year 1813 saw the war-weary France of Napoleon Bonaparte under siege,
as the often-beaten armies of Russia, Prussia and Austria joined
forces with Sweden to bring down the Great Thief of Europe once
and for all.
20 years of almost constant warfare and the massive losses from
the disastrous Invasion of Russia the previous year, France had
been bled white.
feared armies were desperately short of equipment and manpower and,
to make matters worse, the quality of the new recruits could not
match the veteran grognards who had marched and died in previous
the vultures gathered, Napoleon could only hope to buy time to retrain
his forces and try to give those with the smell of his regime's
death some bloody noses - to make them remember that even a crippled
eagle has sharp talons.
series of battles followed - Lutzen, Bautzen, Dresden - and while
the French took the honours in those, the weight of numbers became
1813 campaign culminated at Leipzig, where almost 200,000 men under
Napoleon faced off against 400,000 Russians, Swedes, Austrians and
Prussians. Known as the Battle of Nations, Leipzig was a three-day
clash of the Titans, in which the best the French could hope for
was to hurt their enemies so much they would sue for peace.
1813 is a hugely ambitious project from Empire that tries to cover
the massive scale of the strategic and tactical clash of military
giants in central Europe.
are two levels to the game - at the strategic army operation level
- and down in the mud, where you become the battlefield general
deciding on your force's tactics.
are six campaigns - The Grand Campaign I (without Napoleon), Grand
Campaign II (with Napoleon), Spring 1813, Napoleon Against Europe
(where a new enemy Austria has joined the latest coalition), Autumn
1813 and the Roads to Leipzig.
campaign has you as the overall commander of either French or Allied
forces and you can manoeuvre your forces around in real time to
counter threats from the opposition and, when you are ready, hit
them with an all-out assault.
battle is joined you get the choice of having the computer calculate
the result, based on the leaders and troop numbers involved, or
else moving to a tactical map where you can be hands on with the
tactical map allows you to change formations and get stuck in to
the nitty-gritty of warfare, but its control is very similar to
some of the early sprites-on-battlefield days and, as such, the
battles are somewhat unsatisfying.
you can pick from a series of rarely covered battles - Lutzen, Bautzen,
Katzbach, Dresden, Leipzig, Wauchau, Dennewitz and Liebertwolkwitz
- and while they give you a pretty good work out, serious Napoleonic
buffs will find the campaign details make for more interesting gameplay.
units around is easy, just a drag and drop them across the map,
then when you want to issue them orders right click on the icon.
there it's a matter of working out whether you want your forces
to attack, lay siege, build forts even force a march to assist a
more-threatened area or garrison a town.
can change the aggression levels - so that even your most historically
agro commander turns tail and avoids the enemy, or a timid leader
can be turned into a psycho run-through-anything type who will die
rather than give ground.
Napoleon 1813 is lovely. The screen is very well laid out and will
give you not only an overview of the strategic situation, but also
four levels of main-map detail allowing for close-in decision making.
has a nice design touch that almost gives off the feel of a parchment
map. The interface is a tad daunting at first - it is very detailed
- but once you get the hang of it, operating within the system becomes
up, Napoleon 1813 is a testing and addictive look at the Liberation
of Germany and is a worthy addition to any Napoleonic software library.