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"Battle of Rivoli at Historicon" Topic

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©1994-2019 Bill Armintrout
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The Wargaming Company26 Jul 2017 9:12 a.m. PST

Thanks to Doug and Mitch for putting on a terrific game at Historicon.

The Battle of Rivoli in 15mm at 1"=75 yards using ESR Napoleonics.

You can read a brief AAR of their game as well as see more photos in the TWC Gallery.


ChrisBBB2 Supporting Member of TMP27 Jul 2017 4:28 a.m. PST

Forgive me saying so but I am perplexed by the terrain. It doesn't look much like the Rivoli battlefield to me. Am I misunderstanding something?


Arch Duke charles27 Jul 2017 4:56 a.m. PST

I agree with this, the layout is all wrong, even the river is in the wrong place?.

The Wargaming Company27 Jul 2017 6:01 a.m. PST

While the game wasn't run by 'us' I can tell you that the battlefield did match this map of Rivoli, which is what I believe they based their terrain off of:


Valmy9227 Jul 2017 6:02 a.m. PST

Any idea what modifications they used? How they structured forces and formations for such small armies without a corps structure?

The Wargaming Company27 Jul 2017 6:24 a.m. PST


I believe they structured the Austrian Army as an Army, with most of the columns being considered a Force of a single Formation. They ran the game for all new-to-ESR-players, so with this arrangement, most players only had to worry about giving orders to one Formation.

They also made some change to the way fatigue was allocated but I am uncertain of the details.


ChrisBBB2 Supporting Member of TMP27 Jul 2017 8:54 a.m. PST


I realise this wasn't an 'official' TWC ESR game. I wasn't knocking ESR – I've only heard good things about it, and would be interested to try a game of it myself some time.

And a convention game should first and foremost be a game, not an exercise in historical pedantry, so if all concerned had a good time, great, well done.

I wouldn't normally have quibbled like this, except that I have been looking very closely at Rivoli recently and it is quite near to my heart. That Wikipedia map is not a great source.


The Wargaming Company27 Jul 2017 9:16 a.m. PST


Understood, and no offense was taken. I was simply trying to say that while 'we' are posting about the game, I can't speak to many specifics because we weren't involved in running it.

There are definitely better maps, just that I believe that was the map they used.

Speaking of maps, there is an excellent map available that someone on another message board pointed out to me (if you're really into Rivoli, you've likely seen it, but if not):

And thanks for the kind words about ESR, hope you give it a try!


ChrisBBB2 Supporting Member of TMP27 Jul 2017 1:36 p.m. PST

"Speaking of maps, there is an excellent map available that someone on another message board pointed out to me" – yep, that was me too!


The Wargaming Company27 Jul 2017 2:10 p.m. PST

"Speaking of maps, there is an excellent map available that someone on another message board pointed out to me" yep, that was me too!


Well, thank you, it is a good map!


Nine pound round27 Jul 2017 5:03 p.m. PST

One occasional poster on this forum did a magnificent 10mm Rivoli board a few years bak; here's a link:

TMP link

For connoisseurs of rough terrain, it's a field with few equals.

ChrisBBB2 Supporting Member of TMP28 Jul 2017 1:34 a.m. PST

"One occasional poster on this forum did a magnificent 10mm Rivoli board a few years bak"

Sadly I see that same misleading Wikipedia map seems to have been used as the primary reference. :-(

The map TWC reposted above is better. The Rivoli position can be characterized roughly as two concentric semi-circles of hills – generally with gentle slopes facing the enemy, and steeper slopes on the inside towards Rivoli. The Wikipedia map seems to be derived primarily from a very simplified schematic one in, I think, Chandler.

Nine pound round28 Jul 2017 4:56 a.m. PST

I think he typically uses the West Point atlas that was drawn up to accompany Yorck Von Wartenburg's "Napoleon as a General." Very similar to the later and better known "West Point Atlas of the Napoleonic Wars," as both maps were drawn by the USMA History Department's long-serving and very talented cartographer, Edward Krasnoborski. I have both versions; similar but not identical, but I think the older book might be better suited to terrain building, because the coloring of terrain features is notably darker.

Mike the Analyst28 Jul 2017 7:43 a.m. PST

Some pictures if it helps.

The game

The Map


Two Pictures from point A taken in 2005



Essentially there is dead ground at x-x behind the hills of Trombalora (B---B---B).

The heights or San Marco are at C-C.

I think the game is not wrong, it just underestimates the mountainous nature of San Marco and dues not have the Trombalora hills correctly raised above the plateau and providing a strong defensive position.

Nine pound round28 Jul 2017 10:01 a.m. PST

Just to clarify, I was referring to Xin's Rivoli build in the post above, not talking about the Historicon terrain.

HappyHussar28 Jul 2017 10:26 a.m. PST

Those Austrian units that traversed the mountain were in wretched state for the battle. Pretty much worn out. Wonder if they took that into account?

Personal logo McLaddie Supporting Member of TMP28 Jul 2017 11:08 a.m. PST

I would be interested in hearing how ESR did with the battle considering it involved a lot of maneuvering.

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