To try and get Marengo out of my system, I put Richard Berg‘s Borodino from GMT Games on the table. It uses the Triumph and Glory system, an accessible chit pull activation set of mechanics, with a small step up in complexity from the folio games of Decision, but a huge leap in terms of component quality. Borodino comes with a standard sized map, a couple of gorgeous counter sheets, a rule book and two copies of the double sided Player Aid card.
The players draw chits to activate formations. However, each side is limited in the number of Orders it may give. If a group of units has Orders, it has full functionality. Without Orders, it has to roll to get that functionality, or the group is next to useless. Therefore, there is command control, and part of the challenge for the players is to get the Orders to the right units at the right time, while foiling the opposing attempts to do the same by posing threats at surprising times and places.
Borodino the situation, however, does not have much room for finesse, as it is a head to head brute force struggle. That makes it very playable solitaire, though the lack of variety means a possible lack of replayability. There are two scenarios; one is a learning outing and the other is the full battle. Of course, I am playing the full battle.
I have only dabbled enough after setup (and hunting down the niggling errata and replacement counters) to get the core rules right in my head. Even that limited exposure has been fun, though, because this is one of the battles most gamers interested in the period want to try out, and this game allows you to do that in quite a user friendly way.
Gripes? Well, hunting down the errata was more difficult than it usually is with GMT. The dud counters are very, very minor issues and certainly are not going to spoil things for you if you do not have access to the C3i magazine #17 with the replacements. One cavalry unit had the wrong Corps affiliation. Two infantry units had a wrong designation. And two activation chits were mistakenly blank on one side. Funnily enough, the original game map missed out a label for the Great Redoubt. However, my copy included a corrected version.
Finally, a bit of personal trivia: I did some proofreading of the rules. They misspelled my name on the credits!
Now, excuse me while I head back to Borodino for the action.