Tuesday, July 21, 2020

Caldiero 1805: Turn 3, First Austrian Initiative. 2nd Austrian and french Initiatives

 Karl eagerly anticipates a 6 card run of initiative... and promptly turns a LULL; Massena cannot capitalize on the opportunity, but still! Schrecklich!

ARTILLERY FIREPOWER; ordinarily a blessing on the defense, but almost all of the Austrian Artillery is out of action now, so not much better than a Lull! 

 The sole remaining (!) Austrian battery shoots to no effect, and reloads. 

MELEE; "Ach du lieber!", another card the Austrians cannot make much use of!

O'Reilly's light Cavalry decide "What the heck", and charge down the Verona highway at the Italian infantry in square. The square shoots at its attackers, but fails to impact them.

The cavalry doesn't get a bonus for initiating melee when attacking a square, but the infantry does get a reduction for being attacked by 2 units. The Cavalry score a marginal success in round 1, and both sides become Disordered.  

 Round 2 sees another marginal win by the cavalry.

Round 3 is tied, no effect.

 Round four sees the square repulse the cavalry with minor losses.
Melees with squares only end when 1) the attacker is repulsed, 2) the square suffers a Routed result, or 3) the square is eliminated. 

LEADERSHIP; OK, not a bad card, but Karl really really needs a MOVE to salvage anything from his position. 

Nothing gained.  


 "Auf wiedereshen, Eichhörnchen!"

Keine Freude!

GM Wentzel tries to rally these troops before they leave the table (the lack of MOVE cards has the perverse benefit that they have been frozen at the table edge for a long time); he does riding tricks, while singing Opera, and then moons the hated French. Despite his (three) Daring Deeds, the men are unimpressed, and continue to do the shuffle of to Rufalo!

Almost unnoticed, GM Wentzel  is killed in the process of his over the top antics.
(Daring Deeds are Dangerous Deeds!)

Order restored to the beleaguered Grenadiers. 

Rout, rout rout for the home, team!

Overview of the crumbling Austrian defensive position on the Northern ridge. 

View of the entire Northern half of the field; even the troops to the far North are in Disorder. 

TACTICAL ADVANTAGE. Six cards and almost nothing to show for them.
Das pisst mich an! curses Karl, as he saves the card for later use. 

The whitecoats win the initiative; will they be able to do anything with it? 

MELEE. Karl decides not to try attacking the square again, and no other units can use this card.

 ARTILLERY FIRE again; could he get worse cards than these? 

May as well throw in the TA... which makes no difference at all!

Overview from the South... 

and from the North.

 Massena gets an ARTILLERY FIRE of his own.


Having started loaded, the battery fires a second time, also to no effect!

The horse battery drives the Hussars off.  

 Nuthin' doing here!

INFANTRY FIRE; definitely useful; many French units reload. 

Firing to effect here. 

 From one grenadier to another, with love - the Austrians are routed from their defensive position. 

The same for the last remaining unit on the front line of the Northern ridge. 

It is just not a good day to be wearing a white coat!


  1. Excellent overview with the new rules, and the battle is pretty damned exciting too.

    1. Thanks; glad you're enjoying it, even if we feel a bit bad for Karl's seemingly non stop ill fortune!

  2. Replies
    1. he has had about the worst luck imaginable, especially with the card play!

  3. That has to be it for the Austrians now, although it has been heading that way all day.

    1. A human player would concede buy now or earlier. The Campaign rules have a provision that you can only end the game (by conceding) on an Army Morale Card... and Karl hasn't turned one of those since he reached zero morale points, either!

  4. ‘Dangerous Deeds’ indeed but I rather like this risky addition to Leadership

    1. I do too; but obviously best used selectively!

  5. Poor old Austrians! I liked the daring deeds (even if there were unfortunate consequences!)
    Best Iain

    1. Yes, even though I was playing both sides, I had to shake my head at their poor luck!

  6. The one thing I never liked about FoB was how it handled squares. They just never felt right and I often found that staying out of square didn't really have that many disadvantages, so I rarely used them. (Of course it's entirely possible I wasn't interpreting the rules correctly...)

    1. In Field of Battle, if your cavalry charge "loaded", undamaged infantry in good order frontally, the cavalry isn't going to win very often. IMHO, that is exactly as it should be. If the infantry is unloaded, the odds for the cavalry improve considerably. The more markers on the infantry, the better it gets for the Cavalry. Hitting in the infantry in the flank or rear is another thing altogether. Of course, that's the biggest advantage of Squares - no flanks or rear.

      FoB3 does remove the previous rule whereby infantry suffering a loss of 2 UI or more in a single round to cavalry rolling "even" were destroyed. I rather liked that rule, so it might return as a house rule, perhaps limited to "Battle Cavalry" like Cuirassiers and Guards.

    2. I never had an issue with that aspect -- makes perfect sense to me, and there was always some interesting tense standoffs between loaded infantry and cavalry hovering just out of range waiting for an opportunity.

      Because you could only form square on the maneuver card (or "even" on the roll) I rarely used squares. It always seemed like there was no cavalry threat when I had the chance to move to square, and of course the horses would come and I'd have no chance to form one when I needed it. Usually I was in attack column, so it wasn't a huge disadvantage, so squares weren't used much, if at all. As a result, I eventually changed to a house rule for forming square where the defending unit would roll its CC die and anything but a 1 would allow it to form square prior to the melee. A 1 disordered the unit and the cavalry proceeded with a normal melee.

      And I agree about the 2UI rule -- I would definitely put that back in for my games.

    3. Another way to do "hasty square" is to roll the DD of the defender against the DD of the cavalry; if the infantry win, they form square. If you want to get detailed, modify by up 1 for every segment more than one moved by the cavalry, and Down 1 if attacked from the flank or rear.

    4. Also, with the option to change formation on the Leadership card, you may have more opportunity to form square when needed in FoB3... or not!