Wednesday, April 26, 2017

May 1809 Snappy Nappy Campaign in Inner Austria: The Gathering Clouds

Here is our cast of players for the 1809 Inner Austria Campaign:

Army of Italy (Commanded by Prince Eugene, Viceroy of Italy) – Greg Hansen (also played GD Seras)
Corps Grenier
GD Pacthod - Mark McLaughlin 
GD Durette – Maureen Reddington-Wilde 
Corps d'Hillers
GD Fontanelli - Jim Carmody 
GD Rusca - Vic Grigoire 
Cavalry Reserve (Grouchy)
GD Sahuc - Caleb Soderberg  
GD Pully - Herbert Soderberg  
Reserve/Royal Italian Guard (Prince Eugene)
GD Seras - Greg Hansen 
Corps MacDonald (Detached) - James Sulzen   
GD Broussier, GD LaMarque
Army of Dalmatia (Commanded by Marmont, Duc de Ragusa)
Marmont – Richard Hammer 
Army of Inner Austria (Commanded by GdC Archduke John)
VIII Armeekorps (Commanded by the Marquis de Chasteler)
FML A.Gyulai - Karl Neubauer
FML Graf Colleredo - Brian Carmody 
FML Mescery - Marty Fenelon 

Detached from IX Armeekorps to form the Reserve (Archduke John)
FML Frimont - Russ Lockwood  
IX Armeekorps (Commanded by I.Gyulai, the Banus of Croatia)
FML Hadik - Kaz Rybak 
Detached GM Stowchewich - Mike Carlin 
Detached from VI Armeekorps
FML Jellacic - Peter Anderson  
  

Game Coordinator: Daniel Burkley (and author of most of this post)


Pre-Game Activities
A campaign event such as this typically requires two players to volunteer to perform the role of Commander–in-Chief (CinC). The GMs of the prior two “Campaign in a Day” events (The Leipzig 1813 campaign by P. Anderson, and the 1815 Waterloo campaign by J. Sulzen) expressed a desire to not have that role for this event, which I honored (and even assigned detached commands to them so they would not have to participate in a “Council of War”).

No volunteers stepped forward, but rather than force players to assume the role, I offered to draw up initial “default” plans for each CinC and write the starting orders. The “default” plan could change, based on input from each side’s “Council of War”, where those players at the vicinity of the CinC would be able to express ideas, strategies, and viewpoints.

It looked like 16 players would attend. (I had rosters prepared for 12, 14, 16, 17, and 19 players.) Players were assigned commands, honoring preferences for sides, but also balancing player experience, so that each side had a similar distribution of novice and veteran players.

Each player received a copy of his assigned command, background history, a campaign map of Inner Austria, and a copy of the reference charts for the game. The assigned commands represented either a cavalry brigade (French only), infantry division, a “Light Division” (Austrian only), or a small corps of two divisions (French only), with 5-11 units (subject to last minute changes, depending on whether new players signed-up, or previously committed players had to drop-out). Each command roster described each unit, its morale, the different morale steps, and the movement rates. Austrian rosters had an additional row of “potential reserve forces” that could be attached to their command during the game (representing Landwehr or Hungarian Insurrectio).

The Player's Campaign Map

I asked the players of each side that started in the same vicinity as the CinC to do some “homework” and have a “Council of War” to discuss the background information, the mission goals, their commands, and any ideas to offer the CinC. I would take those ideas and modify the “default” plan, accordingly, and then issue orders to all the commands for both sides. The French side shared their views with no prompting, while the Austrian side apparently had none. Greg Hansen volunteered to fill the role of Prince Eugene, after the final starting orders were issued. With no volunteers from the Austrian side, I played a part-time role as Archduke John, following the default plan.

Background History
Austria declared war on France on April 9th, swiftly followed by the Austrian offensives in Germany and Italy and a well-timed rebellion in Tyrolia. Archduke Charles led the main Austrian army into Bavaria with six corps, while Archduke John invaded northern Italy with the VIII and IX Armeekorps. Part of the VIII Armeekorps under the Marquis de Chasteler was sent to the Tyrol to support the rebellion against the French.

In early May of 1809, the Austrian offensive in Germany had already stalled out after the disappointing battles of Abensberg and Eckmuhl prompted Charles to withdraw back into Austria. In light of these events, Archduke Charles sends new orders to Archduke John to fall back and bring his army in supporting distance of Charles’ army.

Archduke John had scored one success versus Prince Eugene at Sacile in April. He pressed on, but eventually recognized his army of under 30,000 (after leaving behind garrisons and outposts along his advance) was inferior to Eugene’s Army of Italy after receiving reinforcements as it fell back. Eugene recognized this as well, and aggressively brought the battle to the Austrians as they tried to retire back to Inner Austria, inflicting several defeats. The Marquis de Chasteler suffered a crushing defeat at the Battle of Wörgl by Lefebvre's Bavarian VII Corps in mid-May, and this is when the 1809 Inner Austria campaign game begins.








Austrian Perspective
Archduke John has fallen back into Inner Austria, where the Landwehr and Insurrectio can be incorporated in his army, and to consolidate his forces from Dalmatia, Northern Italy, and Tyrolia. In this fashion, Archduke John could still retain some initiative to try and secure another victory over Eugene’s Army of Italy.

Austrian Missions
  1. Incorporate the Landwehr and Insurrectio into the Army of Inner Austria. To some degree, this has already started. Archduke Joseph, the Palantine of Hungary, may be reluctant to release the Insurrectio and prefer to command the Hungarian Insurrectio himself (as is his privilege). Jellicic’s division of Hiller’s VI Armeekorps from Archduke Charles’ army occupied Munich, but has been cut off from Charles’ army. These men would be a valuable asset to add to the Army of Inner Austria…
  2. Be sensitive to protecting both Inner Austria and Hungary. The theater has many features that can permit a small force to guard these territories – enough to delay any significant French attack to allow time to react and decide to countermarch against it, or retire to better positions.\
  3. A conservative option that Archduke Charles favors would be to move the Army of Inner Austria to the northernmost fringes of Inner Austria – close enough to be within supporting distance of Charles army, and simultaneously be a threat to the southern flank of Napoleon’s Grand Armée. At the very least, maintain a line-of-communication with Archduke Charles (ie: keep some roads to the northeast open).
  4. While not a specific part of Archduke Charles’ recommendations, an aggressive option would be to take the battle to the French, especially after the army has been reinforced. Destroying Prince Eugene’s Army of Italy would satisfy Archduke Charles’ purposes by removing this threat to the main army, and permit a resumption of the Italian campaign.




The Austrian Game Plan
Archduke John’s plan is a relatively simple one: Gather all military strength available to rebuild the army and defeat Eugene’s army at a site of Archduke John’s choosing. The French need to be stopped or delayed while collecting the mustered Landwehr and Freikorps. Archduke Josef is raising the Hungarian Insurrectio, but it is not available at the start of the game – and it’s in Hungary, so at some point during the game, Archduke John must summon it or go get it. Archduke John is also aware that Jellacic’s division of Hiller’s VI Armeekorps was occupying Munich, but has been cut off from the rest of Archduke Charles’ army. Having those 9000 men would be a great benefit.

There are basically three primary routes into Inner Austria:
  1. The northern route is through Salzburg – Judenburg – Bruck, which is currently guarded by Colleredo’s division.
  2. The southern route is across the Isonzo River, through Gorizia – Laibach – Celje - Graz, which is currently guarded by Hadik’s weak division. This front is complicated by the French presence in Dalmatia under Marmont, but Stowchewich’s “Light Division” is to intercept Marmont if he becomes aggressive.
  3. The central route is through Tarvis – Villach – Klagenfurt – Marburg – Graz, held by Gyulai’s division and the Reserve (Frimont), with Mescery’s “Light Division” at Marburg as a central reserve.

So the plan is to delay the French in the south and central routes, but hold the northern route until the central forces have retired to Klagenfurt (to prevent a flanking maneuver against Villach). Klagenfurt will be the first choice to make a stand, with Graz being the second choice. In the south, Laibach will be the first choice to stand against the French, with Graz being the next choice. Besides gathering Landwehr and Freikorps from the recruiting districts, Mescery will be the mobile reserve stationed at Kranj to support either Klagenfurt or Laibach.

If enemy activity is quiet or reasonably contained, Archduke John may find the time to go to Hungary to call upon Archduke Josef to release the Hungarian Insurrectio.

Starting Orders (Army of Inner Austria)

From Archduke John
Orders to Colleredo: Garrison Salzburg, preparing to move to Judenburg or Villach (Maneuver Order). Report any enemy. Conditional Order: Exit to Judenburg (Maneuver Order) if any Austrians from the Tyrol arrive at Salzburg and no enemy is present. Adopt Defend Order at Judenburg.

Orders to A.Gyulai, Frimont: Garrison Villach (Defend Order), preparing to move to Klagenfurt. Report any enemy. Conditional Order: When outnumbered, disengage and move to Klagenfurt (Maneuver Order), but leave a garrison or rear guard.
Orders to Mescery: Move to Kranj to be able to support Klagenfurt or Laibach (Probe Order).
Convert to Defend Order after arriving at Kranj. Report any enemy. Conditional Order: If enemy enters your area, disengage when outnumbered (Maneuver Order) and move to Klagenfurt if feasible (otherwise Laibach), but leave a garrison or rear guard.

Orders to Stowchewich: Advance to Laibach via Celje (Probe Order), leaving a garrison at Zagreb. Collect recruits on the way. Report any enemy sighting. Conditional Order: If enemy outnumbers all Austrian forces during an engagement, report, but decide to fight or retire to Celje, Marburg, or Graz (Maneuver Order). If retiring, leave a garrison or rearguard to delay enemy.

Orders to Hadik: Defend Gorizia, bridge, and stream. Report any enemy sighting. Conditional Order: If enemy outnumbers all Austrian forces during an engagement, report, and retire to Laibach (Maneuver Order), leaving a garrison or rearguard to delay enemy.

Detached (ie: self-made orders)
Jellacic: MANEUVER from his starting positions around Insbruck down road R3, proceeding on towards Villach, attempting to establish contact with Archduke John.
The French Perspective
With the Austrian withdrawal, Prince Eugene consolidates his forces and should be able to establish a line-of-communication with Napoleon’s Grand Armée. Eugene is also sensitive about the Italian front and needs to leave at least a covering force to probe the western edges of Inner Austria and simultaneously guard the Italian front.

While Napoleon would be pleased by Eugene establishing a line-of-communication and unite with the Grand Armée, he cannot move against Charles’ army without neutralizing Archduke John’s army. Napoleon’s assignment to Eugene is to engage and defeat Archduke John’s army, preferably before the Grand Armée engages Archduke Charles, so that the Army of Italy can rejoin the Grand Armée for the decision of arms.

French Missions
  1. Engage the Army of Inner Austria and defeat it, driving it away from the Danube to prevent it from joining with Archduke Charles’ army.
  2. Italy must be safeguarded. An intact Army of Inner Austria cannot be allowed to invade Italy.
  3. Prevent any other Austrian formations from uniting with Archduke Charles’ army (such as the Hungarian Insurrectio under Archduke Joseph, any Tyrolean sympathizers, or any Austrian formations cut off from the main Austrian army in Germany).
  4. After defeating the Army of Inner Austria, rejoin the Grand Armée (or be in a position at end of game to reinforce the Grand Armée).

The French Plan
Eugene’s plan is also fairly simple: engage and destroy the Austrian army before it can recover or rebuild. MacDonald will perform a wide flanking maneuver to the north. Grenier’s corps of two divisions will attack up the Tarvis – Villach – Klagenfurt route with Sahuc’s light cavalry scouting ahead, but Sahuc will break off to scout the Kranj area and then to Marburg, if enemy resistance is minimal (ie: just garrisons).
Baraguey d’Hillers corps of two divisions will advance across the Isonzo River to Gorizia and the to Laibach, led by Pully’s dragoons. Eugene will keep Seras division (with the Royal Italian Guard) as a reserve to see where the main enemy force is. (NOTE: Marmont is not a part of Eugene’s Army of Italy, but Eugene’s plan allows for Baraguey d’Hillier’s corps to link up with Marmont.)




Starting Orders (Army of Italy)
From Prince Eugene (Start of Game – T0)
Orders to Baraguey d’Hilliers (Fontanelli, Rusca):
Advance to Laibach through Gorizia (Probe Order). Engage any enemy in the way & report. Conditional order: Convert to Attack Order if enemy is outnumbered. Ask for new orders when Laibach is reached with option to Rally, or advance (Probe Order) to Zagreb while waiting for new orders.

Orders to Grouchy (Sahuc, Pully): Sahuc to scout ahead (Screen Order) along route through Tarvis, Jessenice, Radov, Kranj, Marburg. Report any enemy sighted. Conditional order: If pathway blocked by enemy, when Pacthod or Durette engage enemy, change orders to Probe.
Pully to scout ahead (Screen Order) through Gorizia to Laibach to Celje ahead of Baraguey d’Hilliers corps. Report any enemy sighted. Conditional order: If pathway blocked by enemy, when Fontanelli or Rusca reach your position, change orders to Probe.

Orders to Grenier (Durette, Pacthod):
Advance to Villach (Probe Order) with Pacthod ahead, engage any enemy in the way and report. Conditional order: Convert to Attack Order if enemy is outnumbered and pursue to destroy enemy. Ask for new orders when Villach is captured, with option to Rally or advance(PROBE) to Klagenfurt while waiting for new orders.

Orders to MacDonald: Advance to Salzburg (Probe Order), via Innsbruck. Engage any enemy in the way and report. Conditional order: When Innsbruck is reached, detach a cavalry unit to Munich to establish contact / line-of-communication with Bavarians in the Tyrol, but continue to Salzburg, recalling cavalry when mission has been completed. Ask for new orders when Salzburg is captured, with option to Rally, or advance to Judenburg (Probe Order) while waiting for new orders.

Orders for Seras: Hold (Defend Order) for 2 turns, then advance to Tarvis (Probe Order) along secondary road to attack any Austrians at Tarvis and support Grenier’s corps.

Separate Command
Marmont (Army of Dalmatia): Choose one of 4 routes north (Table S) to link up with the Army of Italy. Attack any enemy in the way.

Messages created before the start of the game and sent during the 1st Turn

TO: Erzherzog Johann FROM:  FML Jellacic
Mein lieber Erzherzog, I find myself detached from the rest of my Korps, under the command of Hiller, with little hope of rejoining them. I am in the Insbruck area, from whence the Bavarians have now withdrawn, after having defeated Marquis Chasteler's troops. The Marquis has withdrawn to the Salzburg area. While the Tyroleans are still full of fight, and one hates to abandon them without support, it seems to me that my troops are more valuable attemptong to defeat the French directly. I therefore intend to MANEUVER towards Villach, with the intent of linking up with your forces, and placing myself and my men under your command. I await your further orders.

TO: Marquis Chasteler FROM:  FML Jellacic
Mein lieber Marquis, I find myself detached from the rest of my Korps, under the command of Hiller, with little hope of rejoining them. I am in the Insbruck area, from whence the Bavarians have now withdrawn. I understand that you had been compelled to withdraw to the Salzburg area. While the Tyroleans are still full of fight, and one hates to abandon them yet again without support, it seems to me that my troops are more valuable attempting to defeat the French directly. I therefore intend to MANEUVER towards Villach, with the intent of linking up with Archduke John, and placing myself and my men under his command. I shall endeavor to keep you posted upon my maneuvers and reconnaissance, and respectfully request that you might accord me the same favor.

TO: FML Ignaz Gyulai, Banus von Croatia FROM:  FML Jellacic
Mein lieber Banus, I find myself detached from the rest of my Korps, under the command of Hiller, with little hope of rejoining them. I am in the Insbruck area, from whence the Bavarians have now withdrawn, after having defeated Marquis Chasteler's troops. The Marquis has withdrawn to the Salzburg area. While the Tyroleans are still full of fight, and one hates to abandon them yet again without support, it seems to me that my troops are more valuable attempting to defeat the French directly. I therefore intend to MANEUVER towards Villach, with the intent of linking up with Archduke John, and placing myself and my men under his command. I shall endeavor to keep you posted upon my maneuvers and reconnaissance, and respectfully request that you might accord me the same favor.

GD MacDonald to Empereur Napoleon – T0
Unto His Imperial Majesty, the Emperor Napoleon of France
General Étienne Jacques Joseph Alexandre MacDonald sends you greetings!

Sire! Word of Your Imperial Majesty's recent victories on the Danube have reached us and we congratulate Your Majesty! Surely the Austrian dog will be brought to heel when Vienna falls to Your Majesty. Truly the actions on the Danube are an inspiration for us to clean up this small affair of ours down here in inner Austria.

I write to inform His Majesty, as myself appointed by your hand to advise and guide Prince
Eugène, that some trifling matters have arisen of which you should be aware but need not be of
particular concern in Imperial Affairs.

The Prince has ordered my forces detached from his support to establish communications with the Grand Armee. With Lefebrve's recent success in Tyrolia this is of course both unnecessary and removes my forces from any possible support of the Army of Italy in its upcoming foray into
Austria, and in particular, of my ability to advise and guide the Prince as His Majesty has
commanded of me. I shall of course insure the Prince's orders are fulfilled, but also militarily feel a need to stay with, continue to advise, and of course cover the Prince's left to prevent Austrian surprise on him from the north.

As I say, these are matters of trifling nature that need not concern Your Imperial Majesty, but
I did wish His Majesty to be fully informed.

Again! We congratulate the accomplishments and certain future victories on the Danube!
Vive la France! I have the Honor to Remain Always Your Imperial Majesty's Most Humble and Most Obedient Servant,

E. J. J. A. MacDonald, General

Gd MacDonald to Prince Eugene – T0 (1)
Unto Your Most High & Excellent Majesty, Prince Eugene, Viceroy of Italy

My Liege! It is with great honour I serve you and operate beneath your orders.
Being still somewhat distant from the Army of Italy, I appreciate I must operate with some independence. Having received your missive of April 20th instant ordering me to Salzburg via Innsbruck, I would propose an alternative stratagem that does not remove my forces from your aid and which may indeed serve an assured destruction to the enemy.

I propose I operate to the north flank of the Army of Italy, serving to protect your left flank, turn the enemy's right, and covering the linkage of your army with that of the Grand Armee operating north of the Tyrol.

Presuming, as currently planned, the Army of Italy's main axis of advance to be in the north along the line Villach - Jesinice - Kranj - Marburg, I propose to reconnoiter the passes eastward of Oba Villach and Montered, with a view to making a descent on Kogenfurt, hopefully trapping the enemy at that location between my forces and those of Grenier. My general line of operations would be Oba Villach - Montered - Freisach - Klogenfurt, with a view to screening your northern flank and turning the Austrian right in the north. If the enemy's movements in the north indicate a general retreat eastward, I will extend operations eastward to Marburg, converging at that location with Grenier.

By this scheme we might hope to trap the enemy in a number of progressive pincer's should he chose a northern line of operations.

Should the enemy be more southerly or southeastward of Villach with the Army of Italy's operations in that direction, I will head south from Klagenfurt or Marburg as seems most prudent, again with the object of turning the enemy while the main Army of Italy brings him to bay.

Should at any time I get behind the enemy and across his communications, I shall take up a blocking position with the sure knowledge that your hammer will crush him against my anvil.

Always I will operate with a view to covering the Army's left and turning the enemy's right.

On to greater glory for France! Vive la France! Vive l'Empereur !!! I have the honor to remain Your Majesty's most humble and obedient servant,
MacDonald

GD MacDonald to Prince Eugene – T0 (2)
Unto Your Most High & Excellent Majesty, His Royal Highness Prince Eugène, Viceroy of the Kingdom of Italy
General Étienne Jacques Joseph Alexandre MacDonald sends you greetings!

My Liege! Having replied to your missive of April 20th (regarding your orders sending me to Salzburg via Innsbruck) and having received no response, it seems I must inveigh myself somewhat upon Your Royal Highness.

Your Highness's orders of the 20th send me hundreds of miles out of support of the Army of Italy and will preclude me from fulfilling my responsibilities as directly given me by your Father His Imperial Majesty Napoleon to stay by your side to provide military counsel as you may require and may seem most wise.

Additionally, I bring to His Royal Highness's attention the fact that General Lefebvre's Bavarian VII Corps has of very recent decisively defeated and sent packing the upstarts in Tyrolia (the Innsbruck / Salzburg areas). As such, communications can be readily established from the Army of Italy to the north without a need to send such a major force as mine.

As Your Majesty requires of me, to insure our communications northwards in that direction, I propose reconnoitering and establishing communications to Lefebvre and the Grand Armee, but again I say your Father would see me best disposed with Your Highness to directly support the Army of Italy and is how I expect to conduct myself as in my prior message.

As Always, I have the Honor to Remain Your Majesty's Most Humble and Obedient Servant, MacDonald.


This year Daniel and Russ drove up from New Jersey Saturday afternoon, and along with James and Greg, set up the tables at The Portal Saturday Night. I met the four of them at The Portal about 9AM on Sunday, and we started setting out the troops, in anticipation of the arrival of the players circa 10 AM. Dan and Russ thoughtfully provided doughnuts for some morning fuel

This year there were 17 tables(!), pretty much the limit for The Portal. #1 is one of the ones that I did the terrain for. I don't know. but I think the fortress in the upper corner might be Graz. 


Table #2 (my arbitrary designations); Greg made about 40 of these great looking flocked hills!


Table #3, another one of mine; from subsequent events, this Fortress is Klagnefurt, which I had pretty much figured out from the map, having run the battle of Klagenfurt at Historicon just last year. 


Table #4, also mine. I have no idea where the heck this is! 


Table #5; I am unsure where this is, either... but it evidently has Austrian troops starting on it!

Table #6, location also uncertain, but again with Austrians starting thereupon! 


Table #7, once again containing a Fort, location uncertain! 


Table #8...somewhere in Carinthia?


Table #9 (.As my command (FML Baron Jellacic) started on this table, I know that the town is Innsbruck!


Table #10 - no clue!

Table #11;  ? Maybe Tarvis. Looks like Frimont's command started here. 


Table #12 - very [pastoral looking. I think this table includes Kranj?


Table #13 - no clue!


Table #14, another of mine, but I have no idea where it is?!  By the way, grey roads represent First Class roads, brown or tan represents 2nd class roads.


Table #15; looks to be a major staging area for the French!


Table #16... Wherever?!


Table #17... the truth is out there!


Overview of the Miniatures gaming room at the portal, with most of the 17 tables (and Snappy Nappy rules author, Russ Lockwood front and center). 


Daniel provided all of the great looking 15mm troops for this event. Excellent labels as well! This is Graf  Coloredo's command. 


MacDonald's command (James).


FML Baron Jellacic's command - my boys!


Ignaz Gyulai, Banus of Croatia.


more Austrians ? 

a boatload of French and Italians, including Fontanelli's Italian infantry Division.


Severoli's command, including the Italian Royal Guards.


French troops of Pacthod and Durette's commands. 


Sahuc (Caleb's) Cavalry Division. 


Albert Gyulai (?), in which case Karl's men.


Frimont's (Russ) "Reserve" Division


A few more shots of my Division's troops...


Because, well, they were mine! Hopefully the pictures show how well painted they are!


A final view of Division Jellacic!


James did a brief introduction/refresher course on the Snappy Nappy rules (we were using a special minor 'regimental scale" variant by Dan).


Some additional instruction.


Table map of the Inssbruck table ()Table "R", in the GM's scheme , where Jellacic's command started. My instructions stated that I could take any of the 4 roads, or remain in Inssbruck to further incite the Tyrolian rebellion. Intelligence suggested that Erzherzog Johann's Army HQ was located near Tarvis or Vilach, and Chasteler was known to be in the Salzburg area. Decisions, decisions!