Sunday, May 1, 2016

The Road to Abensberg 1809 using Carnage and Glory 2



This past weekend, our gaming group gathered in Roanoke Virginia to refight the preliminary action to the historical battle of Abensberg. This combat, set on April 19th, 1809, enabled the Bavarians under Marshal Lefebvre to secure Marshal Davout's escape route from Regensberg. During this battle, the cannon could be heard in the distance as Davout's corps was engaged with the Austrians at Teugen-Hausen (about 5-6 km away).

Historically, this battle was slightly more than a skirmish, as a Bavarian division defeated a cautious Austrian attempt (just a reinforced brigade) to control the area around Abensberg. The Austrians were defeated and allowed the French to consolidate on the following day (April 20th) as Napoleon attacked in full force.

In our scenario, the forces engaged included all of Lefebvre's corps and Vandamme's Wurttemberg troops against approximately 20,000 Austrians under the command of Archduke Ludwig. The scenario assumes that Ludwig aggressively marches to Thierry's aid and surprises the Bavarians tasked to defend the area. With Ludwig's full force converging on Abensberg in our scenario, Lefebvre and Vandamme were forced to fight.

Our group used the Carnage and Glory 2 computer-moderated system which, as usual, did a superb job of simulating this combat. We actually played 2 games. In the first game, the Austrians deployed very quickly while the Bavarian troops struggled to deploy across the Abens river next to Abensberg. The Austrians, with a very solid line of defense, won a major victory. This write-up concerns the second game, which had its share of "pucker factor" moments. In addition to the great camaraderie, the gaming table featured Doug Kline's magnificent terrain (courtesy of Battlefield Terrain Concepts).


What a fine looking bunch of hooligans....


The table is pictured below. Austrian Generalmajor Thierry's reinforced brigade is deployed in the area of "T" while  columns of Austrian infantry are marching to the guns as far forward as "B" in the picture. Bavarian Crown Prince Ludwig's (not to be confused with his Austrian counterpart) division and von Zandt's Bavarian cavalry deploy at the start in the area of "L," which is just outside the fringe of Abensberg in the top lefthand corner of the table. Any other towns are considered small villages or farmhouses on the outskirts of Abensberg. Objectives with victory points for each side are outlined in the picture (Allies are in yellow, Austrians in red).  Reinforcements from both sides continue to march onto the table at various times throughout the game. Bavarian General Wrede's division enters the table on turn 4 just to the right of Abensberg and Vandamme's Wurttemberg troops are force marching to the guns and will arrive on the lower left table edge around turn 8.  When Vandamme's troops finally arrive, the Austrians will find themselves outnumbered by approximately 6,000 troops. It is a very well-balanced scenario with challenges for both armies. Kudos go to Doug Kline for the historical research and programming of the scenario.


The table prior to deployment

The action began as the Bavarians under Ludwig advanced aggressively towards the Austrian positions on the outskirts of the woods facing Abensberg. Von Zandt's Bavarian cavalry brigade moved quickly to envelop the right flank of the Austrian position. On turn 4, these horsemen were joined by the cavalry brigade of von Seydewitz, which marched onto the northern table edge. Facing this new horde of cavalry were 3 Austrian Dragoon units and Thierry's infantry. The Bavarians also pushed strongly into the wooded area in which several Austrian battalions and guns were deployed. To make matters worse for the outnumbered Austrians, Bavarian infantry were threatening to take the heights south of the Austrian position. These heights controlled the open space which dominated the central area of the table.
 
 
Bavarian troops moving out from Abensberg towards the Austrian-held woods
 

Von Zandt's Bavarian cavalry moving fast towards the Austrian right flank, screened by the woods


Bavarian infantry engages the Austrians on the edge of the woods while also marching to take control of the heights


Another angle demonstrating the Bavarian advance

 
Austrian Dragoons attempt to engage two brigades of Bavarian cavalry on the right flank


As the Austrian Dragoons engage the Bavarian cavalry attempting to envelop the flank, Maher's large regiment of Austrian uhlans are rushing to counter the Bavarian troops marching to occupy the center heights. The lead Uhlan regiment charges a Bavarian unit in column (the 2/8th Bavarian infantry) and decimates it in the charge (miraculously this little battalion comes back into the fight, although in a much weakened state). While celebrating this success, the Bavarian cavalry crushes the Austrian Dragoons and the right flank of Thierry's force is in extreme danger. While this action was going on, Austrian troops in march column advance to solidify a defensive line centered on the heights just occupied by the Uhlans.


Austrian Uhlans rushing to engage the lead elements of Bavarian infantry


Once the charge is made, the Uhlans crush the Bavarian infantry who failed to form square in time

 
Austrian Dragoons engage Bavarian Chevaulegers.....


And are quickly put to flight as the Bavarian cavalry advances around the flank


Retreat ! Not the finest moment for Austrian cavalry



Meanwhile, Austrian reinforcements are maneuvering onto the table
 
 
The Austrian reserve units in road column


With the charge of the Uhlans, the leading infantry of the Austrian reinforcements begin to deploy along the central heights. As for the endangered right flank, the Austrian reserve infantry was still too far off. Enter the victorious Uhlans yet again, as the lancers are redeployed to protect this flank. Bavarian reinforcements have arrived as well, as they begin to deploy across the Abens river. With the Bavarian push into Thierry's units and around the flank, the Austrian infantry under Generalmajor Bianchi were attempting to solidify a defensive line along the heights. At this point, with the Austrian players obviously distracted, the 1/3rd Bavarian infantry doubletimed along the road and marched right into the village central to Thierry's position. What a brazen move !  Trying to shrug off this setback, the Austrian players continued to prepare a strong defensive line. Also, in this confusion, several Austrian units under Thierry's command were isolated and cut off in the woods.


The 1/3rd regiment of Bavarian infantry doubletimes in march column through the woods into a village right in the midst of Thierry's position.....what a move !


Bavarian players deploy the reinforcements across the stream


Good shot of Bianchi's Austrian reinforcements forming a defensive line in the top right of the picture
 
 
As the Austrians were beginning to be forced back in the northern section of the table, the Bavarians were advancing in the center in force. Knowing that Vandamme's Wurttemberg troops would be arriving soon in the southwest area of the table, Austrian reinforcements were attempting to anchor a defensive line on the southernmost village.  Meanwhile, the Austrian right flank was restored (yet forced back considerably) with the arrival of the Uhlans to counter the Bavarian cavalry. The action was intense all across the line and one could sense that the Bavarians under Lefebvre were winning the battle.



Bavarian infantry quickly advancing to attack the Austrian center. Time for a showdown


By turn 6, all troops were on the table with the notable exception of Vandamme's corps. The Bavarians were pressing all across the line. On turn 8, the Wurttemberg troops arrive and begin deploying on the table. Vicious firefights were erupting in the center of the table as the Austrians fought fiercely to defend the center. A counterattack by the Austrian Uhlans was initially successful, with the Bavarian horse retreating this time. The flank was saved....for the time being.


Austrian Grenz with supporting Hussars form a line against the Wurttemberg troops
 
 
Another shot of the advancing Wurttemberg troops

 
The Austrian left flank was anchored by this village as the Wurttemberg infantry attack


Vandamme's troops advance against the "thin white line"


While the firefights were occurring in the center, a lone Bavarian battalion (6th Light infantry) doubletimed across a bridge and into the woods, effectively splitting the Austrian center and left flank. Another brazen move, this march temporarily put the Austrians on their heels and forced them to react. In order to attempt to regain the initiative, an Austrian Hussar unit charged a unit of Wurttemberg Chevaulegers and forced it away. Unfortunately, there were more to take its place and this was but a mild hiccup in the allied plans. The Bavarians were advancing on the Austrians everywhere and the line was becoming painfully thin. The numbers were beginning to tell on Archduke Ludwig's command. A Wurttemberg cavalry attack on the extreme Austrian left by the Jager zu Pferd was countered by Austrian Hussars. This flank would not budge, but unfortunately, the Austrians were retiring everywhere else on the table.


Austrian Hussars catch a Wurttemberg cavalry unit flat-footed and force it to retreat


Austrian units on the extreme left flank under pressure


Another shot of the Austrian position on the left flank


At this point, the Austrian center is crumbling under the pressure
 
 
The Austrian line is very thin indeed


Wurttemberg troops continuing the advance against Austrian Grenz. The Grenz are beginning to buckle !
 
 
Another angle shot of the Austrian grenz holding the line against great odds


Assailed on all sides, wide holes began to open in the Austrian line. The troops were exhausted and the army morale was beginning to drop rapidly. At this point, it was obvious that the allies had won the day. We could have fought on for one more turn, but allied cavalry had at least 3 flank charges that were sure to cause maximum casualties. It was turn 12 and we decided to call the game at that point.


Vandamme's troops were pushing hard at the end, as the position was about to be outflanked from the woods and assailed from the front
 
 
End of game shot--one can see how thin the Austrian line was at this point

 
Bavarians closing in for the kill in the center
 
 
 
What an incredible game !  Although the Austrians fought hard, they were just overwhelmed in the end. The allied players did a superb job of deploying across the stream quickly and forcing the Austrians to rush their deployments. The Austrian forces were stretched thin across the line and the allied players massed their attacks perfectly. All players were outstanding and it was just a tremendous game all around. Thanks to Doug Kline again for his superb scenario and terrain. The battle ended as a Major allied victory. The allies claimed a territorial as well as a victory advantage. After walking wounded returned to the ranks, total allied losses were 1438 men of all arms, while Austrian losses were 3057 men of all arms. I am always amazed at how accurate the Carnage and Glory 2 system is when calculating pursuit and returning stragglers; it really is the finest computer-moderated system available.
 
 
Here is a breakdown of the complete orders of battle with casualties at the end of combat:
 
 
Corps Lefebvre
[ 101] Marechal d'Empire Lefebvre - Active B+ [1400 paces]

 Division Crown Prince Ludwig - Attack
 [ 102] Generalleutnant Crown Prince Ludwig - Lightly wounded B [875 paces]
   Brigade von Rechberg - Attack
   [ 103] Generalmajor von Rechberg - Active B [450 paces]
   [W][ 101] 1/1st Leib Regiment             183/ 617      C  [sk]
[ 102] 1/2nd Infantry Regiment           0/ 770      C- [sk]
[ 103] 2/2nd Infantry Regiment          13/ 757      C- [sk]
[ 104] 1st Light Infantry Habermann     53/ 760      C- [sk]
   Brigade Stengel - Attack [No Advance]
   [ 104] Generalmajor Stengel - Lightly wounded B [450 paces]
[ 105] 1/4th Infantry Regiment         117/ 726      C- [sk]
[ 106] 2/4th Infantry Regiment           0/ 842      C- [sk]
   [D][ 107] 1/8th Infantry Regiment         309/ 501      C- [sk]
[ 108] 2/8th Infantry Regiment         334/ 475      C- [sk]
   Brigade von Zandt - Attack [Retire]
   [ 105] Generalmajor von Zandt - Active B [450 paces]
[ 109] 1st Dragoons                     17/ 243      C- [sk]
[ 110] 1/1st Chevaulegers               21/ 247      C  [sk]
   [W][ 111] 2/1st Chevaulegers               44/ 158      C  [sk]
   Brigade von Preizen - Attack
   [ 106] Oberst von Preizen - Active B [450 paces]
[ 112] Battery Wagner                   29/ 121 [ 6] C-     
[ 113] Battery Hofstetten                5/ 145 [ 6] C-     
[ 114] Horse Battery Regnier             0/ 150 [ 6] C      

 Division von Wrede - Attack
 [ 107] Generalleutnant von Wrede - Active B [875 paces]
   Brigade von Minucci - Attack
   [ 108] Generalmajor von Minucci - Active B [450 paces]
[ 115] 1/3rd Infantry Regiment         205/ 575      C- [sk]
[ 116] 2/3rd Infantry Regiment           0/ 780      C- [sk]
[ 117] 1/13th Infantry Regiment         80/ 713      C- [sk]
[ 118] 2/13th Infantry Regiment         34/ 758      C- [sk]
[ 119] 6th Light Infantry LaRouche      23/ 767      C- [sk]
   Brigade von Beckers - Attack
   [ 109] Generalmajor von Beckers - Active B [450 paces]
[ 120] 1/6th Infantry Regiment           0/ 700      C- [sk]
[ 121] 2/6th Infantry Regiment           0/ 700      C- [sk]
[ 122] 1/7th Infantry Regiment           0/ 798      C- [sk]
[ 123] 2/7th Infantry Regiment           0/ 797      C- [sk]
   Brigade von Preysing - Attack
   [ 110] Generalmajor von Preysing - Active B [450 paces]
[ 124] 1/2nd Chevauleger                 3/ 254      C- [sk]
[ 125] 2/2nd Chevauleger                 0/ 193      C- [sk]
[ 126] 1/3rd Chevauleger                 0/ 250      C- [sk]
[ 127] 2/3rd Chevauleger                37/ 213      C- [sk]
   Brigade von Gasthof - Attack
   [ 111] Oberst von Gasthof - Active B [450 paces]
[ 128] Battery Berchem                   0/ 150 [ 6] C-     
[ 129] Horse Battery Caspers             0/ 150 [ 6] C      

   Brigade von Seydewitz - Attack
   [ 112] Generalmajor von Seydewitz - Active B [450 paces]
[ 130] 1/2nd Dragoons Thurn & Taxis      9/ 251      C- [sk]
[ 131] 2/2nd Dragoons Thurn & Taxis      2/ 258      C- [sk]
[ 132] 1/2nd 4th Chevauleger             0/ 210      C- [sk]
[ 133] 2/2nd 4th Chevauleger             4/ 206      C- [sk]

Corps Vandamme
[ 113] General de Division Vandamme - Active B+ [1400 paces]
 Division Neubonn - Attack
 [ 114] Generalleutnant Neubonn - Active B [875 paces]
   Brigade von Franquemont - Attack
   [ 115] Generalleutnant von Franquemont - Active B [450 paces]
[ 134] 1/Kronprinz                      28/ 638      C  [sk]
[ 135] 2/Kronprinz                      28/ 637      C  [sk]
[ 136] 1/Herzog Wilhelm                 51/ 641      C  [sk]
[ 137] 2/Herzog Wilhelm                 42/ 649      C  [sk]
[ 138] 1/Neubraun Fusilier Reg          43/ 659      C  [sk]
   Brigade von Scharffenstein - Attack
   [ 116] Generalmajor von Scharffenstein - Active B [450 paces]
[ 139] 2/Neubraun Fusilier Reg          68/ 623      C  [sk]
[ 140] 1/Phull Infantry Regiment        21/ 673      C  [sk]
[ 141] 2/Phull Infantry Regiment        62/ 631      C  [sk]
   Brigade von Hugel - Attack
   [ 117] Generalmajor von Hugel - Active B [450 paces]
[ 142] Jager Battalion Konig            69/ 635      C+ [sk]
[ 143] Jager Battalion Neuffer          44/ 651      C+ [sk]
[ 144] 1st Light Bttn Wolff             47/ 627      C  [sk]
[ 145] 2nd Light Bttn Brusselle         58/ 631      C  [sk]
   Brigade von Mueller - Attack
   [ 120] Oberst von Mueller - Active B [450 paces]
[ 151] Foot Battery                     26/  74 [ 4] C+     
[ 152] 1st Light Battery                14/ 136 [ 6] C+     
 Division von Wollworth - Attack
 [ 118] Generalleutnant von Wollworth - Active B [875 paces]
   Brigade von Roder - Attack
   [ 119] Generalmajor von Roder - Mortally wounded B [450 paces]
[ 146] 1/Leib Chevauleger               35/ 154      C  [sk]
[ 147] 2/Leib Chevauleger               47/ 141      C  [sk]
[ 148] 3/Leib Chevauleger               19/ 169      C  [sk]
[ 149] 1/Konig Jager zu Pferd            8/ 202      C+ [sk]
   [R][ 150] 2/Konig Jager zu Pferd           64/ 146      C+ [sk]

Strengths:
losses/active
  1912/ 19731Bayonets
   310/  3295Sabres
    74/   926Artillerists
     0/    40Cannon

  2296/ 23952Total of all arms
24 Standards present




Corps Archduke Ludwig
[ 501] Feldmarschall-Leutnant Archduke Ludwig - Active C [1200 paces]

   Brigade Radetzky - Attack
   [ 502] Generalmajor Radetzky - Active C+ [400 paces]
[ 501] 1/Gradiska Grenz GR#8            24/1026      C- [sk]
   [W][ 502] 2/Gradiska Grenz GR#8             6/1044      C- [sk]
[ 503] Cavalry Battery 1                18/ 132 [ 6] C-     
   Regiment Maher - Attack
   [ 503] Oberst Maher - Active C+ [225 paces]
[ 504] 1/Erzherzog Karl Uhlan UR#3      38/ 172      C- [sk]
[ 505] 2/Erzherzog Karl Uhlan UR#3       5/ 205      C- [sk]
[ 506] 3/Erzherzog Karl Uhlan UR#3      10/ 200      C- [sk]
   [D][ 507] 4/Erzherzog Karl Uhlan UR#3      85/ 125      C- [sk]

 Division Reuss - Attack
 [ 504] Feldmarschall-Leutnant Reuss - Active C [800 paces]
   Brigade Bianchi - Attack
   [ 505] Generalmajor Bianchi - Active B [450 paces]
   [D][ 508] 1/Duka IR#39                    218/ 442      C  [sk]
   [R][ 509] 2/Duka IR#39                    236/ 424      C  [sk]
[ 510] 3/Duka IR#39                     32/ 628      C  [sk]
[ 511] 1/Gyulai IR#60                    0/ 790      C  [sk]
   [W][ 512] 2/Gyulai IR#60                  169/ 621      C  [sk]
[ 513] 3/Gyulai IR#60                    0/ 790      C  [sk]
[ 514] Brigade Battery 1                 0/ 200 [ 8] C-     
   Brigade Frothauff - Attack
   [ 506] Oberst Frothauff - Active C [400 paces]
[ 515] 1/Beaulieu  IR#58                 0/ 840      C- [sk]
[ 516] 2/Beaulieu  IR#58                 0/ 840      C- [sk]
[ 517] 1/Stain  IR#50                    0/ 900      C- [sk]
[ 518] Brigade Battery 2                 0/ 200 [ 8] C      

 Division von Schustekh - Attack
 [ 507] Feldmarschall-Leutnant von Schustekh - Active C [800 paces]
[ 519] 1/Keinmayer Hussars HR#8          7/ 273      C+ [sk]
[ 520] 2/Keinmayer Hussars HR#8          3/ 277      C+ [sk]
[ 521] 3/Keinmayer Hussars HR#8         12/ 268      C+ [sk]
[ 522] 4/Keinmayer Hussars HR#8          0/ 280      C+ [sk]
   Brigade Mesko - Attack
   [ 508] Generalmajor Mesko - Active C [400 paces]
[ 523] 1-A/Brod Grenz  GR#7              0/ 600      C- [sk]
[ 524] 1-B/Brod Grenz  GR#7              0/ 600      C- [sk]
[ 525] 2-A/Brod Grenz  GR#7              0/ 600      C- [sk]
[ 526] 2-B/Brod Grenz  GR#7              0/ 600      C- [sk]
[ 527] Cavalry Battery 2                 0/ 150 [ 6] C      

   Brigade Heist - Attack
   [ 509] Generalmajor Heist - Active C [400 paces]
[ 528] Heavy Position Battery 1          0/ 150 [ 6] C-     
[ 529] Heavy Position Battery 2          8/ 142 [ 6] C-     
[ 530] Position Battery 1                0/ 150 [ 6] C-     
[ 531] Position Battery 2               11/ 139 [ 6] C-     

   Brigade Thierry - Attack
   [ 510] Generalmajor Thierry - Active C [400 paces]
[ 532] 1/Kaiser IR#1                     0/ 890      C- [sk]
[ 533] 2/Kaiser IR#1                   185/ 705      C- [sk]
[ 534] 3/Kaiser IR#1                    10/ 585      C- [sk]
[ 535] 1/Lindenau IR#29                 85/ 738      C- [sk]
   [R][ 536] 2/Lindenau IR#29                116/ 707      C- [sk]
   [D][ 537] 3/Lindenau IR#29                453/  97      C- [sk]
[ 538] Brigade Battery 3                18/ 182 [ 8] C-     
   Regiment Hardegg - Attack
   [ 511] Oberst Hardegg - Active C [200 paces]
[ 539] 1/Levenehr Dragoons DR#4          0/ 242      C-     
[ 540] 2/Levenehr Dragoons DR#4         39/ 203      C-     
[ 541] 3/Levenehr Dragoons DR#4         28/ 214      C-     

Strengths:
losses/active
  1534/ 14467Bayonets
   227/  2459Sabres
    55/  1445Artillerists
     0/    60Cannon

  1816/ 18371Total of all arms
           21Standards present

Victor at the end of turn 11

Minor Victory for the Bavarian/French

The Bavarian/French Allied Army has suffered losses of:
[ 10%]   2797 men of all arms
including:
       [  7%]   2006 dead and wounded
       [  1%]    501 missing
       [  1%]    290 prisoners

[ 11%]   2413 bayonets
[  8%]    310 sabres
[  7%]     74 artillerists
Honors: [ 110] 1/1st Chevaulegers

Losses include 3 General[s]:
       [ 102] Crown Prince Ludwig - Lightly wounded
       [ 104] Stengel - Lightly wounded
       [ 119] von Roder - Mortally wounded

The Austrian Army has suffered losses of:
[ 12%]   2480 men of all arms
including:
       [  6%]   1272 dead and wounded
       [  3%]    664 missing
       [  2%]    544 prisoners

[ 12%]   2073 bayonets
[ 13%]    352 sabres
[  3%]     55 artillerists
Honors: [ 506] 3/Erzherzog Karl Uhlan UR#3


Victor at the End of Game following Reinforcements:

Major Victory for the Bavarian/French Allied Army

The Bavarian/French Allied Army has suffered losses of:
[  5%]   1438 men of all arms
  incl.[  1%]    290 prisoners of all arms

[  5%]   1217 bayonets
[  4%]    166 sabres
[  5%]     55 artillerists
Honors: [ 110] 1/1st Chevaulegers

Losses include 3 General[s]:
       [ 102] Crown Prince Ludwig - Lightly wounded
       [ 104] Stengel - Lightly wounded
       [ 119] von Roder - Mortally wounded

The Austrian Army has suffered losses of:
[ 15%]   3057 men of all arms
  incl.[  2%]    544 prisoners of all arms

[ 14%]   2351 bayonets
[ 13%]    371 sabres
[ 22%]    335 artillerists
Honors: [ 506] 3/Erzherzog Karl Uhlan UR#3