Typo correction: The French withdrew to Piedmont, not Pidemont!
The French occupy Venice. The Italians would like it back. The Army of Tuscany is sent north to attack.
Setting the battlefield
The wargame battlefield is selected in the following way. A map is chosen at random from my collection of Ordnance Survey maps of Britain. The Venice area being generally flat, the maps were limited to the area of East Anglia (“Very flat, Norfolk” – Noel Coward). The selected map is Landranger 144: Thetford and Diss. The map covers an area of 40 x 40 kilometres (about 25 x 25 miles) at a scale of 1:50,000 and is marked in 1Km squares (1Km = approximately 1100 yards)
The Italians are attacking from the south. The French choose from the map a single grid row east-west to establish their defence. Row 80 is selected because the Little Ouse and Waveny rivers run along this row and the neighbouring rows. This will give the best opportunity for a defensive position.
The attacking Italians now select a north-south row for their attack, intersecting row 80. They choose row 04, because there is a north-south road at here and at the point of intersection (square 0480) the river will be behind them, depriving the French of the defensive advantage.
Finally the French roll a die marked 0,0,1,1,1,2 to see if they are able to move the defence up to 2 Km forwards of backwards, and they roll a 0.
Now the features of the map are copied to a battlefield map. Roads, streams, contours, woods and copses and buildings are transcribed, and because I will be using hexagon based terrain the features are adjusted to conform to the grid.
And so the battlefield around the Fattoria del Noce (Walnut Tree Farm) is prepared.