By Paul Comben

 Designer: Emanuele Santandrea

 Publisher: VentoNuovo Games

 

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(N.B. Blocks are shown exposed in photos for illustrative purposes)

Yes, the title quote is from the film Waterloo, and the game is about Borodino, but the quote, nevertheless, is entirely apposite and appropriately Napoleonic.  Bloody Monday is a game very much about timing – timing and unit movement/placement; timing and the ordering of attacks; timing and the waiting game; timing and the implied sense of having not too much time to do anything.

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

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

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Trafalgar has a range of advanced and optional rules designed to add a higher level of detail to the process of an engagement in the Age of Sail.  Not quite all of these are relevant to restaging the famous battle of October 21st 1805.  In that context, to give the obvious example, the rules for shore batteries belong to other designer scenarios, or to what players may create for themselves.

What I want to do here, rather than progressing through the pages of the game’s rulebook saying “you can now add this or should be using that,” I will look at additional procedures where there is a significant change to proceedings compared to the relatively simple “move and fight” nature of the basic rules.

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?

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Paul Comben takes a look at the inaugural design of a new company, Trafalgars Editions. and their simulation of the Battle of Waterloo which combines elements of miniatures with traditional historical board war game mechanics.

by Paul Comben

Designer: Jose Antonio Luengo

Publisher: Trafalgar Editions

By Paul Comben

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In the last weeks of 1812 Napoleon had witnessed the wholesale destruction of the army he had led to the gates of Moscow.  Too long a stay in that abandoned and razed city; too readily beguiled and deceived by the illusion that the Tsar might yet come to terms; too much indecision; too little supply; an abundance of Cossack raiders and the winter’s relentless cold, all had played their part in reducing La Grande Armée to nothing but the last straggling fragments of total ruin.  Not too long after the desperate crossing of the Berezina, the emperor informed his marshals that he was leaving the army and hastening on to Paris.  Murat was left in overall command, and whilst he falteringly went about the discharge of a duty far removed from all his customary notions of martial splendour, Napoleon raced across Europe in a small and anonymous group of vehicles, and was in the French capital a little under three weeks later.

By Paul Comben

Publisher Vento Nuovo Games

Designer Emanuele Santandrea

(Some images courtesy of BoardgameGeek.com)

 

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Inevitably, some games on some subjects have us searching around our catalogue of game play experience looking for the most apposite terms of reference. However, from time to time you get a game that really does not put us in mind of anything else. My recent review of W1815 for The Boardgaming Life highlighted such a game; and now, I come to a second Waterloo game which is unique and entirely of itself.

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Superficially, this Vento Nuovo title might prompt considerations of similarity with several Columbia designs – especially their Borodino – but beyond a certain resemblance in physical format, Waterloo 200 has very little in common with Columbia’s work. What we have here is an entry-level block game, which, surprise surprise, emphasizes fog of war, but adds to that impulse movement on an area based map, as well as the wearing friction of command, maneuver and combat, the various crises pertaining to battlefield commitment, and all this alongside a dice-less combat system, which, at least initially, will leave many a player scratching their head and wondering what to do. My advice to such players: leave your personal Waterloo baggage elsewhere and give this game time to work its charms on you, because this is really rather special.

 

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 By Paul Comben

Designer Hannu Uusitalo

Publisher U&P Games at http://upgames.fi/home/

(some images courtesy of BoardGameGeek at http://www.boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/175360/w1815)

I cannot help but think that this game should be creating a bit more buzz than it actually is. There are certainly some enthusiastic posts on BGG, to go along with a few photos, but given the quality and innovation of the design, and that the favourable comments include one lengthy offering from Professor Philip Sabin (whose work, of course, involves both the design and study of conflict simulations), I think it time the hobby really sat up and took a look at what is going on here.

W1815 is by a Finnish company making its introduction via one of the cleverest, most interestingly different, and utterly engaging works I have set my eyes on in a very long time. Covering the well-trodden ground of Waterloo, you can learn this game in minutes, set it up in seconds, play it in a few more minutes…and then really want to set it up and play it all again. A dream of a game for conventions, for clubs, for holiday outings, for anywhere, I will say here and now that this is a game well worth seeking out and playing to your heart’s content – and yes, it is entirely and enjoyably accessible to solitaire play.

So what makes it so different?

 

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by Harvey Mossman

Approximately one year ago I umpired a game of Flight of the Eagle over the Internet.  It was a very interesting experience, both for me as the umpire and for the players who had to deal with true fog of war and 19th-century limitations on communications.  You can peruse my game review and a follow-up article which is a narrative of the campaign.  But I will dedicate this article to the lessons learned being an umpire for Flight of the Eagle.

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Designer: Richard J. Kane Sr. and J. Michael Ruttle

Publisher: Clash of Arms Games

by Harvey Mossman

I doubt there is a respectable wargamer who hasn’t thought what it would be like to wear the uniform and march proudly in the ranks of the Grande Armee, following your esteemed general, Napoleon Bonaparte into glorious battle?  Well now Legion of Honor,  the eagerly awaited game from Clash of Arms, allows you to don your shako and live the life of a Napoleonic Grognard.    Where else can you re-create “the life and times of a soldier in the Army of France under the Republican Empire of Napoleon with each player assuming the role of a young Grognard of boundless ambition but meager means.”  The game tries to capture an era when war still had an extraordinary yet brutal pageantry, where the individual soldier still believed in Glory, Honor and the chance to gain Notice from their beloved general.