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Napoleon in Europe» Forums » Sessions

Subject: 1802 Scenario, CTG NIE version 1.8 rss

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Alan Richbourg
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We hadn't played a face to face Empire (A-Historical) game in many years, so there were MANY changes that needed to be play tested. Bravely we set out to do so with 2 players entirely new to NIE, and with 2 having experience in just one prior session. I taught for the day, and we played this short game at the best game store in Dallas/Fort Worth: Madness Comics in Plano (another first). The session was a complete success, with a good time had by all. Many of the hundred or so people in the store dropped by to watch for a while, so we also picked up several potential new players.


It went something like this: After a slow start, we got ‘poker style’ bidding under way, resulting in the following players/nations/bids: Pat/France/20, Matthew/Britain/5, Jonathan/Austria/6, Jay/Russia/0. Before the first turn we took 10 minutes for “diplomacy and planning” – deals were made, boundaries discussed, and conquests were planned – I’m glad we did it! We should do that before all Empire games. Next followed the traditional ceremonial annexing of minor nations. France started in April 1802 with Baden/Wurtt, Britain grabbed Naples and Sicily (after evacuating Egypt), Austria moved into Bavaria and Thuringia, and Russia annexed Finland.


Since war could not be declared until August 1802, annexations continued, with France and Austria splitting Germany, France taking the Papal States, Britain marching back and force across North Africa and eventually recruiting Portugal, and Russia carving through Sweden and across the straits to Denmark, scuttling the Scandinavian fleets. France began constructing a naval squadron in Toulon, Britain built an admiral, Austria invested in political action points, while Russia mobilized cavalry and artillery on the Ottoman border. War erupted in August, with Russia and Austria launching invasions of the Ottoman Empire.


Russia was temporarily distracted by a Cossack uprising and by rumors of an Ottoman landing in Crimea. Pat commanded the Ottomans in successful delaying actions, but Archduke Charles forced a battle in Constantinople that the Ottomans could not win. At the peace conference, Russia gained Moldavia, Wallachia, and Bulgaria. Austria liberated or annexed the rest of the Balkans, except for Greece. The western nations grew concerned about the success of the eastern alliance. Pat’s solution was to force march Napoleon’s finest troops across the Pyrenees, after declaring war on hapless Spain. In a surprise move, Britain declared war on France after concluding a formal alliance with Spain. Nelson led a very successful raid on the French fleet in Brest, destroying 2 French squadrons before retreating with prize ships to Plymouth. A large Portuguese/British army reinforced the Spaniards in Madrid before Napoleon arrived. An epic battle ensued between the elite French forces and the larger but lower quality Spanish/Portuguese/British army. The battle came down to 1 artillery remaining on each side! By pure luck, the French artillery found its mark first, routing the Spanish and British from the field. It was too great a loss for the British government; Britain sued for peace, soon followed by Spain due to the loss of Madrid. France annexed (I think) Tuscany, Algiers, Sicily, Naples, Gibraltar, and Portugal as the price for peace – a heavy price indeed! Britain returned her forces to Ireland to suppress an uprising there. Austria, having failed twice to stir up an uprising in Saxony, finally annexed it. Russia recalled its Mediterranean squadron and was moving to annex Norway when the game ended at the close of November, 1802. Winter had arrived.

Jay won as Russia, although if we'd completed one more round, his father Pat would have won with France. Austria and Russia were very close to France, so any of those three could have come out on top. Several rules and issues were clarified, so it was successful both as a fun, competitive, learning game and as a play test. We realized it would be better to have 5 players, so Prussia would be a player nation.
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Do you agree that the player (the nation) who does well in capturing the minor nations has the advantage or another words the key to success
or this comment is not accurate ?

I am trying to understand one other thing:
can one player`s military talent and strategy experience be considered advantages over others or this is just a luck of the dice game ?

 
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Alan Richbourg
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In the style of game we played in this session (Empire), except for Britain, victory depends on how many regions your nation controls. So almost by definition, the nations that do well in recruiting or annexing minor nations do well overall in the game. It is also important sometimes to suppress uprisings, protect your capital, maintain a strong navy, etc.

The CTG version, at least, is definitely not at all just a luck of the dice game. Understanding the probabilities of dice rolls is very important though, and must be considered to play well. I don't have space to explain it here, but the interactions of rules and how you negotiate with other players can run very deep, although that's not obvious to most people in their first game. One thing I know from over a decade of playing this: the better player will win 90% of the time, regardless of which side or which scenario is being played.
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Alan Richbourg
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ageofconan wrote:
Do you agree that the player (the nation) who does well in capturing the minor nations has the advantage or another words the key to success or this comment is not accurate ?

Perhaps I should mention that in the other type of NIE games, ("Team" in the CTG rules), capturing minor nations is not very important. So you can have it whichever way you prefer.
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