COMING SOON: Napoleon's End --- LATEST RELEASE: Bonaparte Overruns Piedmont

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How to Play

The Library of Napoleonic Battles is a two player simulation at the brigade level. This comprehensive overview covers all the basics you need to get started.  Subscribe to the Thursday Night Gamers Youtube channel to watch all of their game sessions on The Library of Napoleonic Battles (TLNB).

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Napoleon Retreats

Napoleon Retreats


After dispatching Blücher’s Army of Silesia at Vauchamps, Napoleon diverted temporarily toward the Seine at Montereau, for an inconclusive brush with Schwarzenberg’s Army of Bohemia. Blücher received reinforcements from the Army of the North, and soon was threatening Paris. 

Cutting short his operations in the south against the Army of Bohemia, the Emperor set out on an 80-mile, three-day march toward Blücher’s last known location, La Ferté sous-Jouarre on the Marne. While Macdonald’s 42,000 men contained Schwarzenberg, his force of 35,000 would steal a march on the Prussians.

On March 1st, Napoleon’s sudden appearance on the Marne forced Blücher to break off the action and retreat toward Fismes on the 2nd. The Emperor was unable to get the bridge at La Ferté repaired until the 3rd.

Blücher welcomed tidings of two strong allied corps on their way to join him—just in time, as the Silesian Army was beginning to unravel. The bonds of discipline showed signs of strain under recent losses; baggage and wounded were falling by the wayside.

These two fresh corps under Bülow and Winzin-gerode captured Soissons, opening a line of retreat north over the Aisne river for Blücher. Had Soissons held out for another day, Napoleon might have arrived in time to interfere with the rearguard at Fismes, although Blücher would probably have escaped. The retreat went smoothly and all his troops were across by the morning of the 5th.

After crossing at Soissons and at Vailly (S3219), Blücher deployed along the north bank of the Aisne, while Napoleon moved to outflank him, seizing the stone bridge at Berry-au-Bac (E1205), to march upon the ancient cathedral city of Laon (N0719).


The library of napoleonic battles

The Library is an ambitious project to present 84 Battles of the Napoleonic era (Napoleon was present at 70 of them). So far, 42 battles in the Library have been published, as well as several Expansion Kits. 

Explore the timeline of Napoleonic Battles. For a more detailed account of each battle, visit The Complete Library of Napoleonic Battles page


French revolutionary wars

The decisive Battle of Fleurus led to the Austrian loss of Belgium. With the two armies clashing again at Mont St Jean, the campaign gave the French Republic additional resources and manpower, opened the gateway to Germany, and the port of Antwerp to the French navy.

Image: Jourdan at Fleurus


War of the 1st Coalition

General Bonaparte’s first campaign broke two years of stalemate in the coastal mountains, and succeeded in detaching the Piedmontese from the Austrian alliance.

Bonaparte parried four massive Austrian offensives in six months, marching quickly to gain local superiority. 

Image: Napoleon at the Battle of Rivoli, by Henri Félix Emmanuel Philippoteaux


War of the 2nd Coalition

After the first battle in Zurich (Zurich I, 4-7 June 1799)  a stalemate ensued. Joubert’s force landed at Genoa and was defeated at Novi. At the second battle in Zurich (Zurich II, 25-26 Sept. 1799) Massena defeated Korsakov and drove Russia from the Second Coalition.

Bonaparte led his army over the Alps in mid-May (1800). Melas’s communications were cut with Ott’s defeat at Montebello. Melas launched a surprise attack at Marengo, catching Bonaparte off-guard. At 2:30 he arrived with the Reserve, and Desaix joined in at 5:30, clinching victory.

Image: General Moreau at the Battle of Hohenlinden


War of the 3rd Coalition


Austria opened hostilities, seizing Venezia and Bavaria. Before Russian help could arrive, Napoleon marched his army from the Channel coast and surrounded Ulm. The swiftness of the collapse and the fall of Vienna stunned the world.

Image: Napoléon at the Battle of Austerlitz, by François Pascal Simon, Baron Gérard


War of the Fourth Coalition


In 1806 and 1807 the French encountered the poorly-led Prussians in Saxony and then came chaotic winter battles against the Russians.

Image: The French Army entering Berlin in 1806


Peninsular War


The disaster at Bailen and Joseph’s withdrawal from Madrid forced the Emperor to appear there in person. The British had a strong base in Portugal. Popular insurrections broke out and the French were nearly driven from the peninsula by the time Napoleon arrived in November. By January Madrid had been reconquered, but rumblings from the Danube interrupted the mopping up operations and forced Napoleon to depart on January 17.


Wellesley advanced against Victor, who withdrew onto reinforcements from Joseph and Sebastiani. Together they advanced on Talavera, suffering a tactical defeat. Venegas and then Aréizaga advanced on Madrid only to be defeated in turn. 

Image: Sir John Moore, British commander


War against Austria


Napoleon and his Army of Germany met their first setback in the shadow of Vienna against a modernized Austrian Army.

Image: Napoleon at Wagram, painted by Horace Vernet



Peninsular War, Part III


Wellington was forced to withdraw behind the lines of Torres Vedras to protect the approaches to Lisbon. Masséna's army was brought up short and eventually withdrew into Spain. In April 1811, Wellington besieged Almeida. When Soult gathered a new army and marched to relieve the siege of Badajoz, the opposing armies met at the village of Albuera.

Image: Marshal Beresford disarming a Polish lancer at the Battle of Albuera, Thomas Sutherland


Peninsular War, Part IV


Wellington’s renewed offensive led to the defeat of Marmont at Salamanca. Madrid and Andalusia fell in quick succession.

Image: General Joaquín Blake


From Smolensk to Moscow


The Russian Army finally gave Napoleon the decisive battles he so greatly desired. His first maneuver started out well—with the French poised to slip into Smolensk behind the Russians. However, the opportunity to bring an end to the campaign remained unfulfilled. After that, Moscow became the default destination.

Image: Napoleon before burning Smolensk. Oil on canvas by Albrecht Adam


War of Liberation


Napoleon arrived with a fresh army at the end of April and drove the Coalition out of Saxony by the end of May. He left Oudinot to defend his communications against an advance from Berlin. The Armistice had been declared days before Oudinot’s loss at Luckau.


At the conclusion of the armistice the Emperor advanced into Silesia and caught up with Blücher at Löwenberg, but Blücher retreated to safety. Napoleon returned to Dresden to repulse the onslaught of the main enemy force in the plain of Dresden. After several lost battles, Napoleon abandoned the right bank of the Elbe, and Yorck’s crossing could not be stopped.


Napoleon was outnumbered and strategically surrounded by three large armies: Bernadotte’s Army of the North, Blücher’s Army of Silesia, and Schwarzenberg’s Army of Bohemia. The Trachtenberg Plan required any one of these armies to retreat when faced by Napoleon in person, coordinated with an advance by the other two Armies. This plan was the undoing of Napoleon.


Napoleon at Leipzig is a comprehensive game with a proven track record of excellent re-playability, among the most popular Napoleonic wargames of all time, with 20,000 copies in print across the first four editions. Now it has a bigger playing area and more manpower for both sides. Completely revised order of battle; all new unit set-ups; revised and expanded maps. 

Image:  The Red Lancers after the charge at the battle of Hanau


Campaign in France


Napoleon arrived at the front and surprised Blucher's Prussians and Russians during a snowstorm. Just two days later the Prussians triumphed at La Rothiere and wrote-off the enemy as a spent force, advancing hell-for-leather across the Marne and onto the highway to Paris. Ten days later Napoleon seized his opportunity when Marshal Vorwarts got his dispersed columns defeated in detail, in rapid succession in three short sharp combats.


Blücher withdrew from the Ourcq when he heard of Napoleon's advance. At Soissons he linked up with reinforcements that brought his total force to 100,000. On 7 March, Napoleon attacked westwards along the Chemin des Dames. The Prussians were forced to withdraw towards Laon.


With the Coalition armies converging on Paris, Napoleon and his Marshals were unable to stem the flood tide of history. Elba, and the Hundred Days, were to follow.

Image: General Emmanuel de St-Priest


Campaign of the Hundred Days


Napoleon began by moving on the central position between the Prussian and British Armies. On June 15th the Grande Armée was unleashed across the Sambre River. As the 16th dawned, troops of both sides still converged on the battlefields. After withdrawing from the Rhine, General Rapp turned to oppose an Austrian crossing of the river line. The Württembergers moved to intercept. Rapp pulled back toward Strasbourg and fought the last pitched battle of the Napoleonic Wars.

Image: Scotland Forever!, the charge of the Scots Greys at Waterloo painted by Elizabeth Thompson

A great way to get started

The Battle of Fismes, Introductory Game

The Battle of Fismes, Introductory Game

$20.25 $22.50

Designed to be a fun adventure into OSG wargaming, here is your opportunity to try The Library of Napoleonic Battles at a great price. The Intro Game includes one Counter Sheet, one 17"x22" map and series rule book.  You will also receive instructions for downloading pdfs needed for play.