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Napoleon: The Waterloo Campaign, 1815» Forums » Variants

Subject: Possible change in victory conditions rss

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Lars Backstrom
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Since it is apparently quite difficult for the French two win a two-player game maybe the following addition to the victory conditions could be applied:

The French player wins a Marginal Victory if they manage to defeat either the Anglodutch or the Prussian army and occupying one or more supply centre while losing less than eight blocks themselves.

Historically a marginal victory would mean that without crippling losses to the French the Seventh Coalition is split and that the French can negotiate a peace treaty based on the status quo before Napoleon returned from Elba. The peace would not be stable and an Eighth Coalition would form against the French in the not too distant future.

This variant has not been playtested, but is based on historical victory conditions.
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Seth Owen
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LarsG wrote:
Since it is apparently quite difficult for the French two win a two-player game maybe the following addition to the victory conditions could be applied:

The French player wins a Marginal Victory if they manage to defeat either the Anglodutch or the Prussian army and occupying one or more supply centre while losing less than eight blocks themselves.

Historically a marginal victory would mean that without crippling losses to the French the Seventh Coalition is split and that the French can negotiate a peace treaty based on the status quo before Napoleon returned from Elba. The peace would not be stable and an Eighth Coalition would form against the French in the not too distant future.

This variant has not been playtested, but is based on historical victory conditions.


Yeah, I've come to the reluctant conclusion that our nice little game has a problem. The best fix would be a rules fix because it would require the least changes. I think part of the problem resides in the new counter mix, which weakens the French too much. But at this stage that would be hard to adjust.

I was thinking of something a little simpler to implement. The French can win if they defeat one army and hold at two supply points worth of cities. This way they could win by holding Brussels AND Ghent or by holding only Liege. Right now the French have no incentive at all to go after Liege. The Prussian army is stronger than the Anglo-Allied and you still don't win the game.

A second fix might be to give the French a once-per-game extra (third) group move. This would accentuate their forte (maneuverability), is a simple rule, and adds a strategy point to the game.
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Brian Berg Asklev Hansen
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Quote:
The French player wins a Marginal Victory if they manage to defeat either the Anglodutch or the Prussian army and occupying one or more supply centre while losing less than eight blocks themselves.


I like that suggestion, although I might fear it will promote a playing style where the French run for Ghent or Liege and just hunker down there after they take it.

I have introduced a house rule that gives all units of the French IG corps +1 on morale and forced march rolls. This gives the French a bit more stability and staying power with these units which feels historical/realistic. This helps the French but is not enough.
Perhaps an additional rule stating that the winner of a battle receives some replacement steps if the leader is present would be a good idea? (representing the fast return of stragglers to the side holding the field)

Brian
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Shayne Richards
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Yes before the release when they showed the order of battle sheets, I felt immediately that then French looked too weak. Has anyone tinkered with having the game as is but just increasing the strength of some of the French blocks by one step?
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Obsolete Man
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I've only played twice so I'm sure I don't "know" anything about the game... but all four plays I've watched have gone to the allies, and the basic situation looks quite dire. To whit, the French have to attack, both to win and before the clock runs out. However, the Allied player has 150% of the combat factors (block strength multiplied by firepower) of the French. So the French must attack and either destroy two armies or conquer two of three key positions (all of which are across the board from the French) in a short amount of time with a markedly inferior force.

I'm sure that French wins can be accomplished by "fool's mating" an opponent or by a veteran vastly outplaying a noob. The question is whether two opponents with a roughly similar level of skill (i.e. one may be clearly better than the other, but not vastly better) can allow for a French victory barring astonishing dice rolls.

It seems to me that there may indeed be a problem with that. If so, it would need to be solved in the rules, because everybody has put stickers on their blocks. My feeling is that the balance is actually pretty close, so a too radical change could tip it to the other side or necessitate the adoption of fairly dreary strategies. And I do think it should be hard for the French, who were defeated historically.

My thought agrees with a notion above, that there be an allowance for a single third activation. This might allow a credible flank threat toward a third objective city, or allow for an extra group of reinforcements to be made available for a crucial battle.
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Miguel [working on TENNISmind]
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Requete wrote:
It seems to me that there may indeed be a problem with that. If so, it would need to be solved in the rules, because everybody has put stickers on their blocks.

I wouldn't mind getting a small sheet with some modified French labels, if this is the way the designer finds to "fix" this...
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Shayne Richards
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V3 was pretty hard for the French too, the rationale behind this version was that the designer stated that he regretted making v3 with so many blocks and wanted to get it back toward v2. Can anyone with v2 experience comment a) was there the same issue on v2 and B) how close is this to v2?
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Peter Hutchinson
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Not sure I would want to see rules changes just yet. Maybe start by using the tournament bidding system for sides to see if that adequately addresses the, at least perceived play difference.
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Lars Backstrom
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Shaynerichards72 wrote:
Yes before the release when they showed the order of battle sheets, I felt immediately that then French looked too weak. Has anyone tinkered with having the game as is but just increasing the strength of some of the French blocks by one step?


Something that seems to be very much lacking is French superiority in artillery. The French is even somewhat weaker in artillery than the Allies.
 
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Obsolete Man
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LarsG wrote:
Shaynerichards72 wrote:
Yes before the release when they showed the order of battle sheets, I felt immediately that then French looked too weak. Has anyone tinkered with having the game as is but just increasing the strength of some of the French blocks by one step?


Something that seems to be very much lacking is French superiority in artillery. The French is even somewhat weaker in artillery than the Allies.


That is another interesting avenue for a rule change: French artillery is +1 FP when attacking. This would reduce the effective disparity of combat factors as long as the French stay on the offensive.

Just a thought.
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Thunder Wong
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I have played 7 games, 6 using the historical setup and 1 using the free delpoyment. I suggest that people should try to play free deployment first before further comments on play balance.
Hint: try not to destroy both British and Prussians; try instead to hold both Ghent and Brussels. Take Ghent first in a short time with a big force, then after the fall of the British, Brussels. You can't make it without taking the risk of a lot of force-marching.
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John Smales
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Really enjoying the discourse on this little gem and I respect the learned opinions of those who've played the game in all its guises over the years. For me,the challenge is for the French to win the game as written. It's important to note that Napoleon was at a disadvantage on many levels--his Hundred Days were up, and he was down to his last twenty four hours. I appreciate everyone's take on balance;however, I have won the historical game as the French and it can be done. The wind, and the dice, has to blow your way, and those muddy fields have to dry just in time for the cannon balls to bounce into Wellington's infantry and not get swallowed up in the mud. You'll also have to plan your retreats carefully if the roads are going to be your friends and not the corridors of death they can so easily become. Maneuver is key here and his mistress is fate--abstracted in this latest edition with some very elegant dice I might add. It's a great challenge to play the French in this game,and when I lose, it only takes five minutes to set Nappy up for another go around with his nemeses. I agree that it can be difficult for the French to meet these victory conditions, but shouldn't it be?
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Björn von Knorring
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At WBC, the game is played by bidding for sides. The bid is the amount of steps removed from your blocks. I don´t know how many points that people commonly bid but I assume it wouldn´t be played at WBC with severe balance problems.-)
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Minot
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Isn't bidding for the Allies even mentioned in the printed rules? I think that balances the game well enough.

It is definitely a case where the French have to win all or most of the battles, and even then are not guaranteed on overall win, but at the same, if the French player is arranging his forces properly (and the dice aren't being too cruel), that is possible to accomplish.

Ironically, in the games I've played, I generally have lost playing as the French when demoing to new players, but have won against my usual partners . . .
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