Wagram 2017 – a practice game

Over the past few years the group has organised some BIG games like the Leipzig and Waterloo weekend games with 50+ gamers from around NZ at times joining in.

This year is a more modest event where 10-12 will be refighting the Battle of Wagram 1809. This particular part of the Napoleonic Wars is my personal favourite and one I have pondered for many a year.

Over the past 4 months we have been refighting various parts of the battlefield as we played around with the rules, the terrain, refined the sizes of the commands etc.

The game we played this time was based around Day 2 of the battle, 6th July 1809 and where Massena has completed his march across the Austrian front and is ready to face the corps of Kollowrat and Klenau. The time is roughly 1-2pm in the afternoon.

In the test games we have been recreating the battle as it occurred, however when we game the refight it will be different. I have always been fascinated by the idea of not punishing the Austrians by playing their commanders as they were but allowing, to a certain extent, to allow we as wargamers to be, well, US! And the ‘What if’ of Archduke John making the battlefield, and allowing the Austrians to draw upon Reuss’s 5th Corps and make it a fight to the death. So for this game I randomised one of Reuss’s divisions arriving late in the day.

The map below is from John H Gill 1809 Thunder on the Danube, Volume 3: Wagram and Zaim. The section we would game was from Sussen-brunn to just north of Aspern.

The Austrians were set up as below with Klenau(PaulG) at the far end and Ray(Kollowrat) the near end.

The French set up had Alan(Lasalle/Marulaz and Legrand) at the top, PaulW(Massena, Molitor, Saint Cyr and St Sulspice) in the centre and Keith with McDonald in the near end. PaulW had the 4 batteries from massed batteries.

Turn 1 and the French use a ‘Follow me’ order for to cavalry charge Austrian battery that PaulG had placed in advance of his line.

It seemed such a good idea, a second follow me was made!

However Lasalle was having an off day, the battery saved all 6 hits!

And 3rd Corps waits….. 

McDonald advances, the Austrian Uhlans spent the entire game doing…nothing…they would not charge!   

Klenau’s grenze formed square as French cavalry were hanging around…so the French columns came in.

Below Klenau has infantry blundering forward as the French close in.

Below Kollowrat had blundered off table, marched back on and advanced, only to suffer extreme casualties and only 1 of 4 units remained!

Kollowrat’s remaining Korps forces attack to assist Klenau’s flank.


The French grand battery maintains a no move area for the Austrians.

Not a happy sight, Austrian Hussars attacking a French line unit, and then getting Cuirassiers up their rear.

To the north the Austrian Uhlans are still refusing to move, and there is no one else left!

And that was game called as the Austrians, that remained would have been retiring and the Reuss division that should have arrived Goldie kept failing to get ordered onto the table! Both PaulG and Ray had blunders which removed units from the table, and failed orders to get units to move or charge where as the French were much agreeable to their orders. It was a major influence on the result coupled with the Austrian reserves failing to arrive.

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