The First Battle Lost

1809 in Germany
The Bavarian Spring & Aspern-Essling Campaigns

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This scenario book | But which rules?

We hope that once you get The First Battle Lost, you'll also want Et sans résultat!, but we're determined to ensure you can make good use of The First Battle Lost no matter what Napoleonic rule system you use.

That's why the maps are provided in scale miles, orders of battle provide the number of battalions, and why we offer an online conversion page so you can be guided on converting unit Combat Ratings to other popular Napoleonic games.

There simply aren't enough Napoleonic scenario guides and The First Battle Lost is another step towards fixing that.

Don't see your favorite game on the conversion page? Disagree with our recommendations? Write us and maybe we can do something about that.

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Lots of generals | Or lots of troops?

The War of the 5th Coalition was big but it was also small. In 1809, Austria stood largely alone in her opposition of Napoleonic France. The battles fought often only need a handful of players, but may include large bodies of troops, over sprawling terrain.

Teugen-Hausen

Ratisbon

Abensberg

Neumarkt-Sankt Veit

Laichling

Ebelsberg

Landshut

Linz-Urfahr

Eckmühl

Aspern-Essling

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Which dynasty will suffer | The First Battle Lost?

Can the French turn back the waves of white-clad Austrians from the hills of Bavaria? Will Charles box-in Davout's III Corps before Napoleon can extricate him?

Will the gamble at Aspern-Essling work? Does the bridge hold? How long can Lannes and Massena maintain their position without additional support? Does the bridge hold? Can Bessèires's cavalry break out from the salient and give Napoleon the time and space he needs? What about the bridge?!?!

This gives historical battles historical context, some battles will be more important to you than your opponent and vice versa.

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Just what would you say | You're doing here?

We're trying to block the road, but they don't seem to care, should we be worried? Just because you know your victory condition, doesn't mean you know your opponent's. Each Army receives their own:


  • Historical Context
  • Orders of Battle
  • Victory Conditions
  • Intelligence
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Can You Really Know | Anything to be True?

Between the rolling hills, the steep valleys, and the dense pine forests, I can't see anything, are we even sure we're in Bavaria?

Where is the enemy army? Heck, where is our Army?

While you must make your plans from the best information you have, better not to assume it is all correct, or even that it is all present. You and your opponent are almost certainly receiving entirely different briefings to start from, about the exact same situation.

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Why would you look | Anywhere else?

  • Step One: Find scenarios for a campaign that inspires you, check.

  • Step Two: Convince all your pals to play by showing them the maps and orders of battle, check.

  • Step Three: Scour the earth for the 6-10 painting guides you need to finish your Army, ARG!

Forget step three, you don't need step three, there is no step three…

Because The First Battle Lost includes all the uniform images you need to paint all the Units of all the Armies involved in the campaign.

  • Rank and file, check
  • Officers, check
  • Musicians, check

  • The only painting guide you need, check.

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Will there be | More of these?

The First Battle Lost is our fourth Napoleonic Campaign Guide.

So if you haven't checked out Master of the World, 1812 in Russia, Roll up that Map, 1805 in Germany, or We shall meet in Vienna, 1813 in Germany you should be sure to do so.

And yes, there are more coming, in the same format:

  • Campaign Frameworks
  • Historical Scenarios
  • Host and Army Briefings
  • Extensive Uniform Guides

Join our Announcements Mailing List to hear about them.

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Phase One | The Bavarian Spring Campaign

BATTLE PLAYERS DIFFICULTY TABLE SIZE TIME ARMIES DESCRIPTION
Teugen-Hausen Four Advanced 8.5 by 3 scale miles Davout's III Corps vs Charles's Hauptarmee Davout tries to fight his way home to La Grande Armée.
Abensberg Two to Three Beginner 8 by 3 scale miles Lefebvre's VII Corps
vs Ludwig's V Korps
Lefebvre attacks Charles's flank to aid Davout's escape.
Laichling Five Intermediate 8 by 3 scale miles The Austrian Hauptarmee
vs Davout's III Corps
Charles and Davout jockey for position as both call for reinforcements and support.
Lanshut Four Advanced 5 by 3 scale miles Hiller's Left Wing
vs La Grande Armée
Napoleon pursues Hiller to force him across the Isar and recapture Landshut.
Eckmühl Eight Expert 8 by 3 scale miles Charles's Hauptarmee vs La Grande Armée Charles attempts to destroy Davout as Napoleon attempts to destroy Charles.

Phase Two | The Aspern-Essling Campaign

BATTLE PLAYERS DIFFICULTY TABLE SIZE TIME ARMIES DESCRIPTION
Ratisbon Four to Five Intermediate 3 by 3 scale miles La Grande Armée vs the Austrian Hauptarmee Charles attempts to escape across the Danube into Bohemia.
Neumarkt-Sankt Veit Four Beginner 5 by 3 scale miles Hiller's Army Wing vs Bessières Pursuit The hunter becomes the hunted as Hiller about faces his retreat.
Ebelsberg Five to Six Intermediate 3 by 4 scale miles Massena's IV Corps
vs Hiller's Army Wing
The French press Hiller at the Traun River.
Linz-Urfahr Two to Three Beginner 3 by 5 scale miles Kolowrat's III Korps
vs Vandamme's VIII Corps
The Austrians attempt to take the battle against the French line-of-communications.
Aspern-Essling Five to Ten Expert 3 by 4.5 scale miles La Grande Armée
vs the Austrian Hauptarmee
Napoleon attempts a river crossing in the face of Charles's Army, with only a single bridge across the Danube to support his gamble.

Teugen-Hausen | 19 April 1809

Davout had consolidated his III Corps d’armée to Regensburg following a series of skirmishes at Hirschau, Amberg, and Ursensollen. The Austrians had crossed the Isar River en force on 16 April at Landshut and Deroy’s Bavarian Division had fallen back ahead of them. The following day Klenau’s advanced elements brushed against Davout at Regensburg.

The III Corps began its march on 19 April, after Davout gave orders to move south, Regensburg was garrisoned, and the bulk of the III Corps d’armée marched. Charles directed two Austrian Korps, the III and IV, to block the French escape at Dünzling and Teugen, passing through Hausen.

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Abensberg | 20 April 1809

Faced by French aggression along his western frontage, Archduke Charles attempted to consolidate the Hauptarmee to the east, under the hopes of setting up behind the Groß Laber. Unfortunately for the Austrians, ill coordination exposed practical flaws: The III ArmeeKorps, having just advanced upon Hausen, was now directed to fallback eastward, opening a temporary hole between the two wings of the Austrian Hauptarmee and exposing the northern flank of the left wing. This occurred as Archduke Louis, commanding the northern flank of the V Corps, was struck by Lefebvre’s VII Corps from the front.

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Laichling | 21 April 1809

With pressure against Landshut and the Austrian rear, but the crossing at Regensberg open, the question became if Charles would take renewed offensive action against Davout or if he would direct the Hauptarmee to retire towards safety.

Davout was obviously concerned about the former course of action, as he remained isolated from the bulk of La Grande Armée. Napoleon seemed to presume the Austrians were in flight, or near so, and was thus unworried as to the dispositions of the III Corps d’armée, or even of Archduke Charles.

The action at Laichling would serve as a prelude to Eckmühl, with both Davout and Charles using the day to fight for position.

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Landshut | 21 April 1809

From the opening move of the campaign, Landshut was the central key for both Armies. The Hauptarmee crossed en masse there as it drove forward on Davout before Teugen-Hausen, and Napoleon was determined to control it. The move against Landshut was as important to the French as the the Austrian effort against Regensburg was to Charles. If Napoleon could take Landshut, and Davout’s garrison could hold onto Regensburg, the Austrian Hauptarmee would be trapped between La Grande Armée and major rivers, without a plausible route to safety. Hiller’s, now detached, wing of the Austrian Army was covering Landshut as Charles jockeyed for position with Davout west of Eckmühl.

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Eckmühl | 22 April 1809

The action at Laichling framed the Elchingen battlefield.

21 April had been a busy day. Landshut fell to the French, but Regensberg fell to the Austrians. Napoleon was at the disadvantage of not knowing that Davout’s garrison at Regensberg had capitulated, thus, on 22 April, he acted under the understanding that the Austrian Army was not only on its heels, but had no safe road out of harms way. Neither of these points were true.

Charles, on the other hand, had options. The strong French movement against Landshut, cut-off the eastern line communications, support, and potentially of retreat. However, with Regensberg now secured, there was an option for Charles to fallback to the north, away from the threat to his existing line of communications and towards his new one. The fall of Regensberg had also freed up two ArmeeKorps: that of Bellegarde’s I Korps and Kollowrat’s II Korps. With these additional Forces, and a safe line of retreat secured to the north through Regensberg, Charles decided there was no cause to abandon his initial intention of destroying Davout’s isolated corps.

Davout, perhaps better informed than the Emperor, as he was aware Regensberg had fallen, and that Charles would not pickup his Army and go home, was in for a fight. The Duke of Elchingen was to demonstrate that exercising loyalty required both skill and faith.

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Ratisbon | 23 April 1809

Following the end of the Austrian offensive with the defeat at Eckmühl, the French pursued the Hauptarmee north. Charles, concerned about having only one crossing point over the Danube, promptly ordered the construction of a pontoon bridge. Unfortunately, the coordination of the crossing was about as poor as other events during the campaign and logjams of men and material were common. While preparations to defend the town were well considered, they were ill timed, two of the three gates into the city were barricaded immediately, the only one left open being the James Gate on the east side of the town. Thus, when the pontoon bridge backed up, Forces were required to march across the entire frontage of Regensberg to avail themselves of an entrance to the town so they might use its bridge.

The outnumbered Austrian cavalry put up a valiant fight for several hours, keeping the French heavy cavalry divisions at bay until sometime around noon, when French infantry began arriving. The Austrians on the southern bank managed to get across the river, while the French probed the town’s defenses. The fight for Regensburg was about to begin.

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Neumarkt-Sankt Veit | 24 April 1809

After being beaten out of Landshut, 21 April, Hiller’s wing of the Hauptarmee fell back and away ahead of a French pursuit led by Bessières. Unfortunately, Hiller was under the impression that Charles was on the offensive, and so recommitted himself to the attack.

Hiller’s course reversal caught his French pursuers off-guard, requiring Bessières to rush additional Formations forward. Vastly outnumbered, Wrede’s Bavarian division, through a combination of strong coordination with French cavalry, and the slow build of the Austrian attack as it marched to the field from a variety of angles, held for several hours before beginning a slow withdrawal.

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Ebelsberg | 3 May 1809

Still separated from the Austrian Hauptarmee, but now aware that the offensive sought by Archduke Charles had reversed itself, Hiller took over the role of rear guard. Napoleon keen to take advantage of the situation, with the bulk of the Hauptarmee across the Danube, falling back into Bohemia to reorganize, there were plenty of resources with which to strike at Hiller's remaining wing. Hiller, strangely, did not think the pursuit by the French would come to much, and expected no serious fighting around Ebelsberg or his crossing of the Traun River. This in direct contradiction to the experience of 1805 and this campaign to-date.

This time Massena took up the job of pursuer and pressed Hiller at Ebelsberg. Massena’s action was energetic, as French subordinates were encouraged to rush the action as much as possible and drive-in the point of contact. From the initial contact forward, Hiller appeared entirely unprepared for the day’s fighting, which was defined by a lack of coordination and poor communication amongst the Austrian chain-of-command. While the French demonstrated a high level of personal initiative in taking advantage of all opportunities, the Austrians seemed to ignore even those most clearly available.

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Linz-Urfahr | 17 May 1809

Kolowrat was under orders to strike upon the French line-of-communications in the Danube Valley. He chose to overpower the crossing point between Urfahr and Linz. Vandamme was focused on holding the crossing point on the Danube to ensure smooth operations for the French Army during the campaign. Neither the Austrian nor French positions were particularly good. The Austrians had to move through poor terrain, defiles, woods, and hills to reach the French defenders, but while the French benefitted from open ground across which to move their Formations, the area was narrow and reduced further by the marshes around the Danube.

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Aspern-Essling | 21–22 May 1809

Having taken Vienna, the campaign nevertheless continued. Uprisings throughout the occupation areas continued, requiring the dispersing of La Grande Armée to cover the territory. Knowing the practical rebellion would continue until the Habsburg Monarchy agreed to peace. To affect that, Napoleon determined to destroy the Austrian Hauptarmee, now reorganized somewhere north of the Danube, some distance away in Moravia. Charles had actually moved the Army close to the Danube, within miles of Vienna, and was determined to oppose the French crossing.

Often referred to as ‘Napoleon’s first defeat’, the fierce battle at Aspern-Essling was one of the greatest failed gambles of Napoleon’s career. The events turned on determination of French arms, and a single bridge, flung across a swollen river.

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Napoleon's | La Grande Armée

The French Army and all of its Allies.

  • Grenadiers à Pied
  • Chasseurs à Pied
  • Fusilier-Grenadiers
  • Fusilier-Chasseurs
  • 1st Tirailleurs-Grenadiers
  • 1st Tirailleur-Chasseurs
  • Guard Chasseurs à Cheval
  • Mamelukes
  • Guard Grenadiers à Cheval
  • Gendarmerie d’élites
  • Polonais Chevaulégèr-Lanciers
  • Empress Dragoons
  • Guard Horse Artillery
  • Guard Train
  • Typical Légère Regiments
  • Tirailleurs du Pô
  • Tirailleurs Corses
  • 7th Légère
  • 15th Légère
  • 16th Légère
  • 21st Légère
  • 24th Légère
  • 27th Légère
  • Typical Ligne Regiments
  • 2nd Ligne
  • 3rd Ligne
  • 4th Ligne
  • 8th Ligne
  • 18th Ligne
  • 27th Ligne
  • 30th Ligne
  • 46th ligne
  • 54th Ligne
  • 57th Ligne
  • 63rd Ligne
  • 65th Ligne
  • 67th Ligne
  • 88th Ligne
  • 94th Ligne
  • 96th Ligne
  • Foot Artillery
  • Horse Artillery
  • Train
  • 5th Hussars
  • 7th Hussars
  • 8th Hussars
  • 9th Hussars
  • 1st Chasseurs à Cheval
  • 2nd Chasseurs à Cheval
  • 3rd Chasseurs à Cheval
  • 7th Chasseurs à Cheval
  • 11th Chasseurs à Cheval
  • 13th Chasseurs à Cheval
  • 14th Chasseurs à Cheval
  • 16th Chasseurs à Cheval
  • 19th Chasseurs à Cheval
  • 20th Chasseurs à Cheval
  • 23rd Chasseurs à Cheval
  • 24th Chasseurs à Cheval
  • 1st Carabiniers à Cheval
  • 2nd Carabiniers à Cheval
  • 1st Cuirassiers
  • 2nd Cuirassiers
  • 3rd Cuirassiers
  • 4th Cuirassiers
  • 5th Cuirassiers
  • 6th Cuirassiers
  • 7th Cuirassiers
  • 8th Cuirassiers
  • 9th Cuirassiers
  • 10th Cuirassiers
  • 11th Cuirassiers
  • 12th Cuirassiers
  • Baden Lingg Jägers
  • Baden 1st Großherzog Infantry
  • Baden 2nd Erbgrossherzog Infantry
  • Baden 3rd Graf Hochberg Infantry
  • Baden Light Dragoons
  • Bavarian 1st Habermann Light Infantry
  • Bavarian 5th Butler Light Infantry
  • Bavarian 6th La Roche Light Infantry
  • Bavarian 7th Günther Light Infantry
  • Bavarian 1st Leib Infantry
  • Bavarian 2nd Kronprinz Infantry
  • Bavarian 3rd Prinz Karl Infantry
  • Bavarian 4th Infantry
  • Bavarian 5th Preysing Infantry
  • Bavarian 6th Herzog Wilhelm Infantry
  • Bavarian 7th Löwenstein Infantry
  • Bavarian 8th Herzog Pius Infantry
  • Bavarian 9th Ysenburg Infantry
  • Bavarian 10th Junker Infantry
  • Bavarian 13th Infantry
  • Bavarian 14th Infantry
  • Bavarian 1st Dragoons
  • Bavarian 2nd Thurn und Taxis Dragoons
  • Bavarian Herzog Louis Jägers zu Pferd
  • Bavarian König Jägers zu Pferd
  • Bavarian 1st Kronprinz Chevaulégèrs
  • Bavarian 2nd König Chevaulégèrs
  • Bavarian 3rd Leiningen Chevaulégèrs
  • Bavarian 4th Bubenhofen Chevaulégèrs
  • Bavarian Artillery
  • Hesse-Damstädt 1st Leib Fusiliers
  • Hesse-Damstädt Leib Garde Infantry
  • Hesse-Damstädt Leib Infantry
  • Hesse-Damstädt Chevaulégèrs
  • Württemberg 1st Wolff Light Infantry
  • Württemberg 2nd Brüsselle Light Infantry
  • Württemberg König Jägers
  • Württemberg Neuffer Jägers
  • Württemberg Neubronn Fusiliers
  • Württemberg Kronprinz Infantry
  • Württemberg Herzog Wilhelm Infantry
  • Württemberg Phull Infantry
  • Württemberg Camrer Infantry
  • Württemberg Leib Chevaulégèrs
  • Württemberg Herzog Heinrich Chevaulégèrs
  • Württemberg Leib Chevaulégèrs
  • Saxon Leib Grenadier Gardes
  • Saxon Garde du Corps
  • Saxon Leib Garde Küirassiers
  • Saxon Schützen
  • Saxon Cerrini Infantry
  • Saxon Dyherrn Infantry
  • Saxon König Infantry
  • Saxon Low Infantry
  • Saxon Niesemeuschel Infantry
  • Saxon Oebschelwitz Infantry
  • Saxon Prinz Anton Infantry
  • Saxon Prinz Clemens Infantry
  • Saxon Prinz Friedrich August Infantry
  • Saxon Prinz Maximilian Infantry
  • Saxon 1st Radeloff Grenadiers
  • Saxon 2nd Bose Grenadiers
  • Saxon 3rd Hake Grenadiers
  • Saxon 4th Winkelmann Grenadiers
  • Saxon Hussars
  • Saxon Prinz Albert Chevaulégèrs
  • Saxon Prinz Clemens Chevaulégèrs
  • Saxon Prinz Johann Chevaulégèrs
  • Saxon Karabiniers
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Archduke Karl's | Hauptarmee

The Austrian Army of 1809.

  • Jägers
  • 6th Warasdin-St Georg Grenzers
  • 7th Broder Grenzers
  • 8th Gradiska Grenzers
  • 9th Peterwardein Grenzers
  • 12th Deutsch-Banat Grenzers
  • 13th Wallach-Illyria Grenzers
  • 1st Kaiser Infantry
  • 2nd Hiller Infantry
  • 3rd Erzherzog Karl Infantry
  • 4th Deutschmeister Infantry
  • 7th Schröder Infantry
  • 8th Erzherzog Ludwig Infantry
  • 9th Czartoryski Infantry
  • 10th Anton Mittrowsky Infantry
  • 11th Erzherzog Rainer Infantry
  • 12th Manfredini Infantry
  • 14th Klebeck Infantry
  • 15th Zach Infantry
  • 17th Reuss-Plauen Infantry
  • 18th Stuart Infantry
  • 20th Kaunitz Infantry
  • 21st Rohan Infantry
  • 22nd Koburg Infantry
  • 23rd Würzburg Infantry
  • 25th Zedtwitz Infantry
  • 28th Frelich Infantry
  • 29th Lindenau Infantry
  • 31st Benjovszky Infantry
  • 33rd Sztaray Infantry
  • 35th Argenteau Infantry
  • 36th Kolowrat Infantry
  • 38th Württemberg Infantry
  • 39th Duka Infantry
  • 40th Josef Mittrowsky Infantry
  • 42nd Erbach Infantry
  • 44th Belegarde Infantry
  • 46th Chasteler Infantry
  • 47th Vogelsang Infantry
  • 49th Kerpen Infantry
  • 50th Stain Infantry
  • 51st Splényi Infantry
  • 54th Froon Infantry
  • 55th Reuss-Greitz Infantry
  • 56th Wenzel Colloredo Infantry
  • 57th Josef Colloredo Infantry
  • 58th Beaulieu Infantry
  • 59th Jordis Infantry
  • 60th Gyulai Infantry
  • Berger (Nissel) Grenadiers
  • Bissingen Grenadiers
  • Brzeczinski Grenadiers
  • Cappy (Oklopsia) Grenadiers
  • Demontant (Stark) Grenadiers
  • Frisch (Weiniawsky) Grenadiers
  • Georgy Grenadiers
  • Hahn (Habinay) Grenadiers
  • Hauger (Portner) Grenadiers
  • Hohenlohe (Hromada) Grenadiers
  • Kirchenbetter Grenadiers
  • Leiningen Grenadiers
  • Mayblümel (Locher) Grenadiers
  • Peccaduc (Legrand) Grenadiers
  • Puteany (Jambline) Grenadiers
  • Scharlach (Purcell) Grenadiers
  • Scovaud Grenadiers
  • Beraun Landwehr Infantry
  • Prague Landwehr Infantry
  • Chrudim Landwehr Infantry
  • Innviertel Landwehr Infantry
  • Kaurschim Landwehr Infantry
  • Pilsen Landwehr Infantry
  • Königgrätz Landwehr Infantry
  • Hausruck Landwehr Infantry
  • Mühlviertel Landwehr Infantry
  • Traunviertel Landwehr Infantry
  • 3rd Erzherzog Ferdinand Hussars
  • 4th Hessen-Homburg Hussars
  • 6th Blankenstein Hussars
  • 7th Liechtenstein Hussars
  • 8th Keinmayer Hussars
  • 10th Stipsicz Hussars
  • 1st Erzherzog Johann Dragoons
  • 3rd Knesevich Dragoons
  • 4th Levenehr Dragoons
  • 6th Riesch Dragoons
  • 3rd O’Reilly Chevaulégèrs
  • 4th Vincent Chevaulégèrs
  • 5th Klenau Chevaulégèrs
  • 6th Rosenberg Chevulégèrs
  • 1st Merveldt Uhlans
  • 2nd Schwarzenberg Uhlans
  • 3rd Erzherzog Karl Uhlans
  • 1st Kaiser Küirassiers
  • 2nd Erzherzog Franz Küirassiers
  • 3rd Herzog Albert Küirassiers
  • 4th Ferdinand Küirassiers
  • 6th Liechtenstein Küirassiers
  • 8th Hohenzollern Küirassiers
  • Erzherzog Karl Legion
  • Insurrection Hussars
  • Vienna Volunteers
  • Moravian Volunteers
  • Carneville Freikorps Infantry
  • Carneville Freikorps Cavalry
  • Artillery
  • Pioneers
  • Train
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