Napoleon Bonaparte is one of the most fascinating figures in history. And Cossacks II: Napoleonic Wars is a fantastic game that features his most famous conquests. Sure, I’ve written about great generals, presidents, queens and state leaders before. But a solo post about Napoleon is something different. And an exciting event for me as well. Why? Because he’s one of the complex and layered men in history.
Furthermore, the inspiration for this particular post is the Cossacks II: Napoleonic Wars video game. We have it on sale here at IndieGala, but Cossacks II: Napoleonic Wars is also part of our summer sale, meaning an extra gift awaits you. So, it’s a double opportunity for you not to miss out on this fantastic strategy game. If you’re a fan of real-time strategy games and you’re a fan of Napoleon, then this is the game for you.
However, aside from the video game, I’ll be focusing (for the most part) on movies that depict the Napoleonic wars, his period of reign and eventual downfall.
But, before I look back on the man himself and his most famous conquests, a quick introduction about the game is very much needed here. So, without further ado…
Cossacks II: Napoleonic Wars (What’s the game all about?)
Cossacks II: Napoleonic Wars is the fourth game in the famed Cossacks series. It’s both developed and published by GSC Game World. But the video game itself is a real-time strategy game that emphasizes a very particular period in history. The Napoleonic Wars. Perfect for the military leader in you.
However, as one Steam user pointed out, the game is more of a battle game than a build an empire game. So, with that in mind, you can also select from three different formations, depending on your tactical position of course. And you also have to worry about your men’s morale. As well as their fatigue level, so don’t forget about that when you’re playing this game.
But yeah. In Cossacks II: Napoleonic Wars, you get to do a lot of things. First and foremost, you can lead your 19th-century army to glory and new frontiers. Whether you’re fighting as Napoleon’s highly disciplined “Grand Arme“. Or the tenacious Russians and their Cossack horseback warriors. It doesn’t matter. Indeed the challenges will be daunting as you master weapons and tactics. But you will learn so much along the way. Tactics, strategies, warfare plans and so much more.
In the end, as one review of the game pointed out…
The game takes quite a number of liberties, but overall it presents a good mix of gameplay and historical accuracy. Though it doesn’t go overboard in either direction. Cool right?
Cossacks II: Napoleonic Wars (There are some great movies too)
But back to the topic at hand. Napoleon on the silver screen. What are some of the best movies that have Napoleon as a central figure? Or his famous Napoleonic Wars? This is going to be a fairly international group of movies. So buckle up, and I hope you’ll like my picks.
If you thought that Waterloo has legends behind the camera, you’d better wait and see which icons are in front of the camera. Directed by Sergei Bondarchuk and produced by Dino De Laurentiis, Waterloo is a true war epic. Trough and through. Why? Because it depicts one of Napoleon’s most famous battles. The Battle of Waterloo. And the film’s depiction of the battle of Waterloo is epic in its own right as well. But who is part of the cast you may ask? Well, brace yourself, because you’re in for a treat. Rod Steiger is Napoleon of course, and his co-stars are Christopher Plummer, Orson Wells. All Oscar winners, screen legends and some of the best actors of their generation. This is a can’t miss movie, that’s for sure.
War And Peace (1966)
Another Sergei Bondarchuk war epic, but this time in Russian, and with Russian actors. Also, this is an eight-hour epic based on the book of the same name by Leo Tolstoy. With even more lavish battle scenes indeed. How lavish you might ask? According to IMDB, the Battle of Borodino is the largest battle scene ever filmed. That’s right. War And Peace won the Oscar for Best Foreign-language movie and is considered one of the best adaptations of the legendary book.
Can you believe that the battle of Borodino took two years of filming and a year of post-production? During that time director, Sergey Bondarchuk had two heart attacks. It’s a sad fact, but I’m afraid it’s true. However, I would highly recommend that you watch this version, not the Audrey Hepburn version of War And Peace. It’s just not the same. This one is the winner for me.
I’ve included an English speaking movie about Napoleon and a Russian one as well. So, I think it’s time for the French version. Don’t you agree? Much like the title suggests, Austerlitz is a movie about one of the Napoleonic victories. The Battle of Austerlitz. Furthermore, the movie covers a lot more things leading up to the battle. His coronation as Emperor in the first half of the movie, while the preparations and the battle itself are in the second part. The late Pierre Mondy is Napoleon in this movie, while Martine Carol is Empress Joséphine. It’s a must-watch retro gem, even though it’s probably the oldest movie on the list.
The Duelists (1977)
The Duelists is Ridley Scott’s directorial debut. And it’s not necessarily directly about Napoleon, it’s set during the peak of his reign. He’s very much a strong presence throughout the movie indeed. But the movie is about two officers of the French Grande Army. Kith Carradine’s Armand d’Hubert and Harvey Keitel’s Gabriel Feraud.
Due to a small disagreement, they’ll engage in deadly duels, and the scores of the subsequent duels will last for years. This is a gorgeous movie with an incredible fight (and fencing) scenes. And of course, an engaging story that spans about 15 years. You can clearly see Ridley Scott’s talent as a director even from his rookie project. This is an incredible movie, that seems a bit forgotten in the vast and impressive Ridley Scott’s career.
Cossacks II: Napoleonic Wars and some of your picks
What are some of your movies featuring Napoleon Bonaparte? Tell us all about them in the comment section. We’d love to know.