Klagenfurt 1809 AAR

The 1809 battle fought outside the Austrian city of Klagenfurt was the last WR historical scenario game played in YR2015. Small scenario, with a smaller stage of miniatures comparing to the recent games mentioned on WR. The scenario background and events leading up to this unusual Franco-Italian-Austrian battle fought in the backwaters of Inner Austria was covered last September under Klagenfurt 1809. Till writing up this scenario report, WR didn’t notice that his last two historical scenarios occurred on the same day, June 6th for both Klagenfurt and Pointe du Hoc. Wasn’t planned that way WR can assure the readership. So, to the action packed nineteen turn report and the first use of WR’s latest terrain addition… his recently textured fortress centerpiece on the gaming table.

Being a small scenario, Dan M. commanded the aggressive GD Rusca and his Franco-Italians (playing side 1) and Daniel, son of WR, commanded the Austrians (side 2) as FML Chasteler. The scenario design, forces involved, and notes of play can be referred to in the Klagenfurt scenario notes file (.doc): Klagenfurt Scenario notes 

The sunny day scenario starts with the Franco-Italian brigades deployed in Klagenfurt itself or just outside the city walls on the southeastern corner glacis. The pre-dawn morning hours have seen the eastbound Austrian Tyrol Korps marching quietly around the city of Klagenfurt via the secondary roads south of Klagenfurt. Austrian brigade detachments, true to their style of napoleonic cordon command, are stationed along the route of march and form the rearguard. They will rejoin the main body after the trains and baggage wagons have crossed the Glan River. With the rise of daylight and a sunny day, the French commander, GD Rusca watched the larger Austrian army by-pass his garrisoned fortress city. Late in the morning (1100 hours), he viewed from the Marienkirche church tower a gap forming between the Austrian Korps main body and the rearguard detachments. Seeing his opportunity, the Franco-Italian garrison sortie forth and the Battle of Klagenfurt begins.

The following photograph show the initial scenario tabletop deployments. The Austrians are somewhat fixed to certain tabletop grid squares at start. The Franco-Italians have some flexibility in their initial deployment allowing them to sortie (from Klagenfurt) based upon their scenario strategy. For this game, Dan chose to retain the French (Julhien) brigade in reserve (cover fortress gates etc.) and sortie with the larger Italian (Bertoletti) brigade, positioned outside the fortress walls on the southeast open glacis.

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The starting deployment and scenario set up. Austrian advance guard and main body in foreground, GM Schmidt’s brigade outside Klagenfurt at left, and Oberst Volkmann’s brigade on Kalvarienberg heights behind Klagenfurt. The Franco-Italian brigade around Klagenfurt.

Scenario map for the Klagenfurt tabletop

Scenario map for the Klagenfurt june 1809 tabletop. Each 1 foot square is 600 yards.

Scenario map with starting command positions. Note the Italian brigade used the option to deploy in E4 map square at start.

Scenario map with starting command positions. Note the Italian brigade used the option to deploy in E4 map square at start.

Close up of the French deployment. Bertoletti’s Italians form up on the southeast glacis with Attack* order. The French Julhien brigade remain in the city walls as reserves with Attack order. Dan will need to lower the aggressive order for the French brigade to avoid excessive MFP depletion.

*Note: WR uses a simple set of “orders” for each command in the game. Commands vary in size… they range from single units (ie battalion) all the way up to Divisional size of 10-12 battalions with artillery and cavalry. Most scenarios involve Army/Corps/Wing/Divisional command levels with occasion cavalry brigade. If no Corps level or higher level commands present, then the lower level Divisional/Brigade/Unit command structure is used. The order system limits what formations could be used, how aggressive the command (read player) can be vs. enemy formations, and limits the ability to charge cavalry or engage in minimum range (effective range) firepower. Each hour the command Morale Fatigue Points (MFP) “cost” is calculated and applied against the combined current MFP total of each side. Above all this is the ability for commands or units to sometime “violate their orders” with a substantial per unit MFP penalty. Battlefield command and order management strongly influences the outcome of all WR scenarios. Players cannot just attack on all fronts, with all commands under Attack orders, including their reserves, while the opposite side carefully manages their commands and limits the order MFP cost expenditure. Summarized on the charts posted at end of this blog article.

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Franco-Italian division in Klagenfurt. GD in the Marienkirche, GB Julhien French brigade inside, the Italian brigade under GB Bertoletti deploying outside on the southeast glacis.

The Austrian deployment occupies three zones. Their advance guard starts the scenario entering the village of St. Peter. Strung out behind them, along the secondary road, is the Tyrol Korps HQ base and ammunition train, then the Main body command, followed by the three baggage wagons attached to every Corps level HQ command under the rules. These three baggage wagons represent all the baggage and personal carts for all the infantry or cavalry commands under the Corps hierarchy (typically three or more wagons at one per command ratio). All Austrian commands except Brigade Schmidt have March orders (battle mode) while GM Schmidt has Engage orders.

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Austrian Tyrol Korps main body and baggage trains marching around Klagenfurt. The advance guard brigade is entering St. Peter with Korps HQ and FML Chasteler following.

The other two Austrian deployment zones are: Brigade Schmidt just south of Klagenfurt with a small detachment (Luis Schutzen) outside the western Klagenfurt gate, and the brigade detachment under Oberst Volkmann positioned atop the Kalvarienberg heights west of Klagenfurt. Lastly, just off the western map edge is the grenzer detachment guarding the last baggage and ammunition trains.

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Austrian brigade detachments forming the rearguard. GM Schmidt’s in foreground and Oberst Volkmann’s on the Kalvarienberg heights. Note the small Luis Schutzen detachment outside the western gate.

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Oberst Volkmann’s brigade overlooks Klagenfurt from the Kalvarienberg heights.

1100 hours: Opening scenario turn. Franco-Italian forces have first movement (side1) and start their field movement towards Brigade Schmidt. Brigade Schmidt has special rules preventing unit movement until they spot the approaching French or Italian battalions within six inches. Dan, as the Franco-Italian commanding player, has upfront decisions to make. Does Dan go for the small brigade detachment of GM Schmidt first, with just the Italians or apply both brigades against them? Does he advance on the rear column of Austrians wagons, exposed on the open southern roadway using his small cavalry detachments? Place all his forces outside the fortress and risk a stray Austrian unit entering the city gate behind him? Careful balance of unit management is required. Dan choses to retain the French brigade in Klagenfurt for the opening moves and assault Brigade Schmidt with just the Italians. The Austrians wagon trains will have freedom of movement towards the safety of the eastern road exit.

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Italian brigade under Bertoletti marches out to engage the small brigade under GM Schmidt. To avoid activating the Austrian brigade, they stay six inches away from the inattentive Austrians.

While Brigade Schmidt lies unaware of the Italian advance through the tall wheat fields, the Austrian main body and advance guard commands turn to face the Klagenfurt fortress. Baggage wagons and ammunition trains continue their movement towards the Glan River crossing and safety.

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Austrian main body and advance guard commands turn to march closer to Klagenfurt while their trains and wagons continue along the secondary roadway.

1120 hours: French second movements prepare the sudden onrush against Brigade Schmidt. But seeing the approach of Austrian cavalry from their Main body command, the Italian brigade’s effort is diluted. This will have consequences once the attack on the Brigade Schmidt begins.

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The Italian brigade splits itself to approach Brigade Schmidt and cover the approaching Austrian cavalry #2 Hohenzollern Chevau-leger regiment.

Daniel’s Austrian plan was to draw off some of the Franco-Italian sortie strength to weaken their attack on the exposed Brigade Schmidt. Especially since the French brigade is still within the city walls. By causing any form of combat, firepower or cavalry charges, the Austrian brigade “wakes up” and can start movement (per the Brigade Schmidt restriction rules)… hopefully away from the forthcoming Italian surprise assault. Austrian Main body changes order to Engage.

Order type shown by colored base stands under the actual commander miniature. Red=Attack, Yellow=Engage, Orange=Defend, Green=March, Blue=Reserve or Rest.

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Austrian cavalry forms line to prepare their charge across the narrow Stadt Kanal. The only Austrian battery of 6 pdrs opens fire on the Italian 1st Chasseurs a’ cheval. GM Schmidt hears the cannon fire.

1140 hours: Start of the French turn for movement (side1). First phase is MFP calculations from previous half turn (none) then the Austrian Charge Declaration and Rally phases (SOP chart below). The Austrian #2 Hohenzollern Chevau-leger regiment sounds their charge causing the receiving charge morale test on the Italian cavalry. Italian squadron morale disorders but the Istrian light battalion holds firm in their square formation (no morale test required if already in square).

Quick note for SOP chart below. Franco-Italian are Side 1, the Austrians Side 2 during the Klagenfurt scenario.

Sequence of Play clip

Sequence of Play clip showing the steps for each game turn.

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The Austrian #2 Hohenzollern Chevau-leger regiment charges and causes morale disorder in the Italian 1st Chasseurs a’ cheval squadron.

After the Austrian Charge and Rally phases the Franco-Italian perform their unit movements. The French brigade is summoned to send one battalion and their attached Italian 2nd Chasseurs a’ cheval squadron out the western gate. The remaining French line battalion mans the eastern gateway whist the French 6 pdr artillery battery limbers up in the central plaza.

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French brigade sends one battalion and their attached Italian Chasseurs a’ cheval out the western gate. The other battalion mans the eastern gateway while the French battery holds in main plaza.

After the French 1140 hours French (side 1) Movement phase is completed. The following Shock phase sends the Austrian #2 Hohenzollern Chevau-legers charging into the ranks of the morale disordered Italian 1st Chasseurs a’ cheval. A weak volley from the nearby Istrian light battalion square causes non loss on the passing Austrian cavalry.

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While the Italian battery opens fire on the skirmishing grenzers in Brigade Schmidt, the Istrian squares fires a passing volley (no effect) into the charging Austrian cavalry, whom soon scatter the morale disordered Italian Chasseurs.

With Italian chasseurs a’ cheval fleeing from their crossed swords combat, the Italian infantry battalions are closing the distance between them and the stationary Austrian infantry. WR uses the words “closing the distance” since the opposite side (ie Side 2 Austrian) Movement phase is completed before any shock or assault combat is conducted. In other words, the receiving side has a chance to maneuver their units before the actual shock combat is performed. The only exceptions occur during cavalry counter-charge situations which may cause shock actions before reactionary movement. The Italian 6 pdr foot battery causes a miniature loss in the grenzer skirmishers.

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With Italian chasseurs a cheval fleeing the fight, the Austrian cavalry pull up near the Istrian square. Meanwhile, The Italian infantry columns are approaching the static Austrian infantry.

The Austrian half turn. First up are the French Charge Declaration and Rally phases. The just sortied Italian 2nd Chasseurs a’ cheval squadron charges forth at the weak skirmish line manned by the Luis Schutzen company. Their required receiving morale test causes total failure and they start running. They cannot out run the charging cavalry….. and become two red markers on the tabletop.

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Trumpeters sound the charge and the Italian 2nd Chasseur a’ cheval squadron charges forth to run down the hapless fleeing Luis Schutzen company. The blue felt represents the Lend Kanal.

Finally seeing the Italian infantry approach. GM Schmidt maneuvers his two battalions to receive the Italian attack. Several technical Movement phase steps are undertaken which WR will describe.

Step One: The skirmishing 2nd Banal Grenz battalion closes formation (open to linear) to form a linear firing line during the Italian battalions advance to contact. The Italians fire their “opportunity doubled firing,” caused by change of formation in enemy minimum fire zone, ie…at the closing grenzer ranks. One grenzer miniature hit and removed, causing immediate morale firepower loss test. They passed. Note that the shock combat hasn’t occurred yet and that unit formation changes and/or facing actions are completed before moving units.

Step Two: The two detached 3rd rank skirmisher miniatures from the Austrian IR #52 Franz Karl battalion retire from the central Italian columnar assault and rejoin with their parent battalion. The advancing Italians fired their opportunity double firing at the retiring skirmishers but cause no miniature loss.

Step Three: The Austrian IR #53 Franz Karl formed battalion, flanked by the Italian 4th Line battalion, changes formation and facing to turn the battalion to the approaching Italian 4th Line column. Again, changing formation or facing within the enemy’s minimum 2″ musket fire zone allows the advancing Italian line battalion to fire into the massed flank ranks with double effect. One Austrian fusilier miniature bits the ground but the battalion passes their firepower loss morale check. Note that all the Austrian units above did formation, facing, or retirement moves before the advancing Italians, they suffered opportunity firepower, some miniature losses causing morale checks, which they passed.

With the two miniatures lost, the Brigade Schmidt reaches their 20% loss level and hereon suffer -1 CMR unit morale (Combat Morale Rating)) for the balance of the scenario. A 20% loss marker placed next to the brigade commander miniature to remind the players.

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As described in the text (steps one to three) above, the Austrian battalions suffer some losses changing formation before the advancing Italians.

Austrian Movement phase completed, the Franco-Italian Shock phase is next after a brief Command phase. Command phase is when both sides commanders can join or disengage with units and change their command orders. Shock phases are a back and forth phase action which one shock combat or charge action (including movement of charging cavalry miniatures) is completed by one player/team side then the phase flips over to the opposite player/team side to perform one of their (if available) shock actions. Note that the side which just completed their movement is allowed only counter-charging cavalry during their shock actions. See the sequence of play chart above.

Franco-Italians have the first shock action and choice of which of the two infantry shock attacks to perform first. Dan decides on the assault against the grenz battalion. The 2nd Banal Grenz battalion rolls their receiving morale test first. They pass the roll and open fire on the Italian legere battalion in column. Final shock combat firing is doubled against assaulting enemy units. One Italian legere miniature thumps to the ground, their required morale test from miniature firepower loss causes morale disorder in the ranks. Determining the shock table chart, the d6 is rolled and the Italians suffer another morale disorder and retreat. Having two morale disorders cause immediate rout to the rear. That Italian 2nd legere battalion immediately routs 10″ back towards their friendly fortress gateway.

Now the shock option becomes an Austrian choice, but since they have no cavalry to roll opportunity counter charges and don’t have any cavalry already in a state of charge (declared previously and rolled for from nearby Franco-Italian movements). So the shock option returns to the Franco-Italian side again.

The Italian 4th Line battalion charges home against the Austrian IR #52 Franz Karl battalion. Final shock firing (doubled) causes two Italian miniatures to be removed. Morale test failure equals morale disorder on their morale test roll. Rolling the staggered Italians effort on the shock table gives another disordered retreat which becomes routing Italians. Both shock assaults have been seen off by the Austrian Schmidt Brigade.

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The final result of the Italian Bertoletti brigade assaults. Two battalions broken and in flight. But Schmidt Brigade is battered with 20% losses.

Seems the lack of French infantry assistance during this opening turns may come to haunt the Franco-Italian side…. time will tell if both brigades should have sortied from the fortress.

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End of the 1140 hours turn. The approach of the Austrian Main body at right near the Stadt Kanal.

1200 hours: The struggle between the Italians and Brigade Schmidt continue. The Istrian battalion forms linear formation against the flanked and disorder #2 Hohenzollern Chevau-legers then fires a raking volley into their flank. Losing one miniature the chevau-legers flee from the musketry. The remaining Italian 1st Legere battalion forms line and advances against the open flank of the IR #52 Franz Karl battalion who just saw off the Italian 4th Line battalion. Another Austrian fusilier drops from musketry volleys and the resulting disorder causes the battalion to break and flee. GM Schmidt, attached that moment to the battalion, suffers a light leg wound, and is briefly taken away for two turns. Units fired upon with commander attached have a 5% chance, per miniature hit, for the commander to be hit.

Austrian Main body continues their slow advance across the Stadt Kanal, pressing the Italian brigade’s flank while the sole remaining unit of Brigade Schmidt, the 2nd Banal Grenz, changes back to open order skirmishing and retires a bit. One battalion of Brigade Volkmann has positioned itself guarding the western bridge. Lastly, the Austrian advance guard supports the Main body by guarding against any French sortie from the eastern Klagenfurt gate. The Austrian train and baggage wagons continue their road movement eastwards. The small rear 2nd Banal Grenz detachment, guarding another baggage and ammunition train, enters the scenario at the western road entrance.

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1200 hours turn completed. Brigade Schmidt is broken, the Italians rally one battalion in rout. The other still heading for the protection of Klagenfurt.

1220 hours: Pressing the skirmishing 2nd Banal Grenz, the Italian 1st Legere battalion supported by the rallied Italian 1st Chasseurs a’ cheval, push back the grenzers. The recently charging Italian 2nd Chasseurs a’ cheval, fresh from running down the hapless Luis Schutzen, ride towards the fleeing IR #52 Franz Karl battalion. Brigade Schmidt is now scattered across the open fields while the Austrian Main body slowly pressures the other half of Bertoletti’s Italian brigade. The French brigade is still in Klagenfurt, except for their Italian 2nd Chasseurs a’ cheval chasing down the Franz Karl battalion.

With the destruction of Brigade Schmidt, the small 2nd Banal Grenz detachment guarding the last baggage and ammunition trains, is turned around to exit the tabletop. They cannot continue forward unless already in or past the C6 map grid (south of Klagenfurt).

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Remnants of Brigade Schmidt are scattered across the open battlefield. Austrian Main body slowly pressures the other half of the Italian brigade.

The Italian 2nd Chasseurs a’ cheval with GB Julhien, having positioned their charge during the Franco-Italian Movement phase, sound the trumpets to charge the fleeing IR #52 Franz Karl battalion at the start of the Austrian half turn.

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IR #52 Franz Karl battalion is charged while fleeing the battlefield. GB Julhien is attached.

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Quick sabre end to the Austrian battalion. Except for the reduced 2nd Banal Grenz battalion, Brigade Schmidt is no more.

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General overview of the battlefield. The Italian show a brave front to the Austrian Main body. The Austrian advance guard brigade still is under March orders and in their battalion columns.

1240 hours: The Italian Istrian light battalion is joined by the Italian 1st Chasseurs a’ cheval, the rallied 2nd Italian Legere battalion, and the 6 pdr Italian foot battery. The shaken Italian 1st Chasseurs a’ cheval fails to charge the advancing Austrian 2nd Bruck landwehr battalion in column. Dan finally releases the French brigade. It starts to advance the 67th Line, one large line battalion, out the southern Klagenfurt gate led by their brigade 6 pdr foot battery. The other French line battalion, the 93rd Line, controls the eastern gate against any Austrian advance guard advance into Klagenfurt.

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An Italian battle-line forms but the Italian Chasseurs a’ cheval fails their charge morale roll.

The Austrian response. Riding forward their rallied #2 Hohenzollern Chevau-leger regiment. the Austrian cavalry is placed within four inches of the re-rallied Italian chasseurs’ opportunity (4″) charge zone.  Joined by GB Bertoletti in person, the chasseurs opportunity charge the chevau-legers. The Austrians, seeing the charge form up, roll and pass their counter-charge morale test. Both cavalry lines charge forward with sabers held high. Breaking the Austrian chevau-legers, the now emboldened Italian cavalry crash into the startled Austrian 2nd Bruck landwehr battalion behind the Austrian chevau-legers. Both sides lose miniatures. The sudden combat ends as the Austrian landwehr break and flee. The battalion column following, the 1st Villach landwehr, seeing their fellow soldiers chased by the Italian cavalry, join the 2nd Bruck battalion fleeing the area. The Austrian Main body general advance grinds to a halt.

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The emboldened Italian chasseurs charge the advancing Austrian cavalry led by GB Bertoletti.

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Winning the cavalry engagement, the Italian cavalry chase away two landwehr battalions.

1300 hours: Placing the arriving French 67th battalion into the Italian battle line, the Italian Brigade, with the French, slowly advance and send out their legere battalion to cover the open right flank. The attached French 6 pdr battery joins the Italian 6 pdr foot battery and together bombard the Austrian positions. Meanwhile, the other French battalion, the 93rd Line, exits the eastern gateway in column, threatening the Austrian advance guard still in their battalion march columns.

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The French have sortied and join up with the Italian Brigade. Austrian advance guard is threatened by the sortie of the 93rd Line battalion.

Seeing the Franco-Italian advance, and hearing about the destruction of Brigade Schmidt, the Austrian Main body retires across the Stadt Kanal to reform and join the rallied two landwehr battalions. Their 6 pdr brigade battery unlimbered to engage the advancing Italians. The advance guard changes to Engage orders and deploys out in skirmisher formations to contest the 93rd Line battalion sortie from the eastern gate..

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Austrian advance guard deploys out into skirmisher formations (at right). The Main body retires across the Stadt Kanal. French 93rd Line battalion sortie from eastern gate.

1320 hours: Seeing the Austrian pull back, Dan figures its time to return into Klagenfurt and maybe deal with the Austrian Volkmann Brigade up on the Kalvarienberg. Chasing the Austrian Main body eastward, which still out numbers his battalion count, is unwise since the Volkmann Brigade could assault Klagenfurt’s token defenders… the two miniature strong sapper detachment guarding the western gate. Both French and Italian units retire towards the southern gate and the 93rd Line retires back through the eastern gate.

Having done what the Austrian Main body could to apply pressure, Daniel slowly retires the Austrian eastern units towards the St. Peter bridge crossing over the Glan River. Order changes for both sides are sent out via ADC’s to change from Engage or Attack orders into basic March therefore conserving some valuable army MFP points.

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Both sides on the eastern battlefield disengage and new orders sent out via the ADC’s.

1340 hours: Now the battle changes from the destroy Brigade Schmidt or engage the Austrian Main body game play to a game of just marching units quickly. Sounds boring but to reach the final action with Brigade Volkmann the Franco-Italian units need to march through Klagenfurt, get their “victory parade” feeling (+1 CMR morale, basically changes them from conscript to average line grade), and then exit Klagenfurt on the northern gateway to destroy the Volkmann Brigade atop Kalvarienberg.

For the Austrians, secure in knowing that the three baggage wagons and one ammunition train have crossed the Glan River, just need to have a presence on the western Glan River at scenario end (per victory conditions) and have Oberst Volkmann hold any portion of the Kalvarienberg heights. With the Franco-Italian division marching away this will be a non-issue on the eastern sector. Their big problem now is their current MFP usage level. With the losses in Brigade Schmidt, injury to GM Schmidt himself, and several battered units in the Main body, their MFP level will exceed their MFP threshold (break point) soon. Simply put… the Austrian forces across the scenario tabletop will be going -1 CMR (morale) every hourly turn, starting at 1400 hours, for the remainder of the scenario. This cumulative morale effect will force the Austrian army to exit the tabletop if threatened since passing morale tests become difficult unless elite grade units. Elite units can afford to lose some CMR factor… they become line grade. But landwehr militia grade units are another matter… there are lots of landwehr militia grade units in the Austrian Tyrol Korps. They just shatter if threatened by any morale test.

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Austrian battalions from Main body and advance guard converge at St. Peter in preparation to cross the Glan River. A token detachment will remain on the western bank.

1400 hours: French and Italian battalion, passing their batteries, march through Klagenfurt in road mode (strategic march), receive their “promotion” from conscript to regular (+1 CMR), cheered by their morning actions, and soon exit the northern gate still in road mode columns. By now the isolated Brigade Volkmann has returned to the difficult terrain Kalverienberg to await (for Austrian honor in victory conditions) the final Franco-Italian assault. Lucky for the Franco-Italians their running MFP level hasn’t reached critical stage yet but by changing their orders from Attack to March conserved order MFP points and delayed their MFP threshold (break point) being reached.

The Austrians have exceed their army MFP threshold level. Minus one CMR for remainder of scenario for all units.

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Brigade Volkmann up on the Kalverienberg. Franco-Italian battalions march through Klagenfurt. GD Rusca doffs his hat to his brave Italian and French conscripts.

Still, there is Austrian spunk. The attached #2 Hohenzollern Chevau-leger squadron iattached to Brigade Volkmann charges the careless French 93rd Line battalion in road mode column. Looks ugly. A road side massacre in the making?

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Possible road side massacre when the Austrian Chevau-lger detachment charges the exposed French 93rd Line battalion.

The 93rd Line battalion didn’t even think of standing their ground. One quick glance at the morale test roll (a 8), and they flee back towards their approaching friends.

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Seeing charging Austrian cavalry, the 93rd bolts for the safety of Klagenfurt. Chasing them is too much for the Austrian Chevau-leger squadron. Anyway… they slowed the Franco-Italian advance.

1420 hours: While the French and Italian battalion form proper battle mode formations after the scare with the 93rd Line battalion, the Austrians near St. Peter see a battered but proud reduced battalion marching up the road. Yes… the survivors of Brigade Schmidt or the 2nd Banal Grenz battalion with the patched up GM Schmidt leading them. Three miniatures out of sixteen or suffering 81% loss for the brigade during the Battle of Klagenfurt. The 60% or greater loss marker is besides their commander.

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The arrival near St. Peter of the remains of Brigade Schmidt, led by their patched up commander.

1440-1500 hours: Quick turns with limited action. The Franco-Italian battalion, along with their artillery batteries slowly position themselves below the tall Kalverienberg heights. The Austrians under Oberst Volkmann prepare to receive the assault across the very difficult ground.

Austrian army morale at 1500 hours drops another level. Now minus two CMR for every possible morale test and starting to become serious. For comparative purpose. the basic line grade unit starts with 6 CMR grade. Morale tests roll d10 with zero equaling zero and not ten. To pass a clean morale test, roll one d10. If equal or below 6 the unit past its morale test assuming no modifiers (7 chances out of 10). Officers generally adjust by one pip. Terrain and other factors influence the result too. So a fresh, un-bloodied battalion, like those on the Kalvarienberg now, have changed from 6 CMR to 4 CMR due to the army morale drop, assuming no additional modifiers taken into account.

Still, the Austrian #2 Hohenzollern Chevau-legers are spunky. Again they charge the growing mass of Franco-Italian battalions to delay their advance. No French or Italian morale issues generated but their charge zone causes half movement speed for the Franco-Italian battalions. French 67th battalion, a large battalion of 10 miniatures (old 9 company organization) boldly forms a wide but massed formation (double ranks) and receives the charge not in square. A dangerous move on Dan’s part… will it pay off and remove the Austrian cavalry for good?

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Boldly the Austrian chevau-legers charge again but this time the Franco-Italian battalion stand firm.

Standing firm, the 67th final close range volley of musketry is fired. When the smoke dissipates, the Austrian chevau-leger ranks and horses are tumbled into the ground. All this is happening as the French and Italian commanders gather just behind the 67th for new orders of Attack. Dan now realizes that with the issued Attack orders his army will reach their MFP army morale break point on the 1600 hours turn. Speed is the requirement now or the Austrians will be on that high and difficult terrain hill at scenario end.

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End of the Austrian chevau-leger squadron lies before the leveled bayonets of the 67th Line battalion. Italian battalion columns advance towards the Kalvarienberg heights.

1520 hours: Quickly marching, the leading Franco-Italian battalions reach the base of Kalvarienberg. The fresh Italian 2nd Chasseurs a’ cheval squadron is sent to the southern edge of the Kalvarienberg. Should be noted that cavalry and artillery cannot cross the steep and difficult Kalvarienberg terrain. Infantry only fight looms ahead.

Kalvarienberg terrain causes automatic terrain disorder if a unit marches or changes formation on the tall heights. Also, close order formation movement is reduced by four inches. so a linear formation of French or Italian infantry can move only 3 inches (7-4=3″) atop the heights and be terrain disordered (-2 CMR in shock combat). Franco-Italian columns can move 9″ on flat ground but only 5″ on the Kalvarienberg. So this will become  “in your face” close action quickly with the limited ability to march about. Lastly, the heights also have medium woods in some sections. These woods reduce the column movement another 2″ and linear by 4″. So no line formation can march about on the wooded steep Kalvarienberg.

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Austrians prepared for the Franco-Italian assault. They have marched about and understand the difficult terrain. The French and Italians now are faced with the same task under Austrian eyes.

1540 hours: Slowly the Italian 1st and 2nd Legere battalions work their way into the northern side Kalvarienberg woods but still off the actual steep Kalvarienberg heights. They push back the weak 3rd rank skirmishers from the end IR #53 Johann Jellacic 1st battalion. The large 67th Line battalion advances in column atop the heights but just out of musketry range in the medium woods (2″ range).

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While two Italian Legere battalion march into the lower woods, engaging the 3rd rank IR #53 skirmishers, the large 67th Line battalion column marches up the Kalvarienberg heights.

Austrian response is to form all round defense with their left flank IR #53 Johann Jellacic battalion. Sort of a woods and Indians battle now. The exposed right flank battalion wheels towards the small woods patch and some shelter from the unlimbered Franco-Italian 6 pdr batteries at the base of the Kalvarienberg. Token skirmisher firing cause no losses yet.

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Austrian response is to form all round defense with their left battalion and march the right flank closer to the small woods patch. Token skirmishing fire has no effect yet.

1600 hours: News of the hour is the Austrians are now minus three CMR (-3) for their morale tests and the Franco-Italian forces are minus one CMR (-1). All French Attack orders are now immediately cancelled and changed to Engage orders. This will cost extra MFP usage for each French and Italian battalion trying to march into any Austrian minimum fire zone (2″) or perform assaults (violate their Engage order). The battle atop the Kalvarienberg starts to get hot with units becoming more morale brittle as the scenario game goes on.

Italian legere battalion columns assault the deployed 3rd rank skirmishers. The 67th Line battalion forms a long linear line in front of the Austrian defenders but out of musket range. They cannot advance in linear formation into the medium woods atop the Kalvarienberg. Dan is using them as a breakwater to prevent Austrian forward movement while the Italian legere battalions work their way into the Kalvarienberg wooded rear.

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Italian legere battalion columns assault the deployed 3rd rank skirmishers. The 67th Line battalion forms a long linear line in front of the Austrian defenders but out of musket range.

The Austrian 3rd rank skirmishers are forced back into their parent battalions from the Italian legere battalion assaults. Uncovered, the massed Hungarian infantry of IR #53 Johann Jellacic await the assault they know is coming.

1620 hours: Having stripped the Hungarian skirmishers, the Franco-Italian battalion wait one turn for their artillery to bombard the exposed right flank battalion. Dan hopes to cause morale tests for the Austrians in their weaken morale status. Meanwhile one Italian legere battalion marches behind the Austrian hilltop defensive position. The Italian 6 pdr battery fires, causes massed casualties in the enfiladed battalion. Breaking ranks and fleeing into the depths behind the Kalvarienberg, the central fresh battalion with Oberst Volkmann attached is made of sterner stuff and hold their ground.

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The right flank and exposed IR #53 Johann Jellacic battalion is raked by Italian 6 pdr round shot.

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Finally it is too much. The right flank battalion break and flees into the Kalvarienberg woods depth. Oberst Volkmann hold firm with the central battalion.

1640 hours: The scenario end draws near. The 67th Line reforms into column and advances into the woods facing the Austrian Hungarian infantry, muskets ablaze. The two Italian legere battalions form linear formation and pour musketry volleys into the massed, near surrounded Hungarian ranks. Hungarian rank volleys reply and miniatures fall on both sides. Battle smoke, dense trees, and the din of late afternoon battle rages on the Kalvarienberg. First the left flank Johann Jellacic battalion crumples into a stream of mass panic. Oberst Volkmann tries to hold the central battalion but another close range volley ends that hope and all the Hungarian infantry is routing from the heights. Italian and French battalions pass their morale tests, grimly watched by their brigade commanders.

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The weight of close range and deadly musketry volleys cause the final Hungarian flight. Still many Italian and Frenchmen fell in the Kalvarienberg woods.

1700 hours: It’s over but for one small Austrian effort left. Both armies go down another level in CMR (Austrians now minus four, French/Italian minus two). Even with that horrible Hungarian morale one battalion with Oberst Volkmann rallied from rout into morale disorder status. They could march back and position themselves on the heights…. maybe… long reach… impossible?

Taking no chances, the Franco-Italian battalion surge forward and cover the Kalvarienberg heights. Italian legere skirmishers peppered the disordered Hungarian massed ranks. The Hungarians have little musketry reply to their tree hidden tormentors.

xx

Bravely one IR #53 Johann Jellacic battalion rallied in the woods. They are soon peppered by Italian skirmisher fire.

1720 hours: Italian skirmisher fire didn’t cause any losses so the last Hungarian battalion rallied into good order during the Austrian Rally phase. After the French and Italian formed battalions secured the Kalvarienberg heights by their slow movements, the sole Austrian…ie Hungarian movement is a frontal charge at the Italian skirmishers. Holding their ground, their close range final musketry volley killed one Hungarian miniature. The required morale test for loss looks daunting.  Base CMR 6 less two miniatures for losses (-2 CMR)), plus one for Oberst Volkmann and woods (+2), and minus four (-4 CMR) for army morale. Need a d10 roll of two or less to pass morale test. Rolled an eight. The result is more than four over the required number so the last active Hungarian battalion routs from the field along with the other fleeing Hungarian battalions. Oberst Volkmann’s entire brigade is no more.

xx

Suffering one miniature loss when the Hungarian battalion attempted to close on the skirmishers, the required morale test became a routing battalion. Scenario over.

1740 hours and scenario end: Scenario is over. At 1800 hours the peace of night descends on Klagenfurt with the tried but victorious Franco-Italian commands marching back to Klagenfurt. The Austrian rear guard near St. Peter will leave the battlefield after marking their presence for the victory condition determination.

xx

The final turn and view of the empty battlefield.

So…since the Austrians didn’t have an active battalion unit atop the Kalvarienberg for the Draw result, the French Minor victory result applies. French couldn’t claim a Major victory result since the Austrians still retained a command west of the Glan River at nightfall. Success for Franco-Italian arms and their commander General Dan playing the part of GD Rusca for the afternoon. Close running action till the Austrian army morale breakdown had the effect on the Kalvarienberg defenders. If the Franco-Italian army morale had broken several turns before, their playability on the Kalvarienberg heights would have come into question.

Thank you Daniel and Dan for playing the scenario out to its full conclusion. That completes the AAR reporting for YR 2015. Time to sit down and write-up more scenario for the first part of YR2016. WR hears San Michele 1796, Piedmont/Sardinia vs. those republican French led by “Monsieur B” whispers in the warren.

Cheers from the warren.

WR

Summary of the command capabilities depending upon which order is given to each command: Orders Table

Orders Table

The Morale Fatigue Points (MFP) system performs several combined tabletop functions during the game:

  • ) Tracks the army’s ability to conduct offensive operations on the tabletop to a preset duration limit. Once the limit is reached, the army’s abilities and morale erode away.
  • ) Balances the abilities of units and their morale grades. Elite Morale grade commands have more tabletop top ability to perform vs. Militia morale grade units (Old guard vs. Spanish militia for example).
  • ) Places command order change or violation restrictions and encourages players to follow their command’s order choice (Attack, Defend, Engage, March, Reserve etc.).
  • ) Give scenario designer flexibility to balance scenarios with uneven forces.
  • ) Easy method to determine the game victory conditions and forces the disengagement of the armies.

Morale Fatigue Points summary sheet covers the major points using the MFP overlay system.

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4 thoughts on “Klagenfurt 1809 AAR

    • Hi Peter,
      The players enjoyed the smaller scenario compared to the larger Corps/Divisional level scenario games typically played. Play went fast for the nineteen turns over 4 gaming hours. Historically I doubt the wagons were threatened unless the entire Franco-Italian division went directly after the Austrian Main body strung out along the narrow secondary roadway and left GM Schmidt and Oberst Volkmann’s brigades for later attention. For the scenario, if the Franco-Italian units start on the glacis and/or exit the eastern Klagenfurt gate, they could catch the wagons before they reach St. Peter (wagons cannot leave the roadway and travel x-country). The Austrian Main body is a weak force, mostly Landwehr battalions which in our rules cannot form squares. They would be terribly venerable to the small Italian cavalry units unless their Chevaulegers intercept. Another strategy, the Italian Chasseurs a’ cheval could on opening move head from their open SE glacis starting position straight for the exposed trains at Austrian road column rear and then declare charge*. The charge morale check should chase off the train wagon drivers for the moment (or morale disorder them) stopping their forward movement for a turn or two. Then the bulk of the Franco-Italian infantry follows up causes the Austrian Main body to counterattack backwards (to save the train) into the better Franco-Italian battalions. This attack strategy of course releases GM Schmidt and Oberst Volkmann brigades to operate again the flank of the Franco-Italian infantry or attack the fortress itself to occupy a fortress gate, Its up to the F/I commander how and what risks to undertake. Options…Options.. my humble effort for a scenario balance for a “some what by the numbers historical Austrian battle.”

      M

      * The sequence of play has a player moving his cavalry during their Movement Phase. Then, before the opposite player moves, the cavalry can declare their charge. Morale tests taken due to the charge declaration…. train drivers have terrible morale (CMR 3) minus 3 for the charge range distance adjustment (4″-8″ charge range band for non cavalry units) means a “0” to pass (on d10). The charging cavalry doesn’t move charge until the Shock Phase after the Movement Phase of the opposite player/team. But movement within the charge zone template is half speed so Austrian response is limited on turn one, hoping for their single #2 Hohenzollen Chevau-leger regiment to intercept both Italian Chasseurs detachments. Risky opening move… but only one overrun wagon unit is needed to gain the victory condition F/I benefit since the last two are required to transit the entire battlefield from the western edge to exit.

    • Peter,

      Time for your take and scenario design of Klagenfurt Peter. Should be interesting to see your thoughts. Find your wine/beer wagons…. get set… hmmm, better not tell the F/I there is beer and wine rolling by. Those conscripts could get out of hand.

      M

      Now for WR to return to the 1796 scenario design front lines. Last seen just outside San Michele and the final Sardinian-Piedmont defense.

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