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Subject: Questions about getting Epic (Courier rack, map size) rss

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Sam Smith
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Newport Pagnell
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I'm really enjoying this recent acquisition and thinking of getting the Epic expansion (and the Marshall/Tacticians), which realistically would mainly just be for larger 1 vs 1 or solo EPIC battles (probably not Grande Battle). I hope someone can help with a couple of questions to help me decide.

There isn't a huge amount over on the specific page for the expansion and what I can't quite grasp fully is how the Courier Orders rack impacts on game-play in practice. I get that if you play with subordinates then they may not implement the CinC order in quite the way intended (especially if you play 'no conferring allowed'). What I don't quite get is the game-play effects of the Courier rack being visible and shared by both sides. For example does it mean you are preemptively taking cards that would be good for the enemy as a spoiler; or basing your card-play in turn x on the hope you can take a particular courier card on turn x+1? That would seem to add something more to think about, but doesn't seem to be modelling anything historical about how battles worked (which the courier to subordinate part of the mechanism does).

I did also wonder - for 1 vs 1 play - can you not just play larger EPIC battles with 2 standard sized maps side to side? (several acquaintances have the base game). That would be a 9 x 26 hex play area, which is perhaps not so far off EPIC's 11 x 20 that you couldn't tweak the map to fit? And 2 copies of the standard game would give you enough blocks, presumably (it seems to be the case that EPIC gives you a few extra blocks to allow the bigger battles). Would you even really need Marshalls/Tacticains cards to do this? Or are there other rules/terrain in the EPIC box that are essential.

Thanks

 
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Kent Reuber
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San Mateo
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samwise46 wrote:
There isn't a huge amount over on the specific page for the expansion and what I can't quite grasp fully is how the Courier Orders rack impacts on game-play in practice. I get that if you play with subordinates then they may not implement the CinC order in quite the way intended (especially if you play 'no conferring allowed'). What I don't quite get is the game-play effects of the Courier rack being visible and shared by both sides. For example does it mean you are preemptively taking cards that would be good for the enemy as a spoiler; or basing your card-play in turn x on the hope you can take a particular courier card on turn x+1? That would seem to add something more to think about, but doesn't seem to be modelling anything historical about how battles worked (which the courier to subordinate part of the mechanism does).


The time we most recently played, there wasn't a lot of looking forward to the next turn, it was just a matter of "what do we need now". There are some easy cases, for example, if you have an Assault Left and Probe Left in the courier rack, it's better to take the Assault card both for your use and to deny it to the opponent. Some of the tactics cards might require some set up, so it's possible that you might wait a turn in hopes that it will still be there. Some of that is based on what else is available.

samwise46 wrote:
I did also wonder - for 1 vs 1 play - can you not just play larger EPIC battles with 2 standard sized maps side to side? (several acquaintances have the base game). That would be a 9 x 26 hex play area, which is perhaps not so far off EPIC's 11 x 20 that you couldn't tweak the map to fit? And 2 copies of the standard game would give you enough blocks, presumably (it seems to be the case that EPIC gives you a few extra blocks to allow the bigger battles). Would you even really need Marshalls/Tacticains cards to do this? Or are there other rules/terrain in the EPIC box that are essential.


There are a few scenarios, e.g., Salamanca in the base game, where there are scenarios for the "French Left" and the "French Right" that could be stitched together. You could play with the standard deck, use the rules for the courier rack, or you could play a 2 vs. 2 game with two decks where each player commands his own 3 sections.
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Mark McG
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samwise46 wrote:
What I don't quite get is the game-play effects of the Courier rack being visible and shared by both sides. For example does it mean you are preemptively taking cards that would be good for the enemy as a spoiler; or basing your card-play in turn x on the hope you can take a particular courier card on turn x+1? That would seem to add something more to think about, but doesn't seem to be modelling anything historical about how battles worked (which the courier to subordinate part of the mechanism does).


The Courier rack does give you the chance to play rack cards just as spoilers, and happens pretty regularly. If it reflects anything historical, it is the need to get in the first charge, even if you aren't entirely ready.

samwise46 wrote:
I did also wonder - for 1 vs 1 play - can you not just play larger EPIC battles with 2 standard sized maps side to side? (several acquaintances have the base game). That would be a 9 x 26 hex play area, which is perhaps not so far off EPIC's 11 x 20 that you couldn't tweak the map to fit?


Definitely, and before EPIC was released there were various fan versions of scenarios using 9x26 maps divided into 3 sections.
Looks like the rules have been taken down, but definitely possible.
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Sam Smith
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Newport Pagnell
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Thank you very much Chaps, most helpful to have this confirmed. I think I will therefore have a go at some DIY 2 map big battles with the courier rack rule, before possibly moving on to the official expansion later as a treat. And I hadn't thought that you could just link some of the scenarios that depict the left and right or whatever of the same battle - neat.

I think I was probably over-analysing what the courier rack represents. As you say, it could if you like be seen as spoiling attacks or the importance of seizing the initiative. But thinking about it I guess that more prosaically it's just a way of being able to order 2 sectors per turn without requiring the management of 2 hands per side (and loads of cards).
 
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