Napoleonic Series 20 – Multipack Four Battles
Salamanca 20, Borodino 20, Smolensk 20, Waterloo 20
Designed by Joseph Miranda
This series of games began as an idea by Joseph Miranda that he could design a game where there would never be more than 20 counters on the map at any time during the game. He found a receptive audience in Alan Emrich of Victory Point Games and the rest you can say is history.
Victory Point Games has published a large number of the Napoleonic 20 games. For a full list of these titles visit the Victory Point Games website by clicking here. However, the box you are looking at above is a series produced by GMT Games. They are produced as part of the strategic friendship and partnership with Victory Point Games. This box is the first set of games that are being produced from their popular Napoleonic 20 series. The idea for the GMT Games Series, and future volumes, is that they will take multiple games from the existing VPG Napoleonic 20 series, add an as-yet-unpublished game to the mix, and create a GMT boxed game with 3-4 games in the box, using larger (3/4″) counters and GMT production. Fading Glory is the first such production in the Napoleonic games to be published and physically is a beautiful game to behold.
The designers of each game are:
- Waterloo 20 – Joseph Miranda
- Borodino 20 – Lance McMillan
- Smolensk 20 – Alan Emrich
- Salamanca 20 – Steve Carey
Each designer has added their own touch to this game system with makes each game unique and enjoyable.
The components for this game are all very high quality. They are colorful and at the same time all functional. What you receive in the game box is:
- Two 17×22 inch Mounted Maps (2-sided)
- Deck of 48 Playing Cards
- 2 Countersheets
- 2 Full color Player Aid Cards
- Full Color Rulebook
- Full Color Playbook
- 2 six-sided dice
Sequence of Play
The four games share the same Sequence of Play during the game. The Sequence that players must follow is:
- First Player Random Events Phase
- First Player Movement Phase
- Second Player Reaction Phase
- First Player Combat Phase
- First Player Night Operations Phase
The second player follows the same Sequence in turn. Each Scenario game in the Playbook defines who the First or Second Player is for that game.
The Combat system in Fading Glory is like everything else in the game, simple. All the attacking player needs to do is add up all of his attacking factors, decide if he will spend a Morale Point to increase his attack strength, subtract that total from the defenders strength, plus a possible point for Morale Modification, take into account a terrain modifiers and you come up with a Combat Differential. Now, once you have that Combat Differential, you will refer to the Combat Results Chart and cross index the Differential column with a die roll row to find the results of that battle. Sounds easy right? Well it really is.
Each side begins the game with a set number of Morale Points as indicated in the Playbook. The Morale Points represent each sides motivation and command skill during that game.
There are different reasons during a turn that a player may spend some of these Morale Points. During the game, each sides Morale Point values will fluctuate depending on game actions. For example, if the French player wants to commit a Guard unit to combat he must spend one Morale Point. The reason for this is that the Guard was often held and only deployed during a critical time during the battle. Some of the other actions that a player can perform using Morale Points are:
- Forced Marches
- Rally Units
- Add one strength point to a combat (either Attacker or Defender)
However, players must keep close track of their Morale Points and use them judiciously as they can disappear quickly and can cause you to lose the game.
Victory in the four games of Fading Glory is determined by each sides Morale Point values. If at any time during the game the French Players Morale drops to zero (0) he immediately loses. On the other hand, the same is true for the Allies. If the Allies Morale drops to zero (0) during the turn, the Allies lose the game. If the Allies Morale Point value is at least one (1) point greater than the French at the end of the game, the Allies would win a Marginal Victory. Any other result is considered a draw.
Fading Glory is a tried and true gaming concept that was created by SPI (Simulations Publications Inc.) in the 1970’s which was the “quad game”. This concept used a set of common rules for four games and then adjusted each game through the use of custom rules. This was a very successful formula in the 1970’s and it is still a successful formula today even though GMT Games is calling this their “Multipack”.
Napoleonic gaming is one of the most popular periods of gaming and I for one hope that this series is successful for GMT Games. Fading Glory’s four games are all popular subjects and should garner a solid following. The cards add just enough variation to each game to assure that they will be different, which adds a great amount of replay value. Additionally, players can set up the game and play solitaire which does not detract from the games enjoyment.
The Fading Glory Multipack is excellent. The quality of components is first class, the length of time it takes to complete a game is reasonable, and the learning curve of the game is quick and easy. Now, don’t think because I used the words simple or easy in this review that this is a game for simpletons because that could not be further from the truth.
The Victory Point Games Napoleonic 20 Series has been extremely popular because it is simple and easy and offers gamers unique challenges. It is a tried and true gaming system that has been around for quite some time. GMT Games has improved it further by adding their own special touch. Overall, the colorful Rule and Playbook, the charts, the nice thick counters, and the beautiful mounted maps makes this game a bargain. Add to this the excellent game play and replay value and you have a recipe for success. So, my suggestion is to run, don’t walk and add these games to your collection because at $15.00 per game it is an entertainment value that can’t be beat.