Trebbia, 18th - 19th June 1799

The following scenario has been developed by Bill Haggart.

Background:

The Second Colition had formed against France. The Russian General Suvorov with his Austrian Allies had effectively eliminated Moneau's Army of Italy by the end of April, when General MacDonald marched his Army of Naples up from Rome. Alone and unwilling to simply join Moneau or the remains of his army around Genoa, MacDonald instead fell on the scattered Austrian formations in Modena and Parma. This brought Suvorov marching back from Alessandria to save his supply lines. Across the rivers Tidone and Trebbia, Suvorov and MacDonald committ equal numbers to a savage, two-day pounding match called the Battle on the Trebbia.

This scenario was inspired by Christopher Duffy's fine book on the Russian General Surovov, "Eagles Over the Alps". It is an intense scenario with few units (about 35 to a side) across eight feet of terrain.

 

Orders of Battle:

ALLIED ARMY: Field Marshal Suvorov AC (32,656 men)

(Austrian: 9,851 Inf, 4,586 Cav; Russian: 16,219 Inf., 2,000 cossacks)

General Chasteler DC (Roving DC for the Army)

First Column (Russian), General Rosenburg CC (Roving DC 1st & 2nd Columns)

Advance Guard, Major General Bagration (DC), Ex= 6

  • Jager Regiment Bagration                  M5 [ ][s][s]

Combined Grenadier Battalions: (all have shock status)

  • Battalion Dendrygin                       M6 [ ][ ] **
  • Battalion Lomonosov                       M6 [ ][ ] **
  • Battalion Sanaev                          M6 [ ][ ] **
  • Battalion Kalemin                         M6 [ ][ ] **
  • Aus.Dragoon Regt Karaiczay                M5 [ ][ ]Med
  • Cossack Regt. Grekov                      M4 [s] Lt lnc
  • Cossack Regt. Pusdeev                     M4 [s] Lt lnc

1st Division, Lt. General Schveikovsky (DC), Ex=5

  • Grenadier Regt. Rosenberg                 M6 [ ][ ][ ]
  • Musketeer Regt. Schveikovsky              M5 [ ][ ][ ] NE
  • Musketeer Regt. Dalheim                   M5 [ ][ ][ ] NE
  • Aus. Dragoon Regt Lobkolvitz              M5 [ ][ ][ ] Med
  • Adv. Gd. Field Artillery Bat.             M5 [ ][ ] Fld
  • Adv. Gd. Heavy Artillery Bat.             M5 [ ][ ] Hvy

Second Column (Russian)

Division Förster, Lt. General Förster (DC),  Ex=6

  • Musketeer Regt. Förster                  M5 [ ][ ] NE
  • Musketeer Regt. Baranovsky               M5 [ ][ ] NE
  • Musketeer Regt. Tyrtov                   M5 [ ][ ][ ] NE
  • Musketeer Regt. Miloradovic              M5 [ ][ ][ ] NE
  • Musketeer Regt. Jung-Baden               M5 [ ][ ] NE
  • Aus. Dragoon Regt. Levenehr              M5 [ ][ ] Med
  • Cossack Regt. Molchanov                  M4 [s] Lt lnc
  • Heavy Artillery Battlaion                M5 [ ][ ] Hvy

Third Column (Austian) General Melas CC

Division Ott, Lt. General Ott (DC), Ex=7

  • IR. Nadasdy RW                           M5 [ ][ ] NE
  • IR. Nadasdy LW                           M5 [ ][ ] NE
  • IR. Mittrowsky                           M5 [ ][ ][ ] NE
  • IR. Mihanovich (Serbian Free Batn.)      M5 [ ][ ] NE
  • 6th Banater Croats                       M5 [s]
  • D'Aspre Jägers                           M5 [s]
  • Hussar Rgt. Erzherzog Josef              M5 [s][s] Lt
  • Cossack Regt. Semernikov                 M4 [s] Lt lnc
  • Heavy Artillery Battalion                M5 [ ][ ]

Reserve Division, Lt. General Frelich (DC), Ex= 4

Combined Grenadier Battalions: (All have shock status)

  • Battalions Pertusi & Paar                M6 [ ][ ][ ] **
  • Battalions Weber & Morzin                M6 [ ][ ][ ] **
  • Battalions Wouwermans & Schiaffinatti    M6 [ ][ ] **
  • Field Artillery Battalion                M5 [ ][ ] Fld

** Unit has Shock status

Allied Army Notes:

The Allies have 5 artillery, 8 cavalry, and 21 infantry stands. There are 10 command stands.

The Austrian divisions were given a 50% exhaustion rate. The Russians are far more difficult to judge. After Trebbia, Melas confided to a friend that the Russians had been "entirely beaten", and mentioned that the Russians had asked for 2,000 muskets, which he suspected were replacements for those thrown away during battle. There are cases during the battle of Russian discipline disintegrating on a mass scale.

Suvorov seems to have appeared to stop any serious routs in most cases. The Russians are given an exhaustion rate of 40%. This can be offset by Suvorov. The other odd note to the OOB is the absence of battalion guns. I could find no references to any of the troops having or using them. They may have been left behind in the forced marches to meet McDonald. Though Suvorov boasted that he would meet "French columns with Russian Columns", his battles see both the Russians and Austrians fighting in lines. The Allies units use linear stands.

All grenadier battalions have a shock factor, but not the Grenadier Regiment Rosenburg, which does contain elites along with all the grenadier battalions. All one SP cavalry can be used as formed Cavalry if desired except for the cossacks. The formed cavalry must be designated as such at the beginning of the game.

General Rosenburg was the CC for the First Column. However, he took troops from his column under his direct command on several occasions, acting in all ways as a DC. Rosenburg is a 'roving DC for his Column. Chasteler is a rather more unique character, and a prime example of the adhoc way in which the 'columner' system worked. Chasteler had been blamed for several earlier defeats at the hands of the French and there was talk of his being asked to resign. Then Suvorov takes command. He takes a liking to Chasteler. Unofficially, Chasteler becomes Suvorov's chief of staff. Even with no official command or ranking, there are several cases where Chasteler commandiers units from one command and leads these adhoc divisions during the Battles on the Trebbia. Chasteler is a "roving DC" for the entire Allied army.

 

FRENCH ARMY OF NAPLES, General McDonald AC (@33,500)

Advance Guard Brigade (2,997), General Salme (DC), Ex= 3

  • 15th Legere Demi-Brigade                 M6 [s][s][s]
  • 11th Demi-Brigade                        M5 [ ][ ][ ]

Division Watrin (4,880), General Watrin (DC), Ex=5

  • 62nd Demi-Brigade                        M5 [ ][ ][ ][ ][s]
  • 78th Demi-Brigade                        M5 [ ][ ][ ][s]
  • 25th Chasseurs á Cheval                  M5 [s] Lt

Division Oliver (5,826), General Oliver (DC), Ex= 6

  • 12th Demi-Brigade                        M5 [ ][ ][s]
  • 30th Demi-Brigade                        M5 [ ][ ][s]
  • 73rd Demi-Brigade                        M5 [ ][ ][ ][s]
  • 7th & 19th Chasseurs á Cheval            M5 [s][s] Lt
  • Heavy Artillery Battalion                M5 [ ][ ] Hvy

Division Montrichard (5,773), General Montrichard (DC), Ex= 7

  • 5th Legere Demi-Brigade                  M6 [s][s][s][s]
  • Division Montchd RW                      M5 [ ][ ][s]
  • Division Montchd LW                      M5 [ ][ ][s]
  • 1st Cavalry                              M5 [ ] Hvy formed
  • 12th Dragoons & Cisalpine Dragoons       M5 [s] Med formed
  • 11th Hussars & Cisalpine Hussars         M5 [s] Lt
  • Field Artillery Battery                  M5 [ ] Fld

Division Victor (6,750), General Victor (DC), Ex=6

  • 5th Demi-Brigade                         M5 [ ][ ][s]
  • 1st Brigade                              M5 [ ][ ][ ][s]
  • 2nd Brigade                              M5 [ ][ ][ ][s]
  • 15th Chasseurs á Cheval                  M5 [s] Lt

Division Rusca (5,397), General Rusca (DC), Ex= 6

  • 17th Legere Demi-Brigade                 M6 [s][s][s][s]
  • Rusca Brigade                            M5 [ ][ ][ ][ ][s]
  • 16th & 19th Dragoons                     M5 [s][s] Med

Division Dabrowski (3,555), General Dabrowski (DC), Ex= 4

  • 8th Demi-Brigade                         M6 [s]
  • 1st Polish Legion RW                     M5 [ ][ ][ ]
  • 1st Polish Legion LW                     M5 [ ][ ][ ]
  • Polish Cavalry                           M5 [s] Lt

Artillery Reserve Park

  • 1st Res. Heavy Artillery Battalion       M5 [ ][ ] Hvy
  • 2nd Res. Heavy Artillery Battalion       M5 [ ][ ] Hvy
  • Res. Field Artillery Battalion           M5 [ ][ ] Fld

 

French Army Notes:

The French army has 8 command stands, 18 infantry, 8 cavalry, and 5 artillery stands.

The French have a uniformly experienced army, so the exhaustion rate has been set at 50%. You may want to try 60% if this seems too low for the French. All French infantry units contain elites, but none have shock status. The Reserve artillery units are army assests. The French use Massed stands.

If both players agree, the French player may completely break down any demi-brigade unit into skirmisher stands. There can be no more than 30 French skirmisher stands total from all units, line and light, on the board at any one time.

 

Map:

Trebbia.jpg (81570 bytes)

 

Scenario Rules:

The June 18th Scenario begins on the 11AM turn and ends at the conclusion of the 8PM turn, ten turns total. The game can go for a second day, the 19th if desired. (see rule 6) The Allies move first.

1. Roving DCs: Rosenburg with any units in Columns 1 & 2, and Chasleter with any Allied units may detach any number of units up to eight (8) of all arms from their original DCs and become for all intent and purposes their DC. Until Rosenburg and Chasleter detach units, they may rally troops like any corps command stand. Once they have detached units, they have lost the ability to rally, except those units in their adhoc divisions. Units from different divisions may be detached and commanded by the same 'Roving DCs".

The next two rules are for those who want some of the impact of the original army commanders:

2. Suvorov: To say that Aleksandr Vasilevich Suvorov was unique is an understatement. To simulate his impact on the battlefield, even in a small way, is difficult. Russian General Derfelden observed, " I have served under that incomprehensible man for thirty-five years, and I have come to recognise that he is like some kind of holy totem. You just have to carry him around and show him to the troops, and victory will be guaranteed."

In addition to the normal effects of an AC stand, the Allied AC stand representing Suvorov can also do the following:

When "attached" to any Russian DC stand, the exhaustion level effects for that division are suspended. When a division's SP loss equals the exhaustion level of the division, division collapse is calculated, but there are no effects for exhaustion . When the division does 'collapse', then all 'collapse' and exhaustion level effects are applied from that point on. IF Suvorov moves away from the DC and the division has reached its exhaustion level, then the next exhaustion calculation phase will see the division become exhausted. If Suvorov attaches to a DC of an exhausted, but uncollapsed division, then in the next exhaustion phase the division can suspend all the effects of exhaustion for as long as Suvorov is adjacent to the DC stand or the division does not collapse. Up to two DCs can be attached to Survorov at a time. This means that two, but no more than two divisions can have their Exhaustion levels suspended at a time.

If Suvorov is attached to a Russian unit for combat, the unit receives a +2 instead of the normal modifier which Suvorov provides attached to any Austrian unit.

3. McDonald: He had been twice sabered by French Royalist troops just a few days before Trebbia. He did not play much of a role on the actual battlefield. If this rule is used, there is no AC stand. If the Suvorov rule is used, do not use this rule.

4. DC Rallys: All Allied and French DCs may rally one routed unit in their command each rally phase. All command requirements for units remaining in command are in force as are the procedures for rallying units.

5. Victory Conditions: The objective for both sides was the destruction on the enemy army. Two points are granted to the opponent for each enemy exhausted division, three for each enemy division that has collapsed. In addition, one point is earned by being the last to occupy each of the following:

  • Gragnano
  • B.S. Antonio
  • S. Nicolo
  • Camprehemol do Sorro
  • S. Imento
  • Casatiggio
  • Rottofreno
  • Calendasco

Only Rottofreno(Allies), B.S. Antonio, S. Nicolo, Casatiggio, and S. Imento (French) are controlled at the beginning of the scenario. If either side controls the major road running from the east through Rottofreno to the West through B.S. Antonio, that side receives four points. Control is occupying both towns and having no, non-routed enemy units within close range to any point along the road. The road between Piacenza and Alessandria was the the major supply line and route of advance for both armies.

6. Two Day Battle: If either side has not gained a 50% advantage in points by the end of the 8PM, June 18th turn, or if both sides wish, the battle will continue on the June 19th. All rules found in VB&G for Multi-day Battles 7.2 are in force. The battle will begin at 10AM and end at

8PM. (the actual battle did not begin until 12PM the second day. Both armies were in need of food and rest from several days fighting and heavy marching.)

 

Scenario Setup:

Terrain:

The green area of the map around the rivers represent fairly open river bottom and shallow rivers, except for the Po which is impassable. Units moving into the green area must stop upon entering, but may move at half speed without any disorder in following turns. Units in road column may use fords and bridges. All woods are open.

The slopes around the Trebbia and Tidone rivers do count for combat.

The terrain was very flat, with a very gentle grade away from the Po. There is only a 100 foot difference between the lower North edge of the Map and the higher South edge. However it was heavily cultivated. The yellow portion of the map was all heavily cultivated and populated terrain. Ditches, vineyards, farms, fields, and small orchards covered most of the area. How to simulate this is a problem because there are no maps available with that information. Here are two ways we do it:

1. 35 village size pieces of paper or green cloth are cut out and 7 of each numbered 1 through 5. They are laid at random, without seeing the number underneath on all yellow terrian South of the Po, one for each foot square of the map in yellow including the partial squares next to the Po and river terrain. There should be 35 yellow full or partial squares to fill.

As both sides had traveled over the terrain, there is no hidden terrain. Once laid out, the pieces are turned over and the following village-sized terrain are laid in its place depending on the number revealed:

1. & 2 Standing Crop Field

3. Orchard/open wood

4. Vineyard & Rice fields

5. Area of ditches(Treat as two lines of sunken road, one on each length edge of the square.)

Vineyards & Rice fields are treated like ‘marshes, with a die roll and the same terrain effects. The die is rolled when the first unit move through the vineyard.

OR

2. The areas colored yellow are considered broken terrain as noted in the VB&G rules. Formed cavalry and artillery can move through broken terrain without becoming disordered if they move no further than 5 inches a turn. This is applies to cavalry moving into contact too. All units may move through the broken terrain at normal formed/limbered speed IF in road column without any disorder. Note that the units do not move at road column speed unless on a road.

All visibility in the Broken Terrain is 5 inches.

Setup:

Units may only be in road column if designated below. All units may start the scenario Stationary if desired.

Allied:

Units and their DC’s set up or come on the board at:

  • Ott’s Division sets up within 12" of ‘A’, but on the West side of the Tidone.
  • Frelich’s Division comes on the Board at ‘A’ in road column on the road on the first turn.
  • Forster’s Division comes on the Board at Mottaziana on the first turn.
  • Schveikovsky’s and Bagration’s commands come on at ‘B’ the first turn. They may be in road column.
  • The Rosenburg CC comes on the board with Forster. The Chasteler DC and Suvorov AC may come on the board with any Allied command.

French:

Units and their DC’s set up or come on the board at:

  • Salme’s Advanced Guard sets up within 4" of S. Imentio
  • Watrin’s Division sets up within 12" of B.S. Antonio, but East of the Trebbia.
  • Victor’s Division sets up within 12" of Gossolengo.
  • Rusca’s Division sets up within 12" of Ciavernasco.
  • Dabrowski’s Division sets up within 12" of Casataiggio.
  • Artillery Reserve Park. Either at B.S. Antonio or at Gossolengo.
  • Montrichard and Oliver’s Divisions come on the board within 12" of B.S. Antonio on the 1PM Turn. They can be in road column.
  • The MacDonald AC may set up anywhere on the East side of the Trebbia.

Alternative Allied setup:

The above Allied setup is the result of the plan of attack for the Allied Army. Suvorov attempted a turning movement on the right through Casaliggio so most of the army come on the board there. The plan included Frelich supporting Forster’s drive on Gragnano. If desired, the Allies may make another plan, with the entire army coming on the board anywhere between ‘A’ and ‘B’ and within 12" of either side of ‘A’ and ‘B’ on the first turn.


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