of La Grande Armee 1806
1806 Napoleon Bonaparte launched his Grande Armee at a Prussia clamouring
for war against the French emperor.
its desire for a military clash, Prussia was caught completely by
surprise and its forces were humbled.
battle of Jena was a disaster for Berlin, but the humiliation inflicted
upon its military pride by Marshal Davout at Auerstadt - when he
crushed a Prussian army almost three times the size of his own -
shattered its ability to fight on.
three weeks of the start of the campaign, Napoleon Bonaparte had
captured Berlin and knocked Prussia out of the Fourth Coalition.
of it had to do with the fact that in Davout, Bonaparte had his
finest marshal leading III Corps, possibly the finest body of French
troops ever created.
other major factor in the stunning victory was Bonaparte's organization
of his forces, and his detailed planning of their supplies. His
armies could move quickly because they knew food, ammunition and
medical help were already in position.
it is on the logistical side of Napoleonic warfare that Frank Hunter
of Adanac Command Studies has concentrated in his very interesting
game The Campaigns of La Grande Armee: 1806.
is not a beautiful game - the graphics are basic and the screens
and menus simple - but The Campaigns of La Grande Armee: 1806
will entice you in with the promise of things to come and then seduce
you with an impossible-to-resist appeal to your grey matter.
map shows you all the major roads, towns and cities - you can switch
off their names and also a hexagonal grid - and the military units
are represented by boardgame-style square counters. There is no
sound, but as Hunter explains (and I agree) having none is better
than poor sound.
to grips with the command structure and supply details is crucial
in the game as your units can find themselves caught out if they
run out of food or ammunition.
army command centre distributes supplies to the various units, as
does each city or town you take from the enemy. In the latter case
it is a one-off, unfortunately, so you do need to try to grab as
many as you can. You do need to be mindful, however, of enemy counterattacks
against a force weakened by sending too many units off to forage
and - if you are playing the French - the hefty victory point weighting
of crossing the Elbe and capturing Berlin.
with a very fine adjustable fog-of-war aspect to the game - you
are never quite sure where or when your corps or divisions will
run into the enemy.
overall command pressures placed on you by The Campaigns of La
Grande Armee: 1806 really make this game distinct from other
Napoleonic titles and make you appreciate how difficult campaigns
must have been to organise.
are pretty much worked out off-screen although you do get a choice
of what style of battle you will fight - holding or pinning actions,
a pitched/attack strategy or even withdrawal. The results are calculated
by the computer based upon troop morale, fatigue levels, the force
mix, commander's rating and the terrain.
aspect I really liked about The Campaigns of La Grande Armee:
1806 is the importance of fatigue upon troops and if you march
your men hard then you will lose an increasing number of them as
stragglers. Having a hospital nearby also assists in getting your
units back to fighting fitness more quickly.
addition, the time delay between sending orders for a certain objective
to be taken and those decisions being acted upon is similar to the
very old Napoleonics games and adds realism to the command
one thing I would have loved to have seen on The Campaigns of
La Grande Armee: 1806 is a zoom-out function. There is a small
strategic map, but a full-screen sized area map would make gameplay
so much easier.
game does not suck your computer dry of all its processing power
and one of the beauties is you can play it almost full screen with
your programme/internet/email shortcuts still on the bottom of your
screen. So, if you are sneaky, you can play while at work and not
have to keep quitting the game to deal with money-making matters.
heartily recommend The Campaigns of La Grande Armee: 1806
to gamers who want to really test their mettle as a true commander
of Napoleonic Era armies.