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Field Commander: Napoleon» Forums » General

Subject: What am I missing? Game just seems to be a form of Pac Man... rss

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Dan Mixer
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What am I missing about this game? Read some glowing reviews, bought the game and... meh..

Game seems to be just a form of Pac Man. Keep a big stack of French troops together, move around the map and vacuum up the enemy stacks as they randomly scatter.

Battles are ...ok... but the low activation number on the enemy troops usually means they sit there slack jawed as the French Cav runs them down. The only 'fun' I seem to have is when the die rolls are really really bad for me and I have to try and fill gaps in the lines... but even then.. meh...

What am I missing? What makes this game so great for you?
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Uwe Heilmann
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Hi from Germany,

you ask "What you are missing?"

Perhaps a lot, but how to know that?

Suggestion: Take the 1805 Austerlitz campaign and just describe what your first move would be.

Maybe a lot of things might become clearer then.


Cheers
U.L.H.

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Moe45673
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How many campaigns have you played? The first campaign is pretty basic. The second one is brutal!
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Martí Cabré

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The scenarios are quite difficult to win. Time is really tight and losing a single battle may mean losing the scenario. Also battles themselves are not easy to win and supply is always short.

Maybe you can describe how are you playing?
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Peter Kossits
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I have a feeling you're getting some rules wrong.

There's no way you can win this game by having a huge French death star stack vacuuming stuff. You definitely have to split your forces, even in the first scenario, and how you do that is one of the big decisions you have make properly to have any chance at winning.

Enemy units just sitting there due to their low activation number also sounds wrong. In any decent sized fight, most of the enemy units will get automatic actions and if they're in the correct formation (column if moving, line if firing) they don't have to roll their activation.
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Ludobits
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I also suspect that the OP might have played at first with some rules wrong (I have found that it is a very easy thing to do), or have formed his judgment after a few plays of the 1796 campaign. A little more details could be helpful.

I couldn’t help laughing at the Pac Man analogy, though. In part because I have played through at least one “Pac Man” style campaign (1800), where I was admittedly very lucky with the dice, and have basically kept a large pile of French troops “vacuuming” scattered enemy forces off the map, mostly without fighting -- by mere envelopment. Surprisingly boring, especially after the cut-throat, unforgiving, quite enjoyable and very satisfying 1798 campaign. And I agree that 1805 can hardly be played right and give a Pac Man feel.

On a high-level view, that a cardboard AI could so consistently yield such tense moments, unpredictable outcomes and exciting endings, has to be an achievement in itself. I guess in such an abstract solitaire system, from time to time a game will turn up being below expectations. How often, that remains to be seen in my case (I have played under 20 games so far).

I think that one must be willing to accept the predominant role of randomness in that game; in fact, I find that it is a large part of the source of its brilliance: the manner in which raw randomness is finely calibrated, modulated and distributed through the mechanics, in such ways as to almost completely hide itself, thus giving the human player meaningful decisions to make and the feel of facing a human opponent.

That would be the main reason why this game is to me a fine piece of design.
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Ryan
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You know, I've been a big fan of DVG, especially the Leader Series. I've stayed away from all the Field Commander games even this one with all the support it gets, because I've not been terribly interested in the settings (though I have pre-ordered Fleet Commander: Nimitz because of my strong interest in the setting). However, I keep hearing comments like those above me and I can't help but feel an urge to buy this game.
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Moe45673
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I've only played TAL from the Leader series and there is no question that it is the noticeably deeper, better, and more satisfying game. However, for a game that is much less fiddly, much less brain-burny, and plays in a much more reasonable time frame, FC:N should not be as good as it is. DVG should be proud of their output.
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Dan Mixer
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When I get a chance I will set this game up again and keep a log of the action. Maybe there is something I'm missing....

Just got RAF in the mail, so my limited free time is spoken for for a while, but FC: Nappy will be next on my list.

Thanks for all the responses and defense of the game.
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Ryan
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Icedanno wrote:
Just got RAF in the mail, so my limited free time is spoken for for a while, but FC: Nappy will be next on my list.


I just got RAF: The Battle of Britain 1940 in the mail too!
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