Amazon received a bumper order from myself, and even though the boxes came from three different vendors, all arrived within a week of being ordered. I then had to wait for them to be delivered from my home address to here. That happened a couple of days ago.
The base game and all six currently available expansions
The contents of the base game, all with stickers now applied. Blue for French, red for British and brown for Portuguese. The base game has 13 scenarios for the Peninsular War and two scenarios for the Hundred Days Campaign. As you can see, the standard board fits my table with lots of room to spare. Exactly what I wanted.
Contents of the Russian Army expansion, with some French reinforcements at the rear.
The Austrian Army with yet more French. It is quite clear that the designer and GMT Games had the Epic release in mind. Plenty of Frenchies to fill the table.
The Prussian Army take up the rear two ranks, they are a steel grey colour, though that is difficult to tell in the photograph. More French in the front row.
Reinforcements in the Generals, Marshals & Tacticians expansion.
Once all the boxes had been opened and all the stickers applied, it was time to read through the rules that come with the base game. These are modified slightly with new game mechanics added as you progress through the expansions, but for now, I shall play with just the rules and cards from the base game.
The very first scenario in the book.
Terrain laid out on the table to match the scenario diagram. Does it look as impressive as a battle mat with trees, hills etc? No, of course not, but it certainly does the trick and I think quite pleasing on the eye. One thing I shall do though, is find some way of raising the hills slightly, just to make them stand out clearly. Samurai Battles came with some plastic hexes that were stackable, I may be able to use those.
Placing a single block initially, some units have three others four.
With just single blocks the board and terrain looks just fine. Close up of the defending French position.
British troops in the centre.
Now with all the blocks in place.
Portuguese units occupy the right flank of Wellesley's line. The French infantry and artillery on the ridge line will be a tough nut to crack, especially as the Allies will have to cross open ground to reach them.
All now ready to begin. Rule book and information cards on the left, British and French square cards and markers, plus the first hand of cards for each army.
As I am playing solo, I removed these two cards from the pack, great to surprise your opponent in a face to face game, but a little pointless in a solo game.
The British have six cards in their hand, as opposed to just five for the French.
An optional extra, a mug of tea.
I now have a few chores to attend to, but this evening I plan to spend two or three hours getting a feel for the rules, how to best use each unit type as well as discovering the effects of the different terrain on movement, line of sight etc. I will report back.