On the table is Wagram 1809, a divisional level game about what has been called Napoleon’s last triumph. It pits the French and allies against the Austrians: Napoleon v Charles.
The game, designed by Laurent Martin and originally published in Battles magazine, comes with 3 scenarios: first day, second day, and the complete event. It uses simple mechanics and chit-pull activation (with some clever innovation) to try and recreate this momentous battle.
I have been playing the first day scenario, and trying to get to grips with the system. Although the rules are not complex, it’s quite different in a number of ways, and I found it hard (at first) to ditch my ill conceived preconceptions.
While the game has had a low key reception, my initial feelings are that it deserves better. There are some neat ideas in this very playable package. Its balance is titled towards game rather than simulation, but in general the story it tells seems plausible enough.
I don’t have a lot of Wagram resources readily to hand, but I will probably hunt some down before doing commentary in more detail. For now, it’s enough to say that my exposure to the game made me – yes, it made me – buy the two earlier American Civil War designs using the core system.