Age of Napoleon

After our Lock ‘n Load game, Matt & I still had a couple hours, so we broke out Age of Napoleon. Napoleon had a pretty tought time.

Invasion of Austria take 1, 1805: Napoleon gathers up whichever corps are at hand, the Austrians have some command indecision, and Napoleon makes it to Vienna – but only after a bloody battle which leaves the Russians unfought and the Austrians unconquered. The next year then begins with a lost battle against the Russians, and a general retreat to Bayern, followed by some peace talks which stall the second invasion of Austria until 1807.

Invasion of Austria take 2, 1807: Gathering up more scattered corps, Napoleon has another go at it. This results in him making it to Vienna again, getting hung up in yet another round of peace talks, yet again failing to drive off the Russians, and eventually being virtually surrounded in Vienna with only one additional corps and hordes of (admittedly incompetent) Russians and Austrians surrounding him. An assault by Messina into Innsbruch to help relieve the pressure is repulsed. Napoleon, the sole surviving unit of the invasion, is forced into Dalmatia but manages to skate through the enclosing perimeter to escape back to Bavaria.

Invasion of Austria take 3, 1809: Despite having virtually all his good corps in the permanently eliminated pile, Napoleon vows to take one more go at it; the only upsides are that Prussia has been kept neutral, and despite France’s much-weakened state, Napoleon manages to come up with a deal that takes Russia out of the war. With the odds much better now, France manages to crush the Austrians at long last.

This victory is followed up by a quick conquest of the hapless Prussians in 1809 (wow, do they suck without the Military Reforms – when they were crushed in one impulse, Matt’s comment was “they delayed the French as much as they could”), and when Matt failed to draw the Diplomacy cards required to bring Russia out of neutrality, I counted my blessings and took the marginal victory.

A fun game, although I fear the luck of the draw is really much too heavy. By all rights Matt should have won this game, given the hapless and badly depleted state of the French army, but he was unable to draw even a single Insurrection card, pulled only one usable Diplomacy card all game, and never got either reform card or was able to play Britannia. With this kind of card luck, it’ll take nothing short of a bloody miracle for the Coalition to win.

So while I enjoyed the game, I’m definitely going to play with the fixes that try to mitigate some of the luck of the draw.

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