Action on the Var (somewhat conjectural)    
  22 - 27 May 1800   scale: 1:40, weather = fine, start: dawn; 5am, dark: 8pm, time scale: 1 game turn = 20 min
 

Background:
Since Suchet's first contact with Austrian troops, he had been steadily forced to withdraw to France along the coast of the Riviera until he reached the Var River on May 11, where he established a bridgehead. Melas launched several unsuccessful attacks against the position until he received reports of a French descent into Piedmont and northern Italy, prompting him to leave FML Elsnitz with 4 brigades to contain Suchet while he departed with the remaining forces to meet the new threat. Suchet had meanwhile received orders to exert pressure on the Austrians, and, reinforced with 5000 fresh troops under St Hilaire, he started attacking Elsnitz's positions on May 24. During the ensuing retreat, Elsnitz's line of march was cut and his troops were battered as they withdrew across difficult mountain tracks, harassed by the French as they went. On June 6, Suchet encountered the French garrison troops from Genoa, who had been marching back to France. They joined up and began moving north across the Apennines.

Game notes:
Austrian cavalry, if any are present, operate in single line only (marching in column of march) Latterman's grenadiers are classified as trained because Suchet commented that they became very brittle if they experienced a setback. They would behave in the same manner at Marengo. Suchet has established a bridgehead on the eastern shore of the Var River, protected by wicker gabions and canon. 4 bridges can span the Var. 1/4 of Suchet's troops can start the game from within the bridgehead. Suchet moves first with full initiative.

Terrain:
The ground is irregelar and interspersed with areas of rough and difficult going (3 of each not larger than 150mm across, none of which may touch each other).

Objectives:
French: the game recreates Suchet's counter attack against the Austrians with the aim of destroying as much of Elsnitz's army as possible and developing a threat in the rear of Melas' army as that general faces Napoleon.
Austrian: contain the French on the Var and prevent them from interfering with Melas' campaign against Napoleon.

Historical outcome:
French victory. The Austrians had inflicted about 14 000 casualties on the French for a loss of approx 20 000 to themselves. In addition, Massena had occupied Melas' attention for 2 months, thereby achieving the grand strategic objective of Bonaparte's campaign. The Austrians had lost the initiative in north Italy and were forced into a blitzkrieg war, something the French were better at than they. Only a decisive battle would secure Italy for the Austrians. Later, during the signing of the Alessandria armistice the day after the battle of Marengo, which the Austrians lost, Melas's Chief of Staff remarked to Berthier: "You won the battle, not in front of Alessandria, but in front of Genoa."

 
     
 
FRENCH ARMY uses French system Initiative 4
                    Army
  troop men sub bn status training stands + 1st  skir- Breaking
  type   units art?   class factors fire? mish? Point
C-in-C: Gnl de Div Suchet competent, bold, charismatic  
ADC - competent, bold  
 
1st Division  
Gnl de Division Clausel competent, bold  
20th Legere S/O 500 1   trained A 4/3/2   all 2
10th Ligne C/O 850 2   trained A 7/5/4   2 4
34th  87th Ligne C/O 1020 2   trained A 8/6/4   2 4
10
2nd & 3rd Division
Gnl de Division Pouget competent, bold
7th Legere S/O 550 1   trained A 4/3/2   all 2
11th & 99th Ligne C/O 1070 3   trained A 9/7/5   3 5
33rd & 39th Ligne C/O 500 1   trained A 4/3/2   1 2
39th, 68th & 55th Ligne C/O 720 2   trained A 6/5/3   2 3
104th Ligne C/O 600 1   trained A 5/4/2   1 2
14
4th Division
Gnl de Division Menard competent, bold
16th Legere S/O 450 1   trained A 4/3/2   all 2
30th Ligne C/O 700 2   trained A 6/5/3   2 3
105th Ligne C/O 800 2   trained A 7/5/4   2 4
1st Legion Polonaise C/O 450 1   trained A 4/3/2   1 2
11
13th Chass a Cheval LC 200 1   trained A 3/2/1     1
Artillery
Foot Artillery FA 6 x 6 pdr     veteran   2/1     1
Foot Artillery FA 6 x 6 pdr     veteran   2/1     1
 
     
 
Reinforcements
Gnl de Division St Hilaire competent, bold
ADC competent, bold
Legere S/O 1600 3   veteran A 12/8/5   all 5
? Demi Brigade de Ligne C/O 1800 3   trained A 15/11/8   3 8
? Demi Brigade de Ligne C/O 1800 3   trained A 15/11/8   3 8
Foot Artillery FA 6 x 6 pdr     veteran   2/1     1
22
 
     
 
 
     
 
AUSTRIAN ARMY uses Prussian system Initiative 0
                    Army
  troop men sub bn status training stands + 1st  skir- Breaking
  type   units art?   class factors fire? mish? Point
C-in-C: FML Baron Elsnitz competent, cautious  
 + FML Morzin competent, bold  
 
GM Ulm competent, bold  
IR 15; Oranien  
1st Battalion + Bn artillery C/O 700 1 yes trained B 7/5/4     4
2nd Battalion C/O 700 1   trained B 6/5/3     3
3rd Battalion C/O 700 1   trained B 6/5/3     3
 
IR 8; Huff  
1st Battalion + Bn artillery C/O 600 1 yes trained B 6/5/3     3
2nd Battalion C/O 600 1 yes trained B 6/5/3     3
3rd Battalion C/O 600 1 yes trained B 6/5/3     3
 
Piedmontese Mondovi IR C/O 860 1   trained B 7/5/4     4
23
GM F Bellegarde poor, cautious
IR 33; Sztaray
1st Battalion + Bn artillery C/O 720 1 yes trained B 7/5/4     4
2nd Battalion C/O 720 1   trained B 6/5/3     3
3rd Battalion C/O 720 1   trained B 6/5/3     3
 
IR 32; Gyulay  
1st Battalion + Bn artillery C/O 720 1 yes trained B 7/5/4     4
2nd Battalion C/O 720 1   trained B 6/5/3     3
3rd Battalion C/O 720 1   trained B 6/5/3     3
20
GM Latterman competent, cautious
Grenadier Bn Schiaffinati C/O 630 1 yes trained B 5/4/2     2
Grenadier Bn Kleinmayer C/O 500 1 yes trained B 4/3/2     2
Grenadier Bn St Julien C/O 720 1 yes trained B 6/5/3     3
Grenadier Bn Paar C/O 600 1 yes trained B 5/4/2     2
Grenadier Bn Weber C/O 500 1 yes trained B 4/3/2     2
11
GM Weidenfeld competent, bold
Grenadier Bn Persch C/O 440 1 yes veteran B 4/3/1     1
Grenadier Bn Görschen C/O 460 1 yes veteran B 4/3/1     1
Grenadier Bn Pertusi C/O 650 1 yes veteran B 5/3/2     2
Grenadier Bn Neny C/O 580 1 yes veteran B 5/3/2     2
Grenadier Bn Weissenwolf C/O 640 1 yes veteran B 5/3/2     2
Grenadier Bn Khevenhüller C/O 500 1 yes veteran B 4/3/1     1
9
 
 
 
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