Friday, 25 March 2016

Monterino 1859 using Bloody Big Battles

Monterino is a fictitious battle set during 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) and Pendraken's excellent range of 10mm figures.
Monterino is a mash-up inspired by the two real battles of Montebello and Solferino. The southern half of  the table represents the Campo di Medole and the gentle sloped ridge that divided it from the northern part of the battle of Solferino whilst the remainder represents the cultivated area of Montebello. The cultivated area blocks line of sight from 9" and gives +1 cover. The river can only be crossed at the 3 bridges
The battlefield looking north with the Austrian columns advancing from the east. The objectives for both sides were the 2 towns and 4 villages - 4 of them running along the table centre line.
Mike played the French with
2 Generals
4 Infantry Brigades - 6 S Veteran Muzzle Loading  Rifle (ML)
2 Infantry Brigades - 6 S,A Veteran ML
2 Cavalry Brigades - 2 Veteran
6 Rifled Artillery
I "led" the Austrians with
2 Generals
7 Infantry Brigades - 6 S,P Trained ML
1 Infantry Brigade - 6 S,P,F Raw ML
2 Cavalry Brigades - 2 P
8 Smoothbore Artillery

S = Skirmisher base, A = Aggressive, P = Passive, F = Fragile,

We each started with 2 brigades on the table with the remaining forces allocated to the 3 entry roads with 1 unit arriving per road per turn on  a roll of Evens

The French moved first and, with 4 objectives running along the centre line, seized 2 of them straight away with road moves
In the centre the French boldly occupy the one of the two villages connected by the bridge whilst the Austrians barely manage to get into an attack formation.
More French troops arrive to occupy the villages and form a solid battle line. The Austrian general wonders where the rest of his force is.
And more French troops march towards the centre
To the south the Austrians prepare to occupy the town unaware of the French cavalry brigade about to attack them in the flank. The assault modifiers before the die roll come out in favour of the Austrians; Austrians: +3 Outnumber 3:1, +1 In-Depth, -1 Disordered = +3, French +2 Flank Attack = +2. when the dice are rolled the Austrians win and bounce the cavalry.
A view from the French Corps of observation balloon looking north with the Austrians finally arriving to form their own battle line.
It appears that Monsieur Godard's balloon has become unteethered and floats gently across the centre of the battle.
The the French line formed they begin to advance towards the Austrian centre which is currently disordered and low on ammo
The Austrian left flank with cavalry covering the infantry and a smoothbore battery holding the town
Through judicious use of thermals M. Godard has steered his balloon to the west. Notice the litter left by the messy French forces
The Austrians prepare to assault in the centre but both Brigades fail their movement rolls
Instead the French brigade changes formation and assaults the Austrian  Brigade that is low on ammo and disordered. Fortunately the French bounce off.
Just across the river another French assault goes in but the Austrians push them back.
 The French try their luck against the southern town held by a single battery of guns.
 However the Austrian defensive fire halts even the Zouaves and the French fall back. Smoothbore artillery is deadly at close range.
Finally, to the north both French and Austrian troops arrive to contest the northern town - victory hinges on this.
The Austrian troops assault the northern town but as with the French assaults it is indecisive and the Austrians are pushed back.

And that is the end of turn 8 and the game. The French hold 4 of the objectives and the Austrians 2 so the French are the winners.

As with our refight of Montebello there were hardly any casualties - 5 French and 4 Austrian - as opposed to the usual 20-30 bases in our RJW games. However at close range the Austrian smoothbore artillery is very effective

The scenario, hastily thought up on the day, was interesting but the objectives could all do with being 6" from the Austrian table edge in order to give them a chance. The Passive and Fragile traits really mess with any plan the Austrians may have. All you can do is trust in the Emperor and hope you roll well.

A big thumbs up for BBB. I'm looking forward to the BBB Bash in April.

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. Cracking stuff Alan! You got the Austrians painted up in time then?!

    Waiting on my book to come thru from Caliver but I'd got the scenario book from Irregular for nine quid so that's keeping me entertained ;)


    Ps all you need now are some Sardinians ;)

  2. I wish - only done 20 - might have to proxy a few if I don't pull my finger out