Friday 26 May 2023

The Battle of Castiglione.

A bit late posting this but……..Last Saturday the faithful gathered for another game here at the Burrow. John the Red, Neil and Mark were the French and Nigel and I the Austrians. Mark lives in Adelaide and had arranged his holiday to the UK around a game here and a trip to Partizan. 

The battlefield

We used Black Powder with the usual amended turn sequence which all agree gives a better game. The French outnumbered the Austrians somewhat but were deficient in artillery and decent cavalry whereas the Austrians had no such problem. Historically it was a resounding French victory for the French under the young General de Division Bonaparte.

Hopefully the following photos are in more or less the correct sequence. 

The French left and a view along the battle line.

The Austrian right was anchored on a redoubt and a large hill.

The French attacking in the centre.

The French right wing again, giving a good view of the swarms of troops bearing down on the Austrians.

The French assault 

The Austrian right before things started getting ‘noisy’, resting go on the village of Solferino.

On the Austrian left Neil’s grenadiers were poised to attack their redoubt in the flank.

Massed columns getting closer to the Austrian centre.

……and closer they came.

The French cavalry were pretty poor but still did ok.

I heroically charged the inferior French cavalry with my hussars and Uhlans. The latter were beaten and although the hussars won and pursued the enemy they became shaken, taking the entire brigade out of the game.

The Austrian left under pressure.

Freikorps jäger taking pot shots at the advancing enemy columns.

French volunteer battalion.

Our Grenz infantry were threatened by French cavalry and wisely formed square.

An Austrian counter attack halts the French briefly.

Another French volunteer battalion.

Three more French battalions.

The French under Mark assaulted the Austrian redoubt but made hard work of it, failing to break in or even win a melee round which would have seen the artillery break.

The French closed with the Austrian line but would bounce.

Bold Grenz.

French horse artillery up close and nasty on the flank of the Austrian centre.

This was a very hard fought game. Despite throwing four blunders in the first couple of turns, including one from the CinC the French turned the Austrian left as a result of the collapse of my cavalry. The redoubt was overrun, thus knocking out two 12-pdrs which otherwise might have caused great destruction on the enemy. As mentioned above, the Austrian cavalry brigade was broken, as were two other Austrian infantry brigades. The French assault on their left had failed and one brigade had been destroyed but with our cavalry gone and our flank turned, the centre barely hanging on and despite the right doing ok it was clearly a less than resounding victory for young Buonaparte.

A tremendous game and I actually got to play as well which is a bonus except for players on my side! Black Powder give a good simple multi-player game, especially with the amended sequence of play. I have a further amendment I want to try next time as while it works well enough I don’t like the idea of a ‘6’ always causing disorder regardless of range et cetera. I think perhaps any throws of a ‘1’ when rolling saves could cause disorder. We shall see.

Next big game here on 3 June I hope. Might even start some regular mid-week games subject to interest, availability and my stamina.


  1. A lovely looking game! I really enjoyed following that through, thanks. As to Disorder on a '1', goodness me but No! Phil and I would be permanently Disordered!

  2. I'm with you on the '6 causing disorder' issue, Colin. Three possible alternatives as I see it. 1: To Save rolls for the 6(s) are rolled separately. If they are not saved them Disordered also. 2: If a 6 is rolled by the Shooter then any saving roll of 1 results in Disorder. 3. Regardless of whether the Shooter rolls a 6 or not, any any saving roll of 1 results in Disorder. Really enjoyed the game, thanks again.

  3. Cracking good looking game Colin. Love seeing your Early Napoleonic figures out and about on the table. When are you getting those beautiful Early Saxons and Prussians out again.

  4. Superb looking game, the table and figures really are top notch, plenty to pore over!

  5. Splendid looking game Colin 👍