Also starting on Sunday evening, BBC One’s start-of-the-year drama big gun is a new version of War And Peace, adapted by Andrew Davies and starring, oh, everybody really.
The early 19th century is a popular spot for gaming, especially the British Regency era due to the options of Napoleonic action and Austenish drama, but Russia has the advantage of bigger upheavals for those looking for epic scope. War And Peace pretty much defines epic scope, as the title implies and the wordcount demonstrates.
The closest I’ve gotten myself as a quick visit to the Year Without A Summer to drop in on Mary Shelley et al for an episode of The Door In Time, but the opportunity to get involved in huge land and sea battles, meet with royalty and get into all kinds of trouble could certainly be fun.
Adding a fantastic element like Jonathan Strange And Mr. Norrell, or the odd airship or brooding Promethean, could make it that bit more gamer-friendly, but there’s plenty to do in something like Sharpe already. (And that way lies Pride And Prejudice And Zombies, and no-one wants that.)
There are RPGs, wargames and card games for battlefields and drawing rooms, and some that can cover both. And when in doubt, grab the relevant GURPS book. Which in this case has an extra gazetteer section free online.