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319 Wagram - Macdonald’s Square (6 July 1809)

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 42 %
Record a victory for BOTTOM ARMY  58 %
Total plays 19 - Last reported by tantalon on 2017-08-08 03:27:07

Wagram - 6 July 1809 (Macdonald’s Square)

Historical Background
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?

 

Set-Up Order

Forest 3
Hill 3
Town 3

 

Battle Notes

Austrian Army
• Commander: Charles
• 5 Command Cards
• Optional 3 Tactician Cards

Line Infantry Grenadier Infantry Militia Infantry Light Cavalry Heavy Cavalry Cuirassier Heavy Cavalry Foot Artillery Horse Artillery Leader
6 5 1 1 1 1 1 1 4

French Army
• Commander: Napoleon
• 6 Command Cards
• Optional 6 Tactician Cards
• Move First

Line Infantry Light Cavalry Heavy Cavalry Foot Artillery Leader
11 2 2 3 6

 

Victory
7 Banners

Special Rules
• 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 (Permanent Victory Banner Turn Start)

Tags: Expansion 3, Banners: 7, Army: Austrian, Army: French, Special Rule: Permanent VB (Turn Start)

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Mark-McG's Avatar
Mark-McG replied the topic: #2752 2 years 2 months ago

Superman wrote: 2) If Macdonald’s unit is short supplied is the entire formation also short supplied? If only Macdonald’s unit is sent back to the base line then I take it the formation no longer exists.


I concur with Bayernkini's post, with this addition;
MacDonald's square relies upon the existence of MacDonald, so if McDonald (and attached unit) are short supplied, then for the purposes of considering his Square, it is calculated from MacDonald's location.

So in this instance, if MacDonald moved to the base line, all other units might be detached, but other adjacent LN might join the new square. So the square still 'exists' as long as MacDonald does, even though it may have 0 units.
Bayernkini's Avatar
Bayernkini replied the topic: #2751 2 years 2 months ago
1. Units may take ground only if the basic rules allow it, so only this unit, which battles a successful melee.
Scenario specific: The unit, which want take ground, may not break/leave the formation voluntary with this additional movement. So the unit may only take ground here, if it´s still in formation after that move.

2. Only one unit may short supplied. If MacDonalds own unit is short supplied, then the formation of the other units is broken, until MacDonald (and/or his unit) move again into formation.


And the complete MacDonald rule is indeed a unlucky one, makes to much troubles ;)
Superman's Avatar
Superman replied the topic: #2750 2 years 2 months ago
Two questions came up during play concerning Macdonald's formation that I did not see addressed in this forum. 1) taking ground and 2) short supply.

1) Can units in the formation take ground after a successful battle? If so, do all the other units in the formation also get to move again at this time?

2) If Macdonald’s unit is short supplied is the entire formation also short supplied? If only Macdonald’s unit is sent back to the base line then I take it the formation no longer exists.
Michalxo's Avatar
Michalxo replied the topic: #1484 3 years 4 months ago
Ok, that makes perfect sense now, after Mark's explanation. Exactly as I understood previously.
Thank you Mark and Bayernkini :)
Mark-McG's Avatar
Mark-McG replied the topic: #1483 3 years 4 months ago
My view is that it is better to consider that the cards only order units as normal.

If a MacDonald's square INF is ordered, all the other units may move. They are not ordered for any other purpose.

The units that were ordered may battle normally.

So was Boussier able to be ordered? No. Because it was not a Centre unit.
Ergo, Boussier cannot battle.

If Lamarche was ordered, he could battle, but even being in the centre, if not ordered.. then no battle.
Bayernkini's Avatar
Bayernkini replied the topic: #1482 3 years 4 months ago
No, only the number of units, which the command cards shows, can battle.
So far, all battles, which i saw, are been correct :)

But you are right, this rule is unlucky :S
Michalxo's Avatar
Michalxo replied the topic: #1481 3 years 4 months ago
I got lost now.
It was all clear, and now after reading

A: In regard to battling, any ordered unit may battle. The section a unit starts in or ends in or remains in does not restrict what units may battle.


What? So any unit from McD can battle? Ignoring sections??
So can Broussier attack or no?
Bayernkini's Avatar
Bayernkini replied the topic: #1480 3 years 4 months ago
3. Ordered by Forced March, can only the units in one section battle?
(RB) Yes, only units in one section may battle.

4. Can units out of section be considered ordered for battle purposes?
(RB) No, only ordered units on the Command card section may battle.
For a Coordinated Advance and Recon in Force Command card played, units each section of MacDonald’s formation could battle.


To make this rule/FAQ more clear (because of a similar situation in a tournament game), i got still another additional answer from Richard :)





MacDonalds formation was ordered by a Attack Center, so complete formation was ordered and can move with the initial center card. That´s no problem :)
The question was,

Q: Can the left French unit with Leader (Broussier), which startet on left section, move into Center section and battle. Or can only the Units battle, which started on Center, because of the Initial Center card?

A: In regard to battling, any ordered unit may battle. The section a unit starts in or ends in or remains in does not restrict what units may battle.
Richard Borg


This makes it more clear now. General a nice rule, but in game it makes sometimes worries, with which cards, which units can ordered and how many may battle in which sections :dry:
Bayernkini's Avatar
Bayernkini replied the topic: #1452 3 years 4 months ago
If you give only 1 order of the Elan result (INF in this case) to the MacDonalds formation, then the complete formation is ordered and may move, BUT only the inital number of orders which you apply to the formation, may battle, in your example only 1 INF.

It´s similar as the number 6 of the FAQ answers (see post above from Alessandro) says about a Leadership cards.
Michalxo's Avatar
Michalxo replied the topic: #1449 3 years 4 months ago
What about for example elan card?
Imagine I roll XSW, CAV, INF, ART, XSW, INF. That means that I could order 1 INF unit in McD, another 1 unit somewhere else on map and ART + CAV. That's clear. Now that solo INF moves, and whole McD moves, thank's to that single INF, and CAV + ART.

Now I have question, does it mean, that 4 any units from McD may battle? + 1 solo INF unit somewhere else on map, CAV and ART. Do I understand it correctly?
alecrespi's Avatar
alecrespi replied the topic: #1290 3 years 7 months ago
Hi Mark,
just received from Mr Borg an official answer to your questions... here they are.

1. If MacDonald is killed?
(RB) Note, the formation is only maintained while infantry units are in an adjacent contiguous hexes to the MacDonald block.
If MacDonald is eliminated the formation is no longer maintained.
Also note, an infantry unit that forms square or is forced to retreat and is no longer part of the formation, may rejoin the formation when the unit comes out of square or moves and it is again in an adjacent contiguous hex to the MacDonald block

2. Can the formation stretch into a line?
(RB) Yes, the formation could be stretched into a line.

3. Ordered by Forced March, can only the units in one section battle?
(RB) Yes, only units in one section may battle.

4. Can units out of section be considered ordered for battle purposes?
(RB) No, only ordered units on the Command card section may battle.
For a Coordinated Advance and Recon in Force Command card played, units each section of MacDonald’s formation could battle.

5. If MacDonald’s unit forms a square, does the whole formation fall apart?
(RB) This is an interesting question, and probably somewhat of a “so what would happen if” type question.
Although the infantry unit with MacDonald attached is technically not in the formation, infantry units still in an adjacent contiguous hexes to the MacDonald block are still part of the formation.

6. Leadership cards, orders all formation?
(RB) When MacDonald is ordered by a Leadership Command card, the infantry unit he is attached to and infantry units in an adjacent contiguous hexes to the MacDonald block are ordered. Only the infantry unit with MacDonald attached may battle.

7. May MacDonald be ordered to break away from the formation?
(RB) No, like an infantry unit in the formation, the MacDonald block may not be ordered to break away from the formation.


I hope everything would be clearer then.
Regards
Alessandro
Mark-McG's Avatar
Mark-McG replied the topic: #1289 3 years 7 months ago
So my understanding of the way the rule is intended to work is that units are ordered normally, and if one or more of the units are part of MacDonald's formation, then the whole formation can move (only). When moving each LN unit was remain adjacent to 1 other unit in the formation such that a continuous line of LN units can be traced to MacDonald.

So a line could be formed by this movement, the formation is flexible. However, no unit can voluntarily detach.
Mark-McG's Avatar
Mark-McG replied the topic: #1288 3 years 7 months ago
Many questions about MacDonald's formation when things happen as follows;

1. If MacDonald is killed?
2. Can the formation stretch into a line?
3. Ordered by Forced March, can only the units in one section battle?
4. Can units out of section be considered ordered for battle purposes?
5. If MacDonald's unit forms a square, does the whole formation fall apart?
6. Leadership cards, orders all formation?

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Soldiers generally win battles; generals get credit for them. ~Napoleon