Monday 3 July 2023

2mm Napoleonic Troops in Review: The Austrians


Moving on to the Austrian side of the forces for Wagram 1809, a round-up of how they look arrayed on the tabletop- well, at least a table top, in that my terrain mats remain buried somewhere in the garage !  

On the upper left in the photo above, we see the mixed forces of the Advance Guard under Nordmann, an interesting unit that was perhaps ahead of its time in pairing cavalry, conventional infantry and light troops in each Brigade, alongside integral artillery - to be honest, they didn’t fare that well in 1809, being mauled by the French in more conventional array - I guess being a proto- ‘All Arms’ sort of Panzer Division meant you had troops of every type but never enough of each type all at once - I think in the Napoleonic era, concentration of force was key - that said, they’re colourful and pleasing units to depict.

Beside them in the centre, we have the main part of Rosenburg’s IV Korps, with three large infantry Brigades, paired with a final mixed one, on loan from Nordmann’s command - these are reinforced by Nostitz’s Cavalry Division, with a Brigade of Dragoons and one of Hussars/Cheveaux Legers.

Finally, alongside the Army Commander of Erzerzog Karl, or Archduke Charles, I did a Grenadier Brigade in storming columns, as well as a Cuirassier unit as back-up - I know that Charles rushed across to his left flank to try and blunt Davout’s inroads late in the day, so figured we might as well have some heavy duty types to fit the bill !

Let’s look at things a little more closely, starting with Nordmann - he at least was backed up by a couple of conventional Infantry Brigades in his defence of Markgrafsneusiedel….. I like the sight of the massed cavalry and light troops, including Grenzers, out front:

Rosenberg lends his support with his Austrian ‘Masses’ deep columns of Infantry that were an innovation of Charles, a counterpoint to the French tactics of advancing ‘en colonne’ that could also fend off cavalry by their compact nature - not so sure how well they’ll cope against French artillery however !

The Advance Guard unit of Provoncheres contains the small remnants of the Carneville Freikorps of both horse and foot - reminiscent of something you’d find in the Seven Years War - they had been steamrollered by the French on the first morning of the battle when they crossed the Danube in strength - dispersed along the bank in watching pose, they couldn’t do much to stem the tide - was it a fatal mistake for Charles to allow Napoleon to cross almost unmolested once again, after Aspern-Essling ?
I wonder if just like Rommel’s ideas for D-Day, you should be prepared to throw them back into the water, rather than allowing the enemy to deploy and then debouch from the beach head…..

The Cavalry wing of Wartensleben and Rothkirch similarly did their best out on the left flank, but got rather trounced by their French counterparts on the day - tough to face French cavalry when they have got their tails up and swoop forward, sabres swishing ! 

Plenty of nice cavalry blocks to look at though - although I wasn’t saying that when I had to paint them all up !

Finally, a look along the lines, as it were, with a sweep in close to some of the Brigades:

Plenty of colour and interest on show, I think, so hopefully living up to the ethos of the project, ‘limited’ in scope though it was, as my test of the Napoleonic waters - I’m off to rest my poor weeping permanently crossed eyes now, and leave the 2mm terrors resting in their box for the time being:


Next Post, something a bit different, and thankfully, a darn sight larger !


  1. I must admit that I find your 2mm armies top notch, the colours, the basing and the labels all add to make them as good as I have seen in this scale. The Austrians are an interesting lot, loads of different units make them a colourful lot! What size of table will you be using when gaming them?

  2. Thanks Donnie - appreciate the comment - you’ll be making me blush ! I guess I’ve been wrestling with these tiny guys long enough know how to get a consistent look going - although I had a good primer to follow, in that my first 2mm units were actually painted for me, by Tony Hughes of Tiny Tin Troops fame, when he had his painting service - so following the master !
    Table wise, I’m limited to 4x4 feet at the moment, which will be interesting as to how all these bases fit on….. I’ll be using the 2x2 Napoleonic rules to start, although looking to give Blucher a try as well.