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"Favorite battles of the French Revolutionary Wars" Topic

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Historydude1829 Mar 2020 7:42 p.m. PST

Just interested to see what battles of these often overlooked conflicts are the favorites to game or read about. Mine are Arcole, Rivoli, Marengo, and Valmy. I've gamed the first three and plan to do the fourth some day.

21eRegt29 Mar 2020 7:51 p.m. PST

Don't forget Novi against Suvarov.

Sho Boki Sponsoring Member of TMP29 Mar 2020 10:00 p.m. PST

Or Trebbia with 20km front. Bigger territory than Wagram.

BillyNM29 Mar 2020 10:10 p.m. PST


von Winterfeldt29 Mar 2020 10:47 p.m. PST


John G30 Mar 2020 2:32 a.m. PST

Not forgetting the Battle of Texel in the winter of 1794-95

Chad4730 Mar 2020 3:13 a.m. PST

Jemappes, Neerwinden, Wattignies and Fleurus.

Brechtel19830 Mar 2020 3:18 a.m. PST

Lodi, Arcola, Marengo.

Allan F Mountford30 Mar 2020 3:53 a.m. PST

Recently gamed Marengo using Age of Eagles. Overly cautious Austrian game play led to a Mexican standoff, which I've never experienced before. Must replay it when our gaming group gets back together with players swapping sides.

ChrisBBB2 Supporting Member of TMP30 Mar 2020 5:11 a.m. PST

Apart from some of those mentioned above, also on my list to fight some time:
Castiglione (1796)
Stockach (1799) – very unusual situation (could be a challenge for scenario design)
Zurich 1 & 2 (1799)
Verona (1799) – possibly the perfect stereotype balanced encounter battle, effectively symmetrical forces on symmetrical terrain;
Magnano (1799) – nice sprawling mobile action.
And a number of interesting smaller actions in Switzerland in 1799.

My list is all from 1796 or 1799 because I've got interested in them from translating Clausewitz's fine histories of those campaigns. The 1796 volume is published:

The 1799 volumes are in press for publication in a few months' time (sign up here to be notified):


Bloody Big BATTLES!

Sparta30 Mar 2020 5:15 a.m. PST

One more for Novi

15th Hussar30 Mar 2020 5:19 a.m. PST

FLeurus, Zurich & Hohenlinden

perfectcaptain30 Mar 2020 8:39 a.m. PST

We just played Castiglione (1796) with some rules we've been working on for the past few years. The outnumbered Austrians lost but Davidovitch was able to not only give Massena's command a bloody nose, but to capture Massena himself! Elsewhere they were forced to retire by the fast moving French, with Wurmser unable to efficiently command his scattered army.

Getting "dismayed" by the loss of some terrain features and having his flank turned made it even harder to command, leaving his divisional commanders to obey their own command characteristics. When they saw how the tide was turning around them they opted to keep falling back, and that was it. Orderly withdrawal, though.

Love this period! Ettlingen and Genola were also fun with some interesting decisions in them, and now we're playing out the Tourcoing campaign.

mghFond30 Mar 2020 10:50 a.m. PST

What I've begun for the French Revolutionary period is fighting the Vendee Rebellion. Lots of chaotic encounters in often close terrain with plenty of raw troops and a wide range of commanders from inspiring to abysmal.

138SquadronRAF30 Mar 2020 11:17 a.m. PST


Ruchel30 Mar 2020 12:13 p.m. PST

Wattignies, Tourcoing, Tournay, Fleurus and Würzburg.

Molesworth130 Mar 2020 12:21 p.m. PST

My favourite period. Any battle without Buonaparte there is a good starter.

Suvorov in Italy, the 1793-95 Flanders Campaign and the 1799 Helier Campaign all have some great battles. And of course Suvorov won all his!

BTCTerrainman Supporting Member of TMP30 Mar 2020 3:24 p.m. PST

For me they include Castiglione, Wurzburg, Kaiserslautern and Hohenlinden. The conflict in Switzerland is also very intriguing during 1799.

Personal logo McLaddie Supporting Member of TMP30 Mar 2020 3:32 p.m. PST

Wurzburg, Kaiserslautern are both great situations

mildbill30 Mar 2020 5:13 p.m. PST

The Vendee has some interesting actions.

42flanker31 Mar 2020 12:02 a.m. PST

2nd Geldermalsen.

Was there a battle of Texel in 1794-95?

Green Tiger31 Mar 2020 3:05 a.m. PST

Vaux, Beaumont, Wattignies, Villers en Cauchie, Willems, Linselles, Fleurus…so many…

mkck194701 Apr 2020 6:27 p.m. PST

Neerwinden, Fleurus, Wurzburg in that order.

DukeWacoan Supporting Member of TMP Fezian02 Apr 2020 8:13 a.m. PST


Sparta04 Apr 2020 12:26 p.m. PST

We have played a 1799 campaign for some years now. It is somewhat different to constantly have the French player complaining that the Austrians lines with battalion guns are to hard to crack :-) But this was in my opinion propably the best and most succesfull army the Austrians ever had.

Au pas de Charge09 Apr 2020 8:46 a.m. PST

So…from this list, apparently all the battles of the French Revolutionary Wars are favorited? Any of you want to describe exactly why you like a given battle?

138SquadronRAF09 Apr 2020 12:33 p.m. PST

So…from this list, apparently all the battles of the French Revolutionary Wars are favorited? Any of you want to describe exactly why you like a given battle?

I find Souvorov a fascinating general. A match up between him and Boney would have been extremely interesting.

Gazzola11 Apr 2020 3:20 a.m. PST


I think it would be hard to pick out just one battle from any period. They all have their own individual attractions in terms of troops involved, tactics and the battlefield itself.

Most of those mentioned are favourites of mine, and I can certainly understand why Castiglione, Arcole and Rivoli are favourites. They could almost be considered as the old versus the new, the challenger against the establishment. And the battlefields themselves are (or were when I walked them some years ago) in many parts, unchanged. They were certainly spectacular, especially Rivoli

I also I found it particularly moving when following the advance of the French at Arcole and imagining how the French troops must have felt marching towards the Austrian positions in clear sight, under fire and with nowhere to hide.

For some reason, I am also attracted to Caldiero, the action before Arcole. Sadly, I never got the chance to walk it. It was Napoleon's first defeat but, as we can see by what happened afterwards, it was obvious Napoleon learnt more from the loss than the Austrians did from their victory.

CiDevant13 Mar 2021 1:01 p.m. PST

Castiglone and Tourcoing are some of my favourites
I was a big fan of the Italian campaigns but I recently bought into Flanders and the political influences on the coalition comanders

Marulaz113 Mar 2021 2:54 p.m. PST

Marengo. No historical reason, really. I played it at a convention many years ago. Had my butt handed to me, (not unusual). But it was great fun and the best Napoleonic game I ever played at a convention.


Beeker15 Mar 2021 5:48 a.m. PST


GarryWills15 Mar 2021 10:05 a.m. PST

Well I have to suggest Boxtel; link


La Belle Ruffian15 Mar 2021 12:42 p.m. PST

Castiglione of course. Time Bandits and Sir Ian Holm, bless him.

'That's what I like; little things, hitting each other'

'With you on one side and him on the other, it's like being at the bottom of a bloody well!'

AussieAndy15 Mar 2021 5:25 p.m. PST

I am finishing French, Austrian and Russian armies for this period. Apart from Nafziger, I am struggling to find OBs and useable maps for the period. I've got plenty of material for some battles, like Marengo and Hohenlinden, but others, not so much. So, I'm wondering if folk can suggest useful sources.
Thank you

42flanker17 Mar 2021 3:26 p.m. PST

Well I have to suggest Boxtel

Now, you didn't have to Garry, but I would lay down my life for your right to do so.

SHaT198417 Mar 2021 7:40 p.m. PST

>>I am finishing French, Austrian and Russian armies for this period. Apart from Nafziger, I am struggling to find OBs and useable maps for the period.

Welcome to our world… been like that for years…
then you are stuck with Bonaparte-centric 'Italy '96/'97 campaign [or Egypte..].
Personally I'm a fan of Moreau and Hohenlinden (the battle)- has much greater strategic and tactical interest than others.

You should search :-
"site:theminiaturespage french revolution battles" or some such to get a long list of related; but expect commercial, figures etc. to appear as well.

cheers d

AussieAndy17 Mar 2021 9:47 p.m. PST

Thank you. I'll try that.

ChrisBBB2 Supporting Member of TMP18 Mar 2021 1:39 a.m. PST

There are new maps for a number of the 1799 battles (Osterach, Stockach, Hohenlinden, 1st & 2nd Zurich, Novi, etc) in these new books about the 1799 campaign in Switzerland and Italy:

Chad4718 Mar 2021 3:32 a.m. PST

Try ‘Eagles over the Alps' by Duffy

SHaT198418 Mar 2021 3:40 p.m. PST

>>I also I found it particularly moving when following the advance of the French at Arcole…

I daresay. I didn't 'follow' so much, but drove (in fine Autumn weather), after visiting Neuchatel Museum (Neufchatel in our period) across Switzerland via Geneve and over the Grande Saint Bernard via Bard to Turin. Just a quick(!_) one way drive but my what an experience.

v09 Fort of Bard (1800)_©dww2021.

It was exhiliarating in a vehicle on the sometimes narrow road; must have been hell in the places marching I could see where the tracks had been realiagned.

I agree- campaigns are far more interesting in toto than one off (so called set-piece! battles). You can measure the generalship by the moves and adjustments made…

regards d

GarryWills30 Jun 2023 9:02 a.m. PST

My new book Throwing Thunderbolts has scenarios for Lincelles, Pirmasens, Toulon, Boxtel, Whiff of Grapeshot, Mondovi and Castiglione as well as three naval scenarios, so these are my favourites.

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