Sunday, 3 March 2013

Wargame Campaigns of Napoleon

This is a long term project with the aim to run a series of solo campaigns based on Napoleon’s campaigns.  It is not my intention to follow each historical campaign, but rather to run a series of mini campaigns to produce wargames.  

I have completed the first two, both of which are set in Italy in 1796.   The first was Piedmont and the second Mantua.   The Austrians made four attempts to raise the siege of Mantua, and I was not sure whether to tackle each one as a mini campaign, or just to Mantua as one campaign.  

We visited the Lake Garda area in 2000 for two weeks to walk the battlefields, and I had done quite a bit of research for that visit.   It was fun looking through it all again, looking at the photographs I took there and reading the blog I wrote about the visit.

The Italian campaigns were all quite small in comparison to Napoleon’s later campaigns, and are very suitable for smaller battles.  So I have decided to refight all four.

I have already completed Wurmster’s first attempt to raise the siege, and have now started on his second attempt.  This will include the battle of Rivoli, one of the most interesting of the battlefields we visited in 2000.  

We spent two days walking over the battlefield.   We started with the small museum in the village, which includes a good diorama of the battle.   Some parts of the battle are easier to find than others, and we found the curator to be particularly helpful.

For example Monte Baldo, the large hill where most of the fighting took place, is very easy.  It dominates the town, and it was not hard to find the road leading to the top.    But a smaller feature called Trombalore Heights, was not so easy.   We knew the approximate location, but could not find an access road.   We returned to the museum and asked the curator for direction.  He explained it was on private ground and hard to find, but offered to show us the way.   He set off on his moped and we followed in our car.   All of our hard work was pretty pointless, as the area is now overgrown and our attempts to locate the area of fighting disappointing.   But the kindness of the curator is one of our fond memories of the visit.

If you would like to read the blog of our visit you can find it at

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