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  Piacenza 1746 by Europa Simulazioni  The War of the Austrian Succession engulfed Europe in 1740. The war was caused by many of the same ci...

Piacenza 1746 by Europa Simulazioni Piacenza 1746 by Europa Simulazioni

Piacenza 1746 by Europa Simulazioni

Piacenza 1746 by Europa Simulazioni

 Piacenza 1746


Europa Simulazioni

 The War of the Austrian Succession engulfed Europe in 1740. The war was caused by many of the same circumstances as the War of the Spanish Succession. Before each of these wars all the European Powers were given a treaty to sign to stop any conflict that might arise from the succession in each country. The War of the Austrian Succession was preceded by the 'Pragmatic Sanction'. This was a law to allow a woman (shudder, gasp etc.) to inherit the Hapsburg lands. Every European power agreed with their fingers crossed behind their back, or with a stone in their hand (extra credit if you understood that last part). The minute Maria Theresa assumed power in the Hapsburg lands, the war drums in Europe started beating. Like buzzards around a dead body, the different Kings of Europe wanted their piece of the Hapsburg pie. The war pitted France, Prussia, Spain, and Bavaria on one side, while Great Britain, The Dutch Republic, and The Hapsburg Monarchy were allied on the other. There were numerous other small allies on both sides. Most people associate the war with the rise of Prussia and the start of the legend of Frederick the Great. The war was actually fought in many places in Europe. The Battle of Piacenza was part of the Spanish and French attempt to take some of the Hapsburg lands in Italy. 


Player Aid Cards

 This is what comes with the game:

One Map (roughly 23" x 25")

One Sheet of Counters

Rules Booklet

Complete OOB (Order of Battle) and Uniforms Booklet

Three Player's Aid Sheets

Two Die

Map and Rule Booklet

 I have a good number of games from Europa Simulazioni and I am always impressed by the components and work that goes into their games. The map looks a bit like a cross between a period piece and a new Euro one. The actual paper, or possibly a coating, feels much more resistant to normal wear and tear than normal maps. I believe it will hold up to many years of playing. The map is also easy to read, and the terrain is easily discernable. There are three hard stock Player Aid cards. They are double-sided and are in full color. Three of the pages are in Italian and three are in English. The first has the Terrain Effects Chart and the Turn Record Track on it. The second has all of the Combat Charts etc. on it. The third contains the map and has all of the setup hexes for the different units. The Rule Booklet is twenty-four pages long and is in full color. The actual rules take up just over eighteen pages. This is followed by a Historical Context essay which is about the whole war, but mostly about the Italian theater of operations. Then follows the scenarios and some Examples of Play. The OOB and Uniform Booklet adds a lot to the immersion of the game. It also acts as a manifest to check for missing counters if something untoward happens. I left the Counters for last. They are exceptionally well done. I know I have used the phrase before, but these are really little pieces of artwork. The Strength Points are easy to read, and they are color coded for which formation they belong to. Great Work Europa Simulazioni!

Full Battle Setup. The Wooden Pieces do not come with the Game.

 This is an abbreviated Sequence of Play:

"A) Wing Selection Phase

Each player must choose a Wing Commander. Whoever

wins the die roll (see below), may decide to go with his

Wing Commander OR let the other go. These two Wing

Commanders must activate, one in step A.1 and the other

one in step A.2. Exception: in the first game turn, the

Spanish left wing begins, followed by the Austrian right wing.

A.1) Activation of the first Wing. Activate one of the

two Wing Commanders (see Wing Activation, 3.1 or


A.2) Activation of the second Wing. Same as point

A.1 above.

A.3) Repeat from A1 with other two Wing Commanders

until all WC have been activated.

B) Reorganization and End of Turn 

B.1) Reorganization. Both players may try to restore

units to Good Order. See Reorganization, Par.11.4

B.2) Markers removal. All “Smoke” and

“Changing” markers are removed. Feu de Billebaude

markers are not removed.

B.3) Turn. Advance the current game turn and start a

new game turn.

C) Proclamation of the Victor. If the Austrian

Player does not obtain an Automatic Victory (see 13.2)

before the end of the last game turn, check whether one

of the two players has reached his Victory Conditions. In

this case, he is proclaimed the Winner.

Wing Activation

 a) Removal of Feu de Billebaude markers

Units of the activated Wing Formations may try to

remove the Feu de Billebaude markers (see 9.1.2).

b) Movement

Move all, some or none of the units of the activated Wing

Formations. For details see par.5.

 c) Bombardment

Bombardment by artillery units, as described in par.8., is


d) Combat

Fire, Melee or Charge combats as described in par.9. are

conducted by one Formation at a time for the activated

Wing, in the order chosen by the owning player."

Play Close up

 This is a pretty amazing game for its size and length of rules. It manages to catch the feel of 18th century warfare as has been described to us in books. It has many rules that you do not see in other games of the same era. These are a few:

Wing Movement and Activation

Commanders in Chief

Capture of Commanders

Line Formation

Cavalry Refusal to stay next to an infantry unit


Presence of Smoke

Cannon Failure

Infantry Changing of Ranks 

First Volley

Second Volley

Feu de Billebaude - It means 'Firing at Will', which in 18th century warfare is not a good thing. The unit would be firing haphazardly in any direction.

 These really add to the immersion of the players. 

 The game comes with four scenarios of varying length:

Full Game - 12 Turns

Scenario One - 5 Turns

Scenario Two - 5 Turns

Scenario Three - 3 Turns

 The smaller scenarios take place on smaller portions of the map. 

 The game has a little twist to the victory conditions. The Franco-Spanish player has to choose four geographical locations out of a possible eight. The Austrian Player is not told which of the four he picked. So, he has to assume that everyone might be needed for victory. If the Franco-Spanish Player only holds onto one, it is an Austrian victory. If he manages to hold onto two, then it is a draw. Three or more of his chosen geographical locations means he has won.

Another Closeup

 I am very impressed with this game, really a simulation, of a battlefield from over 150 years ago. You can really see the change of warfare from the charge of the pike to Napoleonic warfare. The battlefield is now ruled by firearms and cannons, but not that much has changed since the Campaigns of Marlborough, etc. Playing this game is like gingerly strolling through a minefield. Will your commanders activate? What happens if some of your cannons are no longer usable? What happens to your well-made detailed plan after the smoke of an 18th century battle obscures everything? The Friction of War is here in droves. I absolutely love historical simulation type games. Oh sure, a pundit or two will argue about the finer points. Let them; I will be busy having a great time playing the game, not discussing it.

 Thank you very much Europa Simulazioni for letting me review this very good looking and playing game.


Europa Simulazioni:

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Piacenza 1746:

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