In 1796, the young French Republic was no longer at bay, having knocked Prussia, the Netherlands and Tuscany out of the War of the First Coalition. However, the French were still facing their long-time and toughest enemies: England and Austria. Challenging England on the high seas was out of question, because the French fleet was no longer a match for the Royal Navy. Therefore, the French Directory ruled that the best chance for victory was a decisive land campaign to force Austria to sue for peace. Two large French armies commanded by experienced Generals Jourdan and Moreau were to advance into Germany toward Vienna. In the meantime, a small French force was to undertake a diversionary movement in Northern Italy. This operation, on a lesser theater, was entrusted to a young Corsican General named Napoleon Bonaparte.
The game is played on a point-to-point map representing the region of Mantua and uses a simple system stressing the importance of command and supply. Game counters represent Brigades and historical Leaders that fought during the campaign. Combats take into account the role of leadership, cavalry and artillery. The players must carefully monitor the cohesion status of their troops throughout the campaign and choose the most appropriate time to use ‘Forced Marches’ and ‘Marches to the Sound of the Guns’ to win the decision. Additional chrome includes rules for the siege of Mantua, bridge destruction, garrisons, cavalry pursuits and optional rules for Leader casualties, the Fog of War and reconnaissance.