Tuesday 13 February 2024

Napoleon's Spring Campaign 1813 - Review


Rohan Saravanamuttu has produced another excellent wargamers’ guide following the success of his previous offering on the iconic battle of Leipzig. Napoleon’s Spring Campaign 1813, Lutzen and Bautzen has been produced in the same format as the earlier book and is a fabulous resource for wargamers wishing to refight these two great yet perhaps indecisive French victories. This campaign is not one that I have had much interest in for several decades, as my interests in the period lie in the earlier part of the wars, pre-1812. However, this book (and the Leipzig volume) has done much to rekindle this interest in someone who I would readily admit to being a sometimes-lazy researcher, with great reverence for those who do all the work for me.Essentially, in Part I: Historical events, the reader is provided with a good historical background to the campaign and the lead up to the battles in question. As well as describing the events on each of the battlefields, the author provides useful analysis of both very different battles, which together provide the gamer with all they might need in terms of background information.
Part II: Wargaming the Battles takes us further, giving several scenarios for Lutzen and both days of Bautzen which are very much oven ready in terms of getting a game going on the tabletop. Sections on running a campaign, orders of battle, how to translate these onto the tabletop, troops classes, terrain, detailed briefings and victory conditions are extremely helpful, as is the after the battle analysis of the performance of the armies and commanders. The theatre and battlefield maps are well designed and informative and will undoubtedly prove more than just useful to anyone wishing to refight the campaign or either or both battles.

These engagements were both rather large affairs, and the guide is aimed at players or clubs who can ‘go large’, with the space and resources to run either game. That is certainly my preferred approach.

The book is literally full of wonderful photographs of beautifully painted armies and ‘proper-sized units’ by which I mean large, units, and is probably well worth the investment for these alone. an excellent book from a promising new author.

Helion Wargames No 15

ISBN 978-1-804513-59-0 137 Pages (softback).

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