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Vive l'Empereur series by Didier Rouy
Nicola Ciabatti
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"Vive l’Empereur!" is a series of simulation games using a standard rules system whose aim is to refight at the regimental scale the numerous battles fought during the Napoleonic Era in Europe, between 1805 and 1815.

Game System "Vive L'Empereur" developed by Didier Rouy:

- scale = 250 m/hex;
- time = 30 min/turn;
- strength = 900-3000 men/counter (Reg/2xBatt).

Games have been published first by Socomer, then by Azure Wish and now by Pratzen.

Rules available at: http://didier-rouy.webs.com/
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1. Board Game: Auerstaedt 1806 [Average Rating:6.64 Unranked]
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First game in the series, together with Hanau 1813, published by Socomer Editions in 1989.

Simulates Davout's holding at bay of Prussian forces north of the larger, decisive battle of Jena. Uses an early version of the Vive l'Empereur! tactical system, utilizing oblong counters to show formation changes between line and column, and roster sheets to record losses. Of medium complexity with 12 pages of system rules in French and four pages of scenario rules. Fought at regimental level at a scale of 250m per hex on a hard-mounted map (55x41cm).
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2. Board Game: Hanau 1813 [Average Rating:7.06 Unranked]
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The only other game released by Socomer Editions, published in 1989.

Simulates the abortive attempt on 30 October 1813 by the Austro-Bavarians under Wrede to prevent Napoleon's escape from Germany after the defeat at Leipzig, by blocking him near Frankfurt in Hessen. Uses an early, lower-complexity version of Didier Rouy's Vive l'Empereur! tactical system, which employs roster sheets and oblong counters to simulate formation changes between line and column. The battle is fought at regimental level on an attractive mounted mapboard (55x41cm) at a scale of 250m per hex, and in 30-minute game turns. Losses are recorded on roster sheets, and the rules, in French, are of medium complexity (12 pages of system rules and an 8-page scenario booklet).
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3. Board Game: La Bataille d'Eckmühl [Average Rating:6.78 Unranked]
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One of the three games in the series published by Azure Wish Enterprise. It's been released in 1993 toghther with La Bataille de Friedland.

It is nearly noon, 22nd April 1809, and still no news from the Emperor. You, Marshal Davout, best French leader and victor of Auerstedt, carefully listens to the thunder of artillery which, from the South, shall indicate that the battle has begun. For the moment, you must hold with two divisions.. but others are joining, with your German allies from Bavaria and Würtemberg. In front of you, two Austrian corps stay idle, seemingly hesitating between staying there or retreating towards Ratisbon. What has your opponent, Archduke Charles, have in mind?

The game contains 332 counter, 1 Map, 2 Rules booklets.
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4. Board Game: La Bataille de Friedland [Average Rating:6.10 Unranked]
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Published by Azure Wish Enterprise in 1993.

One large-hex map in pastel (84x59 cm) and 498 counters (mainly oblong regimental units, with step-loss breakdowns, and circular pictograph leader units). The oblong counters simulate both line and column formation. Uses Vive l'Empereur system (36-page rulebook) and a 32-page scenario booklet including roster sheets and leaders' hidden orders sheets. Complexity is medium to high. Rules available in English as well as French.
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5. Board Game: Austerlitz [Average Rating:6.08 Unranked]
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Published by Azure Wish Enterprise in 2003.

Two large-hex mapsheets (each 68x48cm) and 498 counters (mainly oblong regimental units, with step-losses and line and column represented on each face, but also circular pictogram leader units). Using 3rd edition rules (28-page rules booklet) and 8-page scenario booklet. Rules in French. Medium to high complexity with roster sheets for losses and attention to formation.
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6. Board Game: La Bataille de Leipzig [Average Rating:7.50 Unranked]
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The first game in the series published by Pratzen in 2010. Hopefully, the first in a series.

From the publisher's web site:

The biggest Napoleonic game ever, for the largest Napoleonic battle

The battle of Leipzig was the largest battle of the Napoleonic wars and the largest battle in Europe until the First World War easily ranking as one of the largest battles in History.
Leipzig is a huge battle, as the battlefield is more than 15 km wide, and a very long battle, as the events spread over 6 days between October 14th and October 19th, 1813. The French eventually gather around 190,000 men, against 350,000. It is a succession of ferocious and quite independent battles. The Allied plan, although inelegant, proved to be successful as the odds allowed them to attack everywhere and keep the advantage. Even though using the interior lines, Napoleon was rarely in a position to take a serious strategic advantage while winning almost every of these battles because a 1:2 odd can not lead to a decisive victory against determined enemies.

However, you are now in charge of the army, and things can turn very different...


Components:
- ten 22"*34" maps (scale 250 m/hex)
- 980 counters including 700 units and 50 leaders
- 2 rules booklets: the standard Rules Version 3 and the special rules
- 6 pages of army losses and tables
- 16 scenarions including a 6-day campaign game
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7. Board Game: Le Retour de l'Empereur [Average Rating:7.94 Overall Rank:6184]
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The second game in the series published by Pratzen Editions.

Le Retour de l'Empereur is a game on four battles of 1815: Quatre Bras, Ligny, Waterloo and Wavre, using the Vive l'Empereur game system.

It simulates battles of the campaign of 1815 in Belgium that belongs to the legend. After he returns from Elba, Napoléon reconstructed an army and landed a preventive strike on the two closest armies, the Prussian army under the old and faithful Blücher, and the Anglo-Allied army under the Duke of Wellington. At first spread over a vast area, these two armies eventually assembled and fought four legendary battles at Quatre Bras and Ligny on the 16th of June, and then two days later at Wavre and of course Waterloo, called Mont St Jean by the French, and La Belle Alliance by the Prussians. This campaign is an impressive collection of missed opportunities on both sides. Now it is your turn to do at least as well, or better...

Components:

- six 22" x 34" maps (scale 250m/hex)
- 600 counters, including 300 combat units
- 2 rules booklets: the Standard Rules Version 3 and the special rules
- 10 charts and tables, including army losses
- more than 30 scenarios and what-ifs, including a 3-day campaing game
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8. Board Game: Quatre Batailles en Espagne [Average Rating:7.78 Unranked]
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Next installment in the series, this time published by Legion Wargames LLC. It covers fout battles of the Peninsular War:

- Vitoria, fought on June 21, 1813, was one of the most decisive battles of the Peninsular War. It was the last major battle between the allied British, Portuguese and Spanish forces and the French armies, and opened the way for the invasion of France. It opposed 60,000 French soldiers commanded by King Joseph to 80,000 allies superbly trained and equipped attacking on three sides. Looking like a one-sided battle, things are far from obvious for the Allies and many what-ifs make the situation very interesting.

- Ocaña, fought on 19 November 1809 was a major Spanish defeat that ended any chance of success in the Spanish Junta’s autumn campaign of 1809. The largest Spanish army under general Areizaga, more than 55,000 men, moved toward Madrid but allowed Marshal Soult and King Joseph to concentrate around 30,000 men. A brutal clash occurred at Ocaña, and a French cavalry movement on the flank rolled the Spanish line.

- Salamanca, fought on 22 July 1812, was a turning point in 1812. The battle saw the Anglo-Portuguese army under the Duke of Wellington defeat Marshal Marmont's French forces among the hills around Arapiles, south of Salamanca. Both armies, 50,000 men each, have been marching and countermarching for days trying to outflank each other. Wellington eventually caught the French in an over-extended position and struck at the center. A very well balanced battle, where a better concentration gave the advantage to Wellington.

- Sorauren is the last battle of the counteroffensive by Soult’s reorganized army of Spain in July 1813. It was part of a series of engagements in late July 1813 called the Battle of the Pyrenees in which a combined British and Portuguese force under Sir Arthur Wellesley held off Marshal Soult's French forces attempting to relieve Pamplona. Attacking a thin red line in a very good defensive position, the French were eventually pushed back, but the battle could have turned very differently.

Now available. It can be ordered here:

http://www.legionwargames.com/legion_QBE.html
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