Sunday, 8 December 2019

Rosenheim Campaign – Day 15

Campaign Map on 17 October 1813
 Although he won the battle of Bad Tolz, Oudinot now finds himself in an impossible position.  Three of his four corps have retreated to the west.   11th corps still holds the town, but there are four Austrian corps within one days march.

All four Austrian corps are in poor condition.   Two of his corps are out of supply, and his depots are far to the rear.   But if necessary he is prepared to resume the attack unless 11th Bavarian corps retreats.

Oudinot orders 11th corps to retreat and abandon Bad Tolz.

Campaign Notes
A corps which is forced to retreat off the campaign map is out of the campaign for the duration of the current phase.   They can only be forced to move off the map by losing a battle and having to retreat to recreate the necessary map square between them and the winner of the battle.

At the end of the battle of Bad Tolz there is only one Bavarian corps left on the map.   11th Bavarian corps holds the walled town of Bad Tolz and could probably continue to do so for another 24 hours.  

However by then the road to the west of the town, the only one available for them to retreat, would be cut by 4th Austrian corps.   They would then be faced with four Austrian corps and have to surrender. 

I therefore allowed them to retreat to avoid surrender.

This is one of the very few campaign phases where both armies fought each other to a standstill.   For the last battle both sides had casualties in almost every brigade taking part.  These brigades are much more likely to fail a morale throw, and consequently to rout.   If they do all friendly brigades within 4” (supporting distance) must also test their morale, with minus 1 for the rout.  

This happened to the Austrians early in the battle of Bad Tolz.   The loss of a cavalry melee caused the Austrian hussars to rout.   A nearby infantry brigade had to test morale, failed and joined the rout.   A second infantry brigade, within 4” of the infantry but not the cavalry, then had to test.  They also failed and routed.  The loss of a cavalry melee usually results in no casualties, but both sides being disordered.  They can then withdraw next move or continue the melee.   But because of earlier casualties three brigades broke and ran.

It is this morale rule which makes the later stages of the campaign so very difficult to anticipate.   Attackers have to be careful to keep the brigades with most casualties in reserve and away from the enemy.   Despite this one rout can quickly spread throughout the corps.

Once more Schwartzenberg has won the campaign.

Sunday, 1 December 2019

Rosenheim Campaign – Day 14

Campaign Map on 16 October 1813
In the north 2nd and 3rd Austrian corps have taken Holzkirchen
Both corps halt to regroup and resupply from the Bavarian depot there
9th and 10th Bavarian corps have routed off the map and are out of the campaign

In the south all remaining Bavarian supplies are held at Bad Tolz
The town is defended by 11th Baden and 12th Bavarian corps
Oudinot is desperate to secure the supplies and move them west
To do so he must hold the town for 24 hours

Schwartzenberg is determined to complete the destruction of the Third French Army.
He orders 1st and 4th corps to attack Bad Tolz and destroy the enemy

Battle of Bad Tolz
Schwartzenberg wants to compete the destruction of Oudinot.   He is not particularly interested in either Bad Tolz or the supplies held there.

He orders 4th corps to attack the village to the south, and swing north to cut the road behind Bad Tolz.   The battle opens with a cavalry melee, which the Austrians lose.   This causes the two infantry brigades supporting the attack to panic and rout.   By mid-morning half of 4th corps is running away.

Schwartzenberg now orders 1st corps to support 4th corps.   The renewed attack breaks 12th Baden corps, who retreat with heavy casualties

However 11th Bavarian corps continues to hold Bad Tolz, and completes the withdrawal of the supplies.  

Campaign Notes
Both armies start the battle with heavy casualties from the earlier fighting.   Consequently both sides have brittle morale, and any rout is likely to spread throughout any nearby brigades.

For this reason Schwartzenberg has decided to ignore the strong walled town of Bad Tolz, and concentrate on the enemy holding the village to the south.  He orders 4th corps to take the village. The battle opens with a cavalry melee, in which both brigades have 10% casualties.   The Austrians are heavy cavalry, and charge the Bavarian hussars.   The odds are in favour of the Austrians, but the dice are not.  They lose and rout.

There are two infantry brigades in support of the cavalry.   One has 10% casualties, the other 20% casualties.   As the cavalry rout they must test their own morale.  Both fail.   Both Rout.   4th Austrian corps have now lost half of their infantry and all their cavalry.

Fortunately things are going better for 1st corps in the north.   Most of the Bavarians are within the walls of the town.   A small force of one infantry, one cavalry and the corps artillery are deployed to hold the area north of the town.   Again the Austrian cavalry charge the enemy cavalry, but this time they win the melee.   They retire out of range of the Bavarian artillery to hold the Austrian right flank.   The remainder of 1st corps is ordered to support the attack on the village.

Heavily outnumbered the Baden corps hold their ground.   The area between the village and the town is so crowded with troops that it is difficult for the Austrians to use their superior numbers.   They recall their cavalry and send them against a militia brigade.   The Austrians roll two dice and get two ones!   The cavalry fail to charge home, and make the traffic jam even worse.

Eventually the Austrians withdraw broken infantry and cavalry and replace them with relatively french infantry.   They smash the remaining Baden infantry.   However it takes them until move 12 (nightfall) to do so.

The Bavarians have held the town all day.  They have achieved their objective of removing all of the supplies held in Bad Tolz and have suffered only minor casualties.  

They have won the battle

But the Baden corps has joined the rout.   Only one Bavarian corps is left to face the four battered Austrian corps.   They are safe for the moment, but further retreat is unavoidable.