Fourteen Days in June: the Waterloo Campaign is a two-player wargame played on a hex-grid superimposed upon a map depicting north east France and (what is now) southern Belgium.
The game focuses upon the struggle in June 1815 between the French army under Napoleon Bonaparte and the Allied armies led by the Duke of Wellington and von Blücher. The game portrays entire campaign. By doing so, and by means of innovations such as the “initial order system”, the game reflects the range of strategic options available to each side.
For example, the French can decide where and when to strike; whilst the Allies can chose to gamble by second-guessing the French line(s) of attack and marshalling their forces to meet this or, as Blücher and Wellington did historically, adopt a more cautious approach and allocate sufficient force to each likely invasion route along the Franco-Belgium border to delay Napoleon for long enough for reinforcements to arrive.
This uncertainty or “fog-of-war” which played such a crucial role in campaigns of the period is simulated further by a mechanic allowing players to conceal the strength of their various forces unless and until combat takes place. Even then, it is possible that not all the units in a force will be disclosed.
This doubt as to the enemy’s intentions and strength chimes with historical records of discussions about strategy at the headquarters of each side during the campaign. Many of these discussions were concerned with the more mundane – but, no less crucial - aspects of warfare such as planning routes of march.
Such issues, too, are reflected in the game. For instance, Route Blocked Markers are used to reflect the fact that a full corps marching along a minor road would be spread out over several miles. Other friendly units are unable to move through not just the hex occupied by the force counter; but, also “preceding” hexes through which its rearmost elements are still marching.
So, when issuing orders for units to concentrate in a specific area, or planning a combined attack, players need to ensure that two (or more) forces do not trip over each other by attempting to occupy the same road-space at the same time. Other realities of warfare before the advent of aeroplanes and radio are also simulated.
For instance, the game incorporates simple mechanisms to reflect the risk of forces losing their way if they leave the principal road network and attempt to march across country; and, the delay between a supreme commander issuing an order and it being received and implemented by a junior officer in command of a force maybe 10 miles distant at a time when such communications were carried by horse.
So, will the Emperor rewrite History by defeating Wellington and Blucher before hoisting the French tricolour over Brussels; or, will the Allies prevail once again, leaving Napoleon to rue what might have been? The decision is yours.