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1809: Napoleon's Danube Campaign» Forums » Sessions

Subject: A Bohemian ending… rss

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Magister Ludi
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Well, as the saying goes…'All good things must come to an end’, and so my continuing game of 1809, which has graced the table for a few months now reached a point where it was determined that further play would not provide any greater enjoyment than that which had already been provided by the game.

This final AAR covers two gaming sessions spread over a few weeks.
Previous AAR - “In this position of affairs, I greatly desire the arrival of your Majesty”

GT12-1st/2nd May- Weather –Fair

With the approach of the main French army under Napoleon towards Regensburg, Bellegarde and Kollowrat are issued commands to fall back across the Danube at Regensburg and burn the crossing in an attempt to hold up the French advance into Bohemia.



GT13- 3rd/4th May-Weather- Fair

With the continuing spate of good weather the French catch up and throw a pontoon across the Danube and commence crossing in strength…the Austrians had not anticipated the ability of the French to cross at such short notice and are suddenly feeling vulnerable. Vienna morale drops from +2 to +1 when Regensburg is retaken.



GT14-5th/6th May- Weather –Mud

The Austrians attempt to retreat into Bohemia towards Cham and both Bellegarde and Kollowrat combine their forces and seek advantageous terrain, but Napoleon, Lannes and others arrive and prepare for battle. Bernadotte arrives with the Saxons from the Northern edge and heads towards Cham…the Austrians are starting to become uneasy.



A split battle is commenced with 41,000 men under Lannes attacking 19,000 men under Bellegarde as the first phase of battle, both sides lose 4,000 men but the Austrians retreat.

An anomaly in the type of battle became apparent from this point on, with the Austrians choosing mainly ‘Pursuit’ type battles and the French ‘Pitched’. However even if the Austrians won the first round, which they did on a number of occasions, they were forced to counterattack at a disadvantage and generally lost the second round….

I think that next time I would use the amended rules in the Consolidated 1x rules by Dick Vohlers allowing an override result – see clause 400 of this rules set –“ In a pursuit override’ the winning side takes it losses as a retreat and the loser may attempt to pursue, taking his combat result as SP losses…”

The next attack by Napoleon with 25,000 men was against Kollowrat with 20,000 men…once again the Austrians are defeated but retreat a fair distance…a full pursuit is undertaken and this results in 8,000 Austrian losses to 4,000 French…as this is a critical battle the French roll and are successful so Vienna Morale falls from +1 to 0.



Napoleon pursues further into Bohemia, but this is almost at the end of French Despatch distance.




GT15-7th/8th May- Weather-Rain

Seeking to take advantage of French pre occupation north of the Danube, Charles and the main army attempt to cause trouble for the French in the Southern sector. Rosenberg with 18,000 is ordered to cross the Isar at Landshut and drive away the French in front of him. Lefebvre has only 8,000 men and while both sides lose 4,000men, the French are driven back, although the Austrians are in no state to pursue…



GT16-9th/10th May –Weather-Fair

Seeking to further exploit his limited success, Charles orders his forces to combine. Louis and Jellacic, who have been resting near Munich are given an Admin March order and directed to march on Moosburg. The French rapidly reinforce Lefebvre and 33,000 French attach 22,000 Austrians near Landshut. Rosenberg is driven back and suffers 7,000 losses to the French 3,000, but a critical battle is not achieved this time. Rosenberg chooses to retreat towards the crossing at Moosburg.



GT17-11th/12th May –Weather –Rain

As is often the case, an advance by one side as a result of battle often sees the pursuing force left open to immediate counterattack if they advance too far…in this instance 6,000 French cavalry have pursued Rosenberg’s retreating troops towards Moosburg and Hiller rouses himself to action and immediately attacks with 30,000 troops, thinking to crush the impetuous French before any help can arrive. At 5-1 odds, the Austrians are successful, but both sides lose 3,000 troops with no Austrian pursuit, so hardly a resounding success!






Elsewhere in the south, 16.000 French infantry reinforcements arrive from depots in the rear and are used to rebuild Massena corps.

The final battles will be decided in the mountains of Bohemia…Bellegrade and Kollowrat had retreated south eastwards from Cham across the mountain passes. In this position, forces approaching from the North could at most deploy 3SP’s to attack from a mountain hex, so provided they avoided moving and limited attrition ( being on the 0-3AP column) they may be able to hold out until forces moved up from the South.

It was not to be in the end…Davout moved across the Danube and up through Ascha to cut the Austrians path of retreat and Napoleon moved to block the path in the north.



While Davout could only bring 26,000 French to bear on 25.000 Austrians his superior combat skill and use of the ‘pitched’ battle type eventually resulted in a major retreat of 8 hexes for the Austrians, doubled for retreat thru an enemy ZOC, resulting in overall losses of 17,000 men to 3,000 French. Napoleon had another critical battle win and Vienna morale moved from 0 to -1.



Along with the collapse of morale in the Austrian army, I failed my own personal morale check and sued for peace….

Interestingly when breaking the game down I found that the Austrians still had 176 SP's of troops on the board to the French 152, but the quality of Austrian leaders is very poor. Will add some more thoughts on the game soon...
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Terry Lewis
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Great fun reading your "battlefield dispatches" and following the course of the action through the photos! Thanks for sharing!!

terry (a retired professor in Oregon)
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Magister Ludi
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In the period of the final game turns I managed to read this book, which provided some very good context and background for how the Austrians performed during the 1809 campaign.



The Army as a whole, while capable of performing well in battle was still very poorly served by it's commanders and relied on out of date tactics and organisations. The fact that much of the cavalry was joined to an Infantry Regiment under a 'duplex' arrangement prevented the massing of Cavalry to the same extent as the French and prevented raids on the French LOC. While frustrating in the context of the game, it reflects the historical limitations quite well.

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Paul Brown
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Yes super session report! I'vealways admired Kevin Zuckers Napoleonic games but 1809 seems get some stick normally. You show it can be an absorbing game.
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Paul Brown
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I've been thinking about your concerns regarding Pitched battle. I think the original rule is spot on and one of te key improvements to the CON system.

As I see it the side that selected Pitched is going for an aggressie pressurising battle and is willingto take high attrition losses. So what is technically 'losing' a combat round is actually them just keeping up close & personal to the enemy and preventing them from retreating away. The enemy are then forced to fight at least one more round before they can disengage.

Clearly the combat system is a simplification but it's still a very elagant way of modelling two fundamental battle postures.

//Dotar
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Magister Ludi
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Thanks for comments. While it makes sense it seems that there should perhaps be an option for a 'rearguard' type battle option...perhaps if you have cavalry in your side you can choose this option as a type of quasi retreat choice and if you win, elect to use the cavalry to screen as you override the counterattack to a retreat.

Would possibly require at least 2-1 superiority in cavalry or something similar.
 
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Paul Brown
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Yup that sounds like it would work. One of the appeals of our hobby is devising house rules if something doesn't quite feel right.
//Dotar
 
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Tom Cundiff
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Did you ever finish that southern map panel?
 
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Cundiff wrote:
Did you ever finish that southern map panel?


No, found that we really only used another 5-6 hexes deep on it so that needs refining with terrain but I couldn't locate any decent source maps and a suitable program to transfer it to a more professional looking product. Still thinking about it though so maybe in the future.
 
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