Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Battle of Neumarkt, April 24th, 1809

Hiller's wing of the Austrian Hauptarmee became separated from the main body by the battles of Abensberg and Eggmuhl, and he retreated over the Isar at Landshut, A bitter rival of Erzherzog Karl, Hiller decided to turn on his pursuers in an attempt to inflict a significant defeat upon them. He caught Bessieres' command half over the Rott river at Neustadt. In this scenario, Wrede's Bavarian Division, supported by Jaquinot's Light Cavalry Brigade, must delay the Austrian attack long enough for the supporting French Division of Molitor to come up and cover their retreat. This is a quite manageable action for two players, here using Field of Battle rules and one unit for every 400 Cavalry, 600 Infantry or six guns. 

Set up: GM Mesko's Advanced Guard Brigade (foreground) advances on Neumarkt via the main road, whilst a long column of whitecoats under GM Bianchi, screened by the Chevaulegers of FML Vincent's command marches on the Bavarian left (background).

The Allied position after their first MOVE: Jaquinot's LC in the distance, Minucci's Bavarian Brigade in the front, with Bianchi's brigade (I have substituted Baderners and Hessians for Bavarians on the tabletop for this Brigade) move up in support. Neumarkt and the River Rott are to their rear.

Neumarkt itself, with a Bavarian battalion deployed near the cloister of St Veit.

The Austrian 1st Column under FML Reus-Plauen, with  FMLVincent's Chevaulegers in the lead.

GM Mesko's Advanced Guard Brigade.

Accurate fire by the Bavarian foot battery has knocked out the opposing Austrian Cavalry battery as it advances!

Wrede consolidates his position, while the Bavarian Jagers take up a position in the woods that threatens the flank of Reuss-Plauen's long column.

Reuss-Plauen advances boldly in an attempt to crush the Bavarian left and turn Wrede's flank!

Mesko keeps the pressure on Bianchi, as the Grenz of his command attack the Bavarian line; one of the Grenz has fallen back in disarray as a result of Bavarian musketry ("Out of Command") - note the "chicken" marker behind them denoting same!

The Bavarians have given some ground in the center, but are now supported by the fresh troops of Becker's brigade

Jaquinot's French Light Cavalry watch the road on the far Allied right...

The Bavarian Jagers have launched a bold (? rash) charge from their woods onto the flank of the Austrian column, but Reus-Plauen has coolly countered the threat with an Austrian battalion guarding the flank of his March columns. Supporting French artillery forces the Austrian Column to deploy before advancing further.

The charge of the Austrian Hussars has routed a Bavarian battalion (seen in a mob moving to the rear), whilst the Grenzer move forward once again.

Casualties litter the field where the Hussars rode down the Bavarian infantry!

The Bavarian Jagers have defeated the Kaiserlick infantry battalion, but are now themselves very precariously placed, with the Chevaulegers now threatening to charge their flank in turn!

Having bought sufficient time, Wrede has pulled back his troops and consolidated his position, as fresh French troops arrive to cover his retreat back across the Rott. 

This scenario was interesting, having the Austrians bear the burden of the attack, and needing to press the Allies in an attempt to crush Wrede before he can organize an effective fighting withdrawal. Barry and I played this one out a year or so ago, and Barry rolled very poorly for the Austrian Leadership die rolls, so the attack was rather slow to develop, and I was able to delay his attack long enough to make good my escape without suffering excessive losses. 

Historically, Hiller resumed his retreat after inflicting a significant check upon Wrede, as no matter what tactical success he might be able to achieve, the strategic reality was that he was isolated on the opposite bank of the Danube from Karl, with only relatively few potential crossing points available between his location  and Vienna! Wrede was given an unenviable position to fight in by the over zealous pursuit of Hiller, as  directed by Marshal Bessieres, but gave a good account of himself on this day, as did his Bavarians. This would seem to give the lie to Naopleon's famously pithy comment about the Bavarian officer folllowing the Battle of Hannau (1813), "Poor Wrede! I could make him a Count... but not a General!"


  1. Nice work Peter !

    I have only just finished some of the exact same units you have fighting here, so its a timely post indeed !

    Looking forward to the new year soon - I am hoping to spend more time gaming, and a little less time painting now that the bulk of the work is out the way. Well actually - more time doing both would be good as well.

    Your battle reports are always a good read, and provide excellent scenario material. Will be interesting to refight the exact same scenarios on my table over here and compare results. Sometime in the New Year, will be doing that, if all goes to plan.


  2. Very good AAR. I'll be looking for some chickens, great idea for a marker.
    I'm hoping to run Raab after the first of the year.

  3. @Steve: Yep, it always seems as though I spend FAR more time painting, planning armies, designing scenarios, writing rules and blog posts, reading books etc and the least time actually playing games, LOL. I'll be interested to see how you fare with these battles yourself. BTW, the 1809 scenario book is finally in print!

    @Mike: Thanks again, Mike. I like using the animals as markers, and they provide ample fodder for endless bad jokes and puns, and I prefer my games on the fun and lighthearted side! I have some new chickens, pigs, and a Fox to paint (Architects of War), but I really need to add some dogs, too. Maybe Mega Miniatures (I feel like Larry Leadhead talking about MM, hah!)

  4. Great report!!! Love the chicken marker idea too!!

  5. Really nice looking battle Peter and very interesting battle report.

    Now that I have read the John Gill books I wish I had painted my Bavarians for 1809 and not 1812!!!

  6. @ Ray: As he marks off the 2 UI loss with a two-rock, "Wow, your boys really got plucked! Oh, and... here's your chicken!"

    @Paul: Gill's books are amazing - heaven for a wargamer. Excellent accounts, liberal use of good maps, and detailed OOB's. Superb! I prefer the earlier Bavarian uniforms as there is more variety in the infantry facings, and by now you know I'm all about color, LOL!. OTOH, in 1812-13 you get to add some new, cool units like the Guard Infantry, Hussars, Uhlans, and Cuirassiers!