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   £49.99 from Leisure Games in North Finchley London
 
Fading Glory: Napoleonic Series 20 Multi-Pack #1 Four Battles

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DESIGN: Joe Miranda             DEVELOPER: Alan Emrich & Lance McMillan                ART DIRECTOR: Rodger B. MacGowan
COUNTER ART: Tim Allen & Richard Starke            MAP ART: Knut Grünitz                PACKAGE ART: Rodger B. MacGowan
PRODUCERS: Andy Lewis, Gene Billingsley, Mark Simonitch, Rodger MacGowan, & Tony Curtis
 
       
 
    
 
The NAPOLEON 20 System was (the following text is from BoardGamesGeek.com) "Founded by Alan Emrich to produce high quality, semi-professional DTP small format board and card games. Staffed by volunteers and (game design, game art, and game programming) students from The Art Institute of California: Orange County, this is a game company that also teaches those interested in the art, craft, science, and business of making games.The VPG web site is updated weekly (usually on Sunday nights) and has full art and rules for theirs dozens of game products, plus article on making games for VPG publication. Producers of the Napoleonic 20 series, States of Siege series, and BATTLESSON (TM) series."

(from GMT webpage:)
Napoleonic 20 Multi-Pack, Volume I
Fading Glory is the second game (No Retreat - The Russian Front Deluxe Edition is the first) we (GMT Games) are producing as part of our strategic friendship/partnership with Victory Point Games, and the first game we are producing from their popular Napoleonic 20 series. The idea for this and future volumes is that we will take multiple existing games from the VPG Napeoleonic 20 series, add an as-yet-unpublished game to the mix, and create a GMT boxed game with 3-4 games in the box, using larger (3/4") counters and GMT production.

The Napoleonic 20 game system from Victory Point Games features lower-level wargame complexity on maps where, generally, 20 pieces or fewer are in play at one time (total, for both sides). This creates tense, dramatic and fast-playing situations on the board where higher echelon troop formations (generally corps) vie for position and dominance. Subscribers to C3i have recently enjoyed Jena 20, a game in this series which features eight pages of Standard rules and one-to-two pages of exclusive rules per title.

Veteran game designer Joe Miranda, with developers Alan Emrich and Lance McMillan, have created and refined a highly popular game series that is growing all the time. (Based on Joe's series rules, Alan, Lance, and Steve Carey have each designed one of the games in this multi-pack - in addition to Joe's Waterloo game.) A hallmark feature is the use of narrative random event cards that help “tell the stories” unique to each battle and small campaign. This “friction of war” element, combined with the operational-level maneuvers, combat, and even lulls, provide players a fun exercise in the Napoleonic parry-and-thrust of grand battles as armies close to bayonet-point to see which will break first.

This edition includes the latest version (3.0) of the Standard series rules.

Morale plays an vital role, as both sides can ‘spend’ this resource to force march their units, help rally stragglers, or commit reserves to a key attack or defense. But look out… when a side’s morale is reduced to zero, it has lost the game!

Included in this Multi-Pack are:


GAMES GAZETTE NOTES:
Each of the four scenarios (mentioned above) are played using the same rules and follow the same sequence of play. This Sequence of Play is as follows:
Random Events Phase - Player 1
Movement Phase - Player 1
Reaction Phase - Player 2
Combat Phase - Player 1
Night Operations Phase - Player 1
Random Events Phase - Player 2
Movement Phase - Player 2
Reaction Phase - Player 1
Combat Phase - Player 2
Night Operations Phase - Player 2
To prevent them being exactly the same game each designer has added their own unique flavour to the game.
 
Despite being built for speed these games are not slap-dash or controlled by luck. Indeed what you have in this box are the components for 4 different battles that could so easily have been marketed as 4 separate boxed games which would then have cost you a lot more than the £12.50 per game that these average out at, plus you are saving on storage space.
 
All of the Battles chosen for FADING GLORY Multi-Pack have been well documented before and two of them, Borodino and Waterloo, have been published as wargames more times than I can count. So it is surprising how refreshingly enjoyable and challenging these games are when using this Napoleonic 20 system. Because they are so well produced and the system allows for many possibilities, especially through the card options, that unlike many board wargames that are very good but also on the heavy side, these are honestly happily replayable regularly.
 
The scenarios give each side a defined number of Morale Points that are used during play for various advantages. Depending on circumstances (Rallying Troops, Forced Marching etc) that occur during the battle these Morale Points will (almost certainly) fluctuate up and down, but mostly down. Morale Points can also be spent by either side (or by both) to add a point of Strength in combat. Losing all your Morale Points also loses you the game. The Allies also win (marginally) if they have at least 1 Morale Point more than the French when the Battle closes out. It isn't a regular occurrence but it is not unusual for the game to end in a Draw.
 
Now that I have reached the crux of any wargame, Combat, I should say that by using the CRT (Combat Results Table) after doing a little mathematics with both sides Strength, plus or minus modifiers and a little cross-indexing, a Battle result is immediately forthcoming. Despite this sounding complex, writing down here what you have to do to obtain a Combat Result takes longer than actually obtaining a Combat Result.
 
Players already involved in Napoleonic wargaming will find it hard to fault this Multi-Pack, in fact they will find it a pleasure to play and indeed they will find FADING GLORY a great series to introduce players to Napoleonics and even to explain historical battles, what actually happened and what could possibly have happened.
 
 

 

 

© Chris Baylis 2011-2015