Sunday, 29 December 2013

Battle of Raab

Hosted another of the Napoleonic historical battles, this time the Battle of Raab of the 1809 campaign as Seth again brought up his growing collection of Austrians to match against my French.

Basically it was a very good French/Italian army vs a very dubious collection of Hungarian Insurrection (militia) units supported by a limited number of Austrian regulars.  The Austrian high command apparently was a mess, with much mismanagement.  The defensive line finally taken was a small but difficult to cross stream of the Pancza and a heavily fortified farm of Kis-Megyer.

The historical OOB had the French outnumbering and certainly the better troops but the terrain to there disadvantage as only a few crossing points were available without disorder penalty.

A large battle, but with many small individual commands, these needed to be combined, and more so with only a few of the guys able to show up.  The effect was that players had a lot of elements to think about and the PIP counts were larger than we had herefore known.
Austrian players (Barry[L] and Andrew[R] ) looking apprehensively at the masses of Grenier's and Grouchy's (Jim's) French which formed the bulk of the French attack.
Grouchy's cavalry found the only ford across the stream and start engaging the Hungarian Insurrectio cavalry (poor militia types played in this game by regular Austrian cavalry)
View from the Austrian side showing Seth's good looking and growing Austrian army.  The Austrian reserves on the hill constitute most of the only decent troops available to them.  The Austrian players decision was when to bring them into play. 
Close up of Seth's element of Grenzer with Austrian infantry to the fore.

Another view of the Austrian defense of the stream and Kis-Megyer farm to the right Seth has based his elements in identical fashion to my method. So while his painting may be different than mine, the two collections blend seamlessly so look very good together on the table I believe.

Meanwhile...on the Austrian right flank, Davidovich inactive during the historical affair, comes across the Raab river to move against Lauriston [part of the LSPPL combined French commands under my rather dubious ability)
Note in point from previous caption... Why am I always masking my own artillery support??
The Italian Royal Guard represented by the element in dark blue greatcoats advance with a fresh MP of 6!
French infantry
the Austrian Davidovich's Insurrectio infantry (played by Bavarians) are abandoned by their cavalry and are surrounded by French cavalry while stuck in square {indicated by, well, the black squares!}
The French won the battle but at the point where the Austrian players knew the battle was lost, the MP losses were about the same. In other words the lowly Insurrectio militia gave as good as they gave, but the French simply had more and the terrain was not enough to prevent the French assault ably done by Jim and his Chief of Staff, Joshua, who rolled some good dice for him.

The Kis-Megyer farm, the focal point of the historical battle was carefully avoided by the French who took the time to take out the supporting elements.
It was acknowledged that more defined victory conditions must be made so players will know what to do once those victory conditions could, or perhaps not, be met.

The rules are now working and most issues are now easily handled so in that we hope the game was fun for the players as it was for Seth and I.


  1. A very nice report for a very nice battle, great work and beautiful troops!

    1. Thanks Phil, for the kind note.
      The convention tables are 8 by 5 feet in size so we have always kept our battles to fit. This however has never been a problem as all our games, while historically major affairs, due to the ratios we employ, have fit very well into that space.
      Of course, we wargamers being wargamers, have already started talking of battles of Wagram and such, so may need to use a larger table!

  2. Excellent looking game, Doug. Sounds like it was a close run. Dean

    1. Dean,
      If we forced the French to capture the fortified farm house and make it even more difficult to cross the Pancza Stream perhaps it would even be a closer run thing indeed! But numbers and training it should.....