Category Archives: Austria

Battle of Elchingen 1805 Scenario

I’ve recently finished the first scenario for Tabletop Simulator which can be used by playtesters.

The Battle of Elchingen was chosen as the battle itself takes place between two fairly small and evenly matched forces of French and Austrians. The battle itself took place three days after the Battle of Haslach-Jungingen where the Austrians were badly mauled by the French. So, although in this scenario the Austrian’s have many more units than the French, a lot of these consist of only 2-3 combat dice each while the French units are roughly double this value.

Austrian forces holding the ridge between Ober-Elchingen and Unter-Elchingen

The battle starts at 8am where the French have to repair a Bridge over the river Danube in order to attack the Austrian forces and then head towards Ulm to block Mack’s retreat and keep him boxed in so that the Austrian’s are forced to surrender.

The Austrians hold the high ground between Ober-Elchingen and Unter-Elchingen while a small force is posted on the northern bank of the river to delay the French crossing.

The Bridge over the River Danube

In this scenario, the French player must first rebuild the bridge (done by rolling construction points each turn), then push forward and assault the ridge. Victory points are awarded for holding the river crossing, Ober-Elchingen and Unter-Elchingen.

Historically Marshal Ney was victorious in this battle by mid-afternoon, and for his performance Napoleon gave him the title of 1st Duke of Elchingen.

BEAT YOUR HISTORIC COUNTERPART

One of the purposes of building this rule set was to enable myself and other like-minded individuals the opportunity to compare their performance to that of the General commanding at the time. Therefore, if you achieve the below conditions you can safely say that you outperformed your historical counterpart.

In this scenario each hit counts as roughly 20 men killed or wounded.

The French
To beat Marshal Ney the bridge must be repaired by 10am and your forces must suffer less than 43 hits. You must also have captured all three objectives by turn 42.

The Austrians
To beat Feldmarschall-leutnant Riesche you must hold Unter-Elchingen and Ober-Elchingen until at least turn 42. You must also suffer less than 300 hits on your forces.

VICTORY

At the end of each turn players count up the number of objectives where only units of their forces are within 10cm of that objective, if any enemy units are also within 10cm then neither side scores the VP.

At the end of the game the player with the most VP wins a Tactical victory. The player with the most hits caused wins a Strategic victory. If a player is lucky enough to have both then they are considered to have won a major victory.

SINGLE-PLAYER
Plans are being drawn to also turn this into a single player game where the player can choose which force they would like to control. The other force will be controlled by the A.I. (by which we mean a pre-determined move or actions depending upon your own movements and actions). This however is a little way off yet.

To try this out download it from the Steam Workshop today.

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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 (-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 -2 modifier to any morale checks that the unit makes.
  • Impetuous (3+) – 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 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

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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