Absolute Emperor: Sacile (1809)

To Napoleon’s surprise, the Austrians decided in early 1809 that Italy belonged to them.  In April of that year Archduke John launched an attack against the northern reaches of Italy, hoping to catch the French forces flat-footed.  He succeeded, but his counterpart, Napoleon’s adopted step-son Eugene opted to give battle before waiting for his scattered forces to converge on the town of Sacile.  The result was a French attack through marshes that literally bogged down before the men could reach the Austrian held-heights.  Both commanders recognized the vulnerability of the French forces, but Eugene managed to “strike first” by retreating in good order.  He saved his force, but the myth of French invulnerability had been shattered.

Pordenone is the Austrian line of retreat.  If the French secure control of Pordenone, they immediately win.

Austrian Forces deploy first in the vicinity of Porcia

  • Under Albert Gyulai (3)
    • Two Seasoned Infantry
    • One Artillery
  • Reinforcements – The entire corp arrives on either the Pordenone Road on Turn 4 or Roveredo Road on Turn 6
    • Under Ignaz Gyulai (2)
    • Two Seasoned Infantry
    • One Artillery

French forces deploy second within the marshy areas on the eastern edge of the board

  • Main Body led by Eugene
    • Corp Commander (3)
    • Three Seasoned Infantry
    • One Seasoned Light Cavalry
    • One Artillery
  • Reinforcements – The entire Corps arrives on the Viganovo OR the Fontana-Fredda Road on Turn 4
    • Corp Commander Lamarque (3)
    • Three Seasoned Infantry
    • One Seasoned Line Cavalry

Additional considerations:

  • Note that players should write which route and on what turn reinforcements arrive down on a marker and only reveal the arrival at the start of Turn 4 or Turn 6, as appropriate.
  • Reinforcements must enter in Column March, and spend their first turn in that formation.  Divisions can enter the board in any order and can move in any direction out from the road entry.
  • All of the rivers are crossable, but classed as difficult save for crossing through Fontana-Fredda
  • The marshes below the ridge are provide cover, but movement speed is halved as long as one base of a unit remains within the marsh
  • The year is 1809, so make good use of the period and nation specific rules listed on Page 38.

Once again, I need to close by tipping my hat towards the guys over at Napoleonic Scenarios.  All I did here is adapt their version of this fight to the Absolute Emperor ruleset.  Blame me for the bad parts and them for the good.