austrians are present when the French arrive, but some arrive shortly. Frimont becomes curious and interprets his “Defend” order as “Maneuver” and moves his command (having no cavalry to scout with) off Table J south along the turnpike, arriving at Table I from the northeast. The French and Austrians see each other, and Frimont dutifully reports the sighting to Archduke John. The French continue to advance, breaking out of road column. Gyulai detaches his cavalry to scout off the west edge of Table J, arriving at the northwest corner of Table I. The appearance of a second Austrian force behind their line of advance prompts all the French to turn to face Gyulai’s cavalry, but Gyulai has seen enough and the scouts return to Table J. The French now turn to focus on Frimont’s command, who has advanced further to grab a hill outside of Tarvis, hoping that Gyulai will return with his command – but Gyulai does not return. Frimont recognizes how badly outnumbered he is, and receives a message from Archduke John that re-iterates his orders to “Defend Villach” and that he should disengage and retreat – but it’s too late, as the three French commands move to outflank his position while engaging him head-on. Prince Eugene arrives at Tarvis with Seras’ division in time to see his generals take down Frimont.
Gyulai reports the enemy contact to Archduke John as Jellacic arrives at Villach.
Mescery collects Landwehr at Marburg (Table L) and receives instructions to go to Kranj to collect more Landwehr and Freikorps, eventually returning to Marburg with the new troops.
In the South: Pully charges his dragoons over the bridge into Hadik’s infantry with mixed results, but it provides enough of a gap for Fontanelli to send his infantry over, and a bridgehead is secured. Hadik does his best to contain the French attack, but the numbers are against him and the Austrians are forced back. Hadik’s conditional order comes into effect, and he starts to withdraw slowly down the turnpike. Pully’s dragoons try to outflank Hadik’s left flank, prompting Hadik to put most of his troops into road march to retreat east. It becomes a race between Pully’s dragoons going cross-country and Hadik’s fleeing column on the turnpike, closely followed by Fontanelli & Rusca. Hadik relays the bad news to Archduke John.
About an hour after the game starts, two walk-in players arrive, who conveniently fill in the two absent positions of Marmont and Stowchewich. Marmont exits Table S to arrive at Laibach (Table N). Stowchewich leaves Zagreb (Table A) by the western road, also arriving at Laibach, but on a parallel road to Marmont. Marmont sends a small force to take the town of Laibach, but the Landwehr are stubborn. The rest of Marmont’s command turns to face Stowchewich, who advances to attack.
The 1809 Campaign in Inner Austria – Phase II: As Battles Rage
In the North: MacDonald has a tough contest versus Colloredo on Table Q, but slowly forces Colleredo back, who asks Archduke John for help as soon as he smells the onset of defeat. The battle pushes onto Salzburg, and while both sides have suffered, Colloredo’s position starts to become critical.
In the Center: Frimont stubbornly fights off the French, destroying a couple of units, but losing most of his command before finally exiting Tarvis (Table I) back to Villach (Table J).
Sahuc exits Tarvis (Table I) by the east road, arriving at Kranj (Table M), while Pacthod and Durette follow Frimont. There are no Austrians at Kranj, except for a garrison. Sahuc cannot attack the town with his cavalry, but shells the town with his artillery, eventually driving out the garrison. Mescery arrives at Kranj from Marburg and reports the French presence.
As Frimont battles for his life at Tarvis, Gyulai and Jellacic receive new orders to retire to Klagenfurt, leaving a garrison at Villach. When they arrive at Klagenfurt (Table K), Archduke John is present. Jellacic & Gyulai are tasked with preparing a defensive line facing west and south, using whatever terrain is available. Klagenfurt is a fortress, with a stream running south of the fortress to the east, and a forest to the north. Gyulai forms his line south of Klagenfurt, behind the stream, while Jellacic forms a line north of Klagenfurt. Archduke John receives additional messages from Frimont, indicating he is still alive and fighting his way back to Villach. Archduke John instructs Frimont that once he reaches Villach, he must retire to Klagenfurt, but delay the French without losing any more of his command. Archduke John then leaves Jellacic & Gyulai, telling them that Frimont will be coming from the west, followed by 2-3 French divisions, and that he is leaving “to get help”.
Archduke John leaves the army to go to Hungary (from Table K to L to E to F) to ask Archduke Josef to release the Hungarian Insurrectio.
In the South: Hadik wins the ‘race’ between Pully’s Dragoons going cross-country and Hadik’s hard-pressed infantry in road-column on the turnpike, exiting Table B east along the turnpike - closely followed by Pully, Fontanelli & Rusca. Hadik has saved half his command and hopes there are more Austrians at Laibach.
Marmont succeeds in taking Laibach from the Landwehr, but Stowchewich’s attack has started in earnest and has beat-up some of Marmont’s units. Marmont infantry forms square against the Austrian cavalry. Marmont has more artillery, which was instrumental in driving out the Landwehr, but now he needs to re-position the guns to stop Stowchewich and counter his flanking attempt down the turnpike.
The 1809 Campaign in Inner Austria – Phase III: The Austrians Fall Back
In the North: A new column of Hungarians appears east of Salzburg, which Colleredo is grateful to see. MacDonald sees the new force and recognizes that if he tries to destroy Colloredo, he risks the loss of his own command. It is too damaged to withstand the new threat, and the new Austrian cavalry could make a retreat next to impossible - so he starts to disengage under his conditional order. Colleredo is in no shape to pursue MacDonald alone, and is content to see him go. MacDonald retreats off-table and adopts a Rally order to start recovering his command.
The relief column is Archduke Josef, leading some of his Hungarian Insurrectio – sent by Archduke John as a response to Colloredo’s appeal for help, and arrives in the nick of time to save Colloredo’s command from destruction. Several units are detached to join Colloredo’s command, and Archduke Josef heads back east.
In the Center: Frimont arrives at Villach (Table J) and heads towards Klagenfurt, pausing at a hill after passing through Villach to turn and face the French to force them to deploy and delay their advance. Pacthod and Durette appear shortly and deploy to attack the garrison at Villach. The garrison is cleared from Villach and Frimont exits to Klagenfurt (Table K).
At Klagenfurt, Frimont finally joins the Austrian army, moving through and behind the Austrian battleline as the marching bands from Gyulai and Jellacic’s divisions play in celebration.
Pacthod and Durette follow Frimont to Klagenfurt, but pause when they see how large (and festive) the Austrian army is. Eugene’s messages encourage them forward, so the two French divisions enter Table K and start to deploy for battle.
Before Frimont arrives at Klagenfurt, Archduke John has left the main Austrian army to go to Hungary (from Table K to L to E to F) to ask Archduke Josef to release the Hungarian Insurrectio. Fortunately for Archduke John, enough time has passed to raise the Hungarian levies and Archduke Josef agrees to release them. Both Archdukes lead the Insurrectio back to Marburg. After reaching Marburg, Archduke Josef is sent to Salzburg via Judenburg with part of the Hungarians to help Colleredo, while the rest join the reserve formed at Marburg. After hearing of the French presence at Kranj, John instructs Mescery to attack the French cavalry and drive them off, after which Mescery should return to Marburg. Archduke John goes to Klagenfurt to see how the main Austrian army is faring.
Mescery takes off to fulfill his mission and attacks Sahuc, driving him off, but losing some Insurrectio units in the engagement. After the French exit Table M, Mescery returns to Marburg (Table L).
In the South: After Marmont captures Laibach, suddenly a new Austrian column arrives from the west, forcing Marmont to face Austrians from three directions. The new column is Hadik’s command that has retreated from Gorizia (Table B). Hadik chooses not to attack Marmont, despite the surprise he has achieved, because he knows the French are right behind him. Instead, Hadik by-passes Marmont to connect with Stowchewich and extend his line to prepare to meet the pursuing French. To Marmont’s relief, Pully arrives with Fontanelli and Rusca behind, giving the French at least a 2:1 advantage, but it will take time for the new French forces to deploy and bring their numbers to bear.
The 1809 Campaign in Inner Austria – Phase IV: The French Follow-up
In the North: Colloredo receives new orders from Archduke John (Rally Order) with a conditional order to defend Salzburg if the French return, and another conditional order to move to Judenburg (and then Klagenfurt) after his command has fully recovered, leaving garrisons at Salzburg and Judenburg. Colloredo rallies to full recovery, and moves to Judenburg (Table H) and then to Klagenfurt (Table K) to reinforce the main Austrian army.
After recovering his command, MacDonald returns to Salzburg (Table Q). Only a garrison is present, which MacDonald clears. MacDonald then exits east to Judenburg (Table H). Only a garrison is present. After eliminating the garrison, MacDonald sends a cavalry detachment to scout southeast to Graz (Table E), finding a stronger garrison in the fortress at Graz. The cavalry return and then scout down the road to Klagenfurt. MacDonald receives new orders from Eugene to meet him at Klagenfurt. MacDonald marches “to the sound of the guns”.
In the Center: The repulse suffered by Sahuc prompts Eugene to respond, and Sahuc returns to Kranj (Table M), followed by Eugene with Seras’ division. No Austrians are present, as Mescery has returned to Marburg. Eugene decides to take the north road to Klagenfurt (Table K), arriving at Klagenfurt from the south.
Pacthod & Durette deploy and begin to attack Jellacic’s Jagers posted in the woods as an advance guard.
As the attack to clear the woods is completed, Sahuc arrives, followed by Eugene with Seras’ division. The Royal Italian Guard cavalry join Sahuc to lead the advance against Gyulai’s position, while Durette and Pacthod start an artillery duel against Gyulai and Jellacic.
Pacthod’s artillery drives off Jellacic’s batteries, but Gyulai’s artillery holds firm. Archduke John arrives to see how the Austrian stand at Klagenfurt is doing, meeting Frimont at the turnpike east of Klagenfurt and granting Frimont permission to retire to Marburg to rally and absorb new Landwehr units gathered by Mescery. Frimont exits Klagenfurt (Table K) to Marburg (Table L).
In the South: Hadik and Stowchewich establish a line to respond against increasing odds. Pully deploys to Marmont’s right and Rusca’s infantry start to enter the table, followed by Fontanelli. The Austrians carefully retire to delay the impact of the French attacks. Fontanelli receives new orders from Eugene to go to Kranj (and then to Klagenfurt), but the road leading to Kranj will take some time to reach.
The 1809 Campaign in Inner Austria – Phase V: All In
All the players are now at one of two battlefields. At Klagenfurt, five French players: Mark (Pacthod), Cat (Durette), Caleb (Sahuc), Greg (Seras & Eugene), and James (MacDonald); are facing four Austrian players: Peter (Jellacic), Brian (Colloredo), Karl (Gyulai), and Marty (Mescery). At Laibach, four French players: Richard (Marmont), Herbert (Pully), Vic (Rusca), and Jim (Fontanelli) are facing two Austrian players; Kaz (Hadik) and Michael (Stowchewich). The last Austrian player (Russ) is in reserve at Marburg.
MacDonald’s scouts find the main Austrian army at Klagenfurt (Table K) in an engagement with French forces coming from the west, and it looks like he will catch the Austrians in the rear, as most are facing the French. MacDonald’s command arrives at Klagenfurt (Table K) from the north, which is a surprise to the Austrians. With nothing but a garrison and another unit from Colloredo’s command between the new French force and Klagenfurt, there seems little to oppose MacDonald.
The Austrians now appear surrounded, but the turnpike east from Klagenfurt to Marburg is still open. Archduke John sees MacDonald arrive and exits Klagenfurt (Table K) to Marburg (Table L). At Marburg, some Insurrectio units are attached to Mescery’s command and Archduke John orders Mescery to Klagenfurt to attack the nearest French present “to save the day”. Mescery’s command is already in road column, waiting to be summoned and off they go.
MacDonald brushes aside the garrison Colleredo left behind, but also makes a move towards the last open road, which stretches his command. With MacDonald’s leading units claiming a hill halfway to the turnpike, Mescery appears with the Austrian army’s last cavalry reserve, reinforced with Hungarian Insurrectio units. Mescery’s force greatly outnumbers MacDonald’s leading units and the Austrian cavalry move to outflank and isolate it from the rest of MacDonald’s command. MacDonald’s infantry all form square in the presence of so much Austrian cavalry. Mescery’s cavalry fix the isolated French in position and artillery is brought forward to deal with the square on the hill. MacDonald can do little but fight it out as best he can.
Pacthod batteries have driven back Jellacic’s artillery, allowing his infantry to advance unmolested. He sends in all his infantry and cavalry in one dramatic charge against Jellacic’s line and Colleredo’s cavalry. The 11th Dragoons and 25th Chasseurs á Cheval easily defeat the Hungarian Insurrectio Hussars. Some of the Austrian line infantry hold their positions, but one unit grudgingly yields ground, and another is shattered.
Durette advances to support Pacthod’s flank. Durette’s artillery continues its duel with Gyulai’s artillery, but Gyulai’s batteries hold firm, which becomes important as Sahuc leads a charge with his light cavalry and a cavalry unit from Seras’ division. They strike Gyulai’s infantry deployed in line behind the stream. The 29th Dragoons and 6th Chasseurs á Cheval charge Baron Kerpen IR 49, which form a hasty square with some fire support from Gyulai’s artillery – but the dragoons charge home with the chasseurs in support. The melee goes back and forth, but the combatants remain locked in melee. The 6th Hussars charge the Villach Landwehr, who remain in line. The Landwehr fire for their lives and score a hit, but the French hussars still charge home, crossing the stream. The melee is desperate, but the Landwehr repulse the charge and Gyulai’s line remains steady.
At Laibach: Pully’s Dragoons move to Marmont’s right, charging Stowchewich’s artillery while Rusca’s infantry deploy against Hadik. Hadik’s artillery punishes the leading units of Rusca’s command, stalling the advance. The Austrian battery is rolled up, but Stowchewich’s line holds. Hadik’s artillery is driven off his hill by Marmont’s artillery, and the Austrians pull back on their right, uncovering the road to Kranj. Marmont holds Laibach and the center of the French line, content to let the reinforcements attack the Austrians. Pully continues to attack Stowchewich, who commits his last available cavalry and infantry to the fight and yields little ground. The French continue to push, and Stowchewich is forced back.
The Austrians see the writing on the wall, and start to withdraw the most damaged units to retreat to Zagreb, while the rest delay and pull back. It’s clear that the French have won this battle, but the Austrian stand at Laibach buys a lot of time, as it holds up Fontanelli from detaching to go to Kranj (and then to Klagenfurt).
At this point, 5 PM has been reached and the 1809 campaign is forced to end.
The 1809 Campaign in Inner Austria - Post-Game Analysis
Wow! I wish the game could have continued for about one more hour…
So, Who Won? The short answer is that this was way too close to call, with plenty of fight left from both sides. At the end of the day, the French appear to have the edge, strategically and tactically - but the big battle at Klagenfurt has too much fight left to figure out which side will ultimately win it.
French Accomplishments and Advantages:
- Eugene has established a line-of-communication with The Grand Armée. (minor)
- Italy is safe. (minor)
- Baraguey d’Hilliers corps and Marmont’s small Army of Dalmatia have defeated Hadik & Stowchewich. (significant) What is uncertain is how quickly the French can use this advantage to either reinforce Eugene or discomfort Archduke John in other ways.
- The French caught one of the Austrian divisions by itself (Frimont) and mauled it severely before it could join the main Austrian army. (significant)
- Eugene has engaged Archduke John’s army and has a reasonable chance to defeat it. If he can cripple it, he will fulfill his primary mission, but the enemy has favorable ground and a slight advantage in numbers. Eugene’s main army, consisting of Pacthod, Durette, Sahuc, and Seras, are qualitatively better than the Austrian divisions of Jellacic, Gyulai, and Colleredo that are being attacked – but MacDonald’s command is isolated, outnumbered, and engaged by one of the strongest Austrian divisions available.
- The overall French plan seems to be working. The French can claim success at all fronts. Eugene would dearly love to have one more division at Klagenfurt to seal a convincing victory and make the Emperor proud.
Austrian Accomplishments and Advantages:
- Most of the Landwehr are mustered and incorporated in the Army of Inner Austria. (minor)
- The Hungarian Insurrectio were released, and joined the Army of Inner Austria, reinforcing 3 Austrian commands. (significant)
- Jellacic’s division was successfully integrated with the Army of Inner Austria. (significant)
- The Army of Inner Austria has a line-of-communication with Archduke Charles’ army. (minor)
- Inner Austria has been reasonably protected, but Croatia may soon be lost to the French.
- Archduke John still has a reserve at Marburg that is available to either intercept any reinforcements to Eugene’s battle, or make a stand at Graz if Baraguey d’Hilliers corps tries to run up the turnpike to capture Graz to cut off Archduke John. Frimont’s rallied force, reinforced with Landwehr and Insurrectio, won’t be strong enough to win, but it is strong enough to delay the French for a significant period of time.
- The Austrian plan seems to have worked, for the most part. Archduke John has given battle on ground of his choosing and has the slightest advantage of numbers. If MacDonald can be swiftly destroyed by Mescery, the advantage in numbers could be significant to offset Eugene’s local advantage at Klagenfurt. Archduke John might have a chance to win the battle at Klagenfurt, but he will need some good fortune. Jellacic, Gyulai, and Colleredo are unlikely to defeat Pacthod, Durette, Sahuc and Seras by themselves. Mescery’s division is a “Light Division” with the best Austrian cavalry on their side, and is augmented with a good number of Landwehr and Insurrectio cavalry units, making it the largest command in the game.
Lessons Learned and Tips for Next Time
- Active CinC’s: The game would have benefited from having a player on each side acting as CinC, both with pre-planning and during the game. Greg Hansen fulfilled this role for the French as Prince Eugene, but the GM was required to play Archduke John part-time. The GM having “default” plans for both sides and providing the starting orders for both sides helped players with defined orders and roles. Ideally, the GM should be detached from playing the game to be free to help all the players equally, and eliminate any suspicions of bias.
- Campaign Map: The campaign map I provided was one I created in 1992 for a long-term campaign game I ran, using two players as CinC’s. When battles occurred, I scheduled a game to resolve the battle using Empire III at a brigade level, with any players that were available on a given night or weekend. That map was ‘resurrected’ as a starting point, but I recognized that several areas outside the confines of the map would be necessary to include. I did not explain to any of the players that the playing area could be larger than what was depicted on the map – but I’ve always encountered ‘enterprising’ players that ask about doing a flank march or going “off-map” – and speaking of ‘enterprising’ players....
- Too Little Information? As a GM, I believe I provide enough information up-front for players to make informed pre-game decisions, but I encourage players to “role-play” and really think about their situation. If a player has questions, I’ll provide more information that I believe they would be entitled to, but I’ll entertain reasonable creativity and resourcefulness. For one previous game I ran, I provided five different versions of the “campaign map” to players. The CinC’s always had the best version of the map – but other players might have maps that were incomplete: some towns or rivers might not be named or present. Nobody knew the wiser, but the mismatch in information occasionally impacted players’ decisions (ie: I don’t see what he’s talking about. What the heck is a “Feking Bok”?!). I was not that fiendish for this game, but Marty asked if there was a “better map” during Archduke John’s “Council of War”. It stood to reason that the Austrians might be able to produce a more accurate map than the French, so I typed out the names of all the forts and towns on the map and provided that version to the Austrian players at Archduke John’s “Council of War”, while the French had to interpret the hand-written names as best they could. Marty also asked some other questions, some of which were addressed by the players’ notes, but I answered all of them that his character would be knowledgeable about. James had plenty of questions about his starting position and orders, and I tried to answer them as best as I could without yielding information the character did not have access to, nor explaining all of the abstract aspects of the starting position he was in, nor the “wisdom” behind the decisions of Eugene’s “Council of War” (which his character was not present at) that ultimately determined where his starting position would be.
- Gaming Tables: For the game tables, each had a “map” that identified the towns and where the roads led, but I had a notebook organized by table letter that indicated which roads led to roads on other tables.
- Play-Aids: I “down-scaled” Snappy Nappy to a regimental level and customized the reference charts for a more tactical game, adding a few things not present at the brigade or division-level Snappy Nappy game. It has been used successfully for set-piece battles, such as the Battle of Raab, but some may think is has too much “stuff” for a campaign-in-a-day game. I kept the use of Orders, but allowed “conditional orders” to give the players realistic options and opportunities for successive orders when a primary mission was fulfilled. I provided customized roster sheets for each command, including movement rates as well as the various states of morale for each unit – but some players preferred the use of rings or other markers to show morale status. The Austrian rosters had a second row of “potential units” (Landwehr or Insurrectio) that could be recruited and added to the player’s command, which was an important goal for the Austrians, as many commands started the game with less units than their French counterparts. At each table where opposing forces were present, I provided a double-sided “Initiative” card to keep track of which side had the initiative for the current turn.
- Line-of-Communication / Supply Lines: I agreed to try out James’ “Line-of-Communications” rules as an experiment for this game. As a command exited and entered tables, a marker was left to show the LOC. The general idea was to be able to trace each command’s LOC/Supply Line and note if it was cut-off by enemy activity (and what ramifications that might have in the game). For this campaign game, the value of tracing each command’s LOC was not valuable for several reasons:
- The Austrians planned to withdraw to specific locations to make a stand, so leaving a LOC marker for a retreating command that was falling back on its supply line did not mean much – but there was some value keeping track of the French line of advance.
- There were very few instances of commands of one side crossing over routes of the other, with the exception of MacDonald’s command following Colloredo’s path from Salzburg to Judenburg to Klagenfurt – but since the main turnpike at Klagenfurt leading to Marburg was the Austrian army’s main LOC, the impact was negligible.
- Physical Accommodations: I can’t express enough praise for the great gaming facility The Portal provides. Having 17 gaming tables available for a “campaign in a day” game is a really great resource for promoting that “fog of war” experience and operating in a near vacuum.
- A Great Team of Organizers: Any game benefits greatly from organization, and the help of experienced GM’s of prior “Campaign-in-a-Day” games (Peter, James, Russ, and Greg) with all the details (reserving space for the event with The Portal, terrain on the tables, general advice, proofing the play-aids, and where to eat) helped make the 1809 Inner Austria Campaign event a successful reality.
What-If’s: There were a number of variables that could impact the game. I’ll only mention a few that struck me as significant:
- MacDonald: MacDonald’s starting position was not fixed, but depended on Eugene’s pre-game decisions and advice he received from his “Council of War”. For this game, establishing a line-of-communication was important, so MacDonald’s initial role would be to establish a LOC through the Tyrol at the start, and then head to Salzburg as a wide flanking movement as the left wing of the Army of Italy. MacDonald could have started with the Army of Italy, or north of it. Historically, he advanced south through Laibach.
- Jellacic: Jellacic’s division was originally part of Hiller’s VI Armeekorps with Archduke Charles’ army, and was at Munich when it became isolated from the rest of Archduke Charles’ army. Jellacic had several options, but needed to make a decision on his own. Peter made a direct march to Villach, which worked out for him. There was a possibility that a French force could have beaten him to Villach, but that didn’t happen. Historically, Jellacic was intercepted by Eugene’s army and badly defeated prior to joining Archduke John.
- Frimont: Frimont’s unsanctioned advance precipitated a mismatched battle that delayed the French, but wrecked his command to the point he would not be able to join the main army for the stand at Klagenfurt. Had Frimont remained at Villach with Gyulai, the ‘big battle’ might have been at Villach, instead of Klagenfurt, with Frimont, Gyulai, and Jellacic fighting Pacthod, Durette, and Sahuc, with Eugene not that far behind. The Austrians had conditional orders to retire to Klagenfurt if they became outnumbered, which was unlikely to happen if all three divisions were at Villach (unless Archduke John subsequently ordered them to Klagenfurt).
The campaign game provided a couple of set-piece battle options that I might plan at another place at another time with at least 4 to 6 players (corps level) or up to 9 players (division-level):
- The first is the Battle of Klagenfurt, using one table, or treated as two battles on two tables, using the 2nd table for MacDonald’s fight versus Mescery’s command and Colloredo’s garrison troops. A one-table game of the battle of Klagenfurt could be played with 3 French players (MacDonald’s corps of 2 small divisions, Grenier’s corps of Pacthod & Durette’s divisions, and Eugene’s reserve of Seras’ division and Sahuc’s light cavalry) and 3 Austrian players (Jellacic & Colleredo’s divisions, Gyulai’s division, and Mescery’s reinforced division).
- The second is the “what-if” battle at Villach between Pacthod, Durette, and Sahuc, and Frimont, Gyulai, and Jellacic, with Seras’ division & Eugene reinforcing the French and Mescery reinforcing the Austrians. Only a few Landwehr would be present, so the Austrian divisions would be smaller than the French, overall – but still an interesting set-piece battle.