Saturday, 19 March 2016

Montebello 1859 using Bloody Big Battles

Montebello was one of the earlier and smaller battles of the 1859 Second Italian War of Independence fought by the Second French Empire and the Kingdom of Sardinia against the Austrian Empire.

This game was fought using the Bloody Big Battles ruleset (BBB). The scenario can be found on the BBB Yahoo Group.
The table is 4x4 foot and the forces are quite small - 18 bases of French vs 24 Austrian bases with another 23 Austrian bases as reinforcements.  This isn't as one-sided as it sounds as the Austrians have no commanders, are Passive and all their reinforcements are Raw. The reinforcements arrive if the French do not assault in a turn
The villages of Montebello & Genestrello and the farms at Foliarina & Cascina Nuova are objectives
The Austrians deploy at the River Coppa crossings
The Austrians are immediately faced by the Sardinian Cavalry, form into line and blow the cavalry away. The French 84th line roll a double 1 and fail to move. Therefore with no assaults the Austrians get part of Bils Brigade as reinforcements.
The rest of French 1st Brigade arrives and the whole lot trundles down the road. Again with no French assaults the Austrians receive the divisonal artillery.
Finally the French get to assault the head of the Austrian column. The Austrians due to inept die rolling are starting to clog up on the river Coppa crossings. however a brigade has managed to form up behind the railway embankment.
For several turns both the French and Austrians roll bad dice. The Austrians manage to take Foliarina against a French counter-attack but Montello, Genestrello  and Cascina Nuova stay in French hands

Therefore Montebello is declared a French/Sardinian victory.

This is a bit of a different game to Russo-Japanese war ones we have fought using BBB. With Line of sight limited to 9" there were barely any shooting casualties except for the Sardinian  cavalry and most assaults ended in the +1-3 band.

It was frustrating playing the Passive Austrians without commanders as the road block at the river bridges show. The dice rolling was very bad with the French getting 3 double 1s in a row and one of the initial Austrian units rolling No Move for the entire game after turn 1.

We will be doing a lot more 1859. My French army is complete - in fact way too complete as I have 18 artillery units!. The Austrians need a few more bases painted so we can do Mageneta. I've also got Prussians, painted but unbased, so 1870 is somewhere in the offing.

My dilemma regarding rebasing from 40x30mm to 1" squares has been resolved - I will leave them as they are.

Game Info

The rules can be purchased from Caliver Books
There is a Yahoo group for the rules here where the author answers queries
The 10mm Figures are all Pendraken
The 6mm Buildings are mainly by TimeCast


  1. Fantastic looking game - wargaming on a grand scale love it.

    1. We are going to be doing the French v Austrian part of Solferino on Bank Holiday Monday - why not come down and have a play?

  2. Good report - I'm tempted either by this or the northern half of Nachod/Skalitz/Tratenau for trying to get my club interested...