As is often the situation when I am playing and not relegated to umpiring, note taking drops to a minimum and photos are not always snapped at the optimal point. Given those caveats, below is a recounting of the Montebello battle
Forey snaps into action and Beuret's brigade descends upon
Genestrello. The 84th takes fire from the jagers deployed
in Genestrello. While the Austrian fire is telling on the 84th,
it stands firm.
While Cascina Nuova did not fall in the initial assault as planned,
Schaffgotsche makes a credible defense of Genestrello.
Forey's guns along the main road begin to find their range against
the Austrian lead battalion.
|Birds-eye view of the battle with Beuret's brigade collapsing|
in on Genestrello as Schaffgotsche strengthens its defense.
|Beuret assaults Generstrello led by the 17th Chasseurs a Pied|
With the elite 17th Chasseurs a pied leading the assault, the
poorly motivated Austrians abandon Genestrello and
head towards a second line of defense. In the clash, one
of the Austrian battalions breaks and scampers to the rear.
|Having lost Genestrello, the Austrians prepare to hold Montebello.|
While the Austrian wing under Urban is reeling in the south
along the Main Road, Hesse is making progress against
the Sardinian cavalry screen in the north.
As Forey bears down on Montebello, Austrian defenders swing
out south of the town to prevent a second French flanking maneuver.
In the north, Hesse applies more pressure to the French left.
Blanchard is forced to divert infantry from the drive on
Montebello to shore up his northern flank.
|Having cleared Genestrello, Forey consolidates his gains|
and readies for a push towards Montebello.
|Forey's cavalry and infantry drive a wedge between Hesse|
and Schaffgotsche. There will be no succor from Hesse.
Has Forey over extended his command?
Hesse continues pressing on against the Sardinian cavalry
and threatens to capture Calcabobbio. Multiple cavalry clashes
in the open ground between the two streams leaves horsemen
on both sides exhausted.
|Hesse's Austrians press Blanchard's French near Calcabobbio.|
As the French line slowly gives ground in the north,
Hesse's Austrians consider the possibility of regaining control
of the vital railroad and bridge.
French superior leadership and the soldiers' elan won the day as French infantry time and again pressed their advantage to control the situation. While the larger Austrian battalions can seemingly take more punishment, their inferiority to their French counterparts made them seem more brittle. Of course, I am speaking from the Austrian perspective. My French adversary has a differing opinion.
The game was a very close affair with a number of high tension points across the front. French Brigadier Blanchard forging a salient between the two Austrian wings and capturing the railroad bridge north of Montebello was thought to be a bridge too far. Yet it fell to the French with little opposition.
Montebello offers a tactical challenge to both players and an enjoyable puzzle to solve. As the Austrian player, I have not cracked the code on defeating the French. My opponent feels the same way regarding his player with the French. A Game 3 is set to test amended operational plans. Game rules survived play with a live opponent. Only a few modifications to be implemented for Game 3. For Jake's thoughts on Montebello Games 2 and Games 3, see Thoughts on Montebello. With a couple of slight rules' tweaks slated for Game 3, we will see how both armies respond to repeated trials.
Game 2 resulted in a near historical outcome with Stadion controlling the Coppa River line and Foyer too fatigued to pursue. When refighting a historical battle, one hopes for a plausible result. Even better when the outcome mirrors the historical event and that outcome fits well within the historical narrative. What will transpire in Game 3?