Danube 20

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Quick Overview

Take part in the battles of 1809 across the Danube river with Danube 20, featuring Aspern-Essling and Wagram!

Front cover

  • Front cover
  • Back cover
  • Game components
  • Map (Aspern-Essling)
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Details

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When the capture of Vienna failed to bring the Austrians to the bargaining table, Napoleon sought more direct means of ending the War of the Fifth Coalition. His first attempt was a nearly impromptu effort to force a crossing of the Danube, then in full spring flood, with the handful of forces that were immediately available. Almost predictably, the resulting battle of Aspern-Essling ended in a crushing French defeat. Stung by the setback, Napoleon then spent the next month and a half preparing for another assault at the same site, this time concentrating all available troops to ensure his success.

In the ensuing battle of Wagram, the second largest engagement of the Napoleonic era, Napoleon managed to defeat the Austrians but failed to achieve the decisive result he'd hoped for, forcing him to acknowledge that his foes were "no longer the enemy of old."

Danube 20, from designer Kim Meints, features both the battles of Aspern-Essling and Wagram, allowing players to examine this pair of critical battles fought just across the Danube from Vienna. Featuring low unit density (20 pieces or less) and modest complexity, the game focuses on dramatic, fast-playing turns and creating a strong historical narrative. The use of "story-driven" random event cards and the tracking of army morale provide for operational pauses and the "friction of war" to give players a great feel for the parry-and-thrust of a Napoleonic grand battle as the armies close to bayonet-point to see which will break first!

What's In The Box?:


•   One 36-page, full-color Rules booklet (Standard, Exclusive, and Optional rules included)
•   One double-sided 11" x 17" cardstock game map (Aspern-Essling 20 and Wagram 20)
•   87 thick, double-sided, multi-shaped game pieces
•   25 Event cards
•   One 8½" x 11" player aid mat
•   One 4¼" x 11" Terrain Effects chart
•   One six-sided die
•   One 11" x 17" mounted, two-sided, jigsaw-cut game map
•   One bright red, 9 1/4" x 5 7/8" Standard cardboard VPG game box
•   One beautiful box cover sleeve
•   One "Wipes-A-Lot" napkin
•   One charcoal desiccant packet

Credits:


Game Design: Kim Meints
Series Developer: Lance McMillan
Producer: Alan Emrich
Research: John "Jack" Gill
Art & Graphic Design: Tim Allen, Alan Emrich, Richard Starke
Playtesting: Rick Barber, Mike Bowen, Andreas E. Gebhardt, John Gibbins, Grant Gill, John "Jack" Gill, Kevin McHale, Kim Meints, David Moody, James Noone, Joe Oppenheimer, Bill Rutherford, Scott Stalter, Hugh Tracy
Proofreading: Bill Barrett, Brad Bernstein, Rick Partin, Leigh Toms, Ian Wakeham

Game Data

Number of Players 2
Age 13+
Playing Time Approximately 60 minutes
Difficulty 5
Solitaire Suitability 6
Designer Kim Meints
Developer Lance McMillan

Reviews

Danube 20 by Battlefields and Warriors
Kim Meints has done a great job with this game, especially with balancing the restraint that either side has on its forces due to the historical factors and giving such game tension for both players - nothing is certain. I got into the game quickly because I know the series rules (version 3 - the latest, are included with the game). In our game, we only drew the pontoon destruction card once, but the French were unfortunate in the pontoons being out of action for so much of the game, though the Austrians struggled to get their army together quickly enough to take advantage of that.

There are optional starting points for the French player to select for their one and only pontoon bridge and this will alter the course of the battle, plus there are a number of variant rules to try. That, combined with the second game (Wagram), makes this package chock full of player opportunity.
Danube 20 by Bill Macon (The Wargamer)
Victory Point Games continues to grow with quality additions such as Danube 20, short and sweet small-format games. These Napoleonic 20 games are relatively easy to learn, quick to play, historically realistic, and… fun! Almost every turn is bound to have a “What now?” moment as the event cards are drawn and read, often challenging players to appreciate the difference between a risk and a gamble as they stretch for victory.