Saturday, January 8, 2011

The Battle of Teugen-Hausen (Thann)

Since this is very much a blog about wargaming, and not just the study of uniforms, flags, or even history, I figured my next post should involve a game, and the game is Teugen-Hausen, April 19th, 1809. Davout's III Corps, isolated around Regensbug as a result of Berthier's confusion, has finally been ordered to march to join the main army. Along the way a little over 2 infantry Divisons of Davout's encountered the Austrian 3rd Korps under Hohenzollern, holding a position on the ridge between the villages of Teugen and Hausen, and blocking the way to reunification. We ran this battle three times; the first few pictures are from the first time, played in my basement, coincidentally on my birthday. Fellow 'Rats Joe Fish, Barry Frandsen, Thomas Kinstler (who made the ridges), and Greg Hansen were in attendance.

The first real French assault is launched, while the French artillery attempt to deploy behind them. The two units of Austrian Hussars (actually just one large regiment broken up into 2 smaller groups, their Light Cavalry regiments being very large) are the only cavalry in the entire game. White-coated Austrian reinforcements can be seen marching furiously towards the action.

 French infantry advance into heavy Austrian fire!  On a gaming note, I should observe that my friend, Barry, presented me a set of polyhedral dice in honor of the occasion of my birthday (you can never have too many polyhedral dice, especially with Piquet/Field of Battle! Barry mentioned something about their being the most hideous color he could find - an orangey-yellow with red and bright green speckles all over and green numbers. In a flash of  inspiration (or something), I proclaimed them to be the "Jalapeno Dice", and therefore indisputably "hot" dice. Indeed, they rolled pretty well for me that day!

A battalion of Legere from Gudin's division threatens the Austrian left flank as the Kaiserlicks are steadily pushed back. The battle (and wargame) ended with the Austrians roughly handled and largely pushed off the ridge but not broken. Never the less, this was sufficient to re-establish communication with the Emperor, newly arrived in the Theater of War from Paris.

The next set of pictures is from the version of Teugen-Hausen that we ran at HAVOC 2009, Battle Group Boston's annual wargames convention held in April every year in Shrewsbury, MA (just outside of Worchester). We used some lessons learned from the first action to improve the scenario.

The opening set up for the game sees an Austrian Cavalry battery, 2 Grenz Units, and the 1/EHK Legion (yay!) looking a bit isolated on the ridgeline, as the first French Infantry arrive on the scene. Austrian Hussars, and a brigade of Austrian Infantry can be seen in the distance, available to (hopefully) reinforce the position.

 Long view behind the ridge position reveals that there are quite a lot of Austrian troops available... eventually!

 The village of Hausen, with Austrian support elements

The lead French units waste no time in moving to the attack , to buy time for the rest of the Divison to come up... just as in the actual battle. L'Audace, tojours l'audace! ...or something like that. My French is poor at best! The fire of the battery and its supporting infantry has had some effect - note the "rock" and the "chicken" markers associated with the nearer French unit - the "rock" indicates the unit has lost 1 Unit Integrity (Infantry have 4 UI in Field of Battle), and the "chicken" indicates that it is "Out of Command", sort of like Shaken or Disordered in other rules sets.

The impetuous attack by the lead units of St. Hilaire's Division has indeed bought time for the French  to organize a much more proper attack, with the support of the Divisional artillery company. "Smoke" indicates units that have "fired", and are awaiting an Firepower card to "reload".

The French assault shatters the initial Austrian position... but Jean-Marie, is it ze snow storm in April I see, with all the white stuff in amongst the trees?

Blurry shot of Erzherzog Karl himself, waiting quietly (and ineffectively) out of the battle, with the Grenadier Reserve, near Grub. For my model Austrian army, I use the white Liebfahne only with my Grenadier and Cuirassier units. Everyone else gets the yellow Ordinarfahne. Not strictly historical, but it makes these elite reserve troops really stand out on the battlefield.  And yes, those flags are hand painted!

 Elements of Gudin's division arrive, threatening the Austrian left, and drawing off reserves from the main battle on the Ridge.

The French press the main assault onward; the heavy woods largely negate the effectiveness of the Artillery, except at very close range. The battle will once again end in a French winning draw, with the Austrians pushed back off the ridge but not broken.

We ran this game one more time, at Historicon 2009, with Thomas Kinstler at the helm. I didn't get any pictures of that one, as I was running another game at the same time, only set 300 years earlier - Agnadello 1509 with Peter Hess, using Band of Brothers 2nd edition - Venice vs. France.  Teugen-Hausen is one of more than 20 scenarios to be included in the Blunders on the Danube, 1809 scenario book. Hopefully revisiting this battle will help get me back on track to finish the work remaining to complete the project!


  1. What was the table size? It looks huge. I've found that greater than 5' wide can make access to the center of the table difficult.

  2. The game in my basement was 6 feet wide (that's normal for my table) by about 10 feet long, with the combat primarily taking place on the short side of the table. At HAVOC, the table was 8' by 5', their standard size. We didn't know that before hand (our first time there in 2009) and it created some problems fitting the terrain on, but we did it. You're right about a 5 foot width being optimal for practicality... although 6 feet works OK for me personally - I am 6'4" tall, after all!