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Posted on Jun 14, 2007 in Electronic Games, Front Page Features

HPS Jena-Auerstaedt Review

By Mike Tomlin

Cavalry are in mounted formation, which allows for both movement and charging and can also detach platoons for scouting purposes. As all cavalry units in this game are represented by squadrons, these platoons are effectively of half squadron size. Cavalry are divided into light, heavy, lancers, and also Cossacks. Artillery move in limbered formation, but can only fire when unlimbered. In this formation they may fire and change their facing but not move. In addition to normal field artillery horse artillery is also present with its much faster movement. Supply wagons have no formation and are limited to good terrain and roads, and must be present to re-supply units that run out of ammunition.

Leaders are perhaps the most important component in that the computer carries out die rolls to resolve combat, recovery, morale etc., and these are heavily influenced by the close presence and experience level of leaders from the unit’s chain of command. Lost leaders will be replaced by the next in command and new ones, of limited value, created when no juniors are available. It is important to maintain organisational structures on the battlefield and to ensure that the commanders are close enough to the action to influence matters but not so close as to be in danger.


The individual units represented are based on the historical orders of battle, and uniforms are accurately shown. Weapon types, weapon effectiveness, range, battle experience etc. are all modelled to be as accurate as possible.

The map has four views, a zoom in and zoom out for 3-D, and the same for 2-D which covers more ground. In the 3-D views terrain, building and units are visually represented and unit types and formations can be clearly seen. At the 2-D levels normal mapping and unit symbols are used. Map sizes are appropriate to the engagement being played and can vary from the very small for a skirmish, or battle segment, covering a couple of square kms to the absolutely massive map covering the whole campaign.

The games can be played with a large variety of options, changing many aspects including combat results, and of course with fog of war.

Each scenario is of a fixed length of turns and victory is assessed at completion of this number of turns, unless agreed earlier in the case of human opponents. Victory is determined by points based on a combination of casualties inflicted/suffered and the possession of certain strategic hexes.

The game is enhanced by the presence of a campaign option, incorporating a pre-defined decision tree, whereby the players will make strategic decisions from options provided. There are multiple versions of each scenario available with slight but very significant differences. This gives great replayability and variety to the game.

There are 42 stand alone scenarios to fight. The majority of the scenarios vary in length from 6 turns up to 60, and cover all aspects of the campaign including both historical and variations version of the battles/skirmishes at Schleiz, Saalfeld, Jena, Auerstaedt, Greussen, Halle, Altenzaum and Zehdenick. Also there are two hypothetical battles, Karlsburg of 325 turns and Hainspitz of 60. A unique twist is that there are four scenarios covering the joint battles of Jena and Auerstaedt, but using a split screen approach where each battlefield is taken separately and unconnected but fought out by the players in the same game turns. This mode has a somewhat disjointed and even schizophrenic feel to it. But such an innovative approach ought to be applauded.

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