Haslach: Dupont’s Baggage

Tim Carne, Vince Hughes, and Kevin Zucker

It is rarely intended that any troops should have to enter the fight without supply. If so, it is usually mentioned. At Haslach, Dupont has to have the corps baggage train in play at start. Otherwise he would be out of supply. As the whole formation starts on the board, then according to the Study Folder, the Baggage will start on the map. The French player can place Ney’s baggage train anywhere within 7 hexes of any unit of his formation. He has the freedom to place his baggage train either with Dupont or with Ney, or somewhere in between.

Ney’s formation is spread on the two ends of the map. So the Baggage train has to be placed within 7 hexes of one of the groups. This will either put Dupont’s men OOS or if the Baggage start within 7 of Dupont, then the main group would have to try and trace supply from the French supply source, but that would leave the baggage a little at risk.

Playtesting started Ney’s Baggage with Dupont, a little to the rear towards Ober Elchingen. Hex 2511 was used—as far away from the front as possible but not blocking the route for any arriving elements of the other divisions.  It also covers the road taken by the dismounted dragoons.

I think Albeck makes more historical sense.  This is however a long way from where it needs to be for Ney’s corps for the rest of the campaign.  

There was a lot of apprehension about Dupont’s positioning from Ney. He was in debate/ argument with Murat about sending his troops south of the river because he was not fully aware of Austrian positions and therefore concerned about his LOC should Dupont’s troops cross south of the river.

It is reasonable to assume that the entire baggage for his corps was still on the north bank. Martin van Creveld writes in “Supplying War...”  “As the army approached the Danube, however, the (supply) situation suddenly worsened, probably reaching its nadir round 9-12 October.”

Presumably the baggage had been falling behind. Berthier writes on 2 October, “As to subsistence, it is impossible to feed you by magazines (depots), the entire French army, the Austrian army even, lives off the country.”

Historically Dupont’s division fought hard and aggressively so they were neither lacking initiative nor the ability to advance after combat.  The game effects of OOS would not be appropriate. There are, however, significant differences between the standalone Haslach and the Ulm campaign when it comes to supply for Ney’s corps. 

 Supply for the next day is not an issue in the DoB game so it doesn’t matter where the Baggage ends up.  For the campaign, if the 12th becomes a campaign lull, that allows 33.72, Baggage reorganization.  

If there is no campaign lull (no French victory) then it is movement as usual but if there is a lull then the baggage can move on the recovery turns.  The baggage train would have to move across the map to get to a position where it could supply the rest of Ney’s corps.

Moving during the Lull, 33.74, does make reorganization difficult. The player might want to lose the baggage deliberately and then re-form it south of the Danube. 

In fact, Dupont’s parks and baggage were captured on the 11th. Dupont was pushed back from Haslach at a cost of one-third of his force including his parks and baggage, two eagles and 10 guns. The Austrian cavalry obtained Dupont’s papers revealing that the rest of the French troops were on the right bank.

We don’t know where the rest of the baggage from Ney’s Corps was. Ney had 54 wagons loaded with fodder passing through Heidenheim on 7 October. Heidenheim is a day’s march north of Langenau (map edge hex 4101), by way of Brenz and Giengen. 

PLAYER FEEDBACK: By Special Rule, give Dupot his own baggage train, perhaps snagged from another game. This is in effect and in all ways like an extra Corps baggage train.