Home Forums Horse and Musket Napoleonic Polemos GdD AAR – Battle of Elchingen 1805

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  • #105695
    Whirlwind
    Participant

    Please see here for another Polemos General de Division refight from 1805, using the Rise of Eagles scenario book.  This time it is Elchingen, with Marshal Nay leading elements of his Corps against the defending Austrians…

    https://hereticalgaming.blogspot.co.uk/

    #105702
    Bandit
    Participant

    This is a strikingly odd scenario for Elchingen in that it begins after the first half of Ney’s corps has crossed the Danube and doesn’t include the Danube in the terrain (to be clear – the Whirlwind isn’t doing anything wrong, this is exactly how the scenario is written, it just strikes me as weird). In the historical event, Ney’s lead division (Loison) has to force his way across the Danube. The bridges (there are two) are defended by an Austrian detachment and the second of the two has been significantly damaged and requires repair to cross.

    One of the big problems the historical events cause is: Why don’t the Austrians just move forward en masse? The historical answer is that there is another, unguarded, crossing point about 6-7 miles east at Leipheim. Both the Austrians (Riesch) and the French (Ney), know that Günzburg has fallen to the French and therefore the Leipheim bridge is available to the French. Therefore the Austrians have to be concerned that a French force could be moving on them from the east. Yet, Riesch’s “orders” from Mack, among other bizarre ramblings, tell him the French are actually in retreat and that Napoleon’s government in France is collapsing. On top of all that Riesch isn’t actually told what he is supposed to be doing at Elchingen. Oppose a French river crossing from the south? Don’t know. Orders don’t say. Prepare to hold against a French attack from the east on the north bank of the Danube? Don’t know. Orders don’t say. Prepare to pursue a retreating French army that has been winning? Yeah… strangely enough the orders sorta indicate that. It is just nuts.

    For fun, here are Mack’s orders (we included them in our scenario from Roll up that Map, 1805 in Germany, for fun and staging of the scenario):

    Ulm, 13 October 1805, in the evening

    My convictions!

    Bonaparte stays with the main column headed for Weissenhorn. He has done so because of the great difficulty in crossing the terrain on his way to the Iller which he intends to cross.
    A glance at the map shows that it would be nonsense to rush forward after Wiessenhorn because you would have to go back after Günzburg and that the Danube presents yet another detour to cross. This way from Günzburg is also difficult to travel due to the nature of the terrain.
    What we ought to do then, is to attack him first at Weissenhorn or at least on the day where he attempts to cross the Iller. Perhaps if by tomorrow he still has not crossed, then it presents a great chance, if he has not first taken the turn at Memmingen, that the column from which there is attempting to cross by the left bank of the Iller should be left behind. This would present a favorable opportunity to eliminate or annihilate this part, and if we fail to do so, he would probably think us foolish for not trying.
    The column advancing against Memmingen and the one on the left bank of the Danube are watching over this line of retreat. At least we must consider about taking the trouble to block this route of retreat and make it more difficult for him to reach the Rhine. Perhaps by then something will have happened to prevent him from crossing, especially since a Revolution has broken out.

    So, a trouble in designing a scenario for this battle is addressing the bridges on the Danube. Giving the Austrians cause not to just push forward on the river crossing point, and as part of that, address the strange orders and dispositions of the Austrian command – and to do this without hamstringing the players so they are forced to do dumb things. It is a tough one.

    How did you like it? You were able to pull out an Austrian win…

    Cheers,

    The Bandit

    #105704
    Whirlwind
    Participant

    Thanks very much for that Bandit, I really appreciate that context.

    How did you like it? You were able to pull out an Austrian win…

    It was a pretty good scenario.  Although I think it may be more fairly described as me pulling out a French defeat from the jaws of victory through clumsy handling of my pinning force (I approve of Riesch’s flanking demonstration with his Cuirassiers though).

    Possibly Michael Hopper eliminated the Danube crossing element of the scenario, as well as ignoring Mack’s orders, in order to create a more straightforward attack/defence affair?

     

     

    https://hereticalgaming.blogspot.co.uk/

    #105745
    Bandit
    Participant

    Possibly Michael Hopper eliminated the Danube crossing element of the scenario, as well as ignoring Mack’s orders, in order to create a more straightforward attack/defence affair?

    I’ve never talked to Michael about this scenario, but my assumption would be that starting it as he does was likely an obvious way to prevent potential major swings in game play based on the French getting across the Danube or not. The Austrians obviously knew they were crossing, they had troops engaged against him and Ney committed his artillery reserve to support the crossing. So there was an option for the Austrians to come down from the Elchingen area and push against the bridgehead, but if one allows for that, their scenario (as ours does), does become dependent on the intel given to the Austrian player being a guiding force in their decision making.

    Cheers,

    The Bandit

    • This reply was modified 2 years, 6 months ago by Bandit. Reason: typo
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