The battle began as the Sardinians sent out a number of reconnaissance forces to probe southeast from Lonato and Rivoltella towards Pozzolengo. Rather than fielding an integrated advance guard to act as the recon force, the Sardinians drew off battalions and squadrons from each division and sent them on their way.
One of the largest of these recon contingents was drawn from Mollard's 3rd Division. Not expecting Austrian resistance on the west bank of the Mincio River, Mollard was surprised to run into Austrian forces at Ponticello. What was initially thought to be only Austrian screening elements turned out to be Benedek's VIII Corps centered on Pozzolengo. Benedek, likewise, was surprised to discover the Sardinians bearing down on his corps in force.
From Google Earth, the battlefield today is dominated by agriculture with vineyards that would have hampered artillery and cavalry movements during the time of the battle. Mollard advanced south of present day A4 along SP13 towards Roccolo and Orteglia farms with an objective of seizing Pozzolengo.
Photos of the actual battlefield can be seen in my earlier posting on this subject.
Mollard realized his miscalculation and fell back to the heights around San Martino. While Sardinian columns continued streaming towards Mollard's positions at San Martino, Mollard prepared for a defensive action until sufficient force could be gathered to push Benedek back onto the Mincio. Not waiting for the Sardinian storm to gather over San Martino, Benedek counterattacked to prevent the Sardinians from compromising the Austrian line of communications over the Mincio.
|Positions looking from SE|
|Initial Deployments from above Pozzolengo|
|Mollard's position on San Martino Heights|
My plan is to game this scenario as time permits using my own rules. Since this will be the rules' first trial, I'll play slowly and take notes on what works and what does not. Perhaps, I'll make changes as the scenario plays out. Both combatants have limited cavalry so the mounted arm likely won't see much more than a scouting role unless they can catch some vulnerable battalions in the open.