Histwar: Les Grognards brings to life the pageantry, savagery and brilliance of the Napoleonic era like no other wargame before. From its innovative three tiered AI system, it's overwhelming level of editing and customization, its unflinching depiction of period combat in gloriously detailed 3D brilliance, and it's wealth of historical knowledge and accuracy Les Grognards is in every way the bleeding edge of Napoleonic combat simulation.
Les Grognards, designed and developed by Jean-Michel Mathe, is a tactical and strategic wargame, putting you in charge of a Napoleonic army on the battlefields of the early 19th century (1805-1814).
Les Grognards can be either played against the computer (solo), or Multi-player via LAN or Internet (TCP/IP) with up to 6 players divided into 2 sides with each player controlling either all or a part of an Army. Play by e-mail (PBEM) with 15 minute game sequences (turns) is also supported.
Tens of thousands of soldiers (over 50,000 animated figures), deployed in battalions are organized into individually controllable Regiments, Brigades, Divisions and Army Corps are awaiting your orders, and will carry them out in breathtaking 3D environments.
Les Grognards allows you to relive the famous historical (and countless what-if) battles between the French, Russians and Austrian armies as well as a multitude of secondary nations and city states (Wurtemberg, Saxony, Poland, Italy, Naples).
Les Grognards comes complete with ten major historical battles (including Austerlitz, Eylau, Friedland, Wagram, Borodino), as well as powerful game editors to create Maps, Orders of Battle and Unit Doctrines (AI scripting).
View the action and plan cunning strategies with 4 different camera modes: a 2D based Strategic Overview map, a 3D Symbolic Unit map, a 3D "real world" map with subjective (ground level) view, and a 3D Real World map with "bird's eye" view.
In the 3D views, every infantry battalion and cavalry squadron is represented in approximately a 1 figure =10 men scale. This means an average battalion will show 70 soldiers and a single Regiment could have up to 8 battalions plus attached staff units for over 500 individually animated soldiers!
Each type of infantry unit displays a wealth of unique and individually modeled soldiers including the battalion Major, Color/Eagle bearers, Sappers, Skirmishers, Grenadiers, Fusilierrs and Guards. Every artillery piece is crewed by 5 or 6 gunners and their team of 2 to 6 horses and attached limbers. Cavalry units will show their Colonels, Captains, flag bearers, Cuirassiers, Hussars, Chasseurs, Carbiniers, Lancers and more.
A number of realistic environmental options can influence the conditions of a battle, including different seasons and weather options like fog, rain, and snow. Various other realism settings allow you to customize the game to your own levels.
The heart of the game concept of Les Grognards is to put you in the shoes of an Army Commander, letting you define - with a few clicks of the mouse- a precise plan of battle, which is then carried out by the various artificial intelligence systems controlling your troops. You can also directly interact with the lower levels of command (Corps - Division - Regiment) to closely manage the implementation and execution of your orders. To allow for these 3 levels of command, Les Grognards was designed with a revolutionary and customizable 3 level AI system, similar in function to the system first implemented in the Combat Mission series of games.
The AI includes 3 basic hierarchical levels: Grand-Tactical (GT),Tactical AI and Regimental AI.
In solo mode, the player (and the Grand-Tactical AI as the player's opponent) create their tactical plans and arrange their troops using 5 general orders. The Link order allows to combine Corps in order to compose Army elements and coordinate maneuvers. The other orders (Deployment, Diversion, Defense and March) are used to define operational zones.
The intermediate AI level represents the Commander of Corps or Divisions that are controlled by the Tactical AI (T-AI). The T-AI is always active and translates the Commander of Army's orders into executable commands such as troop concentrations, battle formations, rallying of units and use of reserves. The player can also take control at this level at any time. In Multi-Player mode, the players that are in charge of the various Corps are partly taking the place of the T-AI.
One innovative game feature is the delay in transmission and execution of orders from headquarters to lower echelons. Orders can often times be delivered too late, or can even be intercepted when the enemy manages to capture the aide-de-camp.
Finally, the Regimental AI takes care of every Regiment on the battlefield. For example, an active infantry AI controlled unit will automatically send a battalion towards a threatened flank or order a defensive infantry square formation in the presence of enemy cavalry. The underlying tactics for the Regiments are mirrored from real historical engagements and tactics guidelines, and are customizable through the powerful Unit Doctrine Editor.
In addition to the impressive AI structure, Les Grognards also models the combat itself in impressive detail. All combat losses are calculated using complex mathematical models which take into account factors such as the geometrical arrangement of the physical unit formations, their training, their combat abilities, their fatigue, and their morale. Unit Morale itself is modeled to a great degree and affected by such diverse elements as the presence and status of the Army commander nearby, proximity of friendly units, fatigue, weather effects, sustained losses, and much more!
Les Grognards also provides you the tools to make your own massive battles and even construct your own Armies! This is accomplished via the three different editors included with the game.
The Map Editor allows to create custom and random maps, from a small 6 x 4.5 km landscape to a sprawling 30 x 22.5 km battlefield. That's a maximum battlemap size of over 660 square kilometers! The maps are created in real time 3D and the editor allow for a stunning array of terrain features and structures to be placed on the map including villages, farms, hamlets, castles, encampments and sprawling vineyards, rivers, lakes and deep forest.
The Order of Battle Editor allows you to create your own Armies and comes with several data bases including more than 4000 historical commanders' names (from General-in Chief's to Colonels), more than 1150 historical Regiments from fifteen different countries and include more than 550 historical military uniforms.
The Doctrine Editor allows you to manage and edit the behavior of Regiments controlled by AI. This powerful editor unlocks the very essence of the unit based AI and allows to truly customize how your units will behave, interact with one another and fight.