1805: Sea of Glory examines the naval war on an operational level during that pivotal year. Although Trafalgar shines through history as the beacon of victory, it is the successful blockade of enemy ports that kept French boats from stepping onto British soil. But 1805: Sea of Glory is more than just a game about blockade duty. It is a game of breakout and pursuit, deception and false leads, husbanding meager resources, striking a blow where your enemy least suspects, and bringing about the decisive battle that defines victory or defeat.
1805: Sea of Glory focuses on the operational actions of the three great navies. The Allied player (France & Spain) must constantly try to break out of numerous European ports and form a combined fleet. The British player must continuously worry about his ships on station, as wind and weather allow the enemy an opening to slip anchor and set sail. For when Napoleon's fleets take flight, the British are hard pressed to cover all the potential targets and bring the enemy to bear. The British player will find that he never has enough frigates to watch all avenues of escape, and that a clever French player can keep him guessing and ultimately win this game of cat and mouse.
The game uses blocks to represent the fog of war. The ability to spot and intercept your enemy is paramount. But is that block scurrying across the Mediterranean towards Egypt the French fleet? Or has the Toulon squadron turned west towards the Caribbean? From the French perspective, is the block off the coast of Brest a fleet? Or have the British returned home to repair and refit, leaving only a few frigates to watch the port? Is now the moment to sortie? Or does a large enemy force lay just over the horizon?
While blocks represent fleets, squadrons, and scouting frigates, traditional counters represent the individual ships of the line. Every ship that could have seen duty, from lowly 64 gunners to the massive Santissima Trinidad, is present. Individual ships are kept on off map organizational charts, so that the exact composition of a fleet or squadron block is not known to your opponent until interception takes place.
The great naval commanders of the age are present in the game as well. Rosily-Mesros, Villeneuve, Ganteaume, Missiessy, and Gravina for the Allied fleets. Cornwallis, Nelson, Calder, Collingwood, and Strachan for the British. Each admiral is rated for his ability to escape or pursue, as well as, his tactical acumen in combat. Special abilities are also included: from Cornwallis' skill as an administrator, to Villeneuve's fatalistic bent, to Gravina's charisma, to Nelson's visionary brilliance brought to life as the "Nelson Touch".