Albuera 1811: Beresford vs. Soult
The bloodiest battle of the Peninsular War.
"The French cavalry fell on the infantry red line. 3rd regiment (Buffs), 2nd battalion of 48th regiment and 66th regiment were routed in few minutes. Captain Wincenty Konopka killed standardbearer Thomas and captured one colour of 3rd regiment. In similar circumstances Poles captured four more colours. Lieutenant Latham hid banner under his uniform jacket. When he received sabre cutting in his face he fell on ground face down. Latham was found after the battle and Buffs saved their second regimental colour."
Albuera 1811: Beresford vs. Soult
Year of publishing: 2023
Designer: Adam Niechwiej
Game “Albuera 1811: Beresford vs. Soult” depicts the fiercest battle of the Paninsula War. Both engaged armies suffered terrible losses. Players can check if success could be achived with lower cost.
Basic rules concept of "Albuera 1811: Beresford vs. Soult" is similar to "old classic" "Battle of Raclawice 1794" and first of all to "Maida 1806: Stuart vs. Reynier". These two were rather small battles. "Albuera" is much bigger, but small changes of rules made it very playable.
Rules concentrate on infantry maneuvers on Napoleonic battlefield. It is important to form battalion into proper array in the right time. Intuitively Line gives advantages during musketery fire and Column is powerful in hand-to-hand fighting. Important is also placing an infantry battalion regarding to neighboring units. Flank-to-flank deployment gives farther bonuses in ranged combat and forms solid order of the whole army. An infantry battalion can detach a company of skirmishers. It is useful for screening battalion's main body and harass enemy units with voleys. The best form of defense against cavalry is Square. In the box are rectangle counters. They represent line with broad front. This simply solution shows British 2-row line historical advantage over French 3-row - rectangle counters occurs more often in allied army.
Cavalry aspect is not so detailed, so cavalry is simply deployed in line formation.
Artillery can move or fire. Of course horse artillery can do both actions during one activation. The biggest advantage is a range of fire.
Command and control is simply. Players have certain Activation Chits and select some of them. Activation Chits of both players are placed in one Activation Pool. Blindly drawn Chit indicates formation which can move and initiate close combat. Melee is very bloody - both sides suffer losses, but the risk must be taken, because won clashes give Victory Points.
Other units do not move, but they are allowed to fire. Thanks to that the whole board is used and crucial events can happen everywhere, not only in activated map sector. The most common effect of fire combat is Morale Check. If unsuccessful, unit can withdraw - decision is up to the opposing player, so both players are involved for the whole gameplay.
Generally random factor is big, but players can feel reality of Napoleonic battlefield. The winner is player who properly deploys his units and uses opportunities given by War Fate.
Contents of the box:
• one rulebook (16 pages);
• one board (68 x 98 cm);
• 648 die-cut counters (15 x 15 mm);
• 25 die-cut counters (15 x 30 mm);
• two scenario cards;
• one 10-sided die.
Playing time: minimum 5 hours.
Game is suitable for 2 players from 12 years old upwards.
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