Welcome to Part 1 of what will ultimately be a twelve-part series, following each turn in our club's latest Napoleonic campaign. Feel free to refer back to the introductory post for a quick overview of the rules and set-up for this map-based campaign.
In this first part of the series, we'll briefly review the context of the situation in April 1809 and the objectives Napoleon and Charles sought to achieve. Then, it's time to see the deployments our players chose and their opening marching orders for Turn 1!
Napoleon has almost 150,000 men in southern Germany in the spring of 1809, but his corps are scattered and Austrian intentions are unknown. Without Napoleon's direct presence, considerable confusion reigns in the French command. En route from Paris, Napoleon urgently sends a series of marching orders to consolidate his corps into a coherent line, but the opening days of this critical campaign will open without the emperor's presence. Can Charles capitalize on this window of opportunity to destroy elements of the enemy army while still protecting the roads to Vienna?
Our actual campaign map on Vassal is much more detailed, but I will be using a much simpler map to illustrate the movement of each campaign day in our 12-part blog series. Below, you can see the initial deployment chosen by each army:
APRIL 15th: Turn 1
JOURNAL: Our campaign rules allow the Austrians the opportunity to get a jump on the French by taking some limited movement on April 15th, if (and only if) Charles rolls a "6" on a d6. Drum roll please....Nope. The Austrians fail to take this advantage and so our opposing armies spend the day bivouacked in the field. So much the better with the heavy rain, which would have seriously curtailed any potential movement.