Homefront Wargame Center

…supporting our hobby!

Posts Tagged ‘block games’

Napoleon: The Waterloo Campaign 1815 4th edition – fund the game you love!

Posted by Andreas Ludwig on February 25, 2013

pic36258_mdNapoleon: The Waterloo Campaign 1815 (published in 1974) was one of the early block games and it went through three editions. Since the 3rd ed. published by Columbia Games is from 1993 and the 200th anniversary of Waterloo occurs in June 2015, Columbia Games has decided to produce a new 4th edition of this great game.

Napoléon is a strategy game for two or three players that simulates the Waterloo Campaign. The time is June 15th, 1815. A French army commanded by the great Napoléon is ready to invade the Southern Nederlands (now Belgium) where two Allied armies, one Anglo-Dutch led by the Duke of Wellington, and one Prussian led by Marshal Blücher, are gathering strength to invade France. The French are concentrated and have the early advantage, but the Allies, if they can unite, are stronger.

Napoléon was first published in 1974 by Gamma Two Games, a Canadian company located in Vancouver, B.C. That edition sold out twice. In 1977, the game was licensed to Avalon-Hill of Baltimore, and they produced a 2nd edition. Later, after Avalon-Hill had gone to wargame heaven, Columbia Games published a 3rd edition. This too had several printings and recently sold out once more.
Napoléon is an elegant simulation of one of history’s greatest military campaigns. It has always been a fun, addictive game that you will want to play over and over.

To produce this new edition of the classic game, recently a Kickstarter project was initiated and if you want to get a deluxe version of the game you should consider supporting it via the Kickstarter fund, just click on the link below.

>>>>>> Napoleon by Columbia Games on Kickstarter

The 4th edition of Napoléon will contain the following upgrades from previous editions:

Deluxe Mounted Mapboard, 22″ x 25″.
Large 24mm hardwood blocks.

Two color copies of the rules per game. Both copies will be signed and numbered.
Larger tactical maps.

Two color Order of Battle Charts. The Order of Battle is similar to that found in the first edition. 8 quality dice (4 red and 4 blue).

IMPORTANT: most upgrades are for the Kickstarter version only. Copies of the game produced for later sale will not have the deluxe mounted map, signed extra rules, or extra dice.

The (beta) rule book is available here and feedback is welcome, so now is the time to let the designers know what you think 🙂

Please support a new five-star edition of this timeless classic, the game deserves it!

Posted in News and Releases | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Review: Julius Caesar – Caesar, Pompey, and the Roman Civil War 49-45 BC

Posted by Denny Koch on August 19, 2010

Game: Julius Caesar – Caesar, Pompey, and the Roman Civil War 49-45 BC

Publisher: Columbia Games
Published in: 2010
Designers: Justin Thompson & Grant Dalgliesh
Era: Ancients; Roman Civil War 49-45 BC
Contents: 1 rulebook, 63 blocks, sticker sheet, 1 map (33 x 17 inches, printed on cardstock, not mounted), 27 strategy cards, 4 six-sided dice, Columbia Games Flyer
Average Playing Time: 2-3 hours

HFC Game-O-Meter: E

Our Rating (1-10):

Graphic Presentation: 8.5
Rules: 8.5
Replay Value:

Overall Rating: 9

PRO Block game with elegant Fog of War and step loss mechanics; Fast gameplay and setup; maps and blocks are very appealing; highly balanced; Pompey and Caesar play very differently and have several strategical options…
CONTRA …map could be somewhat larger; important cities get crowded, some Event Card effects are very strong (you like it or you don’t)


Gaming Table

Julius Caesar is the latest block game by Columbia Games, published in 2010. In contrast to its predecessor, Richard III – The Wars of the Roses, Julius Caesar utilizes a point-to-point movement via the ramified Roman road network. “All roads are leading to Rome” isn’t just a saying here…! 😉

The game map depicts the Mediterranean: Central and Southern Europe from (today’s) Spain to France to the Alps Region up to the Turkey and Israel, and Northern Africa (Egypt, Tunisia, Morocco). The strategic level game takes place in the Roman Civil War where Caesar crossed the Rubicon in 49 BC and marched towards Rome while Pompey opposed him with his legions. Accordingly, one player plays Caesar and the other Pompey. The objective of the game is to gain control of the most important cities in the Roman Empire.

The game is played in 5 rounds (each representing one year from 49-45 BC)  consisting of 5 turns each. Between each round, there is a winter turn where players check for immediate victory. If neither player wins during a winter turn, the victor is determined at the end of round 5 (year 45 BC).

The game mechanics is a card driven impulse system with some “divine intervention” event cards which can have a strong impact on the game.

All in all, Julius Caesar is a classic Columbia Games block game, its core mechanics are very similar to Richard III, Crusader Rex, or Hammer of the Scots, and you will feel at home almost instantly when you know one of the other games.

The game isn’t very complex and can be completed within 2-3 hours, so it’s a light and fast wargame with almost no setup time – it can be played in one session on an afternoon.

What is a block game?

Only the owner can see the blocks

A block game doesn’t use counters to depict units but wooden colored square blocks. One side of the block is left blank; this is the side which the opponent sees on the board. The block’s owner sees the printed side which contains all information about the unit and the block’s strength.

Since only the owner can see the block, the Fog of War created by a block game is much higher than in a regular wargame using counters. The block is only revealed in battle by tipping it forward. Step losses are taken by rotating the block counter-clockwise. After a battle is finished, players stand their remaining blocks upright again which means the only chance for reconnaissance is to keep in mind which blocks move where after a battle.

Graphic Presentation

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Historical Games A-Z, Julius Caesar, Reviews | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments »