The Battle of Neumarkt, 24th April 1809 (A Scenario for ‘Napoleon’s Battles’)

Bavarian Light Infantry

We’ve got an all-day wargaming session coming up at The Carmarthen Old Guard, so I thought I’d run a small (ish) historical battle, the Battle of Neumarkt (also known as Neumarkt-Sankt Veit) from my favourite Napoleonic campaign, the Danube Campaign of 1809.  It’s also a favourite of my mate Andy, so I thought he’d appreciate it.

This scenario is designed for Napoleon’s Battles, which is a ‘grand-tactical’ rule-set, where each tactical unit represents a brigade or large regiment and the figure ratio is roughly 1:100.  This scenario could easily be converted to other rule-sets of the same scope, such as Age of Eagles.

Historical Background

Napoleon with Bavarian troops at the Battle of Abensberg

Following Napoleon’s victory at the Battle of Abensberg on 20th April 1809, Feldmarschalleutnant (FML) Johann von Hiller‘s left wing of the Austrian Army (consisting of his own VI Korps, Archduke Ludwig’s V Korps and Kienmayer’s II Reserve Korps) was forced to retreat south-eastward toward Landshut and its vital bridge across the River Isar, thus splitting the wing away from Archduke Charles’ main army in the Danube Valley.  Despite a chaotic retreat, Hiller’s command succeeded in reaching relative safety behind the Isar.

However, the river-line didn’t hold for long and Napoleon’s army seized Landshut on 21st April, forcing Hiller’s demoralised command into a further retreat to the line of the River Inn and further away from Archduke Charles, which was forming up to attack Marshal Davout’s isolated III Corps near Regensburg (known as ‘Ratisbon’ to the French).  Panic started to get the better of parts of Hiller’s command and Archduke Ludwig’s V Korps in particular, had largely lost all cohesion and was streaming back in disorganised groups.

Hiller

Thankfully for Hiller, Napoleon left the pursuit of the Austrian left wing to Marshal Bessières and instead turned his attention to the relief of the beleaguered Davout, who was already engaged with Archduke Charles at Eggmühl.  Bessières was given a mixed force consisting of Marulaz’s French Light Cavalry Division, Wrede’s 2nd Bavarian Division (which included Preysing’s cavalry brigade), Molitor’s French Infantry Division and Jacquinot’s French Light Cavalry Brigade.  However, despite his considerable strength in light cavalry, Bessières was no Murat and conducted the pursuit lethargically.  Thus, Hiller was able to reach the Inn relatively unmolested and was able to bring some sort of order back to his fragmented command and was already making plans to go back onto the offensive and to link up with Archduke Charles and/or Jellacic’s command at Munich.

Bessières

Hiller and Archduke Ludwig received a message from the Emperor during the night of the 22nd/23rd, advising them that Archduke Charles was intending to launch an offensive against Davout at Eggmühl on the 22nd.  Hiller was determined to recover his reputation and announced his intention to attack Bessières on the 24th and re-cross the Isar on the 25th.  Hiller was not to know that Archduke Charles’ offensive had never even started, that he had been defeated by the ‘anvil’ of Davout and the ‘Hammer’ of Napoleon and that he was now retreating through Regensburg to the North bank of the Danube…

Hiller set about issuing a very complex set of orders for the attack, of the type that Austrian generals particularly excelled at… This blizzard of instructions did succeed in reorganising and solidifying his shaky army, but the complex plan did largely strip divisional commanders of the ability to use their own initiative in achieving the objective.  It’s also noticeable that Archduke Ludwig, commanding the VI Korps was seemingly by-passed, with all formations reporting directly to Hiller’s headquarters.  Perhaps this was due to Ludwig’s loss of control during the retreat?  Or perhaps Ludwig was ‘ill’ (he would retire due to ‘illness’ a few weeks later)?

Marulaz

As mentioned above, the Austrians had a great love of over-complex plans and for reasons only known to themselves, would regularly rearrange perfectly good corps, divisions and brigades into ‘columns’.  the 1st Column consisted of V Korps troops under the command of FML Reuss-Plauen and would advance on the right, screened by an advance guard under FML Vincent and a flank-guard under FML Radetzky.  The 2nd Column consisted of VI Korps Troops under the command of FML Kottulinsky and would be in the centre, pushing up the main road behind an advance guard commanded by Generalmajor (GM) Mesko.  The 3rd Column consisted of VI Korps troops under GM Hoffmeister would advance on the left, screened by the advance guard of GM Nordmann.

Wrede

FML Kienmayer’s II Reserve Korps (actually a divisional-sized force consisting of a Grenadier Brigade, a Dragoon Brigade and the reserve 12pdr batteries) would follow in general reserve.

Somewhat inevitably, the plan started to unravel from the start and the army started its march by crossing the Inn an hour late at 0300hrs instead of the planned 0200hrs.  further delay was then caused by Mesko’s advance guard, who were still in their beds when the 2nd Column arrived at their camp!  Nevertheless, Marulaz’s cavalry picquets were rapidly pushed back and Hiller’s army marched ponderously closer to the town of Neumarkt, which lay astride the main road to Landshut and which guarded a key crossing on the River Rott (which, while not a major strategic obstacle was a considerable tactical obstacle).

Wrede

At 0400hrs Bessières, with the bulk of his corps, on the north bank of the Rott at Neumarkt, was advised of Hiller’s advance by Jacquinot’s cavalry.  Despite the clear numerical advantage enjoyed by the Austrians, Bessières brushed off his aides’ concerns and instead ordered a reluctant General Wrede to take his Bavarians east of the Rott, to take up positions on the high ground, between Strass and the Leonberg hill.  By 0900hrs the bulk of Wrede’s division was in position, with Jacquinot’s cavalry formed up on their right.  Vincent’s Austrian cavalry were already visible near the Leonberg and a large column of white-coats was deploying from the highway into battle-order (our scenario starts at this point).

Molitor

Fighting on home soil, Wrede’s Bavarians fought hard and Wrede himself seemed to be everywhere, inspiring the Bavarian troops by personal example.  However, the Bavarians were thinly-spread, massively outnumbered and it soon became apparent that they were being enveloped on both flanks.  Wrede, reinforced by elements of Molitor’s division, held out until noon, but was then finally forced to order his division to withdraw through Neumarkt.  Unfortunately, this withdrawal coincided with a renewed Austrian assault and hundreds of Bavarian infantry and French cavalry were killed or captured as the battle spilled into the narrow, winding streets of the town.

Radetzky

In the meantime, the ponderous Austrian flanking moves were finally approaching the battlefield.  Elements of Kottulinsky’s 2nd Column and Hoffmeister’s 3rd Column, strictly sticking to their orders, made no attempt to turn the Bavarian right flank at Obserscherm, but instead made straight for the river-crossing at Hundham (note that there are TWO hamlets called Hundham on this battlefield!).  Having crossed the Rott and established a bridgehead without difficulty, these Austrian units astonishingly made no further attempt to cut off the Franco-Bavarian retreat.  On the other flank, Radetzky’s wide flank march, which should have arrived in Bessières’ rear, was critically delayed by a single squadron of Bavarian dragoons and only arrived on the battlefield long after Bessières had retreated.

Jacquinot

Bessières’ army, having begun its retreat at 1500hrs covered by a strong rearguard formed by Marulaz’s cavalry and Molitor’s unengaged infantry regiments, withdrew unmolested up the Landshut Road.  The Franco-Bavarian army had suffered around 1,400-1,600 casualties, 1,200 of whom were suffered by the Bavarian infantry.  The Austrians meanwhile had suffered around 1,400 casualties and remained masters of the field, so the Austrians had won a rare victory.  However, both commanding generals had handled the battle very badly and neither had covered themselves in glory…

Nevertheless, Hiller was feeling pleased with himself and that evening was settling in to St Vitus’ Abbey.  However, his bubble was burst when an Imperial messenger arrived, informing him of Archduke Charles’ defeat at Eggmühl and ordering him to withdraw at once to defend the River Inn…

Bessières

Franco-Bavarian Order of Battle

Maréchal Bessières, Duc d’Istria
10”E(10)+1
[7M]
[7 Free Rolls]

2nd Bavarian Division – Generalleutnant von Wrede                     4”G(7)+1 [2F]
Inf Regt #3 ‘Prinz Karl’ & Lt Inf Bn #6 (Minucci’s Brigade)                           24 BvLT [12D]
Inf Regt #13 (Minucci’s Brigade)                                                                          16 BvLN [10D]
Inf-Regt #6 ‘Herzog Wilhelm’ (Beckers’ Brigade)                                            16 BvLN [10D]
Inf-Regt #7 ‘Löwenstein’ (Beckers’ Brigade)                                                     16 BvLN [10D]
Caspers’ 6pdr Mounted Light Battery                                                                 Bv6#
Dobl’s 12pdr Reserve Foot Battery                                                                      Bv12#

3rd Division of 4th Corps – Général de Division Molitor               5”E(7)+1 [2F]
2e Infanterie de Ligne (Legauy’s Brigade)                                                         16 FrLN [8D]
16e Infanterie de Ligne (Legauy’s Brigade)                                                       20 FrLN [10D]
37e Infanterie de Ligne (Viviès’ Brigade)                                                           16 FrLN [8D]
67e Infanterie de Ligne (Viviès’ Brigade)                                                           16 FrLN [8D]

4th Corps Cavalry Division – Général de Brigade Marulaz          3”G(6)+2 [2F]
3e & 19e Chasseurs à Cheval                                                                                 12 FrLC [6D]
23e Chasseurs à Cheval & Hessen-Darmstädt Chevauxlegers                       12 FrLC [6D]
Preysing’s Bavarian Cavalry Brigade                                                                  12 BvLC [6D]

Light Cavalry Brigade – Général de Brigade Jacquinot                  3”G(6)+1 [1F]
1er Chasseurs à Cheval & 8e Hussards                                                               12 FrLC [6D]
2e Chasseurs à Cheval                                                                                            12 FrLC [6D]

Reserve Artillery
French 6pdr Horse Battery                                                                                   Fr6#

Bavarian Infantryman (Leib Regiment)

Franco-Bavarian Order of Battle Notes

1. Wrede’s generalship stats have received a boost in most areas, as he was uncharacteristically dynamic on this day.

2. Preysing’s Bavarian Cavalry Brigade was part of Wrede’s Division, but was this day attached to Marulaz.

3. The Franco-Bavarian order of battle lists 36 guns as being present, but the total number of batteries only adds up to 30 guns. There must presumably have been an additional battery and I have therefore added a French horse battery as an artillery reserve (given the amount of French cavalry present, a French horse battery would have been a sensible attachment).  This battery must be attached to either Marulaz or Molitor at the start of the battle.

4. Note that I’ve adjusted the infantry ratio slightly from 1:120 to 1:100. This allows each regiment in the Franco-Bavarian army to be represented separately, instead of being represented as single large brigade-units. This is necessitated by the wide dispersal of Wrede’s Bavarians.

French Chasseurs à Cheval

Austrian Order of Battle

FML Johann von Hiller
10”G(10)+1D
[10M]
[6 Free Rolls]

Advance Guard Cavalry Detachment – FML von Vincent     4”A(5)+0 [1F]
Chevauxlegers-Regiment #6 ‘Rosenberg’ (Nordmann’s Brigade)       12 AsLC [6D]

1st Column (Right) – FML Reuss-Plauen                                       3”A(7)+1 [2F]
Infanterie-Regiment #60 ‘Ignaz Gyulai’ (Bianchi’s Brigade)                20 AsLN [10D]
Bianchi’s Infantry Brigade (IRs #29 ‘Lindenau’ & #39 ‘Duka’)            24 AsLN [12D]
Fröhauff’s Infantry Brigade (IR #58 ‘Beaulieu’)                                      16 AsLN [8D]

2nd Column (Centre) – FML Kottulinsky                                      4”A(5)+1 [2F]
Grenz-Infanterie-Regiment #7 ‘Brod’ (Mesko’s Brigade)                      16 AsGRZ [10D]
Husaren-Regiment #8 ‘Kienmayer’ (Mesko’s Brigade)                          12 AsLC [6D]
Weissenwolff’s Inf Brigade (IRs #4 ‘Deutschmeister’ & 49 ‘Kerpen’)  28 AsLN [14D]
6pdr Cavalry Battery                                                                                      As6#
Hohenfeld’s Infantry Brigade (IRs #14 ‘Klebek’ & #59 ‘Jordis’)           28 AsLN [14D]
12pdr Position Battery                                                                                   As12#
12pdr Position Battery                                                                                   As12#

3rd Column (Left) – GM von Hoffmeister                                     4”A(5)+0 [2F]
Husaren-Regiment #7 ‘Liechtenstein’ (Nordmann’s Brigade)              12 AsLC [6D]
Grenz-Inf-Regt #6 ‘Warasdin-St. Georg’ (Nordmann’s Brigade)         16 AsGRZ [10D]
6pdr Cavalry Half-Battery                                                                             ½ As6#
Hoffeneck’s Infantry Brigade (IRs #31 ‘Benjowski’ & #51 ‘Splényi’)   28 AsLN [14D]

Right Flank-Guard – GM Radetzky                                                   5”E(8)+2 [2F]
Uhlanen-Regiment #3 ‘Erzherzog Karl’ (Radetzky’s Brigade)              12 AsLC [6D]
Grenz-Infanterie-Regiment #8 ‘Gradiska’ (Radetzky’s Brigade)         20 AsGRZ [12D]
6pdr Cavalry Half-Battery                                                                            ½ As6#
Reinwald’s Brigade (IR #40 ‘Josef Mittrowsky’)                                     24 AsLN [12D]

II Reserve Korps – FML Kienmayer                                               4”G(6)+2 [2F]
Clary’s Dragoon Brigade (DRs #3 ‘Knesevich’ & #4 ‘Levenehr’)         12 AsHC [5D]
6pdr Cavalry Half-Battery                                                                           ½ As6#
D’Aspré’s Grenadier Brigade                                                                      28 AsGN [11D]
6pdr Cavalry Battery                                                                                    As6#
12pdr Position Battery                                                                                 As12#
12pdr Position Battery                                                                                 As12#

Austrian Chevauxleger-Regiment #6 ‘Rosenberg’

Austrian Order of Battle Notes

1. Only the Austrians could take two well-organised corps (plus reserves) and mix them up into a bugger’s muddle like this… Archduke Ludwig (commander of V Corps) and FML von Schustekh (one of Ludwig’s divisional commanders) have for some reason disappeared from the story, even though their troops are all still present in the orbat. Perhaps they were simply attached to Hiller’s staff or were wounded/sick, or had duties elsewhere on the day?

2. God alone knows why Vincent, being a senior FML, was placed in command of a single regiment of Chevauxlegers…

3. Each column is shown in its order of march, with the top-listed unit in each column arriving first.

4. Note that I’ve adjusted the infantry ratio slightly from 1:120 to 1:100. This allows each regiment in the Franco-Bavarian army to be represented separately, instead of being represented as single large brigade-units. This is necessitated by the wide dispersal of Wrede’s Bavarians.

5. Austrian Dragoons would normally be classed as Light Cavalry in Napoleon’s Battles.  However, in this instance they formed part of the heavy cavalry reserve alongside the Cuirassier Brigades and were kept in hand as shock cavalry, so I think its worth upgrading Clary’s Brigade to Heavy Cavalry.  Feel free to disagree and downgrade them!

Austrian Grenadiers

General Order of Battle Notes

I’m afraid that I still haven’t worked out how to import the unit labels into WordPress, so if you want a copy of the Word file containing the labels, just comment below and I’ll send them to your e-mail address (which I can see when you comment).

As mentioned earlier, each formed unit in Napoleon’s Battles represents a brigade or large regiment.  The usual figure ratios are 1:120 for infantry and 1:80 for cavalry, though I’ve adopted 1:100 for the infantry in this scenario.  Some people I know like to represent the uniforms of every regiment within a brigade, but I tend to think that looks rather confusing and I prefer to represent a brigade using just one of the regiments within that brigade.  It would be boring if we were all the same… 😉

Light foot artillery batteries are not represented, as they are factored into the infantry strengths. Heavy foot batteries and horse batteries are represented on the table by individual gun models, plus crew.  If you’re playing Age of Eagles, you’ll need to add two 6pdr batteries to Wrede, a 6pdr battery to Molitor, a 6pdr battery to Hoffmeister (at the rear of the column), two 6pdr batteries to Kottulinsky (one with Weissenwolff’s Bde and one with Hohenfeld’s Bde), two 6pdr batteries to Reuss-Plauen (one with Bianchi’s Bde and one with Fröhauff’s Bde), one 6pdr battery to Radetzky (at the back of the column) and one 6pdr battery to Kienmayer (with the Grenadier Bde).

The unit stats are written in ‘Napoleon’s Battlesese’.  Essentially each unit is followed by a number showing its starting strength in figures, followed by the nationality code and the unit type code, which corresponds with the Unit Information Card below.  The last number in brackets is the strength at which the unit will disperse.  Generals have a command-radius in inches, a quality rating (Poor, Average, Good or Excellent), an initiative rating from 1-8 (higher the better – C-in-Cs are always 10) and a combat bonus.

Austrian Husaren-Regiment #7 ‘Liechtenstein’

Deployment

The Austrians deploy all the units shown on the map in the positions shown, in any formation (artillery starts the game limbered).

The French and Bavarians are deployed in the positions shown on the map, in any formation.  Artillery may be unlimbered.  Additionally, the Bavarian 3rd and 13th Infantry Regiments may be re-deployed up to 12 inches from their shown starting positions, but no closer than 6 inches to an Austrian unit’s starting position.  The 3rd and 13th Infantry Regiments may also split off detachments to occupy Oberscherm, Strass and/or St Vitus’ Abbey before the game starts (modify the order of battle and unit labels accordingly).

The C-in-Cs and all divisional commanders named on the map may start the game in a location of the controlling player’s choice (the dots on the map are purely illustrative).

Austrian reinforcement generals arrive at the head of their reinforcement column.

All reinforcement units are automatically classed as activated and may make a full move during the turn in which they arrive on table (taking into account the distance they have to travel to reach the table due to the length of the column in front).  The normal command, activation and movement rules apply thereafter.

Austrian Infantry

Game Schedule

0900hrs (Turn 1) – Game Start.  Austrians have the first turn.  The rest of Reuss-Plauen’s 1st Column arrives at Point D.  Austrian Army Morale is 4

0930hrs (Turn 2) – Hohenfeld’s Brigade (2nd Column) arrives at Point C and Austrian Army Morale increases to 5.

1000hrs (Turn 3) – Weissenwolf’s Brigade (2nd Column) arrives at Point B.

1200hrs (Turn 7) – Hoffmeister’s 3rd Column arrives at Point A and Austrian Army Morale increases to 7.

1300hrs (Turn 9) – Kienmayer’s Reserve Column arrives at Point C and Austrian Army Morale increases to 8.

1500hrs (Turn 13) – Radetzky’s Flank Guard arrives at Point E and Austrian Army Morale increases to 10.

1930hrs (Turn 22) – Game ends following the Franco-Bavarian turn.

Austrian units arrive on the indicated road in March Column.  They may delay their arrival by two turns in order to deploy into battle array and will then arrive in any formation, up to 6 inches from the road.

Reinforcement arrival times may be altered using the usual Variable Arrival Time system:

Two turns before the designated arrival time, roll a D10: They will arrive on a roll of 1.

One turn before the designated arrival time, roll a D10: They will arrive on a roll of 1-3.

On the designated arrival time, roll a D10: They will arrive on a roll of 1-6.

After the designated arrival time, roll a D10: They will arrive on a roll of 1-8.

Note that the Army Morale level may change if units arrive in the wrong order, so you’ll have to work it out!  Total the number of arrived formed units (including all those already eliminated) and consult the Army Morale chart to find the current Army Morale number.

Bavarian Artillery

Austrian Artillery

Terrain Notes

The map represents 7′ x 6′ on table, equivalent to 7km x 6km.  Each grid-square is a square foot/km.

The River Rott is impassable to all troop-types, except at the four bridges shown on the map.  All other streams are very minor obstacles and are passable by all troop types as linear rough ground.

The woods are passable to all troop types as rough ground.

The town of Neumarkt may be occupied by up to three infantry units of any size: one south of the river, one north of the river and one on the northern edge of the town.  It is not well suited for defence and only carries a +1 defensive modifier.  Units passing through Neumarkt on the roads may only do so at rough ground speed.

The Abbey of St Vitus (‘St Veit’) is marked by a cross and is highly defensible.  It has a defensive modifier of +3.  However, it may only accommodate a maximum of two stands of infantry.

All other hamlets are tiny communities and/or farms and can only accommodate small detachments of two stands of infantry.  Defensive modifier for all hamlets is +1.

Austrian General Staff

Victory Conditions

Austrian Victory – The Franco-Bavarian army is ‘Hopelessly Broken’* (this overrides all other victory conditions).

Austrian Partial Victory – The Franco-Bavarian army has been ‘Broken’*.  OR All formed and undisordered Franco-Bavarian units have been pushed west of the River Rott and there is also at least one undisordered Austrian unit west of the Rott.

Franco-Bavarian Partial Victory – The Franco-Bavarian army remains unbroken, is holding Neumarkt with at least one undisordered formed unit, has at least one formed and undisordered unit east of the Rott and there are no undisordered Austrian formed units in Neumarkt or blocking the Landshut Road.

Franco-Bavarian Victory – The Austrian Army is ‘Hopelessly Broken’* (this overrides all other victory conditions).

Draw – Anything else.

* The Austrian Army Morale level will increase as reinforcements arrive on table.  The Austrian Army may therefore become temporarily ‘Broken’ and then recover when reinforcements arrive and push the Army Morale level up.  The army will normally only become ‘Hopelessly Broken’ if the maximum Army Morale level of 10 is breached (note that while Routed units may count towards an army becoming ‘Broken’, only eliminated units may count toward an army becoming ‘Hopelessly Broken’).  However, as a scenario rule, the Austrian Army will become ‘Hopelessly Broken’ if all units (not including batteries) on table at any given time become Routed or eliminated.

Models

The models shown above are all 15mm figures from my own collection and are mostly by AB Figures, except for Bessières, who is actually a Murat figure by Sho Boki and the Bavarian artillery, who are by Battle Honours.

That’s it for now!  The game report will be up soon…

This entry was posted in 15mm Figures, Napoleon's Battles (Rules), Napoleonic Wars, Scenarios. Bookmark the permalink.

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