Tabletop Review: Command & Colors: Napoleonics Expansion #1: The Spanish Army

Command & Colors Napoleonics: Expansion Nr.1 The Spanish Army
Publisher: GMT Games
Cost: $55.00
Release Date: December 2011
Get It Here: GMTGAMES.com

This expansion is the first for the basic Command & Colors Napoleonics game and introduces the Spanish Army, which is one of many armies utilized in the Command & Colors series as a whole.

This particular game utilizes a basic hex board map that comes with the basic game only and not found in the expansions. The military units in the entire series of games are composed of simple wooden blocks of various sizes that represent units such as light calvary, heavy calvary, light infantry, heavy infantry, militia, grenadiers, foot soldiers, cannons, and so on. The basic games and the expansions will also contain the “sticker” sheets as I call them to place on both sides of the block the unit it will represent. Some blocks will be larger than others. Each of the expansions will contain unit reference cards for easy access, a scenario booklet with numerous scenarios for that particular expansion, and a number of terrain tiles for those particular scenarios. Military units are given “orders” by use of command playing cards, which will dictate what that unit will do. I must reiterate that it is important to own the BASIC game for these expansions because that game contains the other essential items such as dice and the command playing cards which are required to play a complete game. This is a 2-player game that can be expanded to multiple players but will require multiple boards.

As stated before, this expansion includes a scenario booklet that comes with 18 scenarios that primarily involve the Spanish Army and the battles they participated in from 1808 to 1813. It is noted within the introduction that other foreign armies will be required from the basic set to participate in some of the additional battles contained in this scenario booklet. Some of the battles that are represented very well but not limited to are the Battles of: San Marcial, Espinosa, Medellin, Ocano (calvary), Vitoria (Hill’s Attack), and Ordal Cross. I must note that GMT Games does an awesome job in presenting these scenarios as accurately as possible, providing a very detailed background on the conflict in question, and presenting them as a viable scenario on a board. Scenarios on the average last a good 90 minutes to barely two hours each.

POSITIVE NOTES: The basic Napoleonics game and this expansion provide nothing but hours on hours of endless fun. The scenario book was nicely colored and presented very well – easy to read and easy to grasp. Minor errors with the Ranged Fire and Melee Tables were quickly corrected by GMT Games by adding the Quick Reference Cards found within the expansion.

NEGATIVE NOTES: My only real negative issue with the Command & Colors game as a whole is the large number of small wooden blocks and the time it takes to put all the stickers on them. In this case, since I was by myself, it took me nearly two hours to place all the stickers on the blocks with care and precision. My only advice is to have a friend or two to help you place the stickers on the blocks because that task alone defines tedious to the core.

OVERALL REVIEW: EXCELLENT, EXCELLENT, EXCELLENT. This is a very well done expansion. GMT Games ensures it takes great pride in supporting its basic Command & Colors games with excellent expansions. These games are great in every aspect and can be utilized in more than one way besides gaming. I have witnessed some of the expansions played in high school history classes as a way to enhance learning. Kudos to GMT for supporting a fine game. I will add that players of this expansion will find additional support on their site and other great material to support the game as a whole.

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