A review of “Levee En Masse”

A great military-based board game.


Maxwell Harris

This is a picture of “Levee En Masse” which is shown halfway through completion.

Maxwell Harris, Staff Writer

Ma“Levee En Masse” is a single player game about the French Revolution, which involves keeping Paris “In Order” and defending against various counter revolutionaries as long as possible without losing the game. 

There are a bunch of different mechanics and events that happen in the game that are based on actual history to make it a genuine challenge to beat. This is a very brief explanation of the game, so for more information, YouTuber Charles Cabell has a relatively good explanation, which can be found here.

John Welch, a teacher at Oakmont High School, teaches military history. He also happens to create board games as a hobby. The game I’m reviewing today is “Levee En Masse,” and it’s created by Mr. Welch.

I would like to start off by saying how well made the game is. “Levee En Masse” is an incredibly high quality game where each of its parts are in some way, smooth, durable, and even satisfying to use. It comes with a play board, a die, a guide manual, a manual to put your score, and a bunch of other small pieces. As I said before, all of these pieces are really high quality and will last you long enough to get your enjoyment out of the game. 

The one criticism I will give “Levee En Masse” is that it is a little bit on the pricey side for board games. It costs around $75, which is why I have to say that I think this game is great if you are into military-based board games or are into history in general.

With that out of the way, for $75, you get a game with a lot of content and replayability. The game has randomized events which gives it that edge against other games. You can play this game multiple times and have different things happen each time, which can either make a run easier or harder than the last. Ultimately there are only two endings to the game, so it is a little limited by that – but again I believe that the randomness of the actual game makes it well worth the tradeoff.

There are a lot of micromanaging things in the game which is what gives it some of its difficulty. Having to deal with all the counter-revolutionaries and how order can be lost in Paris can actually start to add up and become hard to deal with. The dice roll modifier (DRM) mechanic adds a unique challenge to the game that gives it even more randomness. I personally like it when your dice roll is affected in these types of games, so I thought it should be mentioned as a positive. 

The armies have unique ways and strategies of attacking you and advancing towards Paris. That is something I love because it is historically accurate which is just another reason this game is pretty cool. “Levee En Masse” can be played in a historically accurate way by changing the order of the event cards to be in order (1-2-3-etc.) which is nice if you like the history aspect of it.

So overall, my rating of this game is an 8.5/10 simply because of how interesting it was to play. The difficulty makes it fun and the randomized mechanics just make it better. The only thing to consider would be the price which is not that bad if you are into military-based games.

All in all, I would definitely recommend this game to those who like history or who just want to try a single player board game.

If you want to help out John Welch with the creation of his other board games check out the kickstarter where his games are supported here.