Before tomorrow evening, that army will be mine."
So claimed Napoleon Bonaparte to his staff on the night of December 1, 1805, as he watched the Austro-Russian Allied army settle into its positions near Austerlitz for the battle that was certain to come the next morning. It was not an idle boast.
Napoleon's Grande Armee mustered 75,000 men, well-led, superbly trained, and completely confident of victory. And the next day, they would win the most decisive victory of Napoleon's career.
The Battle of Austerlitz was Napoleon's tactical masterpiece. Facing an Allied army 72,000 men strong, he blocked a massive Allied flanking movement aimed at his right wing, launched an attack that smashed the Allied center, and then scattered the remnants so thoroughly that by the night of December 2nd the Allied Third Coalition was in ruins.
The battle contained many moments of high drama: the French right wing holding on despite 3-to-1 odds, desperately waiting for help from Davout's corps rushing to the battlefield after an epic forced march; a massive cavalry melee fought on the northern half of the field between the opposing cavalry reserves; the clash of the French and Russian Imperial Guards on the Pratzen Heights that decided the course of the battle.
Austerlitz 1805 is a detailed wargame, on a tactical level, with infantry battalions, cavalry regiments, and artillery batteries, featuring...
1) A chit-based Command system where players randomly draw command chits to determine which division or corps may activate at that moment -- activation is not automatic. Commanders must roll to activate when their chit is drawn, and missing the die-roll leads to the Command Breakdown Table -- disasters can happen.
2) A Combat system that includes all of the detail that fans of Napoleonic tactics know and love. All of the formations are there -- line, column, skirmish -- each with their own advantages and disadvantages. Players will soon learn that proper unit interaction is crucial for victory, with artillery wearing down the enemy line, infantry creating a breakthrough, and cavalry exploiting the breakthrough with a thundering charge.
3) Special units and rules to add a distinctive historical flavor: the Tirailleurs Po and Tirailleurs Corse, elite battalions of French skirmishers; the exotic Mamelukes of the French Imperial Guard, matched against the Russian Cossacks; the fearsome French Grand Battery; the early morning Fog that blanketed the battlefield and so bedeviled the battle's opening moves.
4) Six scenarios -- two full-battle scenarios; three smaller one or two map scenarios covering the significant actions, plus a learning scenario providing an introduction to the game's mechanics.
TIME SCALE 20 minutes per turn
MAP SCALE 150 yards per hex
UNIT SCALE infantry battalions, cavalry regiments, and artillery batteries
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