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Napoleon’s Triumph: unfolding the game board

Napoleon’s Triumph Board Legend Time Track Morale Track Allied Army French Army Sokolnitz Pratze Berg MapBoardFrame.html#Brünn-Olmutz%20Highway Stare Vinohradi Satschan Pond

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Note #1 Legend. The legend shows the terrain key for the game board. The ground scale is about 1/4 mile to the inch, or 15000:1. The different shades of green depict elevation, with darker shades indicating higher ground. The black shapes dotting the battlefield are small villages. Blue indicates frozen ponds, marshes and streams. The brown lines criss-crossing the map are local roads, and the red lines are highways connecting larger (off-map) cities.
Note #2 Time Track. The game is played as a series of rounds, each representing one hour of time in the actual battle. Time is marked by putting a marker on the Time Track and advancing it one square each round. The game has two scenarios, a one-day scenario beginning with the launch of the Allied attack, and a 2-day scenario beginning with the advance of the Allied army into its attack positions.
Note #3 Morale Track. Both armies have a numeric morale level in the game, which is recorded by markers on this track. Each time an army fails in an attack or fails to defeat an attack, the morale level is reduced by one for each loss it suffers. An army wins the battle by reducing the morale of the enemy army to zero, demoralizing it.
Note #4 The Allied Army. The Allied army was over 70,000 strong and was a mix of Russian and Austrian units. It was under the personal command of Alexander, Czar of All Russias, who was anxious for battle and confident of defeating the French army. The army planned to make its attack at dawn on the morning of 2 December.
Note #5 The French Army. While the Allied army confidently advanced, the French army laid in wait, feigning weakness. With his army’s full strength hidden, Napoleon tried to lure the Allies into an attack on his deliberately weakened right, at which point he planned a devestating counter-attack with his center and left.
Note #6 Sokolnitz. The Allies took the French bait, and at dawn on 2 December the bulk of their army hit the French right. After some initial success, the Allies received their first nasty surprise when Napoleon revealed the first part of his trap: Davout’s corps, which reached the battlefield just in time to bring the Allied attack to a dead stop at the small village of Sokolnitz.
Note #7 Pratzeberg. With the Allied attack against the French right stopped, the main French counter-attack began. The French center advanced rapidly and seized the Pratzen Heights. At a stroke, the French army was astride the communications between the Allied left and the rest of the Allied army. Desperate improvised counter-attacks by the units in the Allied center were disastrously defeated, leaving the Allied army cut in two.
Note #8 Brünn-Olmutz Highway. At the same time the French center advanced to the Pratzeberg, the French left advanced along with Brunn-Olmutz highway and encountered the Allied right. Both sides had their respective army's cavalry reserve and the result was a wild fight of charge and counter-charge. The French had the better of the fight, and the Allies were forced to retreat in some confusion.
Note #9 Stare Vinohradi. Unaware of events on the rest of the battlefield, the Allied reserve — the Russian Imperial Guard — advanced slowly only to discover themselves on the front lines, with the Allied corps to their left and right in full retreat. The Guard commander resolved to retreat, but first counter-attacked to buy time. This counter-attack was stopped by a charge of the French Guard cavalry, which met and defeated the Russian Guard cavalry.
Note #10 Satschan Pond. After driving off the Allied center and right, the French center and left wheeled and attacked the Allied left from behind. Some of the Allied soldiers managed to escape the trap before it closed, but thousands were surrendered or killed, and some fell through the ice of the frozen Satschan Pond trying to flee across it. As freezing rain began to fall and the early winter darkness set in, the battle of Austerlitz was over.

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