(5 customer reviews)


SKU: N/A Category:




Marengo is a Military Strategy Board Game where up to 4 Austrian players attempt to defeat Napoleon’s army, controlled by up to 4 players.

Known for command focus, fog of war, realism and re-playability. Based on real combat data, officer experience and training principles from the era. Used to train officers in the US military and in military academies around the world.

• Period style map.
• Real Kriegsspiel style, hardwood pieces.

Playing Time: 1 Hour
Scale: 16,000:1
Complexity: Low wargame
Solitaire Suitability: High
Players: 1-4
Age: 12+

Components List

  • Main Rulebook
  • Map, 24″ x 37″
  • Scenario rules & Setup
  • Measuring scale card
  • Hardwood blocks with custom stickers (15 French, 19 Austrian long blocks)

Some Assembly Required

Learn more about the Pub Battles system.

Get the No Block Version and save by reusing the same Standard Blocks for all of your battles.  

Paper maps are folded in a game box.

Canvas maps are rolled in tubes.

Real maps of the period were printed on canvas.  This authentic, premium map is tough, durable and beautiful.  Printed on 100 year, museum quality, archival canvas.  It is water resistant, spill proof and lays flat and smooth.  Truly a work of art.  



The French begin the battle out of place and badly outnumbered.  They must fight an aggressive delaying action to survive.  The Austrians must crush the French quickly before their reinforcements arrive. 


How Can Napoleon possibly win outnumbered 3:1?

The opening to this battle is terrifying as the French.  It may seem impossible but the French have some advantages:

  • Ground:  You don’t have to stand and fight.  You have lots of ground to give up.  Often the best defense early on is to run!
  • Roads:  The Austrians have lots of troops but they start all bottled up on a few roads.  Help keep them that way.  Against a good French player, it will often take most of the game before the Austrians can actually deploy their army and bring their force to bear. 
  • HQ Ratings:  The French have better HQs.  This means they can often move with ideal timing.  Striking when the Austrians are vulnerable, running before the Austrians can strike when they are weak. 
  • Charge:  Normally, units resolve combat at the end of each turn.  Napoleon’s Guard and Cavalry can ‘Charge’.  This means that they resolve combat immediately during movement!  Spent infantry attacked by Cavalry can’t form square, so the Cavalry gets a +1 combat modifier.  Add these 2 effects together with Napoleon’s 5 rated HQ and you can shatter a weary Austrian army in no time;   IF you can combine them together at the right time and place.





Gamer’s Assessment

The Marengo field is wide open:  mostly clear terrain.  This makes it a very fluid battle of maneuver.  The French are badly outnumbered at first.  They have to trade ground for time.  When reinforcements arrive, they must strike back to turn the tide.  Timing the right moment to strike is key.  It is very hard to play the French but once you figure it out, it is VERY rewarding.  

Historical Background

In the spring of 1800, First Consul Napoleon Bonaparte crossed the Alps in a surprise move to cut off the Austrian Army near Genoa.  Melas fell back and massed in Alessandria.  While Napoleon dispersed to cut off escape routes, Melas launched a surprise attack in an attempt to break out. 
Badly outnumbered, Napoleon tried to recall Desaix’s Corps with this frantic message: 

“I had thought to attack Melas.  He has attacked me first.  For God’s sake come up if you still can.”

Victor, Lannes and Murat fought a desperate delaying action.  Desaix did arrive at 3:00 pm.  When asked for his opinion, he replied: 

“This battle is completely lost, but there is time to win another.” 

Desaix’s timely arrival achieved a victory for the French but at the cost of his own life.  On news of Desaix’s death, an exhausted Napoleon simply replied: 

“Why  is it that I am not allowed to weep?”    

Learn More About the Game

Strategy Guide for French play in Marengo


Additional information

Weight N/A
Dimensions N/A
Set Options

Stickers Only, Paper Map, No Blocks, Paper Map & Block Set, Canvas Map & Stickers, Canvas Map & Block Set

5 reviews for Marengo

  1. Brian B. A. Hansen (verified owner)

    I recently ordered your Pub Battles: Marengo game and it hasn´t left the table!
    Its a fantastic innovative and immersive system and I cant wait to game  Antietam, Gettysburg and Waterloo using this system!
    …or Austerlitz 1805, Smolensk 1812, Königgratz 1866 orMars-La-Tour & Gravelotte-St. Privat 1870 just to name a few ideas for the future 😉

  2. Harald Heller (verified owner)

    Many thanks for the quick delivery! The shipping time from Parker Colorado to Germany was 10 days. The game was well packed in strong tube. I am very impressed by the quality of the game map and the game system! I support Brians ideas and would like to add Leuthen and Dennewitz.

  3. Tom Dempsey (verified owner)

    Pub Battles Version 2.0 Rules (available with the Monmouth game) significantly affect the play of Marengo. A quick overview of the revised rules follows, with specific observations about their affect on the Marengo game. Note that version 2.0 does not replace the Marengo rules, but rather supplements them, and you will need to use the two rule sets together. Most notably, the charge rules (French cavalry and the French Consular Guard), the use of three dice versus two for cavalry combat, and the modifications to cavalry combat rolls for fresh (-1) and spent (+1) troops continue to apply.

    Rules 2.0
    This version of Pub Battles rules includes several changes that have a major impact on game play. The principle changes address revised “road movement” rates, “fields of fire,” and “disengaging.” The rules also add an additional terrain category for marsh, which reduces movement by one third and is “no-go” terrain for artillery that is not moving on roads.

    “Road movement rates” have been reduced to twice regular movement, rather than three times. Given the game scale of 1:18,000, this works out just over two miles per hour, a pretty accurate rate for foot movement in column on a road.

    “Fields of fire” extend for one third of foot movement from the front of each infantry and artillery unit, and at angles of 45% to the left and right of the unit block’s front. Units cannot move into this area unless they move into actual contact. If they do not have sufficient movement to do so, they must halt beyond the enemy field of fire. Fields of fire are limited by line of sight; they do not extend through areas (woods, buildings, hills) that the unit cannot see through, and also do not extend through enemy units. As a final note, if a unit begins its turn in an enemy field of fire, it must either move into contact and attack, or withdraw out of the field of fire.

    “Disengaging” addresses units that begin their move in contact with the enemy units that have advanced to attack. This rule addresses an annoying (and not very realistic) game tactic where attacked units simply reverse front, move a few millimeters, and then reverse front again to face the attacking enemy, but no longer in contact. With the new rule, units in contact must either accept combat (as the defender), or move in a way that they are no longer within the attacking unit’s field of fire. In addition, units cannot move into an enemy field of fire unless they advance to contact, initiating combat. If a unit lacks sufficient remaining movement to reach the enemy unit, it must halt its move outside the unit field of fire.

    An additional feature of disengagement allows units to remain in contact and accept combat, but change their facing to do so. Tactically, this can be critically important, as flanked units can now turn to face their attacker. To effectively flank an enemy, a commander must either manipulate the turn order to move after the attacked formation, or conduct converging attacks, so that if the enemy turns to face a flanking unit, it exposes its flank to the other attacker.

    Fields of fire and disengagement, especially, influence play in important ways. Commanders will need to think in depth, and echelon defenses, lest they find themselves forced to vacate key defensive positions or advance from those positions to assault an enemy. The new rules also add an important dimension to decisions altering turn order.

    Impact on Play.
    The reduced road movement rates are going to have a significant impact on Austrian effort to project forces across the river at the beginning of the game. The roads (and the fords/ferries that connect the roads) negate the cost of the river for units conducting road movement. However, remember that units using road movement cannot move through other units that are conducting (or have conducted!) road movement previously in the turn. To faithfully capture the influence of road movement on tactical deployments, you must keep track of previous road movement along a road, and reduce the movement of following units on the same road by the length of one block for each preceding unit. This will slow the Austrian deployment significantly, and requires careful use of all available roads by both sides, to minimize the “traffic jams” as multiple units try and use the same route.

    As an aside, this also makes the pontoon bridge ( adjacent to the primary road bridge out of Alexandrie) critically important to the Austrians. Austrian units – especially cavalry – can use normal movement across the pontoon bridge, losing one third for the river, to get across without clogging up the single road and bridge that crosses the river east of Alexandrie.

    The inclusion of marsh as an additional, movement-reducing terrain category has major impact on the initial turns of Marengo. The marsh areas invariably occur in conjunction with streams, reducing movement by two thirds. This effectively canalizes movement out of the Alexandrie bridgehead by the Austrian forces. A careful French player can make getting through the streams and marshes east of the river a real headache for the Austrian player.

    The Fields of Fire and Disengagement rules may cause a lot of frustration the first time you play with them, until you master the nuances that they introduce. The French player will no longer be able to withdraw a short distance, change front, and re-establish his defense. Both sides will encounter surprises when they find themselves beginning turns within enemy fields of fire – forced to either withdraw, and potentially abandon key sections of their line, or launch an attack under less than desirable conditions.

    Fields of fire make the ridge in the center of the map even more important. Remember that lines of sight apply to fields of fire, just as they do to artillery. Occupying the reverse slope, for the French, offers the same advantages at Marengo that Wellington would take advantage of fifteen years later at Waterloo. French units will not have to withdraw if they find themselves within one third movement of Austrian forces, because those forces cannot see beyond the crest of the ridge.

    Disengagement rules can be especially helpful to the Austrian player. Moving into contact with French forces significantly restricts his choices – he must either withdraw completely, or attack. This dynamic is a major advantage when the Austrians are forced to move first, as they most frequently are in Marengo. It is especially useful when used against French cavalry or the Consular Guard, effectively neutralizing the advantage they enjoy by being able to charge and resolve combat during movement.

    All that said, the new rules to not fundamentally alter the nature of the game. It still rewards those players who master combined arms tactics, employing cavalry, artillery and infantry in combinations that exploit the unique characteristics of each. The French must still beware of the punishing Austrian artillery, and the Austrian player must avoid the overconfidence that the Austrianr superiority in numbers always seems to engender. French charges against spent Austrian units can be devastating, and can turn the tide of a seemingly inevitable Austrian victory (as they did in the actual battle).

    Bottom line: the new Version 2.0 rules significantly improve the game system as a whole, and make for a very interesting variant of Marengo.

  4. Miles Morton

    This game is truly amazing, it actually makes you feel like a general commanding a real battle. The gameplay doesn’t go on for to long and it’s easy to set up so you can play multiple games per day. The most surprising thing was the map graphics, it felt as if it was a actual map from that time period.

  5. Andrew McBrien (verified owner)

    Pub Battles Marengo is perfect for us. These days it’s not just about gaming, it’s also a social catch-up. A couple of drinks and a meal, and then a very accessible and drama filled game that will be concluded that evening. The Pub Battles approach is definitely one of those situations where once you try it you wonder why wasn’t anyone else doing it like this before now?

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may also like…