Monday, 2 July 2012

Italian War of Unification Battle Report

Preliminary deployment

Last weeks fortnightly game was a splendid Volley and Bayonet Scenario staged by our resident V & B afficianado, Adrian Powell.
Adrian has a vast collection of 15mm armies, mostly Essex, and an equally impressive collection of scratch built buildings that are a joy to game with.

The game in question was an Italian War of Unification battle whose name completely escapes me, probably something like the battle of Ravioli or Bolognese or some such Italian sounding name. If you wanted a history lesson you have definately come to the wrong place.

Anyway the game involved the Forces of Neopolitan Italy and the Papal States against the Piedmontese. It appears the Piedmontese were none too keen on this Unification malarky, being as how they were going to get shafted by the Eyeties... so, as is the way, war ensued.

In this particular battle the Piedmontese had managed to get themsleves between the Neopolitan Italians and the Papal States Armies. The Neopolitans had positioned themselves squarely across the Piedmontese line of communication at the Southern end of the table.
The Piedmontese Army consisted of 2 Corps. One Corps was tasked with sweeping the Neopolitan Army from their position whilst the other Corps would hold off the Papal States Army which was advancing from the opposite Northern end of the table with a view to doing the Piedmontese some serious GBH.

The nature of the terrain is very rocky and impassable in many place so attacks must be funnelled through narrow gaps which favours the defender who also has the benfit of several villages to anchor their flanks and provide nuisance fire.

The Neopolitan Italians were commanded by Rodger and Adrian whilst I commanded the Papal States.
The honour of commanding the Piedmontese fell to Geoff and Chris.

I kicked the ball off with a frontal assualt on the Piedmontese second Corps which had taken up a line of defence between two rather picturesque villages.

The Papal States Advancing on the Piedmontese 2nd Corps

Initially the Piedmontese Infantry gave ground so sensing an opportunity for a quick breakthrough I threw my Dragoons in in a reckless charge to press the advantage. Unfortunately the Dragoons were all but slaughtered by extremely accurate volley fire and were seen off in grand style. This left my infantry to soak up withering fire from the stationary Piedmontese. Needless to say the first assault faltered.
To the South the Piedmontese 1st Corps shook themselves out into battle line to commence an all out assualt on the Neopolitans.
Republican Italians(In foreground) prepare to recieve the Piedmontese 1st Corps assault.
As I was heavily engaged dealing with my end of the table I only caught fleeting glimpses of the action at 'tother end o table' but it appeared Rodger and Adrian were doing a stirling job of holding off the Piedmontese.
By turn 4 I had restored some semblance of order and my Army commander had personally halted a somewhat determined rout of my elite shock troops.
I was ready to launch the my second wave on the Piedmontese, albeit with inferior troops this time and no cavalry. Both my artillery batteries were deployed and stationary and began bombarding the dug in Piedmontese whilst my infantry advanced to within firing range with the intention of halting for a couple of moves to slug it out with musketry prior to charging.
Unfortunately this ploy failed miserably as Chris's Stationary Piedmontese rolled six after six whilst I had an attack of the 'ones'. One by one my units were whittled away and by turn 7 my Army was on the verge of exhaustion and subsequent morale collapse with no hope of achieveing any headway against the invincible Piedmontese.
It was at about this point that Chris unleashed a fresh unit of lancers on me. Now I was fighting for my life.

Papal Troops about to be routed.

In the brief moments I was able to tear myself away from disaster I caught fleeting glimpses of the action at the Southern end. Fortunately this was a reversal of my situation with the Neopolitan Italians giving the Piedmontese a jolly good seeing to.

Italian cavalry steamroller some Piedmontese Hussars.
One particularly spectacular scene was a massed cavalry charge launched by the Neopolitan cavalry against the Piedmontese.

Turn 8 saw my Papal Army in exhaustion and completely demoralized..a resounding victory to the 'demon six thrower', Chris, and his Piedmontese, whilst Geoff's Piedmontese 1st Corps was in about the same state as mine and in no shape to clear the Neopolitans away.
So all in all an inconclusive draw and a ton of fun.

Some more pics in no particular order:


  1. That is a really good looking game there!

  2. Not a 'period' I know much about... a quick google later and it seems to be mid to late 1800s...
    The game is well presented and I am impressed by the scratchbuilt buildings.

    I am unfamiliar with this rules set , you mentioned rolling 6s vs rollings 1's. Is this one of those games where the results are determined by a single roll of the die?

  3. What's this "inconclusive draw" bit? I thought we won!! Great report Gav, almost true too. Seriously though, a great game,lots of fun and this is an excellent report and photos. BTW your photos turned out much better than mine did.

  4. probably years too late but you have it backwards the piedmontese were all about unification and the austrians were not.. in the first war it was all italians against the austrians. in the second which is probably what you were doing it was the peidmontese and later garibaldi fighting for unification against the kingdom of two sicilies which included naples