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"favorite campaign of the napoleonic wars? " Topic

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1,149 hits since 8 Jan 2008
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weissenwolf Inactive Member08 Jan 2008 2:48 a.m. PST

i have noticed everyone has certain campaigns of the napoleonic wars they prefer more than another but rarely hear the reasons for it. be it in study or gaming, i would be interested as i am sure we all would learn even more. thank you

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx Inactive Member08 Jan 2008 2:53 a.m. PST

I have a sneaking suspicion that the main driver is actually accessibility of information – there is shedloads of material on 1815, so it will probably always remain top, even though it is not a very interesting campaign/main battle really. If you consider 1809, then prior to Jim Arnold's Crisis on the Danube (1990), there was very little on it beyond Petre, but when it was followed by Ian Castle's two Ospreys, its popularity grew very quickly.

Col Scott Inactive Member08 Jan 2008 3:15 a.m. PST

I really enjoy Napoleon's first campaign in Italy, the entire Peninsular War, and the 1814 campaign. Mostly smallish battles so not out of reason to refight.

weissenwolf Inactive Member08 Jan 2008 3:26 a.m. PST

i actually prefer 1813 as things are evened out more and then 1809. its the austrian loyalty i suppose.

Veteran Cosmic Rocker08 Jan 2008 3:46 a.m. PST

Napoleon's first Italian campaign. Brilliant use of limited resources and the forging of an army.

NoLongerAMember Inactive Member08 Jan 2008 3:58 a.m. PST

All the Italian campaigns are interesting, smallish forces and much more even than the end results sometimes look.

Other than that the 1809 fascinates.

Grizwald Inactive Member08 Jan 2008 4:13 a.m. PST

Peninsular War.

Its British Napoleonics, but NOT 1815.
The battles are a reasonable size – I can field armies for all of the major battles.
The strategic level is far more interesting than the short, sharp 1815 campaign.

nickinsomerset08 Jan 2008 4:18 a.m. PST

1805 – 1807 provides material for numerous whats ifs, as does 1809, hopeing to do a post Wagram the Austrians carried on fighting bash next month!

!812 is also good plenty of troop variety and colour, as with 1813.

Tally Ho!

Personal logo Dal Gavan Supporting Member of TMP08 Jan 2008 4:20 a.m. PST

G'day, weissenwolf.

1813 and the Befreiungskrieg for me. Masses of different nations' troops, from all over Europe. Interesting situations where Napoleon and his enemies had the strategic and/or operational initiative at different times. It's reasonably well documented as well.



Black Hat Miniatures08 Jan 2008 4:37 a.m. PST

Napoleons Campaign in Egypt – lots of colour AND Pyramids – who could want more? :-)


Kevin F Kiley Inactive Member08 Jan 2008 4:53 a.m. PST

1809 and 1813 are my favorites, specifically the operations around Ratisbon and the Battle of Essling for 1809 and Dresden and Lutzen for 1813.


Lonkka1Actual08 Jan 2008 5:07 a.m. PST

1808 Russo-Swedish (hey, I'm a Finn…)

Penisular is another older fave.

WKeyser08 Jan 2008 6:11 a.m. PST

1799 Suvarov chaising the French
1796 Charles in Germany Info avalble from Nafziger
1807 played with Kevin Zuckers boardgame great campaign.
1805 played with Kevin Zuckers boardgame great campaign again.

1799 Holland intresting limited campaign easy to game.

basileus66 Inactive Member08 Jan 2008 6:18 a.m. PST

1793-1795 are my favourites. Not napoleonic, of course… which in my opinion is a plus (I have not love lost for the Emperor)

rusty musket Inactive Member08 Jan 2008 6:32 a.m. PST

1809 won out over Austerlitz as I read more about Karl and the Austrian reforms. I keep rooting for Karl to win in 1809 every time I read about it. I must learn to accept it as done.

Stavka08 Jan 2008 6:34 a.m. PST

1813: Level playing field for the most part, followed by…
1814: Boney showing some of his old brilliance, plus the chance to use the Imperial Guard without blushing about it .

Many here I am sure will disagree, but this is a personal call and I'll call it; my least favourite- or at least the campaign I have been least inspired to recreate in miniature- is the Waterloo campaign. Too small a theatre and time frame, and IMHO done to death and argued over to the Nth degree.

Stavka08 Jan 2008 6:34 a.m. PST

"I keep rooting for Karl to win in 1809 every time I read about it. I must learn to accept it as done."

You're not alone!

Wizard Whateley08 Jan 2008 6:38 a.m. PST

I like the Italian campaigns and the Egyptian campaign, mostly because it's so odd.

Personal logo Saber6 Supporting Member of TMP Fezian08 Jan 2008 6:57 a.m. PST

1809, the Austrians get BIG Battalions and are nearly a match for Napoleon. Lots of German allies in the Imperial ranks too.

bruntonboy08 Jan 2008 7:04 a.m. PST

I'll throw my shako into the ring for 1809 as well.

However I am rather fond of the 100 days for very much the same reasons others seem to dislike it…
i.e plenty of info, limited arena and time scale which makes it so gameable and for me easily accessable to visit. All this is rather odd as I tend to dislike "glorious British victories" generally. (Please notice the quotation marks- before anyone starts banging on about Prussians and Belgians….)


Defiant Inactive Member08 Jan 2008 7:09 a.m. PST

I enjoy every campaign.

astronomican Inactive Member08 Jan 2008 7:18 a.m. PST

For me :-

Peninsular War:
Mighty France invades poor Spain and Portugal, Britain helps the locals fight back, French eventually pushed out of both countries. A solid case of the underdogs becoming victorious.

1813 Campaign:
Virtually all the countries of Europe get invitations to attend the punch-up of the century! Lots of colour, splendour, and action!

One Hundred Days:
Like an old prize-fighter who refuses to accept the inevitable, Boney is up for another round against the usual suspects.

Berlichtingen Inactive Member08 Jan 2008 7:30 a.m. PST

Top of the list for me is the early Revolution 1792-1795. Plenty of small actions with really diverse units.

1799 Suvarov's Italian campaign. Suvarov is a colorful character and an effective commander. favorite what-if… Suvarov still in command for Marengo.

1805-1807 The Glory Years. The French at their best and the Allies before they started copying the French

I find most of the campaigns after 1807 to be rather boring

Belisarius08 Jan 2008 8:02 a.m. PST

It is the 1813 for me I can field a nice Prussian army that can take on the French. Lots of battles and the ablity to do a campaign.

Jacko27 Inactive Member08 Jan 2008 8:04 a.m. PST

All of the above

nickinsomerset08 Jan 2008 8:34 a.m. PST

Also a variation on the theme of 1815, involving the Russians and Austrians, not forgetting the breakdown of the Congress of Vienna, now who will fight who and with whom?!!!! Great potential for a wargames campaign.

I thought Wellington lost Waterloo?!!!

Tally Ho!

Personal logo Der Alte Fritz Sponsoring Member of TMP08 Jan 2008 8:45 a.m. PST

1805-1807 The Glory Years. The French at their best and the Allies before they started copying the French

I find most of the campaigns after 1807 to be rather boring

I agree with that. I find the campaigns more interesting during this period because the French are at their best, they wear cool looking bicorn hats while a lot of the grenadiers have bearskins, the lozenge flag is more attractive than the later tricolor, the opposition's uniforms still have a certain 18th Century quality to them, particularly in the case of the Prussians and Russians, the French Guard hasn't expanded into a giant corps yet, and there are a minimal number of French allies to contend with (i.e. paint). I guess that it's a combination of the visual aspect plus the great victories of Austerlitz, Ulm, Jena, Auerstadt, Friedland and the hard fights at Eylau, Heilsburg and other battles in Poland in late 1807.

I'm also starting to get interested in Napoleon's Italian campaigns – afterall, this is where he and his companion generals (the future marshals) got their start. The Elite Miniatures range of figures for this period is also a factor.

11th ACR08 Jan 2008 9:00 a.m. PST

Napoleon's Campaign in Egypt and the Holy Land.

Its is the beginning of the colonial wars with the French fighting native forces as well as the Brit's. You have the Ottoman Turks as well.

The Uniforms of most of the combatants are fantastic.

11th ACR08 Jan 2008 9:00 a.m. PST


Personal logo Der Alte Fritz Sponsoring Member of TMP08 Jan 2008 9:12 a.m. PST

This would actually be a good topic for a Poll on TMP. Which is your favorite campaign period of the Napoleonic Wars?

The French Revolution
Napoleon's Campaigns in Italy
The Glory Years: 1805-1807
1809 Campaign vs Austria
The Peninsula War 1809-1814
Napoleon's Invasion of Russia in 1812
The War of Liberation 1813
1814 in France
The Hundred Days – 1815

malcolmmccallum08 Jan 2008 9:41 a.m. PST

It is two (maybe three) questions.

Which is your favourite campaign for miniature gaming in?
Which is your favourite campaign for study for its strategic situations?
Which is your favourite campaign for its narrative and character?

Austin Rob Inactive Member08 Jan 2008 9:55 a.m. PST

1813 – For the various nations all involved at once, big battle, small battles, just a lot of battles.

1805 – 07 – French army at its best against the armies of the Ancien Regime.


voltigeur Inactive Member08 Jan 2008 10:29 a.m. PST

A third vote for the Egyptian campaign. Once you read the details of it, there is something very haunting about improperly equipped French soldiers marching through the desert, plumes wilting under the sun.

The misguided romance of the venture is very appealing…and there are the pyramids!

weissenwolf Inactive Member08 Jan 2008 11:03 a.m. PST

among my favorite what if scenarios is if the british had landed their force not at walcheren in 1809 but instead on the dalmatian coast for instance. that would be some fun gaming with an anglo-austrian force. ah the possiblities and a good blend of red and white.

blucher Inactive Member08 Jan 2008 11:48 a.m. PST

In terms of wargaming I like the 6th. Epic battles with lots of conscripts and evened out commanders and tactics. 1805-1807 too much advantage to the french IMO.

Italy would be a cool campaign to do also.

60th RAR Inactive Member08 Jan 2008 12:00 p.m. PST

Whichever one I've been reading about most recently. 1812 at the moment.

Personal logo Florida Tory Supporting Member of TMP08 Jan 2008 12:06 p.m. PST


You have it exactly right.

I'm often in two or more books at once, so at those times I have multiple favorites.


Kevin in Albuquerque Supporting Member of TMP08 Jan 2008 12:20 p.m. PST

I'll put in a vote for 1807, the Polish Campaign. Eylau and Friedland and all the little ones in the run up, like Heil, Hof and Pultusk. The French are at their height and I love Russians who simply won't rout. Amazing ability to take damage and stand. And you also get some Prussians (Lestocq) and even some Poles.

von Winterfeldt08 Jan 2008 1:18 p.m. PST

1796 in Germany
1800 in Germany

All pre Napoleonic of course


napoleonic 1806 / 07

Brownbear Inactive Member08 Jan 2008 2:17 p.m. PST

Although pre napoleonic I love the early french revolutionary wars (1792-1795). But also the 1796 italian campaign, the 1799 suvarov campaign in Italy or the Den Helder campaign of 1799 are on my list.
For "real" napoleonic 1806/07 or 1809 are top, later year less so (although we play peninsular up to 1812)

Two Ducks Pond Inactive Member08 Jan 2008 3:22 p.m. PST

Simon Bolivar's Campaign in the North :-)

Personal logo Flashman14 Supporting Member of TMP08 Jan 2008 5:45 p.m. PST

Quite honestly I think the Sharpe novels have driven Peninsular War gaming. I really do.

But I am also interested in eras were the French were off balance a bit – so Peninsular War, Russia 1812, then the Allied invasions of 1813.

I wonder if it's been ingrained that the ogre is a baddie so you like to see some kind of justice. Compare popularity of DDay and Stalingrad in WW2 gaming as opposed to BEF in 1940 fall of France. The gaming is just more interesting.

donlowry Supporting Member of TMP08 Jan 2008 6:54 p.m. PST

Since my first Napoleonic figures were Brits and French in uniforms most appropriate for the 100 Days I have continued to build armies for that campaign and thus have spent more time and effort reading about it than others. If there is more material available about it, how fortunate for me!

von Winterfeldt09 Jan 2008 2:28 a.m. PST

I see a for surpring interest in pre – Napoleonic campaings, but there is a lack of high quality figures, as least in the scales I am interested, 10 mm, 18 mm (AB) and 1 / 72 scale, only BH is doing a good but incomplete range, what a pity, no Prussians for Valmy or Kaiserslautern.

Footslogger10 Jan 2008 10:08 a.m. PST

1809 Danube campaign all the way – it could have turned out so differently.

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