Theme: Napoleonic Pre-Order
Available for Pre-Order
Designer: Peter P. Perla
The Pratzen: Austerlitz 1805 is a two-player board game that portrays the fighting on and around the Pratzen Heights at the Battle of Austerlitz. The battle was fought between the French forces of Napoleon Bonaparte and a larger allied army composed of Austrian and Russian forces. The battle is considered to be one of the most important and decisive engagements of the Napoleonic Wars. The engagement result brought the War of the Third Coalition to an end and about the Treaty of Pressburg. The battle is widely thought of as a tactical masterpiece on par with Cannae.
The game is designed by industry veteran and author of The Art of Wargaming, Peter P. Perla. The game system of The Pratzen: Austerlitz 1805 began some three decades ago as an idea to update the classic SPI tactical game Grenadier, published in 1971. Pratzen evolved into a merger of the Grenadier scale with some different combat mechanics based on the original von Reisswitz Kreigsspiel rules of 1824, adopted as a training tool in the Prussian army after the Napoleonic Wars. The scale was shifted from half-battalions to companies and divisions as the basic infantry maneuver piece, and much additional streamlining and simplification ensued.
The Pratzen game system then developed from a basic Grenadier variant through a card-based system, to the current system incarnation. This final package strives to recreate a more realistic view of combat on the Napoleonic battlefield.
The scale of the game is designed to give you a point of view of the brigade or divisional commander. But your subordinate battalion and squadron commanders may not always do what you want them to. Players have broad control over where to move and position forces but it leaves the details in the hands of the officers and men on-scene. Your job as their commander is to maneuver and commit them to the fight in ways that take advantage of their strengths and compensate for their shortcomings.
To get some more insight into the design, check out Armchair Dragoon's interview about the game here.
The game board portrays the terrain of a portion of the Austerlitz battlefield with an hexagonal grid superimposed to regulate the movement and positions of the playing pieces.
Each hex represents 50 paces (125 feet) across. Movement rates represent the distance covered at the standard march rate over approximately 2 minutes. The actual passage of time is thus nominally 2 minutes per turn.
Combat units represent military units whose normal frontage when deployed for battle was about 50 paces. For infantry, this is usually a company or division of two companies, about 120 to180 men depending on whether in a two-deep or three-deep line; for cavalry, a troop, squadron or half-squadron of 50 to 75 horse in two ranks; for artillery, a section or half-battery of 1 to 4 guns or howitzers.
The game includes a deck of cards describing historical events that occurred, or possible events that could have occurred, during a battle of this period. Players may choose to use these cards or not as they wish.
The game comes complete with both a rule book and a play book. If you would like to read them, here is a link at which you can download them in their current incarnation. Please note, these are not final and are currently being edited and will go to layout soon.
2 x sheets of 5/8" die-cut, double-sided, full-color counters
2 x 34" x 22" map sheets
1 x deck of playing cards cards
2 x Book of rules
2 x Play Book
1 x Player-aid card
1 x OB Chart
1 x Expanded Play Aid Chart