Troops have been rousted from their boxes, OBs checked, and commands placed onto the game table. For a battle on the periphery of the 1809 campaign, Raab was a rather large affair with both combatants roughly equal in numbers.
|Battle of Raab - Center of Austrian line|
The French, under Eugene, had recently received French reinforcements to augment their army. The Austrians, under the command of Archduke Johan had received reinforcements too. Unfortunately for Johan, many of his troops consisted of Hungarian Insurrectio troops of suspect quality.
Johan took up an excellent defensive position centered on the Szabadhegy Heights south of the fortress of Raab. His center was anchored by the fortress-like farm of Kis-Megyer. Johan's right was protected by the Fortress
Raab, itself, and his left by the impenetrable
Pancza brook had steep and marshy banks which could only be crossed by cavalry and artillery at fords near the Upper Bridge.
With Victory Points clustered in the center of the Austrian line, to win Eugene must assault the Szabadhegy Heights and push Johan from his fine, defensive roost.
In the center of the Austrian line, the prominent terrain features are illustrated in the photo below. Whomever controls the center on the east bank of the Pancza controls the outcome of the battle.
|Key terrain objectives|
The combatants are arrayed for battle as shown in the photo below.
Note that the Austrian defensive line is sprinkled with a number of either Green or Militia rated Insurrectio formations. These Insurrection troops will likely have great difficulty standing toe-to-toe against the higher quality French and Italians unless in good defensive positions or well supported.
|Initial troop dispositions|
In past games, the key to French victory has relied on getting the better quality cavalry across the Pancza on the French right, driving off the inferior Hungarian cavalry and turning Johan's position. Making a bridgehead across the Upper Pancza has sometimes been difficult to accomplish in a timely manner.
As an aside, during game preparation, labels had to be affixed to each stand. Many of the troop stands still carried the labels from the 2009 Raab replay. Shocking! Cannot believe it has been six years since these figures have seen action on the gaming table. Clearly, it has been far too long since the Austrians have been out of their storage boxes. I must make an effort to rotate them into games with greater regularity.
|Battlefield viewed from NW|
Since my plan is to refight this battle as a leisurely, solo exercise, if any reader is interested in taking command with respect to battle planning, order writing and implementation, and personal battlefield heroics, drop me an email via the Contact Form as shown below and declare any preference.
I will then carry out your orders on the tabletop and keep you apprised of the results and when personal intervention is warranted.
Who knows, perhaps your leadership will make the difference between victory or defeat?