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1806: Rossbach Avenged» Forums » Reviews

Subject: Zucker Goes to Jena rss

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Sean Chick (Formerly Paul O'Sullivan)
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Fag an bealac! Riam nar druid ar sbarin lann! Cuimhnigidh ar Luimnech agus feall na Sassonach! Erin go Bragh! Remember Limerick! Remember Ireland and Fontenoy!
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Well, I'm afraid it'll have to wait. Whatever it was, I'm sure it was better than my plan to get out of this by pretending to be mad. I mean, who would have noticed another madman round here?
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1806 is an operational game covering the maneuvers that led to the twin battles of Jena and Auerstadt, which saw the French under Napoleon and Davout destroy the vaunted Prussian Army.

Gameplay (24 out of 28): 1806 is the second member of Kevin Zucker's DAYS series (which includes The 6 Days of Glory, The Last Days of the Grande Armee, and The Seven Days of 1809). The system is simpler than Zucker's Campaign series, but more complex than the system offered in Napoleon's Last Battles. In this game players must use their army commanders to activate corps, which in turn allows them to move and fight. You have to really pay attention to how your units are positioned; poor positioning can hamper the movement of a corps because a commander can only give orders within a certain range. A corps out of range of an army leader must activate on their own, unless they are given a march order at night or they have recently arrived as reinforcements. Command control is an important part of sucess.

1806 uses fog-of-war, which only increases the tension. In order to find out what is under that stack you can either attack or be more prudent and simply send light cavalry forces, called vedettes, to investigate. As it is this combination of hidden units and command rules make for tense gaming.

Operational (5 out of 5): The sessions have their own flow and you must balance out classic operational problems of supply and position with the choice of aggressive or defensive strategies. I like that movement isn't random like in Stonewall Jackson's Way; instead movement is either made in full because the corps has orders from the army commander or they passed an initiative check. Otherwise no movement. I like this because too often in games like Grant Takes Command I'll wonder why Hancock is moving slowly while Burnside marches fast and furious. In this game though you have a reason for Soult not moving: Napoleon hasn't sent him any orders! As a good touch though if a battle is nearby a commander's chances of moving on his own are improved.

Accessibility (3 out of 5): This is the weakest link here, because the original rules are a bit disorganized. You basically have to use the updated rules, which are cleaner and improve play with new additions such as marching to the sound of the guns.

Components (4 out of 5): Being a title from OSG, the map is of course beautiful. The units are little more drab than later OSG games, but overall this is a sharp looking game with a very attractive box cover.

Slice of the Map:


Box Cover:


Originality (1 out of 2): This was only the second game in the DAYS series, but I do not know if it made any improvements or new additions to the system introduced in The 6 Days of Glory. I do know this was Zucker's first attempt at simulating the Jena Campaign, whci is not exactly the most popular Napoleonic wargame topic.

Historical Quality (5 out of 5): For many this is the crux of the game and how it appeals to some but not others. The problem is the situation because many feel the Prussians had lost the campaign before it began and that it doesn't lend itself well to gaming. This might be true since there are more popular wargames on Austerlitz, Waterloo, Marengo, and Leipzig to name a few but Jena is sort of an outcast. I think many might be selling 1806 short though, because the victory conditions in the game are perfect and respect history while allowing for a sharp gaming session. The Prussians started the campaign out-flanked so if they can guard their threatened rear, then victory will not be far off. However, they lose more points from heavier losses because the Prussians cannot take such hard causalities. These victory objectives are realistic. The French are favored with their superior commanders and they should be, but the Prussians, by preserving their army and and securing their rear, can win. Basically avoid the fate that befell them on October 14, 1806. The game is not a straight-jacket though, and if you choose you can go into the teeth of Bonaparte's army, hopefully before it unities. This is a risky move, but victory is possible and I've seen it, but if you fail don't blame the game. The Prussians had a difficult situation and the French army of 1806 was one of the finest in history. However, the victory conditions give the Prussians a chance while simulating the realities of their situation.

Overall (42 out of 50): 1806 is only moderately complex, but still true to both Napoleonic warfare and the situation that both sides faced during the campaign. It is a must for Napoleon nuts and Zucker fans. For the average wargamer I'm not sure it is worth a purchase, but if a friend has it give the game a spin. At the bare minimum you'll learn something about the Jena Campaign.
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Mike Haggett
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A good review. I have only had the opportunity to play this once, as my regular opponent prefers The Seven Days of1809.
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Sean Chick (Formerly Paul O'Sullivan)
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Fag an bealac! Riam nar druid ar sbarin lann! Cuimhnigidh ar Luimnech agus feall na Sassonach! Erin go Bragh! Remember Limerick! Remember Ireland and Fontenoy!
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Well, I'm afraid it'll have to wait. Whatever it was, I'm sure it was better than my plan to get out of this by pretending to be mad. I mean, who would have noticed another madman round here?
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Quote:
A good review. I have only had the opportunity to play this once, as my regular opponent prefers The Seven Days of1809.

I do prefer 1809, but 1806 is a fine game in an excellent series.
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Jason Roach
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Good review Sean. The Days series is a lot of fun. I second the recommendation to use the updated rules .

In any event, it is a fine system!

Thanks for posting.

-Jason
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José Antonio Rivero
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Bravo Sean! Wonderful review. I have just bought the game and it is looking forward to be mounted on the table! Hopefully get some friend soon who is willing to take charge of the Prussian Army . I will not tell him of course that his posibilities of win are less than the French!
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Mark Andrews
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Hi Sean, You mention updated rules - which ones are they? (Do you mean the ones from 1809 seven days?!). I'm curious as I wish to play this but would prefer (time being limited) to play with the best rules for the game.

Cheers


Mark
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