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 Products Bonaparte at Marengo The rules

Bonaparte at Marengo: learning to play


Rules available for download in:

English English German German French French
Spanish Spanish Italian Italian Chinese Chinese

Bonaparte at Marengo comes with two copies of its 12-page, stable-bound, black-and-white 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, French, Italian and Chinese, which can be printed or read online using Adobe's free Acrobat Reader program.

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 unique mechanics is presented below:

The illustrated summary of the rules to Bonaparte at Marengo

(1) 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 can only block an approach if the opposite locale is enemy-occupied.


(2) During its turn, a piece may move to a different locale if that locale is adjacent and does not contain any enemy pieces. A piece may move to block an approach in the locale it occupies if the locale opposite that approach is enemy occupied.


(3) If an adjacent locale is occupied by enemy pieces but the approach is not blocked, an attempt may be made to take the locale by making a maneuver attack. The enemy pieces must choose whether to block (and risk a later assault) or retreat (and give up the locale and taken a 1-strength loss).

Maneuver Attack

(4) Artillery blocking an approach may bombard enemy pieces in the opposite locale. One of the enemy pieces must take a step loss equal to the strength of the artillery. Bombarding artillery does not take losses. Defending pieces do not have to retreat after a bombardment.

Bombardment Attack

(5) If enemy pieces are blocking an approach, pieces may attempt to drive them back by assault. In an assault, the terrain-adjusted stronger side wins. The winner takes a loss of one step, The loser loses one plus the strength advantage of the winner.


(6) If pieces in a locale retreat from a maneuver attack or are defeated by an assault, all pieces in the locale must retreat from the locale, even those not involved. Each group of retreating pieces takes a one-step loss (exception: cavalry retreating from reserve does not take losses).


For more about Bonaparte at Marengo, 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
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