Tuesday, March 28, 2023

Battle of Caldiero 1805

A scenario from Age of eagles based on the battle near Verona in Italy where Marshal Massena fought the Archduke Charles.  It was rear guard action by the Archduke as he tried to withdraw from Italy to help defend Vienna after the Ulm fiasco.  The two forces were similar in strength.

The battle started in fog.  This was simulated by the Austrians making a map of their deployment & Starting the battle with no troops down on the table.  The French then deployed all their forces within 12" of their table edge & had the first turn.  (as in pic above).  For the first 3 turns Austrian troops were put down if the French moved within12" of them.  All the Austrians were to be revealed after their 3rd turn.
The French advanced their cavalry on their right & were met with a hail of musket balls & grape when they ran into the Austrian left.  They also found that the village was occupied by Austrian infantry, but immediately deployed artillery to soften up the garrison. 
The fog has lifted to reveal the Austrian deployment. The French cavalry fell back from the infantry in the wood with significant losses & are moving to go round their flank. The Austrian cavalry reserve in the centre is moving to meet them.  Half the village fell quickly to a massed column attack, the rest of it is being blown apart.
The French have taken the village.
On the near flank the Austrian cavalry commander was faced with 2:1 odds but attacked anyway figuring that the chasseurs had been badly mauled by musket fire & that he was owed some good dice after a month of bad ones.
On the far flank the other half of the Austrian cavalry dissuaded the French infantry from advancing.  In the centre, the Austrian fell back to get out of range of the muskets in the village.
Fortune did favour the Austrian cavalry & they have broken 3 of the 4 French cavalry units.   In the centre the French are moving up their artillery to prepare for another infantry attack.  
The Austrians have pulled back their left & centre.
On the far flank the Austrian cavalry threat has prevented the French left form joining the attack in the centre.  On the near flank the French artillery has clear the Austrian flank guard, but the French infantry has still not been able to close in on the Austrian centre. 
The French right is finally in position to finish the Austrians off, but it's too late as night is falling.

The position is similar to the historical result. The Archduke held out to nightfall then made an orderly retreat.  So the game was draw.  The French (Mark, SteveJ & Mitch) executed a sound attack, but the Austrians (Jim, Chris & Mike) put up a sound defence playing for time.  The successful Austrian cavalry counterattack was decisive in saving the battle for the Austrians, as if the French cavalry had won there, the Austrian position was outflanked & doomed.

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