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1809: Napoleon's Danube Campaign» Forums » Sessions

Subject: 1809- The problem of Passau rss

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Magister Ludi
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Kevin Zucker’s 1809 is now on the table for a play of the alternate campaign scenario.



It's a long War, with six feet of map to fight along!

This postulates an early Austrian start to the war on the 9-10April, some 10 days before the actual commencement. I have previously played the historical campaign start and found that while the forces of Davout are exposed, the French are simply too concentrated at this later date and can start bundling the Austrians back towards Vienna quite easily.
Some pre reading of both F’L Petre’s “Napoleon and the Archduke Charles” and Jack Gill’s very detailed “1809- Thunder on the Danube” alerted me to an issue with the game as designed. Further reading surfaced an article by Joseph Key in the OSG house magazine “Wargame Design” from the summer of 2004 which really highlighted the key issue of Austrian supply and lines of communication (LOC).

As designed, the Austrians are already at the limit of their LOC on the Western Portion of the game map.



This is where the primary clashes at the opening of the war will take place. Part of the Austrian victory conditions also require an exit off the Western map edge at Hemau. This is unlikely to be achieved with the Austrians at the end of their logistical tether.

The issue primarily comes down to the Bavarian fortress of Passau located in hex W4721. In the historical campaign, the is shown to be in Austrian hands, but in reality the fortress, while masked by Austrian forces in the first 2 weeks of proceedings, did not fall into their hands. The alternate campaign set up shows the fortress in French hands, with a garrison of 3,000 men. Unless the Austrians can capture this fort and it’s all important crossing points over the Danube and Inn rivers, their supply trace needs to route from Budweis in the central north, down via Linz or Enns on the South bank of the Danube, and then hug the southern map edge via Branau and then through to Landshut (over 92 primary road hexes) to have any chance of keeping the main arm in supply.

Capture of Passau would allow the LOC to be traced through Bohemia, down via Passau, then hugging the South bank of the Danube, thru Straubing and ultimately to Hemau (hex 0016) for the same 92 hexes.



The fortress of Passau, on the Bavarian border with Austria



I am going to take up the suggestions as outlined in Joseph Keys article in my replay. Utilising some additional rules from other games in the series should provide some fixes in relation to Depots, with the towns of Branua and Landshut designated as Austrian depot hexes. Depot rules to be modelled on Sun of Austerlitz depot rules. On an expanded Southern map, Salzburg is also designated as a depot.

The rules of Fortress masking and fortress sieges will be taken from the Habit of Victory rule set. Passau will be upgraded from a fort to a citadel, allowing troops in garrison to withdraw without fighting when attacked. Besieging forces will need to total at least 2/3rds of the defenders strength and once invested, will roll on the masking table from HoV. Once the fortress is masked there will be a surrender roll (DR) at the end of every game week fortnight also modelled on the HoV rule set

Lastly, it was highlighted that the Western map has too little manoeuvre room south of Landshut.

There is a proposed extension map available on Consimworld under the 1809 discussion folder, and I have printed this out and will see if affects the campaign choices. Given that Munich is portrayed the plan is to give the Austrians a +1 morale modifier should they occupy it at any time during the game.

.

Hopefully I can keep up with some regular session updates as the game progresses. Comments and advice welcome!

Next AAR Storm over Bavaria



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Andrew Franke
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WOW,
Please keep us updated. I have wanted to play this for years and have not gotten the chance. You have given me the impetus to set it up and give it a go once I do the things you have suggested.
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David Fisher
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Having played this many years ago, I was just contemplating getting this out again when I saw your post. I will be very interested to see how this game runs with your adjustments. Please keep posting!
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Magister Ludi
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Well, they say that no plan survives contact with the enemy....

After setting up the pieces tonight I decided it would be interesting to write a range of orders for Charles based in the historical objectives and do some random draws to decide what he was up to.

While trying to plan it became apparent that the map extension that I was using wasn't going to be that useful. I could only get a copy with 2cm hexes, which didn't match up to the 1.75 cm hexes in the main map. I also needed to expand the off map portion between Branau, where Charles starts off to the Western edge of the map.

So I have instead spent the evening drafting up my own map...the good news is that I can expand it to Salzburg in the SE corner, which really opens up the strategic possibilities...



The usual service will resume after a short intermission.
 
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Tom Cundiff
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Wow, those maps really looks interesting. Might be a good idea to take the map expansion from CSW and simply expand it by 1/8th thus attaining the correct size hexes. That should be easily accomplished ... usually.

Even so, I would be very interested in your expansion map. New toys make a wargamer happy

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Magister Ludi
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The southern extension map has now been sketched out. Primarily the roads and rivers. If my playing indicates there will be more than some small actions then will flesh it out with more terrain detail.

Map sources were taken from 'Atlas of the Napoleonic Wars' by Esposito and Elting and Petre's book.




I have also added the detached Division under FML Jelacic. He formed part of Hillers VI corps. While Hiller starts on the Bavarian frontier at Branau, Jelacic was in the vicinity of Salzburg on the 10th.

Given that he was in Munich on the 16th April, I have chosen to start him half way between Branau and in Salzburg. in Strasswalchen. Given 6 marches of 5 MP a day he can repeat the historical result. I have also added a depot in Salzburg, otherwise he will be seriously depleted by attrition. I will also be using the optional 'Dispatch delay' rules.

Depots will add an additional 10 primary road hexes to despatch distance, rather than the basic 5MP's as per Sun of Austerlitz.

Jack Gill ( Vol 1, p123) provided the OB for Jelacic.

"While most of Hiller's corps was assembled at Branau...Jelacic was detached to Salzburg with his division of 9,340 men an 14 guns. From that city he was to advance on Munich and protect the left flank of the main army as it launched itself across the Inn. Unfortunately for Austria, Jelacic proved a poor choice for independant command.."

On this basis he has been rated a 1- 2- 2 .Initiative 1 (poor), Command span 2 and subordination rating of 2, which would allow Hiller to command his organic trooops and subordinate Jelacic.

Breakdown of units under Jelacic, again from Gill show approx. 1,000 cavalry and 8,000 inf.



SP breakdowns therefore:

O'Reilly Chevaulegers -1SP
Adv Guard Grenz - 3SP
Ettinghausen Brigade- 5SP

Other final changes are an intrinsic 1SP of garrison in each Austrian Depot hex, and ability to trace supply of Northern portion of West map at W1701.

Charles has been positioned at the Frontier with Hiller in Branau as he was historically, with Centre of Operations in Ried ( W5232) which from my reading of Gill seems to have been where the HQ was located.

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Magister Ludi
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Starting this game today. Gus will be taking the French forces. I am planning to provide some vague information on Austrian dispositions and objectives so he can make his plans accordingly.

Roughly 90-100sp's South of the Danube, and 60sps issuing across the Bavarian border in Bohemia.

Until the Emperor arrives with the main army in approx 3-4 GTS then protect key supplies centres off map at Amberg/Nuemarket in the North and Ingolstadt in the centre. Send what assistance you can for the Elector and his capital in Munich....
 
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christopher moeller
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Really looking forward to your replay!

Chris
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Thanks Chris, you can follow the links at the bottom of each AAR to the next instalment!
 
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