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"Napoleonic Campaign Games" Topic

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Mem69110 Aug 2019 6:18 a.m. PST

I would like to run a campaign game with 3-4 others. I would categorize us as 'enthusiastic novices.'

We want the campaign to do two things: (1) Generate interesting engagements and (2) Provide context for our miniature battles.

We do NOT want the campaign to (1) take a lot of time during the week nor (2) cause dissension among our group.

My goal would be, as 'umpire' (and controlling NPC powers) is to spend 3-4 hours per week on 'bookkeeping and admin', I would want the players to spend no more than an hour each week.

We are intending to use Etat Major (Phillip Jones' supplement to Elan) or Corps Command Campaigns (Manny Granillo's rules). Both seem to offer what we are looking for.

Can anyone comment on their experience with these campaign games or recommend an alternate?

Can any of you provide guidance based on your experience with campaign games in general? Any ideas or 'best practices' for the administration and communication amongst the players would be appreciated.


khanscom10 Aug 2019 7:46 a.m. PST

Depending on the size of your available forces, the following mini- campaigns might provide some guidance:

Wargames Illustrated No.22 "Some Mistaken Principle"

Miniature Wargames No. 31 "A Small Campaign"

Miniature Wargames No. 1 "One Day Wargames Campaigns- Pt.1"

T Corret Supporting Member of TMP10 Aug 2019 8:04 a.m. PST

Try Snappy Nappy, and look at Blunders on the Danube website.

darthfozzywig Supporting Member of TMP10 Aug 2019 8:09 a.m. PST

+1 Corret

mad monkey 110 Aug 2019 9:26 a.m. PST

Check out Blucher. Has a mini campaign system to set up your battles.

Dave Jackson Supporting Member of TMP10 Aug 2019 9:27 a.m. PST

We had a very good campaign using the Board game "Empires in Arms". We translated the encounters into figure battles using "Napoleon's Battles"

Mem69110 Aug 2019 9:49 a.m. PST


Wargames Illustrated No.22 "Some Mistaken Principle"

Miniature Wargames No. 31 "A Small Campaign"

Miniature Wargames No. 1 "One Day Wargames Campaigns- Pt.1"

Thank you, I will see if I can get a hold of the references you listed. Do you know if the individual articles are available on-line?

@T Corret

Try Snappy Nappy, and look at Blunders on the Danube website.

I have recently picked up Snappy Nappy. I have only done a read-through on the rules. I am intrigued, but prefer the 'feel' of the battalion-sized units in Elan or Corps Command. (Yet, I do hope get to Connecticut one-of-these-Aprils to see Peter Anderson's "Snappy Nappy Campaign in a Day".)

arthur181510 Aug 2019 10:18 a.m. PST

You could try using the Generalship Game from Paddy Griffith's Napoleonic Wargaming Fo Fun (Ward Lock, 1980; since reprinted in John Curry's History of Wargaming Project) which has a very simple, stylised, boardgame-like system for resolving map movement and non-played engagements.

Instead of using the battle resolution system, use whatever tabletop rules you prefer, just translate the losses into strength reductions for each corps afterwards.

Tony S10 Aug 2019 10:46 a.m. PST

Blucher has a great pregame maneuver system that really highlights the Napoleonic Corps system as Mad Monkey mentions, but it's only for two players.

Years ago, when we had more free time (ie no kids or work) we played Empires in Arms like Dave Jackson. Great game (I as the Ottoman player took Rome to install minarets at St. Peters, and was expanding into Spain and Russia). Unfortunately, if memory serves, the game took quite some time to play and was a trifle complex.

Not sure what would be a good simple system that fills the OP's requirements. Honestly, I'd be quite interested in such a beast. I'd also be interested in a Corps Command Campaigns review.

Nowadays my preferred level of complexity for campaign games is the old DBA2 campaign system.

BillyNM10 Aug 2019 10:57 a.m. PST

Mem691, if you can't get hold of the articles I could probably screenshot the relevant pages from the pdf I have and could email them if I had your email address.

Mem69110 Aug 2019 1:21 p.m. PST


mjohnson AT gpsne DOT org


Mem69110 Aug 2019 1:54 p.m. PST

@ Tony S

I'd also be interested in a Corps Command Campaigns review.

I really like the rules; my concern is to develop a convenient system to let multiple players efficiently step through the campaign process.

Two of us are trying to build some Word and Excel templates to make the record keeping easy. As far as a review, I will ask your indulgence: I would like to work through a campaign for about a year and see what we come up with. (I also plan to get copy of Empires in Arms--it may be a clearer path to my desire for a campaign.)

I started this topic in the hope that this 'path had been cleared already.'


I plan to get a copy of Paddy Griffith's Napoleonic Wargaming For Fun--I like what I can see of it on line.

khanscom10 Aug 2019 2:11 p.m. PST


Glad to see that BillyNM can source the articles. If you haven't yet found the "Campaign" section under the General Board there are some useful posts and links there.

For a review of one of the most awesome campaigns I've ever participated in, try this:

TMP link

Probably not for novices, but it does give you an idea of what is possible.

oldnorthstate10 Aug 2019 3:13 p.m. PST

If you are getting started in Napoleonic's and want both a realistic tactical set of rules and an integrated campaign system you want the Carnage and Glory computer moderated system.

The tactical rules are detailed to include changes, up and down in unit morale during a battle as well as the impact of fatigue during the course of the battle.

The beauty of the system is that it is integrated with a companion campaign system that allows you to run a campaign and generate scenarios, transferring the units engaged into an order of battle, complete with losses due to attrition or fatigue due to their march.

Upon conclusion of the battle the system allows the seamless return of units from the battle complete with casualties, both killed and wounded, wounded who might return to the ranks over the course of several days and most importantly the units gain experience and improved morale, assuming they performed well on the battlefield. All this is handled through the fully integrated computer programs, which eliminates much of the tedious record keeping, which has always been the downfall of most attempts at campaigns.

Check it all out at the website,

Personal logo SHaT1984 Supporting Member of TMP11 Aug 2019 4:38 p.m. PST

The Empire Campaign System is very good and I/ we used it for a number of 'loose' campaigns over a few years. I had the original from Scotty, so not sure what is in print now.

I do recall adding a few extras and adaptations for 'our style' of gaming- but it was relatively fast and efficient.
I used to send faxes via the co. office over the week and we'd play at weekend.
cheers d

Decebalus15 Aug 2019 3:07 a.m. PST

IMO "Napoleon. The Waterloo Campaign" is a very good and simple engine for a camapaign. (If you like playing 1815)


"Napoleon" is a block game. So you only need to make yourself a roster, what 1, 2, 3, 4 strength points mean. No need to actually have paperwork for the troops.

And block games have an automatic system of reinforcement, that gives exciting battles.

Like real history, the 1815 camapign is usually over after 2-4 battles. Thats a plus too.

MiniPigs06 Sep 2019 8:40 p.m. PST


There doesnt seem to be a lot on this Carnage and Glory II Campaign system on their site. From the screens, it looks complex. Is there an AI? Are there many campaigns? Is it even ready and for sale?

Marcus Maximus29 Sep 2019 2:53 a.m. PST

Bruce Quarrie's Napoleonic Wargaming had everything you need for a Napoleonic wargames campaign and I mean everything – supplies (logistics), march rates, engineering, etc.

Personal logo SHaT1984 Supporting Member of TMP29 Sep 2019 7:49 p.m. PST

Bruce Quarrie's Napoleonic Wargaming had everything you need for a Napoleonic wargames campaign and I mean everything supplies (logistics), march rates, engineering, etc.

Haha nothing like old school results!!
I think, without checking, Paddy Griffiths book also provides something equally constructive.
regards d

Mem69105 Oct 2019 8:30 a.m. PST

@Tony S & Dave Jackson

I picked up a copy of Empires in Arms--I like the game. Now I need to find six other people to play it.
It appears as if Corps Command Campaigns built upon Empires in Arms--taking structure and fleshing it out for a miniatures campaign.

@ Tony S

I put together a short review on Corps Command Campaigns:
TMP link

WarEmblem09 Nov 2019 11:27 p.m. PST

As others have stated, Empire in Arms has an excellent campaign system and since they were both published by Avalon Hill there are clear rules on how to translate EiA into Napoleon's Battles engagements including how many units "lost" on the tabletop return to the winning and losing sides.

EiA supports other campaigns if you don't have enough players for the Grand Campaign. You can rather easily recreate 1805, 1809, 1812, 1813 or 1815 depending on your preferences and number of Generals willing to play. If you're only playing one of the specific years, you can dispense with all the country running rules as well and limit players to their starting forces.

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