Re­views

“Quelle Af­faire!”

History of War - - CONTENTS - TW

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

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