Tuesday 17 July 2012

Campaigns of Napoleon

For some time I have been considering how I would replace my Wellington’s Battles series of wargames.   These were loosely based on Wellington’s battles in the Peninsula, and filled the gap between campaign games.  We fought 14 wargames in the series from November 2009 to May this year. 

Since then I have been pondering whether I could fight a series of wargames based on Napoleon’s battles.  But on closer examination I realised that, unlike Wellington, Napoleon fought very big battles.   Apart from Waterloo, most of Wellington’s battles were corps sized.   Most of Napoleon’s are very much multi corps.  

I am now considering whether I might fight a series of wargames based on Napoleon’s campaigns rather than his battles.   Each would be based in the same area, but would have different orders of battle and would be mini campaigns in their own right.

At present I am in the early stage of looking at his 1796-97 Italian campaigns. 

It’s a large area to map, and my first impression is that it would need to be fought in at least two phases.   First campaign might be for Milan.  Second in Lake Garda area.

I do not have any early Napoleonic figures, and do not intend to extend my collection to cover them.  So it would be fought in 1812 style uniforms.   Would not worry me, though it might offend the Napoleonic purists.

I could use my Spanish scenery, which are similar in style to Italian buildings.

Given how long it took me to fight the 14 Wellington battles, this would be a very very long term project.    And I am not really sure that I want to commit to such a large task.

My PBEM campaign will continue to be my main interest, and will take priority over anything else.  

I am undecided because it seems like a lot of work just to provide the occasional one off wargame.  I have considered just fighting one of Napoleon’s popular mini campaigns, such as Bavaria 1809.    But that seems too similar to the PBEM campaign.

I have also considered expanding the PBEM to include the whole campaign area of Germany and Spain, rather than just one phase at a time.   I could then enlarge the number of players and each would have a number of corps to command.   But it relies too much on the dedication and commitment of the players, and I have learned in the past that it is very difficult to determine these things when playing online.

So it is all a pipe dream for the present.   But I like the idea of related wargames, and I do need something to take the place of Wellington’s Battles.

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