by Paul Comben

Designer:  Denis Sauvage

Publisher: Golden Games, Shakos

 

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Napoleon’s 1806 campaign in Prussia was one of those occasional examples in military history where two culturally similar nations, armed with much the same sort of weaponry, and this in the hands of more of less similar numbers of men, managed to produce entirely different results. To be blunt, from beginning to end, this campaign really wasn’t close. One tempting comparison (involving much the same combatants, broadly speaking) was the German offensive against France in the spring of 1940. One side (no two guesses which) had the modern method to match the modern weapons, and a daring plan to match the method and the weapons. The other side (narrowed down to a choice of precisely one) thought they were still fighting their last war, and thus had no relevant method, no daring plan, and not that many commanders who would have looked out of place posing for one of Mister Fenton’s photographic portraits in the Crimea.

It was largely the same story in 1806 – just with the roles reversed. Napoleon was the modern military thinker with an army nearing peak performance. By contrast, Prussian leadership was obsessed with the doctrines of Frederick the Great (in 1806, the best part of half-a-century past their best) and the higher tiers of its automaton army were thoroughly overpopulated with aged fossils with no inclination to think or fight other than how it had all been done decades earlier.

A Review of Trafalgar Editions’ Game of Nelson’s Epic Battle

by Paul Comben,  Designer:Crisanto Lorente Gonzalez,  Publisher: Trafalgar Editions

Part One: Components and the Basic Game

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There is always a certain challenge facing designers looking to create games relating to the things men make to fight in – be it ships, be it tanks, be it aircraft, the challenge remains the same: just how much detail should be included?

LESSONS ON OPERATIONAL PLANNING IN A 1950’S SIEGE

By Stuart McAninch

Designer: Kim Kanger

Publisher: Legion Wargames

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On first examination of the map and rules for Kim Kanger’s game, I was struck with how difficult the task of the Viet Minh player is.   While he has a potent force, he must bludgeon his way through one French strongpoint after another.   And he must do this on a tight time schedule with limited replacements and artillery ammunition and little hope of reinforcements.  A look at French counters indicates strong infantry and artillery.  At this point, I concluded that this is my kind of game.  The game system forces the Viet Minh player in particular to engage in exceedingly thorough operational planning.   What follows is an analysis of the game system and what that analysis suggests regarding a Viet Minh operational plan and tactics for the siege.