Rules - Simmons Games
Napoleon’s Triumph
Rules of Play
Table of Contents
1. Parts List .................................................................................. 2
2. Introduction ............................................................................. 2
3. Playing Pieces .......................................................................... 2
4. The Game Board ..................................................................... 2
5. Scenarios .................................................................................. 3
6. Setting up the Game................................................................ 3
7. Order of Play ........................................................................... 3
8. Corps ........................................................................................ 3
9. Commands ............................................................................... 4
10. Movement .............................................................................. 4
11. Attacks .................................................................................... 5
12. Retreats .................................................................................. 8
13. Morale .................................................................................... 9
14. Night ....................................................................................... 9
15. Elite Units .............................................................................. 9
16. Winning the Game ................................................................ 9
17. Game Balance (optional) ...................................................... 9
18. The Santon (optional) ......................................................... 10
19. Team Play (optional) ........................................................... 10
Design Notes ............................................................................end
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Napoleon’s Triumph
1. Parts List
The game includes:
• 140 wooden playing pieces.
• 18 metal leader pieces.
• Two copies of a sheet of stickers.
• 15 wooden markers.
• Two game boards.
• Two copies of this rules booklet.
Note: Extra pieces and stickers are provided to
replace any lost or damaged components.
2. Introduction
Napoleon’s Triumph is a game based on the
battle of Austerlitz. It is a game for two players:
one player controls the French army and the
other the Allied army. In the game, the players
take turns moving their pieces and attacking
enemy pieces. A player wins by either inflicting losses on the enemy army or by controlling
territory.
3. Playing Pieces
The pieces in the game represent the opposing French and Allied armies. Blue pieces are
French, red are Allied.
There are two classes of pieces: commanders
and units. Commanders represent individual
leaders and their staffs. Units represent bodies
of infantry, cavalry, and artillery.
Commanders are identified by name. A sample commander is shown below:
sections 1-4 • parts list, introduction, playing pieces, game board
The number of symbols on a unit indicates
its strength. The sample units above are a threestrength infantry unit, a two-strength cavalry
unit, and a one-strength artillery unit.
Usually, a player keeps his units turned so
that his opponent cannot see their faces. This
normal state is called face-down. Note: in general, this is not literally face down – players who
sit on opposite sides of the board will usually
prefer to keep their units’ faces towards themselves, which is convenient and suffices to hide
them from their opponent.
A commander does not have a face-down
state. The name of a commander is always visible to both sides.
When a unit has to be reduced in strength
as a result of an attack or retreat, it is removed
and another unit of the same type – but a lower
strength – is put in its place. Extra units are provided with the game for this purpose.
At full strength, an infantry unit represents
about 2000 men, a cavalry unit represents about
1400 troopers, and an artillery unit represents
about 30 massed guns and their crews.
Commanders in the game represent the historical commanders of corps or their functional
equivalents.
The game board consists of two sections,
which are joined together. Most of the game
board depicts a map of the battlefield. Some
space on the edges is devoted to play aids.
The play aids are explained in the rules sections appropriate to them. This section explains
how to read the map.
Three sample units are shown below:
is an infantry penalty.
is a cavalry penalty.
is an artillery penalty.
is obstructed.
is impassable.
Sometimes a player must show the face of
one of his units to his opponent. In those situations the face is turned upwards. This is called
face-up.
4. The Game Board
Before starting play for the first time, stickers must be applied to the commanders.
is an approach. Approaches can
be either narrow (as wide as
one piece) or wide (as wide as
two pieces). Penalty symbols can
be on either side of an approach
to show the effects of terrain on
movement and attacks across it.
Penalties are directional: the
symbols inside a locale show the
penalties for moving and attacking into (not out of) the locale.
The map is divided into polygons. These
polygons are called locales. The sides of the
polygons are called approaches, and the middle
is called the reserve area.
4
is the locale capacity.
is a hill (the elevation number is
cosmetic: it has no effect on play).
The example locale above is a hill, has a
capacity limit of four and has three approaches.
The top approach has penalties for infantry and
artillery attacks into the locale, as well as an
obstructed penalty. The right approach has a
penalty for cavalry attacks into the locale. The
left approach is impassable.
In some locales, a few special symbols are
present. These are as follows:
set-up locale.
game objective locale.
reinforcement entry locale.
A piece in play must be in a position within
a locale. A piece can be in position next to
an approach (which is called blocking that
approach) or it can be in position in the reserve
area (which is called being in reserve). The
example below shows how this is physically
represented:
An example of a locale with three approaches
is shown below:
6
One side of each unit is marked with symbols. That side is called the face.
4
The type of symbol indicates the type of
unit. There are four types of symbols:
(Pieces are face-up for illustration only.)
guard infantry
infantry
cavalry
artillery
The symbols that define locales are as follows:
In this example, the infantry and cavalry
piece are blocking the top approach together,
while the artillery piece in the middle is in
reserve by itself. Pieces blocking approaches
should be oriented the same way as the
approach. Pieces in reserve may be oriented
sections 4-9 • game board, scenarios, setting up the game, order of play, corps
any way that is convenient – their orientation
has no effect on play.
Important: pieces are defined as being
in the same position when they are in the same
locale and in the same position in that locale. A
piece blocking an approach in a locale is not in
the same position as a piece blocking a different approach in that locale, nor is it in the same
position as a piece in reserve in that locale.
A player may not put more of his units (not
counting commanders) into a locale than the
locale’s capacity limit. Note: there is a special
case related to this limit in the corps rules (see
section 8).
The capacity limit is for the entire locale.
There are no sub-limits for the reserve area or
individual approaches.
Locales are adjacent if they are on opposite
sides of the same approach. Locales that share
only a corner are not adjacent.
The red lines on the map are main roads.
The brown lines are local roads. Roads affect
movement: pieces can be moved farther in a
turn if they are moving along a road.
Other markings on the map show elevation,
woods, marshes, rivers, streams and towns.
These are cosmetic and do not affect play. (Their
effects are simulated by approach penalties and
the sizes and shapes of the locales.)
5. Scenarios
7:00AM
1 December
Scenario
Start
7:00AM
2 December
Scenario
Start
Napoleon’s Triumph has two scenarios,
identified by their start date:
2 December Scenario
• Description: Historical day of battle.
This is the game’s main scenario.
• Allied Set-up. All Allied pieces are in
play at start.
• Estimated playing time: 2 hours.
1 December Scenario
• Description: Historical Allied advance.
More lines of play, longer playing time.
• Allied Set-up: Two Allied corps (Allied
player’s choice) start in play. All others
enter as reinforcements.
• Estimated playing time: 3 hours.
6. Setting up the Game
Game set-up is as follows:
(1) Select a scenario to play.
(2) Agree on who will play which side.
(3) Get out the game board.
(4) Get out the markers. One black marker
is for the Time Track. The red and blue markers
are for the Morale Track. The other black markers are for the Command Tracks.
(5) Inventory the armies. The pieces that
make up the armies’ initial strength should be
placed face-up on the French and Allied Army
displays.
(6) The Allies set up. The Allied player organizes his army into corps by secretly assigning units (face-down) to commanders. The
minimum number of units that must be initially
assigned to each commander is printed next to
the commander’s name in the Allied Army display; the maximum number of units that can be
assigned to each commander is eight. In the 2
December scenario, all of the Allied corps begin
the game in play. In the 1 December scenario,
the Allied player selects any two corps to start
the game in play, and the others start the game
off-map and will enter as reinforcements (see
the reinforcement rules in section 10). The corps
that start the game in-play must be placed in the
set-up locale bearing the commander’s name.
The pieces in a given corps may be in reserve
or blocking any approach in that locale, but all
the pieces in each corps must be together in the
same position.
(7) The French set up. The French player
organizes and sets up his army as the Allied
player did in the previous step. The French
corps (except Bernadotte’s and Davout’s) start
on the map in both scenarios. Bernadotte’s and
Davout’s corps start off-map and enter as reinforcements. Bernadotte and Davout must each
be initially assigned at least one unit that is not
a two-strength infantry unit. Suggestion: set-up
goes faster if the French player begins to organize his pieces while the Allied player is organizing his. Doing so does not commit the French
player to anything: he can still make changes
after the Allied player finishes.
(8) The French player may detach up to six
units from any of his on-map commanders and
re-position them. They may not be more than
two locales distant from their former commanders and may not be positioned in or adjacent
to a red, green or black objective locale. The
detached units may be placed either in reserve
or blocking an approach. Note: a corps can be
assigned more units than the capacity of the setup locale, provided that after detachments the
capacity limits are not violated.
(9) The French player turns one of his
artillery batteries face-up and names it as his
fixed battery. If it is in reserve, he should
immediately reposition it to block an approach
in its set-up locale. It may not move during the
game. In all other respects it is a normal artillery
unit, and may lead attacks and defenses.
Napoleon’s Triumph
3
7. Order of Play
The game is played as a series of rounds.
Each space in the Time Track represents a round.
The marker location tracks the current round.
A round is divided into two turns. The first
turn is the Allied player’s, and the second is the
French player’s.
In a player’s turn, he may move his pieces
and use them to attack enemy pieces.
At the end of each turn, to restore secrecy for
any units that may have been revealed during
that turn, both players are permitted to do outof-sight “shuffles” of their units. Units shuffled
together must be in the same position. Units in
a corps may not be shuffled together with units
that are not in that corps.
8. Corps
A corps consists of one commander and one
to eight units. Corps are created during set-up.
Corps membership can be indicated by placing the commander on top of one of the units in
its corps and arranging the others next to it or
behind it, as shown in the example below:
Note: this is just a convention to help players
keep track of which units belong to which corps.
Apart from this use, the physical arrangement of
the pieces in a corps has no effect on play.
A unit can leave a corps by being
detached from it. Once detached, a unit can
remain detached indefinitely, or it can be later
re-attached to a corps (either the corps it left or
a different corps) by means of an Attach command (see section 9 for details).
Players can voluntarily detach units from
corps when specifically allowed to do so by the
rules. Also, units can be involuntarily detached
from their corps during attacks (see section 11)
and retreats (see section 12).
The maximum number of units in a corps is
eight. The minimum number of units is one. (The
minimum number of units that must be assigned
to a corps during set-up applies only during setup; it does not apply once play begins.)
A commander cannot detach its last unit.
If all of the units in a corps are eliminated, the
corps commander is eliminated. A corps can
never be just a commander.
The pieces in a corps must always be in the
same position at all times.
4
sections 8-10 • corps, commands, movement
Napoleon’s Triumph
When multiple corps or detached units are in
the same position, the pieces should be grouped
and arranged to make it clear which pieces are
in which corps and which pieces are detached.
Normally, the number of units allowed in
a locale is limited by its capacity. However, a
corps may move by road through a locale with
a capacity that is less than the number of units
in the corps, provided it does not end its move
there.
9. Commands
A player takes his turn by executing
commands. Commands are carried out in any
order the player chooses, but one command must
be completed before another can be begun.
There are two classes of commands: corps
commands and independent commands.
A corps command is a command given by
a commander to some or all of the units in its
corps. Each commander can give only one corps
command per turn. In addition, the Allied player
is limited to a total of five corps commands per
turn (note: the French player has no corresponding limit).
An independent command is a command
given to a single detached unit. The Allied
player is limited to three independent commands
per turn and the French player is limited to four
independent commands per turn.
The types of commands are as follows:
• Corps Move (corps command). The
commander and all of the units in its
corps move together. Immediately prior
to the move, a player is permitted to
detach units from the corps: the detached
units are not moved by the command.
• Detach Move (corps command). A
commander detaches one or more units
from its corps and moves them together.
The commander and the remaining
units in the corps are not moved by the
command. Units moved by this type of
command cannot move by road.
• Attach (corps command). A commander
can attach a single unit to its corps. The
commander and the unit must both be in
the same position at the time the command is given. The command may be
given to a detached unit or a unit in a
different corps; if given to a unit in a different corps, the command detaches the
unit from its old corps as part of attaching it to its new corps.
• Unit Move (independent command).
A single detached unit is moved. If the
unit is not already detached, it can be
detached as part of this command.
A unit cannot be moved by two commands
in the same turn. Players should note, however,
that an Attach command does not move a unit,
so a unit can be given a move command and
then an Attach command in the same turn.
The following example shows some commands in action:
1
4
20
3
2
In this example, Kienmayer uses a Detach
Move command (1) to detach a unit and move
it out of the locale to the left. Dokhturov uses
an Attach command (2) to detach a unit from
Kienmayer’s corps and attach it to its own
corps. Langeron uses a Corps Move command
(3) to move its entire corps out of the locale to
the right, but before it does, it detaches the toprear unit in the corps. A Unit Move command
(4) is then used to move that detached unit back
into reserve.
The Command Track helps players keep
track of commands. When a player carries out
a command, his opponent puts a marker on the
corresponding space on the track. Players should
state their commands aloud as needed to ensure
that they are correctly tracked.
10. Movement
Pieces only move by command. Multiple
pieces moving by a single command must move
together: at the same time and from the same
position to the same position.
Pieces may not cross or block an impassable
approach.
In this example, the unit can move to block
the approaches to the left or the right in the
locale it occupies, or could move into reserve in
the locales to the left or the right. It cannot move
to the top or bottom because the approaches on
those sides are impassable.
A piece blocking an approach at the start of
a turn has the following movement choices:
• into reserve in the locale it occupies.
• into reserve in the locale on the other
side of the approach it is blocking.
The following example demonstrates these
choices:
4
4
In this example, the unit can move to the left,
into reserve in the locale it occupies, or it can
move to the right, into reserve in the adjacent
locale.
A piece moving by road can move farther
than it could otherwise. Along a main road a
piece can move up to three locales. Along a
local road or a combination of main and local
roads a piece can move up to two locales.
In a single turn, a piece can only move along
connected roads. Roads in the same locale are
not necessarily connected, as shown below:
12
Pieces may attempt to move into an enemyoccupied locale during their move; such a move
is an attack: see section 11 for details.
A piece in reserve at the start of the turn
(and which is not moving by road) has the following movement choices:
• into reserve in an adjacent locale.
• to block an approach of the locale it
occupies.
There are two unconnected roads in this
locale. A piece moving by road could not switch
from one road to the other in a single turn.
A piece that begins the turn in a locale containing multiple unconnected roads can leave
the locale by any of those roads.
The following example demonstrates these
choices:
Pieces moving by road must start their move
in reserve. They must also end their move in
reserve, unless all of them are cavalry (the move
can include a commander). Cavalry moving by
road can end their move blocking an approach,
but the approach must be crossed by a road that
is connected to the road on which they moved.
The units must be briefly turned face-up to
confirm that they are cavalry.
6
Historically, moving large formations of men
by road was complex and difficult if there were
other friendly units moving in the same area at
the same time, or if there were large numbers
sections 10,11 • movement, attacks
of the enemy nearby. To simulate this, when a
corps with two or more units moves by road, the
following rules apply:
• The corps cannot enter a locale if the
reserve area of that locale contains units
that moved into it earlier in that same
turn.
• After the corps enters a locale (even if
just to pass through it), no other units
can move into or through the reserve
area of the locale for the rest of the turn.
• The corps must stop its move on entering a locale if there is an adjacent locale
that contains an enemy corps of two or
more units.
The example below illustrates road movement:
Napoleon’s Triumph
Reinforcements must use road movement to
enter play.
Reinforcements require commands to enter
play. They may be detached prior to entry and
enter by Unit Move commands, or they can
enter as corps by Corps Move commands. Pieces
entering as a corps must come on together at the
same entry locale by the same road.
The Allies were historically deceived about
the French reinforcements. To simulate this,
French reinforcement units may be given two
move commands in their turn of entry, and
French reinforcement commanders can give
two commands in their turn of entry. The second
command cannot be issued until after the first
has been completed, but it need not be consecutive with it (i.e. – Davout could enter by a Corps
Move command, then other French commands
could be executed, and then Davout’s corps
could move again by a second Corps Move
command). Note: French reinforcements have
to move by road on the first command, but not
the second.
11. Attacks
6
4
In this example, Legrand’s corps of four units
moves two locales by road. It begins its move
in the top locale, enters and passes through the
middle locale, and enters and ends its move in
the bottom locale.
Reinforcements are pieces that start the
game off-map and enter the map during play.
The rules in this section govern when, where,
and how they enter. Once in play, they behave
like other pieces.
French reinforcements are eligible to enter as
shown on the Time Track; if that time is prior to
the start of the scenario, the reinforcements are
eligible to enter from the scenario’s first round
on. In the 1 December scenario, Allied reinforcements are eligible to enter on the scenario’s
first round.
A player may voluntarily delay reinforcement entry. Important note: the French army’s
victory conditions are much easier to achieve if
they can avoid bringing on any reinforcements
during the game (see section 16).
Reinforcements enter play on reinforcement
entry locales (blue for French, red for Allied). A
player chooses which entry locales will be used
by which pieces at the time he brings them on.
Different pieces may use different locales.
Reinforcements may not use an entry locale
if it is enemy-occupied.
An attack is when pieces attempt to move
into an enemy-occupied locale. Attacks occur
during movement and are part of movement.
The move command which causes the attack
is called the attack command. The locale into
which the attack is made is the defense locale.
The adjacent locale from which the attack is being
made is the attack locale. The defender’s side of
the approach between the two locales is called
the defense approach, and the attacker’s side of
that same approach is the attack approach. The
reserve area of the defense locale is the defense
reserve. The reserve area of the attack locale is
the attack reserve.
Normally pieces are moved one command at
a time. In the following cases, however, multiple
commands can be carried out at the same time to
make a single combined attack move:
• Two or more Corps Moves may be combined if the corps start their move in the
same position and are attacking across
the same attack approach.
• Two Unit Moves may be combined if
both units are artillery and block the
same attack approach. The units must
be briefly turned face-up to confirm that
they are artillery.
Each command in a combined move still counts
separately against applicable command limits.
The defender does not expend commands in
an attack.
An attack can be made by road movement
if all the attacking units are cavalry (the attack
can include a commander). The units must be
briefly turned face-up after their move is over to
confirm that they are cavalry.
5
Cavalry units cannot lead an attack, lead
a defense, or counter-attack if the defense
approach is obstructed. (Leading units and
counter-attacks are explained in the attack procedure below.)
An attack is resolved according to the following procedure:
(1) Attack Threat. The attacker names the
attack approach. He does not yet announce the
command and pieces he will use to make the
attack. That announcement comes later in this
procedure and is called the attack declaration.
(2) Retreat Option. The defender may
defend or retreat. He defends if he names one or
more defending pieces for the locale. If he has
no defending pieces, he retreats.
Pieces blocking the defense approach must
all be named as defending pieces. Pieces blocking approaches other than the defense approach
cannot be named as defending pieces. Any or all
of the pieces in defense reserve may be named
as defending pieces by the defending player,
within the following restrictions:
• Pieces in reserve cannot be named as
defending pieces if there are any pieces
blocking the defense approach.
• Defending pieces in reserve can include
any number of pieces from any number
of corps, but can include no more than
one detached unit.
• A commander cannot be a defending
piece by itself; it can only be named
along with at least one unit in its corps.
• Pieces cannot be named as defending
pieces if they were previously named as
defending pieces against an attack from
a different approach earlier that same
turn.
• Pieces cannot be named as defending
pieces if they retreated after combat earlier that same turn (they may be named if
they retreated before combat earlier that
same turn).
The act of declaring pieces as defending
pieces neither changes their position nor turns
them face-up.
If no defending pieces are named, then the
defender must retreat (see section 12). The
attacking player then makes his attack declaration, and moves his pieces into the defense
locale. (Exception: if the attacker reveals that
the attack is by an artillery unit that could have
led the attack as per step 5 of this procedure
had the defender not retreated, the artillery unit
does not have to move.) A retreat before combat ends the attack: the remaining steps in the
attack procedure are ignored.
(3) Feint Option. If he so chooses, the
attacker may declare his attack a feint. (Note: if
the attack is by road move, it must be declared a
feint). If a feint is declared:
6
Napoleon’s Triumph
• The attacking player makes his attack
declaration, but the attacking pieces do
not enter the defense locale and will end
their move in the attack locale instead.
If the attacking pieces start their move
blocking the attack approach, they must
end it in place. If the attacking pieces
start their move in reserve (or, in the
case of pieces moving by road, in a different locale), they may end it either in
the attack reserve or blocking the attack
approach. It is not permitted to split
the pieces making the attack move and
have some blocking while others are in
reserve.
• If the defending pieces are in reserve,
the defending player may choose to
advance any or all of them to block the
defense approach, but must advance at
least one unit. If a corps is split up by the
advance, the units that are not with their
corps commander are detached.
Declaring an attack a feint ends the attack:
the remaining steps in the attack procedure are
ignored.
(4) Defense Declaration. The defending
player names the defense leading units. The
choice of leading units is restricted as follows:
• The units must come from the defending pieces named in step 2 of this procedure.
• Zero, one, or two units can be named if
the defense approach is wide; zero or
one if it is narrow.
• Units in reserve cannot be paired as
leading units unless they are of the same
type and in the same corps.
• A unit in reserve with a strength of one
cannot be named a leading unit.
As they are named, the leading units are
turned face-up.
(5) Attack Declaration. The attacking
player must name the attack command, the
attack width and the attack leading units.
The attacking player declares the attack
command (or commands, where permitted).
The attacking pieces are the pieces moved by
these commands. The attacking pieces remain in
place until the attack is resolved.
The attack width determines the number of
leading units that can be named (for both sides).
If the attack approach is narrow, the attack is narrow. If the attack approach is wide, the attacking
player can choose to declare the attack as wide
or narrow. If the attacking player declares it
narrow and there are two defense leading units,
the attacking player chooses which one will be
attacked: the other defense leading unit is no
longer considered a leading unit and is turned
face-down again.
The choice of leading units is restricted as
follows:
section 11 • attacks
• The units must come from the attacking
pieces named earlier.
• Zero, one, or two units can be named if
the attack is wide; zero or one if it is narrow.
• Units cannot be paired unless they are of
the same type.
• A one-strength infantry or cavalry unit
cannot be named a leading unit.
• A Corps Move attack cannot be led by
artillery.
• An artillery unit cannot lead an attack if
it is in reserve; it must be blocking the
attack approach.
• Attacks resolved as feints or retreats
before combat excepted (which don’t
count because there are no leading units
in such attacks), artillery-led attacks
cannot be made from the same attack
approach on consecutive rounds unless
the attack locale is a hill and the defense
locale is not.
As they are named, the leading units are
turned face-up.
(6) Initial Result. The initial result is calculated as follows:
• Add together the strengths of the attack
leading units.
• If the attack leading units are infantry
and the defending pieces are blocking
the defense approach subtract one.
• If there is a penalty in the defense
approach that matches the type of the
attack leading units and the defending pieces are blocking the defense
approach, subtract one.
• Unless the attack leading units are artillery, subtract the total strength of the
defense leading units.
The initital winner is determined as follows:
• If the result is greater than zero, the
attacker wins.
• If the result is less than zero, the defender
wins.
• If the result is zero and the defending pieces are blocking the defense
approach, the defender wins.
• If the result is zero and the defending
pieces are in reserve, the side with more
units in the attack (attacking pieces vs.
defending pieces) wins. If both sides
have the same number of units, the
French win.
(7) Counter-Attack. If the attack leading
units are not artillery, the defending player has
the option to name units to counter-attack. The
choice of units for a counter-attack is restricted
as follows:
• The units must come from the defending
pieces named in step 2 of this procedure
and cannot be any of the leading units
(note that a leading unit turned facedown in step 5 is no longer considered a
leading unit and can counter-attack if it
is otherwise eligible).
• One or two units can be named, but
two can be named only if both are of
the same type and from the same corps.
Note that two units can be named even if
the attack is narrow.
• Infantry units may counter-attack only
if the attacker won in the initial result
calculation. Cavalry units can counterattack regardless of the initial result.
Artillery units cannot counter-attack.
As they are named, the counter-attacking
units are turned face-up. Each counter-attacking
unit takes an immediate one-strength point loss.
(8) Final Result. The (reduced) strengths of
the counter-attacking units are subtracted from
the initial result calculated in step 6 to produce
the final result, and then the same tests that were
applied to the initial result to determine the initial winner are re-applied to the final result to
determine the final winner.
(9) Attacker Losses. If the attack leading
units are artillery, the attacker does not take
losses. Otherwise, the attacker losses are calculated as follows:
• Add one point for each defense leading
unit.
• Add the number of points the final result
is below zero (i.e. - if the final result is
-2, then add two). Do not subtract anything if the result is above zero.
The calculated losses should be applied to
the attacking units in the following order:
• Losses are first applied as evenly as possible to the leading units. The defending
player chooses how to apply odd losses.
• If the leading units are eliminated, any
excess losses are applied to other attacking units named in step 5, with the choice
going to the attacking player.
• If all the attacking units named in step 5
are eliminated, any other excess losses
are ignored.
(10) Defender Losses. The defender losses
are calculated as follows:
• Add one point for each cavalry or infantry (but not artillery) attack leading unit
named in step 5. (Note: this applies even
if the units were eliminated in step 9.)
• Add the number of points the final result
is above zero (i.e. - if the final result is
+2, then add two). Do not subtract anything if the result is below zero.
• If the attack leading units are cavalry
or infantry, subtract one point for each
defense leading artillery unit.
The calculated losses should be applied to
the defending units in the following order:
Napoleon’s Triumph
section 11 • attacks
• Losses are first applied as evenly as possible to leading infantry and cavalry (but
not artillery) units. The attacking player
chooses how to apply odd losses.
• If the leading infantry and cavalry units
are eliminated, any excess losses are
applied as evenly as possible to counter-attacking units. The attacking player
chooses how to apply odd losses.
• If the leading infantry and cavalry and
counter-attacking units are eliminated,
any excess losses are applied to other
defending units named in step 2, with the
choice going to the defending player.
• If all the defending units named in step
2 are eliminated, any other excess losses
are ignored.
Attacking pieces moving by road may continue their move (and make additional attacks)
if the defender retreated, but may not continue
their move if the defender did not retreat.
(11) Completion. How the attack is completed depends on the final result:
• If the attack leading units are artillery,
then all pieces for both sides remain in
place. The attacking pieces do not move
and the defending pieces do not retreat.
• If the attacker wins and the attack leading units are not artillery, then all the
defending player’s pieces in the defense
locale must retreat (see section 12) and
the attacking pieces complete their move
into the reserve position in the defense
locale (the attacking pieces do not have
the option to remain in place).
• If the defender wins, any attacking
pieces blocking the attack approach
must withdraw into reserve in the attack
locale (this is not technically considered
either a move or a retreat and is not governed by the movement or retreat rules).
All attacking units are detached from
their corps, except for one unit per corps
named by the attacking player. Other
units in the attack locale belonging to the
attacking player do not withdraw and are
not affected by this result. If the defending pieces are in reserve, the defending
player may choose to advance any or all
of them to block the defense approach,
but must advance at least one unit. If a
corps is split up by the advance, the units
that are not with their corps commander
are detached.
If an attack was resolved as a feint or as a
loss for the attacker, no other attack move may
be made across that same approach that same
turn.
Finally, any units turned face-up during
the course of the attack are turned face-down
again.
This completes the attack procedure.
After an attack, the following rules apply:
If an attack ended with the attacking pieces
still in the attack locale, the command(s) are still
expended for the attack, and the pieces are considered to have moved during the turn (i.e. – the
pieces are not eligible to receive another move
command that turn).
If an attack was led by artillery, a second
attack move may be made across that same
attack approach that same turn, but the second
attack move may not be led by artillery. Note:
The attacker cannot use any of the same pieces
in both attacks. This is because the same pieces
cannot be moved by two different commands
in the same turn. The defender can use the
same pieces in both attacks: the rule prohibiting the same pieces from defending different
approaches in the same turn does not apply
here because both attacks are against the same
approach.
If an attack was won by the attacker (excluding retreats before combat and attacks where the
attack leading units were artillery), no pieces
other than the attacking pieces may enter the
defense locale that turn.
pied by an Allied unit in reserve. In step 1, the
French player declares the attack threat.
2.
?
3.
4
4
4
4
In step 2, the Allied player opts to defend,
and declares the piece in reserve as the defending piece. In step 3, the French player declares
his attack a feint and makes his attack move: a
Unit Move attack by road, and moves his attacking piece into the attack locale, opting to end his
move blocking the attack approach. His unit is
briefly turned face-up to confirm that it is cavalry before being turned face-down again. The
defender then must move a unit up to block the
defense approach and does so.
Attack Example 3:
1.
Attack Example 1:
1.
?
4
2.
2.
4
4
4
4
4
4
4
In this example, the top locale is occupied by
a French unit in reserve and another blocking
the approach. The bottom locale is occupied by
an Allied unit in reserve. In step 1, the French
player declares the attack threat. In step 2, the
Allied player opts not to declare any defending pieces and retreats (see section 12 for the
rules governing retreats). The French player
then makes his attack declaration: to move the
reserve unit by road using a Unit Move command. The unit is briefly turned face-up to
confirm that it is cavalry, and is moved into the
defense reserve. Because the defender retreated
before combat, the attacking unit can continue
moving by road after the attack.
7
In this example, the top locale is occupied by
one French unit blocking the approach, and the
bottom locale is occupied by two Allied units
blocking the opposite approach. In step 1, the
French player declares the attack threat. In step
2, the Allied player must defend with the units
blocking the approach as his defending pieces.
4.
4
4
5.
4
4
In step 3 (not shown), the attacker declares
that the attack is not a feint. In step 4, the Allied
player declares his leading unit and turns it
face-up, revealing it to be an artillery unit. In
step 5, the French player declares his leading
unit and turns it face-up, revealing it as an
artillery unit as well.
6.
8.
4
4
Attack Example 2:
before.
1.
4
?
4
4
4
In this example, before the attack the top
locale is empty and the bottom locale is occu-
4
4
initial result = +1
final result = +1
In step 6, the initial result is calculated as
+1, which is the unmodified strength of the
attack leading unit, as there is no artillery terrain penalty, and the strength of the defense
leading unit is not subtracted from the result
8
Napoleon’s Triumph
section 11-12 • attacks, retreats
because the attack leading unit is artillery. In
step 7 (not shown), the defender cannot counterattack because the attack is led by artillery. In
step 8, the initial result becomes final.
10.
4
Retreating units are turned face-up at the
start of a retreat and face-down at the end.
7.
6.
4
4
4
11.
4
4
initial result = +1
4
4
In step 9 (not shown) the attacker takes no
losses because the attack is led by artillery.
In step 10, the defender losses are calculated:
the defender takes a loss of one for the amount
the attack result is above zero, and chooses to
assess the loss against the non-leading unit
(he does not have to assess it against the leading unit because that unit is artillery), which
is revealed as a two-strength infantry unit and
then reduced by one. In step 11, all units remain
in place because the attack was led by artillery,
and all units turned face-up are turned facedown again.
In step 6, the initial result is calculated: the
strength of the leading unit (3), minus a penalty
for infantry attacking an approach blocked
by the enemy (-1), and minus the strength of
the defense leading unit (-1), yields a result of
+1, which is a win for the attacker. In step 7,
the Allied player declares a counter-attack by
his non-leading unit, which is turned face-up,
revealing a three-strength cavalry unit, which is
immediately reduced by one.
8.
9.
4
4
Attack Example 4:
1.
?
4
2.
4
4
4
4
In this example, the top locale is occupied
by one French unit blocking the approach and
another in reserve, and the bottom locale
is occupied by two Allied units blocking the
approach. In step 1, the French player declares
the attack threat. In step 2, the Allied player must
defend with the units blocking the approach as
his defending pieces.
4.
4
final result = -1
In step 8, the final result is calculated: the
initial result (+1) is reduced by the strength of
the counter-attacking unit (2), for a final result
of -1, which is a win for the defender. In step
9, the attacker loss is calculated: the number
of defense leading units (1) plus the amount the
result is below zero (1) yields a total loss of two.
The loss is applied to the attack leading unit,
reducing it to a strength of one.
10.
11.
4
4
5.
4
4
4
4
4
4
In step 3 (not shown) the French player
declares that the attack will not be a feint. In
step 4, the Allied player declares his leading
unit and turns it face-up, revealing it to be a
one-strength infantry unit. In step 5, the French
player declares that his attack will be a Unit
Move command by his reserve unit. He declares
the leading unit in the attack and turns it faceup, revealing it to be a three-strength infantry
unit.
In step 10, the defender loss is calculated
as the number of attack leading units (1). No
other modifiers apply. The loss is applied to the
defense leading unit, eliminating it. In step 11,
all units remain in place (the attacking unit does
not withdraw to reserve because it already is in
reserve), and all units turned face-up during the
attack are turned face-down again.
12. Retreats
A retreat occurs when defending pieces
are forced out of the locale they occupy by an
enemy attack.
Retreating units take losses as follows:
• Artillery units are eliminated.
• For each approach (other than the
defense approach) occupied by infantry
or cavalry units, a one-strength point loss
is assessed if the approach is narrow, or
two if it is wide. The retreating player
chooses which infantry and/or cavalry
units from the approach will take the
losses.
• If there are infantry units in reserve that
were not declared as defending pieces, a
one-point loss is assessed if the defense
approach was narrow, and two if wide.
The retreating player chooses the reserve
infantry unit or units that will take the
loss. Important note: cavalry units in
reserve do not take a loss when they
retreat.
Pieces forced to retreat go into reserve in one
or more adjacent locales. The retreating player
gets to choose which of his pieces will retreat to
which locales, with the following restrictions:
• The retreat may not be into the attack
locale.
• The retreat may not be across an impassable approach.
• The retreat may not be into an enemyoccupied locale.
• The retreat may not cause the total number of the player’s units in a locale to
exceed the locale’s capacity. If the available retreat locales can hold some, but
not all of the retreating units, the retreating player may put as many units into
them (his choice of units) as will fit.
Pieces unable to retreat within the above restrictions are eliminated.
When a corps retreats, all units except one
are detached from the corps. The retreating
player may choose the unit that remains in the
corps.
An example of a retreat is shown below:
6
A retreat is technically not a move; it does
not require the expenditure of commands.
When a player’s pieces in a locale retreat, all
of that player’s pieces in the locale must retreat:
none can remain behind.
In this example, the infantry piece at top
was defeated in an attack by Vandamme’s corps
opposite it, which forces all the defender’s pieces
sections 12-17 • retreats, morale, night, elite units, winning the game, game balance
in the locale to retreat. No losses are taken from
the unit blocking the top approach because it is
the defense approach. A one-point loss is taken
from the left approach, eliminating one of the
two infantry units there. The piece in reserve
was cavalry and therefore takes no losses. The
retreating pieces retreat to the right, which is
the only direction legally available to them. The
retreating pieces are turned face-up at the start
of the retreat and face-down at the end.
An army takes a two-point morale penalty the
first time in the game it commits its heavy cavalry. Heavy cavalry is committed if: it is used to
lead an attack or defense, counter-attack, retreat,
or take a loss. This penalty is applied before and
in addition to any normal morale reduction for
losses. The penalty can reduce an army’s morale
to one but cannot demoralize it.
13. Morale
Guard infantry are three-strength infantry
units marked with the guard infantry symbol.
Guard infantry is infantry and all rules that apply
to infantry units apply to Guard infantry units,
except where specifically noted otherwise.
23
French
Start Level
27
Allied
Start Level
Each army has a morale level which is indicated by a marker on the Morale Track.
The losing army in an attack (as either the
attacker or defender) loses one morale point for
each strength point it lost in that attack. An army
also loses one morale point for each strength
point it loses in a retreat.
Example: If the attacking army wins in an
attack, and loses two strength points while the
defending army loses three, the attacking army’s
morale would be unchanged and the defending
army’s morale would be reduced by three. If the
defending army lost an additional strength point
in the subsequent retreat, it would lose an additional morale point as well.
When an army’s morale is at one, the next
morale loss will result in demoralization,
unless that loss is from an attack in which the
attack leading units were artillery. (The final
demoralizing loss cannot come from an artillery
attack.)
The French army gets four (4) morale points
added to its current morale level when its first
reinforcement unit enters play.
14. Night
Night
1 December
to
2 December
There is a Night round between 1 and 2
December.
In the night round, pieces cannot attack.
At the start of the night round, each side
regains half (fractions rounded down) of its
morale losses, up to a maximum of four points
regained.
An army takes a four-point morale penalty
the first time in the game it commits its Guard
infantry. Guard infantry is committed if: it is
used to lead an attack or defense, counter-attack,
retreat, or take a loss. This penalty is applied
before and in addition to any normal morale
reduction for losses. The penalty can reduce an
army’s morale to one but cannot demoralize it.
Guard infantry units cannot be paired with
non-Guard infantry units in leading an attack or
counter-attack.
If an attack includes Guard infantry, in step 1
of the attack procedure the attacking player may
declare an attack a Guard Attack. At that time,
the attacking player must demonstrate that there
is at least one Guard infantry unit among the
potential attacking pieces by turning it face-up
(the unit is turned face-down again immediately
afterwards).
A Guard Attack cannot be declared if the
attack approach is obstructed, it cannot be
declared a feint, and the attack leading units
must be Guard infantry units.
In a Guard Attack, one is subtracted from
the strength of each one or two-strength defense
leading units. Guard infantry units may lead
attacks that were not declared as Guard Attacks
(and may also lead a defense and counterattack), but there is no penalty for enemy units
in those situations.
If a Guard Attack is defeated, the attacking
army loses three additional morale points, above
and beyond any morale reductions for losses,
and cannot declare any more Guard Attacks for
the rest of the game.
16. Winning the Game
15. Elite Units
There are two kinds of elite units:
heavy cavalry and Guard infantry.
Heavy cavalry are three-strength cavalry
units.
If either army becomes demoralized, the
game ends immediately. The undemoralized
army wins a decisive victory.
If neither army wins a decisive victory, an
marginal victory is awarded after the last round
is completed. This is based on control of objective locales, which are the locales marked with
Napoleon’s Triumph
9
red, black, green, and blue stars. Note that some
locales have more than one star and control of
one of these locales gives control of two different objective colors.
An army is considered to control an objective locale if both of the following requirements
are met:
• It is occupied by a corps of that army
with at least one infantry and/or artillery
unit. Units are turned face-up after the
game for verification purposes.
• A path by road can be traced from the
locale to a main road reinforcement
entry locale for that army (the Allies
have two such locales, the French one).
The entry locale cannot be enemy-occupied and the path cannot pass through an
enemy-occupied locale.
The terms for a marginal victory depend on
whether the French player brought any of his
reinforcements into play. These are as follows:
Without French Reinforcements: the
Allied player wins a marginal victory if:
• the Allies control at least one blue star
objective, and
• the French do not control any green, red
or black star objectives.
The French player wins a marginal victory if the
Allied player does not.
With French Reinforcements: the French
player wins a marginal victory if:
• the Allies do not control any blue star
objectives, and
• the French control at least one green,
one red, and one black star objective.
The Allied player wins a marginal victory if the
French player does not.
17. Game Balance (optional)
This option allows players to change the balance of the game by reducing the initial morale
level of one side. This can be done arbitrarily by
mutual agreement between the players, or it can
be done by a morale auction. A morale auction
works as follows:
• The auction is held during step 2 of setup.
• The players take turns bidding. A valid
bid is a number greater than or equal to
zero, and greater than any previous bid.
The number bid is the morale penalty the
player is willing to accept in exchange
for the right to choose which side he will
play. Who bids first is randomly determined.
• When it is his turn to bid, a player may
choose to pass, in which case his opponent wins and the auction ends. The
auction winner then chooses the side
he wants to play and reduces its initial
morale by his final bid. The auction loser
10 Napoleon’s Triumph
takes the other side at its normal initial
morale.
18. The Santon (optional)
sections 17-19 • game balance, the santon, team play
ence, the rank order may not be changed, but
plans can be freely discussed and corps assignments can be changed. Any corps assignment
changes must be revealed to the other side after
the conference. While conferring, players are
away from the board.
Players from both teams should mutually
agree whether or not to permit note-taking during conferences.
The Santon was a tall hill on the left flank of
the French army. Historically, the French fixed
battery was deployed there. The sides of the
hill were so steep that work crews had to haul
the guns to the top with ropes. The rules in this
section permit a better simulation of this unique
terrain feature.
Other than the French fixed battery, artillery
units occupying the Santon locale cannot lead
an attack or defense.
If the French fixed battery is set up in the
Santon, the following special rules apply:
• The unit must set up in reserve.
• The unit is allowed to lead an attack
or defense from reserve. It can do this
across any of the three approaches in the
locale.
• Approach penalties apply to attacks
into the locale even when the defending
pieces are in reserve.
19. Team Play (optional)
Although Napoleon’s Triumph is normally
a two player game, it is possible to play with
teams of two to four players per side.
Teams are formed prior to set-up by mutual
agreement. Teams do not have to have the same
number of players, and it is permitted for one
side to be played by an individual while the
other is played by a team.
After step 2 of set-up, each team holds a conference away from the board. This conference is
private: players on the other side may not listen
in. In that conference, players should:
• Mutually agree on a rank order: the players on a team are ranked from most senior
to most junior. The most senior player
on a team is its commander-in-chief.
• Make plans. Players may freely discuss
what they intend to do.
• Make corps assignments. The commander-in-chief assigns each player,
including himself, one or more corps.
Rank order and corps assignments must be
revealed to the other side after the conference is
over, but plans do not.
In the 1 December scenario, players may
hold a second conference prior to the start of
their own turn in the Night round. In that confer-
While not in conference, the only gamerelated communication players are permitted is
order-passing. (Note: this should not be construed as preventing players from making the
various declarations required to play the game.)
Order-passing is done at the start of each
turn before any moves are made. The commander-in-chief for the team may write one
order for each of the other players on his team.
An order consists of a verb and zero or more
nouns. Permitted verbs are: attack and defend.
Permitted nouns are any named terrain features
on the map. Examples of valid orders would be
“attack”, “attack Telnitz”, “defend”, or “defend
Pratze, Pratzeberg, Aujezd”. The recipient of the
order cannot read it until the start of their team’s
next turn. Other players cannot read the order
at all.
The team play rules do not require the recipient of an order to obey it.
Orders must mean what they seem to mean:
they may not be used to encode secret messages
agreed upon in conference.
Orders should be saved until the end of the
game so that their legality can be verified by the
opposing side.
Players on a team should take care not to
inadvertently give signals to each other through
facial expressions, body language, etc.
The set-up procedure is altered for team play
as follows:
• Assignment of units to corps is done by
the commander-in-chief of the team.
• In the 1 December scenario, the Allied
commander-in-chief decides which
Allied corps will be in-play at start.
• Each player puts his own corps on
the map. The player order is based on
seniority: the most-senior player first,
the most-junior last.
• For French unit detachments, players
may only detach units from their own
corps. The player order is based on
seniority: the most senior-first, the mostjunior last. The detachment limit is for
the team as a whole: each detachment
made by a player reduces the number
of detachments available for his more
junior teammates to use.
• The French fixed battery is selected by
the French commander-in-chief.
In a friendly turn, play is in order of seniority: the most senior player goes first, the mostjunior player goes last. Each player must make
all of his moves before the next player can make
any of his. The independent command limit and
Allied corps command limit are for the team
as a whole: each command given by a player
against these limits reduces the number of these
commands available for his more junior teammates, even to the point of leaving them with
none at all.
A player may issue a corps command only
for his own corps. A player can give an independent command to a unit only if, at the moment
the command is given, he has the corps commander closest to that unit (in the event of a tie,
the more senior player wins).
For command purposes, distance between
pieces is determined by finding the path between
them that passes through the fewest locales. This
path may cross enemy-occupied locales but may
not cross impassable approaches. If pieces are in
the same locale, the distance is zero; if they are
in adjacent locales (not separated by an impassable approach) the distance is one, and so on.
A player can use an Attach Command to
detach a unit from the corps of a different player
and attach it to his own corps only if he is senior
to that other player.
In an attack, the player for defending side
who gets to make the retreat option decision is
the player with the corps commander nearest to
the defense locale (in the event of a tie, the more
senior player gets control). If the decision is to
defend, that player also decides which pieces
will be the defending pieces. After the defending pieces are declared, control may change
hands, as per the following:
• If there are no corps commanders among
the defending pieces, control does not
change hands.
• If there are corps commanders among
the defending pieces, control passes
to the senior player with a corps commander among those pieces.
Corps controlled by different players cannot
combine and make their moves together in an
attack.
There are no individual victory conditions
for members of a team. A team wins or loses
together.
If the morale auction and team play options
are both in use, the members of each team should
agree on a representative to bid for them.
•
Contact information:
web: http://www.simmonsgames.com
support: [email protected]
sales: [email protected]
Design Notes
Napoleon’s Triumph is a sequel to Bonaparte
at Marengo. The basic design of the pieces,
map, and the game mechanics all come from
that earlier game.
Bonaparte at Marengo was a successful
design, and a sequel was an obvious thing to do.
The choice of Austerlitz as a subject was driven
by the attraction of designing a wargame that
was simple, large, and fast-playing, attributes
that I didn’t think had ever been successfully
combined in a wargame. Austerlitz may have
been a larger battle than Marengo, but it was
also a shorter one. Even if the new game would
need double the number of pieces, it would need
only half the number of turns. These two differences seemed likely to cancel each other out,
resulting in a game that was twice the size of its
predecessor, but with roughly the same playing
time.
While combining a large size and a short
playing time was the main design goal, it was not
the only one. Any craftsman hopes to improve
on his previous work, and so did I here.
One particular area targeted for improvement was command and control. Bonaparte at
Marengo had only very abstracted command
rules; the goal for the new game was to make
changes that would result in a richer simulation
of this aspect of Napoleonic warfare. The initial
plan was to put corps designations on the pieces
and add a few corps integrity rules to the game.
This idea was attractive from a complexity point
of view, but unfortunately, it didn’t work. The
corps designations slowed down setting up the
game, screwed up limited intelligence by giving away too much information when revealed,
and most importantly didn’t give any real sense
that the armies were made of eight or nine corps
instead of fifty or sixty brigades and regiments.
After a long period of deliberation and sulking, I finally decided to add command pieces to
the game. This worked very well and gave the
game a strong “two-level command” feel: when
looking at the entire battlefield, players think
like army commanders and make decisions
about corps; when looking at local situations,
players think like corps commanders and make
decisions about regiments and brigades (which
generally correspond to pieces).
Although this approach solved the problem
it was supposed to solve (and I think that players
of Bonaparte at Marengo will find it the most
striking and pervasive difference in how the two
games play), it was not a decision without cost.
First, the amount of time it took to work out
the command rules and do the physical design,
prototyping, and costing of the command pieces
blew the game’s production schedule. Second,
adding commanders required two full sections
of rules and blew the game’s complexity budget.
On top of this, command was not the only
problem encountered in adapting the rules for
Bonaparte at Marengo to Austerlitz. A second
major problem was the way combat worked.
Marengo did not have the clashes of large forces
that characterized Austerlitz, and the assault
rules proved too lightweight. They resolved
assaults quickly, but for high unit densities they
worked poorly: they tilted the advantage too
heavily to the defense, were not violent enough,
and had too few decision points to be interesting.
The obvious solution was to beef up the
assault rules, but the complexity budget was
already under severe stress from the command
problem, and it was clear that something had to
give: I either needed to give up altogether on the
complexity goals for the game or I needed to
make deep cuts in complexity elsewhere.
As a general observation, it is easy to fix
design problems by adding rules, but cutting
rules is very hard work; the old comment “I’m
sorry this letter is so long, but I did not have time
to write a short one” applies even more strongly
to rules writing than to writing in general. Game
rules hang together as an interlocking system:
cuts send ripples through the rest of the game,
requiring changes elsewhere. Making a lot of
cuts sends ripples everywhere and it becomes
very hard to even see what you’re doing anymore; cuts to reduce complexity can often create
so many problems in other areas that the rules to
fix them can actually add more complexity back
than the original cuts saved.
It took a long time, but finally a new combat
system was devised. The new system reduced
complexity by collapsing the three forms of
attack in Bonaparte at Marengo (maneuver,
bombardment, and assault) together to form a
unified combat system. While anyone who has
played Bonaparte at Marengo will recognize
the relatedness of the systems, the changes are
too extensive to be considered a mere modification of the old system and amount to a whole
new system of combat resolution.
While the new system does cut enough complexity from the game to bring the design as a
whole back within its complexity budget, what
particularly pleases me about it is that it adds a
new quality that I really wanted for the game.
An early design mantra for the new game was
“Less Chess, more Poker.” One thing I like about
Bonaparte at Marengo is that it is an intensely
cerebral game, but I really wanted Napoleon’s
Triumph to test players’ nerves as well as their
intellects. The new combat system has this character because it is extremely violent: defeat in
a single attack can cripple an entire corps. To
increase your chance of winning in combat,
you can commit more forces, but the more you
commit in order to win, the greater the disaster
if you lose. In Bonaparte at Marengo, a careful and calculating approach could eliminate
most risk, but in Napoleon’s Triumph, players
will often just have to steady their nerves and
commit, knowing full well that the results can
be calamitous.
While the changes to the command and combat rules might have been made adapting the
game system for any large Napoleonic battle,
there was also a major design problem specific
to the battle of Austerlitz.
The essential core of the historical battle
of Austerlitz is that it was a trap sprung by
Napoleon. He concealed his strength and intentions and lured the Allied army into attacking
him. Simulating this in a game, however, is
very difficult. While victory conditions can be
made that force the Allies to attack, it is highly
unlikely that such an attack will succeed and
therefore highly unlikely that the Allied player
will win. At the same time, if the victory conditions do not force the Allies to attack and allow
them to win by standing on the defensive, the
result just doesn’t feel like Austerlitz.
This problem puzzled me for a long time. A
seeming endless series of ideas (variable victory
conditions, secret victory conditions, random
victory conditions, etc.) were tried, but they
all failed. It was only through the development
of victory conditions that changed when the
French reinforcements arrived that the problem was finally solved. This system forces the
Allies to attempt an attack, but once the French
bring on their reinforcements (thereby springing
Napoleon’s trap), the Allies get much easier victory conditions and just have to hang on to win.
Before closing there are two last things I
want to discuss – the 1 December scenario and
the team play option.
The 1 December scenario allows players
to start the game on the day before the battle.
Although it can take longer to play, I think the
1 December scenario is in many ways more
interesting than the 2 December scenario: it has
more maneuver and there are more lines of play
available for both sides. In pre-publication feedback, I have seen a certain prejudice against the
1 December scenario on the grounds that it is
“hypothetical” while the 2 December scenario
is “historical”, but I think this is unfounded: both
are equally historical and equally hypothetical.
They both take a historical situation as it existed
at a particular time and let players explore the
hypothetical might-have-beens from there.
The team play option was never a part of the
original design conception, and was only added
at the very end of the design process. Part of the
motive was that while Bonaparte at Marengo
had a good solitaire version, a solitaire solution
for Napoleon’s Triumph has been elusive. On
the other hand, I think that Napoleon’s Triumph
adapts well to team play. While I know that
many gamers have difficulty in finding even
one opponent, I do hope that folks will be able
at some point to give this entertaining option a
try.
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