Campaign Map on 14 October 1813
9th and 10th Bavarians corps are forced to retreat west due to their defeat in the battle of Holzkirchen. At nightfall they receive orders from Oudinot to hold the town at all costs. Both cavalry brigades are still in rout, but they deploy in and around Holzkirchen as ordered.
In the south Oudinot orders 11th and 12th corps to move north and concentrate at Bad Tolz. This is his main depot, and its loss would signal the end of the campaign. In doing so he abandons the town of Tegensee, and the southern bridges over the river Isar.
Despite his victory at Holzkirchen, Schwartzenberg is unable to follow up the Bavarian retreat. Both 2nd and 3rd corps are low on supplies. If they move west they will move out of range of their supply depots. He orders them to halt at Wassenburg to rally, regroup and resupply. He also orders the depot at Traunreut to move to Wassenburg.
To maintain the pressure on Oudinot, he orders 1st and 4th corps to force a crossing of the river Isar south of Rosenheim. It is only when he has done so that he becomes aware of the Bavarian redeployment at Bad Tolz.
Schwartzenberg is very pleased with recent developments. In the early part of this campaign he seemed certain to lose. His counter attack was more successful than he dared hope.
He has now moved all four corps over the river Isar and is well placed to resume the offensive and complete the destruction of the Bavarian army.
All of this has happened without any influence on my part as campaign manager.
Early success, particularly when there is a river line to cross, leaves the victor very vulnerable as he tries to reorganise his supplies, replace battle casualties and resume his advance.
As the losing army retreats they fall back on their depots. They also release garrison troops as they abandon towns and depots to the enemy. Most importantly they have the advantage of concentration.
The attacker has to cross the river line where he can. This often means that his army is separated by long distances. The loser, within reason, can retreat and concentrate where he wants. This is usually in a central position to protect his main depot and main supply route. He is then well placed to attack the weaker portion of his enemy.
As always a lot will depend on the luck of the dice on the wargames table. But attrition and supplies in the map campaign will always reduce the options of both commanders
We now enter the most interesting phase of the campaign. Due entirely to campaign circumstances we have two campaign areas, each with two corps per side. They are too far apart to concentrate for a single battle. The campaign will be decided by the next two battles.
Or will it?
As always the map campaign will be decided by the results of the tabletop game. If the Austrians lose the next two battles, they will have to retreat and the advantage will move to the Bavarians.
But campaign casualties will play an increasing role in the outcome of the tabletop battles. Already all four corps have considerable casualties. About half of the brigades start the battle with casualties. The more battles they fight, the more brigades which will be affected. Thus the more that each corps will have very brittle morale, and likely to break if forced to take morale when a nearby brigade routs.
I have no idea what will happen next, and that’s what makes me such a confirmed advocate of campaign games.