Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Neapolitans in Action, and not the Ice Cream (warning graphics heavy with a load of text)

So here it is ... the Battle of Aquila.  March 1815.

With Anton's return we decided to try out some Napoleonic rules that Anton and I have been nattering about for a while as the first game back so I volunteered my Austrians and Neapolitans in honor of the 200th anniversary of the Tolentino campaign. 

Murat makes the mistake of throwing his support behind Napoleon and Napoleon then left Murat to his fate in southern Italy.  The Austrians are attacking the Neapolitans from the north with two about equally sized armies moving down either side of the Appenines.  Murat, realizing he did not have enough men to fight both armies decided to channel his brother-in-law Napoleon.  Murat divided his forces sending one of his five infantry divisions to block the pass the Eastern Army would need to use and concentrated the rest of his army on the Western Army.  This battle is the lone division facing a larger Austrian army.  It is a forgone conclusion that the Austrians will win, but how long will it take and what will they have left over to help in the major battle. 

We start with a picture of the start lines.  The Austrians are on the left, Neapolitans on the top and to the right around the village. 

Here are better pictures of the Neapolitan disposition around the village. 

On the first turn the Austrians advanced the main body of their army at the Village while they rushed their 'advance division' around the Nepolitans Left flank, Cavalry and Horse Artillery in the lead and Infantry following.  However, the Austrians could not quite make the shelter of the hills shadow and the Neapolitans used their artillery to pound the Horse guns into insignificance. 

Meanwhile, on their part of the turn the Neapolitans advanced the Legere over the scrub covered hillock and opened fire on an Austrian Line Battalion causing some casualties. 

On Turn Two the Austrians still had the Initiative and advanced slowly in the center and right while masking the Neapolitan Legere with two battalions of Infantry which opened fire causing light casualties on two of the three Legere battalions.   The Neapolitans returned fire also causing light casualties. 


On turn three the Austrians again held initiative and the Austrians launched an assault which broke the first Neapolitan legere battalion, but resulted in the Austrian Battalion also having to test morale for accumulated casualties and retiring due to this test.  The charge is above, the results are below. 

Meanwhile by turn three the Austrian advance force has crested the moraine and threatened the Neapolitan Left flank. 

On their part of turn Three the Neapolitan Lancers charged the Austrian Hussars.  The melee was savage with three dead Austrians and four dead Neapolitans (Anton rolling HOT Dice!)  The Neapolitans failed morale and routed away.  The Austrians hot on their heels. 

Again on Turn four the Austrians won initiative and pressed forward in the center with the rest of the Brigade.  However in their turn the combined fire of the two Neapolitan Legere battalions caused the Hungarian battalion to retire from the effects. 

Meanwhile Anton enjoyed sabering the Lancers out of existance (gnomed, {attacked from behind} a shameful way for a man to die). 

Turn Five on the right saw the Austrians still with initiative and began peppering the Neapolitan Infantry while the Hussars retired to regroup. 

Austrian Turn Five on the left and center saw the Austrians advance in the center and use a battery of guns to quiet the pesky Neapolitan Legere (above).  Meanwhile in the center the Neapolitan artillery began greeting the approaching Austrian Infantry columns as seen below. 

An Overhead view of the end of Turn Five as the Neapolitans retired off the hill and reformed sheltered from the Austrian guns. 

For the village area the Neapolitans formed line and returned fire with limited success. 

Turn Six saw continued Austrian mastery of initiative and pressing forward on both the left and right flanks while their guns continued silencing the Neapolitan guns in the center. 

Austrian Artillery fire resulted in one Neapolitan battery quitting the field

Meanwhile the second half of turn six had a decidedly Neapolitan flavor as the second half of the Legere brigade (three battalions of Line infantry) charged the left flank of an Austrian Line battalion and routed them from the field. 

While at the Village the Neapolitans retired into the village for better cover (sparked by one of their battalions cracking under fire and routing away).  Turn Seven saw the Neapolitans seize the initiative and launch a follow up charge into another Austrian battalion routing it off as well. 

However, the Austrian side of the turn saw their guns now free to fire on the offending Neapolitan battalion and shattered it instantly (9 casualties between the two melees and the artillery fire).   While on the right the Austrians continued their flanking move remorselessly (below).

Turn Eight saw the Neapolitans maintain the initiative  consolidating their position in the village

And trying to maintain a threat to the Austrian Center by keeping the line infantry in attack columns, but at reasonably safe distance from the guns. 

The Austrian Turn eight saw a focus on the right and the village, while order was restored on the left flank in the shelter of the Austrian Guns. 

The resultant concentrated fire from two advance brigade battalions resulted in multiple casualties on one of the elite Chaseur d'Africaine battalions and a line battalion. 

The Line battalion failed its morale test and routed to the back streets of the village to cower (building models removed for space sake), the other jumble of figures is the battalion that broke back in turn 6 and was never rallied.  

Turn nine saw the Austrians retake initiative and launch the two battalions from the advance guard into the town as an assault, wile elements of the left brigade moved up to the plowed fields as supports.  The melee saw the third line battalion break and run while the stout Chasseurs d' Africaine stood up the Austrians and began a grinding swirling scrum over possession of the front of the village. 

On the Left two turns of un relenting artillery fire caused the Neapolitan line to retire behind their Legere compatriots after suffering casualties. 

The Neapolitan half of turn nine saw the Neapolitans continue their melee at the front of the village inconclusively and at turn end the Neapolitan's admitted defeat and the game ended. 

Historically, things went about the same resulting in the Austrians in possession of the village after about Two and a Half hours of fighting. So now the timing on Austrian reserves is set for the main Battle of Tolentino. The only significant difference being the higher than historic casualties suffered by the Austrians (2 of three brigades pretty mauled). 


  1. Nice looking game (well, except the 'attack from behind!), beautiful armies and terrain, especially the hills!

  2. Thank you,

    The Terrain was Anton's, the figures mine. The Austrians are from a departed friend of ours, they were always his joy (none of us understood that either). The Neapolitans are my fetish. In any game I tend to gravitate to the Italians, this was just too weird a campaign not to play out and the 200th anniversary just overwhelmed me. The bigger battle will follow at some point in the future.