Monday, December 3, 2012

Mini Monday: Napoleon's Battles--the Battle of Leipzig

Last Saturday I played Napoleon's Battles at Treefort Games. We ran through a small part of the Battle of Leipzig ("The Battle of Nations"), where Napoleon was trying to consolidate his Grand Armee before the allies could surround him. I played the French side, with small contingents of Italians and Wurtembergers. We were supposed to hold two bridges, to prevent the allied advance from surrounding Napoleon's main army and cutting it off. We failed.

Napoleons Battles isn't my game of choice, because there is a level of abstractness that takes some getting use to. For example, you don't get bonuses for flanking or attacking from behind in melee, except that the defending brigade doesn't get to shoot you as you move in. Also, every time you shoot, you're opponent gets to "save," which can make it frustrating to get desired results. Finally, you have to pay attention to command and control, which, in my opinion, can make or break the game.

Yet it is still a fun game because you can play massive armies on each side that look great on a tabletop battlefield.

Here's a picture of both armies lining up (French in the foreground). The bridges are to the left and right, out of frame. It was a tough fight. Overall my troops were better trained, but we were outnumbered and had to keep the enemy cavalry from flanking us.

Some much needed French reinforcement arrived later in the game. Here they are crossing the one of the bridges. My cavalry made the mistake of slowly fording the river. I should have just had the march in column to the bridge...but, enemy cavalry was coming.

French line infantry, getting ready to do battle with the enemy. 

My left flank. Italians dig into a small town (the bridge is just out of frame). The allies lined up a grand battery and started pummeling the town. With some lucky die rolling with my lone cannon, I managed to all but disable most of their guns. Unfortunately, after several rounds of pounding, the allies just rushed the town with overwhelming numbers, three brigades to my one. The nearby bridge then fell, ending the game.

I had good time. The gentleman who forced me out of the village really enjoyed himself. Apparently he'd been gone from the club for several months for various reasons. He was so happy that he got to play again. And, given that I've had my own dry spell in the recent past, I was glad to be part of that. 


  1. OMG, I bought Napoleon's Battles when it first came out. I stopped doing historical wargaming a while back, I figured NB had died out at some point. Well, it's cool people are still enjoying it.

  2. The rules still stand the test of time. It's just you have to have a different mindset when playing them as opposed to other systems.

    For example: Whaddya mean I don't get a bonus for attacking the flank or rear? Turns are a half-hour in game time. An entire brigade couldn't walk up unnoticed in that time and say "surprise!"

    This is the second group of wargamers I've play Nap's Battles with. So it's still out there.


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