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 Napoleon Returns 1815 by Worthington Publishing  The Waterloo Campaign, Gettysburg, and the Bulge are the trifecta of wargaming. If we grog...

Napoleon Returns 1815 by Worthington Publishing Napoleon Returns 1815 by Worthington Publishing

For your Wargamer, Toy soldier collector, MiniFig collector, military history nut. Reviews, interviews, Model Making, AARs and books!

Waterloo campaign

 Napoleon Returns 1815


Worthington Publishing

 The Waterloo Campaign, Gettysburg, and the Bulge are the trifecta of wargaming. If we grognards only had games on these three campaigns/battles, we would have enough to fill our shelves and play for a very long time. Of the three campaigns, in my mind Waterloo is the one that is the most of a toss-up. There are so many 'what-ifs' to the campaign. Napoleon who always, up to then, was conscious of time ( Napoleon's quote "I may lose a battle but I will never lose a minute), was an incredibly large part of making war successfully. He seemed to completely forget it in the Waterloo Campaign. He and his army were definitely affected by the 'slows' during the campaign. You can ascribe this to ill health, or any number of other things. At Ligny, the French had a chance to crush Blucher. After Ligny, the next day the French Army sauntered after the Prussian Army instead of herding it like cattle. The rainstorm the night before Waterloo, and Grouchy not 'marching to the guns' are more examples of 'what-ifs'. Enough of the history. Let's see what Worthington Publishing has put in the box:

Mounted Map 

18 French, British, and Prussian Corps Cubes

25 Small Yellow Wooden Markers

1 Six-Sided Die

2 Full Color Player Aid Sheets

2 Full Color RuleBooks

68 Battle Cards

5 French Objective Cards

 The map is meant to look like an old parchment map. It succeeds at this very well. It is a mounted map, and looks and feels to be able to live through as many games as you want to play on it. Movement on it is from point-to-point. Infantry Corps normally move one point, and Cavalry normally move two. The Corps wooden cubes that I received were uniform in size, except for the French Cavalry block, which was slightly larger. Friendly gamers playing the game would have no problem with this. If you are playing with someone who uses this to deduce where that block is, get yourself another gaming partner. They would also mark their cards. The Player Aid sheets are of strong stock, and slightly laminated. One side shows the setup for the pieces on the map. The other side gives the Sequence of Play etc. The back of the Combat Cards show a weary dejected Napoleon who is obviously suffering from piles. The front of the cards show a small painting from the different parts of the campaign. The Rulebook is eight pages long. It is made of paper with a bit of lamination on it, like a well done magazine. It is in full color and has examples of play included. All in all, the components are first rate.  

  The game is based on each corps' Cohesion Points. These can be deducted for Combat Losses, Extra Movement by Infantry (Forced March), and Retreat. So Cohesion in this game represents morale, combat losses, and fatigue of each of the Corps. Combat in the game is totally reliant on the Combat Cards. Each corps is worth 'X' amount of combat cards. Here is what it says in the Rulebook about Army Commanders and Corps:

"Below the army commander is a list of the corps in the

army. Each corps is listed by the corps name and its

leader name. Shown for each corps is the number of

combat cards that corps adds to combat if present, which

may be reduced based on its current cohesion point

number. Each corps has a tactical rating that determines

its ability to reinforce combat at an adjacent location and

its ability to counterattack during combat if no army

commander is present and if its Tactical Rating is used."

"Each corps has a set amount of cohesion points showing

how many cohesion reductions that corps can take in

movement, combat, and retreat before it is eliminated

from game play. Track cohesion by placing one of the

yellow cubes at the highest cohesion level for that corps

to begin the game. When a corps takes cohesion point

reductions, move the yellow cube the appropriate

number of spaces down the corps cohesion point track.

If a corps reaches cohesion point below 1, it is eliminated

and remove the corps unit from the game board. Shown

at the approximate halfway point on the cohesion track

for each corps is a mark that shows when the corps

reaches this level, any combat that it participates in, will

draw that reduced number of combat cards."

 Is the game a detailed simulation of Napoleonic warfare? Of course not. It is a game, very delightful and easy to play, but hard to master game. Does it give the player tons of choices on an operational level? You bet. You can play a few full games of it on gaming night. The components are simple, yet well done. The game mechanics can be described the same way. Thank you, Worthington Publishing for allowing me to review this game. My normal hex and counter obsession would have never let me really look at the game. 


Worthington Publishing:

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Napoleon Returns 1815:

Napoleon Returns 1815 — Worthington (

Marshal Ney at Quatre Bras by Paul L. Dawson     Within the first chapter of this book, the author shows us the...

Marshal Ney at Quatre Bras by Paul L. Dawson Marshal Ney at Quatre Bras by Paul L. Dawson

For your Wargamer, Toy soldier collector, MiniFig collector, military history nut. Reviews, interviews, Model Making, AARs and books!

Waterloo campaign


 Within the first chapter of this book, the author shows us the two most important reasons for the failure of the 1815 Belgian campaign. First, the French Army had some royalist officers and men who defected to the Allies. The amount of these defections are usually glossed over in other books on the campaign. Second, without Berthier as Napoleon's chief of staff, the Imperial headquarters seems to have been run in a very sloppy manner. Officers did not know where all their troops were, and many messages between the different staffs seem to have been missed. While not a competent field general, Berthier deserves to be listed as one of the best chiefs of staff ever. His not returning to serve under Napoleon in 1815 is probably one of the key reasons for the failure of the campaign. As far as the desertions, the author states that four Carabiner officers deserted on the field of Waterloo.

 The author does a very good job of detailing the performance of Marshal Ney from the 15th to the 18th of June 1815. He shows that Ney was handicapped by a lack of staff when he was appointed to the command of the left wing of the French Army by Napoleon on June 15th. Mr. Dawson shows how unnaturally timid Ney was on both the 15th and 16th of June. He goes on to show how nearly maniacal Ney became on the field of Waterloo. Unfortunately, we have only the written orders from the campaign, but the accompanying verbal orders have been argued about for more than two hundred years. In the author's eyes, among others, Ney lost the campaign by ordering d'Erlon's 1st corps away from the edge of the Ligny battlefield to help Ney at Quatre Bras. Of course, some of the blame also rests on d'Erlon for following Ney's order and not Napoleon's.

 The book shows the battle of Quatre Bras in all of its details and changes of fortune from French to Allied throughout the battle. The charge of Kellermann's Cuirassiers is explained by the author to be not as suicidal as is sometimes written about. The book comes with a one page colored map of the battle, and seven pages of colored photos of the different places on the battlefield today.

 The author shows that Ney unequivocally was sent, and received, a message from Napoleon that made it plain that Napoleon intended Ney to be part of a 'manoevre sur les derrieres' (move onto the rear) of the Prussian Army at Ligny. Ney's capture of Quatre Bras was supposed to be a movement to forestall Wellington being able to move to help the Prussians. As the book shows, Ney was hardly the best Marshal for Napoleon to have picked to have a ? command. His track record in 1813 should have precluded him in this command, but Napoleon had only so many Marshals to choose from.

 Whilst Ney was nicknamed by Napoleon 'the bravest of the brave' (look at his exploits leading the rearguard from Russia), he was not the smartest of the smart. If Davout or Soult had been in charge of the left wing, they probably would have captured Quatre Bras, and d'Erlon would have helped crush the Prussians at Ligny, thus making the Prussian Army unable to intervene on the field of Waterloo. Ney was the only marshal charged with treason after the second fall of Napoleon. This brave man was sentenced to death, and shot by firing squad.

 Ney's supposed comments at his execution were " Soldiers when I give the command to fire, fire straight at my heart. Wait for the order. It will be my last to you. I protest against my condemnation. I have fought a hundred battles for France, and not one against her ...soldiers,fire!"


Book: Marshal Ney at Quatre Bras
Author: Paul L. Dawson
Publisher: Frontline Books
Distributor: Casemate Publishers