by Mark Harris
The Battle of Teugen-Hausen
The Battle of Abensberg
The Battle of Schierling
The Battle of Landshut
The campaign is based on real events. The principle is that of a battle timeline. The first phase of the campaign is based upon the events of the Danube Campaign of 1809.
Austria chose the late spring of 1809 to launch an attack on the Confederation of the Rhine (effectively the French Empire). The timing seemed opportune, as the French had suffered a number of reverses in Spain. The Austrian army had been reformed since the terrible defeat at Austerlitz in 1805 and was under the leadership of an able commander, the Archduke Karl, who was personally responsible for many of the reforms. It was hoped that discontent in the German states as a result of a growing German nationalism in the Confederation would result in a popular movement to switch sides and join Austria as the leader of the German people in the struggle against France. However, this failed to happen to the extent hoped for.
The Austrian army began the war by invading Bavaria, the key German member of the Confederation. Bavaria had long been a traditional ally of France against Austrian domination and did not hesitate to resist. The Confederation army of France, Bavaria, Wurttemburg and other minor German States was initially caught off-balance, but with Napoleons arrival from Spain, it delivered a decisive counter-punch, which ended with the Austrian army in retreat back to Austria after the decisive Battle of Eggmuhl.
The actions fought are those of the actual campaign itself, with the forces used for each battle adjusted to use a consistent set of troops, equivalent to about 2 Corps in all. Each participant takes the role of a division or corps commander and will normally lead the same division in battle. If their own division is not used in a particular battle they may find themselves in command of another. Troops used in a battle are ranked in order of the importance of their role in the action. If few players allocated for one army turn up for a re-fight, the number of available divisions is reduced by dropping the least important units. This adds an element of unpredictability, whilst also avoiding problems if too few players turn up on the day. Non-regulars or new members may be assigned brigade commands. This allows everyone who turns up a chance to play as well as learning the rules under supervision. Corps commanders may also be assigned Brigade commands for a bit of variety, where an action does not require a large number of troops.
The first action in the sequence is the Battle of Teugen-Hausen. This was not the first battle in the campaign, but it was the first major action. Depending on the outcome of each battle the next action is adjusted accordingly. If the outcome is largely as per the historical action, the next battle in the historical sequence is re-fought. If the result is the same but the scale of defeat is less, the next battle is adjusted.
As an example, in our own campaign, the French were less successful in the Battle of Teugen-Hausen than they were historically. As a result, for the next action, the Austrian forces that were from the same Corps as that which fought at Teugen-Hausen were strengthened and allowed to remain in position longer before withdrawing.
If an action reverses the historical outcome, the timeline can be altered to create a scenario based upon the current strategic deployment and objectives of the forces.
Units particularly hard hit (defined as having been shattered in the rules used) start the next action in a damaged condition. These shatterings of a unit are cumulative and may result in units having to be amalgamated. Any unit captured or destroyed in an action is lost for the campaign. Commanders may also be lost, captured or wounded, absenting them permanently or temporarily.
The advantage of this approach is that a sequence of actions can be fought with an effective narrative linking them. Success or failure is judged relative to the historical norms. This avoids what is an all too frequent wargaming practice of evenly matched armies. The majority of battles are not fought by evenly matched armies, since the whole point of coming to battle is that one side has the other at a disadvantage as a result of strategic manoeuvre.
Points scored for an action are based upon a number of factors based upon an objective assessment of performance by the umpire against the criteria that are adjusted depending on the doctrine of the army in question:
Points scored tend to reward Hapsburg commanders for obeying orders and "doing their duty", whilst Confederation commanders are rewarded for victory and outstanding personal performance. Thus, if it so happens that the French massively outnumber the Austrians, the Austrians could still score good points in losing through deportment and obedience, although the French would also be guaranteed good points if they won (and utter disdain from the Emperor if they lost).
This places different burdens on the different army commanders. In the campaign in question, the Austrians will inevitably lose most battles, as they were outfought strategically by Napoleon (the tactical results were a foregone conclusion in most cases). However, Austrian commanders will have an equal chance of winning the campaign with good personal performances in the circumstances. However, the Confederation commanders have to perform in an exceptional way to score good points, since simply winning is not enough, as their real objective is to obtain an accolade from the Emperor and destroy (not just defeat) the Austrian Army.
On the other hand in the opposite circumstances, whilst a French commander will always be penalised for losing (odds are irrelevant I’m afraid), the gain to the Austrian commanders for winning would be less. There is also always the possibility for an individual French commander to shift the blame to a colleague by covering himself in glory and ensuring the blame for defeat rests largely on someone else. This reflects the highly competitive nature of command in the French army where commanders often vied for the attention of the Emperor, something that he exploited.
Mark Harris (Umpire) - resolve level 1; initiative points 1; current score 0
His Imperial and Royal Highness (Kaiserling Hoheit) Feldmarschall-Leutnant Archduke (Erzherzog) Ludwig
The youngest brother of the Kaiser u. Konig Franz I, his elder brother Karl is Generalissimus of the Imperial and Royal Army and is leading the Hauptarmee in person. Since Ludwig is of royal rank it is fitting that he should lead a Korps (V Korps) of the Hauptarmee. Ludwig has no experience as a general, but his brothers have decided it is time he got some. (This allows some umpire participation in the actions, mainly as a fly in the ointment, since this commander is set up to fail).
Trevor Pearless - resolve level 2; initiative points average dice-1 (due to loss of subordinate Brigadier); current score 9
Feldmarschall-Leutnant Prince (Furst) Heinrich XV of Reuss-Plauen
As a senior princeling of the old Holy Roman Empire you have high noble status. You are appointed an Infanterie Division commander in the V Korps of the Hauptarmee. You know your place in the scheme of things and are a reasonably experienced commander. Obedience and loyalty are your watchwords.
John Lambert - resolve level 2; initiative points average dice; current score 7
Feldmarschall-Leutnant Baron (Freiherr) Friedrich von Kottulinsky
You are a relatively low ranking aristocrat. You are appointed an Infanterie Division commander in the VI Korps of the Hauptarmee. You know your place in the scheme of things and are a reasonably experienced commander. Obedience and loyalty are your watchwords.
Paul Lymath - resolve level 2; initiative points average dice +1; current score 2
Feldmarschall-Leutnant Baron (Freiherr) Kienmayer
You are a low ranking aristocrat. You are appointed a Korps (II Reserve Korps) commander in the Hauptarmee. You are an experienced commander from the Italian campaigns. Obedience and loyalty are your watchword. The heavy cavalry and grenadiers in your reinforced division (not really a proper corps) are the heart of the imperial and royal army and it would be a disaster to lose them, be cautious therefore!
Steve Tucker - resolve level 2; initiative points 2; current score 13 (highest so far)
Feldmarschall-Leutnant Baron (Freiherr) Hiller
You are a very low ranking aristocrat. You are appointed a Korps (VI Korps) commander in the Hauptarmee. You are a highly experienced commander from the Italian campaigns and resent the appointment of Archduke Karl to command the army, which you regard as a classic piece of imperial nepotism. As for that younger brother of his, the boy has never even seen the face of battle and he has been given a Korps command! However, your experience has at least been recognised by the assignment of command of a wing of the Hauptarmee, giving you authority over V Korps (commanded by the boy) and II Reserve Korps, in addition to your own Korps.
Alan Ockleford- resolve level 3; initiative points average dice; current score 8
Feldmarschall-Leutnant Baron (Freiherr) Schustekh
You are a low ranking aristocrat. You are appointed a Light Division commander in the V Korps of the Hauptarmee. You know your place in the scheme of things and are a reasonably experienced and somewhat dashing commander. Obedience and loyalty are your watchwords.
Andy King - resolve level 4; initiative points 4; current score 7
Marechal de France Louis Davout, Duc de Auerstadt
You have earned your place as a Duke in the Napoleonic Nobility for your stellar performance on the field of battle (at Auerstadt you crushed the Prussian army and covered your name in glory and honour) and are a commoner by birth. L’Empereur Napoleon has entrusted to you command of the veteran III Corps d’Armee d’Allemagne. Your nickname is "The Iron Marshal". Enough said.
Ian Fitzpatrick - resolve level 3; initiative points average dice +1; current score 0
General de Division Karl-Etienne Gudin
You command the 3eme Division in III Corps. You are a loyal subordinate of Marechal Davout and have come through many battles and won great glory under his command. You have his complete confidence.
Peter Smith - resolve level 2; initiative points 2 - average dice by scenario; current score 6
General de Division Demont
You command Division de Reserve of III Corps. This Division is made up largely of conscripts from the newly formed 4eme battalions of existing regiments. You are new to III Corps and have never served under "The Iron Marshal" before. You are eager to prove yourself worthy of your appointment and win your share of glory.
Dave Rose - resolve level 3; initiative points - average dice; current score 0
General de Division Saint-Sulpice
You command the available Cavalerie of III Corps. You are a loyal subordinate of Marechal Davout and have come through many battles and won great glory under his command. You have his complete confidence.
Alex Martin - resolve level 3; initiative points - average dice +1; current score 3
General-Leutnant Baron (Freiherr) von Wrede
You command 2eme Division Bayernische Armee, otherwise known as 2eme Division, 7eme Corps d’Armee d’Allemagne. As a Bavarian, you owe your command position to Koenig Max of Bayern and to no Frenchman. However, you are also a favourite of Napoleon and Bavaria shares the Napoleonic ideals of the French. You seek any opportunity for advancement and to win glory and honour under the command of l’Empereur Napoleon. Bavaria is a staunch and loyal ally of France and the Austrians are your traditional enemy. The Bavarian Army stands ready to defend its country against the invader and you are it’s leading soldier!
Barry Perrin - current score 2
General de Brigade Duppelin
You are a veteran Brigade commander in Division Gudin.
Mark Woodger - current score 1
You are a brigade commander appointed by his sovereign, Erzherzog Ludwig I of Hessen-Darmstadt, one of the founding members with France and Bayern of the Confederation of the Rhine. In overall command of the contingent from Hessen-Darmstadt, overseen by French General de Brigade Schinner, whom Napoleon has appointed as the contingents 'minder'.
|1 (any positive score is a moral victory with this character I’ve given myself)
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