Wagram - 6 July 1809 (Macdonald’s Square)
The Austrians had repulsed the French late day attacks on July 5th but Charles knew he was still outnumbered. He chose the audacious course of an early morning double envelopment attack to defeat Napoleon before the superior French numbers made Austrian defeat inevitable.
Coordination, the Austrian Achilles heel, again bedeviled Charles. Rosenberg’s attack against Davout failed, and even though the attack against the French left came very close to succeeding, Napoleon contained it without using his reserves. Now, with Davout advancing inexorably against the Austrian left, Napoleon knew the time had come to split the Austrian center and crush the Austrians once and for all.
Napoleon ordered Macdonald to attack the Austrian center, supported by a massed French battery that had already inflicted massive Austrian losses. Although the French giant hollow square attack formation was somewhat unusual, it slowly gained momentum, even though the Austrian artillery and infantry responded by laying down an intense fire against the advancing infantry. Charles then ordered the Austrian cavalry to attack Macdonald’s flank, but the French cavalry rode forward to counter. Massive casualties reduced the 8,000 man hollow square to 1,500 men by the time they closed with the Austrian Grenadiers at bayonet point, Although Macdonald’s infantry could not break the Austrian battle line, it did prevent Charles from reinforcing his own attacks or supporting Rosenberg against Davout. Seeing his left flank was lost, Charles knew the battle had turned against him and ordered his army to withdraw. The exhausted French army could only follow, rather than stage a strong pursuit.
The stage is set. The battle lines are drawn and you are in command. Can you change history?
• Commander: Charles
• 5 Command Cards
• Commander: Napoleon
• 6 Command Cards
• Move First
• The infantry units in Macdonald’s formation, when in adjacent contiguous hexes to Macdonald, are all ordered when any of the units in the formation are ordered.
Regardless of the Command Card played, units in the formation may only move one hex. Regardless of the number of MacDonald infantry units ordered, only the number of MacDonald infantry units equal to the number on the Command card may battle. A unit may not be ordered to break away from the formation. However, if a unit is forced to retreat and is no longer in an adjacent contiguous hex, it is no longer considered part of the formation. Any unit ordered to form square is no longer considered part of the formation.
• The French player gains 1 Victory Banner at the start of the turn for each town hex occupied.