Marengo    
  14 June 1800   scale: 1:100, weather = fine, start: 6am, dark: 9pm, time scale: 1 game turn = 30 min
 
Background:
In the evening of 13 June, Napoleon approached Marengo from the east and drove the Austrians over the Bormida River, to their main camp and head quarters at Allessandria. Lt Gen Victor's division settled in for the night around the small town, once a villa of the ancient Lombard kings. Melas' line of retreat to the east was cut, Suchet was marching up from the south-west and Napoleon felt confident that Melas would scramble to escape south towards Genoa. In an effort to block all roads from Allessandria, Napoleon despatched Desaix's division southwards, a near fatal dilution of his forces in the proximity of the enemy. Melas had no intention of escaping. Judging that his troops were in fine fighting spirit, he had decided to break out from his river bridgehead and fight a decisive battle. The Austrians manouevred their troops into position throughout the night, noise that was presumptuously construed by the French as proof that they were preparing to retreat. When the first troops marched from the redoubt and began engaging French pickets, Victor's division was totally unprepared. Fortunately, the Austrian deployment area outside the bridgehead's earthworks was very constricted and afforded Victor's men time to form up and fight back. They held on grimly for hours and bought Napoleon time to recall and concentrate his dispersed army. Gardanne, holding the first line of defence along the Fontanone Creek, lost 50% of his men. The firefights became so intense that all mounted officers in Rivaud's brigade were hit. One grenadier company lost 156 killed and wounded out of 170. Cannon fire set wheatfields on fire, cartridge boxes exploded and smoke obscured all vision.
 
     
 
 
     
 
Game notes:
- Napoleon, as First Consul, was not entitled to command armies beyond France's borders and Berthier was therefore the nominal General-in-Chief. Napoleon Bonaparte nevertheless commanded in person.
- Austrian cavalry must operate in single line (marching in column of march)
- Although there are 2 bridges inside the Austrian bridgehead, there is only one gate in the bridgehead's earthworks.
- French General Duvigneau had been grievously wounded at Valmy, his first battle. He was wounded again in his next battle and thought better of it than to tempt fate in his third battle, Marengo, where he had fallen of his horse the night before. So, he had pleaded ill health and had left the field.
- French General Chambarlhac was so stunned when his command came under Austrian artillery fire that he galloped to the rear, not to be seen again. Hence, as soon as his command takes fire, he leaves his troops and departs.
- Victor may alert Napoleon to the Austrian breakout via messenger, but Napoleon at first will not think it more than a ploy to cover an Austrian retreat. Napoleon will only despatch reinforcements on a score of 9 or 10 on a D10. At 8:30am, hearing that the cannonade continues, he despatches Berthier to inspect the situation and report back. Roll for AP for the messenger and Berthier to establish the speed of their progress.
- Austrian battalion artillery: movement on roads = 10cm. It may fire as normal artillery at a range of up to 20cm.
- Austrian horse artillery is slow horse artillery - SHA
- At 9am, Melas recalls GM Nimbsch's hussars and sends them south to help fend off Suchet's forces that have marched north ever since his offensive from the Var River at the end of May. If Nimbsch has not crossed the Bormida yet, the command is removed from the Austrian forces. If it has already crossed the Bormida, all other troops crossing must halt until the hussars have crossed back.
- The Fontanone Creek can be crossed as a linear obstacle by infantry. Inf with battalion artillery can get stuck except at the ford. Its banks can be defended. No charge distances are added if charging across it and infantry will leave its battalion artillery behind while doing so. This does not reduce the number of stands in the unit. To retrieve the battalion artillery, roll as if crossing artillery. Cav can only cross it at the ford in column of march and becomes disordered.
- At 3pm, Melas, thinking victory won and having bruised himself, hands command to Kaim. All Austrian AP are reduced by 1 for that turn and the next.
- At 3pm, Ott receives word that cavalry is approaching from the north.
 
 

Objectives:
French: defeat Austrians
Austrian: defeat French

Historical outcome:
French victory.

 
     
 
 
The Bormida River
 
   
 
The Fontanone creek. Quite an obstacle to ford.
 
 
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
Nominal C-in-C: Berthier competent, bold  
Actual commander: First Consul Bonaparte Superior, bold, charismatic  
Staff - Murat - Cavalry superior, bold  
Staff - Marmont - Artillery superior, bold  
 
Lt Gen Victor superior, bold  
Division Gardanne superior, bold  
44th Demi-Brigade de Ligne C/O 1748 2   veteran A 6/4/2   3 2
101st Demi-Brigade de Ligne C/O 1890 2   veteran A 6/4/2   3 2
4
Division Chambarlhac poor, cautious (see game note re his flight from the battle)
24th Legere S/O 2171 2   veteran A 7/5/3   all 3
Brigade Rivaud competent, bold
43rd Demi-Brigade de Ligne C/O 2326 2   veteran A 7/5/3   4 3
96th Demi-Brigade de Ligne C/O 2067 2   veteran A 7/5/3   4 3
Artillery FA 7 x 6 pdr     veteran   1      
6
Dampierre competent, bold
Infantry detachments C/O 400 1   veteran A 2/1/-      
11th Hussars LC 420 1   veteran A 3/2/1     1
Gnl de Brigade Kellerman superior, bold
1st, 2nd and 20th cavalry HC 600 2   veteran A 4/3/1     1
Lt Gen Lannes superior, bold, charismatic
Advance Guard Mainoni
28th Demi-Brigade de Ligne C/O 1577 1   veteran A 5/3/2   2 2
Division Watrin competent, bold
Brigade Gency
6th Legere S/O 1200 1   veteran A 4/3/1   all 1
Brigade Mahler
22nd Demi-Brigade de Ligne C/O 1500 2   veteran A 5/3/2   2 2
40th Demi-Brigade de Ligne C/O 1800 2   veteran A 6/4/2   3 2
Horse Artillery FA 6 x 6 pdr     veteran   1      
4
Gnl de Brigade Duvignau (discovered to have deserted his command during the night)
8th Dragoons MC 440 1   veteran A 3/2/1     1
12th Chasseurs a Cheval LC 340 1   trained A 2/-/1     1
2
Gnl de Brigade Champeaux competent, bold
1st & 9th Dragoons MC 600 2   trained A 4/3/2     2
Reserves with Napoleon
Guard Grenadiers and Chasseurs S/O 800 1   elite A 3/1/-   all  
Consular guard cavalry HC 360 1   elite A 2/-/-      
5th & 6th Dragoons MC 600 2   trained A 4/3/2     2
Artillery reserve
Foot Artillery FA 6 x 6 pdr     veteran   1      
Foot Artillery FA 5 x 8 pdr     veteran   1      
 
     
 
Reinforcements
Division Monnier competent, bold arrives at 12:30 at point X
Brigade Schilt
19th Legere S/O 900 1   veteran A 3/2/1   all 1
Brigade Carra St-Cyr
72nd Demi-Brigade de Ligne C/O 1900 2   trained A 6/5/3   3 3
70th Demi-Brigade de Ligne C/O 1400 1   trained A 5/4/2   2 2
5
Lt Gen Desaix superior, bold, charismatic arrives at 4pm at point Y
Brigade Musnier
9th Legere S/O 1800 2   veteran A 6/4/2   all 2
Brigade Guenand
30th Demi-Brigade de Ligne C/O 1500 1   veteran A 5/3/2   2 2
59th Demi-Brigade de Ligne C/O 1800 2   trained A 6/5/3   3 2
Horse Artillery FA 8 x 8 pdr     veteran   1      
4
Cavalry Brigade Rivaud competent, bold arrives at 5:30pm at point Z
12th Hussars LC 340 1   veteran A 2/1/-      
21st Chasseurs a Cheval LC 360 1   trained A 2/-/1     1
1
 
     
 
 
     
 
 
The Austrian order of battle below is drawn up in the order of march in which it must debouch from its bridgehead.
 
 
     
 
AUSTRIAN ARMY uses Prussian system Initiative 3
                    Army
  troop men sub bn status training stands + 1st  skir- Breaking
  type   units art?   class factors fire? mish? Point
C-in-C: GDK Melas poor, bold  
ADC: competent, bold  
 
Advance-Guard  
Oberst Frimont competent, bold  
Mariassy Jager, Bach & Am Ende Light mix 850 1   trained B 3/2/1   1 1
Kaiser Dragoons & Busy Chasseurs LC 450 1   trained B 3/2/1     1
Horse Artillery Battery SHA 6 x 6 pdr     veteran   1      
2
Flanking Column Right
FML O'Reilly competent, bold
Warasdiner & Bannater Grenz mix 1250 1   trained B 4/3/2   2 2
Ottocaner & Oguliner Grenz mix 900 1   trained B 3/2/1   1 1
Nauendorff Hussars LC 426 1   veteran B 3/2/-      
5th Hussars & Wurttemberg Dragoons LC 340 1   veteran B 2/1/-      
Horse Artillery Battery SHA 6 x 6 pdr     veteran   1      
3
1st Column
FML Haddick competent, bold
Brigade GM Pilati
Kaiser Light Dragoons LC 300 1   trained B 2/-/1     1
Karackzay Light Dragoons LC 1050 3   trained B 7/5/4     4
5
Brigade Bellegarde
IR 53; Jellacic C/O 950 1 yes trained B 4/3/2     2
IR 52; Erzherzog Anton C/O 855 1 yes trained B 4/3/2     2
4
Brigade Saint-Julien
IR Michael Wallis C/O 2100 2 yes trained B 8/6/4     4
2nd Column
FML Kaim competent, bold
IR 47; Franz Kinsky C/O 1640 2 yes trained B 6/5/3     3
IR 23; Grosherzog von Toscana C/O 2200 2 yes trained B 8/6/4     4
IR 63; Erzherzog Josef C/O 1100 1 yes veteran B 4/3/1     1
8
Grenadier Column
FML Morzin poor, bold
GM Latterman
Grenadier Bn Schiaffinati & Kleinmayer C/O 800 1 yes trained B 3/2/1     1
Grenadier Bn St Julien, Paar & Weber C/O 1330 1 yes trained B 5/4/2     2
3
GM Weidenfeld
Grenadier Bn Persch, Görschen & Pertusi C/O 1139 1 yes veteran B 4/3/1     1
Grenadier Bn Neny C/O 1100 1 yes veteran B 4/3/1     1
2
Cavalry Column
FML Elsnitz poor, cautious
Brigade Nobili
Erzherzog Johann Light Dragoons LC 850 3   trained B 6/5/3     3
Liechtenstein Light Dragoons LC 1000 3   conscr B 6/5/4     4
7
Brigade Nimbsch This brigade receives orders at 9am to return to Allessandria and scout south
7th Hussars LC 1350 4   veteran B 9/6/4     4
Erdödy Hussars LC 1000 3   veteran B 6/4/2     2
6
Flanking Column Left
FML Ott competent, bold
Advance-Guard
GM Gottesheim competent, bold
IR 28; Frölich - 1 bn C/O 500 1 yes trained B 2/-/1     1
Lobkowitz Light Dragoons LC 250 1   veteran B 2/1/-      
Horse Artillery Battery SHA 6 x 6 pdr     veteran   1      
1
FML Schellenberg competent, bold
Brigade Retz
IR 28; Frohlich - 2 bns C/O 1050 1 yes trained B 4/3/2     2
IR 40; Mittrowsky C/O 850 1 yes trained B 3/2/1     1
Foot Artillery Battery FA 3x6 + 2x12 pdr   veteran   1      
3
Brigade Sticher
IR 51; Splenyi C/O 737 1 yes veteran B 3/2/-      
IR 57; Josef Colloredo C/O 1360 1 yes trained B 5/4/2     2
Lobkowitz Light Dragoons LC 490 1   veteran B 3/2/-      
2
FML Vogelsang poor, cautious
IR 17; Hohenlohe C/O 900 1 yes trained B 4/3/2     2
IR 18; Stuart C/O 1300 1 yes trained B 4/3/2     2
4
Reserve Artillery starts behind the Bormida River to support attacks
Artillery officer poor, cautious
Horse Artillery Battery SHA 6 x 6 pdr     veteran   1      
Horse Artillery Battery SHA 6 x 6 pdr     veteran   1      
Horse Artillery Battery SHA 6 x 6 pdr     veteran   1      
Horse Artillery Battery SHA 6 x 6 pdr     veteran   1      
Horse Artillery Battery SHA 6 x 6 pdr     veteran   1      
 
 
 
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