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The Commands & Colors: Napoleonics game system allows players to effectively portray Napoleonic Grande size battles, as well as smaller historical actions. The scale of the game is flexible and varies from battle to battle. In some scenarios, a unit may represent an entire division, while in others, a unit may represent a single regiment or battalion. During play, the Command cards drive movement, while creating a “fog of war”, and the battle dice resolve combat quickly and efficiently. The stylized battlefield maps emphasize the important terrain features and highlight the historical deployment of forces in scale with the game system. Finally, the Napoleonic tactics you will need to execute to gain victory conform remarkably well to the advantages and limitations inherent to the various Napoleonic national armies of the day and the actual battlefield terrain features on which they fought.
La Grande Battles Napoleonics is the seventh expansion for GMT’s Commands & Colors: Napoleonics game system. The expansion features as many as 10 La Grande Battle scenarios, 10 EPIC engagements, and a number of standard-sized battles. The La Grande Battles battlefield is a whopping 11 hexes deep by 26 hexes wide, and there are two La Grande Battles mounted map boards (left and right) included in the expansion. The EPIC battlefield is 11 hexes deep by 20 hexes wide, which is almost double the size of the standard scenario battlefield of 9 hexes deep by 13 hexes wide. Two EPIC battlefield map sheets (left and right) are also included.
Special Bonus: There are two La Grande Battle extended size scenarios on a double-sided preprinted paper map, Waterloo 18 June 1815 and Borodino 7 September 1812. These two battles are 11 hexes deep by 29 hexes wide and because the battlefield is already printed with all the terrain and unit deployments, the time it takes to set up these battles is minimal.
Players will find a number of new units, including Polish French allies, British highlanders, KGL infantry and cavalry, plus all the unit blocks and rules needed when fielding these units in a battle.
The expansion also includes a number of Leader of Honor blocks. Leader of Honor blocks have a portrait of the Napoleonic leader and were first mentioned in the Generals, Marshals & Tacticians expansion #5. A Leader of Honor orders more units when a “Take Command” Command card is played. Please note, the number of Leader of Honor blocks for the various Napoleonic nations will vary and are determined in scale with each Napoleonic Army’s field commander status history.
This expansion also presents new rules for Iconic Commanders that are recommended for all EPIC and La Grande Battle scenarios. For example: When Napoleon is in command, because of his excellent grasp and flow of a battle, after the play of a Scout Command card, the French player, when drawing two new Command cards, can keep both cards and discard one Command card from his hand. When Wellington is in command, because of his keen eye for terrain, the British player prior to the battle may redeploy up to 4 hexes of units. For example: One unit could redeploy up to 4 hexes or two units 2 hexes each or four units 1 hex each, etc. Other Napoleonic nations also have their own unique Iconic Commander rules.
Knowing that it is not always easy to muster eight players, you will find that a scenario of EPIC Napoleonics will play out very well with just two players. It is highly recommended players give the EPIC scenarios a try, playing one on one. While a La Grande Battle game is best played with eight players (four players taking command on each side). The La Grande Battles rules found in this expansion, however, have be slightly modified from the La Grande Battles rules originally presented in EPIC Napoleonics expansion #6. Basically, we found after playing through these larger battle scenarios a number of times, that the updated rules will allow each player to be more involved and have greater control during the entire battle.
To experience the maximum enjoyment with these two Napoleonic game formats, both EPIC and La Grande Battle scenarios are best played using the Command card and Tactician card decks that were part of the Generals, Marshals & Tacticians expansion.
It is important to also note in order to play most EPIC Napoleonics scenarios, players will need a copy of the Commands & Colors: Napoleonic core game and many of its expansions (Spanish Army, Russian Army, Austrian Army, Prussian Army, Generals, Marshals & Tacticians, EPIC Napoleonics and La Grande Battles).
Again as I stated previously in the EPIC Napoleonics expansion, it is not the intention of GMT or myself, to require a player to buy multiple copies of the Napoleonic game to play a La Grande Battle scenario. I would truly hope, that two friends, both who own copies of the Napoleonic game and expansions could come together with their games, set up a La Grande Battles scenario and share in the fun with six more of their friends.
Although the scope and scale of our Commands & Colors Napoleonic game has increased two fold again, the basic rules of play for the most part, have remained the same. Welcome to the fun!
- Richard Borg
Tentative Component Listing
Tentative Scenario List
In order to play the variety of battles included in this expansion, players will need a copy of the Commands & Colors: Napoleonic core game and many of its expansions (Spanish Army, Russian Army, Austrian Army, Prussian Army, Generals, Marshals & Tacticians, EPIC Napoleonics and La Grande Battles).
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