Thursday, May 3, 2012

Time to fight! 1859

This past Saturday the group got together and did another test battle for our 1859 campaign.  All of these little scenarios have paid off.  This battle went so smoothly, I didn't have to spend the entire night looking up rules and trying to make judgement calls.  The rules are finally sinking in with the group and everything, for the most part, ran well.

This battle was based on the Russians finally turning around and engaging the French after suckering them into following them so deep into Russia.   The Italian general was given his troop roster and told that it was time to fight after weeks of skirmishing with the Austrians and drawing them father away from their supply depots.  The only other command the Italians were given was that they could pull away after 5 turns if they felt they could not pull off a victory.  The Austrian commander was told that the Italians had turned and set up defenses and were waiting for them in a mix of hilly, wooded, wheat field terrain.  Tired and low on morale the Austrians answered the call to battle, but in order to win they had to inflict 2x as many causalities on the Italians as they might receive. That number would prove elusive.

 The Italians are deployed towards the bottom of the picture using the woods, and hills to their best advantage.  The Austrians are massing at the top of the photo.
Some Austrian troops hugging the hillside looking to find a hole in the Italian left side.
 The first several impulses the Austrians gained the initiative and drove for the Italians, moving along almost at will.  The Italian General used his opportunity chips and raked the Austrian columns with cannon fire.

Two perspective shots from the Italian point of view of the on coming Austrians.
 The Italian General stands behind (way behind) his artillery sending out orders, while his elite Bersaglieri wait patiently for the order to charge.
 The Austrians continue to move up.  Even though we use dominoes for our initiative system the Austrian General got lucky each time, picking dominoes with big numbers for self and only 1s, 2s and 3s for the Italians.  The luck was about to change.
More Austrians cresting the hill.
 Within Canister range the Italian Artillery opened fired with devastating results.  The blood bath had begun.  The Austrian moral chip level started to spiral downward.
 Another shot from the center of the battle.
 The fight in the woods seesawed back and forth with an Italian unit disrupting and running but the line behind them charging home and routing a Jager unit.  The woods were a bloody affair for both sides.
On the Italian left, the Austrians succeeded in reaching the Italian line after surviving withering artillery fire.  One Austrian cavalry unit was destroyed with another one only having one stand left.
 A better shot of how the Italians used the battle field to their advantage.
 The bloody fight for the woods.
The Austrians press on in the center but take massive losses and their morale chips are running low.
 The view from the Austrian right (attacking the Italian left).  That hill proved to be a tough nut to crack.
 A more up close photo of that hill battle.
 The Italians are holding it together despite the odds on their left side.
 Gaining the initiative the Italians back off from the advancing Austrians and fire at point blank range again.
 and fire again.
 The Italian gunners wait for their moment to shine once more.
One final volley and the Austrian morale chips are exhausted and the army breaks and runs.

This battle was fantastic to watch.  The Austrians literally had the initiative from the start, but the Italian general used his opportunity chips to thwart the Austrian advance at every turn.  The battle was won clearly by the Italians and we finished the game in roughly 3 1/2 hours.  The thing I did differently with this battle was only allowing the generals to roll for their units fire/melee/morale values at the point where they were attacked or attacking.  This added a few tense moments for sure.  I rather liked it and so did the two generals.  Again we use Piquet's Hallowed Ground as our rule set.
Hope you enjoyed reading it.


  1. Fog of war unit quality!? Excellent choice, Victor! Sounds like it was a great game.


  2. Nothing worse... or more realistic - than having the attacker roll forwards on a bunch of favorable impetus, only to have the attack lose steam under the muzzles of the enemy rifles!