I’ve been wanting to cover this series of games for some time now, but other projects had put it on the backburner for a bit. But now that I find myself adrift in a temporary doldrum (buying a new house and a 14-week-old puppy will sap a lot out of you) and can’t muster the time to get some new ACW systems to the table, I’ve fallen back on this gem.
Essentially a spruced up and boxed version of the Victory Point games, the Napoleonic Series 20 titles are digestible, low complexity games that very much fit the rules mold of the classic Napoleon at Waterloo with rigid zones of control, mandatory attacks, and the like. But what I love about this series is the additional chrome and its handling of combat, using a differential system as opposed to an odds-based CRT. It prides itself on simulating large scale battles with roughly 20 counters or less. By and large, these designs succeed.
Instead of marching towards a set of victory points, your main priority is reducing the enemy’s morale to zero which will cause the opposing army to quit the field. Armies lose morale by having units broken, losing objective hexes and have lines of communications blocked.
Additional nuances include hazardous retreats, uncontrolled advances by cavalry, and a set of cards that provide more friction and unpredictability by enhancing or hindering gameplay as written in the rules.
And as always, GMT has produced some slick maps and components.
All and all it’s a neat little system that really needs more attention, at least from this gamer. Expect some playthroughs and after-action reports over the coming days and weeks.