Wednesday, June 5, 2019

Planning Considerations for Davout's Attack at Wagram: Snappy Nappy

Kind of the cart before the horse playing the game first, but this battle received such a generous amount of likes, comments, and support at 2 x Facebook groups (10mm Wargaming and Little Napoleonics) as well as interest from the Snappy Nappy yahoo group that I thought I would post my planning considerations for the battle and resources in case someone else wanted to try it out.

First of all, let it be known to the world that I have a modest, 6 x 4 foot wargaming table.  Barely enough surface space for Aspern-Essling, let along Wagram!  So what to do?  I can't make more table space.  I CAN select a "slice" from a famous battle like Wagram, and I have plenty of resources and maps to satisfy that requirement.

Everything you ever wanted to know about the 1809 Campaign as only Mr. Chadwick can deliver.
The Volley & Bayonet Austria Stands Alone supplement has an outstanding game map of the Wagram battlefield, complete with Orders of Battle and troop dispositions on the map!  Perfect!

Along the West and North edge of the Wagram map it's a whopping 15 feet by 12 feet!  Clearly that won't do.  So I looked at the map.  On the right flank of the battle, Davout's III French Corps is arrayed to assault Markgrafneusiedl.  This hard-fought action is very conveniently condensed into a 4' wide by 6' long corridor. 
Picture taken from the Volley and Bayonet Austria Stands Alone Supplement pg 45.  Used without Permission.
This seemed like a very interesting and hard-fought infantry battle that would not only be a good test-drive for the Snappy Nappy rules for my group, but would also allow me to put all of my Austrian infantry on the table as well!  Score!

The terrain was interesting enough with the marshy-banked Russbach, the town of Markgrafneusiedl, and the heights beyond the town.  I reproduced the road network, also, since roads become much more important at this scale of game where regiments / brigades are maneuver units.

Next up is the Order of Battle (OOB).  Technically there were 3 x Corps involved with this battle:  Davout's III Corps up against the Austrian IV ArmeeKorps and the Austrian Avantgarde in a reserve position on the heights beyond the town.

In regards to the size of this game, I wanted to put all my toys on the table, and so that required a small shift of the stand size to approximately 1,000 Soldiers per stand, instead of 2,000. 

As you will see below, this worked out to roughly each unit being a Regiment.  Had I gone with the "vanilla" Snappy Nappy recommendations (2,000 Soldiers per stand), I would only have needed to field 8 to 9 units for Davout's III Corps.  In this instance, I fielded each of the Regiments which put me at 18 Regiments on the table.  I kept the artillery ratio the same and also had to split the cavalry ratio given the numbers of mounts/troopers.  I kept the artillery at 1 stand = 24 guns.  The Cavalry were split into 350 mount/trooper to 1 stand.  Meaning a full Cavalry Regiment (2 x stand units) was 700 mount/troopers strong.  All artillery in this case is medium.  All French troops were Veteran.  All Austrian troops were seasoned.  You could play with those values all day I think.  Button counters beware!  I took many licenses with the troops below to make this OOB practical.  If me consolidating many, disparate landwehr units into 1 single or 2 units makes you uncomfortable, skip this post!

Here is the OOB of III (French) Corps straight from the V&B 1809 supplement book, and with unit characteristics added for Snappy Nappy.

3rd Corps d'Armee
Marshal Davout - Charismatic

3 Foot Batteries (Corps Artillery) 1 artillery stand
Cavalry Brigade Pajol
11th Chasseurs 691 (1 unit of 2 x stands)
12th Chasseurs 718 (1 unit of 2 x stands)
5th Hussars 683 (1 unit of 2 x stands)

1st Division
General d'Division Morand - Dashing
2 x Foot Batteries 1 artillery stand

Brigade Lacour
13th Legere 1,922 (1 unit of 2 x stands)
17th Ligne 2,145 (1 unit of 2 x stands)
30th Ligne 2,140 (1 unit of 2 x stands)

Brigade l'Hullier
61st Ligne 1,978 (1 unit of 2 x stands)

2nd Division 
General d'Division Friant - Dashing
2 x Foot Batteries 1 artillery stand

Brigade Gilly
15th Legere 2,013 (1 unit of 2 x stands)
33rd Ligne 2,086 (1 unit of 2 x stands)

Brigade Barbanegre
48th Ligne 1,889

Brigade Grandeau
108th Ligne 1,724 (1 unit of 2 x stands)
111th Ligne 2,079 (1 unit of 2 x stands)

3rd Division
General d'Division Gudin - Dashing
2 x Foot Batteries 1 artillery stand

Brigade LeClerc
17th Legere 2,384 (1 unit of 2 x stands)

Brigade Boyer
12th Ligne 1,922 (1 unit of 2 x stands)
21st Ligne 1,833 (1 unit of 2 x stands)

Brigade Dupellin
25th Ligne 1,347 (1 unit of 2 x stands)
85th Ligne  1,972 (1 unit of 2 x stands)

4th Division
General d'Division Puthod - Dashing
2 x Foot Batteries 1 artillery stand

Brigade Girard
Composite Units 1,852 (1 unit of 2 x stands)

Brigade Desailly
Composite Units 2,138 (1 unit of 2 x stands)

1st Dragoon Division
General d'Division Grouchy - Dashing

Brigade Guedin
7th Dragoons 492 (1 unit of 2 x stands)
Italian Dragoons 546 (1 unit of 2 x stands)
30th Dragoons 711

2nd Dragoon Division
Pully - Dashing

23rd Dragoons 403 (1 unit of 2 x stands)
28th Dragoons 255(1 unit of 2 x stands)
29th Dragoons 451

Cavalry Division Montbrun
General d'Division Montbrun - Dashing
1 x Horse Battery 1 artillery stand

Brigade Jacquinot
1st Chasseurs 351 (consolidated into 1 unit of 2 x stands)
2nd Chasseurs 377
7th Hussars 491

IV ArmeeKorps
Feldmarshalleutnant Rosenberg - Dashing
Corps Artillery 1 Artillery stand

Division Bartenstien 
Feldmarshalleutnant Bartenstien - Dashing
Consolidated Division Artillery 1 Artillery stand
IR #2 2,282 (1 unit of 2 x stands)
IR #33 2,198 (1 unit of 2 x stands)

Division Rohan
Feldmarshalleutnant Rohan - Dashing
Consolidated Division Artillery 1 Artillery stand
IR #8 Ludwig 2,205 (1 unit of 2 x stands)
IR # 22 Coburg 2,153 (1 unit of 2 x stands)
Consolidated Landwehr (1 unit of 2 x stands)

Division Radetzky
Fedlmarshalleutnant Radetzky - Dashing
Consolidated Division Artillery 1 Artillery stand
IR #3 Erherzog Karl 3,112 (1 unit of 2 x stands)
IR #50 2,104 (1 unit of 2 x stands)
Consolidated Landwehr (1 unit of 2 x stands)

Avantgarde Division (Reserve) Active after Turn 5 on a 1D10 roll of LESS than the current turn.
Feldmarshalleutnant Nordmann
Consolidated Division Artillery
IR #44 Bellegarde (1 unit of 2 x stands)
IR #58 Beauieu (1 unit of 2 x stands)
IR #46 Chasteler (1 unit of 2 x stands)
Consolidated Landwehr (2 units of 2 x stands)
IR #4 Deutschmeister (1 unit of 2 x stands)
IR #49 Kerpen (1 unit of 2 x stands)

Cavalry Division Nostitz - Available immediately
Feldmarshalleutnant Nostitz - Dashing
1st Dragoons 720
6th Dragoons 600
3rd Chevaulegers 840
6th Hussars 960

Setup & Game Parameters
French must capture the town of and the heights beyond Markgrafneusiedl.  Since turns are 1 hour long the French have 12 turns to make this happen with the game ending around 9pm.

Davout's Corps sets up anywhere up to 12" from the south edge of the map.  The Austrian player should deploy with the IV ArmeeKorps arrayed in defensive positions immediately behind the Russbach.  In the spirit of Snappy Nappy, the Austrian player should set up simply anywhere north of the Russbach.

If you want to go at this solo or with some friends, the French start on Attack orders.  The Austrian IV ArmeeKorps and Avantgarde starts on Defend orders.  The Austrian player can decide what orders he wants the Cavalry Division Nostitz to start under

If not playing with a GM, players may opt to request an orders change that is outside of their starting orders and outside of their ability to move freely up or down, by passing a morale check (Veteran for French, Seasoned for the Austrians).  The new orders go into effect the next turn.


  1. I have a great weakness for battle planning posts! Yours is a great resource.

    1. Me too, Jonathan. You know it occurred to me as I was typing this that I had more fun researching and writing this post than I do gaming. That's a scary thought.

    2. and thank you for your kind words!

    3. We are much alike! Researching and planning are great treats. These creative processes are the most fun for me, too.

  2. Excellent stuff. I remember enjoying the prep for a waterloo SNappy Nappy game. (It really doesn't seem like 5 years ago though).

    1. Tell me about it. Seems like only yesterday you were posting that, Darren. Time flies!

  3. Excellent stuff! I also enjoy planning games.
    Now you have to start thinking about the multi table multi site Wagram... :-)

    1. Cheers, Peter! I have already been putting some thoughts together. 5 x table Wagram anyone?

  4. Nicely done OOB and post, it's so nice to see a big effort / game being promoted for the 6 x 4 which is a real world space for many gamers and still a space to aspire to for plenty of space strapped gamers too.

    1. THank you, Norm. 6 x 4 is the absolute best I can do and I fully admit I'm lucky to have it. Some people only have a kitchen table or coffee table.

  5. Nice explanatory post! And good idea to do something manageable :)

    1. Cheers, Chasseur! Thanks for commenting. We like manageable games around here!