Sunday, October 18, 2009

Battle of Seehausen - Set Up


Campaign background

Just before midnight on 2 May 1813 Marshal Augereau takes to his bed in the village of Seehausen. His 5 French corps are deployed to prevent a Prussian advance from Magdeburg, and to protect Seehausen which is their supply base. Half an hour later an ADC arrived from Marshal Davout with orders for 5 corps to move north at first light and support 4 corps who are about to attack Colbitz. At first light 5 corps take the road north.

As the last infantry brigade marches out of Seehausen, the brigade commander sights a body of Prussian hussars approaching Seehausen on the Madgeburg road. It is the advance guard of 2 Prussian corps, who have been ordered to attack Seehausen.

The battle of Seehausen has begun

Tactical map at start of battle

Campaign Map

The campaign map shows the position of both armies immediately prior to the battle.

The outlined area on the map will be the wargames table. It will be noted that 5 French corps are moving north to support the attack on Colbitz, which would leave the Elbe bridge, and the northern approaches to Magdeburg, in French hands. The Prussian strength is concentrated in the centre, and 2 Prussian corps is moving west to allow 4 corps to cross the river Elbe

Photo 1 - wargames table at start of battle

Wargames Table

The photograph of the wargames table is taken from the south. Seehausen is the village on the left centre. 5 French corps can be seen marching north from the village. 2 Prussian corps is approaching from the right on the Magdeburg road.

The terrain is flat and open, with small hamlets and farms dotted around the area and a small woods.

Photo 2 - from Prussian side of table

2 Prussian corps on the march from Magdeburg to Seehausen. The corps is in the standard column of march. The deployed cavalry brigade leads the advance, supported by one infantry brigade followed by the corps artillery and the remaining infantry. General Kleist, the corps commander, rides immediately behind the cavalry brigade.

The French can be seen top right marching north from Seehausen

Photo 3 - from French side of table

5 French corps marching north to Colbitz. They are also in standard column of march, with Marshal Augereau immediately behind the cavalry screen. The rear of the column is just leaving Seehausen on the right.

The approaching Prussians can be seen at the top right.

Game Setup

Unlike the battle of Colbitz, this is not an encounter battle. In fact the French are marching away from the Prussians. An important consideration in this game will be how quickly the French can react to the Prussian approach. If they were on blinds the French could turn around immediately for the use of just one command pip. However with figures on the table the French player will have to use two command pips just to turn the rear infantry brigade around – one reach the rear brigade to issue the order, and another to turn the brigade around. And this will have to be repeated for the whole corps.

For this reason the figures are on the table at the start of the game. A lot will now depend on who moves first, and how many command pips they throw. It should be noted that the French commander is Average, and will get 2 extra command pips to the 1 extra for the Poor Prussian commander.

The Prussians have a huge advantage in this game as they are already heading towards their objective.

If the French lose Seehausen they not only lose the battle, they also lose their supply base.


  1. Being that the French 6th Corps is on the edge of the battlefield, they can march to the sound of the guns no?


  2. Hi John

    Now that the rules have changed, and there are three map moves in one day (and one wargame) I have done away with "march to the sound of the guns". This battle starts move 7 (0800-1200). For move 8 (1200-11600) commander 6 French corps can then order them to join the battle.




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