I've also been playing a great deal of solo Napoleonic goodness, set mostly during Napoleon's Ulm Campaign of 1805, during the War of the Third Coalition. This is the campaign that led eventually to the Battle of Austerlitz, probably Napoleon's greatest victory.
|The battlefield at the start of the action. The lead elements of Beaumont's 3rd Dragoon Division are entering along the road from Frauenstetten. The game is John Tiller's Campaign Austerlitz.|
Well before the guns crashed at Austerlitz though, Napoleon moved to isolate the Austrian army of the hapless General Mack in and around the city of Ulm. Napoleon pulled off a stroke of strategic brilliance by enveloping Mack's over-extended position and knocking the Austrian army out of the war right at the beginning. Napoleon was introducing the hidebound aristocratically led armies of Europe to the basics of Maneuver Warfare.
As generals go, Mack was not only hopelessly outclassed by Napoleon, but not a particularly good general even compared to his Austrian peers. Beyond the huge mistake he made by advancing his army so far west, Mack made a multitude of other, lesser mistakes. Among those was sending the Auffenburg's infantry division on an unsupported reconnaissance in force from Ulm toward Donauworth, where Mack had rumors of French activity.
Obscure Battles. Jeff Barry, the author not only writes engagingly but does some fantastic maps. Go ahead an check it out, I'll be here when you get back.
|By 1:40 PM the Austrian picket force has either been destroyed or driven off, routed. Beaumont's Division has been joined by the leading elements of Klein's Division.|
|Overview of the advance of the dragoon divisions at 2:00 PM. The Austrians are nowhere to be found, but if they aren't on that high ground I'll eat my horse.|
|Beaumont's dragoons moving into position while a pair of hussar regiments move west to scout the route of the infantry's advance|
|The final situation. Auffenberg's division has ceased to be.|
|Nonetheless, a minor defeat for the French! My casualties are about 4X the historical French casualties, while Austrian casualties are roughly the same as the dead, wounded, and captured in the actual combat.|
Now, if I can just remember all this in my PBEM games I might have a chance...