Monday, 4 July 2011

Battle of Aspern Essling

Refight of the Battle of Aspern Essling

Hooray, summer holidays are finally arived, and to start it off in grand style we fought the Battle of Aspern Essling at my local club in Alicante. This was our largest battle we played with Lasalle to date, we also had our best turnout with nine players turning up. The order of battles were as follows:

Austrian Army
C-in-C Archduke Charles

1st Column, Baron Hiller

1 Hussar unit, 4 Heavy Cannon, 2 Infantry units (+), 2 Landwehr units, 1 Grenzer Unit.

2nd Column, Bellegarde y Vogelsang

1 Chevaulegers, 3 medium cannon + 1 howitzer, 6 Infantry Units(+), 1 Infantry unit.

3rd Column, Hohenzollern y Weber

3 Heavy Cannon + 1 Howitzer, 5 Infantry Units(+), 1 Infantry unit, 1 Landwher, 1 Jager.

4th Column, Dedovich

1 Uhlans, 1 medium cannon + 1 Howitzer, 1 Infantry Unit(+), 2 Infantry units, 1 Landwher, 1 Grenzer.

5th Column, Hohenloe

1 Hussars, 2 Medium cannons and 1 Howitzer, 3 Infantry(+)

Reserve, Liechstenstein with the resrve Cavalry and Lindenau with the grenadiers.

1 Hussars, 1 Dragoons, 1 Cuirassiers(+), 3 Heavy cannon, 5 Grenadiers.

French Army

C -in - C Napoleon

Imperial Guard: Dorsenne

1 Guard Cavalry, 2 units of Young Guard, 2 units of Old Guard,

2nd Corp Lannes y Claparede

9 Veteran Infantry, 2 Elite Infantry, 1 Elite Light Infantry, 3 medium cannon + 1 Howitzer.

4th Corp Massena, Lassalle(with the cavalry), Legrand y Saint Cyr

2 Hussars, 1 Chasseurs, 12 Veteran Infantry, 2 Elite Infantry, 1 Elite Light Infantry. 3 Cannons + 1 Howitzer.

Reserve Cavalry Bessieres

3 Cuirassiers, 1 Horse Artillery(2 cannons + 1 Howitzer)

Special Rules for the Battle

The Terrain is dry and no rain

Turns 30

The French move first.

The units of Lannes must be directed to Essling and Massen´s units to Aspern.

Rule 1 Cavalry Charges

Cavalry halve dice in close combat if they are considered to be in woods or rough terrain.

Rule 2 Napoleon

Napoleon can repeat all throws of recuperation for all units within 4 BWs or 2 BWs if seperated by buildings.

Rule 3 Old Guard

Units of the Old Guard including cavalry cannot be seperated more than 6 BWs from Napoleon.

Rule 4 Young Guard

The 2 units of Young Guard can be put under the command of another General. This can happen only once during the game and the 2 units must go together.

Rule 5 Artillery

Foot Artillery limbered can only move 4 BWs

Horse Artillery Limbered can only move 8 Bws

Artillery can´t unlimber if it has moved fully.

Rule 6 Squares

Foramtions in square can fire 1 dice per side simulteanous.

Rules 7 Mass Battalions

Mass Battalion throw 4 dice instead of 2 against Cavalry.

Rule 8 Assault French Columns

Formation of French March Column are called assault columns.

They can fire 1 Dice to the front.

They can charge, half dice in close combat, only from a distance of 4 BWs.

Rule 9 Generals

The rules for General is the first General (in Black bold) is in command of the whole of that command the subordinate generals can only command a part of the command.

In case of Napoleon and Archduke they both can command any part of their armies.

Rules 10 Rules of command

All the Generals and the messengers can move 15BWs per move.

During the battle Players can not discuss their orders or strategy with other players.

1st Meeting: Before Placing the units each side can meet for 10 minutes to talk tactics etc. The C-in-C has the final word. The Players have their initial orders written out:

In turns 9 and 10, 15 and 16, 25 and 26 orders can be changed.

To change an order you must move a messenger from the C-in-C to the recieving general. The messenger cannot move near the enemy.

If the C-in-C is the next to another General then they can talk directly.

2nd Meeting: After lunch each side can meet for 10 minutes to discuss the battle.

Value in Points

Church of Aspern

5 Points

Town of Aspern

2 Points for each square

Mill of Essling

10 Points (all or nothing (2 squares)

Town of Essling

2 Points for each square

Brick Factory

5 points

Pontoon over the Danube

20 Ponits to Austrians

Each enemy unit eliminated

1 Point


French Player

The French will introduce the following units from the pontoon over the Danube.

From turn 1

CE DE MASSENA.- 1 Veteran, 1 Elite, 1 Light Elite

All of Lasalle´s Cavalry.

CE DE LANNES.- 1 Veteran, 1 Elite, 1 Light Elite.

BESSIERES.- 1 Cuirassiers.

Entry of Reinforcements:

In each French turn, the player throws 1D6. The result determines the number of units that enter that turn.

If the result is 3,4 or 5 then the Austrian Player can throw a 1D6 if it is superior then the the number of french units is reduced by 2.

By turn 20 the French have built a more solid bridge and are able to bring 4 units at a time. There is no more throwing of dice.

Austrian Player

To try to simulate the lack of cordination of the Austrian Columns arriving on the battlefield. Each Austrian column need to throw a 1D6 to enter the Battlefield.

Turn 2.- Enter if score 5 or 6

Turn 4 Enter if score 4,5 or 6

Turn 6 .- Enter if score 3,4,5 or 6

TURNO 8.- Enter all columns that havn´t already.

The empty Battlefield at the start. The town of Essling with the great Mill is in the foreground and Aspern is in the Background.

I was given the role of Lannes in command of the 2nd Corp. I had orders to take and hold the town of Essling. My first 3 units were deployed into the town and hopefully my reinforcement are able to cross the pontoon bridge.
The French Centre with Napoleon in the middle with his entourage.

The town of Aspern with Massena´s vanguard deploying in the buildings and behind the walls.

Hooray, my first reinforcements begin to arrive marching down the road to Essling with General Claperede at the front hurrying them along.

Sacre bleu! Each Austrian Column needed to throw a 5 or 6 to appear on the battlefield. Each player apart from Toni (sitting despondently in the centre) threw a 5 or 6. We were surrounded as soon as the battle had begun. Miguel can be seen as a blur to the right of the screen, quickly getting more Austrian troops, as if there wasn´t enough on the table already.

The Austrians quickly march onto Essling with cavalry support .

On the French left flank . Miguels Austrians make a flanking move around the town of Aspern.

The first assault of many on the town of Essling. Whilst the Austrian cavalry charge my square. Both attacks fail, thanks to my Generals superior tactics.

More reinforcements coming to my aid. But they aren´t comimg quickly enough and I ask Napoleon for some cavalry, but he refuses my request.

Toni grinning now his troops have finally entered the battlefield

Another assualt on Essling whilst an Austrian Infantry tries to perform a flanking manouever.

The French Cavalry are building up strength in the centre, but are now being threatened by Miguel´s Cavalry comimg from behind Aspern.

Lannes artillery has finally arrived and deploys to the left of Essling.

The first assaults comence on Aspern.

The Austrian advance starts to slow down as it moves into the rough and marshy ground.

A quick view of the whole battlefield, bottom right you can see the Austrian reserves advancing.

My heroic Elite light Infantry have finally been overwhelmed with 3 Austrian units attacking.

In the next move my troops countercharged and took back the lost ground.

The pontoon bridge has finally been repaired fully and 6 units are able to cross in one move, the French are ready to start their own offensive.

The Austrian Infantry give up on direct assaults on the south of Essling and are content with a musketry duel instead.

The Young guard enter Essling to reinforce their beleagured country men, whilst the Austrian Hussars try again to charge a square.

Now the Austrian turn their attention to the north of Essling and start to assault it in strength.

At the top you can see some French cavalry breaking up an attack on the Mill, but the Austrian Grenadiers are preparing to attack.

More French Troops are marching up the road to Aspern but now it is nearly all in Austrian hands.

Austrian cavalry try to break through the French centre, but the Old Guard stand firm and I send Claparede with four infantry battalions to help out. This would be a mistake on my part because I was confident that Aspern would hold out and I didn´t need any more units.

The Austrians take the North part of the Mill

I manage to countercharge and regain the North part of the mill, but this would be my downfall as the Austrian pour into the void before I can move any more units into the town.

Aspern is well and truly in Austrian hands and thr French assault bogs down.

On turn 24 I have a last attempt to regain control of Essling but my attack is easily beaten back and the game ends with the Austrians being the victors.


Thanks again to everybody for making this an enjoyable day, especially Javier for organising and supplying the magnificent models of the Mill and the church. At the beginning all seemed lost from the start as the Austrians were lucky in their throwing of dice. Maybe it would have been better to start with 6 instead of 5 or 6 for Austrian Column entry. Also I think for French reinforcements only throwing for the French would have been sufficient, without the Austrians throwing to restrict the French units even further.
Heres to the next Battle which will hopefully be Wargram which is going to be a marathon, cant wait.

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