Sunday, 7 June 2015

Battle of Colognola

I have now run this Scenario twice, using the General Bonaparte's Chain of Command rules which I continue to playtest. This is a new set of Lardie Napoleonic rules aimed at the Divisional level. The scenario is based on the Battle of Caldiero, 1796 from the excellent A La Baionette scenario book (for LFS3) suitably downsized. The rules are designed primarily for the 1796 campaign, though there is now information available on the LFS Yahoo Group to play Peninsular games (and also AWI). I still don't have a proper force of Austrians, but at least I now have Austrian commanders and artillery which helped to remind us who was being played.

The scenario saw the French with two infantry brigades, plus artillery led by Augereau, launching an attack against the Austrian advance guard of Prinz Hohenzollern (again with two infantry brigades plus artillery support). Both sides were told to expect cavalry reinforcements. It turned out at the focus was mainly on Colognola rather than than Caldiero itself.

The game begins with a 'grand tactical phase' using markers which will define an initial deployment area. Here you can get some idea of the table from the French side...Colognola is the village in the distance which is in the middle of the table.

And here is a view from the Austrian side.

French initial deployment around the farm of Stra...

..and the Austrians mainly in line around Caldiero (in the foreground) and Colognola (further back) with artillery between.

The French plan was to surge over the bridge and across the stream (which was easily fordable) and attack in force around Colognola. The Austrians seemed happy to adopt a defensive posture while their skirmishers came around to flank the French (something the French were not really able to counter).

The first of the French columns to contact was a battalion of grenadiers, to the strains of La Marseillaise. Not very surprisingly the Austrians were pushed back from here.

Further over a French column attacked the village of Colgnola. Rather to our surprise the assault was successful and the French pushed their opponents back out of the village. So far so good for the French...

Between these were two more more columns of legeres. Fortune was less in their favour. An accurate volley from the Austrians reduced the French momentum (good use of an interrupt dice) and the French attack was repulsed. Further over, by the stream the final French column failed to close, leaving them exposed to another Austrian volley.

The attack by the stream developed into a firefight. Not surprisingly the French came off worst and after a couple of turns they were forced to retreat, heavily shocked.

A similar story by the village itself. Under pressure from both Austrian line and skirmishers one battalion of legeres broke and the other was sent into retreat, leaving their grenadiers beleaguered. The attack was thoroughly repulsed. In the village itself the French were ultimately surrounded and forced to surrender.

On the other side of the battlefield the main action involved the French cavalry, their chasseurs charged against the Austrian line. They were not very lucky, despite using a 'Follow me' to gain bonus dice. One of the Austrian units was forced into square but they held on. (Sorry I failed to get any decent shots of the cavalry combat)

In the end, it was clear this was an Austrian victory and the French withdrew under cover of their chasseurs.

Here are a couple of pictures of the earlier version of the scenario which we played. This turned out very differently, with the French being much more cautious, the Austrians advancing to attack them and ending up being outflanked by the French. That one went to the French.

My thanks to all four players: Phil, Derek, Marcus & Chris for excellent games. Also of course to Darren Green for letting me playtest his rules, which I am much enjoying.


  1. Great AAR! It's nice to see the Austrians win for a change.

  2. A fine report of what seems to have been an interesting game with a bit of ebb and flow. Austrians outflanking French, what's going on? haha!! Still, I guess Caldiero was an Austrian victory!

  3. Thanks for those kind comments

  4. Very interesting report Tim. I must try that scenario some time I think my regular opponent would enjoy it. So far we have only been playing meeting engagements when testing the rules.