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The Napoleonic Wars (Second Edition)» Forums » Variants

Subject: Joint Coalition Victory rss

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Guy Atkinson
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Joint Coalition Victory

Typically the French open with an aggressive gambit to either knock Austria out quickly or invade the United Kingdom. However, when these strategies fail, the game can all too easily devolve into stalemate. A weakened Napoleon can now only dream of landing in Dover and meanwhile in Italy and Germany, the Austro-Russian hordes put pressure on a scattered Grande Armée. Things will only get worse if Prussia throws in her lot with the Coalition. Or will they? Only one player can win, so whereas the allies naturally co-operate in defense, they equally naturally stop working together the closer their army groups get to Paris. No individual Coalition power is strong enough to win alone and France is too weak to beat them combined. Even swapping sides is not too tempting, as the turncoat is more than likely just to hand the game to the French while earning a reputation as a fickle and reckless ally.

After much toing and froing east of the Rhine, victory eventually goes to the player who is marginally ahead on points due to fortunate battle dice, better cards and a lucky peace roll. Overall, a thoroughly disappointing outcome.

This variant tackles the problem by allowing victory to be equally shared by all the Coalition powers under certain circumstances, thus permitting a determined and effective alliance to defeat the Corsican usurper once he has shown his true colours.

First France must demonstrate that she is a sufficient threat to the established order to merit the transition to guerre à outrance (all-out war) which permits a shared victory.

Either Napoleon must abdicate and return;
Or France must commit a total of at least two of the following acts of aggression:
(i) declare war on Prussia.
(ii) declare war on a power that is a subject neutral.
(iii) conquer a player power (including capitulations) or force them to submit.
(iv) invade Russia
(v) invade the United Kingdom.
‘Invade’ here means voluntarily move, evade or retreat a majority French army to a Russian or British home duchy (other than Gibraltar). Only the first invasion of each power counts.

Example: Austria submits in turn one then joins the imperial camp. That would count as one act of aggression.
Example: Austria submits and France later declares war on her. That would be two acts of aggression in total and would trigger la guerre à outrance.

To participate in a shared victory, the Coalition partners must actively contribute to Napoleon’s downfall. At game end, each player power that fulfils at least two of the following conditions takes an equal share in victory.

In the turn in which France is conquered or submits:
(i) rout a majority French army or army group anywhere on the board.
(ii) fight a battle in Paris including at least an army of that player power (not minor nations).
and/or, at the time France submits or is conquered:
(iii) control at least one French home duchy.
(iv) occupy French home duchies with at least one army of that player power (not minor nations).

If la guerre à outrance has been triggered, there is no peace roll on turn 5. France wins if she has not been conquered.
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John Griffey
United States
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I like it. It makes possible more historical Coalition collaboration.

Problem: it would lead the French player even more than he already does to play it safe with the Spanish Gambit and a defensive war in the east. Why guarantee the giant Coalition will come crashing down on you when controllable Spanish Duchies are abundant and easily defended? Why trigger the possibility of all four enemies sharing a win?

There needs to be some more inducement for historical Napoleonic aggression, such as:

1) Give players not just a win/lose, but a score of victory points (positive or negative) since game start.

2) Triple France's victory points if France wins an automatic victory. Double France's victory points if French aggression triggers your conditions for Coalition Victory, but France wins anyway.

3) Let French aggression triggering possible Coalition Victory be simply rolling for Peace while claiming a +2 or more victory point lead over its nearest rival. Let France refuse victory points it is due if it is necessary to avoid going over +1.

4) A Coalition Victory means that when Peace comes, the positive victory points of each each Coalition Player Power are doubled, if the Player Power satisfies two of the conditions you enumerated for participating in a Coalition Victory.

This way France can play for a wimpy marginal victory of +1 victory point, or play for a grand Napoleonic victory worth many victory points.

To make a grand Napoleonic victory more possible and thus more tempting to the French Player, let nations with a Leader of Battle Rating 2 or more declare a Spring Campaign Impulse in the first Impulse of the biennial turn the nation uses CP to move Formations. In the Spring Campaign Impulse, Leader-commanders with Battle Ratings of 2 or 3 increase to 5 the number of Duchies their Formation can move without rolling for Attrition. Napoleon and Wellington can move their Formations 6 without rolling for Attrition in the Spring Campaign Impulse.

France starts with five Leaders of Battle Rating 4, 3, or 2 which can use this bonus. Russia starts with two, Austria one, and Britain one, All other nations have zero such Leaders. Later, one such Leader becomes available to each of Britain, Prussia, Austria, Sweden.

This would make swift early French victories more likely, encouraging the French Player to adopt a more aggressive grand Napoleonic strategy, possibly triggering the Coalition Victory Conditions above.
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