A Guide and Rules for Napoleonic Wargames
Written by Jon Sutherland and Diane Canwell
Available from Casemate Publishing MSRP $34.95
The Napoleonic Wars are one of the most popular periods of history that are gamed by wargamers worldwide. Some of the reasons for this popularity are the colorful uniforms, the grand scope of the battles, the characters involved in the wars, or tactics used by the warring parties. Whatever reason, the rules, figures and reference materials available for this period of time are immense.
The Napoleonic Wars can trace its roots back to the French Revolution of approximately 1789 and the French Revolution. The French Revolution had a significant impact on the Monarchy in Europe. The French peoples’ cries of tyranny against the French Monarchs led to their execution in 1793. With this occurrence, the other Monarchs in Europe began to worry that the French Revolution would spread and other countries might do away with the Monarchy and start a Republic. This situation led to the formation of the First Coalition. To defeat this Coalition the French instituted a general conscription and military reform. Despite a Civil War occurring in France, the war with the First Coalition ended when General Napoleon Bonaparte forced the Austrians to accept his peace terms in the Treaty of Campo Formio.
The formation of the Second Coalition in 1798 by Great Britain, the Kingdom of Naples, Austria, the Ottoman Empire, Papal States, Portugal, Russia, Sweden and other states. At this time, the French Republic was suffering from severe corruption and internal division under their Directory. With Great Britain’s financial support, the Second Coalition won many battles. Meanwhile, Bonaparte who was responsible for defeating the First Coalition was sent to Egypt.
In August 1799 he arrived from Egypt and within the next few months took control of the French Government. He replaced the Directory with the Consulate, reorganized the French military and created a reserve. On all Fronts of the war had had the troops advance which caught the Austrians off guard and eventually knocked Russia out of the war. In early 1801 Napoleon was successful in bringing the belligerents, even Britain to the peace table and sign Peace of Amiens with France. This ended the Second Coalition with a French Victory. However, Napoleon knew that without defeating England, there never could be complete peace.
Between the years of 1799 and 1803 Napoleon was consolidating his power. While he officially seized his power in 1802 it was not until late 1803 that he crowned himself Emperor.