Thursday, August 2, 2012

The Battle of Sale, 1859

Our third battle from our campaign happened this past Saturday.  The forces were pretty even strength wise for this one, unlike the first two battles where the Italians had been out numbered.  Let me introduce the generals for this campaign.
The Austrian Commander Benedek aka James plotting his opening moves.
 The Italian Commander Mollard, a manic depressive who drove his subordinate commander nuts, aka Garland.
The Italian Sub-Command Danti, wondering how he got roped into this battle, aka Shawn.
The two combatants blundered into each other in this little town of Sale.  The Italians placed the bulk of their army on the Austrian left.  Wishing to force the flank, while leaving the center and right lightly held.  The Austrian Commander must not have seen the concentration to his left and put the bulk of his forces in the center and on his right flank.

The opening went to the Italians and the General sent his cavalry out to find the edge of the massed Austrians in the center.

The Austrians start to react to the on coming Italians.
 On the Austrian right, the Jagers push towards the Italians.
 The Italian line waits patiently for the Austrians to reach rifle range.
The Italian cannons ready to fire on the Jagers.  First blood would be spilled on the Austrian right.
 The battle shifted from the Austrian right to the Austrian left as the Italians pushed on towards the Austrian center.  The Bersagileri lead the way, taking shots at the Austrians forming up in front of them.
 Another view of the Italians as the march towards the Austrians.
The Austrian center shifts to the left and angles itself to receive the on coming Italians.
 Another view of the Austrian line facing the Bersaglieri.
 The Austrian Center. A good view of their left flank being protecting by the line of Austrians.
In a bold move the Austrian Commander pushes his flank line out to meet the Italians.  The Italians answer with opportunity fire.
 The Austrian center with the bulk of the cavalry sitting, waiting for orders.  For most of the battle the flanks witnessed the most action.
Again the battle shifted to the Austrian right as the Italians and Austrians closed.  Both sides suffered major causalities during this engagement.  Both sides lost a total of a unit and a half before any close combat.
 Again the battle shifted to the left, with the Italians getting bloodied.

The impending close combat would turn into a prolonged melee that ate up impetus and morale chips.
 The engagement on the Austrian left sucked in more and more troops and resources as it dragged on.

Each side exchanged lots of fire, causing hits but never enough to kill of stands.
 As the blood bath on the left continued the right side saw both sides waver a little and then the Austrians blinked.  A full unit was destroyed and being out of morale chips the Austrian commander started to pull back his troops and save them for the rest of the campaign.
 The Italian artillery gets off a few last shots.
The Austrian Jagers down a full unit pull back.
 Overhead view looking from the Austrian Left.
 Again the left side heats up with the Italians taken more losses and soon they run out of morale chips.  But a well place shot by the Bersaglieri causes another stand loss to the Austrians and the Italians gain a morale chip.
The battle drew to a close with both sides bloody but the Italians pulling out a Marginal Victory.  After a series of losses for the Italians, this victory put some life back into their Commanding General.  We will have to see if he can carry that over to the next one.

This battle saw some of the longest phases we've experienced in playing Piquet.  Also of note the bulk of the initiative went to the Austrians in the game and they still ended up losing.  That's why we like Piquet. It's unpredictable and nail biting at times but the results never seem unrealistic.


  1. Nice report. Neat to see a game set in the period. The armies are too good looking to not want to paint them up!

  2. Great pics and report, Victor! What is the site where the game was played; obviously not a home!

  3. The place we are gaming at now is Guardian Games in downtown Portland, OR. It is a great store and the what gets me every time we arrive there is a sign with my name and game on our table.