Wednesday, August 13, 2003

William describes last weekend's replay of the Napoleonic Wars:

On Saturday we joined John and his cat sitting inside his cool house eating choc ices and had a game of Napoleonic Wars. We started with a quick game of Falling but as William didn't understand the rules himself it didn't really work when he tried to explain them (badly) to us. We then wrote a preference list for countries and Peter lost to get France, John won to get Britain unopposed, Steve won Russia, leaving William with Austria and Robin with Prussia. The game started well for France with Napoleon surviving an early assassination and retaliating by erasing the Tyrolean army of Austria and forcing their Venetian army to make a quick dash for the hills. The British then sunk the French and Spanish fleets in quick succession while the Russians sat in the east admiring the size of their own army but not wishing to involve it in the little local conflict in the west. The following year the Prussians revealed that while nobody had been looking they had raised a few armies themselves and quite frankly didn't much like the look of Napoleon. While the conquered Austrians buttered up the Ali Pasha the British were repelled from the Vendee and the Russians were persuaded to come west and get their hands dirty. From there on in it was all downhill for poor Napoleon, Wellington landed in Calais and took Paris, and although a Swedish led Grand Armee was repelled from Brussels and another Austrian army vanished without trace while trying to retake Venice the Prussians and Russians had too many brave boys willing to die (and this they did in large numbers). The Ali Pasha raised his own Grand Armee in Bulgaria, half a board away from any conflict but it was enough to inspire the recapture of Venice which allowed his own army to slip through and sack Rome. Napoleon recaptured Paris but the game was over, chunks of Germany were in the hands of the Austrians and the low countries were now ruled from Berlin.

The game started off slowly and after the first round few of us were really having fun but as the fighting kicked off and we all had things to do, plus a better grasp of how the game worked it grew on us. There were some lucky dice rolls by all involved (John: 18 dice for attrition and no sixes!, Peter: 6,6,5,5 on 4 dice in the final Napoleon vs. Wellington showdown) and some well played cards (e.g. the Spanish and Ottoman allies both removed at key moments by having Royal Weddings played on them). In the end Prussia and Austria drew for first place. A big thankyou goes out from all involved to Peter for running this game and to John for hosting it.

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