Nexus’ Battles of Napoleon: The Eagle and the Lion

I was quite excited earlier this year when Nexus games had contacted me regarding the possibility of developing art for their upcoming game, the Eagle and the Lion. This is to be the first massive installment of their “Battles of Napoleon” series.

It turns out that my gaming roots are of wargames where in the ’80s, I used to shop the aisles for interesting Avalon Hill titles. I only ended up playing a few wargames on a limited scale, though. Of them, one of my favorites was the old AH “War and Peace.” I loved the scope of the war and romance of the era. For me this really hit a chord.

So it was that I was extremely keen to take on this grand Napoleonic game from a company with such a reputation for quality products. For those that don't know, Nexus were the folks that brought us War of the Ring and the follow-up, Battles of the Third Age. Now they are digging their teeth very deeply into the Napoleonic battle genre. I had used the word massive earlier, and I'm not kidding. The box is huge - larger than Battlelore. There will be tons of bits as the game is filled with hundreds of miniatures.

I cannot comment on gameplay but can say that it is its own game system which is meant to be deep enough for wargamers, but accessible to the Euros. It uses a new system which is based based both on orders and cards to regulate the actions of the players.

Below you can see some cards for the French side. There are two categories of cards - Leaders and Units. As such, each have a distinct look. The leaders feature a close up portrait, while the units have a soldier in a battle scene. Within these two categories we have a number of types and classes of cards. The leaders have 3 categories, pictured in varied ranges of size. The more powerful leaders appear close up, with the lesser ones further away. Additionally, a ribbon type further reinforces the leader type.

Commander in Chief



The units are broken down by infantry, calvary and artillery. Pictured here are infantry units. While the background image will remain fairly similar between these 3 groups, there will be a subtle change to help cue each of these categories. We have spent some time developing the images for historical correctness. In addition, on the card backs, there will be a little info on the actual unit that the picture comes from. Each image will be unique to add to the richness of the program.

A unit card. Each one has the unit type (upper left), unit flag (upper right), moral (below flag), some die roll modifiers (bottom ribbon) and initial unit makeup (4 icons, middle left).

There will be 4 double sided boards that can be assembled to create a variety of scenarios. Configurations will be available to combine 2-4 boards depending on the scale. Pictured here are two boards. The relevant terrain are the hill ridges, hedges and forests. The look here is one of an old engraved map which is meant to lend a feel of authenticity to the program and separate from other miniature wargame products. Other special terrain tiles will be placed on the boards depending on the scenario. To give a sense of scale, each tile is a little larger than the tiles in Roads and Boats.

Two of the eight map pieces.

Map detail

– Mike