Commands & Colors: Napoleonics

RRP: £89.99
Now £69.49(SAVE 22%)
RRP £89.99
[yith_wcwl_add_to_wishlist]
Nexy Day Delivery

You could earn

6949 Victory Points

with this purchase

Commands & Colors Napoleonics is a war game based on the Commands & Colors (C&C) game system designed by Richard Borg.The system is recognisable for utilising battle dice and a shared deck of command cards. The battle dice enable combat to be resolved efficiently. The command cards form the game engine, driving movement and providing orders for Units. They also serve to …
Read More
Category Tags , SKU ZBG-GMT1014 Availability 3+ in stock
Share
Share this

Commands & Colors Napoleonics is a war game based on the Commands & Colors (C&C) game system designed by Richard Borg. The system is recognisable for utilising battle dice and a shared deck of command cards. The battle dice enable combat to be resolved efficiently. The command cards form the game engine, driving movement and providing orders for Units. They also serve to create a fog of war effect which add to the realism. Games utilising the C&C system also have a game board that is a hex grid. This grid is divided into three sections: Left flank, Centre, and Right flank. Napoleonics overlays this system with game concepts inspired by the era in which it is set. Aside from providing new challenges to veteran players, it adds historical depth to the game. This creates compelling gameplay that succeeds in simulating Napoleonic warfare. The base game focuses on confratations between Napoleons Forces and those of Great Britain. The focus here is on confrontations between The First French Empire and Great Britain. Fifteen scenarios are included, showcasing engagements from Rolica in August 1808 to Waterloo in June 1815. The game comes with eight Battle dice and 70 Command cards, which will drive movement and combat. There are also 56 double sided terrain tiles which players will use to enhance the battlefield. Units are represented by 340 wooden blocks, to which illustrated stickers can be attached. There are three types of block included: Small squares (193) for Infantry, bigger squares (87) for Cavalry and rectangular blocks (60) for Artillery and Leaders. Blocks representing French units are Dark Blue, those representing British units are Red and Portuguese units are Brown. Player Count: 2+ Time: Depending on format: 60+ minutes Age: 14+

Awards

Rating

  • Artwork
  • Complexity
  • Replayability
  • Player Interaction
  • Component Quality

You Might Like

  • Its utilisation of the Commands & Colors system
  • Gameplay that conforms to tactics of the era

Might Not Like

  • The long setup and play time
  • The need to consult reference charts
Find out more about our blog & how to become a member of the blogging team by clicking here

Related Products

Description

Commands & Colors Napoleonics is a war game based on the Commands & Colors (C&C) game system designed by Richard Borg.

The system is recognisable for utilising battle dice and a shared deck of command cards. The battle dice enable combat to be resolved efficiently. The command cards form the game engine, driving movement and providing orders for Units. They also serve to create a fog of war effect which add to the realism. Games utilising the C&C system also have a game board that is a hex grid. This grid is divided into three sections: Left flank, Centre, and Right flank.

Napoleonics overlays this system with game concepts inspired by the era in which it is set. Aside from providing new challenges to veteran players, it adds historical depth to the game. This creates compelling gameplay that succeeds in simulating Napoleonic warfare.

The base game focuses on confratations between Napoleons Forces and those of Great Britain. The focus here is on confrontations between The First French Empire and Great Britain. Fifteen scenarios are included, showcasing engagements from Rolica in August 1808 to Waterloo in June 1815.

The game comes with eight Battle dice and 70 Command cards, which will drive movement and combat. There are also 56 double sided terrain tiles which players will use to enhance the battlefield.

Units are represented by 340 wooden blocks, to which illustrated stickers can be attached. There are three types of block included: Small squares (193) for Infantry, bigger squares (87) for Cavalry and rectangular blocks (60) for Artillery and Leaders. Blocks representing French units are Dark Blue, those representing British units are Red and Portuguese units are Brown.

Player Count: 2+
Time: Depending on format: 60+ minutes
Age: 14+

 

Nightmare of Europe

From 1799 to 1815 the shadow of Napoleon Bonaparte loomed large over Europe. As First Consul, and then Emperor of France, Napoleon masterminded decisive victories over every major power on the continent. His ambition knew no bounds. The military machine he created seemed unstoppable.

Spain 1808: Unhappy with the capitulation of their government and the crowning of Joseph Bonaparte, local populations rebel. A series of setbacks and defeats checked the French. Inspired by Spanish victories, Austria and Great Britain form a Fifth Coalition against Napoleon. Britain sends an army to support its ally, Portugal, who has followed Spain in rebellion against the French occupiers.

Commands and Colors

Napoleonics is a war game based on the Commands & Colors (C&C) game system designed by Richard Borg. C&C is essentially a system that enables simplified yet compelling war gaming. It will be familiar to players of games such as Memoir ’44, Battlelore, Battlecry, and Red Alert.

The system is recognisable for utilising battle dice and a shared deck of command cards. The battle dice enable combat to be resolved efficiently. The command cards form the game engine, driving movement and providing orders for Units. They also serve to create a fog of war effect which add to the realism. Games utilising the C&C system also have a game board that is a hex grid. This grid is divided into three sections: Left flank, Centre, and Right flank.

Napoleonics overlays this system with game concepts inspired by the era in which it is set. Aside from providing new challenges to veteran players, it adds historical depth to the game. This creates compelling gameplay that succeeds in simulating Napoleonic warfare.

Napoleonics

The focus here is on confrontations between The First French Empire and Great Britain. Fifteen scenarios are included, showcasing engagements from Rolica in August 1808 to Waterloo in June 1815.

The game comes with eight Battle dice and 70 Command cards, which will drive movement and combat. There are also 56 double sided terrain tiles which players will use to enhance the battlefield.

Units are represented by 340 wooden blocks, to which illustrated stickers can be attached. There are three types of block included: Small squares (193) for Infantry, bigger squares (87) for Cavalry and rectangular blocks (60) for Artillery and Leaders. Blocks representing French units are Dark Blue, those representing British units are Red and Portuguese units are Brown.

I find assembling these pieces on the battlefield to be reminiscent of certain scenes in old war films. Scenes where aides drive blocks around huge maps representing a theatre of war, whilst the general assesses the whole picture. As fun as that is, setup can be a little time consuming. Players will need to decide on a scenario, set the terrain, and then place the units in their starting positions.

The stage is set. The battle lines are drawn and you are in command. Can you change history?

Prepare for battle

A typical turn consists of the active player revealing a Command card from their hand and carrying out the instruction(s). In rare instances the player may be unable (or unwilling) to play a card. At that point, the player discards a Command card, draws a new one then ends their turn.

There are two types of Command card: Section cards and Tactic cards.

  • Section cards allow the player to activate one or more units in a specific section (or sections) of the battlefield.
  • Tactic cards allow the player to take a special action or activate units from any section(s) of the battlefield.

 

After revealing a Command card, the player will nominate units to activate, then proceed to movement and combat. This is where gameplay becomes slightly less straightforward, at least initially.

Each unit has a set of rules governing its movement and combat attributes. In addition, each type of terrain tile has attributes which may affect a unit’s movement and/or combat effectiveness. This information is presented to players in the form of double sided A4 reference charts.

Whilst these charts are well laid out, it will take new players time to become familiar with key information. This inevitably slows down the game in early plays.

The player has the option to move activated units and then engage in combat. Movement is always completed first. The reference charts will enable the player to determine how many battle dice to roll for each combat. Combat itself, thanks to the battle dice, is resolved efficiently.

Once combat has been resolved, players will check the win conditions for the scenario. If either player can satisfy them, the game ends. The victor will revel in the spoils and the loser will put the kettle on (optional rule!). If neither player can satisfy the win conditions, the active player passes play to their opponent. Play continues until one player can claim victory.

The battlefield is a scene of constant chaos. The winner will be the one who controls that chaos, both his own and the enemies. – Napoleon Bonaparte.

Summary

Napoleonics is a welcome addition to the C&C family of games. It has enough depth to engage veteran players without, I feel, being overwhelming to new ones. The game mechanics lend themselves brilliantly to replicate the combined arms tactics (Infantry, Cavalry and Artillery) of the era.

This is a personal favourite of mine. It is highly regarded amongst my wargaming friends as one of, if not, the best war games available.

But it won’t be for everyone. Scenarios can easily take over an hour to play through once, not accounting for set up and clear up time. The need (initially) to check reference charts for movement and combat may also put some players off.

If you like Memoir ’44, Red Alert or Command & Colors Ancients, I would recommend Napoleonics.

C&C-Feature-Image

Introduction

This is a how to play guide for Commands and Colors Napoleonics, focusing on scenario setup and turn structure. For an overall review of the game, see our review.

Before we proceed, it’s worth noting that an assembly (of sorts) will be required before battle can commence. The combat units in Napoleonics are represented by wooden blocks of varying sizes and colours. To these you will need to affix stickers depicting the different types of unit. You will also need to affix another set of stickers to the battle dice. There’s no denying that this is a tedious task, but the game is worth it! Pages three and four of the rulebook will help you ensure that you apply the stickers to the correct blocks.

Command-and-colours-blue-components

Setup

  • Choose a scenario to play.

The game designers recommend new players start with Rolica (First French Position). I also favour starting with Rolica and working through the scenarios in order, effectively playing through a campaign.

Each scenario includes a historical background and a battlefield map. The background will provide the context in which the actual battle was fought. The map will show you how to set up the battlefield. Also noted will be any special rules applicable to the scenario, the victory condition, and battle notes.

  • Determine who will play the British and who will play the French.

Each player takes an infantry in square track and infantry square counters in the correct colours. Each player should also take a National Unit Reference Card and a Terrain Effect Card.

  • Set up the battlefield as shown on the scenario map.

Each Unit shown on the map represents a complete unit, comprised of multiple blocks. Use the National Unit Reference Cards to confirm how many blocks each unit begins with (usually three or four).

  • Shuffle the Command Cards then place the cards, battle dice, and Victory Banners within reach of both players.
  • Refer to the Battle Notes to determine which player will move first. Deal each player the number of Command Cards stated.

Objective

The aim in Napoleonics is to acquire Victory Banners; the exact number will vary from scenario to scenario.  The scenario will end immediately upon one player acquiring the minimum number of Victory Banners required.

A player will gain a Victory Banner for each enemy unit and leader eliminated. A unit is eliminated when the last of its blocks are removed from the battlefield (depleted Units can never be merged).

Victory Banners are gained by holding specific positions on the battlefield.

command-and-colours-rule-book

A Game Turn

A turn is divided into five phases: Command, Order, Movement, Combat, and Draw. Phases must be completed in order, but you can opt to do nothing in a phase and move to the next.

  • Command

Play a Command Card from your hand. There are two types of Command card: Section cards and Tactic cards.

Section cards allow the player to activate one or more units in a specific section (or sections) of the battlefield. Tactic cards allow the player to take a special action or activate units from any section(s) of the battlefield.

  • Order

Nominate which units you will activate with the Command Card. A unit bridging two sections can be ordered as if it were in either section.

  • Movement

You may move nominated units, paying attention to the units movement attributes and any relevant terrain effects. Refer to the National Unit Reference and Terrain Effects Cards as required.

You must complete all desired movement before initiating combat.

  • Combat

Combat is the most complex phase of the turn, the rulebook devotes eight pages to it. I’ll stick to the basics principles here to help give you a general understanding:

– Each activated unit may conduct battle against one enemy unit within range.

– You can target the same enemy unit more than once.

– Combat is resolved one unit at a time.

– Depending on the unit and distance from the target, you may conduct Ranged or Melee combat.

Ranged Combat

– Only Infantry and Artillery can engage in ranged combat.

– The attacking unit must be more than one hex away from the target unit.

– A line of sight must be established (Hills, Forests and Towns hinder visibility).

– The enemy unit will not have a chance to return fire.

Melee Combat

– All units may engage in melee combat.

– The attacking unit must be adjacent to the target unit.

– The enemy unit will fight back in melee combat.

To resolve combat you will be rolling battle dice. Each unit will have combat attributes to determine how many dice may be rolled. However, that number may be modified by a number of factors:

– If the attacking unit moved during the turn.

– The distance (for ranged combat) to the target unit.

– The terrain the attacking and defending units are on.

Use the National Unit Reference and Terrain Effects cards to determine the number of dice needed, then roll them.

For range combat, a hit is registered when you roll a symbol matching the target unit type (Infantry, Cavalry or Artillery). In Melee combat, rolling a Sabre will also register a hit. For each hit, remove a block from the target unit. If the last block is removed, claim a Victory Banner.

Rolling one or more flags will force the target unit to retreat backwards. The retreating unit must move the number of spaces equal to the number of flags rolled. For each space the unit cannot move, a block is removed from the battlefield. Some units can ignore flags (See the National unit Reference Card). A unit may also ignore flags if they are attached to a Leader, or flanked by friendly units.

I hope that provides enough information to give you a general feel for combat. You can explore additional rules concerning Leader Units, Infantry forming square, Infantry taking ground, and Cavalry breakthroughs in the rulebook.

Once all combat has been resolved you will move into the last phase of the turn.

  • Draw

Draw a new Command Card and pass the turn to your opponent.

command-and-colours-components

Battle End

As already highlighted, the scenario ends immediately when a player acquires the last Victory Banner needed to satisfy the win condition.

Final Comments

There you have it. Players take turns in the manner described until one  can satisfy the win condition. I like to play a scenario twice with the same opponent, alternating sides for the second battle. It gives players a chance to try out different strategies and learn the capabilities of all the units.

A parting tip for new players. Don’t feel the need to rush units in. If you’re holding a good position try and make your opponent come t you.

Zatu Score

Rating

  • Artwork
  • Complexity
  • Replayability
  • Player Interaction
  • Component Quality

You might like

  • Its utilisation of the Commands & Colors system
  • Gameplay that conforms to tactics of the era

Might not like

  • The long setup and play time
  • The need to consult reference charts