A round-up of the latest military titles
The creation of award-winning designer Alessio Cavatore, Quelle Affaire puts you in control of the French or Anglo-allied forces at the Battle of Waterloo, 1815. The battlefield itself has been faithfully replicated on the game board, and those familiar with the topography will recognise the key positions, such as Hougoumont and the farmhouse of La Haye Sainte, which were critical to the real battle’s outcome.
Each army’s forces – comprising cavalry, infantry and artillery – are represented with counters, sporting illustrations by historical artist
Peter Dennis (whose artwork also features in Bolt Action, Osprey and many other war games series). Although beautifully presented, these flat counters take away a little of the enjoyment of manoeuvring and attacking with more tactile units. This may disappoint more experienced war gamers, or even those who have spent hours commanding Risk’s colourful plastic miniatures.
The core of Quelle Affaire is in its ‘Stratagem’ and ‘Commander’ cards, which bring in added historical flavour and potential battle tactics to each game. These cards again are wonderfully illustrated and even feature real quotations from the battle, such as Lord Uxbridge’s famous exclamation to the duke of Wellington, “By God sir, I’ve lost my leg!” Cards illustrated with real corps officers from the battle are used to issue orders to units, as well as wield other devastating or fortuitous effects on either player.
The winner of the game is determined by whoever destroys half the enemy forces. For the player controlling the French army, the game becomes even trickier if the Prussian forces arrive – this can happen at a randomly determined point after turn five of the game, adding an element of tension. With a simple rule set and alternative deployment scenarios, and even a ‘night before the battle’ special setup, Quelle Affaire has plenty to offer fans of the period, or anyone ordinarily deterred by complex tabletop games.
EUROPE’S MOST FAMOUS BATTLEFIELD IS BROUGHT TO LIFE IN THIS SIMPLE BUT HUGELY SATISFYING GAME