Tag Archives: Block Game

Commands & Colors Napoleonics Austrian Army Review

The Austrian Army

The Austrian Army is a Coalition expansion for Commands & Colors Napoleonics.

Prior to the Napoleon wars, the Austrian Empire stretched from Italy to the Netherlands and from Poland to the Balkans. Its Position in the center of Europe, however, made it the perfect target for revolutionary France and in April 1792, France declared war on Austria. The first war lasted for 5 years. Austria renewed the war against France in 1799 and again in 1805, but in both cases was swiftly defeated. In April 1809, judging that Napoleon’s army
was bogged down with the fighting in Spain, Austria invaded Bavaria, but Napoleon recovered quickly and Austria’s defeat at Wagram led to another humiliating peace treaty.

Even though the Austrian army was the third largest in the world, the Austrians lost many more battles than they won. At the time of the Napoleonic Wars, the Austrian army was a large multi-national army, made up of Austrians, Swedes, Hungarians, Englishmen, Scots, Irishmen, Walloons, Poles, Russians, Ukrainians, Germans, Croats, Serbs, and even French royalists.
The infantry regiments were large and somewhat reliable, but the tactical formations and drill were still entrenched in the past. The cavalry, although well mounted, still applied the practice of scattering their formations in small bodies, which greatly reduced their combat effectiveness. In general, the Austrian army did enjoy many successes on a regimental level, but at the brigade, divisional and corps levels its commanders were often
woefully inadequate.

In this expansion you will find 20 historical scenarios that focus on the Austrian Army battles from 1805 to 1809 against Napoleon, plus all the new units you’ll need to field for these engagements.

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Gettysburg Badges of Courage (Video Review)


Gettysburg: Badges of Courage employs a game system developed for tactical combat. Infantry, Artillery and Cavalry are led by Division, Corps and Army commanders in a struggle to control terrain features like Little Round Top and Cemetery Ridge

All three days Gettysburg can be played separately or together in battle-long scenario. Players have some control of which roads and at which time new Divisions and Corps arrive throughout the battle.

Gettysburg: Badges of Courage features a Brigade level order of battle with historical units and leaders. The game system rewards players who maintain division and corps integrity.

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Napoleon the Waterloo Campaign 4th Edition (KS Video Preview)


Napoleon is based on the game of the same name that was published by Columbia Games back in the early 1970’s. Napoleon was one of the very early ‘block’ wargames, so good at creating ‘fog-of-war’. The map features point-to-point movement. Each road has a limit to how many troops can pass over it in a given turn. This, combined with limited command control makes planning an essential ingredient of this game.


~ Columbia Games

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Commands and Colors Napoleonics (Unboxing the Second Edition)

Commands and Colors Napoleonics



Commands & Colors: Napoleonics allows you to re-fight epic battles of the Napoleonic era. In this core volume, the focus is on the French and the British, two bitter rivals in the struggle for European preeminence during the time of Napoleon.

As with other games in the Commands & Colors genre, units in both armies can only move and fight when ordered. The command playing cards supply those orders, providing an element of luck that creates a fog of war and presents players with both challenges and opportunities. You must maximize your opportunities by playing your command cards judiciously. How well you handle the diverse units, their weapons, and the terrain, will determine victory.



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Pax Baltica (Video Review)

Pax Baltica


It is 1700, and a youthful Karl XII has recently come to power as King of Sweden. Rivals around the Baltic Sea seize the opportunity to get their hands on Swedish territory. An alliance is struck between Denmark, Saxony-Poland, and Russia, the last under the vibrant leadership of Tsar Pyotr. This coalition mobilizes to take advantage of the untried King, and break Swedish dominance in the Baltics forever… Thus opened the Great Northern War, ravaging Northern and Eastern Europe for over two decades at the beginning of the eighteenth century. By the end of the war, one nation would lose its status as a Great Power, while another would rise to dominate the region for centuries onward.

PAX BALTICA is a two-player wargame covering the entire Great Northern War (1700-1721). Published first as a limited “guerilla” edition in 2009 by Three Crowns Game Productions of Sweden, this new enhanced edition has been revised and upgraded by GMT Games in conjunction with the original designers.

Over twenty years of fighting span the map from Norway to Turkey, Saxony to Finland. Units are represented by labeled wooden blocks, which are stood upright to conceal their identity and strength from the enemy, allowing players to dupe and outfox each other on campaign. Action points are spent to maneuver on the map, but also for reconnaissance, replacements, or a roll on the treacherous but lucrative National Politics Table. Straightforward rules account for lines of communication and forage, as well as time-consuming sieges, adding to the period flavor. The fast-paced and exciting combat system captures the aggressive “charge with cold steel” tactics that Sweden used to defeat her enemies in succession at the start of the war.

Players are subject to a host of influences and distractions that will hinder their plans at every turn. An elaborate plan will be at the mercy of a poor action roll or sudden plague, while other events shape strategy with historical motivations and deterrents. Players must prepare for the worst, but be open to fleeting opportunities.

Special rules capture simply the unique events and circumstances of the Great Northern War, including:
• Russian army reforms
• Ukrainian Cossack uprisings
• Intervention by the Ottoman Empire
• Polish royal politics
• Attrition of Swedish manpower
• Founding of Sankt-Peterburg


Four scenarios are included with the game: a short tournament scenario covering the Swedish invasion of Russia that led to the Battle of Poltáva; two scenarios that simulate the first and last half of the war; and a “grand campaign” scenario that refights the entirety of the Great Northern War, a first in wargame publishing. Turns typically take no more than a couple of minutes, ensuring a fast pace of play. Swings of fortune ensure that no two games will turn out the same.

Can you save Sweden’s empire? Or ensure Russia’s rise to prominence? You make the choices that will determine who reigns over the PAX BALTICA.

• 1 Map (22” x 34”)
• 1 Rulebook (16 pages)
• 1 Playbook (32 pages)
• 65 wooden blocks (units) in five colors
• 1 sticker sheet for mounting on blocks
• 51 wooden cubes (control markers, etc.) in six colors
• 8 dice, 4 blue and 4 green

Game Design: Stefan Ekström and Göran Björkman
Development for GMT: Scott Muldoon
Complexity: 4
Solitaire Suitability: 3
Scale: Strategic. 1 turn = one season; units are armies, regiments, and fleets; 1 strength step = approx. 1500 troops or 6-8 fighting ships
Players: 2
Time to Play: 1-2 hours for the shortest scenario, 7-14 hours for the grand campaign


Original Three Crowns edition:

Great Northern war, a 21-year long war lasted from 1700 to 1721 and ended Sweden’s period as a major power in northern Europe and started Russia’s domination of Eastern Europe. An intriguing conflict that is often considered a side-show of the War of Spanish succession. Nevertheless the former had probably greater impact of the developments in Europe during the 100 years to come than the latter. The effects of the war are in fact still seen today.

Pax Baltica. Probably the first board game ever covering the entire Great Northern War. The game includes five different scenarios with a varying playtime between two hours and a day. The units in the game are blocks which give a great flexibility in taking steps and differentiate the quality and strength of the troops. The high quality map is divided into provinces which you have to conquer in order to take control over a country. This dynamic conflict covers large parts of northern and eastern Europe. From Bremen in the West to Smolensk in the East. From Trondheim in the North to Bender in the South.
Playable nations are Sweden, Russia, Turkey, Denmark and Saxony. Other countries represented as minors are: Great Britain, Poland, Ukraine, Prussia and Hanover. The game, packed in a book case, includes a A2 full color map, 60 high quality wooden blocks, 4 dice, various markers and rules including 5 scenarios.

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