Thursday, April 2, 2015

Battle of Raab - The Set Up

Having refought the Battle of Raab (14JUN1809) on more than one occasion, my initial plan was to transcribe notes taken during one of these earlier contests and present the action as a From the Vault topic.  As I transcribed my battle notes, I realized that the archived game photos did not match the dialogue.  What?  Clearly, the collection of photos originated from a game different from my battle notes.  If I want an account of the battle, I must replay it.  Too bad, the earlier battle accounts were really riveting!
Battleground looking from the south towards Raab
The Battle of Raab was fought as a sideshow to the main events along the Danube in the summer of 1809.  While Napoleon was confronting Charles along the Danube, Napoleon sent his step son, Eugene, to interdict and prevent Charles' brother, the Archduke John, from joining Charles' main army at Vienna.  These two forces met outside the fortress of Raab along the banks of the Pancza brook.

Although John's forces were of questionable quality, John had deployed in good defensive ground protected by a marshy and often steeply banked stream.  Eugene might have a tough time successfully attacking such a position.
Planned axis of French attacks
Battle of Raab -- Scenario Special Rules using Republique+
  • Game begins with the 10:00AM game turn and ends at 8:00PM.
  • Austrians begin with “Defend” orders for all Corps except for the Reserve which is under “Reserve” orders. 
  • French Corps commanders begin with orders accepted. Divisional orders must be sent.
  • Pancza Brook. The upper Pancza is protected by steep embankments and soft ground.  The Pancza is fordable by infantry at all places.  Artillery may only cross at the bridge.  Before French cavalry may cross, a fording path must be found.  For each unit attempting to cross, roll 2D6.  On a roll of 6 or less, that French cavalry unit may cross. Cavalry may not assault across the ford.  Formed units take 1M on entry. 
  • Pancza Marsh. Impassable to all. If forced to retreat/rout into the marsh, a unit is destroyed.
  • All woods are considered open.
  • The woods and hills modifiers are not cumulative. If both terrain types are present, the unit moving into or through pays the penalty of the worst terrain feature.
  • Villages. Only one unit may occupy. Class B – Solid Cover. 
  • Kis-Megyer Farm. Only one unit may occupy each section. Class A – Heavy cover. Ranged fire is ineffective against the upper section.
  • French Reinforcements: 
    • Pully arrives on western board edge at 1:00pm with maneuver orders and will move towards HQ. 
    • Lecchi arrives on western board edge at 2:00pm with maneuver orders and will move towards HQ. 
    • Pacthod arrives on western board edge at 2:30pm with maneuver orders and will move towards HQ. 
  • Austrian Reinforcements: None.
Battleground looking towards the south from Raab
Victory Conditions:
Victory is calculated as a function of both casualties incurred and terrain objectives taken. At the conclusion of the game, victory points are awarded for the following:
  • For each leader killed or wounded the opposing player receives 30 points.
  • For each BMU destroyed, the opposing player receives 10 points.
  • Controlling each village/church/Szabadhegy Heights (Fr/Au): 50/100 points. 
  • Kis-Megyer Farm (Fr/Au): 50/100 points for controlling each section.
Total each player's points.
Victory Margin (for player with Larger Point Total) = Larger Point Total - Smaller Point Total.

  • Victory Margin <= 100 points. Victory Level = Draw.
  • 100 < Victory Margin <= 250 points. Victory Level = Tactical.
  • Victory Margin > 250 points. Victory Level = Strategic
Raab Order of Battle

Below are two, old "at start" photos from those earlier battles:
Raab 2003
Raab 2009
This time, I will attempt to keep the narrative congruent with the photos...


  1. Nice set up for a nice battle to play and replay!

    1. Thanks, Phil. Playing and replaying is a good way to gain a little insight into the historical event.

  2. Replies
    1. Big, for sure. At this scale, the game board represents an area about 9 miles by 5 miles. Lots of room for maneuver.

  3. Nice set up and it looks to be a big one!


  4. I look forward to the battle, pics and narrative!

    We greatly enjoyed a big convention game of Raab in late 2009, and Joe and I fought it about 10 years before that (an Austrian victory for Joe that first time).

    1. Raab, although a sideshow, presents an interesting situation. Both combatants are of roughly equal size with one having a quality advantage while the other holds the terrain advantage.

      I have yet to see an Austrian victory. Maybe this time?

  5. Looking forward to it as well. This is one of the battles I want to try in 6mml.

    1. You have enough 6mm figures to pull Raab off, I bet.

  6. A real family quarrel in other words - great looking table, and a clever way to add realistically looking roads! Hope you guys will have a good game!

    1. This is a real family quarrel with both commanders wanting to prove themselves to their relative higher up the command chain.

      Using sand or fine ballast is an easy way to make the suggestion of roads and it can be easily cleaned up afterwards.

  7. This really must be a great scenario - having revisited it so often, Jonathan. Looking forward to the results of this most recent one.

    1. Dean, I enjoy replaying the same scenario to hopefully gain a little more insight and attempt things that may have been less than successful in prior games.

  8. Lovely looking table Jonathan. Really looking forward to this one...