The map is one of the best I have ever seen of Russia. Each hex is 10 miles across and easily identified as to which terrain is in it.
The rules whilst detailed are not too complicated and are easy to get into. Attrition is central to the game. Your forces are almost certain to begin to lose men rather quickly, especially if a long way from its Supply Source or in bad weather.
Vedettes, terrain, foraging, negotiations, fires in cities, destroying and repairing bridges, and partisans; they are all in here and all add something to the feel of the game.
Winning the game can be done in three ways. The French roll successfully on theNegotiation Table; conversely the Russians throw the Negotiations out; Paris morale goes off the scale to the advantage of either side. Finally at the end of the 34 turns whoever has the advantage wins. If the French lose on the Negotiation Table they have lost, they still have to get their army back home to Poland. This allows the Russian player to do some attacking; well worth playing.
The French may win by storming Moscow and opening negotiations. Once negotiations start both sides go into Quarters and nobody moves, but time goes on, a few neutral throws may stall the French enough that the snows appear and you can guess what that means. This is a very interesting mechanism, and really does work very well.
For such a big game it does play very well, whilst the forces are very large there aren’t that many actual counters on the map. With a fast player turns can be as short as twenty minutes. Due to its 34 turns the campaign is not one for an evening. There are also five smaller scenarios to play.
As far as history goes it plays very well. The time scale is just about correct; Smolensk is reached within a turn or two of the historical date, and if you do fight through to Moscow the date is pretty close also. The game normally follows history fairly well with the Russians retreating eastwards and sitting around Smolensk, sometimes all the Russians get there, sometimes not. They then have to decide whether or not to fight for Smolensk. There is always a battle before Moscow, often very close to Borodino.
If you want a good accessible game on this most interesting of campaigns I do not think that you could do better than this at present. —Craig Ambler (2004 review)
Images (starting from the top):
1: Napoleon and his staff at Borodino 1812
2: Napoleon watching the fire of Moscow in September 1812
3: Pyotr Bagration giving orders during the Battle of Borodino while being wounded
HIGHWAY TO THE KREMLIN II
Each game includes:
2 Maps 22" x 34"
1 Counter Sheet (280 die-cut player pieces)
2 Booklets (Standard Rules Folder and Exclusive Rules Folder)
4 Leader and Unit Manifest Cards
1 Depot Manifest Card
2 Organization Displays
Turn Record Card
4 Set-up/March Tables
1 Charts and Tables Folder (4-pages)
1 Battle Resolution Worksheet