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Subject: Sell me on Bonaparte at Marengo rss

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Tom Hancock
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All signs point to this being a great game but I just can't bring myself to add it to the christmas wishlist. The components make your typical hex and counter wargame look like twilight imperium. A white map? I'm not picky about counters/blocks and how they look, but the map at least needs some color. Is there something I'm not getting here?

Can someone that has this game explain its virtues to the non-initiated?

Normally I'm not a stickler for production values, but when choosing between this and Fire In the Sky, I've gotta go with the beautiful simonitch map. Can anyone convince me why I should buy BaM?

Much Thanks!

Edit: Just read Jason Matthews review. This convinced me that the mechanics are good. Also noticed some images in the image file with a beautiful map. Image #145552 for example. Can someone fill me in on what the map differences are?
 
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Ivica Crljenica
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Nacka
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is not the map for B@M (you can see the notes "Antietam Creek" on the map, which rules out Marengo in Italy). This map is from Bloodiest Day.

If you want a nicer map for B@M you can use
which is available in the files section of the game entry,
 
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Seth Owen
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The map in the box is nice as well, it's just in a rather minimalist style. I believe that the designer chose a very understated map so as to make the game pieces stand out more.
The point of the design is to achieve a "period" feel, so 21st Century Photoshop graphics would be completely out of place. Instead there's a nice mounted mapboard and wooden block pieces.
The look sets the scene, but the game plays elegantly as well. It's really pretty simple, but it's so novel that some players find it takes some getting used to. I would say that having hex-and-counter wargame experience is no help at all for learning this game. It's quite original.
 
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Tom Hancock
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Now I feel stupid for not paying more attention to the civil war map. Thanks for your comments Seth. I'm thinking I'll play it before I'll buy at this point. That might take a while.
 
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Mark Buetow
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Move! Advance! Fire! Rout! Recover! Artillery Denied! Artillery Request! Command Confusion...say what?!
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Have you ever seen a real battle map from the Napoleonic era? It's white. It has little red and blue lines showing where troops are.

That's what BaM shows. The game's designer calls it "the Look." And it is. I've seen the "improved" maps but I don't like them. I like the map that came with the box.

BaM and Fire in the Sky are two completely different games. BaM is a maneuvering, tactical game; FitS is a large scale WWI front game.

Get BaM if you like the tactical challenges of Napoleonic warfare.

Get FitS if you want to relive the Pacific theater of WWII. Get both if you like both.

I can't seem to play enough BaM. Had a big games weekend and played several games and tried to teach it. Lots of fun. I'm always left with lots to think about. What to be done different? How to improve.

 
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Joseph Noll
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Tom,

I own a copy of this game. I've not played it yet, but if you want to give it a try email me.

Joe,
Morgantown, WV
 
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Mark Christopher
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In the wonderful game, Bonaparte at Marengo, this is how to get nasty Frenchies out of a village.
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hancock.tom wrote:
Edit: Just read Jason Matthews review. This convinced me that the mechanics are good. Also noticed some images in the image file with a beautiful map. Image #145552 for example. Can someone fill me in on what the map differences are?


That's a map from an American Civil War game. The poster of those particular pics will have to fill us in on the details as to how they adapted BaM to it.

Having read Jason's review, do you have any questions on the gameplay? As others have noted, "the look" of the game was intentional, to reflect the look of battlefield maps of the time.
 
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Tom Hancock
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Mystery of Bonaparte at Antietam solved:

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/127507
 
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castiglione
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Doesn't the map for the game have certain "combat factors" written directly on the map for each area?

I'd imagine that a colorful map would, in addition to being a-periodic, would also make those factors difficult to read.
 
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Todd Pytel
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castiglione wrote:
Doesn't the map for the game have certain "combat factors" written directly on the map for each area?

I'd imagine that a colorful map would, in addition to being a-periodic, would also make those factors difficult to read.

Well, the "combat factors" (offensive penalties, mostly) are actually kind of difficult to read because they're printed in light gray. However, after some minimal experience with the game (say, 2-3 plays max) you don't need them. The combat factors are based entirely on the terrain, and are completely predictable if you think about what the game is modelling. For example, cavalry take a penalty attacking across a river. Well, of course they do - the horsies lose their mobility benefit if they have to slog across the water. That's one of the really beautiful elements of this game - scanning the map looking for plays doesn't feel "gamey," it just feels like you're reading a map and drawing simple conclusions. It's all part of "The Look" that the designer was after.
 
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