any armchair general worth their salt – and Napoleonic buffs, in
particular – the battle of Aspern-Essling is one of the great “I
could have done better if I’d been in command” battles.
1809 clash between the Austrian army and the French vanguard – cut
off from its main body and support by the loss of bridges across
the Danube – is classic stuff.
French troops are in good positions in two small villages on the
north bank of the river, but they are stretched to the limit. Their
reinforcements are sporadic to say the least.
Austrians have their whole army available, but are hampered by poor
you handle the Austrians well enough to inflict the first major
defeat upon Napoleon? Or can you take over the French and give the
enemy a damn good thrashing?
way, with Campaign Wagram you get the opportunity in yet
another masterful war game from John Tiller and HPS Simulations.
Wagram takes over from where Campaign Eckmuhl left off
and offers more than 120 scenarios, including the battles of Ebelsberg,
Raab, Aspern-Essling, and a campaign game leading to Wagram.
that isn’t enough to keep you satisfied then you can make use of
a scenario editor to make up your own challenges.
in Campaign Wagram is the best yet designed for a tactical
has single turns, but within each there are phases in which defenders
can blast away at enemy units moving in or out of their zone of
fire, or changing formation or facing. This adds a new life to a
battle and gives it a realism few others match.
sprites at the close-in zoom leave a little to be desired – they
certainly do not make the most of the uniforms of the era – and
are a bit indistinct.
sound is very good with decent sounding cannons – and the choice
of period tunes rounds everything off nicely.
gameplay is what Campaign Wagram is all about and the designers
give you a really good look at some of those famous – and not-so-famous
– battles that other game companies have ignored. For
example in Ebelsberg you need to force your way into an Austrian
town and block the enemy line of retreat.
for mine the big challenge of the game is Aspern-Essling.
copped flak from some who continue in the daft belief that the battle
was a defeat for Bonaparte, but once again I’ll point out the fact
he was at a tactical disadvantage, outnumbered and right in it up
to neck but still managed to extricate his army from what could
have been a disaster.
how did the French go with Marshal Richard Moore commanding?
despite the problems they kicked the Austrians sick and had them
fleeing in short order (actually it took rather a long time).
Wagram is another superb effort from Tiller’s his team and one
that cements their position at the top of Napoleonic-game developers.
I can suggest much else to the team it is this – please give us
a Peninsular War game!
and history buffs alike are desperate to get stuck into such battles
as Vimiero, Talavera, Vitoria and I would love to take on Wellington
at Salamanca and see how computer AI deals with the bloodbath at