GMT GAMES Command & Colors has been well documented for a number of years now and so should not be new to anyone
who plays tabletop historical wargames. The GMT Block System may not be the first of its kind but it is certainly regarded by
many as one of the best, if not the best (my opinion - it is ranked alongside the block games from Columbia Games in top position).
The NAPOLEONIC game is continually expanding with this new expansion containing 20 Scenarios, additional rules for this
expansion, 230 wooden blocks, French Blue and Russian Green, 15 terrain tiles and other regularly expected components.
The 20 scenarios in this, the 2nd Napoleonics expansion, are in a separate booklet, the battles within it being listed on the back of
the box: - too hard to see on the pic above but included are 4 from Borodino, 3 from Eylau and 13 other single scenario battles.
The Quick Reference card for the Russians, there is also a similarly styled one
for the French.
As is general with GMT the components are top quality, strong and colourful. This is a Block game with Green for the Russians and Blue for French.
The other necessary coomponents are of good heavy duty stock and fit in well with the basic game rules and cards. There were a few complaints about the
components for the Spanish expansion being of slightly poorer quality (hence the use of the word general above) but this is certainly not the case here,
these are equal to those in the basic set.
If you haven't used a Block system before you should know that you have to stick the Armies onto their blocks. Ensure that you put the stickers onto the
correct blocks and that they are square-on as if you have to remove them they get creased and lose their stickiness.
Playing these block games is so much more enjoyable than manouevering dozens of tiny counters around on the small-hexes found on many other
historical and abstract board games. It is very much easier to recognise what units you have thus speeding play up without losing any of its integrity.
Error: On page 5 it says for the Russian Grenadier Infantry - "Range Standing and Battle Back: 1 die per block - Melee: 1 die per block, plus 1 die"
There is a print error (agreed by the game's designer): it should read " Range Standing: 1 die per block - Melee and Battle Back: 1 die per block, plus 1 die"
The Russian Army is a Coalition expansion for Commands & Colors Napoleonics.
Russia, was ruled until 1796 by Catherine the Great. It would then suffer under "Mad" Tsar Paul I, until his assassination in 1801, which brought
his son Alexander I to the throne. Alexander, in command of a Russian army that was as vast as the territory from which it was drawn, did his best
by various treaties and alliances to counter the increasing power of France under Napoleon without going to war.
The Russian army at the time of Napoleonic wars still had many characteristics of Peter the Great’s regime; senior officers were largely recruited
from aristocratic circles, and the Russian soldier was regularly beaten and punished to instill discipline. Furthermore, many lower-level officers
were poorly trained. Yet the Russians involved in hostilities with its neighbors - Sweden, Poland, Turkey and Austria - were capable of astonishing
feats and total, blind obedience to orders.
In 1805 Britain and Russia signed an alliance against France. In 1806, Prussia joined the Coalition and Prussia and Russia mobilized for a fresh
campaign. After Napoleon’s humiliation of Prussia at Jena, the French Emperor turned his attention to subduing his Russian foe and marched into
Poland. After a series of sanguinary battles, the French drove Russian forces out of Poland back to Mother Russia and created a new Duchy of Warsaw,
but made a solid treaty between the two nations at Tilsit.
In 1812, the Russo-French treaty gradually became strained, as the requirement of joining France's Continental Blockade against Great Britain was a
serious disruption of Russian commerce. Bonaparte decided to bring the Russians back into line in June, and invaded Russia hoping to inflict a major
defeat on the Russians and force Alexander to sue for peace. The invasion of Russia and the retreat of the French army, as many historians point out,
proved to be the turning point in the Napoleonic Wars.
In 1813 Russia opened the campaign against Napoleon joined by Prussia and Austria, and during the three-day battle of Leipzig, Bonaparte's fate was
In this expansion you will find 18 historical scenarios that focus on the Russian Army battles from 1806 to 1814 against Napoleon, plus all the new units
you’ll need to field for these engagements.
- Richard Borg (the Game's designer)
Czarnowo: 23rd December 1806. Troops of the First French Empire under Napoleon 1 launched an assault crossing the Wkra River against Ltnt General
Alexander Ivanovich Ostermann-Tolstoy's Russian Empire forces.
Golymin: 26th December 1806. The Battle of Golymin, Poland has 17,000 Russians and about 30 guns under the command of Prince Golitsyn against Marshal
Murat and a force of about 38,000 French. This is based on the Russian retreat.
Pultusk: 26th December 1806. On the same day as the Battle at Golymin during the War of the Fourth Coalition, 35000 Russians, infantry and guns, under the
command of Levin August, Count von Bennigsen came under attack by 25,000 French led by Marshal Jean Lannes.The Russians withdrew the day after this action
Block games are beginning to really take on and in many cases they have even started to be more popular amongst historical wargamers than miniatures gaming.
This is because there is no massive expense on figures, (white metal or plastic miniatures), there is no having to paint all those figures and thus not be able to play
a game until you have completed them, there are less cross-referencing charts and tables and there is more likely that you will fiish a battle once you have started it.
I was at a wargames show recently and I saw lots of demo and display games where clubs had gathered from all over the country to set up their chosen battles and
then play a slow game against other members of their own club. There are of course thousands of hard core miniatures battles players but this number is diminishing
as Block board games expand into every genre and era.
GMTs Napoleonics Block game has opened up the whole conflict to a new world of games players. It is slightly complex but not complicated and it plays just like a
regular non-war board game except that it has historical overtones.
Reminder: You will need the Commands & Colors Napoleonics Box Game rules and Command cards.