Wednesday, June 17, 2020

Caldiero 1805: Third French Initiative

Massena starts off with a MOVE card!

Although General G(h)oulus is hors de combat, I allow the Divisional commander, here Duhesme to roll for activation in such cases (or voluntarily if he is unhappy with the Brigade commander's roll. Either way, ther Divisional roll stands, and the Division commander is subject to loss on the next ARMY MORALE card.  If he is lost, the entire Division becomes Disordered. This is very much a House Rule. In FoB2, a command lacking an officer used a D6 for the MOVE process. In FoB3, a command without an officer may not act on a MOVE card at all. I personally think this is too harsh (especially without the intervening command levels as I use) , especially considering that all of the units such a command will already be Disordered and thus moving half speed anyway. I imagine I will adopt the old FoB2 rule for this one!

In any event, Duhesme rolls up a Double Magic Move... at half speed. The results of his slow motion actions are seen above. 

Reneral Camus' command gets one segment, no fancy business. 

he still manages some fancy footwork - the Legere in Line shoots at the garrison of Caldiero (UP1 Close range, UP 1 First Fire, DOWN 2 target in Class II cover, base D10). The difference of 5 won even causes the garrison to lose 1 UI (and 1 Morale point, of course), and become Disordered. As it is occupying a town, it does NOT fall back, as it would have were it to have been in the open. 

The Leger move back 4" (half a move segm,ent), and the 2 attack columns move in contact with the Town. Although they rolled won-EVEN for the Move, because they interpenetrated a unit on the way (see section 4.4), they may not do an immediate melee. One or both could have fired, but both units chose not to. 

With Camus' skirmishing Legere closing to less than 100 years of the battery, "The Fools on the Hill"  feel obl;igated to opp fire at the skirmishers (had they not, the skirmishers surely would have shot at the guns anyway! This way the Artillery fire preempts the advancing infantry, and has the chance to inflict damage and/or drive them back out of range before they can "shoot"). The battery has lost 1 UI and is Disordered (DOWN 2 total), but Karl plays his Tactical Advantage card to bolster their chances (DOWN 2 firing at Skirmishers, UP 2 shooting at Point Blank range, Up 1 for the TA, net DOWN 1). Alas the brown-coated gunners fail to inflict  any significant  damage. 

Breathing a sigh of relief, the skirmishers do indeed shoot at the guns, and win by 6 and even!  With 1 UI already lost, the battery loses 2 more UI (and 2 Morale points), and  is dispersed.*

(* I made a small error here by allowing the First Fire bonus; per FoB3, skirmishers and units in Towns do not get this bonus; I gave it to the Town garrison units as well, so all's fair!)

A Notable gap has appeared  in the Austrian position on the Southern Ridgeline. 

Proceeding to the North, Brigade Compere rolls a single move, with "magic". 

The Brigade's battery unlimbers, and the rest of the brigade adjusts its position just enough to give them an avenue of fire.

Tjhe 12 lbers of the Artillery Reserve are a command unto themselves; they only roll up as single move, which they expend to unlimber; a change of facing is allowed with this operation. 

This battery now has a field of fire as well. 

The battered Brigade of Launay rolls up a mundane single move. 

As the Brigade starts to pull back, Hauptmann Heissen calls out, "Nicht sehr schnell, Francois! You forgot your going away present! 

Base D10 UP 1 for Short range, UP another 1 for shooting at Column by Artillery. Heissen riolls a D12 +1, and gets...a 1!  The cool Frenchmen roll a 6 on their D6. Karl looks on in disgust at this further display of the incompetence of his Artillery, once held to be the finest in Europe. .

Once again, the French infantry maneuvers to open a fire lane for their own artillery. 

Reserve Brigade Solinac  rolls up a double MOVE. 

Before that Brigade steps off,  Capitaine Ouvier and his 12 lbers target an Austrian battery.
Bonjour, Heinrich! Volez-vous tirez avec moi?
(Kindly forgive my butchering of both French and German!). 
Heinrich replies that, Danke, he will shoot back, making the firing simultaneous. The Range is over 18" (DOWN 1), with an additional DOWN 1 for shooting at Unlimbered Artillery, but the battery is a base D12+1, the best possible. Regardless, they tank their roll, and miss!

Heinrich's battery replies; it happens to also be a base CD of 12+1, so the dice are identical, but the rolls are not; 10 vs 5. That causes a loss of 1 UI (and a Morale point, as usual), and throws the target into Disorder; Unlimbered Artillery does NOT withdraw the difference in pips, however, on a Fall Back result, but rather  "shelters in place". 

With that out of the way Solinac's brigade takes its double move; the Horse battery moves 20" and unlimbers, The Austrian battery is  now"unloaded" and thus unable to shoot at the battery while it was still limbered.

Lenchantin's Brigade gets a "Plain Jane" single move...

which it uses to make some minor adjustments to its position.

Lacour rolls a "1"; his Dragoons cannot move.

Valentins brigade gets a single move avec pantalon fantaisie

and proceeds another 12" down the road.

Espgane's Light cavalry Brigade rolls three move segments, plus fancy business.

The Austrian battery targets the advancing French Horse battery as it prepares to unlimber. The French unit being Crack, rolls a D8 defense die, and the Austrians manage 3 hits, inlicting 1 UI loss, BUT since they rolled odd, the batery proceeds with its unlimbering regardless.

Positions after their move is completed. All of the French commands have now acted on the MOVE card.

The second French card is MELEE.

There is only on place where the French are withing 1/2 a move of the Austrians, and that is the two units already in contact with Caldiero. The French decide to shoot first with the better of the 2 units, remembering that units that have the initiative and are "loaded" may shoot at any time. My personal term for this is "melee con queso", because it's, well, cheesy! One hazard of this is that the fire may drive the enemy back out of Melee engagement distance. That is't a big risk here, because units do not Fall Back from town sections or works. The French unit is UP 1 for close range and for 1st fire, and DOWN 2 for shooting into Class III terrain.  D10 vs D6, ^ to 1, inflicts one UI on the Garrison and throws them into Disorder.

The melee then commences; Both sides start with a CD of 10. The French are UP 1 for initiating the Melee, and Down 2 for opponent in Class III terrain; the Austrians are DOWN for 2 UI lost, DOWN 1 for Disordered, and DOWN 1 for fighting Superior Numbers (of units). They cannot be lower than a D4. The French win the first round, and inflict 2 hits; not enough for a UI loss, so the melee continues. The French rolled WEVEN, so they do not suffer Disorder. Although the Austrians also rolled EVEN, they lost the round and thus would be Disordered, were they not already so.

The next round everything is the same, except that the French no longer get the bonus for initiating Melee (This appears to be a change from FoB2, where units acting on the Melee card retained the bonus throughout the action, whilst units engaging in an immediate Melee on a MOVE card counted it only in the first round.  (FoB3, page 53). With a D6 vs a D4, the French score 4 hits this round. The total hits in the melee are now six, so the Austrian unit loses 2 more UI (and of course, 2 more Morale Points). Since it already had 2 UI lost, that brings it to zero UI, and it disperses!

Because the French roll was EVEN, it remains in good order, and may "advance to seize the position".  The supporting unit (which is still "loaded") moves into Caldiero!

Once more, with Feeling!  A second Melee card is turned. The French now have no eligible units (the units in the  Town sections require a Move just to leave the Town, so could only attack a unit already in contact with the town).

The 3rd French card is LEADERSHIP, and quite timely it is!

Overview of the battle form the North.

First order of business is to rioll for a replacement for the dearly departed General Goulus.
"I feel much better!" Even with the Excellent army command rating of the 1805 French, this makes the newly undead G(h)oulus an LD10. I caq't be bothered to redo the label, so I use a casualty marker tio remind myself he iWN 1 to an LD10. Karl is hear to mutter "What are we playing here, Flintloque or something?!"

GG #2 has as his first task atemptiong to rally his Brigade from Disorder. Most of his command is more than 12" from the enemy, so there is no penalty to his LD10 roll; the opposing side always rolls a D8.


Uh-uh... and the LD roll of 1 stops any further rallying attempt;s by GG #2. It also means that units in his command may NOT use the card to change their facing or formation.

General LaunaY succeeds in removing both the rock (UI loss) and the chicken (Disorder) from the Battery. I have placed the "sword" marker by his base to remind us he must test for survival when the ARMY MORALE card is turned.

"No Dice" for this attempt.

One rock and one chicken removed!

The Battery is unimpressed by the efforts of Espagne to rally them.

"Vive l'Empereur!" shouts the 12 lber's crew, as they are rallied by the Army Artillery commander.
Bye-Bye rock, Bye-Bye Chiken-ess!

Gebneral Vaklory rallies off a Chicken! "What's for lunch, lads?"

Overview of the battle from the South this time. Note the Army and Divisional commanders still near the French baseline. Command Group (Brigades, here) leaders may move with their commands, but higher level opfficers ONLY move on the L:eadership card. Both may move up to 18".

General de Division Duhesme, who is already at risk from his prior actions, makes his own attempt to rally the Battery of the Ghouls Brigade, but fails (Higher officers may only attempt to rally ONE unit).

It's a case of deja vu all over again, as Massena turns a second LEADERSHIP card. "Who shuffled this deck?" rants Mssena!

GG #2 tries a second time to rally his Brigade. That;s one sheep removed...

and another...

and another...

and yet another. "By Jean, I think he's got it!"

Definitely on a roll, as another sheep is penned.

Yep! "Bringing in the sheep, bringing in the sheep..." The entire Brigade has been restored to good Order!

Another day, another rock and chicken gone!

The battery has recovered its lost UI. ALL French UI and Disorder has been rallied off!

GG #2 uses the Mane4uver option on the LEADERSHIP card to change the facing of the Chasseurs a Cheval on his far flank.

General Valentin uses the Maneuver option to deploy his twin Grenadier units from March column into Attack Column.  And with that, the 3rd French initiative is over. Warm up your C-in-C's Leadership Dice, gentlemen!

To be continued...


  1. Peter, this battle continues to present a grand spectacle. Your table, troops, and photography are inspiring.

    Nice job!

    1. Thanks for the kind words, Jon. I am enjoying doing the game!

  2. Still a god looking battle. You do enjoy the rocks and livestock counters.

  3. Looks great

    Did I read you correctly in FoB 3 you only get initiating on the first round with a melee card? Just like on meleeing on a move card?

    1. Yes, but I think we should check with Brent. Query initiated.

    2. Brent did indeed confirm this is correct.

  4. Great stuff once more even with the chickens and the sheep !!
    Also missed that Initiating Melee only counts on first round ?
    Re First Fire bonus I only allow this for units that are in Line as Attack Columns just not firing formations

    1. I think that the no first fire is reasonable for attack Ciolumn; in FoB3 they are no longer up 1 as a target for infantry fire.

  5. Very good. the excitement builds with every post.

    1. Glad you are enjoying it. I am about to play out the next initiative.

  6. What a great show. Almost like being there.

    1. Thanks, wish it could be in person. I am going to try a game of To the Strongest by Zoom with Jared in July.

  7. I'm thoroughly enjoying this. Thanks Peter.

    1. Glad to hear it, Lawrence; I have to start writing up the next segment now...

  8. Great fun! How lucky to be French! I like your rocks and chickens!
    Best Iain

    1. Thanks, Iain. The various kinds of "chickens" are always good fodder for bad jokes!