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 Products Napoleon’s Triumph The rules

Napoleon’s Triumph: learning to play


Rules available for download in:

English English German German French French
Spanish Spanish Italian Italian

Napoleon’s Triumph comes with two copies of its 12-page, staple-bound, full-color rules book. Two copies are included because it is a two-player game, and it is desirable for both players to be able to learn to play at the same time. The rules book is also available for download as a PDF file in English, German, French, and Spanish, and Italian.

Like its predecessor, Bonaparte at Marengo, the rules themselves depart widely from standard wargame practice. Almost none of the standard mechanisms are present. The differences start with the components: the map does not have hexagons and the pieces are not cardboard squares. Movement does not use movement allowances, there are no terrain costs and no terrain effects table. Combat does not use a combat effects table nor does it use dice (combat resolution is entirely based on skill – there is no chance involved).

An overview of the game’s mechanics is presented below:

The illustrated summary of the rules to Napoleon’s Triumph

(1) Units can be either organized together under a commander as a corps, or they can operate individually as detached. Units organized as corps move and attack together, while units that are detached move and attack individually. Corps are initially organized during set-up, but units can join and leave corps during play.


(2) To move or attack with a corps or detached unit requires expending a number of commands. Each side has a limited number of commands available in each turn. Commands are also needed for units to join corps, but are not needed for units to leave them; this makes corps easy to tear down but hard to build up.


(3) The map is divided into polygons called locales. The faces of the polygons are called approaches. Pieces can be either in the center of a locale (in reserve) or on one of the approaches (blocking). Pieces defend better when blocking an approach, but have more mobility when in reserve.


(4) During its turn, a piece may move within a locale (from blocking to reserve or vice-versa) or to reserve in an adjacent locale. Pieces moving by road can move two or three locales in a turn (local roads allow pieces to move two locales, main roads three).


(5) Attacks are part of movement. An attack begins with an announcement by the moving player of an attack threat against an enemy-occupied locale. In response to an attack threat, the defender can either attempt to defend against the attack or retreat before combat (retreats can cause losses: see step 8). If the choice is to defend, the attacker gets a chance to call off the attack and feint (at no loss to either side) or go ahead and attack.


(6) If the defender does not retreat and the attacker does not feint, the result is combat. To resolve an attack, both sides reveal leading units (one if the attack is across a narrow approach, two if across a wide approach). If eligible, the defender can also declare a counter-attack and reveal up to two more units, although these immediately lose a strength point each. The winner is the side that revealed the most strength points.


(7) Each side inflicts a one strength point loss for each enemy leading unit (exception: if the leading attacking units are artillery, the attacking side does not take losses). The stronger (winning) side also inflicts one additional strength point on the enemy for each point of strength advantage it has in the attack. Losses are inflicted either by replacing units with lower strength units or by eliminating them.


(8) When the attacker feints or loses, the defender retains control of the attacked locale and the attacker’s move fails. If the defender retreats (either before or after combat), then all his pieces in the locale must retreat. Unless they already took losses in combat, retreating units takes losses for doing so (exception: cavalry retreating from reserve does not take losses). Corps on the losing side have all but one unit detached.


For more about Napoleon’s Triumph, click on any of the icons below:

Open the Box
Open the Box
Unfold the Board
Unfold the Board
Study the Map
Study the Map
Get out the Pieces
Get out the Pieces
Learn to Play
Learn to Play
Read the Diary
Read the Design Diary