Tuesday 30 April 2019

Battle of Budweis - Moravia 1809

Over the weekend Stuart ran a Napoleonic game for the Rejects, of which Myself, Ray and Surjit were able to take part. As usual, we picked sides randomly out of a figurative hat and I was the odd one out ('odd' being the operative word). I would be playing the Austrians facing off against a combined Saxxon/Bavarian force.

The game Postie set up was a meeting engagement as lead elements of both sides encounter each other between a pair of vital river crossings in Moravia. The Saxonn/Bavarian forces outnumber the Austrians but the latter army has some better quality troops and generally better cavalry (and more of it). My Austrians are arrayed along a small ridgeline, approximately diagonal across the table.  

Order of Battle
Saxonn /Bavarian Army - IX Corps C/O Marshal Bernadotte
1st (Saxonn) Division  c/o GL von ZezSchwitz (Ray)
  1st Brigade c/o Gm Von Hartitzsch
    Liebgrenadier Garde (1) (Guard)
    Combined Grenadiers Radeloff (1) (Elite) 
    Combined Grenadiers von Bose (1) (Elite) 
    Combined Grenadiers Winkelmann (1) (Elite) 
    Combined Grenadiers Hacke (1) (Elite)
    1st Schurzen Light Infantry (1) (Line)
    Medium Gun Battery
  2nd Brigade c/o Gm von Zeschow
    Konig (1) (Line)
    Niesemeuschel (1) (Line)
    Von Obschelwitz (1) (Line)
    Von Dyherrn (1) (Line)
    Light Gun Battery
  Cavalry Brigade c/o Gm Freiherr von Gutschmid
    Garde du Corps (Guard)
    Karbineer Rgt (Elite)
    Prinz Clemens Cheval-Legars (Line)
    Hussar Regt (Line)
2nd (Bavarian)  c/o Gl Count Wrede (Surjit)
  1st Brigade c/o Gm Minucci
    No6 Laroche Light Infantry (1) (Line)
    No3 Prinz Karl (2) (Line)
    No12 Line (2) (Line)
    Medium Gun Battery
  2nd Brigade c/o Gm Beckers
    No6 Herzog Wilhelm (2) (Line)
    No7 Lowenstein (2) (Line)
    Medium Gun Battery
  Cavalry Brigade c/o Gm Preysing
    No2 Konig Cheval-Legars (Line)
    No3 Leinngen Cheval-Legars (Line)
    Heavy Gun Battery

Austrian Army c/o Archduke Charles (Lee)
Avantgarde c/o FML Nordmann
  1st Brigade c/o GM Peter Vecsey
    No12 Primatial Hussars (Elite)
    No58 Beaulie (2) (Line)
    Lower Manhartsberg Landwehr (1) (Militia)
    1st Jagers (Rifle) (1) (Elite)
    Light Gun Battery
  2nd Brigade c/o Gm Mayer
    No4 Deutschmeister (3) (Line)
    No49 Kerpen (3)  (Line)
    Untere Wiener Wold 5thB Landwehr (1) (Militia)
    Untere Wiener Wold 6thB Landwehr (1) (Militia)
Reserve Corp c/o FML Prochaska
  3rd Brigade c/o GM Steyner
    1st Combined Grenadiers Hahn (1) (Elite)
    2nd Combined Grenadiers Hromode (1) (Elite)
    3rd Combined Grenadiers Legrand (1) (Elite)
    1st Combined Grenadiers Demontant (1) (Elite)
    1st Combined Grenadiers Berger (1) (Elite)
    Heavy Gun Battery
Cavalry Reserve c/o FML Hessen-Homburg
  5th Brigade c/o Roussel
    No2 EH Franz Curassiers (Elite)
    No3 Herzog Albert Curassiers  (Elite)
  6th Brigade c/o GM Rothkirch
    No1 EH Johann 3rd Dragoons  (Elite)
    No6 Riesch 4th Dragoons  (Elite)
    Horse Artillery Battery
  7th Brigade c/o GM Wartensleben
    No6 Blankenstein Hussars  (Elite)
    No3 O'Reilly Cheval-Legers (Elite)
    Horse Artillery Battery

The Action

Initial Setup with each Brigade identified with the commander's name. The Austrian 1st Brigade started the game off the table and could appear any time in the first three turns effectively 'behind' the Saxonn/Bavarian lines.  

My plan for the Austrians was to hold the ridgeline with the infantry while the Cavalry Reserve under Hessen-Homburg secured the right flank. All my cavalry were Elite and most were heavy so I fully expected to sweep this clear in a few turns. With the flank secure I would advance the Grenadiers into the centre held by the Saxonns. Meanwhile, the 1st Brigade of the Advantgarde would enter the battle behind the Bavarians (off to the left and out of shot in that last picture) and hopefully draw off the attack I expected on the left of my line. This was my weak point being mostly line class troops and a couple of Militia regiments.

View down the table looking across the Austrian lines towards the Bavarians (Surjit) on the left and the Saxonn's (Ray) to the right. 

The battle commences - The Saxonn/Bavarian line surges forward but the Saxonn Cavalry wisely keeps their distance.

I stick to the ridgeline and try to shuffle my line to the left to strengthen the weak 2nd Brigade. I move my Cavalry forwards a little timidly. More crucially I don't make full use of my Horse Artillery. I could have moved them much further forwards to goad the Saxonn Cavalry into advancing. I've never been confident with Napoleonic Cavalry and that showed this game. 

The first couple of turns move quickly and in turn three I bring on my 1st Brigade, behind the Bavarian flank. With hindsight, I should have brought them on earlier to lure away more of the Bavarians and to give my troops time to get into the battle. They did tie up the Bavarian Cavalry and a Heavy Gun Battery but their impact on the game wasn't what I had hoped. 

Ignoring the appearance of my 1st Brigade the Saxonn/Bavarians continue their plan, calmly advancing towards my lines. 

On my left flank, the Bavarians advance in column and concentrate on my weakest spot. 

The First Bavarian Columns to reach my line (the extreme left of the 2nd Brigade) aim directly for a weakened unit which has taken severe casualties from some incredibly accurate fire from the Laroche Light Infantry. 

Meanwhile elements of the Saxon 2nd Brigade charge at another section of my 2nd Brigade holding the hill. 

The left of my line and most of my 2nd Brigade is under pressure. 

The melee on the hill does not go well. The Saxons only manage to push my unit back (thankfully they only just win the melee and I'm not routed) but it still opens a gap in my linen and leaves my light gun exposed to a follow-up charge. 

In the distance, over on the right of the line, the Saxonn Grenadiers begin to advance. Meanwhile, the Austrian and Saxonn cavalry smash into each other (more on that later).

The Austrian 2nd Brigade under pressure. 

This is turn four or five of the game and both armies are now locked in mortal combat. 

Ray steals the cakes before anyone else can get near them. He shared them, eventually, but for a moment his eyes lit up and I could see him doing the math....

The Bavarian columns have not only beaten but utterly destroyed the line unit they targeted. There is now a gaping hole on my flank and the only thing I have in reserve is a Landwehr regiment! 
The victorious Bavarian columns follow through and charge into two more of my units, including the aforementioned Landwehr. 

On the hill, the victorious Saxonn's follow through and charge the fleeing Austrians and my gun battery. 

With things falling apart on my left flank my hopes now rest with my cavalry on the right flank. 

Normally my dice rolls are rubbish but not this time! Fives and Sixes hit and I nearly wipe out a regiment of Saxonn Cuirassiers. 

Follow up charges should decide this cavalry melee but I have lost a Brigade commander and one of my Dragoon regiments has taken a beating an had to fall back. 

Despite winning the cavalry clash the end result is a disaster. Losing that brigade commander in the melee forced a Brigade check on my Light Cavalry and they fail badly. The whole Brigade, including an as yet uncommitted and fresh regiment of Hussars, disperse! I'm gutted and my initial plan is now in tatters. 

Meanwhile, my 1st Brigade is pinned down by the Bavarian Cavalry and accompanying heavy gun battery. My infantry are not going to get into a position to have any significant impact on the game. I should have brought these on much earlier in the battle.

I could start to move my Grenadiers forward now but it's taken so long to clear the flank the correct time has passed. Loosing the Cavalry to a Brigade morale check has completely taken the wind out of my sails and my left flank is crumbling and starting to be rolled up by the Bavarians. This battle is unwinnable now and I decide to throw in the towel. 

Ray gets a medal for winning five games in a row! 

The laughing general then explains what I did wrong. I can't disagree with him, my plan was a mess and nothing seemed to go well. 


There are days when I wonder why I 'enjoy' wargaming because frankly, I'm shit at it. I have the tactical aptitude of a peanut. And I'm even worse with Napoleonics so when I drew the Austrians out of the hat my heart sank. I was in for a thrashing before we had even stepped into the shed-o-war. That being said I thought I had a solid plan but clearly not. My inexperience and ineptitude cost me, dear, this game and I got the result I fully deserved. 


  1. The memories flood back, better quality of cake these days too, commiserations old boy!

    1. He knew there was only three of us coming to the game but he bought enough cake for a dozen people. I think he's fattening me up for the slaughter.

  2. An exciting looking game and great armies. Commiserations, but those cakes do look good!

    1. I enjoy the formality of the period, the uniforms the spectacle...but wargaming the period, that's another matter.

  3. A lovely looking game but, as a lover of playing the Austrians in any period, I feel for your loss. I'm rubbish at Nappies too as I really don't how to handle the cavalry. Give me the SYW or the 1860's - 1870's!

    1. My poor handling of Napoleonic cavalry is legendary. I'm getting a little better at it and this game I had some excellent results with my cavalry....right up to that blasted Brigade Check!

  4. Super looking game and enjoyable read, Lee! Tough luck on your left but, my, what a roll in the large cavalry clash.

    1. That was the best dice roll I have had in years, six hits out of eight dice. Ying and yang though cos I paid for that good fortune with the Brigade Moral Check later in the game!

    2. My dice rolls are so bad that no one in my club will use dice that I have touched! I'm thinking of a club rule that my opponents roll my dice for me.

  5. I envy your table and playing space ;)

    1. Posties Shed-o-War is ideal for our group. The table is 6x12ft with space to move around the outside and lots of storage beneath it. We are fortunate to be friends with such a well endowed wargamer (!)... less said about the things we have to put up with in order to enjoy the benefits of association!!
      (#MeToo lol)

  6. Lovely looking game and nice cakes! It sounds like fun anyway!
    Best Iain

    1. Yes. I've always taken the attitude that win or loose its playing the game and having a laugh with my mates that counts... although this outcome did test my resolve a little!

  7. Replies
    1. How about "sorry I ate all the cakes" ?!?

  8. Wonderful looking game, great terrain and armies!


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