The Battle of Custoza 24th June 1866

The Battle of Custoza was the only major conflict of the land based 1866 Italian Campaign. On the 23rd of June the Italian army had crossed the Mincio river. The following day they resumed their leisurely advance assuming that the Austrians were not in the area. They even dropped off units to invest some of the numerous Austrian fortresses in the area. Meanwhile the Austrian Southern army had stolen a march on their enemy. Informed of the Italian advance the army had moved to within striking distance of the Italians. As the 24th dawned they were on the move aiming to occupy the strategic hills around Custoza and on the flank of the Italian army's advance. Fortunately for the Italians this movement and indeed the Austrian army was spotted at nearly the last minute. In haste the Italians occupied the high ground with the available troops, while efforts were made to bring the rest of the scattered Italian army to the battlefield.

The purpose of this page is to provide scenario details for the Battle of Custoza (24th June 1866). This pitted the Austrian South Army, under Archduke Albert, against the Italian Army of the Mincio under La Marmora. The scenario is for use with the adaptation to the excellent Fire and Fury rules for the mid Nineteenth century European wars at Fire and Furia Francese. In addition the War of 1866 Rules may be needed.

I am indebted to Stefano Starnini and Fausto Cominato for there help with the preparation of this article. They both very kindly supplied maps of the battlefield. Both of which greatly helped my understanding of the events and the preparation of the scenario.

Scale and notes:

The scale used for this scenario is 1 stand = 300 men. The game starts with the 06:00 Italian phase and finishes with the 17:00 Austrian phase. The Italians move first in each turn.

In this battle one of the most difficult things to decide is how to simulate the indecisiveness of some of the Italian commanders. Particularly the three Divisional commanders on the extreme right flank. These commanders, and others allowed a large part of the Italian army to just stand around and watch the battle, rather than joining in perhaps decisively. I have three proposals to deal with this situation.

Option 1: Firstly and some what as a 'What if" you can just ignore the inactivity of these units and allow them to be used normally. This does not really reflect the conditions of the real battle, but allows the players to make their own mistakes, etc. If this course of action is chosen then it is only fair that the Austrians should also be freed of some of their restriction. Therefore the 'Special rules' (detailed below) for the Austrian 2nd Brigade, VII Corps and Impetuous Cavalry do not apply either.

Option 2: The idea of this option is to award victory points to both sides for doing what they historically did, i.e. do nothing. But also involves deceiving the players, at least the first time the game is played. In this option the organiser, must either not be a participant or be an Austrian player.

Option 3: While the last option similarly uses disinformation, reinforced by deception. The Italian player is informed that a very large number of potential Austrian reinforcements are positioned to the east of the battlefield. They are at the moment not visible to the Italians and are inactive. Therefore they have been omitted from the scenario. Each turn a dice roll is made for these 'reinforcements' to arrive / become active. The good news for the Italians is that they can station units around Villafranca which give negative dice roll modifiers and indeed can insure that these 'reinforcements' don't appear. Of course this is all rubbish and if the Italians 'call' the bluff, i.e. they move away from the area and the Austrians 'successfully' dice for reinforcements. Then they should, i.e. when the 'reinforcements' are due to arrive, be informed to of their mistaken belief. In this option the organiser, must either not be a participant or be an Austrian player.

n.b. There is a 'dummy' briefing on this rule in 'Special Rules' below to help you 'accurately' brief the Italian players.

Orders of Battle:

Italians:

The Infantry are all armed with a MLR. The artillery have rifled guns, RA, but suffer a -1 fire modifier due to poor fire doctrine (see Special Rules). Units marked with an 'A' are using Assault tactics, see War of 1866 Rules. Those marked with a 'I' are Impetuous, see Fire and Furia Francese .Those marked with a 'L' are using skirmish tactics, see Fire and Furia Francese . All Italian non skirmishing infantry receive a -1 on the maneuver chart if not in Column of March or Column of Assault or Square formations. Roll a D10 for each unit that does not have an 'E' leader. On a roll of a 9 or 10 Bersaglieri units have an 'E' leader. On a 10 other units have an 'E' leader.

1st Corps:

Corps Commander: Marshall Durando 1 Ldr

  • Corps Artillery: 3 Foot Batteries.
  • Corps Cavalry: 4 / - / 3
  • Corps Combined Bersaglieri Reserve (2nd, 3rd, 8th & 13th battalions): 7 / 5 / 3 IA

1st Division: Cerale 1 P.Ldr

2nd Division: Pianelli 1 P.Ldr
  • 29th Infantry Regt: 7 / 6 / 5
  • 30th Infantry Regt: 6 / 5 / 4
  • 43rd Infantry Regt: 6 / 5 / 4
  • 44th Infantry Regt: 6 / 5 / 4
  • 18th Bersaglieri Btn: 3 / 2 / - L
  • Divisional Artillery: 1 Foot Battery.
  • 5th Infantry Regt: 8 / 7 / 5
  • 6th Infantry Regt: 8 / 7 / 5
  • 31st Infantry Regt: 7 / 6 / 5
  • 32nd Infantry Regt: 7 / 6 / 5
  • 17th Bersaglieri Btn: 3 / 2 / - L
  • Divisional Artillery: 1 Foot Battery.
3rd Division: Brignone 1 Ldr 5th Division: Sirtori 1 Ldr
  • 1st Grenadier Regt: 6 / 5 / 3
  • 2nd Grenadier Regt: 7 / 5 / 4
  • 3rd Grenadier Regt: 6 / 5 / 3
  • 4th Grenadier Regt: 6 / 5 / 3
  • 37th Bersaglieri Btn: 3 / 2 / - L
  • Divisional Artillery: 1 Foot Battery.
  • 19th Infantry Regt: 7 / 6 / 5
  • 20th Infantry Regt: 7 / 6 / 5
  • 65th Infantry Regt: 7 / 6 / 5
  • 66th Infantry Regt: 7 / 6 / 5
  • 5th Bersaglieri Btn: 3 / 2 / - L
  • Divisional Artillery: 1 Foot Battery.

3rd Corps:

Each Divisions Bersaglieri may be deployed as 2 skirmishing units or 1 combined no skirmishing reserve. Each Division may chose which way to deploy, but they may not change during the game.

Corps Commander: General Della Rocca 1 P.Ldr

  • Corps Artillery: 2 Foot Batteries (must be given to 2 of the Divisions, dice for it)
  • Corps Cavalry: 4 / - / 3

7th Division: Bixio 1 P.Ldr

8th Division: Cugia 1 P.Ldr
  • 1st Infantry Regt: 6 / 5 / 4
  • 2nd Infantry Regt: 8 / 7 / 5
  • 47th Infantry Regt: 7 / 6 / 5
  • 48th Infantry Regt: 6 / 5 / 4
  • 9th Bersaglieri Btn: 3 / 2 / - L
    (May not be used if Combined Bersaglieri is used)
  • 19th Bersaglieri Btn: 3 / 2 / - L
    (May not be used if Combined Bersaglieri is used)
  • Combined Bersaglieri (9th & 19th Btns): 4 / 3 / 2 IA
    (May not be used if individual Bersaglieri Btns are used)
  • Divisional Artillery: 1 Foot Battery
  • 3rd Infantry Regt: 7 / 6 / 4
  • 4th Infantry Regt: 8 / 7 / 5
  • 63rd Infantry Regt: 6 / 5 / 4
  • 64th Infantry Regt: 7 / 6 / 5
  • 6th Bersaglieri Btn: 3 / 2 / - L
    (May not be used if Combined Bersaglieri is used)
  • 30th Bersaglieri Btn: 3 / 2 / - L
    (May not be used if Combined Bersaglieri is used)
  • Combined Bersaglieri (6th & 30th Btns): 4 / 3 / 2 IA
    (May not be used if individual Bersaglieri Btns are used)
  • Divisional Artillery: 1 Foot Battery
9th Division: Govone 1 Ldr 16th Division: Prince Umberto of Savoy 1 P.Ldr
  • 35th Infantry Regt: 7 / 6 / 5
  • 36th Infantry Regt: 7 / 6 / 5
  • 51st Infantry Regt: 7 / 6 / 5
  • 52nd Infantry Regt: 7 / 6 / 5
  • 27th Bersaglieri Btn: 3 / 2 / - L
    (May not be used if Combined Bersaglieri is used)
  • 34th Bersaglieri Btn: 3 / 2 / - L
    (May not be used if Combined Bersaglieri is used)
  • Combined Bersaglieri (27th & 34th Btns): 4 / 3 / 2 IA
    (May not be used if individual Bersaglieri Btns are used)
  • Divisional Artillery: 1 Foot Battery
  • 8th Infantry Regt: 6 / 5 / 4
  • 49th Infantry Regt: 6 / 5 / 4
  • 50th Infantry Regt: 7 / 6 / 5
  • 71st Infantry Regt: 6 / 5 / 4
  • 4th Bersaglieri Btn: 3 / 2 / - L
    (May not be used if Combined Bersaglieri is used)
  • 11th Bersaglieri Btn: 3 / 2 / - L
    (May not be used if Combined Bersaglieri is used)
  • Combined Bersaglieri (4th & 11th Btns): 4 / 3 / 2 IA
    (May not be used if individual Bersaglieri Btns are used)
  • Divisional Artillery: 1 Foot Battery

Army Cavalry Reserve Division: (This unit was originally independent of the Corps structure but was assigned to the 3rd Corps during this battle)

Divisional Commander: de Sonnaz 1 P.Ldr

  • 1st Brigade: 5 / - / 4
  • 2nd Brigade: 4 / - / 3
  • Divisional Artillery: 1 Horse Battery
Austrians:

 The infantry are armed with the Lorenz rifle, counts as a MLR. The artillery have rifled guns, RA. Units marked with an 'A' are using Assault tactics, see War of 1866 Rules. Those marked with a 'L' are using skirmish tactics, see Fire and Furia Francese . Roll a D10 for each unit that does not have an 'E' leader. On a roll of a 9 or 10 units have an 'E' leader.

V Corps:

Corps Commander: Baron Rodich 1 Ldr.

  • Corps Reserve Artillery: 1 Horse Battery.
  • 12th Uhlan Regt: 2 / - / - E

1st Brigade: Bauer 1 Ldr.

2nd Brigade: Moering 1 Ldr.
  • 28th Infantry Regt: 10 / 8 / 5 A
  • 70th Infantry Regt: 10 / 8 / 5 A
  • 19th Jager Btn: 4 / 3 / 2 L
  • Brigade Artillery: 1 Foot Battery.
  • 53rd Infantry Regt: 10 / 8 / 5 A
  • 54th Infantry Regt: 9 / 7 / 5 A
  • 21st Jager Btn: 4 / 3 / 2 L
  • Brigade Artillery: 1 Foot Battery
3rd Brigade: Piret 1 Ldr.  
  • 50th Infantry Regt: 10 / 8 / 5 A
  • 75th Infantry Regt: 10 / 8 / 5 A
  • 5th Kaiser Jager Btn: 4 / 3 / 2 L
  • Brigade Artillery: 1 Foot Battery.
 

VII Corps:

Corps Commander: Maroicic 1 Ldr.

  • Corps Reserve Artillery: 1 Horse Battery

1st Brigade: Toply 1 Ldr.

2nd Brigade: Scudier 1 P.Ldr. (S - see Special Rules)
  • 43rd Infantry Regt: 10 / 8 / 5 A
  • Archduke Victor Infantry Regt: 9 / 7 / 5 A
  • 7th Jager Btn: 4 / 3 / 2 L
  • Brigade Artillery: 1 Foot Battery.
  • 19th Infantry Regt: 10 / 8 / 5 A
  • 48th Infantry Regt: 9 / 7 / 5 A
  • Brigade Artillery: 1 Foot Battery.
3rd Brigade: Welserheimb 1 Ldr.  
  • 31st Infantry Regt: 10 / 8 / 5 A
  • 76th Infantry Regt: 10 / 8 / 5 A
  • 3rd Kaiser Jager Btn: 4 / 3 / 2 L
  • Brigade Artillery: 1 Foot Battery.
 

 

IX Corps:

Corps Commander: Hartung 1 Ldr.

  • Corps Reserve Artillery: 1 Horse Battery.

1st Brigade: Kirschberg 1 P.Ldr.

2nd Brigade: Weckbecker 1 Ldr.
  • 7th Infantry Regt: 9 / 7 / 5 A
  • 29th Infantry Regt: 9 / 7 / 5 A
  • 23rd Jager Btn: 4 / 3 / 2 L
  • Brigade Artillery: 1 Foot Battery.

  • 5th Infantry Regt: 9 / 7 / 5 A
  • 39th Infantry Regt: 9 / 7 / 5 A
  • 4th Kaiser Jager Btn: 4 / 3 / 2 L
  • Brigade Artillery: 1 Foot Battery.
3rd Brigade: Bock 1 Ldr.  
  • 63rd Infantry Regt: 9 / 7 / 5 A
  • 66th Infantry Regt: 10 / 8 / 5 A
  • 15th Jager Btn: 4 / 3 / 2 L
  • Brigade Artillery: 1 Foot Battery
 

Reserve Infantry Division:

Divisional Commander: von Rupprecht 1 Ldr.

1st Brigade: Weimar 1 P.Ldr.

2nd Brigade: Benko 1 P.Ldr.
  • 36th Infantry Regt: 9 / 7 / 5 A
  • 7th / 76th Infantry Regt (4th Btns only): 5 / 4 / 3 A
  • 36th Jager Btn: 4 / 3 / 2 L
  • Brigade Artillery: 1 Foot Battery.

  • 17th Infantry Regt: 9 / 7 / 5 A
  • 12th Grenzer Regt: 9 / 8 / 5 A (This unit receives all the disadvantages of Assault Tactics but none of the advantages)
  • 37th Jager Btn: 4 / 3 / 2 L
  • Brigade Artillery: 1 Foot Battery.

Army Cavalry Reserve Division:

Divisional Commander: Pulz 1 Ldr.

  • 1st Brigade: 5 / 3 / 2
  • 2nd Brigade: 4 / 3 / 2
  • Divisional Artillery: 1 Horse Battery.

 

Deployment and Reinforcements:

Italians:

At the start of the game:

1st Corps HQ and attached units: Within 6" of Valeggio and on the eastern side of the Mincio river. In column of march or limbered.

1st Division: Any one Line unit - on or in the triangular area of Monte Cricol, Oliosi and Monte Tocolo (the mountain to the south of Cricol) - In any desired formation. The 18th Bersaglieri Btn and any one line unit, 6" or more directly to the south of the first unit. The bersaglieri are in skirmish formation and the line unit in Column of March. The rest of the division are within 6" of the road junction north of Valeggio and are Limbered or in Column of March.

3rd Division: The 1st and 2nd Grenadier regiments and either the Divisional artillery or the 37th Bersaglieri on Monte Croce. The rest of the division within 10" of Monte Croce on the mountain to the south, these units are inactive until activated. All units in any desired formation.

5th Division: The 5th Bersaglieri, 19th Infantry and 20th Infantry within 6" of Point C in any desired formation. The rest of the division are within 6" of the road junction north of Valeggio and are Limbered or in Column of March.

Reinforcements:

06:30 The 7th and 16th Divisions: Within 6" of Point H, in column of march or limbered.

07:00 3rd Corps HQ and attached units: Within 6" of Point H, in column of march or limbered.

08:00 1st Brigade and Divisional Commander, The Army Cavalry Reserve Division: Within 6" of Point H, in column of march or limbered.

08:30 2nd Brigade and Divisional Artillery, The Army Cavalry Reserve Division: Within 6" of Point H, in column of march or limbered.

10:00 9th Division: Within 6" of Point J in column of march or limbered.

11:00 8th Division: Within 6" of Point I in column of march or limbered.

2nd Division: Starting with the 13:30 Italian phase this formation will roll a D10 to arrive at Point K in Column of March / Limbered. On the 13:30 phase a 10 is required, 14:00 a 9 or 10, 14:30 an 8, 9 or 10, etc. The Italian player may add a dice modifier to this roll. For each +1 the player wishes to add to the roll deduct 1 from their victory point total. A roll of a 1 is always a failure.

Austrians:

At the start of the game:

1st and 3rd Brigades, V Corps: Within 6" of Point B in Attack Column, Skirmish formation or limbered / unlimbered.

2nd Brigade. IX Corps: North East of Sommacampagna, in open terrain, and within 12" of the town, in column of march or limbered.

Reserve Division: Within 10" of Point A, but not within 6" of any units of the Italian army. In Attack column, Skirmishing or limbered / unlimbered.

Austrian Army Cavalry Reserve: Within 6" of Point F in column of march or limbered.

Reinforcements:

06:00 3rd Brigade, IX Corps: Within 6" of Point F in column of march or limbered.

V Corps and all attached units: Within 6" of Point D in column of march or limbered.

06:30 IX Corps and attached units: Within 6" of Point F in column of march or limbered.

07:00 1st Brigade, IX Corps: Within 6" of Point F in column of march or limbered.

09:00 2nd Brigade, VII Corps: Within 6" of Point E in column of march or limbered.

09:30 1st and 3rd Brigades, VII Corps: Within 6" of Point E in column of march or limbered. These units were part of the Austrian armies reserve, see 'Special Rules' below.

10:00 VII Corps and all attached units: Within 6" of Point E in column of march or limbered. These units were part of the Austrian armies reserve, see 'Special Rules' below.

11:30 2nd Brigade, V Corps: Within 6" of Point D in column of march or limbered.

Terrain:

Mountain: Count as difficult going for all troops and may not be entered by cavalry. Visibility is 2" on a mountain, but unlimited when looking down, up, to or from another level. Units receive a -1 fire and melee combat advantage.

Rough: Count as difficult going for all troops. Visibility is 2", but units on mountains may spot into and be spotted as normal. Units receive a - melee combat advantage. They also receive a -1 fire combat advantage except when shat at from a mountain.

Orchards: Orchards count as difficult going and restricts line of sight.

Built Up Areas: All built up areas restricts line of sight and count as difficult going. In addition units inside them receive a -1 fire and melee bonus.

River: The Mincio river is uncrossable by all units, except along a road. It is 3" wide.

Stream: The Tione stream counts as a 1" wide obstacle as the standard Fire & Fury rules.

Steep Bank: Each bank marked on the map counts as an additional 1" wide obstacle which may not be crossed at all by cavalry and artillery, except along a road.

scenario map
 

Special Rules:

Italian Artillery: During the battle the Italian artillery was noticeably ineffective. This was mainly due to the fact that they fired as individual guns and not as batteries. Therefore whenever half or more of the fire points directed at a unit comes from artillery, then a -1 dice modifier is applied. This rule applies to fire combat only and not to melee combat.

Austrian 2nd Brigade, VII Corps (also see Scales and Notes above): This Austrian brigade was conspicuous during the battle for its precipitous retreat. This to be fair to the troops involved seems to have been the fault of its commander, Scudier, rather than the troops themselves. He seems to have panicked during the battle and was subsequently court martialled for cowardice. Therefore the following rules apply (unless the first option outlined in 'Scales and Notes' above is used). On any Austrian phase that a non skirmishing infantry unit is 'Shaken' and rolls less than a modified score of 6 on the movement chart, then a Precipitous retreat' follows. During a Precipitous retreat' all units of this brigade roll for movement / move as normal, except they MUST move their full distance towards the northern edge of the battlefield. They must continue doing this until ALL parts of the brigade are within 6" of the northern table edge. On the Austrian phase after all units are within 6" of the northern table edge place 2 'Disorder' markers on each unit. The units can then rally these markers as normal, but at a maximum of 1 per turn. On the turn after the last 'Disorder' marker has been rallied the unit may move as normal again.

The rules for Precipitous retreat do not apply if you have chosen to play the first option outline in 'Scales and Notes' above. If an umpire / referee is being used then the person in question may leave the details of this rule as a 'pleasant' surprise for the players to discover during the game :)

Austrian Impetuous Cavalry (also see Scales and Notes above): During the initial phase of the battle the Austrian cavalry performed an unplanned, unordered spontaneous attack on the Italian infantry around Villafranca. To simulate this the following rules apply. Each turn that the Austrian Reserve Cavalry Division is at or south of Sommacampagna this special rule applies. It may only ever apply once and is ignored after the first occasion it happens. The Austrian player may alternatively announce that he is going to perform an Impetuous attack. Before dicing for either of the units involved and as long as they are at or south of Sommacampagna then he may do so at any time. The units do not then dice for movement they instead move as described below instead. Once an Impetuous attack is declared then all the following rules apply until it is finished, i.e. the player may not change their mind about it!

Each Austrian phase the Austrian player rolls a D10 for each of his two Reserve cavalry brigades, whether he wishes to move them or not. If either of the units rolls a natural 10 then the Division will perform an Impetuous attack. On the turn that the attack is begun the 2nd Cavalry brigade must move a full turn, i.e. 18", towards Villafranca. While the 1st brigade must make a half move, i.e. 9", towards Villafranca. From this turn on these two units must move the maximum distance they are permitted to, towards the Italian infantry around Villafranca. If within reach of an Italian non skirmishing infantry unit, i.e. their diced for movement allowance permits them, then they must charge into contact with an infantry unit. If more then one Italian non skirmishing infantry unit is possible then the Austrian commander may chose which one he will attack. These two units must continue moving in this way until they have fought at least one round of melee with an Italian non skirmishing infantry unit. Having fought a round of melee, or more, with an Italian non skirmishing infantry unit this rule no longer applies to the individual brigade involved at it may be moved as desired by the player. While performing the Impetuous attack their is no obligation to do anything with the non cavalry parts of the Division, i.e. the commander or the artillery. In addition the Division still counts as within 12" of Sommacampagna for all purposes until 2 turns after the units have been released from the restrictions of the Impetuous attack.

Italian Reaction to Impetuous Cavalry attack: In the face of the Austrian cavalry's attack the Italians did a number of things. Of course they emptied many Austrian saddles, but they also reacted to the threat in a number of interesting ways. First of all the non skirmishing infantry formed in to square!!!! So in the Italian phase following the time when an Austrian cavalry unit that is subject to the Impetuous rule comes within 18" of a non skirmishing Italian infantry unit, then that unit MUST form square that phase. Units that are in Villafranca do not have to form square, but may if desired. The units do not have to roll for this if they are in good order, they do it automatically and it counts as there move. Disordered units must roll as usual, but must form square if permitted to by their result. Other unit types, i.e. skirmishing infantry and artillery, may if they desire, and there movement allows, 'take refuge' within the squares. Move them into the square and they will count as part of any melee that the square is involved in. Non skirmishing infantry units may not leave square formation until the Impetuous attack is over or unless forced to by lose of morale, etc.

The second effect of the Austrian attack in the real battle was that all the supporting services of the Divisions involved disappeared towards the rear. So if any unit of an Italian Division is attacked by Austrian Impetuous cavalry, then in the following Italian phase place a 'Services Disrupted' marker on all non skirmishing units of that division. This marker is in effect a sort of permanent 'Out of Ammo' marker for the unit. For effected units it halves the number of fire points that a stand may use, but does not count as an 'Out of Ammo' marker in melees. It represents the disruption caused to the fighting units because they have no supporting services. This marker can never be removed from the unit during the course of the game. If in addition a unit receives a 'real' Out of Ammo marker then the full normal rules apply until that is removed, then the effects of having a 'Services Disrupted' marker there after.

The rules for Impetuous attack do not apply if you have chosen to play the first option outline in 'Scales and Notes' above. If an umpire / referee is being used then the person in question may leave the details of this rule as a 'pleasant' surprise for the players to discover during the game :)

Austrian Off Table Reinforcements (Option 3, also see Scales and Notes above): If Option 3 is used this report is to be given to the any concerned player or players.

Their are large numbers, estimates vary but approximately two Corps, of Austrians off table to the east. You have not received any reports of them being active. You feel that if you can secure the armies flank at Villafranca then it is likely that you can deter their intervention in the battle. Each Austrian turn they will roll a D10 to see if these units have been activated and will intervene in the battle (note: they will arrive at Point G). If a modified result of a 9 or a 10 is rolled then on the following Austrian phase the first of these units begins to arrive. The dice roll may be modified in a number of ways. First of all a -1 is applied if ALL the units of the following formations are within 8" of Villafranca and per formation - 3rd Corps Commander and the Corps cavalry (-1 if both are within 8"), 7th Division (-1), 16th Division (-1) and Army Cavalry Reserve (-1). Therefore a total of -4 is available if all these units are within 8" of Villafranca. The Austrian player may also obtain dice roll modifiers. They receive a +1 modifier if ALL of the following units are within the stated distance of Sommacampagna. The Austrian Cavalry Reserve Division, +1 if at or within 12" to the south of Sommacampagna (but note that if the Impetuous attack rules is in effect they still count this while they are doing it). 1st Brigade, XII Corps, +1 if within 8" of Sommacampagna and not in the hills / difficult going.

The Austrian Reserve: The HQ and 2 of the brigades of VII Corps formed the Austrian reserve at the battle. They were not supposed to be used without direct orders from Archduke Albert, although in the event they were! Therefore until the 15:00 Austrian phase they may not approach within 24" of any Italian unit or enter the rough going or mountains. The artillery may not unlimber, but the infantry may deploy as desired. These units have no obligation to retreat if advanced on and may act normally if fired on or an Italian unit approachs within 18" of these units. They are released from this rule at the start of the 15:00 Austrian phase. Alternatively the Austrian player may 'purchase' the early release of these units with victory points. They lose 10 v.p's if they chose to do this in the 12:30 Austrian phase, 8 v.p's for the 13:00 phase, 6 for the 13:30 phase, 4 for the 14:00 and 2 for the 14:30 phase. Similarly they gain v.p's for not using these units, they receive 1 v.p if they do not release these units until the 15:30 phase, 2 v.p's for the 16:00 phase, etc.

Italian 3rd Division: One of the brigades of this division was inactive until the Austrians succeeded in reaching Custoza. Therefore the units identified as inactive may not move until they are activated. They are activated in a number of different ways. Firstly they are automatically activate on the 15:00 Italian phase, but they may be activated early by the Italian player losing v.p's. They lose 10 v.p's if they chose to do this in the 12:30 Italian phase, 8 v.p's for the 13:00 phase, 6 for the 13:30 phase, 4 for the 14:00 and 2 for the 14:30 phase. They are also automatically activated if an Austrian units approaches to within 6" of any of these units. Or if an Austrian unit enters Custoza. Finally they are activated if the Austrian player has control of Monte Croce.

Victory Points:

The normal Fire and Fury, and modification in the War of 1866 Rules and general 19th Century rules Fire and Furia Francese, apply. In addition the player may earn the following victory points. The first set are for the last of the options outlined in 'Scales and Notes' above, amendment for the over options are below.

Option 1: (Free Play):

Italians:

5 v.p's Each for control of San Rocco and Olisioi at the end of the game.

10 v.p's For control of Sommacampagna at the end of the game.

20 v.p's For control of Sona at the end of the game.

10 v.p's Each for control of the four roads that of the board to the North

- v.p's For the early arrival of the 2nd Division ( see above).

Austrians:

10 v.p's For controlling the northern most bridge at the end of the game.

20 v.p's For controlling the southern most bridge at the end of the game.

20 v.p's For control of Villafranca at the end of the game.

10 v.p's For control of two of the locations above.

20 v.p's For control of all three locations above.

5 v.p's Each for control of San Rocco and Olisioi at the end of the game.

10 v.p's For control of Custoza at the end of the game.

+/- v.p's For early or non use of the Austrian Reserve (see 'The Austrain Reserve' in 'Special rules' above).

Option 2: (Logic):

Italians:

10 v.p's For control of Sommacampagna at the end of the game.

1 v.p per turn per formation, if they are within 8"of Villafranca, for the following four formations. 3rd Corps Commander and the Corps cavalry (1 v.p if both are within 8"), 7th Division, 16th Division and Army Cavalry Reserve

- v.p's For the early arrival of the 2nd Division ( see above).

Austrians:

10 v.p's For controlling the northern most bridge at the end of the game.

20 v.p's For controlling the southern most bridge at the end of the game.

20 v.p's For control of Villafranca at the end of the game.

+10 v.p's For control of two of the locations above.

+20 v.p's For control of all three locations above.

2 v.p's per turn per formation, if within the stated distances of Sommacampagna. The Austrian Cavalry Reserve Division, if at or within 12" to the south of Sommacampagna (but note that if the Impetuous attack rules is in effect they still count this while they are doing it). 1st Brigade, XII Corps, if within 8" of Sommacampagna and not in the hills / difficult going.

+/- v.p's For early or non use of the Austrian Reserve (see 'The Austrain Reserve' in 'Special rules' above).

Both Sides:

20 v.p's For control of Custoza at the end of the game.

1 v.p at the end of any Italian phase, and per point controlled, that they control the points marked 'a', 'b' and 'c', Monte Cricol, Monte Croce and Santa Lucia. The Italian's may not receive the victory point for control of Monte Croce if Custoza is occupied by the Austrians.

Option 3: (Deception): 

Remember you must use the Austrian Off Table Reinforcement rule above.

Italians:

10 v.p's For control of Sommacampagna at the end of the game.

- v.p's For the early arrival of the 2nd Division ( see above).

Austrians:

10 v.p's For controlling the northern most bridge at the end of the game.

20 v.p's For controlling the southern most bridge at the end of the game.

20 v.p's For control of Villafranca at the end of the game.

+10 v.p's For control of two of the locations above.

+20 v.p's For control of all three locations above.

+/- v.p's For early or non use of the Austrian Reserve (see 'The Austrain Reserve' in 'Special rules' above).

Both Sides:

20 v.p's For control of Custoza at the end of the game.

1 v.p at the end of any Italian phase, and per point controlled, that they control the points marked 'a', 'b' and 'c', Monte Cricol, Monte Croce and Santa Lucia. The Italian's may not receive the victory point for control of Monte Croce if Custoza is occupied by the Austrians.

Victory Point Amendments:

If the first option is used

The Historical Battle:

In the event the battle soon dissolved into a number of disjointed actions as elements of the two armies 'bumped' into each other across the battlefield. In the east the action opened with an unplanned cavalry charge as first of all one unit of the Austrian Cavalry Reserve and then the other attempted to ride down the Italians massed around Villafranca. Predictably they achieved little, apart from emptying many of their saddles, although the Italains did form square in the face of this attack and most of the supporting services quit the field thinking the battle lost. It also convinced the Italians that this was where the main Austrian attack would come. So for most of the remainder of the battle these forces, 3rd Corps headquarters, 7th Division, 16th Division and the Army Cavalry Division, were spectators. As indeed where the nervously watching Austrian Cavalry Reserve and Kirschberg's brigade, which were detailed to watch Villafranca.

Meanwhile in the west Cerale's Division had clashed with the Austrian Reserve Division around Oliosi and Monte Cricol. Cerale's Division was leaderless and not fully deployed, in addition Austrian forces were around there eastern flank. So the fight for this area proved short as Cerale's Divison pulled back to the mountains further south and block the path to the vital bridges. Here in the mountains to the south of their original position they were joined by the 1st Corps Reserve on Monte Vento (the northern most of the triangle of 3 small mountains). While the victorious, but bloodied, Austrian Reserve Division blundered about in an attempted pursuit.

Along side them in the Santa Lucia / San Rocco area Sirtori's Division was fairing slightly better. It to had bumped into the Austrian army, in between Santa Lucia and San Rocco, this time though in the shape of elements of Rodich's V Corps. Yet it was able to conduct a reasonable ordered withdraw to the area of Santa Lucia, after initially suffering setbacks. Here they managed to stablise their lines and the Austrian advance faltered. On Monte Croce the Italians were similarly enjoying succes. Here elements of Hartung's IX Corps had advanced across the difficult terrain to attack the Italian grenadiers on the summit. They struggled up the daunting slope but the grenadiers stood firm and repulsed the uncoordinated Austrian assault. So much so that the tired Austrians retreated back where thay had come from to await reinforcements.

So far things had been going reasonably well for the Italians but the next few hours would prove desicive. First of all the La Marmora, the Italian commander, noticed that the vital town of Custoza was not occupied. Therefore he ordered up on to the hills Govone's and Cugia's Divisions. While this was happening the Austrian brigade of Scudier had in fact move through the gap in the Italian line and occupied Custoza. Yet on the approach of the Italian and lacking any support, Scudier pulled back. Having put up minimal resistance to the advancing Italians, Scudier withdrew and his brigade played little part in the rest of the battle. He was subsequently court martialled for cowardice after the battle.

Meanwhile to the west the first of the descisive blows was landing. Rodich, in charge of the Austrian V Corps, had meanwhile been marshalling his forces for an attack. Storming first Monte Vento and then Santa Lucia his assault columns, with some help from the Reserve Division, smashed their way through the Italian line and gained these vital heights. As if this wasn't bad enough at about the same time Maroicic, in command of the Austrian Reserve, got fed up of waiting for the order to advance. So acting on his own authority he launched his two fresh brigades into the mountains in the direction of Custoza. Simultaneously Hartung in the east resumed his attack up Monte Croce against the weary units of Brigone's Division. Having held on bravely, almost unsupported this proved to much for Italy's grenadiers. They were nearly surrounded by Austrians and decided that enough was enough! This left the remaining forces on the heights in a very dangerous situation. Both of their flanks were exposed and they too started to withdraw.

This precipitated a general retreat of the Italian army, as individual soldiers and units, seeing the writing on the wall, scrambled to get back across the Mincio while they still could. Sensing victory the battered, but now rested Austrian cavalry stated rounding up Italian prisoner. While their infantry colleagues did the same on the heights and the reverse of the slope. The last effect Italian resistance came from units of Italian grenadiers that were left stranded in Custoza. At about 17:00 hours they were attacked from both sides and the front. they fired one last defiant volley and then they too headed back towards the Mincio.

The battle all but ended the regular war in Italy in 1866, although Garibaldi was to continue operating in the mountains to the north. A detached Italian command, under Cialdini, was recalled to cover the shattered Italian army and Cialdini replaced La Marmora as commander. By the time the Italians had recovered enough to advance again events in Bohemia had change the situation. Archduke Albrecht and two of his Corps had gone north following the Austrian defeat at Koniggratz / Sadova. With an overwhelming superiority of numbers the Italians once again advanced, while the Austrians valiantly sought to delay them. Then news of the end of hostilities in the north came and the expected return not just of South Army but also the bulk of North Army as well. Knowing that nothing further could be achieved the Italians accepted the Austrian terms and the war in Italy was over.