Right now I'm reading John Gill's excellent trilogy on the 1809 campaign against Austria:
Which is just a phenomenal read. If you are at all interested in Napoleonic warfare, this should be on your list.
The book prompted me (as happens) to try some gaming from the campaign. Last week I started with Aspern Essling 20.
|Initial French and Austrian positions. Units are corps|
Aspern Essling was, historically, a French defeat. After a stunning series of victories against the Austrians and the capture (again) of Vienna, Napoleon was feeling his oats and elected for a hasty crossing of the flooded Danube to destroy the Austrians under Archduke Charles. Frankly, the Austrians had done such a poor job up to that point that it's hard to blame Napoleon for thinking he could just steamroll them. Unfortunately, Napoleon didn't really understand that the Danube in flood was not the same as the Rhine in flood, and ended up stuck on the north bank of the river with just part of his army.
|The French cross the river and the Austrians slowly begin to react.|
|The French pontoon bridges are destroyed and Napoleon is isolated on the north bank. Desperate Austrian assaults have cleared the French from Aspern.|
|The final situation. The Austrians have destroyed the French bridgehead and taken the villages, but at a cost. French morale was still high enough to yield only a marginal victory for the Austrians, the historical result.|
All in all the game played out in a couple of hours and was great fun. I really like that VPG games have most all of the charts and tables printed on either the map or a couple of cards that can be placed next to the map. This really cuts down on the paper-shuffling during the game. I'm looking forward to trying the other game in this set, Wagram.