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Napoleon’s War II is the sequel to Worthington’s Napoleon's War: The 100 Days. Napoleon’s War II is an awful lot likes its older brother: both are simple wargames that expand upon the system from Hold the Line. Unfortunately, while Hold the Line was a hit, Napoleon's War: The 100 Days has fallen into the shadows, arguably because of the success of Battles of Napoleon: The Eagle and the Lion and Commands & Colors: Napoleonics. Hopefully, Napoleon’s War II came remedy this situation, as it does improve on the original and offers more famous battles: Marengo, Austerlitz, Aspern-Essling, and Borodino.

Gameplay (67/70): Before I begin, I’d like to be honest: the next four paragraphs are mostly copied and pasted from my review for Napoleon's War: The 100 Days. This is because my description of gameplay still applies here. From then on though, the review will be wholly original.

Each side uses miniatures that represent a unit's morale, with Austrian infantry having only two models to represent their questionable quality, except in the Marengo scenario. The units represent infantry, cavalry, and artillery. All of these units can fire at various ranges, but infantry and cavalry can initiate shock combat, which is powerful because the chance of making hits improves and it gives them the chance of seizing an enemy position.

Unlike Hold the Line, these units interact in very particular ways. Infantry are the basic unit, since you have a lot of them and they can usually take more hits than the other units. However, they move slowly, do not have much range, and they only hit on a six unless they engage in shock combat. Unlike Hold the Line they can move 2 hexes without a leaders, but at quite a cost in command points. However, having a high morale makes them good for defensive missions, and against cavalry they can form square. This is important as cavalry, while having a low firing range, and unless heavy, have a low morale, are swift and can hit hard. Artillery have range and are very powerful in this game but also quite fragile. Further rules add even more nuisance. Cavalry that attack cavalry is not only less effective, but can be counter-charged, which in game terms has the same effect as infantry forming square.

Borodino
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Counters are important to this game. Leaders, with ratings from 1-3, are represented by counters. These leaders help in shock combat, force marching, and rallying (healing) damaged units . Other counters are used to signify elite infantry and heavy cavalry, which in both cases means the units can take a lot of hits. Also, the optional rules give players the chance to use light infantry, skirmishers, and rifles for the British. Then there is horse artillery, highly mobile guns with decreased range and firepower. These units add even more depth and for the experienced wargamer, they are a treat.

The units move and fight using action points. Each side has a set number, which can be reduced when leaders are lost. In addition, a die roll gives each side extra action points. These points give you flexibility in terms of use, but you'll never be able to order everyone. In addition, shock combat and force marching costs 2 points for infantry, further weakening their offensive punch as using infantry to swiftly attack can be quite expensive. Cavalry shock costs 2 AP, but they swifter and if they catch a unit out of position, quite lethal.

There are some changes from Napoleon's War: The 100 Days that make this a better game all around. Usually these changes are for the sake of streamlining. For instance, terrain effects are not cumulative and the advanced skirmishers rules are gone. Many rules are substantial tweaks of the original game's unit rules: cavalry cannot enter most terrain, leaders automatically retreat if they are with a unit that was just destroyed, and infantry roll only 1 die at 2 hex range. This later rule is a godsend. The first game favored the defender a bit too much, as infantry were firing at long range with the same effectiveness they had at short ranges.

The biggest new addition is an optional chit pull that makes so called "perfect plans" more difficult to execute. I was at first happy to hear of this mechanic, as I feel chit-pull works very well in tactical games, such as Glory III and [gamid=2812]. Chit pull voids perfect strategies and allows for great "fortunes of war" moments. However, it fails here for two reason. On the one hand, this is a simple wargame, and chits slow down play. On the other hand, the game already simulates Clausewitz’s idea of friction through varied action point totals. This only adds to the frustration, but in simple wargames you are not looking for frustration. You are looking for easy and fast. The chits go against both ideas.

Accessibility (8/10): Worthington rulebooks are not always the more precise or well organized, but generally I find them easy enough to use and their latest games have featured clear rules, with a conspicuous recant example being [gameid= 85857]. It also helps that they make simpler wargames. At any rate, Napoleon’s War II is not a hard game to grasp and it has a helpful last page reminder of all the changes to the original.

The scenarios are in some ways inferior to those in Napoleon's War: The 100 Days, which offered varied situations. In Napoleon's War II every battle is a large set piece affair. That being said, some battles are clearly better than others. Aspern-Essling pretty much sucks. The lines are drawn and the battle devolves into cavalry charges and artillery potshots. This is not my idea of good gaming. Marengo and Austerlitz offer more fluid situations, and are the gems of the bunch. Borodino is what is always will be: a slugfest, that although tactically rather dull, for some reason gets simulated over (Borodino) and over (Borodino: Doomed Victory) and over (Borodino: Battle of the Moskova, 1812) again. Hell, Columbia dropped Austerlitz: December 1805 and is now going to publish Borodino: Napoleon in Russia 1812.

When will the madness end!? I have a novel idea. How about we get more games on Rivoli, Zurich, Eylau, Friedland, Wagram, Talavera, Lutzen, Bautzen, Dresden, etc?

Components (8/10): The raw boits and pieces are of the same quality as Napoleon's War: The 100 Days, and the Viktory II miniatures look particularly sharp in green. The maps look fine, although folding them down for storage is not always easy. There is one rather humorous era on the set up cards: Borodino is spelled Bordino.

Austerlitz Map
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Historical Quality (7/10): When it comes to simple wargames I am for the most part not a stickler for history because these games put play above realism and they should. However, Napoleon's War II has done a fine job of balancing both realism and play. Napoleon's War II requires some intelligent decision making. A player who makes piecemeal attacks will be rewarded with heavy losses and it is rarely advisable to make suicidal charges for the sake of eliminating an enemy unit. Because you must either move or fire, your men will most likely come under fire before they have a chance to fire back, so careful and powerful attacks are encouraged. This is in keeping with the period being simulated. The action points limit the number of moves but not the options available. This reasonably simulates the agonies of coordination in this era of warfare. Unlike Battle Cry, units cannot move and shoot, and this discourages unsupported attacks. I don't mean to say that this game can compare with something like Wellington's Victory: Battle of Waterloo Game – June 18th, 1815, but it packs a lot of historical punch in a simple package.

My biggest gripe is that the Austrians are too weak. This means that much of Austerlitz is the French trolling around for easy Austrian pickings. In the case of Aspern-Essling it flies in the face of history. I’m all for rules that make the British and French better, and keeping the Austrians more generic. However, their infantry are far too weak, and as the history shows, it was Austrian leadership that cursed them to so many defeats, not the rank and file units. Also, I’m noticing in this system that not every unit is coming into play, and while idle soldiers were not unheard of in this era (The Imperial Guard at Borodino) it is far too common. Matt Hiske has a good idea for a variant:

Quote:
The only other issue I have with Napoleon I and Hold the Line is all the units never seem to come into play. I think it would be great to have all the units that didn't receive activation be able to roll a die individually to see if they received orders. On a successful roll you could activate them one by one.
That is part of the appeal of this system. It is easily modified by players with other preferences.

Overall (90/100): Napoleon's War II is an improvement over the original, and while I am not a fan of the chit system as applied here, I am glad the option is open. However, if you did not like Napoleon's War: The 100 Days, then stay away. Napoleon's War II is an evolution of the system but not an overhaul. For a fan like myself, that is good news.
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Kim B
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Borodino is what is always will be: a slugfest, that although tactically rather dull, for some reason gets simulated over ([gameid=252 wrote:
) and over (Borodino: Doomed Victory) and over (Borodino: Battle of the Moskova, 1812) again. Hell, Columbia dropped Austerlitz: December 1805 and is now going to publish Borodino: Napoleon in Russia 1812

When will the madness end!? I have a novel idea. How about we get more games on Rivoli, Zurich, Eylau, Friedland, Wagram, Talavera, Lutzen, Bautzen, Dresden, etc?
The most important, the most decisive battle of the war, the one that doomed Napoleon... But it was in Russia, so I guess it doesn't count
 
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The most important, the most decisive battle of the war, the one that doomed Napoleon... But it was in Russia, so I guess it doesn't count
You mean Leipzig right? Or was it Waterloo? Maybe Bailén? Vitoria?
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The most important, the most decisive battle of the war, the one that doomed Napoleon... But it was in Russia, so I guess it doesn't count
Now to answer your assertion...

Borodino was not decisive for either side. Napoleon failed to win a crushing victory, but the defeat was enough to knock the Russian army out for a month. The result was stalemate. What doomed Napoleon in Russia was the failure of his opening drive. The advance cost him more troops than the infamous retreat.

Borodino is like Guilford. Both were slugfests that did little to benefit either side. Whatever advantages Cornwallis or Napoleon gained in battle were lost when they bungled the follow up.

Regardless, Borodino is not the most interesting tactical situation, yet it keeps getting made into a game. That is really my gripe.
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Kim B
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Decisive in a sense that Napoleon would have won "Napoleonic Wars" had he been able to destroy Russian Army at Borodino. Other battles, while interesting and important, don't put him in the position of winning the war. Napoleon could not win the war in Spain, nor in Belgium, nor in Italy. There would always be another coalition ready to face him, even if he wins Leipzig or Waterloo. Only by defeating Russia in Russia would he be able to get what he wanted - which was legitimacy. Instead of defeating Russian army he got a repeat of Eylau.

So, thats my subjective opinion, of course, but that's why I think Borodino is the supreme Napoleonic battle. He could have ended the war that day. I don't know another battle 1805-1815 where you could say that. (Certainly not Bailen
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Decisive in a sense that Napoleon would have won "Napoleonic Wars" had he been able to destroy Russian Army at Borodino. Other battles, while interesting and important, don't put him in the position of winning the war. Napoleon could not win the war in Spain, nor in Belgium, nor in Italy.
I'd argue by the time of Borodino it was impossible to win a decisive victory. Napoleon rightfully feared that the Russian army, if flanked, would retreat. So he charged into their prepared positions. By your understanding of the wars, the decisive moment came when Tolly dodged Napoleon's trap in July 1812.

Quote:
There would always be another coalition ready to face him, even if he wins Leipzig or Waterloo. Only by defeating Russia in Russia would he be able to get what he wanted - which was legitimacy. Instead of defeating Russian army he got a repeat of Eylau.
Waterloo is overrated, I just threw it in their for fun. Leipzig was the battle that doomed him, although his odds of victory were already low by that point.

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So, thats my subjective opinion, of course, but that's why I think Borodino is the supreme Napoleonic battle. He could have ended the war that day. I don't know another battle 1805-1815 where you could say that. (Certainly not Bailen
I actually see Bailen as the turning point of the wars. It created a situation which drained France throughout the fighting.

As for another battle where Napoleon could have won the wars, I'd put Kulm as a candidate. A successful pursuit could have knocked Austria out and made Dresden a victory on par with Jena.

But I will say you've made a better case for Borodino than I have heard or read.

But I'm still sick of Borodino games!
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I actually see Bailen as the turning point of the wars. It created a situation which drained France throughout the fighting.


Important battle - yes, but THE turning point of the wars - no. It's like saying British victory over Italians in North Africa or Greek victory over Italians in the Balkans were the turning points of the Second World War. Morale booster - yes, drain on resources - yes, but a turning point? The theatre is too remote and unimportant to overall objectives, troop scale and quality too insignificant, myriad of other events still to take shape.

Yes, France was drained, but so what? They still led half a million invasion force into Russia. It's not like the best troops stayed in Spain. Level of threat was not the same, that's why French sent their second-rate soldiers there. It's not like if the Spanish won they would have taken Paris and forced Napoleon from the throne.

After Borodino, however, the whole French army became second-rate. Most of the veterans were gone, frozen on their way back from Russia. Horses were gone, so French cavalry became a shadow of it former self. Napoleon could still occasionally work his magic, but I don't see a way for him out of the Allies' grasp from 1813 onward. Just like I think had Napoleon destroyed the Russian army in 1812, the Allies would have no chance to win the wars. Imagine what Napoleon would do to Spain had he won in Russia, who would remember Bailen then?

But, yeah, interesting discussion. I am glad Worthington included Borodino - very good battle choice Next, an Osprey volume would be nice
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Sean Chick (Formerly Paul O'Sullivan)
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Important battle - yes, but THE turning point of the wars - no. It's like saying British victory over Italians in North Africa or Greek victory over Italians in the Balkans were the turning points of the Second World War. Morale booster - yes, drain on resources - yes, but a turning point? The theatre is too remote and unimportant to overall objectives, troop scale and quality too insignificant, myriad of other events still to take shape.

Yes, France was drained, but so what? They still led half a million invasion force into Russia. It's not like the best troops stayed in Spain. Level of threat was not the same, that's why French sent their second-rate soldiers there. It's not like if the Spanish won they would have taken Paris and forced Napoleon from the throne.
I think you are diminishing the Peninsular War far too much.

The French sent most of their best troops to Spain in 1808. That is one reason why Wagram was such a tough battle: Napoleon had rely on lesser troops. Also, nearly every French general fought in Spain, including such talented men as Soult and Messena. These are hardly b-team personnel.

Spain was a perfect storm. Short of an Austerlitz, the French could never eject Wellington and the guerrilla war drained the army and the treasury. Napoleon could raise 600,000 men for Russia, but half were wholly unreliable. Hell, the Naples contingent melted before it ever fired a shot. What could he have done with those veterans who were off wasting away in the mountains of Spain? Maybe achieve a decisive victory at Abensberg or avoid the hell of Aspern.

Quote:
After Borodino, however, the whole French army became second-rate. Most of the veterans were gone, frozen on their way back from Russia. Horses were gone, so French cavalry became a shadow of it former self. Napoleon could still occasionally work his magic, but I don't see a way for him out of the Allies' grasp from 1813 onward. Just like I think had Napoleon destroyed the Russian army in 1812, the Allies would have no chance to win the wars. Imagine what Napoleon would do to Spain had he won in Russia, who would remember Bailen then?
I agree with some of this but on two points I think you are wrong. First, the French army was already a shadow of its former self in 1812. Hard campaigning had shattered the elite core of 1805, and much of that had to do with the 1807 Polish campaign and the war in Spain.

Second, Napoleon in 1810 and even 1811 had a chance to send more men to Spain or even take the field himself. He did not. Defeating Russia may have freed him, but perhaps not, as the countryside could not support a large horde and Napoleon seemed wary of confronting Wellington. It is possible that the war would have dragged on, as it did even after victories like Ocana

It is possible a victory in Russia could have secured his empire, but who is to say Prussia would not rebel or the Russians would not come back for more?

But this is beside the point, because Napoleon could not win a great victory at Borodino.

Quote:
But, yeah, interesting discussion. I am glad Worthington included Borodino - very good battle choice Next, an Osprey volume would be nice
First, Osprey needs to do one for Fontenoy. I'm getting tired of waiting!

Glad you are liking the discussion.
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I've read some histories that argue Aspern-Essling and Wagram were the turning points, and I tend to agree. After that, and really even before that, armies were not destroyed in battle. You could argue that Freidland in 1807 was the last time an army was all but destroyed in a single battle. After 1809, as armies grew in size and resilience, they just could not be eliminated. At Borodino, I do not think it was within Napoleon's power to destroy the Russian army. He barely outnumbered it, at the tail end of a ridiculously long supply line, and thus had little ability to follow up and wipe out even a defeated and retreating enemy. And in fact, that is what happened. The Russian army was beaten pretty soundly - losing perhaps 40% of its army, while the French took much less casualties in numbers and percentage. But it did Napoleon little good. And it did the Russians little good. The Russians pulled back and rebuilt, and Napoleon continued to advance into Moscow.

The more I read on Borodino, the more I am convinced that both sides fought simply because it was expected - Kutuzov was expected to offer a battle before abandoning Moscow, and he did, but with little expectation of "winning" the battle. Napoleon fought because the Russian army stopped and he therefore had to fight. But his tactics and slow pursuit afterward tell me he also expected little from the results. To me, Borodino is not decisive and could not have been. The massive attrition on the way in, and the almost inevitabele retreat out, were more decisisve. Even had a larger portion of the Russian army been eliminated through casualties, the Russians were not hampered by that. They had an almost unlimited supply of men to replace those losses, and almost unlimited space to use while bringing those men.

As for Spain, the British were invading into southern France by 1814. Using Spain as a secure and unthreatened base, Wellington could very well have entered Paris. Had Napoleon won in Germany in 1813, he may still have had to retreat into France due to the threat emerging from the Peninsula in late 1813.
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mvkwasny wrote:
I've read some histories that argue Aspern-Essling and Wagram were the turning points, and I tend to agree. After that, and really even before that, armies were not destroyed in battle.


Weren't the french destroyed at Waterloo?

mvkwasny wrote:

At Borodino, I do not think it was within Napoleon's power to destroy the Russian army. He barely outnumbered it, at the tail end of a ridiculously long supply line, and thus had little ability to follow up and wipe out even a defeated and retreating enemy. And in fact, that is what happened. The Russian army was beaten pretty soundly - losing perhaps 40% of its army, while the French took much less casualties in numbers and percentage. But it did Napoleon little good. And it did the Russians little good. The Russians pulled back and rebuilt, and Napoleon continued to advance into Moscow.
Do you think Napoleon thought before the battle that there is no way in hell he can destroy the Russians? Do you think Kutuzov thought there is no way his army could be destroyed? As far as winners and losers, casualties alone don't make victories, just ask Pyrrhus. The Russians stood their ground, bloodied the French, and then retreated in good order. A good argument could be made that had Napoleon committed his Guard he might have shatterred the Russians, but he didn't. Even "defeated", the Russian army scared him enough to hold on to his reserve. As far as Borodino doing the Russians little good, I also disagree. Kutuzov proclaimed that he had won and Russian army's morale soared. Their later victories against the French partly stemmed from the fact that they thought that their army is now invincible. Some still remembered Austerlitz and Friedland, and they realized that Borodino was not the same, Napoleon was not the same, he COULD be beaten.

mvkwasny wrote:


To me, Borodino is not decisive and could not have been. The massive attrition on the way in, and the almost inevitabele retreat out, were more decisisve. Even had a larger portion of the Russian army been eliminated through casualties, the Russians were not hampered by that. They had an almost unlimited supply of men to replace those losses, and almost unlimited space to use while bringing those men.
Attrition on the way out would have been minimal had Napoleon destroyed the Russian army at Borodino. Without elite soldiers and commanders Russia would have surrendered. True, they would still have the numbers but most of these would have been almost useless Opolchenie armed with spears and ancient muskets. As far as Russian "unlimited supplies of men" goes, lose enough of those in blunders (I am thinking WW1) and the rest quickly lose the will to fight. So in that light standing against Napoleon to a draw, in the eyes of the Russians, was the same as winning, as he was thought undefeatable.

mvkwasny wrote:


As for Spain, the British were invading into southern France by 1814. Using Spain as a secure and unthreatened base, Wellington could very well have entered Paris. Had Napoleon won in Germany in 1813, he may still have had to retreat into France due to the threat emerging from the Peninsula in late 1813.
Would the British still be threatening Paris had Napoleon won in Russia in 1812? Honestly, now...

 
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I think you are diminishing the Peninsular War far too much.

The French sent most of their best troops to Spain in 1808. That is one reason why Wagram was such a tough battle: Napoleon had rely on lesser troops. Also, nearly every French general fought in Spain, including such talented men as Soult and Messena. These are hardly b-team personnel.
Yes, I think Peninsular was a sideshow. Spain did not threaten France the way Russia did, therefore to France it was less important. Napoleon wanted legitimacy, the Spanish had given him that, even helped him attack Portugal. It's the Emperors of Austria, Prussia and Russia who needed to be convinced that a Corsican upstart was all of a sudden their equal. Napoleon took care of Austria by defeating them in Austria, he took care of Prussia by defeating them in Prussia. They would stay loyal to him for as long as they thought he was winning, and for that he had to also defeat Russia in Russia. Now, as far French generals and their men in Spain, Kutuzov would have given his last eye to have them switch places with Napoleon and his army at Borodino. And it would have been a good deal.



Quote:


First, the French army was already a shadow of its former self in 1812. Hard campaigning had shattered the elite core of 1805, and much of that had to do with the 1807 Polish campaign and the war in Spain.
In 1812, morale-wise, French (rightly) considered themselves the best troops in the world, but not after. They could have been tired, with heavy losses, but under Napoleon they were elite and undefeated and would have followed him into hell if he'd ordered. When led by Napoleon they did smash the Spanish at Somossierra and took the capital. Bailen was against inexperienced recruits who surrendered, quickly forgotten by the French, whereas Napoleon could still pull his weight with his veterans. After 1812, there were no veterans, there was no invincibility. There was Napoleon, but even he was different.
Quote:



Second, Napoleon in 1810 and even 1811 had a chance to send more men to Spain or even take the field himself. He did not.
...because he thought Spain was a sideshow. Without Austro-Prusso-Russian (yeah, no love for Swedes either) coalition pestering Napoleon in Central Europe the years 1813-1814 would have been very different in the Peninsular. No invasion of France, no victory...

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Glad you are liking the discussion.
Yes, good stuff, let's keep it going. Now, as far as what-ifs, had Suvorov met Napoleon on a field of battle...
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Yngwie1751 wrote:
Weren't the french destroyed at Waterloo?
Waterloo does present a case where an army is largely ruined, but then that army was also outnumbered almost 2 to 1, had serious morale issues due to the chaotic nature of Napoleon's return, and thus Waterloo is not a typical battle at that point.

Yngwie1751 wrote:
Do you think Napoleon thought before the battle that there is no way in hell he can destroy the Russians? Do you think Kutuzov thought there is no way his army could be destroyed? As far as winners and losers, casualties alone don't make victories, just ask Pyrrhus. The Russians stood their ground, bloodied the French, and then retreated in good order. A good argument could be made that had Napoleon committed his Guard he might have shatterred the Russians, but he didn't. Even "defeated", the Russian army scared him enough to hold on to his reserve. As far as Borodino doing the Russians little good, I also disagree. Kutuzov proclaimed that he had won and Russian army's morale soared. Their later victories against the French partly stemmed from the fact that they thought that their army is now invincible. Some still remembered Austerlitz and Friedland, and they realized that Borodino was not the same, Napoleon was not the same, he COULD be beaten.
I do not believe Napoleon thought he could destroy the Russian army, no. And I don't think Kutuzov feared losing the entire army either. The Russians were defeated, but propaganda is always a useful tool! However, Borodino was really a stalemate. Both sides failed, and yet both sides achieved their goals. Napoleon failed to end the campaign in one day, yet managed to inflict enough of a defeat to keep his advance going. The Russians were pounded and forced to retreat, yet they kept their army together and boosted morale in Russia just by standing and fighting, even if they did have to retreat. I'm not sure you can call a stalemate a decisive battle. I'm not sure it changed the campaign much if at all. I don't think the Russians had a feeling of invincibility. They showed a healthy respect and fear of the French army the rest of the campaign, even as late as at the fighting at the Berezina. The timid actions of many Russian forces, including the main army following, suggest the RUssians still feared getting too close.

Yngwie1751 wrote:
Attrition on the way out would have been minimal had Napoleon destroyed the Russian army at Borodino. Without elite soldiers and commanders Russia would have surrendered. True, they would still have the numbers but most of these would have been almost useless Opolchenie armed with spears and ancient muskets. As far as Russian "unlimited supplies of men" goes, lose enough of those in blunders (I am thinking WW1) and the rest quickly lose the will to fight. So in that light standing against Napoleon to a draw, in the eyes of the Russians, was the same as winning, as he was thought undefeatable.
Napoleon's army was already all but wrecked by the time he got into Moscow. And the Russians would have had forces pursuing even if they had taken a larger pounding at Borodino. Perhaps if the entire army had been eliminated, but Napoleon's decision to not try a flanking maneuver was his tacit acceptance that the Russian army would not be destroyed. Thus, win, lose, or draw at Borodino, both armies would probably have continued pretty much as they did - barring a massive destruction of one of the armies. But that was almost impossible given the conditions of the battle in 1812.

Yngwie1751 wrote:
[Would the British still be threatening Paris had Napoleon won in Russia in 1812? Honestly, now...
Napoleon did not lose in Russia because of Borodino. Napoleon won just about as impressive a victory as he could have there, but it was still somewhat meaningless. Many battlefield victories are meaningless for the winner, and I personally believe Borodino was one of those. It is hard to imagine how Napoleon could have won anything in Russia. But let's say Alexander did decide to offer terms after a slightly worse result at Borodino. Napoleon already lost most of his army, so even in victory, he returns severely weakened. And how long would RUssia stay out of the war? A year? There seems no reason to believe Napoleon was ever going to convince Russia to accept Napoleon's control over Poland and most of central Europe, and there is no reason to believe Austria or Prussia were ever going to accept that either. So yes, even if he had achieved some level of victory in Russia, I suspect the rest of the war is not all that different, perhaps delayed a year or two.
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gittes wrote:
Aspern-Essling pretty much sucks. The lines are drawn and the battle devolves into cavalry charges and artillery potshots. This is not my idea of good gaming.
Just played the scenario and, alas, I have to agree entirely. There is really no incentive in using the infantry. The battle gets a little better after the guns have taken out most of the cavalry, so that you are forced to work out things differently.

Thanks for the excellent review!!
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StevenE Smooth Sailing...
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Really nice review.

I own Hold the Line and am curious about the Napoleon's War series.
(I will also admit that I own and play the C&C line of games and also own tBoN)

Comparing NW-I to NW-2 which is the better game?
I am leaning more toward NW-2 for no other reason than your review has me pretty much sold on it.

I realize NW-1 is expanded by a Battle Pack so there are more options with that route.

Thoughts?
 
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StevenE wrote:
Really nice review.

I own Hold the Line and am curious about the Napoleon's War series.
(I will also admit that I own and play the C&C line of games and also own tBoN)

Comparing NW-I to NW-2 which is the better game?
I am leaning more toward NW-2 for no other reason than your review has me pretty much sold on it.

I realize NW-1 is expanded by a Battle Pack so there are more options with that route.

Thoughts?
Go with volume II. The battles are a bit more interesting and a battle pack for it should be coming out this year.

Also, this system is being expanded with a game on the Mexican War and the War of the Austrian Secession, so now is a good time to jump into the system so to speak.
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I got Volume I and Battle Pack I in a trade and after a couple solo scenarios ordered Volume II. I've been soloing scenarios with the standard CAP roll only and with the Chit Draw. Die roll for AP is good but adding the Chit draw on top is clunky. I've played a couple times using the Chit Draw and just assuming the CAP die roll was consistently a 3. Thus adding a fixed amount to the base number and letting the order of draw be the only random factor. It works fine.
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