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Odeleben’s famous description of the Emperor at Düben, sitting idly drawing Gothic characters on a sheet of paper, is not quite consistent with the actual outturn of correspondence. Still, all accounts represent him as a very different person from the ceaseless worker of former times. He talked for five hours in the night of the 11th-12th to Marshal Marmont, who observed: “One no longer recognizes Napoleon again during this campaign.”

—F. Lorraine Petre


The Autumn of 1813 was the most active period in the Napoleonic Wars. Napoleon at the Crossroads covers the Autumn campaign at a scale which focuses on the strategic issues and emphasizes playability, with several battle scenarios playable in an evening, and full campaign in about 8 hours.


At the outset of the Campaign in August the Emperor allowed the Coalition forces to seize the initiative and hold it; he stands accused of not going where the action was, and was repeatedly left flat-footed by the push-and-pull of three Coalition armies charging the center of his position at Dresden, then retiring when Napoleon reacted. Though he won the critical battle at Dresden, his subordinates lost four battles over a 2-week period. When Blücher moved from Silesia to cross the Elbe, a battle in or near Leipzig was certain.


Napoleon at the Crossroads is a modification of the “Napoleon at Bay” system, involving Hidden Movement, Attrition and Administration, Pitched and Pursuit Battles, Bridge Trains, Garrisons, even Siege rules. Less demanding for playing space and time than the forthcoming “Struggle of Nations,” it covers the campaign area of Struggle (approximately) on one 22" x 34" map.


Napoleon at the Crossroads is designed at a new, 2X scale — 6,600 yards per hex, three day turns, one SP equals 3,000 men—a higher and more strategic scale, focused on overall strategy, in contrast to the detail-oriented “Struggle of Nations.” Simulating the campaign at this higher scale yields different insights and play experiences—different features come to the fore. Since each turn represents 3 days, the game plays more quickly than Struggle. The system is streamlined, covering only the Autumn campaign, and isn’t concerned with diplomacy, the armistice, cantonments, etc.


Forces are organized on more compact Organization Displays than in Struggle. The Armies are displayed in a way similar to “Highway to the Kremlin,” with each Corps having a leader, a single Corps-sized unit counter, a detachable substitute division, and usually one vedette.


Some Examples of Game Mechanics:

Leaders are necessary to link all parts of the army to its Chain of Command. Only Leaders appear on the map. Leaders are rated for Command Span, Initiative, and Subordination.


Initiative is used to determine whether Leaders may move when they are not given a Movement Command. Command Span is given in terms of infantry divisions (or their equivalent) the commander can handle. Leaders also have a Subordination Rating: for example, a subordinate leader with a rating of “4” is as difficult to handle as four infantry divisions.


Administrative March orders allows a Force to move during two consecutive Turns on single Movement Command.


The printed Movement Allowance on each unit counter represents the maximum number of hexes that unit can move. The actual distance moved will vary depending upon the size of force, terrain, and the need to avoid attrition losses.


If Repulsed, moving forces attempt to displace enemy units out of their path.


Dispatch Distance is a line of up to [18] connected hexes from a Center of Operations to any leader which allows him to receive a Movement Command and to benefit from the Army’s Administrative Points.


Vedettes are used for scouting, screening, delaying enemy units and Fog of War. Each force is allowed to issue one or two Division-sized Vedette units, so that after one turn you will no longer know where the real forces are.


If you own “Four Lost Battles,” this game puts those battles in context (even outlining them on the game map). An area of 12 x 12 hexes in “Four Lost Battles” (525 yards each) will fit in one 3.75-mile hex (6,600 yards).



·         One 22 x 34" map

·         280 two-sided units;

·         56 pages of rules including campaign analysis, designers notes and more;

·         17 player aid cards, including March Tables showing positions of all leaders and units on eight different dates.