19 Apr 2022

1815 The Waterloo Campaign

Before 1975, if you wanted to play an operational game on Napoleon's June 1815 campaign, you were limited to Waterloo (1962) by Avalon Hill. Then two games game out in quick succession to provide a more sophisticated look at the situation.

  • 1815 The Waterloo Campaign (1975, Game Designers Workshop) by Frank Chadwick.
  • Napoleon's Last Battles (1976, SPI - also known as NLB) by Kevin Zucker.

Both games had similar unit, time, and hex scales as well as map coverage area. Game mechanics were mostly identical - order of battle, sequence of play, rigid zones of control, command structure. Key differences appear in three areas: artillery bombardment, combined arms, and national tactical doctrines.

Bombardment

  • 1815: Artillery may bombard from 1 or 2 hexes away, using their much-stronger defense values as the bombardment strength.
  • NLB: Bombard only from 2 hexes away.
  • In both games, bombarding an enemy unit adjacent to friendly infantry and cavalry relieves those units of their obligation to attack the bombarded enemy units.

Combined Arms (CA)

  • 1815: CA effects come from the interaction of artillery bombardment and cavalry shock factors.
  • NLB: CA is explicitly stated as having at least one unit of each type in an attack.

Tactical Doctrine

  • 1815: Manifested in the command structures, and stacking abilities unique to each army. Also in the ability of units to exit enemy ZOC's under certain condition. 
  • NLB: Limited to the command structure only.

Even though 1815 came first, NLB has outlived it by decades. Kevin Zucker's continued support and improving of the NLB system is still published today as the Library of Napoleonic Battles. But 1815 provides a valid alternative perspective on Napoleonic combat operations.

Vassal Module

Download 1815 vassal module.

Map: Suprisingly, there is no module on the vassalengine.org website for 1815. Perhaps because no full-sized scans of the original maps have been readily available. The module available here is a fork from the excellent Cyberboard module by Jim Priestaf and available on Limey Yank Games. The map image is divided into two sections, North and South - like the paper maps, comprising the default board layout and hex identification system. 

Units are vassal Game-Piece images. Two-step units have a layer to show reduced combat values. Combat factors on one-step units (and reduced two-steppers) are displayed on a white background (similar to NLB). Color-coding of units has been added to better show command structure within each army.

Charts, tables, and order of appearance cards are not included in the module. Use the printed versions that came with the game. If you need assistance with these, geekmail user rdmorss on BGG.

29 Mar 2022

Procedural Combat Series

Conflict Simulations LLC sells what they call their Procedural Combat Series of one-map theater level operations set in post-WWII (designed by Ray Weiss). So far there are five games in the series:

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23 Mar 2022

Operation Jubilee

Operation Jubilee is the small step-child in the "D-Day at..." series of solitaire games by John Butterfield. This game depicts the disastrous 1942 raid on Dieppe by Canadian forces and Royal Marine commandos. A grim situation but a good first-step into the game system. The problem is, the game is out of print and hard to find, with no hint of a reprint.

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1 Mar 2022

HSN Scenario 6

Posting on the 2021 GCACW tournament in which Hood Strikes North scenarios 4, 6, 2 and 7 (in play order) are tested. I'm in the PBEM division. This is Round 2, with runs from January 15 to April 15, 2022.

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13 Feb 2022

Tannenberg

From the Great War in the East (GWE) series by David Isby (SPI 1978), a game system that portrays early WWI campaigns NOT on the western front - operations that had not been covered in any other wargames at the time of publication.

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20 Jan 2022

Frigate

One of the problems with naval wargaming is that there are so many published rules sets available (on all eras of naval conflict) which one do you choose? Boardgames of sailing ships fighting on hex maps are a subset of naval miniatures rules, and there are, once again, several to choose from. James Dunnigan's Frigate (1974 SPI) offers a distilled look at fleet command with a simplified damage model and generic classes of ships.

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30 Dec 2021

Killer Angels

Killer Angels (1984 West End) is a detailed operational study of the Gettysburg campaign with unique mechanics for command, hidden movement, skirmish, and battle. It also factors in political constraints that mainly apply to the Union side.

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8 Dec 2021

Fredericksburg 1862

Poetry of Mark Morss (1947-2015)

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