Unplug and Play at the Library

One night a month, and the occasional Saturday, we invite you to "unplug"--turn off your TV, cellphone, computer, and video games--and join others to play board games at the library. Choose from our collection of 150+ games or bring one from home to share. Light refreshments are provided for program participants.

  On Display in the Library  


   • Napoleon at Waterloo

   • Strike Force One

Napoleon at Waterloo game cover 
Strike Force One game map

(images from boardgamegeek.com)

Napoleon at Waterloo

Napoleon at Waterloo (NAW) is a game about the famous battle in June, 1815, between the French army, led by Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte, and the allied British and Prussian armies, led by Sir Arthur Wellesley, Duke of Wellington, and Field Marshal Gebhardt Leberecht von Blücher. The French army was larger than either the British or the Prussian armies; however, if combined, the allies outnumbered the French. Napoleon's goal was to divide the allies and defeat them in turn--first Wellington, then Blücher. Instead, Wellington chose excellent defending ground and held his position in the face of repeated attacks until Blücher was able to join the fight and attack Napoleon's flank. The result was a crushing defeat for the French, the end of the First Empire of France, and the permanent exile of Napoleon to the distant island of St. Helena in the South Atlantic. 

NAW was, from 1971-1975, the free introductory game sent to subscribers of Strategy & Tactics magazine, and served as an introduction to many of the key concepts then used in wargames, such as maps overlaid with a grid for regulating fire and movement, the use of cardboard counters to represent the military units in the battle, unique combat strength and movement allowance values for each unit, and combat results determined by formulating a ratio of attacking strength to defending strength, then rolling a die and consulting a combat results table to determine the outcome.

Strike Force One

Strike Force One was the successor to NAW, replacing it for a time as S&T's
 free introductory game in 1975. It introduced the same concepts, but in a game that could be played in a quarter of the time and produced and shipped much more cheaply. Rather than simulating a historical battle, the game simulates a hypothetical battle between forces from the U.S. and the former Soviet Union on a fictional battlefield in West Germany. 

Since the publication of Strike Force One and the rise of other types of strategy board games, the wargame genre of board games has been relabeled conflict simulations to more accurately reflect the nature of what most games that simulate historical, future, or entirely fictional battles or wars are trying to convey, as opposed to other abstract or thematic strategy games that focus more on balanced game play rather than the simulation of a battle, war, or other conflict of forces.

Napoleon at Waterloo                                                    Strike Force One

Publisher: Simulations Publications, Inc. (1971)                 Publisher: SPI (1975)

Number of Players: 2                                                       Number of Players: 2

For ages: 10 and up                                                        For Ages: 13 and up

Duration: 30-60 mins                                                       Duration: 15 mins

NAW and Strike Force One are on loan to the library for display.   They will be made available at the September meeting for people to try.

Board games are displayed in the Unplug & Play display case between the Main Desk and the elevator. Look for a new game every month!