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  The Battle of Novi August 1799 An Untimely Death by Acies Edizioni   Alexander Suvorov is considered one of the greatest Russian Generals....

The Battle of Novi August 1799 by Acies Edizioni The Battle of Novi August 1799 by Acies Edizioni

The Battle of Novi August 1799 by Acies Edizioni

The Battle of Novi August 1799 by Acies Edizioni

 The Battle of Novi August 1799

An Untimely Death


Acies Edizioni

 Alexander Suvorov is considered one of the greatest Russian Generals. He never had a chance to fight Napoleon, which might have been blessing for his legacy. Suvorov did, however, always win in battle against any of the other French Generals. All that Napoleon had gained in Northern Italy was lost to the Austro-Russians under Suvorov (Napoleon was in Egypt and the Middle East at the time). After Novi, Suvorov was ordered to Switzerland to help out the Austrians once again. Because of their defeat, he was trapped in the Alps by future French Marshal Andre Massena. He was able to extricate himself with minimal losses and for that was made the fourth Generalissimo of Russia. He died of disease shortly after. Barthélemy Catherine Joubert was originally part of Napoleon's earlier Italian Campaigns. He had been marked for greatness by Napoleon, and had he lived would probably have been made a Marshal. Unfortunately for him, he was one of the first French casualties of the Battle of Novi. Acies Edizioni has made games about two of Suvorov's battles, including this one.  They have also made other great games about obscure battles and campaigns in Italy. 


 This is what comes in the box:

One game-map

2 sheets of counters and markers

3 Player Aid Cards

Rule booklet

Historical commentary

The scale is 1 hour per turn, about 500 m. per hex,
Each strength point (SP) stands for 50-150 men for infantry
and cavalry (basing on their efficiency rating), and 3-5 guns.
Designer: Enrico Acerbi
Complexity: 3/5
Solitaire suitability: 4/5

 This is from Acies Edizioni about the game:

 "The war of the Second Coalition on the Italian front was becoming a nightmare for the French Republic. Defeat after defeat (Cassano d’Adda, Trebbia) the exhausted French army was pushed away from the northern Italy by the vigorous offensive of the Austro-Russian army led by Suvorov. For this reason, the Directorate decided to call another general, Barthelemy Joubert, at the head of the army. The Directorate ordered General Joubert to immediately attack Suvorov and to make every effort to free Tortona. On the morning of August 15th, the noise of the first shots of the battle of Novi begun to fill the air. Joubert rode to a little hill to better assess the situation. Few moments after his arrival, a bullet hit him in the chest, killing the young general almost instantly. An untimely death."


 I am always impressed by Acies Edizioni components for their games. The box is light compared to some and there are not many parts inside. However, what you do get is well worth your money. The Rule Booklet is made of almost hard stock, and it is in full color. It is only twenty-one pages long but has everything in the rules that you would expect from a Napoleonic game. The eighteen-page Historical Commentary is worth at least half of the game's price, if not more. There are three full-sized Player Aid Cards included and they are all double-sided. The first one has the setup for Scenario I on one side and the setup for Scenario II on the other. The second has the setup for Scenario III (the whole Battle of Novi), with the French setup on one side and the Coalition on the other. The last one has the Combat Results Table etc. and, on the flip-side has the Terrain Effects Chart. The counters are nice looking with small portraits on them. They are a little 'busy' compared to some others. The only thing about the components that you could complain about is the thinness of the counters. The Map is a thing of beauty. All of the terrain is easy to pick out and to know what each hex has for terrain. Kudos as usual for the Map. All-in-all, the components are up to Acies Edizioni standards. 

Game in progress

 This is the Sequence of Play (I wanted you to see the entire Sequence):

 "3.1. Game Turn
Each Game Turn is divided in 3 phases.
Each Phase is divided into various segments
according to the Command activation rules.
Each Phase must be resolved in the exact order
given below.
Any action taken out of sequence is a violation of
the rules.
A - Command Phase
This phase is divided in 3 segments:
A1- Orders
The Army/Wing Commanders may assign/
change Orders to Formation’s Leaders
(Generals). The command range of the Leaders
must be checked and “Out of Command”
markers must be placed on those units beyond
that range.
Each player places the Formation Chits, reverse
side up and one per box, on the Priority Track.
They then assign orders by selecting an Order
marker to place under each Formation Chit
keeping it hidden. The numeric sequence on
the Track dictates the sequence (alternating
between players) of each Formation’s future
In this segment “Independent Columns” can
be created. To do so, place the corresponding
Column or Brigade Chit on the Priority Track.
Their Leader should already be on the map.
A2- Weather
Specific rules manage the Weather during the
battle turns.
Note: In Novi this segment is not relevant, since
the weather was hot and clear throughout.
A3- Initiative
Each player rolls ld6 to check initiative (see
6.0). The initiative player will start the Action
phase (B) first.
A4- Initiative Commands
An independent (see A1 above) or Out of
Command General can try to change his Orders
performing an Initiative Check.
Roll 1d6 and if the DR is equal to or lower than
the General’s Initiative Value, that Order can
be changed.
B - Actions Phase
A player activates his first available Formation
(see A1).
Each Formation performs all of its Action
phase segments, before progressing to the next
Formation to be activated.
This Actions Phase will continue until all the
Formations have completed their actions.
Note: the 1st Player (Initiative Player) begins
with the Chit in Box 1 and activates the
corresponding Leader (and his Formation).
When this activation completes, the 2nd Player
activates his Chit in Box 1... the activation
sequence passes from one player to the other
until all Leaders has been activated.
The Action Phase is divided into 6 Segments.
B1- Reorganization and Rally
Players can attempt to reorganize their
Disordered or Routed units if their Formation’s
Order allows for it.
B2- Replacements and Reinforcements
The active player returns to the map, those
combat units belonging to the activated
Formation previously eliminated (see 12.0 and
Reinforcements belonging to the active
Formation can enter the map in March Column
at this time, in the hexes specified by the
scenario’s rules.
B3- Movement
Activated units move according to their
Formation’s Orders. Artillery that moves must
be flipped onto its “Moved” side; it cannot
perform Bombardment when it is in this state.
Once the movement of all activated “In
Command” units is complete, individual “Out
of Command” units of the active Formation can
attempt to change their generic Defend Order.
B4- Bombardment
Artillery units of the active Formation, not on
their “Moved” side, can execute bombardments.
Use the Bombardment Table.
B5- Combat
Combat is resolved in a series of segments as
outlined below:
B5.1- Attack declarations
The player declares his attacks and place the
markers, “Attack” or “Attack?” according to
their Formation’s Orders.
B5.2- Retreat before combat
Some defending units (e.g., Light Cavalry)
may retreat before combat.
B5.3- Defensive Bombardment
The defensive player may perform a defensive
bombardment with any artillery units, if not in a
“Moved” state, present in those hexes declared
under attack.
B5.4- Assault
All Efficiency checks are performed and the
attacks are resolved on the CRT.
B6- End of Phase
The activated Leader counter on the map is
turned facedown, displaying the reverse with
the letter “A”, and a new Actions Phase begins;
the opposing Player now activates his first/next
available Formation in the Priority Track.
C - End of turn phase
When ALL Formations (both sides) have been
activated the Game Turn marker is advanced on
the Turn Record Track. All Leaders on their “A”
side and all artillery with on their “Moved” side
are flipped face up.
Then the new turn begins with Phase A."

 Hopefully this will show you exactly how much thought has gone into the rules. It should also show you how it was designed from the ground up to be a Napoleonic game, compared to some Napoleonic rules that seem more at home in World War II.

 Command and Control of your forces are the key to this game. There are no pigeons or wireless sets for you to convey your orders. These are some of the parts of a Napoleonic battle that Acies Edizioni has put into the rules:

Elan Attack - For French Generals with a value of 3 or higher.

Advance and Skirmish

March and Build

General's Initiative Check

Artillery in Melee

Cavalry Harassing

Cavalry Retreat Before Combat

Emergency Squares

 This list just scratches the surface.

 Once again Acies Edizioni, and the designer Enrico Acerbi, have given us a great Napoleonic battle to fight, even if it is almost unknown and it doesn't even have Napoleon present. Thank you Acies Edizioni for allowing me to take another of your Napoleonic period games for a spin. I enjoyed the game very much. Right now, you can get a great deal on some games bundled together. Please check them out.


The Battle of Novi August 1799:

Acies Edizioni: