We Want Your Strategy Essays on our games!
Write an essay about any aspect of the play of Bonaparte at Marengo or Napoleon’s Triumph for
this site. The essay length should be in the range of 500 to 2000 words (longer and shorter essays will still be considered) and can be in any form (an illustrated example of play, an analysis of a particular position, a discussion of a class of tactical problems, a battle plan for either side, etc.). Illustrations can be either pictures of the actual game board taken with a digital camera or they can be drawn using the high-res image of the mapboard on this site as the background. Authors should not worry about layout; if their essay is used it will be laid out by the webmaster of this site to conform with the general site design. Submit your essay to
. The author of any accepted essay will receive a personalized set of the game rules commemorating his article to replace the standard rules that came with his game!
Napoleon’s Triumph Sample Game
, by Will Green, Clark Millikan, and Bowen Simmons. Although I had generally been reluctant to publish sample games, as I thought that one of the great pleasures of gaming is learning the game through experience, the popularity of the sample game on Bonaparte at Marengo published here has led me to soften that position. This sample game differs from the previous game in several ways: first, since it was a live game rather than a PBEM game, it doesn’t have the move-by-move precision of its predecessor. What it does have, however, is a set of parallel commentaries, one by each player, as to what they were thinking as the game proceeded, whereas the previous game summary was completely without commentary. As a bonus, the entire game is presented as a QuickTime movie at the end of the essay. Enjoy!
Bonaparte at Marengo Sample Game
, by Dick Jarvinen, George Fagin, and Garry Haggerty. Designer's Comment: Normally the
article summary comes from the authors of the article, however, in this case, I thought it best to
write the summary myself. For a long time, I resisted including an article such as this on the website
as I felt that one of the great pleasures of Bonaparte at Marengo is learning the game yourself and
experiencing those "Ah-ha!" moments of understanding. Learning the game through an article like this
must necessarily deprive the reader of that experience. Still, I have also noticed that some people
never learn the game at all because the number of novel elements is so great that it overwhelms them,
leaving them uncertain as to how to move even the first piece on the first turn. Reading this article
can help with that. I have also noticed some people who have had their experience ruined through rules
misunderstandings. Reading this article can help with that too. In the end, I thought it best to leave
it to readers to make their own judgements as to whether or not an article like this is for them. The
authors worked hard to prepare this article, and I am rather ashamed to admit I did not publish it
nearly as promptly as I should have; I suppose it was only when the prospect of publishing it was actually
at hand that I realized just how conflicted my feelings on this subject were. In any case here it is (finally).
Holding the Fontanone in Bonaparte at Marengo
, by Jonathan Arkley.
No part of Bonaparte at Marengo is more crucial than the opening moves.
At the start of the game the French player is faced with a flood of Austrian pieces pouring across the two
bridges spanning the Bormida, with his own pieces still encamped and unable to react. How on earth is
the French player to hold back this tide? This article is aimed at new players to the game from the point of
view of the French during this critical phase, and attempts to answer this vital question. As will soon be
made clear, the key to the problem is a seemingly innocuous band of blue across the map - the Fontanone.
Infantry Assault Tactics in Bonaparte at Marengo,
by Dick Jarvinen.
The game Bonaparte at Marengo is a wonderful and precision-like simulation
of Napoleonic linear warfare. However, most gamers will find the system so different in terms of movement
and combat that they may find themselves with a surprisingly steep learning curve, despite the relatively
simple mechanics. This modest article attempts to deal with one of these mechanics, the assault, particularly
as it affects the Austrian player and his use of infantry units against the French defensive line. Throughout
most of the game, the burden of attack falls to the Austrian as he tries to break through the quickly formed
and severely stretch French defense. I will assume the reader is familiar with the basic principles of
approaches, terrain effects, and leading units as described in the rules.
Cavalry in Bonaparte at Marengo
, by Bowen Simmons.
There are three types of pieces in Bonaparte at Marengo: artillery,
infantry, and cavalry. The capabilities of the pieces are strongly differentiated in the game, and
for each type there are missions that are peculiarly suited to their unique capabilities. This essay
is concerned with the capabilities and uses of cavalry. Particular attention is given to the role of
cavalry during an advance or retreat, as this is when cavalry takes on its greates import. The essay
includes a summary of the special rules for cavalry, a set of general tactical guidelines, an analysis of
the battlefield terrain and the opposing forces, and finally a set of recommendations on the use
of cavalry in the different phases of the game.