|Novi - 15th August 1799
This scenario has been developed by Bill Haggart
The Russian and Austrian forces under Suvorov had thundered
across the Po River valley, recapturing most of the territory conquered by
Napoleon two years before. The veterans Moreau, Mcadonald and Schérer each in
turn had been soundly defeated. Only the fortress of Tortona and the scattered
French forces around Genoa the coastal towns further west. The Directory
placed their hopes in thirty year-old General Barthélemy Joubert. They saw
Joubert as a possible rival to Napoleon and a replacement in the hearts of the
French which they could use. Joubert landed in Genoa with reinforcements
on August 4th, ordering a concentration at Novi as preliminary to lifting the
siege at Tortona as the Directory had ordered. There was some hope that he
could link up with the 15,000 man Army of the Alps under Championnet, or at
least at as a distraction for Joubert's offensive. Championnet could not
reach Joubert until August 20th. Suvorov had acted with dispatch and advanced on
Joubert as he reached Novi. After a few days of sparring, Joubert held a
strong defensive position against Suvorov's superior numbers. Thinking Joubert
would continue to advance against Tortona on the 15th, Kray decided to attack
what he thought would be French march columns. Suvorov concurred.
Supposedly, Defelden's forces would hold the advancing French as Kray and Melas
turned their flanks. Joubert was set on enhancing his already
formidable reputation and knew the Allies outnumbered him. He had no intentions
of complying with the Allied expectations.
Orders of Battle:
Allied Army, Marshal Suvorov AC
43,011 infantry, 7,200 cavalry, 66 guns)
Austrian Corps: Kray CC (26,346)
Right Wing: Bellegarde (DC), Ex=14
Guard: Seckendorf (DC),
Left Wing: Ott (DC), Ex=10
Russian Corps: Defelden (CC/(DC),
Guard: Bagration (DC),
Russian Cossack contingent:
Russian Division: Miloradovich (DC),
Austrian Corps: Melas CC
Division: Frelich (DC), Ex=9
infantry, 11 cavalry, 6 artillery, and 10 command stands. Six stands of Cavalry
are skirmish stands as are two infantry stands.
Allied Army Notes:
this army was a composite of Russian and Austrian troops, it was a victorious
army. Its morale was generally high, its
leader Suvorov inspirational.
OOB is taken from Christopher Duffy’s book on Suvorov, "Eagles over the
It is not clear whether there were battalion guns with the army, but given his
past history of marching without waiting for them, Suvorov probably didn’t
have them with him. If they had been present, the small guns would have been
left behind in the assaults on the heights because of the vineyards and
congested terrain on the slopes surrounding Novi. In the plain they would not
have been able to elevate to hit the French. (It was A problem for all the
Allied artillery.) Most commands have been given 50% exhaustion levels. The Russian and Austrian Grenadier units have been allowed
60%. Artillery has been counted for
exhaustion. Whether you have Mass
stands for the Austrians and Russians is a judgement call considering their size
and the debates over what Mass and Linear represent. We have all infantry units on Mass stands and cavalry depending on size.
2SP stands are linear. All Cossacks are on skirmish stands. Duffy claims that
Russian line infantry were used as effective skirmishers during the campaign. If
players want, they can allow on skirmish stand per Russian Regiment. However, as
the Russians are committed to an assault, the skirmishers will not be of much
Kray’s entire column sets up within 18 inches of Kray’s command stand which itself is placed on the "K" on the map. Bagration’s Division sets up within command distance of his command stand which is located on the "B". Miloradovich’s and Defelden’s commands enter the board at 11:00 am within 9" of the "D" on the map edge. Suvorov comes on with these troops. Melas entire command comes on the 12:00 pm turn within 9" of the "M". All artillery is limbered and no infantry is stationary, but any may start setup or come on the board in road column.
French Army, Gen. de Division Joubert (AC)
35,487 infantry and 2,097 Cavalry, 43 guns)
Wing: Perignon CC (DC, of LW Reserve)
Wing: Gouvion Saint-Cyr CC (DC of RW Reserve)
Wing Reserve Ex=5
Colli: Colli (DC), Ex=4
Labroissiere: Labroissiere (DC), Ex=6
Watrin: Watrin (DC),
The larger infantry count has been taken from St.Cyr, while the
Larger Cavalry number has been taken from Jomini to
provide some Balance for the scenario. (OOBs taken from NAPOLEON
#15 "The Allies Strike Back")
All the cavalry in the Left Wing has been concentrated in the
Reserve while the 6th Hussars (400 men) and two
squadrons of Polish Cavalry were actually in Brigade
Petitot and Dabrowski’s Division respectively.
infantry, 2 cavalry, 4 artillery, and 9 command stands.
French Army Notes:
Army facing the Allies was experienced and well led. They were the victors of
the 1796-7 campaign, but they were outnumbered and on the defensive. A typical French army in organization, small artillery units were
difficult to combine and still keep their battle performance. The army was given
a 50% exhaustion level of all the divisions.
entire French Army may set up anywhere on the Lower level hill(light tan).
This includes the towns of Novi and Pasturana as well as in the village
of La Cattanietta which is not on the hill. Units may start stationary and
The Novi map can be downloaded for off-line viewing. The map is in .bmp format and has been compressed using Winzip.
terrain was very difficult to simulate as much of the very cultivated terrain of
Northern Italy has proven to be in other scenarios. The heights were about 200
ft above the plain and covered with vineyards and small, terraced farms. To simulate that, Units on the hill enjoy the hill combat benefits when
attacked by units in the plain. Any
units must stop for the turn when coming in contact with the green brush lining
the slope sides. They may move over it in the next turn but only at half speed.
Any units attacked across the brush gain saving throws in addition to the +1 die
modifier for defending on a hill slope. (We had tried having units disordered
crossing the green brush line, but that proved to be too much of a French
advantage and didn’t represent what actually happened.) This green brush will also cause major problems for the French it they
need to withdraw South through the Braghena Gorge. The slopes with green brush should be considered steep slopes.
town stands in Novi are considered prepared works for combat. In the words of
Christopher Duffy, Novi . . ."in 1799 was enclosed by a strong medieval
wall furnished with battlements and a deep ditch." [Page 138]
dark brown hills south of Novi are about 50 ft higher than the surrounding
tan-colored heights. Units on these hills enjoy the combat effects of hills when
attacked from below on the tan-colored terrain.
than the rules above, white, light tan and brown surfaces are open terrain,
though in reality the entire rolling area was covered with farms and fields.
game starts at 6 am
ends at the end of the 9pm turn giving a total length of fifteen turns.
and ends at the end of the 9pm turn giving a total length of fifteen turns.The Allies move first.
sides were intent on destroying each other’s army and the actual terrain was
fairly unimportant. Each side
receives one point for each 10 SPs lost by the enemy(no rounding up), 5 points
for each enemy division that is exhausted, 10 for divisions that have collapsed.
Any units routed on the table at the end of the game count as lost for victory
calculations. 8 Points are awarded for the occupation of all parts of Novi.
battle is the scene of the famous story told by Bagration. About nine-thirty in the morning, when he had not received orders to
attack though Kray was heavily engaged, Bagration went to find out what Suvorov
wanted. Confirming rumors he’d heard, Bagration found the great man laying in
the midst of his staff, apparently asleep. After Bagration had been engaged in a discussion with Defelden and others
for about five minutes, Suvorov jumped up exclaiming, "God how I must have slept!
a stone! Now it’s time for action!" Whether Suvorov was asleep or just listening to incoming reports waiting
for the right moment as Bagration suspected, Suvorov’s "sleep"
creates problems: Half of the
Allied Army was held inactive until late morning, all while Kray fought on
here is a choice:
the first entry and release times are as in the actual battle. And B.) "Suvorov Sleeps" adds a little uncertainty to the game
for both sides.
A. The actual entry times: for Defelden’s corps and Melas is given.
Bagration may not move until the 10 am turn. Kray’s corps is free to move the first turn of the game.
B. Suvorov Sleeps:
At the beginning of the 8am turn, the Allied player rolls a D6:
a roll of 5, Bagration is free to move. A roll of 6
allows Bagration to move and the remainder of Defelden’s corps to enter the
board. If Bagration has rolled to move, but Defelden has not, then the next roll
requires a 5-6 for Defelden to move. This is done at the beginning of every turn
until both Bagration and Defelden can move. The very next turn, the die is
rolled for Melas, who may move on a roll of 4-6. Melas may not roll to move
until the turn following Bagration and Defelden both winning their rolls.
This is a little
more exciting and creates very different games each time.
Optional Rule: Suvorov was a highly inspirational leader, but displayed little of this ability during the battle of Novi. If desired, players may use the Suvorov rule from the Trebbia scenario also on this website.