Friday, June 20, 2014

Not My Waterloo

On the 199th anniversary of arguably the most famous battle in history a small band gathered to contest, not the fields of Belgium, but Italy in 1800.  My newly painted Republican battalions and regiments debuted against their inveterate enemy, the Kaiserliches (Imperials).  General Kellerman (the Elder) led the French against Graf Count von Bellegarde.  So a Mediocre/Impersonal vs. Poor/Impersonal match.

The French had 18 battalions of 12 figures each, three batteries and four regiments of cavalry.  The Austrians fielded a similar number of infantry in line, jager and grenadier battalions, five batteries and three cuirassier regiments.

The objective for both sides was control of the central town.

With the same modifiers at play the French rolled higher and got the first impulse which allowed them to seize key buildings first.

The Austrians straight away went for the assault on the buildings occupied by the French, but determined musketry from the crack battalions hustled them back to their starting positions.

The Austrians got into line and forced a firefight upon the French still in column, but they were able to hold their own till they were able to flank the Austrian line.

The Consular Guard went forward but failed to drive off the Austrian artillery with musketry.

The the left of the village things were going very much the French way as time after time flanking fire drove off the Austrians.

Meanwhile the French cavalry, facing off against close columns kept retiring.  The non-battle cavalry would stand little chance against their foes.

Next hour Bellegarde placed himself at the head of the grenadiers and led them forward, along with the first initiative.  Suddenly the French infantry was out-classed.  However, with Bellegarde distracted the Austrian cavalry again sat idle as spectators.

Jagers harass the French line as the Austrian battery turns to face the guard battalion.  With nothing else to do, the guards charge!  Once they passed their elan test against the battery they did not stop till they had cleared their front.

The ever increasing mob of routed Austrians in their holding area.

And so things drew to a close.  The Austrian cavalry would be personally led forward in the coming hour but that would only cover the withdrawal of the remnants of the army.  The failure to activate the grenadier element and cavalry the first hour probably doomed their army from the start.  The French infantry and cavalry outclassed their opponents man for man, but the Austrian cavalry was vastly superior to the French.  When they became a non-factor in the game it was largely foregone.

Still, it inspires me to continue work on the project.  I have at least as many battalions awaiting paint and way more artillery that would be common.  Add to that I've started amassing 1806 Prussians!



  1. Brilliant stuff. What make are the French figures, please?

    Best wishes

    1. Frontier Miniatures from the 1980s. A short-lived line that was never completed.

  2. Well done Michael and glad for your outing too.
    Cheers et En Avant,
    PS I have oodles of 1812 15mm Russians. Wan-na fight?