Master of the World - Supplement Review
Here's a review which should have been in our last issue. Master of the World is a campaign supplement for Et sans résultat! (ESR), the Napoleonic Rules by The Wargaming Company. It covers Napoleon's ill-fated expedition against Russia in 1812. This is the first book in a series and covers the initial invasion up until Borodino.
The first thing I should state is that the book is useful for all Napoleonic gamers, not just ESR players. The stats and scenarios can be easily adapted to most Napoleonic systems. ESR itself was given an excellent review in Wargames, Soldiers and Strategy issue 83.
The book itself is a full-colour ring-bound volume of 180 pages. There are nine battles in total (Mir, Smolensk, Saltanovka, Loubino, Ostrovno, Schewardino, Vitebsk, Borodino and Krasne), which range from small to huge in size, so there is something here for every players' tastes. The lists for Borodino make impressive reading - I'd be painting for a lifetime to get all of those done!
Each scenario comes with a complete list of the forces involved at Batallion level. Briefings and force dispositions are given separately for both sides and - cleverly - different maps are provided for each side, showing the position of friendly forces and the suspected position of the enemy. A full map showing all the forces is provided for the Umpire's use (if one is required).
The final 'gem of this book is the appendix, called 'dressing for war'. This gives an accurate list of each of the regiments and what colours they wore. They include French, Westphalian, Wurttemberg, Italian, Prussian, Bavarian, Polish and Russian forces involved. This is most useful for the wargamer, who like me, prefers to get the right colours on the right unit on the table. It is very useful having the information in one place, not scattered over several books.
All in all, this is an excellent and useful book for the Napoleonic Gamer. Most of all, it is inspiring, it's making me think about gaming 1812 again. I personally can't wait for the second part!