Friday, January 23, 2015

Marengo

Today Richard and I tried out a revised scenario for Marengo.  The main changes where to fighting in BAUs and the use of regimental sized units (or demi-brigades).  All the Austrians are Richard's, all the French mine.

Lannes leading his corps.  Unfortunately it got off to a tardy start.  As things turned out may be it would have been better to wait.

Victor deployed around Marengo with Murat in reserve.  Depicting the stream, river and roads is a challenge, but they are not a major part of the battle, once it develops.

1000 and the action has commenced.  We weren't sure how to handle the creek and settled on calling it one inch of rough ground with just normal fording penalties.

The Austrian General Hadik is repulsed, but north of Marengo the Austrian Advance Guard breakthrough.

The Austrian grenadiers have pushed forward into the gap created by the Advance Guard.  General Chambarlhac can be seen trying to rally his division.  Victor is rallying the other half of his corps after the Austrians successfully pushed them out of Marengo.

Lannes counterattacks the Austrian grenadiers.

Victor counterattacks Marengo.

After initial success Lannes corps is destroyed by the Austrian cavalry of their left wing.

Victor retook Marengo but his troops evaporated.  Here can be seen General Chambarlhac retiring promptly to the rear.  Murat commands the sole remaining unit.  Napoleon wonders where his army has gone.

1200 and the French army is no more.  They have lost 10 units.  At this stage of the battle the breaking point was 7, going to 10 at 1230.  As the units had dispersed there was no way the French could recover.

Observations

It is really important to keep an eye on fatigue and chain of command.  On numerous occasions the Austrians were held up due to these considerations.

The small size units look good,  A number of the French ones were lost due to winners losses, which is rather cruel.  Maybe they should have been pulling back, but that is not easy when you are in line and also when your generals are busy rallying units.

A lot of damage was done when units took 3 casualties in combat and then a further 4 when they attempted to withdraw.  I don't like playing that way, but we checked the 3rd Edition and it was pretty clear that casualties inflicted in withdraw don't accumulate with those that occurred during combat.  Given the risk I do not see the wisdom in ever voluntarily withdrawing.

However the real cause of the French defeat was some some excellent cavalry work by the Austrians on their left flank.  Coordinated charges (helped by the small units being able to "fit in"), some epic fails by the French to form square compounded by the Austrians retaining control of their cavalry.


5 comments:

  1. Very interesting battle report and nice troops to.

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    1. Thanks. I'd meant to take more photos detailing the action, but in the heat of battle some things get forgotten...

      The Austrians I believe are nearly all Old Glory and painted by a number of professional painting services in the Far East.

      The French are mostly my haul of DPS painted ABs, but there are some Old Glory figures painted by me in there as well.

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  2. I've just found this excellent write-up of the scenario played out with Napoleon's Battles: http://www.murat.ca/miniatures/15mm/marengo/AAR.htm

    Sounds like I should have focused on pulling back as well as placing my troops in the villages.

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  3. Great to see a battle with the colourfull troops of Murat! Great battle report and pictures! Thanks for sharing!

    Greetings
    Peter

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    1. Thanks. I am looking forward to gaming the battle again.

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