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"Anyone playing "Grand Battles Napoleon"?" Topic

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nsolomon9906 Feb 2020 1:06 a.m. PST


Anyone out there playing Grand Battles Napoleon from Siege Works studio? If so how do you like them? How do they compare to what you were playing before? What does the Command and Control system feel like? Authentic or abstracted?

Have been playing General d'Armee and converting my son from Warhammer 40K to Napoleonics. GdA has been useful to teach him tactics but I am concerned that he's not really learning the history and the innovations in Command and Control of the French Army. The GdA C&C system is fun and quick but its so abstracted its not teaching the history.

I would use "From Valmy to Waterloo" to teach him this but we're in a small rental house whilst building a new home – ("wargames room with attached living quarters") and it will be another 12 months before we can manouver across big tables again. I need something that works for 18mm figures on a 6'x4'.

Got a copy of Grand Battles Napoleon on order and I'm reading Bataille Empire.


DaleWill Supporting Member of TMP06 Feb 2020 10:57 a.m. PST

Sorry I'm no help with GBN but teaching your son From Valmy to Waterloo is hard core! (In a good way) Always enjoyed FVTW but can't really find players anymore.


kevin smoot06 Feb 2020 2:10 p.m. PST

I have it, but haven't had a chance to play yet – still building big enough forces for a starter game.

It uses the Koenig Krieg engine, so if you're familiar with that, you should be able to pick up the rules quick enough

Like most wargames, C&C is abstract, but works enough. It all depends on how much detail you're looking for.

nsolomon9906 Feb 2020 4:09 p.m. PST

@DaleWill – Yes, FVTW is a big and sophisticated modelling tool but having played Empire, attempted Legacy of Glory and played at least a dozen other rules sets, and even assisted in the development and writing of a set I feel that nothing quite teaches the basics of Napoleonic warfare at both a tactical manoeuvre and Command & Control level. Its a great way to learn, even just using the QR Booklet and working through a couple of turns flipping over the pages to work through each phase is a learning experience. Its well worth the effort.

Its just that I can't really do that with my son while we're renting and have minimal space.

@kevin smoot – I am familiar with the Koenig Krieg engine and am expecting it should be easy to pick up because of that. I like the KK tactical model that reflects the differences between drill regulations and quality of units in the number and type of operations they can perform in an activation. Its the KK Command & Control I'm concerned about because I don't think it very accurately reflects the C&C of the Seven Years War. It allows too much flexibility and independence of brigades in my opinion, whereas when I read Duffy on the SYW its all about Wings or 1st Line or 2nd Line or Columns that were commanded, not brigades so much. Yes, all C&C in war-games are abstracted but its the level of abstraction that I'm focused on.

Personal logo Extra Crispy Sponsoring Member of TMP06 Feb 2020 8:37 p.m. PST

I quite like the C&C in "Et Sans Resultat" but it is at a very high level. Basically you give an order to a division and it follows that order until you change it. Uses objectives in a suitable manner.

But everything below that level is very abstract (as it should be for a game that level). So no formations, for example.

nsolomon9907 Feb 2020 12:14 a.m. PST

@Extra Crispy – Yes, I bought ESR when they first came out (VERY expensive in Australia) but its a little too high for what I want at the moment. I still need the tactical level to teach what is happening but also want some detail in a C&C system down to brigades at least to reveal WHY the French Army won all the early campaigns.

Mark5207 Feb 2020 5:37 a.m. PST

Anyone out there playing Grand Battles Napoleon from Siege Works studio?
Before I moved to Germany, a small group of us played it quite a bit in NoVA.

If so how do you like them? – Enjoyed it very much.

How do they compare to what you were playing before? -I had tried to play a few other systems, but really, nothing gave me as much fun as GBN. I never collected Nappies until playing GBN.

What does the Command and Control system feel like? – I like it. It keeps your divisions pretty much together. Running stuff off will easily get it eliminated. The command ranges seemed fine, so a Corps seemed to work (IMHO) together. I like the dice-off for actions. Can make things really interesting and keeps both players pretty involved.

Authentic or abstracted? – Felt authentic enough to me and still be playable. You still have to make the formation decisions, cavalry decisions, and reserve decisions that should come with the era.

Books seem all available (for GBN) at Northstar. Not sure in the USA. There is a FaceBook group that you can ask questions of the author – who is fairly responsive. He has also re-done KK, available for sale over his website from AU.

Personal logo Extra Crispy Sponsoring Member of TMP07 Feb 2020 9:54 a.m. PST


It seems very much to me that a lot of the reason they won those early campaigns was the operations before the battle. The corps system, speed of march, local initiative.

DaleWill Supporting Member of TMP16 Feb 2020 9:50 a.m. PST

I really wanted to like Legacy of Glory. To me that was the first rules that ‘got it right'. Unfortunately not well written and hard to follow. I met the designer back in 2011-2012 at Historicon and he said he had a new version almost done. Oh well.
I mainly game in ESR now.

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