This battle is set in Italy in 1809 as Prince Eugene struggles to learn the art of war from his father The Emperor Napoleon. In this battle he has seized crossings on the River Edro & inserted his army between converging columns of the numerically superior Austrian army seeking to eliminate one before the other before gaining safe passage across the Edro. Both sides might expect to reinforced but it's a BIG might! We have a battlefield, a reason to fight & plenty of time to play this one out.
10mm models, rules? The incomparable General d'Armee.
|Looking north towards the Edro Gorge & the vital crossings. |
Austrians on the left, French on the right.
|The southernmost Austrian columns begin to move up. Heavy cavalry reserve awaits the "Go" order.|
|The hilltop town of Orivieto looking along the Via Columbo leading north towards the crossings on the Edro.|
|Two French brigades deployed in echelon astride the Via Columbo opposite the ridge. |
Skirmishers & batteries pushed forward. Another farm & vineyards can be seen centre top.
|This dramatic centre piece to the battlefield is the narrow Edro Gorge. Here we see the Wurtemburg brigade move up to seize the bridge as Austrians approach to do the same -who will get there first? Place your bets Gents.|
|The north bank of the Edro is in French hands here but this is about to be contested. Austrian Uhlans sit ahead of them.|
Might the hill top castle prove a useful strong point?
|To the rear of the above photo Eugene personally commands his Guard reserve cavalry.|
Timing will be everything if they are to exert real pressure.
|The northern most French brigade is Pajol's. Not more than one regiment of hussars with attached horse battery.|
|Austrian brigade of Chevau Legere keep watch on the northern flank of the Austrian army.|
|Yet another new farm with the great bonded warehouse in the background.|
|Austrians on the north bank of the Edro. Here two large Uhlan regiments screen three battalions of German line.|
These dramatic cliffs & monumental collapsed rock formations form the cramped gorge on this stretch of the River Edro. Here the Edro is fast flowing with no fords and only one narrow stone bridge. This crossing point is the second of three the Austrians wish to seize, the French want it too though.
|The ancient stone bridge over the Edro.|
|Austrian jaegers pick their way through the gorge.|
|The Monastery of St Vincent of Saragossa. St Vincent is the patron Saint of wine & also of vinegar. |
Really, no B.S. for a change!
|This is on the southern bank of the Edro where my forces are massed. This brigade is set to sweep over the north spur of the ridge to attack the French centre. The guns are already deployed & jaegers will soon infest the woodland.|
|The same formation & the opposing French brigades who are at extreme artillery range already.|
I'll initially secure my left flank on this walled farm before taking that bridge I think! So easy...
|Tony chuckles at his own conundrum - plans never survive contact with the enemy do they?|
|Quiet now please.|
Tactical genius at work; shortly veins will pop up on his forehead & steam will emit from all orifices.
Then, and only then will the solution present itself.
|The view of the French as they approach the Austrian uhlans. Skirmishers trade shots on the high ground, see next pic.|
|Grenzers fire on voltigeurs. A wargames absurdity is on show here, batteries firing on each other at point blank range, you just have to accept it's only a game & move on I guess.|
|The French Guard cavalry are slow to deploy from reserve much to their commanders frustration.|
The Austrian reserve cavalry did exactly the same - "Not playing"!
|This crossing point is deep within French lines. However it is an important objective for the Austrians.|
|If you bet on the Austrians reaching that bridge first you just lost your stake.|
A French brigade moves up in support. That farm on the cliff top is just so pretty!
|The stand off continues - who will blink first? Bets anyone?|
|Those Austrian Chevau Legere sneak forwards just in case they miss the action.|
|French brigades opposite my two attempting to occupy the ridge.|
One of my limbered batteries took damage from long range artillery fire & retreated out of range - Starter for 10!
|Austrians reach the farm on their stroll in the country. These French prepare a welcoming committee...|
|Trailing reserves arrive for the Austrians in the form of two brigades of Grenadiers each with 12lb batteries.|
These will form a strong second line to exploit my breakthroughs or cover an ignominious retreat.
|The Austrian southern flank under my command. The cavalry are stoically sitting in reserve despite my howls to get them moving.|
|This is a beautiful model, maybe one day we'll actually fight over it, just maybe.|
|The parting shot for week one. Here the Guard infantry & artillery park sit in deep reserve just behind that bridge which just happens to be my objective.|
So week 1 is done. Chris & Tony set up this wonderful battlefield, thanks boys. We deployed alternate brigades, once again light horse, artillery & skirmishers up to 24" on, committed brigades up to 12" on and deep reserves on the back line or trailing off board. The French occupied a central position with 2' flanks empty. The Austrians took each end of the board with a 4' gap between the two converging columns. The terrain & deployment gave us logical objectives to fight over.
Personally I have really relished getting into writing this one. Coming up with place names, narrative, geographical & economic background, it all pleases & amuses me equally. I think the fluff adds so much texture that these games take on a theatre like quality for us play a role in. That element creates the moments, highs & lows, which make the best games live on in our imaginations for years to come. Hopefully you enjoy reading these & feel able to comment, it's always appreciated.
Pop back for part 2. As usual, very best wishes,