Monday, September 19, 2011

Battle of Novi Photos

This past weekend was the "Big Game" weekend at the 6mm Napoleonics (and FIW, AWI, 1812) club I play in. Both days were separate re-fights of the Battle of Novi in 1799, using modified Polemos rules that are slated for eventual production. I was only there on the Sunday, assuming the role of the heroic, if slightly tardy, Russian commander Derfelden. There were two other Allied commanders, one playing Kray, the other Suvorov/Melas (a fourth commander didn't make it). Against us were a lot of Frenchmen on a hill under four commanders.

I only remembered to take photos prior to game play, and towards the last few turns, so this is a potted, Russo-centric history of the battle, which ended a minor Allied victory. I've annotated some of the photos, I suspect the French will disagree with some of them... You can click on the photos for larger versions with more readable annotations.

Here's the big view, with the initial Austrian forces off-screen to the bottom left:

However, here are those Austrians:
They bore the brunt of the fighting for much of the game. As they'd gained some initial successes, the overall commander continued to feed them Tempo Points (initiative), even when my veteran soldiers with plodding commanders finally started to arrive:There was a gap between some of the French forces to start, but they used the lull before the Russians arrived to pull forces from their right to try to fill it. My initial orders included the command to get my Cossacks up into the gap to raise a little hell (but not actually fight anyone if possible). As it turned out, the gap wasn't so gap-py by the time I got there.

Straight up ahead of my units was the town of Novi, to the left before the hill/terraces was the start of the rather extensive vineyard (portrayed by trees,but really vines) seen above.The vineyard was rough ground for movement, but didn't prevent the French from cannonading my troops whenever possible.

In the meanwhile, with some inspiration from Bagration, my heroic Cossacks got into onto the hill, only to promptly be surrounded on three sides by French cavalry, and attacked on two of those sides.

However, like the drunken smelly buggars they are, my Cossacks threw back both attacks, escaped the trap, and went and hung out in the vineyard for the rest of the game, occasionally getting cannonballs in their direction. I like to think the French commanders were briefly traumatized by the affair.

Eventually the rest of the Austrians started to show up on our left, but things were winding down by then. The French had a battery facing them down the road, but just as things ended it ran into some supply problems and was vulnerable.

So here's how far my troops got. You can see they occupied one arm of the vineyard and were working towards popping a hole in the French line where they didn't have any ready artillery support. I actually had a second French battalion driven back by the time the game ended. Not enought to do anything yet, but with some Tempo Points over the next few turns I like to think I could have widened it further.
However, our victory was mainly because of what was happened on the right, which was a real bloodbath but with more French blood than Austrian. I've drawn a line showing roughly how much of the plateau was Austrian by the end, but things were still heated up there.
And to show you how much blood was spilt, here's the French dead pile:Curiously, the Allied illustrators forgot to portray the Austrian dead pile.

For more information on the club, here's the website (it's a bit dated, but you can contact Glenn through it).

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