The second game in the series that includes the Russians and the Austrians along with more French. The rules are an evolution from those in the 100 Days set and fix a couple of contentious issues. Luckily BoardGameGeek has some files that ring the changes!
I took a peek at BoardGameGeek yesterday evening in order to flesh out my knowledge around the Napoleon’s War series published by Worthington Games. It was certainly time well spent!
The Gates of Moscow set was a standalone game that included the Russians and Austrians (in green and white plastic respectively) and the game featured the following battles: Marengo, Austerlitz, Aspern-Essling and Borodino. The rules were the same as for the 100 Days although a couple of things had been changed in the light of playing experience. There are a few useful files on BoardGameGeek that ‘ring the changes’ which is handy and yes, I have downloaded them!
Worthington also released two Battle Packs that each featured four scenarios and map boards but no figures. Battle Pack Number 1 featured the following battles: Alexandria, Jena, Auserstadt and Busaco. Battle Pack Number 2 was focused on the War of 1812 and so included the following four battles: Queenston Heights, Chippewa, Bladensburg and New Orleans.
Mark Cordone pointed out that the figures are in fact the same as those included in the US version of Risk which are sadly not available in the UK.
The core system is fun in a Portable Wargame/Command and Colours way and it captures the flavour of combat in the period rather nicely. The use of action points which can be adjusted on a random basis each turn by a dice roll regulates movement and combat with a little more freedom than the card driven Command and Colours system. At least one does not have the situation of having a handful of command cards for the wrong sector! Personally I am happy with either system though.
The only downside I can see is that the game has been sold as a battle refight system in that the map boards are solely designed for the featured battle. There are no terrain tiles to customise the playing area or to do ones own thing although that would certainly not stop most gamers I know (myself included!)!
The map hexes are 40mm across the flat sides and it would not be beyond the capabilities of most gamers to produce terrain etc that could be used to supplement the maps.
For me there is certainly some mileage in this system in terms of what it could be used for. A good example would be to use Command and Colours scenarios with the Napoleon’s War rules and troop types as the former are readily available on the net to download from a variety or sources.
I like them as a stripped back alternative to Command and Colours.