A new and playable 6days campaign game from Command Magazine Japan
Command Magazine Japan #119 comes with 2 Napoleonic games.
The first is this game covering the 6days campaign in 1814. The other is a reprint of “Emperor Napoleon” originally published by Sho-kikaku as one of the SS-series.
“6days campaign” uses the same game system, a simplified card-driven, as “Seinan-sensou” from the same designer on Wargame Japanese History #13. This game uses only 16 cards in total and both players uses the same card deck. In “Seinan-sensou”, the designer used a deck-building concept. But, in this game, there’s no such concept. Coalition player can draw 4 cards and Napoleon player can draw 3 cards each turn. Each player can save one card from turn to turn and can use it when he’d like to use as if it is a regular card in hand.
The game uses small map and limited number of units. But, the play is not so simple due to its difficulty. As the history, the coalition advances to Paris step by step. Napoleon has limited but really strong units and has a merit of interior line. The situation will be determined how long Napoleon player can survive without disaster.
A victory is determined by morale of each force in the game. If morale of either side reaches to zero or below at turn end, the side loses the game. The morale of Napoleonic force is higher than the coalition’s at the start. Coalition morale is raised when coalition conquers one of the important cities in France. And this reduces Napoleonic morale simultaneously.
In addition, if either side loses his leader, the side loses his morale by one. But, in case of Bluchers and Schwarzenberg, coalition loses 3 morale each, and in case of Barclay it loses 2 morale. And if Napoleon is lost, the coalition immediately wins the game. In addition, if the coalition can control Paris, the coalition can win the game. Finally, the coalition must control a designated number of important cities at the end of each turn described in turn track.
The last condition is a key factor for the game. For satisfying this condition, the coalition must advance into France form early in the game. But, in earlier turns, the coalition has lower morale. And please remind that coalition player will lose 3 morale in case of losing Blucher or Schwarzenberg. On the other hand, he must conquer important cities, so he really needs his most talented generals to march into France. In this situation, Napoleon player has a chance to win the game by using his most talented general, Napoleon to counterattack against Blucher or Schwarzenberg.
In conclusion, coalition player must be very careful for his early advancement, and Napoleonic player must be careful not to miss the chance of counterattack.
It is important for the coalition player to have bigger number operation cards for advancing his army coordinated. On the other hand, it is important for Napoleonic player to have a forced march card enabling him to counterattack from not forecasted range.
The strategic decision seriously varies based on how each side has these key cards in hand. So, each play is very different. Stated differently, players must carefully think what their best in each play is. Even small mistakes can result in immediate checkmate. So, this is a heavy game in strategic decision, though it is a really light game in components.
As a Napoleon, you can feel how he was at bay in 1814.
As a coalition leader, you can feel how he must be careful in 1814.
Though Napoleonic games are not so popular in Japan, I really hope this game can invite many Japanese wargamers to the battlefield in 1814.