Early this year Sam Mustafa will be releasing his latest game system in his “Honour” series, Blücher, which provides the ability to fight grand-tactical type games in the Napoleonic Wars. One units, stand, or counter, represents a Brigade or Regiment (incorporating multiple-battalions) or a massed Artillery concentration. Also included with the rules is Scharnhorst, a pre-game campaign that determines the manoeuvres of the opposing armies and ultimately how their deployment occurs on table.
At the time of Blücher release there will also be a limited edition “The Hundred Days” card pack available; “The Hundred Days is a boxed set of 216 richly colorful heavy-duty poker-sized cards, providing you with all the units of the three armies in the 1815 campaign, as well as cards for famous personalities, objectives, and other useful things“.
Like Maurice and Longstreet, Blücher is built around the use of cards to provide tactical options and opportunities for the players – this highly successful technique adds multiple layers of subtlety and complexity to the game without requiring complex or convoluted rules or mechanics. The popularity of Maurice and Longstreet highlight the effectiveness of this approach.
Back earlier in 2014 I was privileged to be involved with the playtesting of Blücher during the latter part of it’s development – and can attest that it plays exceedingly well. I had long since lost interest in large ‘Grand Tactical’ type games (in any period) and so was fairly subdued in my anticipation of how the game played, only to be be pleasantly surprised. The playtest games played well, they were fast, slick, and exciting – and really captured the feel of the period (we were using the British & French armies from 1813-1815 for our playtests).
Our games, as we did not have armies of suitably based miniatures available, were played with kriegspiel type counters, with images of the troops & such printed on their faces. Oddly enough I actually found this quite enjoyable in itself – and the game very much had a neo-kriegspiel feel to it. Consequently I found myself drawn back into enjoying that high level tactical type of game in a way I haven’t for perhaps 12-15 years… And what’s more the rules weren’t loathsome or tiresome to learn or implement. For those interested in these high level type games set in the Napoleonic Period Blücher is going to be a real winner – and well worth a look at!
Check out the Podcasts at Honour Games where the author Sam Mustafa talks about Blücher.