Using Sam Mustafa's new Blucher rules, our club set up the Battle of Aspern-Essling in 6mm. The scenario represents a two-day action in May 1809, with Napoleon's army forcing a crossing of the Danube River near Vienna...but Archduke Charles lurks nearby with a larger force. Worse yet, the Danube is running high with the spring rains, threatening to break the tenuous bridge connection the French have established to connect their bridgehead. Read on for our full scenario report, along with a tutorial on how we made a custom section of the Danube River in 6mm scale.
Creating the Danube
The Danube River plays an essential role in this battle, so I wanted to create a custom terrain piece to accurately represent its size on the tabletop. You can follow the process in the picture gallery to the right, but this project took about two hours of total time and cost less than $10.
Step One: Create a scale outline of the river using wax paper and a black marker. The outline is based on the scenario map we used.
Step Two: Using a tube of clear silicone caulk (paintable variety!), fill in the outline, and spread the silicone to match the river edges using your fingertip.
Step Three: After 24 hours, peel off the silicone in a single, seamless sheet and paint the bottom blue.
Step Four: Not entirely necessary, but for durability, glue the river onto a piece of felt backing. Decorate with clump foliage as desired.
ASPERN-ESSLING Battle Report
OUTCOME: Archduke Charles has achieved a decisive victory over Napoleon, successfully taking advantage of the flooded Danube to maul an isolated portion of the French army. At the end of the game, 11 French units were broken to 5 Austrians. Had the French been able to get the bridge operational--even for a couple turns--in the middle of the battle, this could have been a closer contest.