Campaign Turn 1-March 1859
A cool day in March 1859 the King of Piedmont, Victor Emmanuel gave his orders to his generals. The War had begun to push the Austrians out of Italy once and for all. The Italians gained the upper hand early and pushed out into the countryside looking for the Austrians. Slowly mustering his forces Field Marshal Gyulai sent out reluctant orders to his forces with the increasing reports flowing into his headquarters of the Italian forces moving through the countryside.
Both sides gingerly moved looking for some clue as to where the other was and what they were coming up against.
A undisclosed Austrian force moved into and took the city of Novara sending refugees steaming out of the city.
While waiting for scouts to report back, the Italian Commander Perrie rested his army near the town Pieve del Cairo. Much to his surprise a large Austrian force under the command of Benedek appeared prompting a battle.
The Battle of Pieve del Cairo
In what should have worked out to a tactical advantage for Perrie, the Italian General assembled his units to strike the flank of the attacking Austrians. Benedek sensing a trap maneuvered his troops to negate the flank advantage and turned the battle into a straight up fight where his numerical superiority, he hoped, would win the day.
Perrie grouped his small force around a large hill and spread out against the Austrian left.
Seizing the momentum from the outset, Benedek and his 21 unit army moved swiftly to catch the Italians and to grab the small town of Pieve del Cairo. Failing to get his orders across the Italians sat waiting for the Austrians to cross the open ground.
In a dramatic shift General Perrie's troops reacted quickly while the Austrians waited to close up their lines before delivering the death blow. The Italians pulled back and began retreating. They swiftly made it out of the battle area with only a few units down and the lost of the heroic Bersaglieri unit.
Even though the Austrians claimed the field of battle they failed to take their victory conditions and I as the umpire awarded them only 1/2 of the total victory points.
As for our first campaign turn, things went fairly smoothly and the practice battles we had prior to this really paid off in how quickly and smoothly the actual battle played out.
Turn 2 of the campaign will hopefully be played out at the end of this week.