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Subject: Recommendation in Napoleon 20 series rss

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Paul Martz
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I am looking to round out an order I am about to put in with Victory Point Games. Any Recommendations for a Napoleon 20 series game that is NOT in Fading Glory?

BTW the other games I am getting are Nemo's War and Paul Koenig's D-Day The American Beaches.

edit: spelling
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ICONOCLAST

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FYI GMT is planning Rising Glory, so if you plan to get the GMT edition you'll want to avoid those titles also.
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Lance Runolfsson
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Bussaco is pretty balanced

Dresden was pretty good

avoid Grossberen really stupid reinforcement rules and impossible for the French to win
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Lance McMillan
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My two favorites in the series are 'Austerlitz 20' and 'Katzbach 20.' Since the former is scheduled to appear in "Rising Glory" that would leave 'Katzbach 20' as the obvious choice.
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Paul Martz
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Thanks to everyone who responded!

One more question, are the expansions other than Smolensk 20 for Borodino 20 included in Fading Glory?
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Michael McCalpin
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Peso Pete wrote:
LanceRunolfsson wrote:
avoid Grossberen really stupid reinforcement rules and impossible for the French to win


Do not concur. Actually, based on my experience with the game, Grossbeeren is one of the best games in the series in terms of play balance. It is not impossible at all to win with the French.

Gentlemen, may I direct you to: [http://www.vassalengine.org/wiki/Module:Grossbeeren_20]

We will be looking forward to your AAR.
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Steve Carey
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Fuentes de Oñoro 20 is one of the best.
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Lance Runolfsson
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Peso Pete wrote:
LanceRunolfsson wrote:
avoid Grossberen really stupid reinforcement rules and impossible for the French to win


Do not concur. Actually, based on my experience with the game, Grossbeeren is one of the best games in the series in terms of play balance. It is not impossible at all to win with the French.


Just my spin after playing it with 3 different guys multiple times. So I guess we got our moneys worth in play time. Is your allied opponent incompetent to the point of being suicidal? You did get the part about how the French are on the offensive, outclassed in unit quality and out numbered? :^)
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Steve Carey
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My 3 plays of G20 resulted in 3 Draws.

Luck can play a significant role in this game, so results may vary widely.
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Here the truceless armies yet / Trample, rolled in blood and sweat; / They kill and kill and never die; / And I think that each is I. // None will part us, none undo / The knot that makes one flesh of two, /
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Lancer4321 wrote:
My two favorites in the series are 'Austerlitz 20' and 'Katzbach 20.' Since the former is scheduled to appear in "Rising Glory" that would leave 'Katzbach 20' as the obvious choice.


Yes, I was surprised at how well Austerlitz 20 played, given that it can be a difficult battle to simulate (Napoleon set a trap for the Russians & Austrians, so it's hard to make them be as careless in games as they were in real life.) The inverted counters plus the dummy counters help a lot, and I also recommend using the expansion game rules that feature the combat table matrix, where each side chooses a battle tactic counter and then reveals their choice simultaneously, and then applies the result to the combat table before the die is rolled.
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Lance McMillan
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Peso Pete wrote:
Since there are so few counters on the board, luck will be a factor (although rarely the determining factor).


To some extent this is true of any game in the series -- remember, the "20" in the title denotes the fact that the games (generally) have less than a total of 20 units on the map from both sides. However, I acknowledge that in some of the smaller battles (Grossbeeren/Denewitz and Katzbach/Gorlitz being examples of these) the luck factor does tend to feel a bit pronounced, but experienced veterans of the series will adjust their style of play to compensate for and mitigate against this. It's also worth noting that luck cuts both ways: I've seen plenty of games where one side suffers a bad turn and it looks as if they've no chance, only to have the situation reverse itself a few turns later when the opposition draws an unfortunate event or rolls poorly on the CRT.
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Steve Carey
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I've played a lot of N20, and can count on one hand the number of times where I've felt that luck was the determining factor.

That's the beauty of the system, it does so many things so well with so much less.
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Randall Shaw
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"That's the beauty of the system, it does so many things so well with so much less."

Amen, Brother. I wish there was a 'x10 Thumbs' button for this.
 
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Peter Collins
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I like Jena 20.

Have only played it solitaire, but found it challenging. It's difficult to repeat history as the French side, I think, since a savvy Prussian player will avoid mistakes. Still you can say that about most any wargame, I guess.

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Peter Collins
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Peso Pete wrote:
If there is a Nap20 game that I did not care for, it would be Aspern-Essling from the Danube 20 boxed set. In the games I played, the French spend more time and morale points dealing with the pontoon bridges than they do dealing with the Austrians!


That sounds about right!
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David McKenna
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For some reason, and of the ones not previously mentioned, I'm kinda drawn to Vittoria 20
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Lance McMillan
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Peso Pete wrote:
If there is a Nap20 game that I did not care for, it would be Aspern-Essling from the Danube 20 boxed set. In the games I played, the French spend more time and morale points dealing with the pontoon bridges than they do dealing with the Austrians!


Getting Aspern-Essling "right" was probably one of the toughest bits of development work I've had to do in this series, and it's for just the reason you cite. Every account I read about the battle made it clear (to me) that the "battle of the bridges" was really what decided the outcome of the engagement, not the actual fighting on the field. I agree that it can be frustrating, and that the French spend more time worrying about the damned bridge than they do about the Austrians, but that was the historical reality of the battle. Remember, nearly a third of the French force never makes it into the fight because they were stuck on the far shore, waiting for the engineers to restore the bridges.

Napoleon lost at Aspern-Essling not because his troops couldn't deliver, or due to anything Charles and the Austrians did, but because his entire plan was predicated on a single (almost jury-rigged) span across a major river in full flood remaining intact throughout the operation. It was, at best, wishful thinking -- at worst it was a combination of extreme hubris and blatant incompetence.

To get an idea of what I'm talking about, try playing the game without any of the bridge-crossing rules and their associated events. The French have more strength, and that strength is more concentrated. Breaking out of the bridgehead is relatively easy *IF* they can keep their forces flowing across the Danube -- and without the bridges being the major issue they were historically, their forces will be able to cross without any difficulty. It's nearly impossible for them to lose the scenario if the bridges stay functional the entire time.

PeteyWA wrote:
II like Jena 20. Have only played it solitaire, but found it challenging. It's difficult to repeat history as the French side...


It's important to remember that 'Jena 20' was only the second game in the series, and that it was done before I came aboard as series developer. I feel a bit uncomfortable criticizing Alan Emrich's original design, but the research behind his game was flawed -- enough so that it only vaguely resembles the actual battle. In re-working the design for the 2nd edition version of the game that's to be included in the GMT "Rising Glory" quad-pack with Jack Gill, we completely overhauled the game with the specific goal of trying to make the game produce a more historically accurate narrative. The map is different; the OOBs for both sides are different; the event cards are different... Effectively, it's a completely new game.

The two biggest differences are in the starting set-up. First, the Prussians already start the game with an "Orderly Withdrawal" in progress (in the original design they could only do this if they drew the appropriate Event card). Second, Hohenloe's army starts out deployed in a thin extended screen around Jena, performing its actual function of acting as a rear guard watching for Napoleon's advancing forces, not poised to launch an immediate attack on Lannes' advance guard. These two adjustments, coupled with terrain changes to the middle of the map that make it much harder for the Prussians to defend in depth, produce a game that plays out much closer to the flow of the actual battle.

In many ways the focus of the game now becomes Davout's efforts to stall Brunswick's army from exiting the map to the north (which was the historical Prussian objective) long enough for Napoleon to acheive the destruction of Hohenloe's commmand (which commonly causes a Prussian morale collapse). But it has to be a carefully coordinated effort -- if Davout doesn't hold, exiting Brunswick's forces off the map can stabilize Prussian morale levels to undo Napoleon's best efforts, while if Napoleon takes too long to get his own offensive rolling against Hohenloe, Brunswick will have time to push Davout aside. It's a much more challenging situation (and compelling "story") than the original game, and far more historically accurate.
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Scott Muldoon (silentdibs)
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I think Albion 20 is underrated.
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Nicola Ciabatti
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I think you've cited nearly all the games in the series.
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Lance McMillan
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nickcia wrote:
I think you've cited nearly all the games in the series.


Nobody ever talks about 'Gzhatsk 20.' soblue
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David McKenna
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Hidden away in the expansion kit (and hiding being the door when vowels were given out)
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Lance McMillan
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dmcke013 wrote:
...hiding being the door when vowels were given out


I thought it lost something when they re-named the town Gagarin in '68.
 
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