Having played the new Last Eagles: Ligny 1815 I wanted to compare how the battle plays with Napoleon’s Last Gamble my first game from the The Library of Napoleonic Battles series. The game has been dwelling in my shelf for some time and now its about time to give it a go.
As for rules I am quite comfortable with the OSG Version 7.33 rules by Kevin Zucker. But I wanted to find out how the alternative Last Battles of Napoleon by Markus Stumptner work. So I use the structure of the original rules with the movement rates, the command rules, the combat, and the morale blended in.
As I mentioned I want to see the counters on this beautiful map of the Ligny battlefield. So there it is in its full splendor. The red cubes show the 7 Objective Flags each worth 10 VP at the end of each turn. Losses and the exits to the lines of communication of each army are taken into account via VP as well. Killed and captured leaders count too, and should Napoleon get himself killed, well this war wouldn’t be Napoleonic any longer no matter how the outcome of this battle might otherwise be.
Probabely every wargamers has a spell of time of being fascinated by the Napoleonic period. The colourful uniforms, the wide spanning strategy, the epic battles, the cultural and legal effects on Europe all make for a very intersting historical study. I am no exception of this. I have painted miniatures, taken part in several smaller and larger Napoleonic wargames. The more memorable ones were two occasions of large teams playing the battles of Katzbach and Quatre Bras. I recollect having attended to an one week Napoleonic Spanish team campaign in a lodge in England.
The Library of Napoleonic Battles Volume IV or Napoleon’s Last Gamble is mainly about Hundred Days Campaign of 1815. And indeed I am looking forward to playing the campaign some time in the near future. Also included is the battle of La Souffel that offers a manageable small campaign. I played this solo to get a first impression of the rules.
This battle was fought on the 28 June 1815 between the French V Corps under General Count Jean Rapp and the Austrian III Corps of the Upper Rhine Army under the command of the Crown Prince of Württemberg. This last French victory would off course not alter the final outcome of the war. Napoleon had alredy abdicted on 22 June 1815.
Lately we had a go via VASSAL at the 1st scenario, Rolica 1808 (French 1st position). I took the British side, my brother the opposing French. Here is the documentation on how the battle evolved.
Turn 1 and 2 we see the deployment of forces, some preparatory gun fire, and the first British advance towards Rolica. The French reposition their brigades to cover the town.
I recently came across a bordgame that I had heard from and was eager to play. This is Commands & Colors Napoleonics. So when I got the chance to play I gave it a try. My first game was the Friedland 1807 battle. We played the game with all special rules and the new command cards and tactical cards. I found C&C N to be a much enjoyable game.
Just recently I dusted off some CoSims that have accompanied me from my youth. One such treasure is the old 1980 vintage AVALON HILL GAME COMPANY second edition WAR AND PEACE napoleonic historical game. No doubt, the game got its name from Leo Tolstoy’s great novel “Voyna i mir” that spans about the same historical period from 1805 to 1815.
This one game I have played abundandly in my youth, mostly solitaire. You can imagine from the ware and tare of the box what strain this specific game copy has endured. And it surely has moved with my household at least seven times during its lifespan.
I must confess that I have almost forgotten the rules by now. Hm, I might give it a go again. And probably most rules are stored in some corner of my brain. So I will definitely give it a chance for revival soon.
The scenario I set up for the pictures is the 1814 scenario “Napoleon at Bay”. This one I have never attempted before. It might be a good primer for the upcoming 200 year anniversary of the 100 Days Campaign. So, you may well expect to read more of this.