Sunday, October 29, 2023

Snappy Nappy 2023: Crisis on the Danube, 1809 -Austrian Report

1809 Bavaria: Snappy Nappy SnapCon IX

by Russ Lockwood

Another year and another multi-table, multi-player Snappy Nappy Campaign-In-A-Day extravaganza put on by the Connecticut gaming group at The Portal in Manchester, CT. On October 14, 2023, the game store graciously allowed us the run of the back room with its multitude of tables.

The calm before the storm – so many tables that one shot couldn’t fit them all in. This is the back room of The Portal. Photo by Mark.

For the record, I created Snappy Nappy and the Napoleonic rules are published by On Military Matters and also carried by Caliver Books in the UK and other FLGSs.

Peter, with help from James and Mark, set up 15 4x6-foot tables representing 1809 Bavaria, roughly the area from Ratisbon (Regensburg) to Landshut and from Ingolstadt to Landau. Each stand represented 1500 infantry, 600 cavalry, or 18 artillery guns.

Yes, that's the big scale of Snappy Nappy used in Campaign In A Day games. All players are playing in the same game, but quite often on different tables, so there is usually considerable movement until forces collide and battle is joined -- usually across multiple tables. The "campaign" concludes in one day's worth of gaming.

The key to keeping the game moving is that each table follows the Turn Sequence independently of other tables. If a player's troops leave the table via a road/deployment zone, the umpire escorts the player and his troops to the next table. These new troops adopt the turn sequence of the new table.

For fog of war, the "next" table is usually not the next physical table over, but across the room. Furthermore, table orientations (North, South, East, and West) are spun by table. Hence, North on one table might face the door, on another the window, on a third the wall, and so on. You'll know who is on your side, but at least at the start, not how your table connects to any given table. That all helps with fog of war.

The d10 rules are straightforward for firing, movement, morale, and so on. It all goes pretty quick and can be easily learned, although manipulating the units offers a bit of subtlety at times. Communications among players at the same table is allowed, although if you want to send a message to another player or the C-in-C at a different table, a written message goes through the umpire, who delays delivery depending on how many tables away the recipient is.

We all head to the central table to pick up our badges.

Commands and Special Scenario Rules

Veteran Snappy Nappy (SN) umpire Peter offered both sides some options:

French Commands:

Napoleon I: Jim C. - Start: Ingolstadt

II Corps: Steve T. - Start: Au

III Corps: Mike S. - Start: Regensburg

III Corps: Kevin C. - Start: Regensburg

IV Corps: Sean S. - Start: Pfaffenhofen

IV Corps: James S. - Start: Pfaffenhofen

VII Corps: Karl N. - Start: Neustadt

Wurttemberg Corps: Steven C. - Start: Ingolstadt

Ad-hoc Corps: Mark M. - Start: Vohburg

The French players prepare for battle.

French Options

Note that none of these are guaranteed to succeed, and the attempt may result in some changes to the Austrian side as well! The French may choose one (or none) of the following options:

1) Napoleon arrives in the theater earlier

2) Davout's march on his own initiative towards Feking is not countermanded by Berthier

3) The Imperial Guard arrives earlier. Historically, they arrived after this phase of the campaign was over; if this succeeds they will show up fairly late in the day.

Austrian Commands:

Feldmarschal Erzherzog Karl: Brian C. - Start: Rohr

1 Armeekorps: Rob P. - Start: Bohemia

3 Armeekorps: B.G. Smith - Start: Rohr

4 Armeekorps: Brandon S. - Start: Langquaid

5 Armeekorps: Alex O. - Start: Halfway between Pfaffenhausen and Siegendorf

6 Armeekorps: Russ L. - Start: Mooseburg

1st Reservekorps: Frank N. - Start: Pfeffenhausen

2nd Reservekorps: Brian C. - Start: Landshut

The Austrian players prepare for battle.

Austrian Options:

Change the Axis of Attack

Attack Earlier

Attack Later

Starting forces and reinforcements would change depending on which option was chosen.

Austrian 6 Corps

As you can see from the list of commands, I was assigned 6 Corp by Archduke Charles. My command consisted of 18 units: four foot artillery units, one horse artillery unit, three cavalry units, and ten infantry units. Morale quality was quite good, mostly Veterans -- good for offense and defense -- and a couple of lower-rated Seasoned and Conscript troops:

2 stands IR Deutschmeister – Veteran 6+

6 stands Line - Seasoned 7+

8 stands Line Hungarian - Seasoned 7+

2 stands Vienna Volunteers - Conscript 8+

2 stands Grenzer – Seasoned 7+

2 stands Chevau-Legers) - Elite 5+

4 stands Hussars – Veteran 6+

3 x 6# Foot Battery - Veteran 7+

1 x 6# Cavalry Battery - Veteran 7+

1 x 12# Foot Battery - Veteran 7+

The 6th Corps in the case…

As for my tabletop commander, I was "Dashing" -- not quite up to snuff with "Genius" Napoleon and Davout, but better than your average commander. I started in and around Moosburg.

And deployed around Moosburg, ready to march off the table.

Table M - Moosburg, before the set up of troops. All troops had to start within 12" of the town. 

The Moosburg Migration

Archduke Charles ordered me to Freising, so I dutifully headed west along the Isar river to the town. I was to guard the flank and if possible push a little northwards towards Pfaffenhofen and Au. If nothing else, that would scout out a possible route by the French.

It's a good thing Archuduke Charles decided to move early, for I bounded into the Freising without a problem and started to send cavalry up the northern roads.

My 6th Corp enters the Freising table (from the right) as three French columns also enter the table (from the top of photo). The Isar River is along bottom of photo. Freising is at the crossroads. The white chip denotes Austrian possession.

That's when three French columns entered on the three northern roads. I immediately halted any northern movement and began to form a defensive line in and around Freising.

The start of Turn 3 finds three French commanders leading troops onto the Freising table: Sean (left), James (center), and Steve (right) enter the Freising table. The 8.5x11-inch map shows how close the French are to my flank.

Better Living Through Firepower

I had to do my share of tactical noodling when confronted on Turn 2 by three columns of French troops under James, Steve, and Sean. Taking on 1:3 odds is never a good idea, so I needed to maximize use of terrain. I also figured they contained quality troops equal or better than mine.

Fortunately, I had five batteries of artillery: one of heavy 12lbers, one of light 4lber horseguns, and the other three of medium 6lbers. Actually, looking over my OB to compile these memoirs, I found that the horse battery was actually composed of medium 6lbers. I shorted myself a die every time it fired. The fog of war sometimes intrudes on what a commander should know!

Unfortunately, my horse guns were at a great place for marching north and a wrong place for helping the defense of the town. With James bearing down on me, I had no time for the perfect line, but enough time for the line I created from the town back down the road.

I prepare a reception for Steve’s French cavalry should they want to test their fate by crossing the river, but I am scrambling to put together a defense.

On my right, across a stream and a couple hills, Steve showed up. This was near my entry spot to the table, so I was able to quickly turn a few units right and set up a line with a ridge shielding me from any of Steve's cannons.

Sean on my left had the farthest to advance, so I had some time to shove a few units, including my cavalry, behind Freising while I marched a couple infantry and artillery units to bend the line back to the Isar.

That left James in the center, who was rapidly deploying to get across the intervening stream.

It takes a couple turns, but I shake out my defensive ‘fishhook’ line. I still have a couple units out of position, but they are moving as fast as they can.

I was set up in a fishhook with the long side from Freising to entry point and the short side curling from the town to the Isar River.

I was stretched pretty taut with minimal reserves -- call it the long thin white line...

French Deliberation

Here, the three French commanders paused as they secured their side of the stream and the bridge crossings. The French idea was to coordinate all three commands in one big attack rather than go in piecemeal. Cursed smart French players!

The flip side is that I would be able to hold Freising and the left flank for many turns if the dice odds remained reasonably odds-like. I was banking on the five artillery batteries to help blunt the French attack.

I left a cavalry regiment to cover the center bridge, but James easily swatted it away. I sent an infantry unit to face the bridge. French cannon took care of them, too. It bought time for me to shift units to the once empty short side.

So on the French came, shaking out into a line to cover the long side of my line, while Sean came on with a flanking force to push in the short side.

I could not have Sean's flanking force near me yet, so I rode out with a repositioned cavalry unit and charged the end of Sean's line. He made the roll for hasty square and bounced my cavalry backwards with casualties. No worries. I had another cavalry unit or two on that flank. But that sacrifice slowed his flanking movement to a crawl.

The exchange of artillery fire fell in my favor, in part because I had the heavy battery assisting the medium battery. I'm still eyeing the long odds against me, but help arrived and I started to advance from the short side.

5th Corp arrives (right), prompting me to execute a dangerous withdrawal in the face of the French. It looks as chaotic as it was, but we shuffled along.

The Long Thin White Line Thickens

About this time, Austrian Alex (aka Eerzherzog Ludwig) and his 5th Corp arrived on the battlefield. Well, well, well. Now it's 2:3, and better yet, because of the size of an Austrian Corps, it's more like parity.

Opposite Alex, Steve also sent away part of his French command, the cavalry, I believe, but there was a ridge in between us, so I'm not sure.

Anyway, now we could start expanding a bit -- starting with forward movement on the short side.

Alex (left) and 5th Corp arrives a tad before Steve (right). James (center left) and Steve (center right) press forward.

Next decision -- how to layer in Alex's corps? It was either pass him behind me or slot him in next to me. It is always better to keep your command concentrated, so my lads had to pull back and his lads stuck in on our right flank.

The French push forward as Alex stands firm and I start to shift more and more units to face Sean’s troops (bottom left).

This is not an easy maneuver to pull off in a historical battle. It is just as difficult to pull this off on a tabletop in Snappy Nappy. The danger from a French rush to attack is real, so you need a little finesse, right?

The resulting effort to pull back my troops definitely produced a maelstrom of confusion! I remarked that this would look as awful as an uncoordinated marching band at a Super Bowl halftime show!

Fortunately, Steve was far enough away that the deductions for about facing and moving slowly meant I was able to complete the transition without a problem from the French.

Also about this time, another French Steve showed up with his force. Oh great, just when we Austrians have parity, the French toss in another corp, so now it's 2:4, but more like 2:3 in actual stands. From my perspective, I also now had two artillery and three infantry units in reserve to plug any holes. Alex's full corp occupied basically half my original thin white line. We can definitely hold this place.

I thought I saw Napoleon himself make an appearance behind Steve on the ridge. If so, he was gone in a flash.

The Big French Push

On came James, Steve, and Steve, but Alex and I were ready. James came through the woods to avoid any artillery fire and Steve came over the ridge with Steve close behind. Sean took a look at the artillery and cavalry and decided to screen my short side force. Oh, I inched out here and there, but the short side was definitely more on defense than offense.

James stalemated in the woods, but tore away a support unit of mine next to the woods while losing one of his own.

James is pushing through the woods while crossing the bridge. Sean repelled my cavalry (bottom middle with casualty rings), but I’m starting to win the artillery duel and reserves are coming fast.

Steve sent his French conscripts straight into the teeth of Alex's artillery and infantry line. It was a magnificent charge, but left the quartet of units badly shot up and our Austrian line intact.

Until I could move some reserves to the short side, Sean and I stared at each other and traded some long-range cannon fire.

Impossible Orders

I had been on that Freising table all day, dazzling the French with the Austrian two-step: the first step was to create a line and the second step was to polish all the cannon barrels. What I didn't know was what was going on in the rest of the campaign. When you separate players on different tables, you have to trust the C-in-C to keep your flanks and supply lines open.

Steve’s French conscripts come over the ridge and charge Alex’s Austrian line. It is not a success.

At one point in time, just as the French were forming up to attack and before Alex arrived, I received a message from Archduke Charles to abandon Freising and pull back to Moosburg.

I wrote back that such a maneuver was impossible. I'd lose half my corps trying to disengage from the fight  and retreat down the road.

How all the tables fit together. Freising is at bottom left. Moosburg is next to it. 

I was able to ignore the order because CT games do not use the "Orders" hierarchy in the SN rules. The idea is that you can obey or disobey orders because you're the player so you make the call and let the post-game discussions hash out any tabletop repercussions.

The "Orders" hierarchy is there to represent 19th century social mores of military authority. It's not perfect, and players can use the order given or the orders above or below on the ladder of hierarchy depending on national characteristics. Technically, if using Orders, Archduke Charles gave me a Maneuver Order. As the Austrians can go up or down one order level, I would convert that to the Defend order.

Since we weren't using Orders, I elected to stay, pinned as it was in combat.

I also knew, based on a previous SN C-in-a-Day game (1809 Italy) that I lost half my corp when ordered to do just about the same thing. Retreating in the face of an enemy is difficult. I suppose Archduke Charles could’ve ordered Alex and 5th Corp to hold Moosburg instead of helping me in Freiburg, but since I didn’t have the C-in-C’s information, I can’t make the call. That’s the beauty of the game: fog of war from playing on separate tables.

Austrian Surrender

Elsewhere in Bavaria, the French were able to bring two or more corps against a single Austrian corp, squash it, and rinse and repeat. Something about Napoleon on three tables and three battles won?

The French drove up the middle and captured Landshut, or at least put the Austrians in such an impossible position, Archuduke Charles asked for a parley to discuss terms.

Full Recap

The full story will unfold on Peter's Blunders on the Danube blog, which has a special Snappy Nappy section. Full table maps, campaign map, GM map, OOBs, and recaps from players will be there. The QRS is also available for download.

Another great SN outing for me, with tactical challenges appearing literally on Turn 2. Better yet, I laughed the whole game through with fellow gamers and that's a great day of gaming.

Thanks, all, for making the trip to game. And thanks to The Portal for making the space available to us. If you are ever in Manchester, CT, stop by the well-stocked Hillard Ave store.

Thanks to Mark for the donuts, coffee, and pizza. And a special thanks to Peter, Mark, and James for putting another great scenario and campaign in a day.

Report of FML Bellegarde's I Corps

My corps moved on Regensburg from the North, hoping to cross the Danube, but were blocked by French brigade strength elements strong enough to hold the newly fortified town & its bridge indefinitely. Poor planning by Bellegarde (for not anticipating this and having pontoniers ready to build an alternate crossing immediately) doomed any hope of crossing in time to effect any retreat by the French, or participate in battle further South.  The bridging unit arrived and several turns later the bridge was nearing completion when the order was received to proceed South via Straubing, but it mattered not, as the day was decided elsewhere!

Friday, October 27, 2023

Snappy Nappy 2023: Crisis on the Danube, 1809 - French Reports

Report of Marechal Lefebvre, Duc d' Danzig

    I deployed my fine  Bavarian  Corps around Neustadt covering the bridges and roads. I was redeploying when cavalry from FML Ludwig's 5th  Korps showed up in the distance near Siegenburg, followed by the rest of the Korps. As the enemy was arriving, Napoleon appeared and gave my troops a big boost in morale.

The Marshal's sketch map of the Neustadt area.

The Bavarian Corps deployed to cover all the approaches to Neustadt. 

Bavarians redeploying, as the vanguard of FML Ludwig's 5th Austrian Korps appears near Siegenburg.

The rest of Ludwig's men aren't far behind. 

    I maneuvered my 4 artillery batteries to cover the bridge closest to the enemy and crossed the other bridge with cavalry and infantry. The enemy screened his force using his cavalry but got too close to the bridge. I fired a few times and his cavalry was destroyed. FML Ludwig decided it was time to withdraw when he saw two more French Corps coming towards Neustadt from Vohburg and Geisenfels  (Lannes & Vandamme respectively). Ludwig couldn't know it, but Vandamme's troops were only his light cavalry. The 5th Austrian Korps bustled away.

Ludwig's advance, and Bavarian reaction.

The Emperor arrives from Ingolstadt!

The advance of Ludwig's 5th Korps

Ludwig's cavalry shot in the flank!

Auf wiedersehen, Österreichische Kavallerie!

Auf wiedersehen, Erzherzog Ludwig!

    Meanwhile, Lannes came marching thru Abensberg, and kept on going towards Arnhofen. Napoleon accompanied him.  It turned out that Vandamme was just scouting with his cavalry.

    I waited to see if the Austrians would return, and also for new orders from the Emperor. I used my cavalry to scout towards Pfaffenhausen and they reported that Ludwig continued to retreat. I then scouted towards Au, but my cavalry  found  no one there except a small French garrison. . I finally received orders from the Emperor to march to Pfaffenhausen,  and thence on to Landshut. 

The Bavarian Corps has departed Neustadt, leaving behind a small garrison for security. 

Sketch map of the Pfaffenhausen area.

     As I was nearing Pfaffenhausen I saw Austrians marching towards me from the South. They turned out to be the small but elite 2nd Reserve Korps under FML Kienmayer. I started across the bridge and took Pfaffenhausen. 

Bavarians marching South towards Pfaffenhausen, whilst the Austrian 2nd Reserve Corps appears from the South. 

Lefebvre and Kienmayer's troops both maneuver.

The Bavarians are outclassed, but the Austrians ae outnumbered.

The phal of Pfaffenhausen.

Crossing the Gross Laber, Lefebvre prepares to deploy for the attack on Kienmayer.

As I did that another Austrian arrived on my flank and behind me. It was GDL Liechtenstein and his elite 1st Reserve Korps. I had to redeploy and leave my dragoons across the river to guard my flank. While redeploying the 1st attacked me. As they committed to battle, we all saw the cavalry of General de Division Oudinot . The battle was fierce. But in the end, while my brave Bavarians suffered significant losses, the 1st reserve suffered even greater losses. The Austrian 1st Korp retook the town of Pfaffenhausen, and destroyed my Dragoons. The 2nd Reserve Korps advanced somewhat from the South, contributing to the action. 

Liechtestein arrives with the vanguard of his elite 1st Reserve Corps! 

Austrian Grenadiers to the front, flank and rear. What's a Marshal to do? 

More whitecoats where they came from!

Die schlact bei Pfaffenhausen.

Oudinot's cavalry joins the fight, and not a moment too soon!

The tide of battle  turns!

Bavarians on the road again!

    As the battle was almost over, the cavalry of General de Division Vandamme arrived with some of the rest of his Wurttemberg Corps. The Austrian Korps both retreated, the 1st Reserve towards Rottenburg and the 2nd Reserve towards Landshut. 

Vandamme and the Wurttembergers arrive as the Austrians retreat. 

I moved South once again, and retook the town of Pfaffenhausen for the second time. . I then moved off the road to regroup and let Vandamme's Corp move towards Landshut followed by Oudinot's cavalry.

After rallying, Lefebvre's Bavarians resume the march!

    I then moved towards Moosburg. I destroyed the garrison unit of Grenzer infantry left there and took the town. 

Moosburg and environs. 

The depleted Bavarian Corps advances on Moosburg

Refusing to surrender, the Austrian garrison of Moosburg is eliminated. 

 I was heading to Landshut on the far side of the river Isar to hit the Austrian position there in the flank, whereupon I  received news the Austrians were everywhere in full retreat across the Isar.  I must offer my high praise for the performance of the troops of the King of Bavaria, that I was fortunate to command.

Vive l' Empereur!

Marechal Lefebvre

Report of  the Wurttemberg Corps, General de Division Dominique-Joseph René Vandamme, Compte d' Unseburg, played by Steven Currie

    I began the campaign at Ingolstadt with his excellency Napoleon, and Marshal Lannes. I received direct orders from Napoleon to defend Ingolstadt at all costs. Marshall Lannes suggested I occupy all of the buildings in the city with my 12000 German infantry. Napoleon moved out down the road toward Neustadt. Marshall Lannes began scouting roads around us while I distributed my Corps around Ingolstadt covering every route into the Town with musketry, cannon, and cavalry.

Vandamme and his Wurttembergers confer with Marshal Lannes near Ingolstadt


    Soon Lannes was back and gave me vital information about our Corps positions and where enemy seemed to be concentrating. Soon Lannes moved off down the road to what I believed to be the area of Neustadt. Lannes counseled as he left to use my cavalry to patrol the roads and find the enemy. This advice I made haste putting into effect.

Marshal Lannes cavalry has left, but his infantry and artillery are mostly still near Ingolstadt. 

    I sent my cavalry out, first following The Emperor’s path. Arriving in the area of Neustadt, I found a battle brewing. It looked like Austrians and Bavarians fighting. Far away Lannes had appeared with cavalry. Napoleon, having seen my cavalry arrive questioned the commander and asked him why he had followed him. The cavalry commander replied that he was scouting the roads. Napoleon dismissed him and my cavalry returned to Ingolstadt.

General Vandamme at Ingolstadt; the one unit of Wurttemnurg Jagers zu Pferd are seen heading out on their long scouting ride! 

Ride, Jagers, ride!

For some hours I sent my cavalry down the roads branching out. Eventually I went down the route to the other side of Neustadt towards Pfaffenhausen. The Austrians were getting beaten. Napoleon, the Bavarians, my cavalry and I believe Lannes were all present. The Austrians were doomed. My cavalry withdrew and reported the great news of the victory at Pfaffenhausen.

General Vandamme maintains his correspondence with The Emperor

When my cavalry returned I sent them to Pfaffenhofen which they had checked previously. They proceeded from there to Freising. At Freising a very large battle was raging. Although the Grand Army appeared to outnumber the Austrians, our French forces seemed to be in a stalemate. A battle was raging over a bridge. The terrain was terrible for our forces. Many cannons seemed to be on the field. My cavalry encountered Marshall Oidinot. The cavalry returned to Ingolstadt.

I realized that my position at Ingolstadt was safe. There appeared to be no Austrian forces on any road threatening my position. In fact, it appeared we were winning. I sent a message to our Emperor. I told him I had scouted all routes, and no enemy was nearby. I asked if the emperor had additional orders for me under the circumstances.

Soon a dispatch arrived from his excellency, reiterating my orders to protect Ingolstadt at all costs. Soon after I received a message from Marshall Ouidinot, asking for my artillery to be sent to Friesing. The Marshall indicated that he needed them badly. After some hard thought, I decided I would go personally, taking my artillery and cavalry, but leaving all of my infantry in the Town.

The Wurttemberg infantry remains at Ingolstadt, but the Artillery and cavalry have moved on.  

General Vandamme headed South by way of Au. 

Arriving after a time in Friesing, things seemed worse. Oudinot updated me on the situation. I had my artillery advance toward the enemy. Soon Oudinot wanted me to travel with him to where some of his Corps was engaging Austrians. We checked our routes to the location involved and I suggested I pick up my infantry. Now I felt sure that the Austrians were not anywhere close to Ingolstadt and that combing with Oudinot’s forces and sweeping down the line through Neustadt and straight to Landshut was the best plan.

Feeling certain that Ingolstadt is secure, the garrison is reduced to just 2 infantry brigades.  

I gathered forces which took some time. I arrived some time later at Oudinot’s position, seeing with great delight that an Austrian force was withdrawing down the road heading towards Landshut. At this time I had under my command a Brigade of  Wurttemberg cavalry, 3 Brigades of  Wurttemberg infantry,  and Myself. Other French forces were also there.

Wurttembergers headed South through Pfaffenhausen by way of Neustadt.

The Austrians were pursued all the way to Landshut. The road was clogged with men and horses. Soon Landshut appeared in the distance.

Landshut ho! 

When we finally came onto the field, an Austrian host appeared before us, with another beyond the river in the City of Landshut. I sighed with relief seeing that Lannes was there. We deployed our troops. Austrian artillery fire was hitting my men but we kept going. Fighting went on up and down the line. It seemed that the Austrians were stuck with a single bridge to reinforce their position. Even worse, if they wanted to withdraw, they only had a single bridge to use to escape. Finally, my cavalry moved to my right to flank the enemy Artillery. Suddenly, the enemy sent a request for terms and the battle was over. Several French Corps were at Landshut, including Napoleon, Oudinot, Lannes and I. I am unsure of the other commands.

Wurttembergers enter the fray (upper left).

Dominique-Joseph René Vandamme  

The Campaign-in-a-Day was great! I loved the idea of a Campaign Map made of Tables. Russ Lockwood has created a fantastic set of rules to play “the Big Picture”. Thank you, James, Peter and Brian. It was a great game and well run. Here in Upstate New York I am telling everyone about it!

Steve Currie (Vandamme)

Report of Marechal Davout and General de Division St. Hilaire:

The Battle of Regensburg, April 1809


    Davout’s III Corps protected the left flank of the L' Armee d'Allemagne, for  L' Empereur Napoleon.  The anchor of this flank was the fortress of Regensburg.  Davout was asked to be aggressive and if the opportunity arose to threaten Landshut from the East.  Davout consulted with his two wing commanders, Gen St. Hilaire (Mike-me) and Gen Morand (Kevin).  III Corps would seek the enemy and try to destroy an Austrian Korps quickly, and attempt to move on Landshut.  Regensburg, although isolated from the rest of the French army, was a strong position and a source of supply, so a garrison was necessary to ensure that III Corps could maintain the offensive.  It was decided that the two wings would operate in concert.

    The III Corps split.  Morand went to Teugen and St Hilaire was to garrison the fort and send bulk of his force to Eckmuhl, with the hope the two wings could catch an Austrian Korps in flank if there was a road connecting these two  villages (tables).  


    The Austrian army was able to gain a night march before III Corps could move into action.  The Austrian I Korps Commanded by Bellegarde ( Rob ) showed up North of Danube without pontoniers. Hmmm…. Generals  Morand & St Hilaire agreed that the garrison could hold.    Gen Morand left quickly, while the road to Eckmuhl was a bit longer, and would require a bit more time to travel. Several assaults over bridge on the Fort were repulsed with heavy losses.  Perhaps the Fort could tie them up all day?  So far plan was working!

Well, the plan began to fall apart while it was still warm...


   The Austrian III Korps showed up on Teugen table. Morand had to give battle to prevent the Austrians from moving on the Bavarians left flank.   And before St Hilaire could get in deployment zone, Rosenburg’s Austrian IV Korps (Brandon) showed up on south side of Danube, from Eckmuhl.  An Austrian sandwich had occurred with St Hilaire in the middle.   Gen Moran was not going to be able to assist until he took care of business in his front!

     St.  Hilaire had deployed his two 8#  Artillery batteries facing north, to combat the Austrian I Korps who had 3 Artillery batteries.  To the south he deployed 5 of his 8 infantry Battalions with cavalry on the flanks.  He used the village of Egglosheim in the middle of the line, and Elite light troops on either side to create a stout defense. 


     Rosenberg and his Austrian IV Korps began forming a long line, 7 Battalions of infantry, 3 squadrons for cavalry, and 4 artillery batteries, including a horse artillery and a 12 lber.   Austrian cavalry & horse artillery soon began to move around the French Right flank.  St. Hilaire quickly decided that a left flank Cav charge could disrupt the Austrian right flank, and threaten the Artillery in the center of the line.  Two successful charges with St. Hilaire attached routed two battalions, and forced the Artillery to unlimber to the flank.   This slowed the advance on the French left and center.  But the right  flank pressure continued.  A French cavalry charge on the right failed to duplicate the success on the left, as the Austrian regulars formed hasty square.  More French reserves had to be sent to the right flank.  These came from stripping the fort of infantry.



    The battle raged all afternoon.  The Austrians cannon from IV corps began to wear down the French center.  His cavalry was thinning the right side of the French line. So far the casualties were 4 units each between French and Austrians.  Then IMPENDING DOOM HAPPENED!  A Bridge engineer showed up.   I Korps was in position to immediately cross over,  and attack the sole Artillery defending this section of the south side of the Danube.  And on the 1st roll he succeeded in laying the 1st section!  The pressure on III Corps was building.   On the 3rd attempt the bridge was complete and it looked liked curtains for the over stretched III Corps wing.  Gulp! 

Then a miracle occurred.   The Archduke Karl ( or Charles) ordered both Korps to fall back, to protect Landshut.  General Morand and his men then showed up to hasten that withdrawal and take out a few of IV Korps infantry and Artillery.  St Hilaire was saved from sure destruction. 

 The plan really did work.

Your most humble servant, 

General Louis-Vincent-Joseph Le Blond de Saint-Hilaire

I want to thank Kevin, Rob and Brandon for an excellent game and great sportsmanship , making this a thoroughly enjoyable afternoon.  Thanks to Peter for creating a terrific campaign and Mark for your help as always and the pizza of course. 


Report of his Majesty, Emperor Napoleon I

    I arrived by fast coach at Ingolstadt, and remained for a short time, but quickly realized that I didn't need to carry out holding there, given that the German (Wurttemberg) troops were going to hold there very well. So I headed almost immediately to aid Lefebvre's corps as they had been under pressure and driven back. I arrived there in turn 2 of the game, and then the Austrians moved in. Using the initiative effects, perhaps 2 turns of the battle we gained initiative, and 2 of the turns we lost initiative; his artillery smashed the Austrian cavalry, and the Austrians pulled out. Lefebvre moved his corps off to attack, following the Austrians, meanwhile, the German (Wurttemberg) auxiliary cavalry was scouting about, same with Lannes' cavalry in the meantime, trying to find out who's where.

The Emperor arrives at Neustadt, and inspires the Bavarian Corps with his words and presence. If the Emperor is here, surely the Guard cannot be far behind?

    These were small light cavalry brigades moving around scouting for enemy forces, but not really engaging, them. Lefebvre moved his corps off to attack towards Pfaffenhausen and Landshut, following the Austrians... soon he had smashed an Austrian spearhead. In the meantime, Morand's command at Teugen was under heavy pressure, so as it turned out, I and Lannes ended up moving in to aid him. Wonder of wonders: we caught the Austrians in a pincer, as "Lannes" said, "an Austrian sandwich".  We caught them in a double-sided attack; and as it turned out,  one Austrian Corps (the 1st Reserve Corps)  pulled out safely, the other (the 3rd Austrian Corps) was practically obliterated; they lost their cavalry, and the bulk of their infantry in the battle at Feking. 

    Morand moved off seeing as he had heavy cavalry, but no light cavalry. However, he persuaded myself to go towards Landshut aiding Lannes with morale and initiative effects. Morand moved off to aid Davout in Regensburg; seeing as Davout had the same benefits in initiative and morale as I did; so we separated so he could aid in turning the tide there, whilst Lannes and I moved off to attack the Austrians on the way to Landshut. Marechal Lannes he kept his "sword in the back of the retreating Austrians" . So we caught the rest of the retreating Austrian 3rd Corps at Rhor, and practically obliterated them.

    We then moved on towards Landshut, as Lefebvre moved through Pfaffenhausen and duked it out against the Austrians on the battlefield. Marshal Lannes and I soon moved into Landshut, so the two sides clashed at the same side of the river Isar in front of Landshut. The end result was that the Austrians there were overwhelmed by not one, not two, but three French Corps (Lannes, part Oudinot, part Vandamme)  and Napoleon himself. Karl's command didn't last long, in the end, his units were caught on the same side of the river as we were, and in a position where he might just be able to escape into Landshut, but he knew he couldn't win; so he ended up capitulating; in the final phase, he was known to be issuing directives to the Austrians who were fighting at Fresing to pull back to Landshut.
Now this played into my hands; as standing directives to the French Corps Commanders was to be opportunistic and take the initiative in pushing, following, and destroying the Austrians whenever possible.  

    Initially, the French battle plan was to form hunter-groups and for Davout to hold Regensburg as a secondary supply base, and if the Austrians followed the plans I most feared, to smash their supply lines and overrun them.
Then, in correspondence with Massena, I realized that his best plan would be to attack towards the Austrian supply base, with aid from the cavalry corps... that didn't work out all that well, Hiller  was able to hold off his attacks at Freising, even when desperate, but that tied up Austrian troops, and I realized that it seemed as though both supreme commanders had the same battleplan generally: a reinforced refuse the left and a general enfilade right; but seeing as the Austrian frontal assault had failed, we launched out counterattack. In the final phase, I was considering using the Wurttenbergers in combination with artillery bombardment of the Austrians to cover bridge-building across the Isar to generally demolish the Austrian militia gathered at Landshut. Meanwhile Lefebvre was moving his corps up the same exact side of the Isar that Landshut is mainly on. In short, this be a disaster for the Austrians.

I am presently entertaining envoys from Austrian Kaiser Francis I, seeking terms. I hear he has some pretty daughters...

Emperor Napoleon I

Report of Marechal  Massena and General de Division Molitor: 
The Battle of Freising

The French overall plan was to attempt a coup de main on the Austrian supply base at Landshut. If practicable, one of Davout's two forces (III Corps, consisting of St. Hilaire/Mike Siebert or Morand/Kevin Carroll) would shoot down the Danube and swing southward at Straubing to hit Landshut from the north. Meanwhile, Massena (IV Corps, yours truly & Sean Siebert) starting at Pfaffenhofen (see pict #1), assisted by Oudinot (II Corps, Steve Torro), would simultaneously force march through Freising and attack Landshut from the south. A masterful pincers cutting off all Austrian supply lines at one stroke!!

Massena's Initial Starting Position at Pfaffenhofen

Alas, no such plans could possibly be. Davout was thoroughly tied down in the north at Regensburg and Massena and Oudinot entered the Freising table to find Hiller (Russ Lockwood, 6th Korps) already taking possession of Freising and its highly defensible position protecting the one road to Landshut. And let us not forget to mention, Hiller had FIVE (YES!!! FIIIIVVVVEEEE!!!) artillery batteries, along with his other troops, to defend what could easily be as small as a two-foot long front.

Hiller's Position and French Approach March

Initial Entrance by Both Sides

Our Landshut move was clearly thwarted. It would probably take all day to defeat the Austrian opposed to us even if he chose to simply stand in place and die. However, Freising constituted a gateway bottlenecking access to the rear of both armies, making the position as important for us to hold as it was so for the Austrians. So battle we joined. And joined. And joined.

With the odds we had against Hiller (maybe two-to-one overall), we might have eventually worn him down. But before we could even engage in more than long distance cannon fire, Archduke Ludwig (5th Korps, Alex) arrived to reinforce with a further FOUR batteries and other forces nearly doubling the Austrian overall strength.

Archduke Ludwig (5th Korps) Arrives at Freising

So..., uhm, let's do the math - nine batteries on defense, each battery three inches wide, needing to cover the  3-foot or so front Hiller & Ludwig had adopted.  Oh - and did I mention the Austrian batteries (and most of the Austrians) were all on the far side and protected by the Ammer River?

Perhaps the only thing that saved the French from slaughter under an unremitting Austrian cannonade was the incredibly clogged nature of the terrain the Austrians cowered behind, severely limiting their lines of site excepting the relatively open ground on their left flank.

St. Cyr (Sean) on the French right attempted to swing wide to stretch the Austrian line. But terrain, damnably accurate Austrian artillery and a failed cav charge slowed and largely thwarted St. Cyr's deployment.

At one point before Archduke Ludwig's arrival, Massena rode over to his left to confer with Oudinot, suggesting there might be a gap on the Austrian extreme right Oudinot's cavalry could with luck exploit. However, the Archduke arrived shortly and Massena had to concede that, given the nature of the terrain facing him, Oudinot's cavalry could serve no useful function in the battle to come.

For hours the French inched forward, a few charges made from both sides, each beaten back. Long-ranged artillery from both sides harassed opponents. The French in the center under Molitor were able to secure the central bridge and a small bridgehead. In the meantime, Massena, so caught up in the minutiae of the battle, was completely unaware Oudinot had withdrawn all his cavalry. Massena had to constantly send out messengers to locate Oudinot and find what orders he had for his troops back at Freising. Goof-off general!! Napoleon was going to hear about this continued absence of Oudinot's!

Late Afternoon Positions (French have taken center bridge)

Final Positions as Night Fell

However, as night was falling at Freising we received word of the great victory at Landshut. Later that evening Oudinot himself appeared, obviously exhausted from his riding to and fro from one battlefield to another. He apologized for his extended absences from Freising, but he had been all over the map using his magnificent cavalry, seeking and destroying enemy.

That night, over the campfire with his staff, enjoying some fine Austrian port from the Archduke's captured wagons, Massena suddenly realized: Oh. Guess Oudinot must have been doing something good with his cavalry since it was useless at Freising.

Yes, indeed, Massena mused, he could soon imagine a Marechal's baton in Oudinot's saddle bags.

Marechal Massena