Campaign Wagram

By Richard Moore

Campaign Eckmuhl

Napoleon's Russian Campaign


Austerlitz: The Rise of the Eagle - the premier play-by-email Napoleonic wargame


For 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.

The 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.

Advance 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.

The Austrians have their whole army available, but are hampered by poor co-ordination.

Can 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?

Either way, with Campaign Wagram you get the opportunity in yet another masterful war game from John Tiller and HPS Simulations.

Campaign 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.

If that isn’t enough to keep you satisfied then you can make use of a scenario editor to make up your own challenges.

Gameplay in Campaign Wagram is the best yet designed for a tactical Napoleonic wargame.

It 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.

The 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.

The sound is very good with decent sounding cannons – and the choice of period tunes rounds everything off nicely.

But 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.

But for mine the big challenge of the game is Aspern-Essling.

I have 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.

So how did the French go with Marshal Richard Moore commanding?

Well, despite the problems they kicked the Austrians sick and had them fleeing in short order (actually it took rather a long time).

Campaign Wagram is another superb effort from Tiller’s his team and one that cements their position at the top of Napoleonic-game developers.

If I can suggest much else to the team it is this – please give us a Peninsular War game!

Gamers 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 Albuera!



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