Designer: Raymond de Maria
Europe, summer of 1805. Napoleon, newly crowned Emperor of the French, prepares his La Grande Armée for a perilous invasion of the United Kingdom. Only the might of the Royal Navy stands between the dreaded Corsican Ogre and the British Isles – that and Napoleon’s own intransigent meddling in international politics which thrusts Austria and Russia into the welcoming embrace of Britain. As Europe’s summer heat reaches its peak, enemies of France mobilize their forces to strike at Napoleon’s new empire… The Napoleonic Wars are on! Will the British forge a Grand Coalition and annihilate Napoleon’s armies in one decisive battle? Or will the Emperor force his humbled enemies to submit after a series of dazzling and brilliant campaigns? And how much are you willing to sacrifice in this ultimate pursuit of victory?
Pursuit of Victory is a two-player game of military conquest and diplomatic realignment, of bold action and meticulous planning, a low-complexity innovative grand strategy playable in a couple of hours. Napoleon will have to face an ever-shifting combination of European continental powers of Austria, Prussia and Russia, consider the fate of Spanish and Polish people, and keep an eye on small, but mobile British forces. Britain will have to contain Napoleon’s ambitions, stoke the fire of Spanish insurrection, contend with and subsidize their wavering allies and wait for an opportunity to strike a crucial blow against the French Empire.
Pursuit of Victory is a new approach to Napoleonic strategic wargaming. Every half a year, for 20 turns in total encapsulating the period of 1805 to 1814, both players simultaneously play two cards. One for its initiative value and up to two special actions, and the other one for its effect: diplomatic realignment of major powers and Napoleon’s reputation based on his territorial conquests, military campaigns, recruiting new units and influencing resurgent nationalist movements. Some combinations of cards influence one another and some effects require special subsidies from other cards. Each player has a hand of 10 distinctly different cards and since playing any given card makes it unavailable for next two or even three turns, one has to be extremely careful in one’s choices.
And there are always two national questions looming ahead. The French can recreate the defunct and once-powerful Poland and take over weak and contentious Spain, but will the gains outweigh the costs? The ultimate victory will come down to Napoleon’s ability to hold his empire – and reputation – tight and secure, and Britain’s endeavors to unite everyone against the French. The one to prevail could very well dominate the fate of Europe and the entire world for another century…
Game components (work in progress):
- one game board (84×56 cm)
- 27 cards (70×120 mm)
- 5 custom d6 dice
- 80 tokens