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Subject: English Review of 1807: The Eagles Turn East rss

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Charles Lewis
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My introduction to Kevin Zucker's Campaigns of Napoleon series came as I quested for a Napoleonic game or games with a similar feel to AH/MMP's Great Campaigns of the American Civil War. Research on the Geek brought me to Zucker's CNS 1x series, which was closest in scale to the GCACW series. I immediately began gathering titles through purchases and trades.

One thing veteran players will notice is that logistics are far more formal than they are in the GCACW. Lines of Communication support Lines of Supply; the primary effect of which whether to guarantee an order and how much attrition the unit will suffer en route.

For me, the hardest thing to wrap my brain around was that the Command Points represent army supplies and points unspent can reduce overall attrition as they literally represent supply stockpiles. Spending a Command Point guarantees a commander moving, but reduces your overall supply level and can thus potentially increase attrition. However, depending on unit commander initiative (which represents corps commanders scavenging supply in their vicinity to support a move) to accomplish your objectives is not a good way to win a campaign, particularly as the aggressor. So you have to accept the fact that you are going to suffer attrition. The tension created is a nice feature of Zucker's rules that I have come to really appreciate.

I know some have criticized the attrition rules for being too harsh and not allowing historical maneuvers to be accomplished within the rules. I'm insufficiently versed in Napoleonic operational history to adequately judge that. However, for me, the logistics rules give me the right feel for the period.

For 1807, players are presented with a large swath (three maps worth) of eastern Prussia and Poland, and the time frame includes the campaign against Prussia and Russia that included the battles of Eylau and Friedland and culminated in the peace with Russia signed at Tilsit. For Napoleonic wannabes this gives them the reigns to the Grande Armee when it was still on the rise but hampered by Polish terrain and the fact that you're at the limits of your logistics tether. For Tsarist wannabes you've got a plump Russian army operating near its sources of supply and a decent collection of Prussians to stem Russian losses.

One of the aspects of the combat resolution model is that a defender willing and able to trade space for time can keep combat casualties to a minimum by avoiding pitched battles. The attacker will suffer losses and the defender will retreat. Pursuit can help maintain contact, but ultimately, the attacker has to focus on putting the defender into situations that he can't or won't run from.

In terms of components, the game presentation is good. Published by Clash of Arms, the components are all typical of their work in the early-mid 90s. The maps are subdued but easy to read. The counters are thin but colorful. When setup (and it's big - you'll need at least a 4' x 6' table to get three maps, two force composition charts and two replacement charts all out) it doesn't grab the eye with lots of bright color. Instead, you have components that are pleasing to look at and play with but reinforce that you're getting down to the serious business of determining the future of Poland in the early 19th century.

One of the elements that I do prefer over the GCACW series is that the use of force charts keeps a lot of stuff off the maps so players are not presented the task of manuevering large stacks in close proximity to each other.

VASSAL support for the series is spotty, at best, which can limit options and opportunities for play.

That aside, I really appreciate the CNS series, and so far 1807 is my favorite title - great French army but with logistical limits versus a solid Prussian/Russian alliance with good logistics. Both sides have to struggle with the fact that Poland was not the best place to fight a war in 1807. The series in general, and The Eagles Turn East in particular, give players a good sense of how hard it was to move armies over large stretches of territory and still be able to fight at the other end of the march.

For those of you interested in the topic, the period, or operational games, I strongly recommend 1807: The Eagles Turn East.
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Mark Andrews
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Great review Charles and I will look to add this game to my collection. I already own 1809 and Napoleon at Bay but have been unable to play any games for the past 18 months because of a spinal injury in my lower back stopping me from being in any one position for longer than 15 mins.

What I like about this series is that it brings out the operational art of manoeuvre, logistics and command, one of the most under rated series of games out there at the moment.

I look forward to more of your reviews on this series.
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Charles Lewis
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I got as far as getting 1809 setup, but didn't actually get as far as playing it.

I just got Sun of Austerlitz in a trade last week, and it was designed to link with the 1809 map. Evidently, they're going to release an expansion module that will link the two and allow you to add another month to Austerlitz campaign.

And I agree about the appeal of the operational aspects. I'm half tempted to say something like "any old fool can fight a battle, but only a proper general can get to the battlefield in the first place!" hehe

Hope you get some relief soon!
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M@tthijs
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Did you visit my www.kobudovenlo.nl? It has game info
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Thanks!
I was waiting for a review on this one!
Bought the game a few years back. The first wargame I bought on the decision "I'll probably never play it, but it'll be fun reading the rules, designer notes and historical background included"
meeple
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Charles Lewis
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_Kael_ wrote:
Thanks!
I was waiting for a review on this one!
Bought the game a few years back. The first wargame I bought on the decision "I'll probably never play it, but it'll be fun reading the rules, designer notes and historical background included"
meeple

That's one of the nice features of Zucker's games: regardless of whether you actually play the thing, you'll have an opportunity to learn a great deal about the campaign portrayed.
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