The archduke John who was believed to have died in a previous skirmish had in fact survived and was recovering slowly from his wounds. He had spent the previous night with the rearguard divisions of Chastelers corp at lassù. Around midnight he learned from vedettes that the French were strung out along the road to their rear and apparently out running their supplies. In a moment he decided to turnabout and force a delaying battle at the river line. Hasty messages recalled his retreating columns and he finally drifted off to sleep planning his action for delaying skirmish that would come to be known as the battle of The Pettino river.
Both sides chose to use reserve moves but with their prior knowledge of the situation the Austrians struck first and occupied the river line
He assumed he wanted to deny the use of the river crossing to the Austrians. Eugene felt he could relax a little as news arrived that Macdonalds VI corps had arrived on the battlefield and he prepared to link them up with Barbous division and togetherassault the town.
By now it had become obvious that John was seriously ill. His inactivity was wearing on his generals patience and the lack of order removing all the advantages the Austrians had built till now. Macdonalds corps took up position in Barbou's rear and both commanders prepared to assault the town. To Eugene's horror Broussier led his troops into the marsh and attacked the Austrians on the east bank of the Pettino. As the Austrians outnumbered him 3 to one here, this did not look good. It looked even worse as his troops poured back across the river. D'hautpol's Italians arrived to boost the numbers.
By 3:30 in the afternoon The French cavalry had moved into the middle of the field to stabilise the position. The last of the Austrian divisions was camping in and around Lassù in the vague hope that some orders might arrive. The only real effort came from some Austrian cavalry brigades from VIII corps that crossed the river to threaten the Infantry in the centre. Several infantry brigades joined their advance.
The closing hour of daylight saw some desultory actions with little result. Several French units were destroyed by musketry but niether army managed to make much impact on the other . As night fell the lines seperated. The French set their campsites and John thankful that his planned skirmish having turned into a bloodbath had not got out of hand, quietly withdrew across the Pettino and resumed his return to Austria.
This may not have been the most Dynamic battle I have ever played but it certainly ranks as one of the funniest. Best laugh I have had for years. I am severely worried because I don't have many corps commanders left!!