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).
I had zero interest in Napoleonic operations until I played NLB... I stereotyped the era as two lines blasting at each other... NLB piqued my interest, was amazed at how much maneuver was involved, the to and fro of the battles. Until two years ago, I really had no Napoleonic in my library. Now I’ve the complete TLNB, all the OSG books, and have picked up the various books I’ve seen recommended in this folder. No lie, your games have literally opened up an entire era of history and gaming. Most importantly, I’m PLAYING these games, ftf and solo... and thoroughly enjoying learning about the history. I’ve even got tacit approval to join one of your battlefield tours ...
- Clint Pewtress
I wanted to compliment you and your colleagues for the excellent work done on the TLNB series. Aside from being rattling good games, and solid simulations of war at the grand tactical level, they are superior study aids. I'm currently reading Thunder on the Danube with Last Success maps and counters set-up, and it is nothing short of a revelation. The maps in the books are pretty good, but Success provides a unique visualization of situations and possibilities. The graphics provide clarity and aesthetic appeal, making study of the battles a curiously satisfying experience. Great job!
- George Pearson
I have followed your designs - and played quite a few of them - for many years now, and sincerely admire the crystal clear reasoning behind design decisions and your outstanding historical notes, which led me to get more involved in the Napoleonic Era in several ways, from some reading to historical reenactment (now for more than 10 years) of "our" Guerra de la Independencia/ Peninsular War.
I have been reading this evening every page of the most impressive "Wargame Design 2014" collection, a publication I did not know about, and have been REALLY impressed both by its quality and insightful information and the passion it is transpiring
- Gabriel Gonzalez Pavón
I like how the LNB tri/quad/quint-game format lets you include less-covered or never-covered topics. That was true from the start, with 4LB. Where else are you going to find a Katzbach game, for example? Now we have a mix of big-name battles plus Pultusk/Golymin, Maloyaroslavets, everything in the La Patrie box, and all the extension material that makes NLG not my father's NLB. Except for Talavera, nothing in the Quagmire box has been much covered, if at all. It's an 18" inch shelf of old & new, familiar & fresh.
- Dave Demko
I must admit that I just discovered this series of games. I'm pushing some counters around now on the solo table while trying to learn the rules. The quality of the components and obvious knowledge of the designer make the series addictive. I suddenly want to catch up and buy all the previous TLNB games. I guess I need to start saving my money since Napoleon's Last Gamblewill probably by my next purchase, even though I want them all. My only gripe is that I don't have table space for more than one map at a time.
- Jeremy L Jones
Just want to say thanks for the great games.The historical feel they offer is brilliant and they compliment my (just now,somewhat obssesive!) reading of napoleon's life and campaigns so well. The series is easily my favourite wargame system because of the well balanced rules, and outstanding maps and components which give the right balance between fun and accuracy. Have thus far got La Patrie and Last Gamble, but will be geting the rest in due time.
- Johnathan, Sweden