horselburg (october 26, 1813)
A "programmed wargames scenario" ADAPTED for divisional napoleon's battles
This fictional scenario is an adaptation of the C.S. Grant’s ‘Crossing
Point’ scenario of his book ‘Programmed Wargames Scenarios'. I
hesitated whether to run this Scenario or to run the Tabletop Teaser
No.1 "The Bridge Demolition" (from the same author) but I think that
the Scenario is best adapted to the real engagement.
Napoleon has been defeated at Leipzig and the Grande Armee is retiring
"On 25 October, at 3.00 a.m., Napoleon ordered his army
westwards once again in order to reach the passes by Eisenach, before
the Advance Guard of the Army of Silesia. This effort was yet another
inevitable force march ... On 26 October, in yet another rearguard
action, Oudinot and Mortier engaged Yorck’s Corps around H÷rselberg.
Their four weak divisions of Young Guard totalled about 14,000 men and
suffered about 2,000 casualties” (G. Nafziger, 'Napoleon at Leipzig. The Battle of
Nations 1813’. The Emperor Press, Chicago, 1996).
This fictional engagement (Horselberg+Fryeburg) was
fought between elements of the Yorck’s I Corps
of Prussian Army of Silesia (Advance Guard and 7th brigade)
and the re-organized (at Erfurt) Young Guard
Corps under Mortier (1st and 3rd Divisions). The O.O.B's were
modified and adapted from the Nafziger's book cited above as well as
from “The Greenhill Napoleonic Wars Data Book” (Greenhill Books, London,
1998) of Digby Smith.
I have also added a brigade of French Young Guard Cavalry to add some color to the French units.
The deployment and subsequent actions from both sides, are strongly
depending from the die rolls proposed by the Scenarios's designer.
French delaying force (Elements from Mortier's Young Guard Corps)
Mission: “to prevent Prussians securing a passage for his main
army through the pass in the hours of daylight”. No deployment is
allowed in the western side (beyond Z). The defence will be “in depth.
Deploy 1/3 of force across the front between X and Y, 1/3 between Y
and Z and 1/3 between Z and the eastern side of the battlefield”.
Troops may be concealed in woods or houses. The troops on or at east of line
Z must be deployed “spread across the whole front
with centre on town”. The orders are “The army will be based on
a number of defended areas sited in depth which will be used to delay
the enemy and cause casualties. These localities will withdraw as they
become threatened. A final defensive position will be formed at the far
eastern end of the pass if this is required to fulfil the mission.
Uncommitted troops, for example the rearmost third of the army in the
initial stages, will form the defence. The line will
conform to any reverse falling back accordingly”.
Prussian force (Elements from Yorck's I Corps)
Mission: “To secure the pass during the hours of daylight so that
the main army may pass through it unmolested by night ". The forces
will appear in march column on the central road on move one and will
deploy off road in the second move but “if units come under small
arms fire as they deploy, the attack will begin immediately”. The
force will “attack down both the northern and southern sides of the
pass with light troop in the centre linking the flanks” and
“pockets of enemy resistance will be bypassed”. The order of march
Scenario pdf file
and is based on 19th century's tactical manuals located throught
Google books (See the full history in the
Project Leipzig blog).
All the die rolls were made with an ad-hoc
designed as outlined in the
Napoleon's Battles page.
Use the O.R. 13.3, modified by the scale: 60 men (2 figures) will spend
30 min (3 turns) in a BUA element to improve the unfortified combat
modifier to fortified. In our case, the sapper detachment (8 figures)
will improve to fortified status until 4 BUA’s of Horselburg in three
turns. It will require another additional 90 min (9 turns) in the same
conditions, to raise the fortified modifier by ‘+1’ modifier, until a
From the book ”Programmed Wargames Scenarios”: ”The victory
conditions for this scenario are closely related to the situation at
last light, if no clear victor has already emerged. The victor will be
who has achieved his mission. There can be no draw”
All Prussian attempts to dislodge the French rearguard after
Leipzig, were unsuccessful. Napoleon outdistanced all his pursuers, and
routed “en passant” the Bavarians at Hanau.
Nafziger G. ‘'Napoleon at
Leipizg. The Battles of Nations 1813”, The Emperor Press, Chicago,
Smith, D., 'The
Greenhill Napoleonic Wars Data Book', Green-Hill Books, London,
Grant, C.S.. ”Programmed
Wargames Scenarios”, Wargames Research Group, Goring-by-Sea,
Compute Sunrise, Sunset & Twilight (http://www.cavu.com/sunset.html)
THE BATTLE IN PICTURES
Scenarios for NB