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Caldiera, 1796


The Napoleonic Wars, French Revolutionary War, Napoleon, 28mm

This small game was set in Italy during the French Revolution, and involved a French assault on an Austrian position. We were using Napoleon rules for the second time, but this time we not only had time to figure the basics out, but Bill Gilchrist was on hand to umpire, which made things move along fairly quickly. I say as small game – Chris Henry only had four units, supported by guns and skirmishers – large clouds of skirmishers. Being French, all his generals were rated good, and being Austrian, all of ours were uniformly atrocious!frenchrevol01Command is important in these rules – when things got down to close range we needed to roll less than 6 on 2D6 to actually do anything with our units. Invariably they failed their command rolls at the crucial moment, and impotently stood around, getting charged or shot at by their French counterparts! Fortunately we had big, stolid units, supported by battalion guns. On the French left one unit was drawn into a firefight with my Grenzers, and bizarrely was outshot by them, and forced off the field.frenchrevol07On the French right the remaining three battalions stormed up the hill, but after some stiff hand to hand fighting they were repulsed by Mikowai Staszek, my Austrian co-commander. With casualties mounting and with his left flank turned, Chris eventually called off the attack, and conceded the hard-fought game. Actually, the Austrians were suffering too, and with a bit more time he would probably have won the day.frenchrevol04The rules have their quirks – particularly the standing around when you fail your command tests, but on the whole we all thought the system was fast and playable .. although very strange. The basics were easy to pick up, the morale and firing systems are reasonably slick, and we all thought the result was a fair one. The rules have some fairly obvious holes in them though, and while in theory there’s nothing that a bit of common sense and house amendments won’t sort out, the general consensus was that they were  .. er  .. a bit too quirky to be enjoyable.frenchrevol09The French Revolutionary War is a colourful period, and we’ll certainly paint up more units for it. Chris’ French looked superb, and their ragged banditti appearance was in marked contrast to my ordered but rather dull lines of white-coated Austrians! I’ll raise some slightly more colourful Hungarian infantry next, and once the Perry plastic hussars come out (with their straight-up shakos) then I can add some real colour – gaudy Austrian hussars!frenchrevol02

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