Friday, July 3, 2020

Caldiero 1805: Turn 2, Initiatives 1 & 2

Massena "wins the toss", and starts the turn with MOVE ONE COMMAND.

After some deliberation, he selects Goulus-2's Brigade, hoping to get a won-even move, and charge the isolated Austrian battery, as well as opening up a filed of fire at the Grenadier square.

With no immediate Melee possible, the column moves to contact the battery, and shoots at close range, doing some damage.

Table overview.

Karl turns a LULL, and Massena seizes the initiative from him!

Massena's bonus car is MOVE!

This is the 4th French MOVE card, so the Reserve Cuirassier Brigade can enter. Despite having an outstanding commander (LD 12+1, the best possible), Mermet disappointingly manages but a single segment. 

Even more disappointing, Lacour is evidently off entertaining one of the Ladies of Lombardy, as his Dragoons refuse to budge. The combine effect compromises the French threat on the Southern end of the field of battle. 

Goulus fails to get a won-even move again, and contents himself with some minor adjustments to the positioning of his units. 

Camus gets 3 segments, but again lacks the vital "magic" element. 

With a lot of flexibility none the less, Camus pushes the advance all along the line, with the garrisons of Caldiero issuing forth to attack the Austrian position on the Southern ridge. All of the units are loaded. The one battered unit pulls back so that it is over 12" from all enemy units, improving its chances of rallying. 

Austrian opportunity fire #1  repels the French with losses before they have the chance to shoot on their own.

Austrian Opportunity Fire # 2 does the same (rolling a D12+2). 

The remaining French unit moves forward through its retreating comrades and issues effective fire. Note that, because the target is defending field works, although it is Disordered by the won-even roll, it does not retreat 3', one of the subtle advantages of such positions. 

Camus' lead attack column also fires to effect. The target is "unloaded and thus cannot issue fire itself. 

Compere's brigade continues the trend of "no fancy pants allowed". 

The Grenadier unit anchoring the Southern end of the Northern ridge is his target. The Brigade's artillery shoots, causing Disorder and a single hit. 

One of his columns moves up, intending to shoot the Grenadiers as well, but is driven back by opportunity  fire. The rest of the Brigade adjusts its position (or continues routing to the rear!)

Solinac's brigade gets 2 segments, but yet again no joy as far as any fancy business!

The French Grenadier column moves forwards and blasts the (unloaded) Austrians at close range, and inflicts crushing damage upon the white coats, routing them!

The remainder of the Brigade adjusts its positions.

A triple magic move for Lenchantin!

2 of his attack columns advance on the Grenadier s and fire (they could have engaged in an immediate melee, but judged the position too strongly held) - 1 pip (the Grenadiers are already Disordered) . 

Second column fires a second pip. Massena, realizing that one more pip wil inflict a UI loss on the stubborn Grenadiers, has his 12 lber battery fire at them at medium range (not shown), and they just mange to inflict 1 more pip, so the Grenadiers lose a UI the hard way (pips from simultaneous fires add up). Both columns them move forward to the edge of the ridge.

The movement allows the Austrian line to Opportunity fire at the column. They eveidently did some target practice during the Intermission, and drive back yet another French uinit with losses. 

Situation at the end of Compere's actions.

Next up, Valory's relatively intact brigade acts with a minor flourish. 

With all of the Austrians along the ridge line now unloaded, his men advance forward, with units in Line to the front and fire. "Take THAT, Otto!"

"Oh Dear!" exclaims Karl, seeing the routers headed his way. "I really want to save that "seize the colors" trick for Essling...

Valory's other battalion issues ineffective fire. Hopefully the Austrian battery will not be able to reload before they have another chance! 

Launay gets 2 un-embellished segments.

Ineffective artillery fire at the battered Austrian Line (3 UI loss); Launay had hoped to eliminate it, thus clearing the way for the rest of his brigade's attack. No dice! 

The attack goes in, and the consequences of the failed bombardment become apparent. Although the Austrians are DOWN 3 for 3 lost UI, they are UP 1 for close range and UP 1 for fire, and are an excellent unit (base CD 12+1), and thus STILL roll a D12 , coming up with a 10!

Angered by the rout of it's fellow unit, the second column returns fire in kind. This roll would cause a loss of 3 UI and rout the target, but as it only has 1 UI left, that is all that is inflicted, and the gallant Austrian defenders are dispersed instead! Launay is not unhappy to see a D12+1 unit gone! 

Espagne's Light Cavalry brigade rolls a triple move; had the roll been even, allowing immediate melee, the French cavalry *might* have considered a charge, but without it, they water their horses!

The brigade's Horse battery fires at the Austrian battery unmasked by the destruction of the gallant Austrian line. Massena doesn't like the prospect of double canister being fired into Launay's column at point blank range (UP 3!). Because the Austrian's do not have the initiative, and their is no opportunity fire here, the battery can NOT just shoot at the French column now. The battery has to decide whether to return fire before the French roll; rather than risking elimination without ever having a chance to fire, they reluctantly chose to shoot back. 

In the event, neither battery inflicts losses, and both cause Disorder (the Austrian battery is already Disordered, though). 

Overview from the North at the end of the first initiative...

and from the South.

Massena wins the initiative roll again; you'd better believe he wants to go first with all of those unloaded Austrian units waiting for FIRE cards!

Merde! A LULL; fortunately Karl fails to seize the initiative. 

LEADERSHIP; certainly very useful, although at the moment Massena would have greatly preferred a MELEE or INFANTRY FIRE card. C'est le guerre!

"I hear they have a nice Chianti at the Trattoria, Jean-Pierre; perhaps we can make it for Happy Hour!"

No breaks for the hapless Chasseurs. 

"I don't feel nearly as baaaaaa-d!"

Sheep on a hot terracotta roof - poof!

I guess you guys don't stink so much after all!

With no chicks to be seen, they don't get their rocks off. 

Vive l'Enfant chéri de la Victoire!

Let's head to the Rout-haus for a cold one, boys!

In order to Rally, a unit must be within the command radius of it's leader -twice the LD rating, in inches. Yep, just makes it!

"The Morale is to the Physical as two is to one!" 

Eh bien, we have run far enough, Marcel.!

This unit both rallies from routing, and regains a lost UI! Rallied unit may immediately adopt the formation and facing of their choosing. 

Not today, Didier!

"Stop poking me!"

With the French rallying attempts done, the initiative passes to Karl. For his first card he turns... MAJOR MORALE. 

Evidently the Southern flank is NOT the place to be for generals, as GM Kalnassy goes down! The remaining Austrian leaders all survive their checks. All of Kalnassy's command becomes Disordered. 


"I'm not dead yet!"  but LD rating drops to D8. 

"I feel much better!" 

Trying to rally with a D6 vs a D8 is seldom rewarding... 

until it is!


Nicht heute!

That will be it for now!

Auch wieder, nein!

Keine gluck!

Well at least we got the chick! 

A regular chick magnet, we are!



Keine Freude hier!

Alle menschen werden Brüder!

Wieder erschöpft!

At least that's one chicken in the pot for lunch!

A new initiative awaits our brave Tin men...


  1. Great stuff and loving those overview shots. Your spell checker seems to have gone haywire on several pic comments :-)

    1. Thanks, Gary. I'm a lousy typist and the draft mode in blogger makes the type small, but I'll go back and do some more editing! :-)

    2. Not sure spell checker can sort this "Wieder erschöpft!" :-)

    3. auf Deutsch - "finished/exhausted once again"

  2. Looks like the French have really had the upper hand when it comes to initiative. The Austrians appear to be playing catch-up.

    1. It's both the imitative you have (normally "equal"), when you have it, and what you can do with it *the cards you turn and the order you turn them!) !

  3. Peter, what a wonderful punny post that was; you were on fire!
    The French applyied pressure with a general advance/attack along the line, but the Austrians seemed to be holding up well, until those morale throws. They are going to hurt their resolve (and performance in coming initiatives), I presume?
    As for the French cavalry... give them to Lasalle, especially those heavies, and he'll sort them out. Put them under the guns for a bit! They are desperately needed on the right (French) and then it will be coq au vin pour les tous!

    1. Thanks, James. It's good to see you getting into the spirit of things! :-)

  4. Austrians slowly getting worn down, I guess it's a pretty realistic view of the comparative strengths and weaknesses of the two armies.
    Best Iain

    1. Yes, it probably is that; 1805 is probably the worst mismatch for French vs Austrian armies of the Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars. The inability of the Austrians to use Attack Columns is really hindering them as well, as it makes it hard for them to bring their advantage in numbers to bear, and the infantry can never benefit from the MELEE card!

  5. Really enjoying this detailed write-up and also gives me some insight into the changes to the rules in V3.

    1. I'm gald you;re enjoying it; the game is done now, but I have to edit the pictures and do the posts to finish the action,

  6. This series of reports is a great advert for FoB3. Not a new feature but seizing the initiative on a Lull Card is a lovely feature of the Rules.

    1. I agree;. such that even when you have a long run of cards, it can be interrupted. That interruption may be trivial, or game changing!