the wethau bridge (october 10, 1813)

The Augereau's IX Corps is advancing along the Saale from Naumburg to Weissenfels, closely watched by the Liechtenstein's Austrian 1st Light Division and the Streifcorps of Thielmann and Mendorff. The main road crossed the Wethau stream, a small tributary of the Saale, by a bridge located in the Wethau village and the French advance guard has taken it. The Allies want to delay the French advance, so the bridge possession has become crucial.
Liechtenstein, the Austrian commander, has sent a small party, composed by men of the Jaeger Battalion #7, to take the bridge now in the hands of a squad of voltigeurs from the 2/2e Léger Regiment.
This Scenario is a companion (a prequel) of the Lasalle Scenario for Wethau.
Bibliography
George Nafziger, Napoleon at Leipzig. The Battle of Nations 1813, Emperor’s Press, Chicago, 1996. p. 82-83


TABLE-TOP ADAPTATION

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ENGAGED FORCES
French
(2/2e Léger Regiment) 1 Officer, 1 NCO, 1 Marskman and 7 Voltigeurs. 492 points
Austrian
(Jaeger Battalion #7) 1 Officer, 1 NCO, 1 Rifle Marksman, 1 Rifle and 7 Jagers. 531 points.

DEPLOYMENT
French
On sentry duty (see map) 5 Voltigeurs. Inside the house or the wooded fence: Officer, NCO and the rest of the squad.
Austrian
Deployed within 1M of the table edge or inside 1M of a wooded edge.

SCENARIO SPECIAL RULES
• The scenario takes place at dawn so the line of sight is reduced to 2L.
• The French on sentry duty have fixed (1M) automatic movement (do not roll for activation) in their respective influence zone (see map).
• Determine who goes first as per standard rules.
• The attacker activates and moves normally.
• The defender can move only models on sentry duty (see above) until the end of an opponent’s turn in which one of the following occurs:
- A shot is fired - A model on sentry is attacked in hand-to-hand combat
- An ambusher is spotted within 2L
• The Defenders that fail a Morale test always flee towards the house, not towards the nearest table edge.
• The stream is fordable in 1S from the bridge.
• Any model recoiling into the river must make a Quality roll or drowns. In any case, the water will spoil his shot and powder. The model cannot fire anymore until he picks up musket and ammo from a wounded model.
• After ambush is revealed, defender’s models behave normally (i.e. roll for activation and act) but no Leader (or NCO) bonus can be used by models on sentry, as long as the Officer and/or the NCO are inside the house (the fence is not taken in account).
• Models behind the fence benefit of light cover.
• Models inside the house benefit from the Leader activation bonus. As soon as the Leader is out of the house, his activation bonus applies to all models within 1L as normal.
• Both the fence and the house doors are closed. It takes an action to open or close them.
• Models can enter the house only through the door (possibly by bashing it).
• Inside the building and on the bridge models cannot pass through friends (tight quarters). Up to 2 models can be placed side by side on the bridge and up to 3 in the short side of the farm.
• Line of Sight and Arc of fire through windows. Models can fire through windows, but only with an arc of fire of 45°. Anything out of this arc and near to the wall cannot be seen.

VICTORY CONDITIONS
• Normal rules and morale tests apply to attackers.
• Defenders test normally (3 dice) but single models surrender with only 2 failures (instead of 3). The following Morale rules apply to defenders:
- For 50% losses: Morale failure movements must be done toward the fence. When inside the fence models stop fleeing (remember that door is closed, and that models can jump over the fence moving 1S)
- For Leader loss: test the NCO (if present) first. On 2 or 3 failures the entire squad surrenders. On 1 or no failures, go on testing all other models. If the NCO is killed during a subsequent turn, the defending squad surrenders.

HISTORICAL OUTCOME
The Austrian Jaegers took the bridge. According to Nafziger: “He [Augereau] sent GB Subervie’e 9th(bis) Light Cavalry Division with some voltigeurs companies towards Wethau, where there was a bridge over the Wethau stream…/…The [Liechtenstein’s] plans drawn up at midnight, set the attack on the bridge at 6:00 A.M…./… However, a later report from his scouts about the visibly alarmed nature and attentiveness of the French post, induced Liechtenstein to revise the time of his planned assault to 4:00 A-M. Oberst Frehierr Veyder von Malberg led his 7th Austrian jager Battalion in the assault and the attack succeeded completely…. The French detachment in Wethau was overthrown, GB Subervie escaped being taken prisoner ‘dressed only in his shirt’.”


THE BATTLE IN PICTURES

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