The spring offensive against Italy, May-June 1916
Strafexpedition 1916

A brand-new impulse system, which allows a remarkable level of interaction between the two players. Manoeuvring is by brigade, at times depending by the initiative of the single commanders. Basic unit is the battalion.

The Story

At 6 o’clock in the morning of May 15th 1916, from Rovereto, in the Adige Valley, to the Folgaria Plateau, the artillery of three Austro-Hungarian corps stormed the Italian soldiers of the first line, repaired in the weak trench lines, or sacrificed in the outposts. Few hours later the first waves of grey dressed infantry were advancing, and after two days of fierce struggles, they got the breakthrough.

After an year of war and five useless offensives against the Isonzo line, the Italians were hardly proved by the Austro-Hungarian offensive.
Prepared by general Franz Conrad von Hötzendorf since a long time, the offensive was launched by 16 divisions, including the elite of the Imperial Army, and almost 1000 guns over the Trentino plateaus, between Adige and Brenta rivers.
After the easy early successes, the fast arrival of large Italian reinforcements slew down the offensive to a stop, and after the last useless assaults to the most advanced strongpoints near the Vicenza plain, it was definitively stopped, to divert forces against the Russian offensive under general Brusilov in Galizia.
The fights were over inaccessible terrains, sometimes in very hard weather conditions, over the top of mountains with sadly famous names like Pasubio, Cimone d’Arsiero, Cengio, Novegno, and the mountains around the Asiago Plateau.
Often ignored by history, this offensive and its failure decided the end of the military and political autonomy of the Austria-Hungary in front of its more powerful German ally.

Highlights

To keep units and brigades in reserve, and the way you use them in battle, can make the difference between victory and defeat.
Great importance is given to the morale of troops, and to its wearing, which affects the units’efficiency in combat, and can bring them even to surrender.
The logistic effort is simply simulated using Logistic Points, that are the real “fuel” of any activity: attacks, artillery bombardment, trench building.
Bayonet assaults, machine guns fire, trenches and forts, terrible artillery bombardments, fast counterattacks, snow on high mountains, fighting over 2000 meters heights, crags bordering the valleys (and limiting the manoeuvre), Austro-Hungarian big guns (like Gudrun and Barbara, and Lang Georg, or 42 and 30,5 cm mortars), Kaiserjäger and Alpini, Landesschützen and Bersaglieri…

Components:

  • Two 22"x34" maps of the battlefield
  • 840 die-cut counters
  • Standard rules and Scenario Instructions (four small and one large campaign scenario)
  • Charts, tables
  • Dice
  • Ziplock, with cover-folder
  • Valsugana map included!

Designer: Andrea Brusati