Russian Infantry Units

“The Russians had to be beaten down man by man … our soldiers fired upon them at 25 paces, they continued their march without replying, every regiment filed past, without saying a word, or slackening its pace for a moment. The streets were filled with dying and wounded, but not a groan was heard … you might have said that they were firing at shadows. At last our soldiers charged the Russian soldiers with the bayonet, and only when they pierced them could they be convinced that they were dealing with men.”

Baron de Marbot – Battle of Golymin
General Raievski and the Russian Infantry in 1812

According to the French author Loraine Petre the stamina of Russian foot troops were incredible. The Russians were able to march for days at a time at night and still have the energy to fight in battle, all with very little rest or food.

The vast majority of Russian infantry were uneducated country people. Their illiteracy ratio was higher than that of any other European country at the time with only 1 private in 24 being able to read and write in the 1790’s. Even among the NCO’s 1 in 6 corporals and 4 in 14 sergeants were literate.

The Russians also had a reputation for drinking, with the troopers receiving 3/8 litre of ‘liquor’. Anything stronger than beer was often diluted. According to Bulgarin, in the Battle of Heilsberg (1807), Grand Duke Constantine brought two wagons of ‘Grain Wine’ and Suhary for his Uhlan regiment before they were to go into action.

“When they are on the offensive they are fortified by copious distributions of alcohol, and they attack with a courage which verges on a frenzy, and would rather get killed than fall back. The only way to make them desist is to kill a great number of their officers .. The Russian infantry withstand fire fearlessly, but their own fire is badly directed .. they are machines which are actuated only by the orders of their officers.”

Tedd Kosciuszko – Polish revolutionary leader

Each Russian regiment was made up of three battalions of four companies, Grenadier Regiments had one Grenadier battalions and two fusilier battalions. Musketier (Musketeer) regiments had one Grenadier battalion and two Musketeer battalions, while Jager regiments were composed of three Jager battalions.

Like my articles for the Austrian forces, I will run through each unit type and then summarise their unit attributes and any special rules at the end of their sections.

LINE INFANTRY

“The bullet’s an idiot, the bayonets a fine chap’

“Pulia duraka, no shtyk molodets” – Suvorovian Motto

The Russian weaponry was often a mix of different calibre muskets as well as muskets from foreign nations in addition to their own. Many muskets were so old and worn out from firing that they would no longer function.

There were thousands of captured weapons, and the Russians considered the French ‘Charleville’ musket as the lightest and best made, the British ‘Brown Bess’ was larger but more durable while the Prussian, Swedish and old Russian muskets were considered unwieldly.

Between 1803 and 1812 the Russian factories in Tula issued 20,000 rifles, but this was withdrawn in June 1808 and used only by NCO’s and 12 marksmen in a line infantry’s Jaeger company.

Unit Attributes

Russian Line Infantry

Special Rules

  • Jaeger Company – One firing dice per firing action can be rolled using the ranges of Rifles (8cm Long/4cm Effective).

GUARD INFANTRY

The elite of the Russian infantry, which were comparable to the French Guard units. The officers of Guard infantry were from nobility and were treated as two ranks above their counterparts in the other infantry regiments, while NCO’s were treated as a rank higher.

The guard received the best uniforms, the best weapons and the best recruits. Tsar Paul revised the Guard and imposed discipline and accountability on its commanders. Tsar Paul also removed all officers not on active duty and the Guard were to learn the Prussian drill which at that time was considered to be the best in Europe. Tsar Paul was eventually murdered, some of those involved in his murder were Officers of the Guard…. His son Alexander took the Guard to battle at every opportunity which garnered them experience and soon made them some of the best troops in Europe. They became particularly well known for their endurance.

Unit Attributes

Russian Guard Unit Card

Special Rules

  • Brave – Each turn a unit with this ability may automatically pass one morale test.
  • Jaeger Company – One firing dice per firing action can be rolled using the ranges of Rifles (8cm Long/4cm Effective).

JAGERS

The Russian troops were assigned regiments depending on their stature. The tallest would become Grenadiers, while the smallest would become Jagers. This changed later in the war when in 1811 Field Marshal Barclay de Tolly changed the system so that personal merit and worth determined a man’s assignment.

Jagers were the standard Russian light infantry unit, and while classified as light troops their skirmishing ability was almost non-existent. The majority were armed with Muskets, while a few 12 sharpshooters in each company were equipped with Rifles.

Unit Attributes

Russia Jager Unit Card

Special Rules

  • Jaeger Company – One firing dice per firing action can be rolled using the ranges of Rifles (8cm Long/4cm Effective).
  • Deployment Marker – Units of Jagers allows the owning player to use an additional deployment marker in the scouting phase.

OPOLCHENIE

Raised in 1812 as part of the defence of Russia from Napoleon. These makeshift units were poorly armed and poorly trained. There were often not even enough muskets for each man, and instead pikes were issued were muskets were not.

Unit Attributes

Russian Opolchenie Unit Card

Special Rules

None

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SOURCES

http://napolun.com/mirror/napoleonistyka.atspace.com/Russian_guard.htm

https://www.napoleon-series.org/military-info/organization/c_russianskirm.html

http://www.theminiaturespage.com/boards/msg.mv?id=212800

https://blundersonthedanube.blogspot.com/2012/02/russian-opolchenie-militia-1812.html

Artwork for the Rulebook

This is a quick post to firstly apologise, as I haven’t been to active recently (in the foreground anyway) due to a number of issues which I won’t bore you with.

The rules writing is continuing in the back ground and I am currently putting together the Russian Infantry article, which should be up later this week.

I’ve also managed to procure the services of a very talented artist who I have purchased some original art work for the rule book. Early days I know, but this is how dedicated I am.

I’ve included the first piece below, there are no prizes for guessing who this is of!

Everyone’s favourite

Tom is a fantastic artist and I would urge you to visit his instagram account to see his other works. Perhaps even purchase a self portrait from him!

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Austrian Artillery Units

Artillery Officer, Gunner and Train Driver 1809-1813, by Ottenfeld

Austrian artillery units before the Napoleonic Wars were held in high regard by the other nations of the world and were often thought of as the best artillery units. Men volunteered for the artillery units of Austria and were not recruited, all the rank and file were able to read and write in German. Enlistments were for 14 years in the artillery, while a member of the Austrian infantry was enlisted for only 6 years.

Several French generals including Massena admired the Austrian artillery and its professionalism, and the Austrians had both gunpowder and ammunition of higher quality than that of the other nations. However, while the Austrian artillery units were extremely professional and benefited from higher quality supplies the French and many other nations artillery had a larger calibre and further reach than the Austrian weapons.

The accuracy of Austrian artillery far appeared to be superior to that of the other major nations. At the Battle of Leipzig in 1813 a duel occurred between 12 Austrian guns and 21 Saxon and French guns near Paunsdorf. After 30 minutes of fire and despite being outnumbered almost 2 to 1 the Austrian gunners had lost six of their guns while the Saxons and French had lost seven.

www.napoleonguide.com has a very handy table showing the different ranges of the Napoleonic guns of each nation at the time. I’ve summarised this below into the 1/5300 basic scale for Clausewitz.

WeaponMaximum RangeEffective Range
3 Pounder Cannon16 cm8 cm
6 Pounder Cannon17 cm9 cm
12 Pounder Cannon21 cm12 cm
7 Pounder Howitzer23 cm12 cm
Austrian Artillery Ranges at 1/5300 scale

Unit Attributes

Austrian Artillery Unit Card

Special Rules

Artillery – When in melee this unit halves its combat dice.

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SOURCES

http://www.napolun.com/mirror/web2.airmail.net/napoleon/Austrian_artillery.htm

https://www.napoleonguide.com/artillery_ranges.htm

Austrian Cavalry Units

Austrian cavalry contained Cuirassiers, Dragoons, Chaveauxlegers (Light Dragoons), Hussars and Uhlans. All were well trained, well mounted and had a good reputation across Europe.

Much like the article I wrote on the Infantry units for Austria, I’ll run through each type of cavalry and then define their attributes and any special rules after doing so.

CUIRASSIERS

Austrian Cuirassiers being ambushed by French Cavalry

Austrian had eight regiments of Cuirassiers, which were fewer than some of the other nations such as France who had between twelve to fifteen and Russia who has ten to twelve.

In 1809 a regiment of Cuirassiers consisted of 975 men across six squadrons, in 1812 this was changed to four squadrons of 144 men each.

The name Cuirassier comes from the name of the breastplate armour that the cavalry wore; the Cuirass. They were also armed with a brace of pistols as well as a straight broadsword. Each squadron of Cuirassiers had eight men armed with rifles and eight with carbines.

Unit Attributes

Austrian Cuirassiers Unit Card

Special Rules

  • Pistols – Cuirassiers are armed with short ranged weaponry. If the player wishes, this unit may fire its pistols once an enemy closes within range. Pistols have a long range of 2cm and short range of 1cm.
  • Cavalry (-2) – Units of this calibre have a fearsome reputation on the battlefield. As such any enemy foot units that are within 10cm of a unit of Cuirassiers suffer a -2 modifier to any morale checks that the unit makes.
  • Impetuous (3+) – Cuirassiers occasionally struggle to maintain their composure in the heat of battle. After this unit has fought in melee, during its next action roll a D6; on a roll of 3+ the unit can act normally, if the unit fails this roll it must make its quickest move towards the nearest enemy unit and contact them in melee if possible.

DRAGOONS

The Austrians possessed six regiments of Dragoons and six of Chevaulegers. Dragoons were armed with carbines and the heavy pallasch. Each squadron had sixteen men armed with rifles.

Unit Attributes

Austrian Dragoons Unit Card

Special Rules

  • Pistols – Dragoons are armed with short ranged weaponry. If the player wishes, this unit may fire its pistols once an enemy closes within range. Pistols have a long range of 2cm and short range of 1cm.
  • Cavalry (-1) – Units of this calibre have a fearsome reputation on the battlefield. As such any enemy foot units that are within 10cm of a unit of Dragoons suffer a -1 modifier to any morale checks that the unit makes.
  • Impetuous (4+) – Dragoons occasionally struggle to maintain their composure in the heat of battle. After this unit has fought in melee, during its next action roll a D6; on a roll of 4+ the unit can act normally, if the unit fails this roll it must make its quickest move towards the nearest enemy unit and contact them in melee if possible.
  • Rifles – During an action the unit can choose to fire its rifles instead of performing any other action. If it does so it can use 1 combat dice and fire at the enemy using the rifle weapon profile (long Range 8cm / Effective Range 4cm).

UHLANS

Austrian Uhlan

“I saw a great many French horse carabiniers with lace wounds …”

Dezydery Chlapowski

Austrian has three regiments of Uhlans, and in 1814 formed a fourth regiment. In comparison France had nine lancer regiments and Russia increased the number of their own Uhlan regiments from two to twelve.

Uhlans were armed with pistols, curved sabres and a lance. Each squadron had eight men armed with rifles and eight with carbines. A Uhlan regiment was divided into four divisions, with the central two divisions armed with lances while the flanking divisions were armed with carbines.

Unit Atrributes

Austrian Uhlans Unit Card

Special Rules

  • Pistols – Uhlans are armed with short ranged weaponry. If the player wishes, this unit may fire its pistols once an enemy closes within range. Pistols have a long range of 2cm and short range of 1cm.
  • Cavalry (-1) – Units of this calibre have a fearsome reputation on the battlefield. As such any enemy foot units that are within 10cm of a unit of Uhlans suffer a -1 modifier to any morale checks that the unit makes.
  • Impetuous (4+) – Uhlans occasionally struggle to maintain their composure in the heat of battle. After this unit has fought in melee, during its next action roll a D6; on a roll of 4+ the unit can act normally, if the unit fails this roll it must make its quickest move towards the nearest enemy unit and contact them in melee if possible.
  • Rifles – During an action the unit can choose to fire its rifles instead of performing any other action. If it does so it can use 1 combat dice and fire at the enemy using the rifle weapon profile (long Range 8cm / Effective Range 4cm).

CHEVAULEGERS

“…was of the opinion than, as I am still today, that the Austrian light horse is the best trained in this kind of warfare [skirmish]. The Austrians are always the most skilled at placing outposts to guard their army.”

Chlapowski/Simmons – “Memoirs of a Polish Lancer” P15

As of 1802 there were six regiments of Chevaulegers with a seventh being formed in 1814.

Chevaulegers carried a carbine and a sabre, with each squadron having sixteen men armed with rifles.

The Austrian Chevaulegers formed large regiments and served effectively in pitched battles while also being effective in escort duty, skirmishers and in smaller engagements.

Unit Attributes

Austrian Chevaulegers Unit Card

Special Rules

  • Pistols – Chevaulegers are armed with short ranged weaponry. If the player wishes, this unit may fire its pistols once an enemy closes within range. Pistols have a long range of 2cm and short range of 1cm.
  • Cavalry (-1) – Units of this calibre have a fearsome reputation on the battlefield. As such any enemy foot units that are within 10cm of a unit of Chevaulegers suffer a -1 modifier to any morale checks that the unit makes.
  • Impetuous (5+) – Chevaulegers occasionally struggle to maintain their composure in the heat of battle. After this unit has fought in melee, during its next action roll a D6; on a roll of 4+ the unit can act normally, if the unit fails this roll it must make its quickest move towards the nearest enemy unit and contact them in melee if possible.
  • Rifles – During an action the unit can choose to fire its rifles instead of performing any other action. If it does so it can use 1 combat dice and fire at the enemy using the rifle weapon profile (long Range 8cm / Effective Range 4cm).
  • Deployment Marker – Units of Chevaulegers allows the owning player to use an additional deployment marker in the scouting phase.

HUSSARS

Austria had twelve Hussar regiments, eight from Hungary, two from Transylvania and two from Slovakia. The name ‘Hussar’ derives from the Latin word Cursarius which means raider, and originally was used to refer to marauders from the Northern Balkans. It was later adopted by the Magyar people of Hungary as the name for irregular light cavalry.

Hussars carried a large sabre and a carbine. There were six sharpshooters in each squadron carrying rifles.

Unit Attributes

Austrian Hussars Unit Card

Special Rules

  • Pistols – Hussars are armed with short ranged weaponry. If the player wishes, this unit may fire its carbines once an enemy closes within range. Carbines have a long range of 2cm and short range of 1cm.
  • Cavalry (-1) – Units of this calibre have a fearsome reputation on the battlefield. As such any enemy foot units that are within 10cm of a unit of Hussars suffer a -1 modifier to any morale checks that the unit makes.
  • Impetuous (3+) – Hussars occasionally struggle to maintain their composure in the heat of battle. After this unit has fought in melee, during its next action roll a D6; on a roll of 3+ the unit can act normally, if the unit fails this roll it must make its quickest move towards the nearest enemy unit and contact them in melee if possible.
  • Rifles – During an action the unit can choose to fire its rifles instead of performing any other action. If it does so it can use 1 combat dice and fire at the enemy using the rifle weapon profile (long Range 8cm / Effective Range 4cm).
  • Deployment Marker – Units of Hussars allows the owning player to use an additional deployment marker in the scouting phase.

Austrian Cavalry Unit Card

Below is the full unit card for the Austrian Cavalry. Pistols will be removed from the special rules and have their profiles included elsewhere once the full rules are published.

As always, if you have any suggestions, thoughts or comments please let me know.

Austrian Cavalry Unit Card

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SOURCES

https://www.napoleon-series.org/military-info/organization/Austria/ArmyStudy/c_AustrianArmyCavalry.html#:~:text=The%20Austrian%20cavalry%20consisted%20of,wore%20white%20coats%20and%20breeches.

http://napoleonistyka.atspace.com/Austrian_cavalry.htm#_cuirassiers

Battle of Roliça: A most important affair

https://www.britishbattles.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/Batalha_da_Roli%C3%A7a.jpg

Background:

The Battle of Roliça took place on the 17th of August 1808. It was the first battle between British and French forces of the Peninsular War. British Lieutenant General Sir Arthur Wellesley (later the Duke of Wellington) commanding a Anglo-Portuguese force met French General of Division Francois Delaborde near the village of Roliça. Anglo-Portuguese forces numbered approximately 15 000 men, including 18 guns. French forces numbered approximately 4 400 men, including 5 guns. (Jac Weller, Wellington in the Peninsula).

Historically Wellesley dispatched a flanking force on the left led by Ferguson and on the right by Trant to attempt encirclement and capture of the French force, while he himself led the bulk of the army in a slow display of force in the center. Delaborde was not distracted by the display, and withdrew behind a cloud of skirmishers to a strong 2nd position. Wellesley repeated the gambit, two wide pincers with a show of force in the center. Before the plan could reach fruition, the 29th advanced alone, resulting in confusion, befuddlement, and the majority of the British casualties of the day. In response, Wellesley ordered a general attack. Delaborde held off the British with a series of counterattacks, before starting a withdrawal. Skillful utilization of his superior cavalry ensured the French could withdraw under cover of their sabres. The British pursuit ended in the capture of 3 guns, but was eventually called off.

French casualties amounted to 600 men killed , wounded or captured, along with 3 guns lost. British casualties amounted to about 500 men killed , wounded or captured.

I started drafting a scenario for the Battle of Roliça for two reasons. First, being in that state of limbo between successive orders of my wee men, I had limited bases to work with in a test game. Second, the first British Battle of the Peninsular War under Wellesley felt oddly appropriate as an entrance to a new ruleset.

Since I am the world’s laziest painter, my British and French are as of today still a ways from completion, hence the empty bases with paper unit names. I solemnly promise to refight this battle with a painted and pretty army to redress the balance in the future.

This battle was fought with v0.2 of the rules.
My sources for this scenario drew heavily from Sir Charles Oman’s History of the Peninsular War and Jac Weller’s Wellington in the Peninsula. OOB, unit strengths, dispositions etc has been drawn from consulting these sources, with some modifications made in the name of a spirited game. Further modifications will need to be made when the ruleset grows.

This battle is fundamentally unfair. I attempted to address some of the potentially most frustrating elements in giving the French player the opportunity to win in a historical context, rather than demanding 4 000 men crush 15 000 British and Portuguese regulars. In addition, there are some good faith requirements form both sides. We played with the British and French deployments mirroring their historical counterparts, and with the British player following Wellesley’s initial battleplan. We also started with all French forces activated, and gave the French player leeway in deciding his brigade structure.

Below the battle report I am including the Scenario document I drew up, that has been edited to reflect some changes I felt necessary after playing through it. I will note here that most prominently, French Cavalry strengths have been bumped a little higher than their numbers would suggest, based on contemporary observers noting that Delaborde’s chief advantage and indeed greatest security to ensure his withdrawal in good order, was his mure numerous veteran cavalry. His infantry were all between, as the ruleset stood, strength 4 and 5, but I have assigned them strength 5 as the French troops had veterans in their ranks. Secondly, the value players want to assign to objectives certainly needs tweaking. I have attempted to give both players approximately equal points that are theoretically scoreable. In practice, casualties are almost guaranteed to be higher than historically. Though Delaborde managed to withdraw in good order (at the cost of 3 guns), there is an argument to be made that that he incurred a needless risk by standing at Roliça. But stand he did, and this reflects in the scoring I used, a player making the “better” choice and running his men for the hills and the safety of the route past Zambugeira, will lose. I intend to revisit objectives and scoring in the future to create a sandbox environment, and to tweak balance. In addition I’d like to add some scenario specific rules. Any comments or ideas in this regard will be most welcome.

It became clear in this battle that reactions are very strong. Misjudging how close you can bring cavalry can and will have the opposing infantry formed and ready in squares, and will have artillery blast infantry to mewling heaps of gore. Managing morale is incredibly important, and at this stage with frequent morale tests to be able to act, single battalions are vastly outperformed by brigades. Casualties were frequent and high, combat tended to be very bloody. Artillery were the big killers on both sides. There is a lot of tracking happening, but using a mix of pen and paper for brigades not currently in action and dice for units in the thick of the action worked fairly easily and well. Beer and impromptu history lessons certainly extend playtime significantly, but once all parties had the rules more or less in hand the game moved along more speedily than anticipated.

Battlefield:
Roliça on the flank of the small central hill, Columbeira at the mouth of the horseshoe hills, Zambugeira in the valley between the exit (French line of retreat) hills

Battle

Morning Deployment:

In a move of unparalleled tactical genius, the British deployment is made in range of the French guns. At this stage, the French guns are activated but the British are still awaiting orders. The Light Brigade will bleed.

8am:
While the British wait for orders to be dispatched (Awareness points raised) to begin maneuver the French steadily inflict casualties on the Light Brigade. British Guns fire at the Line Regiments on the French 1st position, starting to drive the French to the reverse slope

8:30am:
Trant’s command on the right flank starts to move up to attempt an encirclement of the French 1st position. A squadron of French Cavalry moves to cut them off. The Squadron fails a critical charge, and subsequently get counter charged by the 50 Portuguese horse. In a feat of unbelievable heroism, the 50 Portuguese horse covers themselves in glory by utterly destroying both themselves and the 3rd Chasseurs à Cheval Squadron.

9am:
The British Left wing starts moving to turn the French position’s flank.The French commander is not having any of it, and decides to abandon the hilltop. His infantry falls back to take position on the village of Roliça and Columbeira (instead of the historical hill and flanks of the valley 2nd position). The British Light Brigade take the Hilltop 1st objective at 9:20

10 pm:
An uneasy stand-off ensues, with artillery venturing forward intermittently to punish cheeky infantry placement, while the British bring all their forces to activation and re-task their troops on pushing the French out of the two villages. Trant’s lone Portuguese Brigade start their walk around the world, moving to cut the French retreat near Zambugeira.

11pm:
The British Left wing has been looking tasty to the French Commander all game, and he finally decides to chomp down. The two remaining Chasseurs à Cheval squadrons attempts to charge the isolated Fergusons brigade and it’s 6 guns. The French cavalry overruns the flank, breaks Ferguson’s Brigade but with their horses blown they are smashed and routed by the British guns attached to the left flank. Wellesley personally rallies Ferguson’s broken brigade.

11:30:

French hold Roliça and Columbeira, drawing up a defensive line across the mouth of the hills. Trant is now deep on the right. British guns start a close range bombardment of the troops garrisoned in Roliça, who attempt to charge the guns in response. Their commanders haranguing falls on deaf ears, with the troops obstinately refusing to move.

12 pm:
Massed British guns force the French brigade garrisoned in Roliça out, inflicting heavy casualties. Wellesley initiates a general advance on the French line. French artillery reacts and inflicts devastating casualties to Crauford’s attacking brigade when it attempts to dislodge them from the Columbeira.

1pm:

2nd and 4th French Light advances and attempts to rout the vulnerable Light brigade, but fails to execute their maneuver in the face of the enemy. The massed British artillery finally push the French battalions out of Columbeira and into the waiting guns of Trant’s long walk to freedom, whose brigade now sits astride their line of retreat. Two French battalions surrender immediately. At 1:10pm the light brigade storm Columbeira and capture the French guns.

Trant holds the French line of retreat, their guns are captured and with half their forces dead or surrendered, Delaborde surrenders.

British casualties: 200 men of the 60th rifles, 50 men of the Portuguese cavalry detachment, 300 men of Craufords brigade, 350 men of Fergusons brigade, one battalion fled.
French casualties: 90 men of the Chasseurs à Cheval, dead or wounded, the rest fled. 70th line battalions (1st and 2nd) took 400 casualties, the rest captured by Trant. 4th Swiss 200 casualties, the rest fled. 2nd Light and 4th Light surrendered in entirety. 5 guns captured. General Delaborde captured. Complete British tactical and strategic victory, but at heavy cost.

Scenario:

Field of Battle:
Total Maneuver Area approx. 6km x 6km:
4’x4’ playing area.

Primary Terrain Features:
Horseshoe hills: 1’wide, 2’deep
Rolica village in between the wings of the hills
Hills well wooded

British set out from Obidas at dawn (06:24) on the 17th August 1808. Approximately 6km’s to the french first positions. Marching in column at British quick step, covering the ground in minimum 73 minutes. Anticipated British arrival therefore at 07:33. 30 minutes to account for delays, dispatching of orders. Battle commences at deployment zones at 08:00. Sundown at 20:28. Approx 75 turns until darkness falls.

Order of Battle:

French: General of Division Henri François Delaborde
70éme Régiment d’Infanterie de Ligne (2 Battalions)
4éme Régiment Suisse d’Infanterie (1 Battalion)
2éme Régiment Légère (1 Battalion)
4éme Régiment Légère (1 Battalion)
26éme Bataillon de Chasseurs (3 squadrons)
5 guns

British: Lieutenant General Sir Arthur Wellesley
Left:
Ferguson’s Brigade: 36th, 40th, 71st
Bowes Brigade: 6th, 32nd
6 guns
Centre:
Fane’s (Light) Brigade: 60th, 95th (4 companies) (on the left)
Nightingale’s Brigade: 29th, 82nd (in the centre)
Hill’s Brigade: 5th , 9th, 38th (on the right)
Caitlin Craufurd’s Brigade: 45th, 50th, 91st (in reserve)
6th Cacadores (in reserve) approx 750 men
6th & 12th Portuguese Cavalry (200 men)
20th Light Dragoons detachment (200 men)
12 guns
Right:
Trant:
12th, 21st & 24th Infantry Regiments (approx 850 men)
11th Cavalry Regiment (50 men)

*numbers approximated based on A History of the Peninsular War Volume 1 – Charles Oman & Wellington in the Peninsula – Jac Weller

Order of Battle: (Strength)

French:Delaborde
70th 1st battalion (5)
70th 2nd battalion (5)
2nd Light (5)
4th Light (5)
4th Swiss (5)
26th Chasseurs 1st squadron (3)
26th Chasseurs 2nd squadron (3)
26th Chasseurs 3rd squadron (3)
Artillery contigent (5)

British: Lieutenant General Sir Arthur Wellesley
Left:
Ferguson’s Brigade: 36th (5), 40th (5), 71st (5)
Bowes Brigade: 6th (5), 32nd (5)
6 guns (6)
Centre:
Fane’s (Light) Brigade: 60th (5), 95th (2)
Nightingale’s Brigade: 29th (5), 82nd (5)
Hill’s Brigade: 5th (5), 9th (5), 38th (5)
Caitlin Craufurd’s Brigade: 45th (5), 50th (5), 91st (5)
6th Cacadores (3)
6th & 12th Portuguese Cavalry (2)
20th Light Dragoons detachment (2)
12 guns (12)
Right:
Trant:
12th, 21st & 24th Infantry Regiments (5)
11th Cavalry Regiment (1)

Objectives:

British Strategic Objectives:
Take the field
Drive the enemy to Zambugeira
Attempt encirclement and capture of the French Forces

British Primary Objectives:
Capture French First position before 11am (2)
Capture French Second position before 4am (2)

British Secondary Objectives:
Capture French Guns (1)
Destroy/capture French Regiments (1 each)

French Strategic Objectives:
Delay the British Advance
Evade encirclement and capture and escape to Zambugeira
Inflict significant casualties

French Primary Objectives:
Hold First position until 11am (2)
Hold Second position until 4am (2)

French Secondary Objectives:
50 casualties inflicted more than historical (1 each)
50 casualties taken less than historical (1 each)
Artillery escaped (1)

Final thoughts

This battle was heaps of fun to play, even though the odds were rather one-sided. I felt that Delaborde’s skillful handling of the withdrawal is significantly easier to appreciate than to pull off, and that the French position is actually very precarious if their resources are not very carefully husbanded. Lastly, I realised that one always scoffs at the adage, “human waves don’t work on machinegun nests”, thinking surely I could never be that stupid. And one keeps scoffing right up until you charge a brigade headfirst into a storm of cannon. In the immortal words of Boney, “To cannon, all men are equal”.

Austrian Infantry Units

The army of the Holy Roman Empire/Austrian Empire was known as the Imperial-Royal Army, the “Royal” referring to the Kingdom of Hungary which was under Habsburg rule but not part of the Holy Roman Empire.

At its largest in 1809 it contained 261,000 infantry, 59,000 cavalry and 12,000 artillerymen, however due to a lack in funds the army in the field was often much smaller.

I’m going to run through each type of infantry unit in the Austrian army and then summarise there attributes and special rules at the end of their respective sections.

All of the unit cards given in this article are assuming a full strength unit of roughly 1,200 men. The Austrian units were often thought to be unwieldly, and therefore all infantry units have had the number of combat dice reduced by one.

LINE INFANTRY

Austrian Line Infantry

Austrian infantry were divided into two groups; ‘German’ and ‘Hungarian’. Hungarian regiments were known for their fierce fighting spirit, while the German regiments were known for their training and discipline.

In March 1809 there were 46 ‘German’ regiments and 15 ‘Hungarian’ regiments, Grenadiers of these regiments were detached to form their own battalions. In the case of all Austrian regiments, and not only the line infantry they were often referred to by their Colonels name and not their regiment number. For example the 1st Line Infantry Regiment was known as Infantry Regiment ‘Kaiser Franz I’ Nr. 1.

Austrian line regiments were armed with Muskets, and the third rank of the line regiments were able to be deployed as skirmishers in battle.

Unit Attributes

UnitTypeCombat Dice‘Steady’CC v FootCC v MountedBase MoraleSaveWeapons
‘German’ Line InfantryFoot55+5+6+7Muskets
‘Hungarian’ Line InfantryFoot55+5+6+6Muskets
Line Infantry Unit Attributes

Special Rules

  • Skirmishers Line infantry are able to deploy skirmishing troops in front of the main battle line. When doing so they can only be attacked by cavalry or opposition skirmishers.

LANDWEHR (1808-1809) (1813-1814)

“Only provinces in Germany were allowed to form landwehr battalions, as the territory of Galicia, heavily populated with Poles and sympathetic towards Napoleon, were forbidden to raise such formations.”

– John Stallaert (The Austrian Army)

Landwehr battalions were each roughly 1,200 men spread between 4-6 fusilier companies and 2 Jaeger companies. These Jaeger companies were armed with Jägerstutzen which were primarily used as hunting rifles and were accurate up to 300 paces. The rest of the battalion would often be armed with what ever muskets could be found. Often these would be 1754, 1774 or 1784 pattern muskets.

150 battalions of Landwehr were initially going to be raised, but by the point that war broke out with France in April 1809 only 70 had been raised.

When war broke out in 1809 the Landwehr battalions were used as garrison troops freeing up the regular infantry for field combat. Some battalions were used in the field – 12,200 Landwehr were deployed in upper Austria but when the French approached close to three quarters of these troops deserted.

Upon Napoleon’s victory he decommissioned the Landwehr battalions. They were reinstated when war broke out once more in 1813.

Unit Attributes

UnitTypeCombat Dice‘Steady’CC v FootCC v MountedBase MoraleSaveWeapons
LandwehrFoot55+5+6+5Muskets and Rifles
Landwehr Unit Attributes

Special Rules

  • Jaeger Company – One firing dice per firing action can be rolled using the ranges of Rifles (8cm Long/4cm Effective).

GRENZERS

Austrian Grenzers

The Grenzers were light infantry troops originally raised to defend the border from the neighbouring Ottoman Empire. These troops were trained in skirmishing, marksmanship and the basics of linear tactics. Although the troops were effective Skirmishers, they were found lacking when it came to combat in line they were less effective than their line infantry counterparts. At the start of the conflict with Napoleon there were 18 Grenzer regiments raised which formed roughly a quarter of the army.

Although the Austrian command did not hold Grenzers in high regard, following the battles of Austerlitz and Marengo they had earned a level of respect from the French. Napoleon considered them the most effective troops in the Austrian army, so much so that once his victory over the Austrian Empire was confirmed he employed some of these troops in his own army, where they continued to serve until his abdication in 1814.

Unit Attributes

UnitTypeCombat Dice‘Steady’CC v FootCC v MountedBase MoraleSaveWeapons
GrenzerFoot55+5+6+7Muskets
Grenzer Unit Attributes

Special Rules

  • Deployment Marker – Units of Grenzers allows the owning player to use an additional deployment marker in the scouting phase.
  • Skirmishers – Grenzers are able to fight as skirmishing troops in front of the main battle line. When doing so they can only be attacked by cavalry or opposition skirmishers.
  • Marksmen – Grenzers are able to re-roll one failed ‘Fire!’ dice per shooting attack.

GRENADIERS

Austrian Grenadiers

“The first Austrian grenadiers came into being in 1700, at the height of the European vogue for grenade-throwing heavyweight infantry. The fashion passed soon enough, for the grenades were cumbersome, tricky to ignite, and only marginally less perilous to the thrower than to the target. However the grenadiers themselves survived in virtue of being elite troops in their own right, and they were marked out by their stature, their swarthy complexions, their bristling moustaches, their arrogant demeanour, their grenadier marches (characterised by alternate passages on the rim and the skin of the drum), and their grenadier caps …”

Duffy – “Instrument of War” Vol I p 234

The Grenadiers were the elite soldiers of the Austrian army. The men that made up the Grenadiers were taller and more experienced than most (due to the joining requirements). The Grenadiers were primarily used at critical moments to break through the enemy lines and were kept in reserve until this moment. Austrian Grenadiers had a reputation for using their bayonets at every available opportunity.

In 1809, at the battle of Aspern-Essling the French Young Guard were ordered to recapture the village of Essling. The young Guard eventually pushed the Grenadiers from the village but paid a large price in doing so, with three of their Generals wounded and roughly a quarter of the rank and file killed or wounded. The Young Guard were so enraged by these losses that they killed or wounded Grenadiers left in the village.

There were twenty-one Grenadier battalions with four or six companies each.

Unit Attributes

UnitTypeCombat Dice‘Steady’CC v FootCC v MountedBase MoraleSaveWeapons
GrenadiersFoot55+4+6+7Muskets
Grenadier Unit Attributes

Special Rules

None

JAEGERS

Austrian Jaeger

“Austrian Generals don’t understand this kind of fighting [Skirmishing].”

General Radetsky

The Jaegers were the Austrian light infantry. The Austrian light infantry units would ofen only send out small amounts of men as skirmish screens in front of the main battalions. This usually consisted of between 60-80 men operating as a skirmish screen. It wasn’t until 1813 that entire battalions of light infantry would form skirmish lines.

The first and second ranks of the unit would be armed with muskets, while the third rank were armed with Rifles.

In 1809 there were nine Jaegar battalions which later increased to 12 in 1813. These battalions were often 6 companies of 200 men each. The quality of the Austrian skirmishers were not as effective as their French counterparts and they would often be found wanting when facing Voltigeurs.

Unit Attributes

UnitTypeCombat Dice‘Steady’CC v FootCC v MountedBase MoraleSaveWeapons
JaegersFoot55+5+6+6Muskets and Rifles
Grenadier Unit Attributes

Special Rules

  • Jaeger Company – One firing dice per firing action can be rolled using the ranges of Rifles (8cm Long/4cm Effective).
  • Skirmishers – Jaegers are able to fight as skirmishing troops in front of the main battle line. When doing so they can only be attacked by cavalry or opposition skirmishers. Skirmishers of Jaegers are armed with Rifles (8cm Long/4cm Effective).
  • Deployment Marker – Units of Jaegers allows the owning player to use an additional deployment marker in the scouting phase.

FULL AUSTRIAN INFANTRY UNIT CARD

UnitTypeCombat Dice‘Steady’CC v FootCC v MountedBase MoraleSaveWeaponsSpecial Rules
‘German’ Line InfantryFoot55+5+6+7MusketsSkirmishers
‘Hungarian’ Line InfantryFoot55+5+6+6MusketsSkirmishers
LandwehrFoot55+5+6+5Muskets & RiflesJaeger Company
GrenzersFoot55+5+6+7MusketsDeployment Marker, Skirmishers, Marksmen
GrenadiersFoot55+4+6+7Muskets
JaegersFoot55+5+6+6Muskets & RiflesJaeger Company, Skirmishers, Deployment Marker
Austrian Infantry Unit Card
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SOURCES

Discord

First of all, before I begin I’d like to apologise. As you may have noticed I’ve been a littl might on posts recently. There are a number of reasons for this, having a daughter under the age of two who acts like a gremlin after midnight, and studying for exams. So I hope you’ll forgive me!

I have enlisted some help however, Lehann Smith is my primary play tester who has been kind enough to test the rules I concoct over and over again. His support has been fantastic over the last couple of months and his thoughts and input have kept the rules sensible. As such I’ve added him to the site as an author so that he can share his gaming experiences with you.

Lehann has been particularly busy this weekend setting up a Discord Community for Clausewitz. A place where we can discuss the rules one on one and in groups and play test games together on a remote basis using programmes such as tabletop simulator. They’ll also be a section where you can make suggestions for rules or find a list of suppliers for different scales of Napoleonic Wargaming.

If I’ve done this correctly then you should see a link below to join our small little group on Discord.

https://discord.gg/wndq6rNDiscord

I’m hoping that once the first draft of the rules are published the community will grow exponentially.

So what the plans?

Well coming up in the near future you should see articles start to appear on the website in regards to the factions, their units and the abilities they can use. You’ll hopefully also see the first draft of the points system being published once these factions have been finalised.

The first draft of the rule book is still in development. I know I said end of September but it’s much harder to write than I first thought!

In the long term there are also ideas for an accompanying app for the game so that you can more easily track the status of the units in game and build army lists.

Plus lots more (I’ve a list as long as my arm of things that need to be written!).

So again, I’d like to thank Lehann for his hard work and I’m looking forward to working with (and gaming against) him in the future!

Command and Control

I’ve written a few articles on command and control now and none of the rules I’ve written so far feel like they’ve hit the sweet point of historical accuracy and speed of play.

In this article I would like to run through a few options I’ve been considering and hopefully get feedback from yourselves about your favoured option (or an option I haven’t even considered!).

CURRENT SYSTEM

As it sounds, each general generating AP per turn and spending these to activate brigades as needed. There would be some further adjustments along the way, such as rolling to see if units understand the orders (with a random objective selected if they don’t).

AWARENESS POINTS V2

Each commander in chief rolls a D6 (or possibly 2D6) at the beginning of the turn. This roll determines how many awareness points the commander may use. There may also be modifiers to this roll such as +1 for the general being on higher ground, or for holding more objectives than the enemy.

A CinC will then task a division with capturing an objective, they will allocate a certain number of Awareness Points for that purpose. Once the Divisional General receives those orders he then rolls to check that the orders are understood before ordering his Brigades to attack. The divisional will have to be withing a certain distance of the units he commands to be able to order them, however some units such as Hussars, Rifles and Guerillas may be able to act independently of Divisional Command bubbles.

Divisional General Zone of Control Example

A CinC may allocate further resources to objectives further down the line but each Division can only be tasked with capturing and holding one objective.

The number of allocated awareness points to a division will determine how soon they could move in the turn. For example a unit that has had four awareness points allocated to it, will move before a unit that has been allocated three awareness points. If more than one division has four awareness points then players roll off to determine which units act first.

Additional Option to Above Rule

A general would only be able to send one order per turn, and once orders are received by a division their allocated Awareness points decrease by one per turn. One they are reduced to zero that Division can no longer act without further orders and that division would have to withdraw to their own table edge and reform.

STANDARD COMMAND AND CONTROL

This is an option used by many systems in that the players roll dice which determine the number of activations they get to make that turn.

This has always felt too simplistic to me for what should be possibly one of the key elements of the game.

FROM VALMY TO WATERLOO VARIATION

From Valmy to Waterloo has been touted as having one of the best command and control systems for Napoleonic Wargaming, therefore the option would be to adapt this for Clausewitz.

The system would work by giving units and commanders ratings from 1 to 5 (with 1 being the best), a rating of 1 would mean that a unit would be able to issue an order (in the case of generals) or change their orders (in the case of units) every turn, a rating of 2 would move this to a change of order or issue of orders every two turns, and so on.

Divisional Commanders who have a better rating would be able to attack or defend multiple objectives at once, while poor Divisional Commanders would only be able to focus on the one objective. Some Divisional Commanders may be able to have their brigades perform certain actions that other divisions cannot (such as detaching/attaching bases etc).

YOUR OPINIONS

Please let me know should you have an idea about a command and control system you fell may work for the period. At present I’m leaning towards the v2 of Awareness Points. But I’d love to know what everyone else thinks.

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Game Choices

Initially when I started writing these rules I imagined a set of rules to simply play historical scenarios. To an extent this is still my intention, however having read some of the comments from various people I’ve decided to expand this some what.

POINTS

There will be a points system which will allow players to create pick up and play games where the forces are evenly matched.

I’ve already laid the basic ground work for the math behind the points and so these should be fairly simple to produce once we get to that stage.

RANDOM STRENGTH

Anyone who has played the Polemos system for Napoleonic will be familiar with the randomised army selection process. This will also be a feature for a Clausewitz, enabling players to choose how many generals they would like and then having a random number of battalions, squadrons and artillery units based on this.

HISTORICAL SCENARIOS

A scenario has already been written for the Battle of Rolica and this should be published either inside the rule book once it becomes available or as a downloadable file from this website.

SINGLE PLAYER

I’m also considering writing an AI system which would be available either through an app or via a page on this website. More news on this in the future.

CAMPAIGNS

A campaign systems will also be written further down the line and should be available also with the single player rule set.

CURRENT FOCUS

But these are all future ideas and at present the sole purpose is to make sure that the rule mechanics work, are reflective of the period and are not too difficult to master.

I’m currently working on making sure that the Command and Control is going to be suitable to the time period and fun to play.