Sunday, January 5, 2014


This holiday period I setup a 28mm Black Powder game based on the Battle of Hanau 30th October 1813.  It allowed me a chance to field my French guard units which I largely acquired last year.  We played the game today and here is the setup for the game.  I will try to add an after action report tomorrow.


After the retreat from Leipzig Napoleon was able to install his headquarters at Erfurt on 23 October and began to reorganise his forces. On 26 October, he sent orders to the various corps, directing them to Frankfurt via Eisenach and Fulda. Their final assigned destination was the city of Mainz, by the Rhine river.

The coalition was buoyed by the news that Bavaria, a former French ally, agreed to join the Sixth Coalition according to the Treaty of Ried concluded just before the Battle of Leipzig. This allowed the coalition to threaten the overall military position of the French by moving a Austro-Bavarian army, under the command of Karl Philipp von Wrede, into Napoleon's rear.  After occupying Würzburg in Franconia Wrede moved towards the strategic city of Hanau, along one of Napoleon's main retreat routes.  Wrede’s advance guard reached Hanau on 28 October and took possession of the city, blocking Napoleon’s route to Frankfurt.

Game map - 12ft by 6ft

The city of Hanau lies of the table to the west.  The roads to Hanau run through major forests until they get to within about 1 mile of the town.  The Frankfurt to Erfurt highway runs across the north of the table and passes north of the River Kinzig.

The River Kinzig runs west near the south edge of the table before turning north to run immediately behind the table before turning west again to join the River Main.  Due to October rains the Kinzig is running very high and is not fordable. There are only 2 effective bridges over the river near Hanau.  The only bridge on the table is the Lamboi Bridge to the south east of the town.  There is another bridge over the Kinzig north west of Hanau linking the city to the Frankfurt Highway.  The terrain on the Hanau plain is generally flat except for the 2 hills around which the Kinzig flows at its bend. 

General Wrede

You understand that the main part of the French forces is retreating along a more northerly road towards Coblenz and thus expect to face a flanking force of only about 20,000 men.  The French army is completely disorganised, and is being closely followed by the main coalition army, the "Army of Bohemia”.  Given this situation you entertain hopes that you will be able to play a major role in the defeat of Napoleon and ensure Bavaria’s position after the peace.

The allied army is deployed in a line from the Kinzig to beyond the Frankfurt highway occupying the 2 western feet of the table.  An infantry division and a cavalry brigade must be deployed south of the River Kinzig.

Coalition Army OB

Austrian Corps

1st  Austrian Division, General Bach:
2 Grenadier Btn, Border  Btn, Landwher Btn
Ft gun

2nd Austrian Division, General Trautenberg:
4 line Inf Btn,
Ft gun

1st Austrian Cavalry Brigade, Tillon:
2 Hussar Regts

2nd Austrian Cavalry Brigade,  Sprethy:
Cuirassier Regt
Dragoon Regt

Bavarian Corps

2nd Bavarian Division  Beckers: 
3 Line Btn, Light Btn
Ft gun

3rd Bavarian Division Lamotte:
3 Line Btn, Light Btn
Ft gun

4th Bavarian Division Pappenheim:
3 Line Btn, Light Btn
Ft gun

Bavarian Cavalry Reserve
2 Lt Cav Regts,

Russian Partisan Corps: Mensdorff
2 Cossack Regts

Artillery Reserve:
Ft Gun

French close up on the allied right wing along the Frankfurt highway
Emperor Napoleon

Scouts report that the Austro-Bavarian army under Wrede has taken up position east of Hanau blocking the highway from Erfurt to Frankfurt.  The allied army has part of its force deployed south of the River Kinzig.  Immediately to hand you have the II and XI Corps, 2 Reserve cavalry divisions and all of the Old Guard Infantry and the Guard cavalry.  This amounts to a total of 8 divisions  of which 5  are deployed on the east edge of the table and the other 3 can be ordered on from turn 2.  The Vth Corps are approaching along the Frankfurt highway from the east.

The French Army OB

II Corps, Marshal Victor:
3 Line Btn
Ft gun

XI Corps, Marshal MacDonald:
3 Line Btn
Ft gun

2nd Light Cavalry division, Sebastiani: 
2 ChaCh Regts
Hs gun

4th Light Cavalry division, Exelmans:  
Lancer Regt, Hussar Regt
Hs gun

Imperial Guard
1st Old Guard division, Friant:
3 Gd Grenadier Btns
2 Hvy Ft gun

2nd Old Guard division, Curial:
4 Gd Chasseur Btn
2 Hvy Ft gun

1st Imperial Guard cavalry division: d'Ornano:
Gd Dragoon Regt
Gd Hs Gren Regt
Gd Hs gun

2nd Imperial Guard cavalry division: Lefebvre-Desnouettes:
Gd Lancer Regt
Gd Ch a Ch Regt
Gd Hs gun

Still marching to the field

V Corps Marshal Marmont:
3 Line Btn
Ft gun

Delivered after the Coalition have deployed.

Message to General Wrede
1:00pm 30th October

I have to report that since this morning the Tirailleurs you deployed in the forest have been heavily engaged by the French advance guard.  Pressure from the enemy skirmishers has increased throughout this morning.  The enemy is both well organised and more numerous than expected. 

Despite valiant efforts our Jaegers and Grenzers have been forced to withdraw from the forests and I order them to form up with the main body of the army.  Captured enemy scouts report the force they belong to is the main body of the French army of Germany and that the emperor stayed overnight at Eisenach 8 miles to the east.

Oberst Hardegg

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