Game of the Week - March 4 - 10

Welcome to another week, and another featured game. This week we bring you Napoleonic Battles: Wellington's Peninsular War! This title is on sale for 25% off now through Sunday, March 10th.

This is one of two titles covering the time period between 1807 & 1814 where French, British, Spanish & Portuguese forces fought in a grueling conflict for control of the peninsula. The other title is Bonaparte's Peninsular War.

The Peninsular War was one of the longest and most drawn-out campaigns of the Napoleonic War; a piece of Imperial regime-change designed to close off the last European ports open to British trade, which instead developed into the ‘Spanish Ulcer’ that sapped the strength of Napoleon’s empire and left him to fight a two-front war that would ultimately destroy him.

From the outset, it was clear that it would be impossible to incorporate all the actions of this conflict into a single game. It also quickly became apparent that neither a strictly chronological, nor a strictly geographic, distinction could be made to divide the war into two manageable portions. The first title in this series, ‘Bonaparte’s Peninsular War’ focused on the defense of Portugal from the three successive French efforts to capture that country in 1807-08, 1809, and 1810-11, with the last of these campaigns also including the fighting for the strategically vital border fortresses of Ciudad Rodrigo, Almeida, and Badajoz during 1811 and early 1812, as the allies began to shift back to the offensive. In addition, that title also included the battles fought in Spain in the immediate aftermath of the uprising of 1808, and the battles fought in south-western Spain during 1809 and 1810.

This second title completes the picture. The focus is on four main campaigns. Firstly, that of late-1808 into January 1809 when Napoleon intervened in the Peninsula in person and led the veterans of the Grande Armée to join the survivors of his failed first invasion attempt and sought to crush the armies of the Spanish Juntas and the British under Sir John Moore who sought to come to their aid. The climax of this campaign was the French capture of Madrid and Moore’s posthumous victory at Corunna which bought time to evacuate his troops. The next campaign is that by the French to secure Eastern Spain, culminating, after a series of initial setbacks, with Suchet’s advance from Saragossa to Valencia over the course of 1809-1812, snapping up fortresses and defeating the armies that were sent to cover them. His victory, however, was never entirely complete and 1813-1814 in this theatre saw British troops land to aid the resurgent Spanish forces. The last two campaigns represent Wellington’s attempts to liberate Spain. The first of these, in 1812, saw what was arguably his greatest battlefield victory at Salamanca but ultimately ended with overstretch and a dangerous retreat back to Portugal. The second, launched in the summer of 1813, saw the combined French armies crushed at Vitoria followed by an advance that eventually took the allies over the Pyrenees to Bayonne and Toulouse. Also included in the game are a small number of standalone battles that fall outside the main four campaigns, most notably the 1806 Battle of Maida – fought in Italy rather than Spain, this nevertheless saw many future Peninsular commanders and was the first British victory against the French since the conclusion of the Egyptian campaign five years previously.

You can read the entire 22-page Designer Notes document here.

The game features 184 stand alone scenarios covering a variety of different formats. The "default" 15-minute turn format, but also 10-minute turn and company scale actions as well. The first 59 scenarios in the list feature specific A/I scripting, where the balance use the "flag" approach. Additionally there are another 61 scenarios that are pulled by the 3 Campaigns that ship with the game. 

The armies involved in these battles tend to be smaller than those engaged on the rest of the continent. This yields a wider array of small battles than usually appears in a Napoleonic game. There are still a good amount of Medium sized battles as well as a few large ones. The terrain and force composition make these titles have a "feel" of their own - so while still in a Napoleonic setting, you certainly know you are on the Peninsula.

All of the campaigns will yield multiple battles with losses carrying over between each.

Also, for anyone who likes to make their own scenarios, this game features 68 unique maps, with the largest being over 55,000 hexes.

Before we move on to supporting content I want to be sure you are aware of the second blog post we put up today - The Designers Corner. This focuses on Andrew Bamford, who was one of the contributors to both Bonaparte's Peninsular War as well as Wellington's Peninsular War. He is a historian, published author and game designer. You can pick up a copy of his book below as well, as it is the first in our recommended list today. 

Then of course we have the multi-volume set from Sir Charles Oman covering the breadth of the Peninsula conflict. Here's the link to Vol. I


For related video content we have:

WPW Content review and game play - Smart Wargames - this was posted two years ago, so many updates have happened since then, but it should still give you an idea of what the game has to offer.

And then finally some more screen shots from various views within the game. The first one we posted (above) was the 3D zoom in mode, so we'll do a sampling of the other 4 view settings and choices of 2D icons as well.

(Each image can be clicked for full size viewing)

And finally, here's the Napoleonic Battles specific section on the Official WDS forums if you wish to discuss the game, or any games within that series.

Ok, that concludes our preview of the game. You can head on over to the product page for Wellington's Peninsular War and pick up a copy for yourself when ready!




  • Jules Verne

    Picked up this title after reading The Designers Corner. Good reminder of the amazing detail that goes into these series. Only 2 Nap titles to go!

  • Mark Keough

    The two games covering the Peninsula are excellent, in my opinion. Most scenarios are in small to moderate numbers and accurately simulate the many battles covered (my reference is Charles Oman above). You’ll see why the French columns could never break a British line formation. The Italian battles in the Marengo game are similar. Many tactical situations, many historical opponents, Spanish, British, Portuguese, French, many generals and many varieties of troops.

  • Steve Achin

    I love the Napoleon series from your company. I own at least a couple dozen titles going all the way back to Talonsoft. Tiller’s games have been my go to for gaming. It’s nice to see that you done so much with your products. Keep up the great work

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