A blog about miniatures, wargaming, and the people driven to ruin by them....

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Napoleonics: Raab, 1809


We just completed a small Napoleonic scenario using Age of Eagles, the Battle of Raab.  This was my first experience running Austrians.... thankfully, these were particularly POOR Austrians to run, teeming with Landwehr, militia, and irregular cavalry.  Because, otherwise, I might have had too much fun!
We deployed using blinds, so could choose a-historical positions.  I more or less took historical positions, as, I needed to defend both bridges and a seriously exposed left flank.  The French massed in the center, ready to shift in any direction.  I needed the stream as a powerful natural defense, as it prohibited movement in some areas, and caused disruptions from fording everywhere except the bridges.

The battlefield.... from the Austrian right...

...from the Austrian center...

.... from the French center....
The battle erupted with a massive surge of French might.  They rolled up batteries in the first couple of turns, and began crossing the stream in the center, and on the French right.  There was no way to prevent these crossings, so the Austrians attempted to blunt the French where possible.

The Austrian cavalry, both the regular and the irregular, did what they could against repeated French cavalry attacks...

Including being able to drive back some of them.  In fear of the Austrian cavalry, one brigade of French crossed the stream and promptly formed square.
Meanwhile, my right wing commander, Dietrich von Yesmann launched a full out attack on the French left.  The French were mostly in a holding position, it would have been difficult to shift these Austrians across the center, so this seemed like a good plan.

The Austrians were disordered by the crossings, but the French declined to attack, instead slinking off.

Somehow, the Austrian regular cavalry, and their hard pressed infantry comrades, were able to hold the center... for a while...

Inevitably, the Austrians began to give way.

One bright moment... a French cavalry unit, previously pushed back by irregular Austrian cavalry, botched their rally roll.... and routed, losing a stand in the process!  You can see where they ended up at, close to the paperwork.

Towards the end of the game, the Austrian grenadiers emerged from the fortified farmstead to assist in seeing off a French column.  About this time, the French lost a division leader, dead, in combat.

A birds eye view as the grenadiers have been routed, the French have taken the fortified farm, and a large Austrian unit is being hit in the flank by a massive French attack.  Grim, very grim.

Dietrich von Yesmann continued to press the French left, but they would not fight.  This may have relieved some follow up pressure against the Austrians in the center, but it was not enough.
The Austrian center is in shambles, though they are beginning to rally on the hill crest for a last ditch effort at defense.  The Austrian left is comprised of irregular cavalry facing far too many French.

It was at this point we ended the game.  The French had failed in reaching the town, but had not failed in mauling the Austrians.  Austrian casualties amounted to 7,000 infantry, and 500 cavalry.  French casualties were far lighter, at 3,000 infantry and 700 cavalry, plus a division commander.  No guns were lost by either side.

The able Eugene will be free to join Napoleon, while the not-quite-as-able Archduke John will be unable to support Archduke Charles in the upcoming battle of Wagram.

On the bright side, we achieved a "close to historical" outcome for the scenario.  What I learned is that irregular units are difficult to find a use for... and an army that is 2/3 comprised of conscripts will have some difficulties facing an army of regulars.  Who knew!

Till the next time...


1 comment:

  1. Nice looking game, and glad to see Eugene joining the Emperor soon!