WAR AND PEACE, while not a bad game, is just not one of my personal favorites when it comes to Napoleonic grand-tactical simulations. It is not that I actively dislike the game, it is just that there are other titles that, for whatever reason, I like better. However, in the course of rummaging through my old Generals, I couldn’t help but notice that, based on the number of articles appearing on this title, that more than a few readers of the General disagreed with me. And, quite honestly, some of their essays made for pretty interesting reading. So, in deference to the many fans of this (perhaps underappreciated) game, I have decided to list some of the best of the articles on WAR AND PEACE to have appeared in the pages of the General. I hope that some of you find these write-ups interesting.
Also, let me repeat my previous strong recommendation, yet again: To those of you who still have a collection of Generals gathering dust somewhere in your closet, or who have a friend who has a lifetime’s stash of old gaming magazines stacked up in his game room, this list is for you. Even if you read these articles a long time ago, I urge you to go back and give them another look. You might even find it hard to close the covers of some of these old Generals once you start turning through their pages!
As is my custom, I have arranged this list in chronological order, from the oldest to the most recent.
- Mark G. McLaughlin ’s “Napoleon’s Empire: A Tour de Force of WAR AND PEACE,” in the General, Vol. 17, No. 1 (May-June 1980); an analysis of the game’s various scenarios, and a discussion by the game’s creator of the factors that contributed to the final design of WAR AND PEACE
- Frank Davis’ timely article, “WAR AND PEACE: Errata and Clarifications” in the General, Vol. 17, No. 1 (May-June 1980) in which the author presents helpful errata and rules clarifications in the same order in which the subjects appeared in the game’s rule book
- Lee Lasky’s, “Marching to a Different Drummer: Alternate Play in WAR AND PEACE,” in the General, Vol. 18, No. 1 (May-June 1981) in which the author offers some interesting strategic alternatives to the recommendations made by the game’s designer in his earlier article: “Napoleon’s Empire,” the General, Vol. 17, No. 1
- A “Series Replay: Home Before the Snow Falls: A WAR AND PEACE 1812 Scenario;” with Bill Parsons (French), Chris Vorder Bruegge (Russian), and neutral commentary provided by the game’s designer, Mark G. McLaughlin, in the General, Vol. 18, No. 4, (November-December 1981)
- Game designer, Mark G. McLaughlin’s, “Napoleon’s War at Sea: Naval Rules Changes for W&P,” in the General, Vol. 19, No. 5 (1983) in which the author offers changes to improve the naval game in W&P
- Kenneth Waido’s article, “Pro-French Naval Strategy in W&P: Or How to Sweep the Bulldog from the Seas,” in the General, Vol. 19, No. 5 (1983) in which the author presents an aggressive French naval strategy for use against the British in the “Grand Campaign” Game
- Bill Parson’s very intriguing “British Naval Strategy in WAR & PEACE: Or How to Insure that French Tadpoles Never Grow to be Big Bad Froggies,” in the General, Vol. 19, No. 5 (1983) which offers a convincing British riposte to Mr. Waido’s ambitious plans for the French Navy
- Craig Posey’s, “The Emperor at War: Napoleonic Concepts in WAR & PEACE,” in the General, Vol. 21, No. 2 (1984), in which the writer attempts to incorporate the Emperor’s own principles of warfare into the play of the game’s various scenarios
- Chuck Steenburgh’s welcome new scenario, “Marengo — The Italian Campaign of 1800: A Scenario for WAR & PEACE,” in the General, Vol. 26, No. 6 (1990) which offers all the rules and other information necessary for players to refight one of Napoleon’s first campaigns
- Glenn Rahman’s interesting naval variant, “Napoleon vs. Lloyd’s of London: A Variant for WAR & PEACE,” in the General, Vol. 27, No. 6 (1991), in which the author presents rules changes that would make French “privateering,” particularly against British shipping, a viable option for the French player
- Charles E. Duke’s article, “Historical Conquest in WAR & PEACE: More Realism for the Grand Campaign,” in the General, Vol. 31, No. 2 (1997), presents a method for injecting more diplomacy and political realism into the “Grand Campaign” Game
As is always the case when you try to compile one of these “compendia,” there are pieces and writers that didn’t make it onto this list, but that probably should have. Nonetheless, I believe that this varied collection of articles displays a representative cross-section of the different types of essays to be found on this, or any Avalon Hill game, within the pages of the General. These articles should also show why these old game magazines rarely get thrown away: a player can return to the same issue again and again, and still find something new and interesting.
And by the way, for those of you who don’t have any old Generals lying around, there are always copies surfacing on eBay so, given a little time, you should still be able to track most, if not all, of these gems down.