Monday, 22 August 2016

Battle of Castiglione 1796 - End Game

With the arrival of Fiorella Wurmser went into full-on withdrawal mode.

In the N Kisfalud faced little French opposition and so was able to pull back to and through Solferino relatively easily, covered by his light cavalry.

In the Centre the Austrian heavy cavaly under Spiegel and Mittrowsky moved forward to cover the retreat of their fellow infantry and the artillery reserve, keeping the advancing units of La Valette and Guillaume at bay.

The big  question though was whether he could save Nicoletti's Brigade which was about to face the full might of Augereau's II Corps, and with Fiorella threatening to cut off its line of retreat. von Dannenfeld who had been heading S to hold off Fiorella was ordered to fall in to line with Nicoletti's refused L flank. Over the next 2-3 turns the luck was really with the Austrians as they always moved before the French and so were able to keep more or less a charge move away as they withdrew back to the road and E board edge.

Verdier going into the attack

Verdier's two Grenadier Bdes did manage to get in a charge, but not enough to cause much damage - as did a couple of battalions from Robert.

Verdier in melee with Nicoletti's Austrians

So Wurmser managed to keep both Fiorella and Dannenfeld in good order in the face of Augereau and Fiorella and get them off the board fundamentally intact.

Verdier's Grenadier's spent battalions watch the Austrians leave

Further to the S Marmont's cavalry finally dispatched Placzek's Austrian Cavalry, but was too late to head N to stop the Austrians.

Marmont's cavalry recover from their melee

Rolls for Despinoy and Wiedenfield to arrive were made on the last turn (11), but their units were still too far off.


So in the end the Austrians managed to extricate themselves without too much damage. The French found it tough going in the first hour or so, which meant that they weren't able to get to the Austrian 2nd line which was fresh and available to cover the retreat - all in all not at all too far from the real battle, although possibly done in an hour or so's less time - although I didn't cover the fight through Solferino and the withdrawal over the Mincia.

Looking at the stats the Austrian's had 4 brigade's broken, to 2 of the French (although the French had 14 bn spent or broken to 16 Austrian). On the scenario VPs the Austrians get -8 (-3x4 for their losses, +2x2 for the damage on the French), and the French get 2 pts (-3x2 for their losses, +2x4 for the damage on the Austrians). Since the French didn't manage to break the Austrian Army Morale then they didn't get a decisive victory, so its a marginal victory to the French - which sounds about right.

From a rules perspective a couple of things:

  • The +2 Austrian strength threatened to unbalance the game, but in the end the French managed to fight through it. I had been tempted to change the boundaries but might leave as is.
  • Regimental 3pdr guns were useless (especially against +2 Austrians!). Perhaps change to a +1 firefight modifier only as I do with Divisional Batteries when playing the Bde level game.

All in all though a really fun game and a nice scenario.

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