Sunday, 11 November 2012

Bonapartist France defeated - Levee en Masse

Played a game Levée en Masse tonight, relearning it after more than a year. But it's fairly easy to pick up and once you've gone through the rules, the game plays fast, in around an hour.

Not bad eh? No real challenges to the republic after first deck
Levée en Masse is one of the solo States of Siege games published by Victory Point Games. It comes in a ziplock bag with rudimentary quality of components, but a well written rulebook. Recently VPG has published higher quality versions of some games, while GMT is also releasing a few. But if you don´t care more about gameplay than components, you´ll be fine with the original VPG edition.

In the game you play solo as the French republicans against foreign armies on the map and monarchist and despotist (ie Bonaparte or some other general) rivals on the political track. The enemies are all driven by the event deck while you can counter them in a limited number of actions.

The main challenge is to survive the game to the end, which means keeping the enemy armies out of Paris. If you make it, the extent of the victory is determined by the extent to which you have kept the monarchists and despotists down and the enemies back.

Looking good after the Terror: puppet states in place, republicanism dominates, enemies far away
The game goes through 3 decks. The first deck covers the initial revolution up to the execution of King Louis XVIII, the second the Terror and deepest military crisis, while the third deals with French expansion and later coalition wars. Each deck poses different challenges, with the Vendee more active in the first deck than later, and the Austrians and Brits becoming active later.

Things seemed to be doing quite well for me until the last deck. Although I had been able to keep a decent edge for the republicans vs the despotists and monarchists, this situation reversed in the space of two or three events, which partly limited my ability to react. This meant that the despotists claimed domination of the state and I lost my military advantage.

Three turns short of the end, Paris falls to the suddenly unleashed Austrians

My dice then seemed a bit less lucky as the Austrians suddenly pressed through my Belgian puppet state and into Paris. Without my military advantage I couldn´t get them out and I lost, with only three cards to go!

But considering the domination of the Bonapartists and the many enemy troops on French soil, I wasn´t going to score well even if I had made it to the end. No real idea why it all went pearshaped in the end, probably because I don´t know the contents of the deck too well, so I may have focussed on the wrong things. Will try again soon.

Fun solo game!


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. Seems a nice game, altough you would have to master is within 3 years from now to put it into practice at next elections on Holland ....

  3. Not sure we have to fear the Bonapartists in the Netherlands. The Austrians on the other hand...


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