An 1809 Napoleonic Battle using Principles of War

A game played at the end of October 2021 at Tom's place where Graham was his opponent. My thanks once again to Tom for the photos and text.

The year is 1809 and the battle is between Austrians and French and Rhine Confederation troops.

Again the Austrians get the initiative and forge their way onto the table. The first division advances on the Austrian Left flank and take up position of the hill opposite the French and German line of supply. The Austrian General attaches himself to the Advanced Division with the Light infantry and Light Cavalry and advances to the left of the woods heading to the village in the centre of the table. The Grenadier division advances to the right of the woods to attack the village from the opposite side. The First Division advances from the line of supply to protect the flank of the Grenadiers. The Curassier division is on the far right with attack orders to go round the woods on the right to hopefully hit the French/German left flank.

The French & Germans deploy their main two divisions (1st & 2nd) either side of their line of supply on their right flank with orders to engage forward to take the hill opposite their LoS on the Austrian side of the table. Their Third division advances up the centre of the table towards the right hand side of the village with orders to angle towards the hill on the Austrian side of the table. The Heavy Cavalry division is positioned on the far left to swing round the woods to threaten the Austrian line of supply and to hopefully hold down some of the Austrian units.

The Battle is split into three areas On the Austrian right their Cuirassiers run into the German Heavy Cavalry. The Curassiers attack orders mean that they charge pell mell through the narrow gap between the thick woods and the table edge. The Austrians being on engage orders are able to deploy on a wider front and to flank the initial rash attack of the Cuirassiers. The Defrance Brigade receives charges from two separate Cuirassier Brigades but despite being beaten each time their morale holds allowing the Doumerc Brigade to hit each of the Curassiers in the flank, forcing them to retire shaken from the table.

In the centre, the Austrian Grenadiers advance unopposed into the village in the centre of the table, holding their objective awaiting further orders. The 1st division protecting the flank of the grenadiers reach their final position with no opposition and halt awaiting further orders. The Austrian General and the accompanying advance division move towards the village and deploy facing the French 4th Division which had deployed along the road next to the Village. When the French division moves off to the right towards the hill the Austrian General realises where the focus of the French attack is aimed and quickly changes the Advance Guard's orders to move to their left to threaten the French flank.

On the French right flank, the 1st and 2nd Divisions move at full speed to the hill on the far side of the table and as the Austrians are deployed on the far side of the hill, the French 1st Division and General's units were able to deploy on the edge of the hill unopposed. The supporting 2nd Division moves up on their right leaving one of their regiments guarding their line of supply. The 2nd Division advances to the left of the hill and forms squares to protect the 1st Division from the Austrian hussars.

In the next turn the 1st division commander gets sufficient initiative (6) to allow him to move his whole division including two batteries of artillery to the crest of the hill to confront the Austrian 2nd division. The 2nd division continue to move up on their right.

The 1st Division take a round of volley fire from the deployed Austrians (2 units of infantry and an artillery battery) while the remaining Austrian infantry form up to protect their overlapped right flank while their attached Hussar Brigade face off against the advancing 2nd Division. The Rhine Confederation divisions open a devastating fire on the Austrian line with 4 infantry columns, two Artillery batteries and two sets of skirmish fire from the 2nd Division. Only one Austrian unit remains unshaken and the Austrians launch an attack with their columns.

In the following turn, one Austrian infantry unit cannot take the charge and routs from the table, the French infantry unit advancing follows through and halts just short of the Austrian Hussars. The Austrian artillery battery is overrun by a 2nd French column which then rolls a one and is forced to pursue the routing Austrian gunners, becoming shaken in the process. The remaining Austrian unit manages to force one of the French columns to halt and holds the other in melee when they refuse to break. The Austrian Hussars charge the French infantry column that had broken through but they pass their morale and form square and the Hussars retire shaken.

The French General moves over to the 4th Division and changes their order and the turn to face the Austrian advance guard to hold the Allied flank. The game ends with both sides holding their objectives but with the Austrian 2nd Division and their Cuirassier division destroyed