Share This Article

Napoleon in Russia: The Battle of Borodino, Talonsoft, $54.95.

Napoleon in Russia: The Battle of Borodino, a Windows CD-ROM offered by Talonsoft for $54.95, is another entry in the Battleground series. It is an operational-strategical level, turn-based simulation of one of the key battles of the Napoleonic Wars.

Players are provided with a powerful yet flexible command-and-control interface that supplies a wide variety of information and methods for viewing and organizing forces. As was the case historically, leaders are crucial to control forces and maintain morale, and their deployment can decide a battle.

The graphics and sound are good, with terrain and units quite detailed. Players can switch between the complex 3-D rendering and 2-D “board game” look depending on their computer’s capabilities. It is also possible to generate screen shots for analysis or for a permanent record of a particularly good victory. However, the strength of Napoleon in Russia is clearly in the game play. The computer is an excellent opponent, and with the ability to adjust the level of knowledge (fog of war) and overall advantage, players can tailor the game to provide the best possible challenge.

The complexity and detail of the game does make it a little more time-consuming to master, but the combination of manual, background notes and help files makes this process much easier and gives players a much better understanding of warfare in this era. The game has a good selection of scenarios and campaigns, along with network, modem, Internet and e-mail play, but does lack a scenario editor/generator.

Napoleon in Russia is a superb re-creation of the invasion of Russia and belongs on the shelf of all computer wargamers and devotees of the Age of Napoleon.

Michael Breen