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The Napoleonic Wars
A Battle Report
by Lawrence Ho
GMT's The Napoleonic Wars is an excellent multiplayer board wargame.  You can learn to play this game just by reading 5 pages of A4 rules summary.  Seven players came to my wargames room on Sunday 8 September 2013 and played through two years' of the game.  All the participants enjoyed playing it and we are planning to play it again later.

The Cast: Lai Lap Wan and Henry Yan as the French, Ken Chan and Lawrence Ho as the British, Christopher Chu as the Prussians, Simon Lai as the Austrians, Chan Kai Biu as Russians, Thunder Wong as Tong Bin Hok.

Each Turn = 2 years.  We played two turns, i.e. from 1805-1809.

Under the leadership of Ken, the British became the master of six seas! Nearly all French fleets were destroyed by the Naval actions. The Spanish fleet took refuge in a French port.

The game started in 1805.

The French took the first move with Davout and Massena attacking Archduke Charles of Austria from Italy. However, they failed to catch Charles, who retired towards Vienna.

Spain attacked the British garrisons in Portugal and Gibraltar. They took Lisbon but failed to breach the fortress of Gibraltar. The French army in Italy attacked the British garrison in Naples and controlled the Key city there.

All British land forces outside the England were destroyed!

The British responded by destroying nearly all the French fleets in port.  Meanwhile, Ken ordered Moore to mobilise the British Expeditionary force to be readied to set sail to invade Europe.

The French Emperor and his advisor persuaded the Kingdom of Denmark to join the Imperial side.  In response, as a result of the British Diplomatic efforts, Sweden joined the Coalition camp.

With the help of Sweden, the British ruled the Baltic Sea.  The Swedish capital also fully funded the building of a new British Fleet and the refitting of all British Fleets.  Sweden contributted a lot to the British War Effort with the help of the card Baltic Naval Stores.

The British had sunk nearly all the French navies and forced the Spanish navy either to take refuge at port or in the Eastern Meditteranean Sea.

Russia played the card Europe Exhausted !!

Due to treachery, John and his Austrian army could not evade Massena.

Several battles were fought between the Russian/Austrian armies against Napoleon and Davout in Austria.  Charles fought Davout to a stand-off.  Meanwhile, Kutuzov (with the combined Russian and Austrian armies) attacked Napoleon and defeated him! Napoleon was routed.

Russia mobilised reinforcements under the command of Bagration.

The French failed to conquer Austria and the news that Napoleon was routed reached Prussia.  Prussia entered war by joining the Coalition camp.

Moore landed in Spain!  The British Navy sank all of the evacuating Spanish fleet.

Blucher mustered an army of 6SP and there was another 4SP Prussian garrison in Thurin.

Napoleon mustered a new army to fight against the Prussian army under Blucher.  He set a trap for Blucher by purposely dividing his force into two to lure the Prussians to stand their ground!  Blucher attacked the French in Hesse but Napolen responded with the card March to the Guns.  Blucher was in trouble because he had to fight against nearly all the French forces in the Rhine sector.  Despite that, Blucher won the Battle of Hesse marginally with the help of the play of a 6CP Response card by the British which reduced the Prussian disruption by one.

Tsar K B responded by sending Kutuzov to help the Prussians.

Spain withdrew from the Imperial Camp and became Neutral.

Napoleon and Soult vs Kutuzov and Blucher.  All silent on the German front as both sides were exhausted.

The Austrians counterattacked the French in Austria and the Dice God favoured the Austrian by rolling 6 sixes out of 9 dice rolls in the second round of the battle (the first round was a draw)!  A lot of Frenchmen were killed as a result!  Davout was routed!  The total French casualties were 7 x dr of six.  Although the French played the hero card followed by rolling doubles, which should have saved them from routing. However, the 7 kills inflicted completely eliminated the entire French Army.

The French were chased by the Coalition forces on all fronts!

Prussian became the Power with the most unplayed cards and therefore received the Preemption Option.  Prussia implemented the Burnt Earth policy!

Instead of attacking the French directly, the British had subsidised the War Efforts of Austria, Russia and Prussia by giving cards to them, playing response cards for them or forfeiting card draws for Peace Dice Rolls.  This was considered as more efficient use of resources than sending Wellington and the thin red line into Europe.

The situation at the end of Turn 2 (or the end of the game).

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