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CUSTOZA: FIELDS OF DOOM
TWO major battles of the Italian Risorgimento
This game recreates two of the most essential battles (and defeats) of the wars of the Italian Risorgimento, the two battles of Custoza, respectively in the First (1848) and Third (1866) Wars of Italian Independence. The game system, which is focused on fog of war and maneuver, tries to recreate these peculiar battles in a most innovative way.
MINT IN SHRINKWRAP!~~RULES IN ENGLISH AND ITALIAN
(after conversion from Euros, plus a jillion dollars in shipping
(please recall that BHWG paid a fortune to ship these in, so our margin of victory is very slim)
From the company description:
Custoza is a small town at the edge of low hills between Verona and the Mincio river, an area that always saw the passage, and the fighting, of armies struggling for the domain of Veneto. And the same hills were the theater of two fierce battles between the rising Italian Kingdom and the Austro Hungarian Empire.
To In July 1848, the battle between the Piedmomtese Army under King Carlo Alberto and the Austro-Hungarian Army under Field Marshall Radetzky signed the turning point of the First Independence War, and the defeat of the Piedmontese dream of an Italian Crusade against Austro-Hungary.
In 1866, on 24th of June (the recurrence of Solferino), a far bigger, but inconclusive, battle was fought between the new Italian Kingdom Army under Vittorio Emanuele II, son of Carlo Alberto, and the Austro Hungarian Army of South led by Archduke Albrecht. The battle started as a meeting engagement, ending in a massive fighting. It was a crushing defeat of the Italian colours, but the Third Independence War gave Veneto to the Kingdom of Italy, because of its alliance with Prussia, who was winning the Austro-Prussian war of 1866.
“Custoza, fields of doom” is the name of the first game of a series, using the same rules system, named “Risorgimento”. The Operational Game System “Risorgimento” simulates the battles and campaigns of the Wars of the Italian Independence (1848 – 1866) at regimental and battalion level. The system does not deal with the tactical formations of the period, instead it highlights the command systems and capacities, the fog of war, and the consequent operational and strategic decisions, keeping the game complexity at a moderate level.
A new design
The new design of the game offered us the chance to adopt different and better approaches. The ideas behind the design remained the same, but the way we implemented them is totally changed.
These are the main changes:
- completely revised "fog of war" rules. Now units not adjacent to enemy units stay face down, showing only their size and type (Infantry, Cavalry, Artillery) and Formation Id. Furthermore, formations are not deployed on the map until close to the enemy, that greatly simplifies maneuvering
- units can now react to enemy actions in a number of ways, according to their type and status. This increases a lot interaction between players
- activation of one formation is resolved in a number of actions whose order is decided by the player. A mini-battle plan must be devised at any activation, which is both amusing and "realistic"
- portable firearms were not so deadly in these two battles, unless fire was from the short distance. Players will learn how to exploit game mechanics to gain maximum fire effects.
Game complexity is a bit higher now, though the game works better overall.
* the game comprises both battles of Custoza, 1848 and 1866
* grand tactical operations with focus on maneuver and fog of war
* detailed orders of battles, based on most recent research
* two 22" x 34" fine-art maps
* NATO symbol counters representing all the real troops which took part to the battles
* low counters density and limited play time
- Two 22"x34" maps of the battlefields
- Three sheets of LARGE 5/8" die-cut counters
- Standard and Advanced rules, which introduce two major campaign scenarios. many minor "battle" scenarios
- Charts, tables
Designer: Andrea Brusati