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Battle of Lodi

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The Battle of Lodi is a historical battle in Napoleon: Total War.

DescriptionEdit

The Battle of Lodi (10 May, 1796) although not a decisive meeting, this was where Napoleon first made a name for himself and got a glimpse of his destiny. The nickname "the little corporal" remained with him throughout his early campaigns against Austria.

NarrationEdit

Turin lay in my sights. The Piedmontese let my army pass. The Austrians under Beaulieu fell back on Milan. I pressed hard, and caught them at Lodi. Sebottendorf can read a battlefield: he can see that I must send men over the only bridge, across the River Po, and take on his men on the east bank. But can he see what is coming next?

Pre-Battle TextEdit

Napoleon: May 10th, 1786. After two days of forced marching, my army has caught the retreating army at Lodi.

This is the time to strike!

The Austrian rearguard is separated from the main army and vulnerable until it can reach the safety of the town.

General Beaulieu is forced to stay on the battlefield to oversee the Austrian retreat.

We must capture or kill the Austrian General and much of his force to end Austrian interests in North-West Italy.

If Beaulieu is removed, the French can pen the Austrians in Lombardy into the fortress at Mantua. I must prevent Beaulieu from escaping the battlefield!

When Beaulieu begins to leave the field (???): The Austrian General, Beaulieu, is leaving the field! Catch him, capture him, kill him! He must not be allowed to escape!

(If Beaulieu is killed) Berthier: General Beaulieu has been killed on the battlefield! Mop up the remainder of his army to secure victory!

Victory TextEdit

Napoleon: Beaulieu is the Austrian Army! They are nothing without him! northern Italy is mine!

Defeat TextEdit

(If Beaulieu escapes) Berthier: General Beaulieu has escaped! Your failure to capture him will ensure the rebirth of Austrian resistance in North-West Italy!

General InformationEdit

SingleplayerEdit

Screen Shot 2017-04-19 at 2.19.49 PM

Map of initial deployment. French forces are blue, Austrian forces are red. The Austrian forces on the west side of the river attempt to either cross the river or rendezvous in the town. Beaulieu attempts to escape to the north-west corner of the map.

The Battle of Lodi is the first (and, in the original version of the game, only) battle available initially. Winning the Battle of Lodi unlocks subsequent battles.

The Austrians, marching in disorganized groups, begin the battle attempting to cross the river cutting through the center of the map. Two cannon batteries on the other side of the river provide some fire covering the Austrian retreat. The French, meanwhile, are positioned closely to the retreating Austrian forces. Their goal is to kill the Austrian general, Johann Beaulieu, and defeat the Austrian army.

The river has three points where it can be forded. The southernmost and middle points are used by the Austrians, with the southern one handling the bulk of the evacuation. Both these points are guarded by the artillery, making a direct French crossing at either a potentially costly decision. The northernmost crossing point is completely unguarded. Two regiments of Austrian troops garrison in buildings near the evacuation points, providing obstacles for the advancing French army. These make good targets for the French horse artillery.

General Beaulieu crosses the river early on in the battle. After a few minutes, he makes his attempt to flee the field through the north-east corner of the map. If he is killed before he escapes, then the Austrian army's morale is severely impacted. If he escapes, however, the battle is automatically lost, even if the rest of the Austrian forces have been routed. He follows a predictable, winding path and walks slowly, making it easy to intercept him as long as the player still has cavalry. The easiest way to prevent this is to quickly cross the river at the north point (the only point not guarded by enemy artillery) with cavalry to try to cut off his escape. After he is killed, the rest of the Austrian army usually routs shortly, and is at the very least badly impacted in terms of morale.

Defeating the Austrians at the Battle of Lodi unlocks the Battle of Arcole

UnitsEdit

French Forces

Austrian Forces

MultiplayerEdit

Screen Shot 2017-04-19 at 8.15.36 PM

Map of initial deployment of the multiplayer version of the battle. Napoleon's forces are light blue. His ally's forces are dark blue. The Austrian forces are red, with the first player controlling the right half and the second player the left.

The Battle of Lodi is available for 2 v 2 multiplayer. The French are attacking and the Austrians are defending. The battle map is slightly different, as it is larger and in a position that's to the southwest of the singleplayer version. One significant difference is that the river gains an additional area where it can be crossed, to the south-east of the initial French position. This allows the French players to cross the river much more easily than the singleplayer version of the battle. The French players begin the battle together, on the southeast side. The Austrian players begin the battle on opposite sides of the river, though they can generally meet easily if they wish to do so.

The French have superior armies, with a healthy number of line infantry, grenadiers, light infantry, cavalry, and artillery. The Austrian army is hobbled by the fact that a large portion of Austrian forces are militia-grade Landwehr. The only clear advantage the Austrians have in terms of unit composition is their lone regiment of Jägers, which gives them a small range advantage.

The principal features of the map are the large, steep hill that dominates the center-left of the field, the town with its bridge choke point, and the three places that the armies can choose to cross.

UnitsEdit

French Forces

Player 1: 

Player 2: 

  • Jean-Mathieu-Philibert-Srier's General's Staff: 18 men, 3 experience
  • 3x Dragoons: 45 men each, 2 experience for one, 1 experience for the other two
  • Chasseurs à Cheval: 45 men, 2 experience
  • 3x Fusiliers of Line: 120 men each, 3 experience each
  • 2x Chasseurs: 90 men each, 1 experience for one, no experience for the other
  • 6-lber Horse Artillery: 18 men

Austrian Forces:

Player 3:

Player 4:

  • Karl Philipp Freiherr von Sebottendorf's General's Staff: 24 men, 2 experience
  • Dragoons: 45 men, 2 experience
  • Chevauxlégers: 45 men, 1 experience
  • 2x German Grenadiers: 160 men each, 1 experience each
  • 2x German Fusiliers: 160 men each, 1 experience for one, no experience for the other
  • 2x Landwehr: 160 men each, 2 experience each
  • Jägers: 60 men, 1 experience
  • 2x Grenzers: 120 men each, 1 experience each

NotesEdit

While it is possible to change unit sizes in the menu, the unit sizes in the Battle of Arcole (as well as all other multiplayer historical battles) are always set to ultra when the battle is loaded, no matter what the player picked.  

HistoryEdit

The historical Battle of Lodi took place during the War of the First Coalition. A French force attempted to destroy an exhausted and outnumbered Austrian force before it could retreat to safety. It was a French victory, but not a decisive one. Despite suffering heavy casualties, much of the Austrian army escaped intact and, contrary to the objectives of the battle in-game, Austrian general Johann Beaulieu was not present although he was in nominal command. However, the battle was a personal triumph for Napoleon, contributing to his popularity among his peers and the soldiers, as well as bolstering his sense of destiny.

Many of the men who fought in the Battle of Lodi would go on to play crucial roles in the First French Empire's administration and army, including André Masséna, Louis Berthier, Jean Lannes, Jean-Baptiste Cervoni, and Claude Dallemagne.

TriviaEdit

  • The Battle of Lodi is the only historical battle in Napoleon: Total War that has no text if Napoleon's forces are defeated.
  • The Battle of Lodi is also the only non-DLC historical battle to feature a narrator outside of Napoleon. While the identity of the speaker is not made completely clear, it is likely that he is Louis-Alexandre Berthier: the portrait is identical to that of Louis-Alexandre Berthier as he appears in the Europe Campaign, and historically Berthier fought in the Battle of Lodi.

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