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Risorgimento 1859, the Second Italian War of Independence, covers the second such war, the first, in 1848, having resulted in heavy defeats at the hands of the Austrian/Hapsburg armies. But the 1859 war was different. The Piedmontese, the Italian province pressing the issue, had gotten Napoleon III and the French Army to help them. Garibaldi and his partisans were most effective in creating havoc. And the Austrians were woefully weak in high command ability and unit morale.
Risorgimento 1859 is a big game, yet easy to play. The battle games are very enjoyable with lots of maneuver and combat. The Campaign game uses a point-to-point map system. The focus is on coordination and concentration, the ability to guard avenues of approach, and the capability of units to engage in combat.
Battles and Campaigns
Players fight the two major battles of the campaign, Magenta and Solferino (one of the largest battles in European history). The rules are relatively short and very accessible, as the battle system is designed for ease of play. For example, combat units do not have any numerical Strength! However, they do differ in Morale.
A wild battle fought in the vineyards, where no one could see anything. Reinforcements coming from all corners of the map, as the French have to cross a major river to take the important rail center.
The Austrians and the French literally stumble into each other in teh difficult and hilly country south of the Lombardian lakes. The battle that followed, pitting 4 French corps against 7 Austrian corps, was one of the most brutal in modern history. So brutal that it led directly to the founding of the Red Cross. The French, having started first, get to attack an Austrian-held position that takes advantage of every hill and valley.
Play out the entire Campaign and see if you can avoid the mistakes the Austrians made. This version uses a point-to-point system and some very unusual mechanics to model one of the first military campaigns that used railroads.
No bookshelf is complete without a game involving a neglected historical conflict--the Italian Unification Wars. GMT fills the gap with this simulation of the revolution that led to Italy's unification. This uncommon history lesson is also great fun to play. The partnership of two great designers has yielded two very different game designs, making it a bargain! Perla's creation is a vast, point-to-point campaign system encapsulating the strategic movements leading to the battles. Berg's is a quick, easy, tactical system that manages the war's big battles using abstract strength points for the counters. These top designers cannot quarrel with GMT's excellent production job, which includes three maps and several scenarios.