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Subject: 1st Napoleon game rss

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William Barnett-Lewis
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Ok, so I've been pushing cardboard for way too many years, starting with my cousin needing a newbie to beat at Gettysburg. Since then I've tended to to tactical with only rarely getting into operation & not caring one whit for strategic games.

I've played a lot of Squad Leader, Panzer Leader, and more recently all three ASLSK's, Panzer Grenadier: The East Front & Ancient Battles Deluxe. But over all these years I've not tried anything in the Napoleonic era.

Given my tastes towards things tactical, I've been eying Napoleon's Last Battles as a possible compromise solution. Still trends way to high on the operational scale for my tastes & a brigade is rather large platoon equivalent

Anyone got any better ideas or is this one to scrounge a copy and give a try to see if Ney can get it right this time devil ?

Thanks,

William
 
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Seth Owen
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wlewisiii wrote:
Ok, so I've been pushing cardboard for way too many years, starting with my cousin needing a newbie to beat at Gettysburg. Since then I've tended to to tactical with only rarely getting into operation & not caring one whit for strategic games.

I've played a lot of Squad Leader, Panzer Leader, and more recently all three ASLSK's, Panzer Grenadier: The East Front & Ancient Battles Deluxe. But over all these years I've not tried anything in the Napoleonic era.

Given my tastes towards things tactical, I've been eying Napoleon's Last Battles as a possible compromise solution. Still trends way to high on the operational scale for my tastes & a brigade is rather large platoon equivalent

Anyone got any better ideas or is this one to scrounge a copy and give a try to see if Ney can get it right this time devil ?

Thanks,

William


Well tactics really operated well above the platoon level in Napoleonic warfare anyway. The smallest independently operating unit tended to be a battalion. Companies were used for formation purposes but rarely operated detached and platoons were a unit for firing purposes.

You could look at a miniatures-like game.
 
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Kent Reuber
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I don't know much about tactical Napoleonic games. Here are a couple of black powder tactical games that I know of:

American Revolution (just published by GMT): Flintlock: Black Powder, Cold Steel - Volume I: Carolina Rebels
American Civil War: Rebel Yell
American Civil War: Battles & Leaders

 
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David G. Cox Esq.
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Try Napoleon's Last Battles. It has both tactical and operational elements. It also has four quite different scenarios and a full campaign game. Good variety and not excessively complex.
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William Barnett-Lewis
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YoungGrognard wrote:
Get Napoleon at Leipzig, it's very similar, but much easier to get your hands on.


That looks interesting. I'll look into it in more detail.

I should mention that I am well aware of how a company was the functional equivalent of the fire team and so forth changing the nature of just what level is "tactical" as opposed to operational. I could, easily enough, find a copy of Command magazine #11 for Hougoumont and have ASL ala 1815. However, I'd rather somehthing a bit "more" than that which is what caught my eye about Napoleon's Last Battles - and I note that the Leipzig game is based on that same system. I've also noted the Four Lost Battles as well.

Thanks all, I appreciate all ideas.

William
 
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Pete Belli
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Quote:
Try Napoleon's Last Battles. It has both tactical and operational elements. It also has four quite different scenarios and a full campaign game. Good variety and not excessively complex.


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Oh my God They Banned Kenny
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wlewisiii wrote:
...Given my tastes towards things tactical, I've been eying Napoleon's Last Battles as a possible compromise solution. Still trends way to high on the operational scale for my tastes & a brigade is rather large platoon equivalent

Anyone got any better ideas or is this one to scrounge a copy and give a try to see if Ney can get it right this time devil ?

Thanks,

William


You might want to check out Wellington's Victory (Waterloo) or its 'little brother' Ney vs. Wellington (Quatre Bras).
 
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Elwyn Darden
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I think you are seeking the La Bataille experience. Regiments on occasion, but usually batallions, with companies for units that were most effective at that level. La Bataille des Quatre Bras seems to be the most popular title, though it is one big meeting engagement and I find the learning curve to be steepest for meeting engagements.

La Bataille d'Orthez has enough scenarios and variety to be a good intro to the system. It also has the advantage for beginners that there is enough cavalry to get a feel for that arm, but not enough to dominate the game (terrain also limits cavalry's role). Once you climb the first learning curve to learn the system, the next steep climb comes when you try to learn to use cavalry effectively.

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Jason Roach
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YoungGrognard wrote:
wlewisiii wrote:
YoungGrognard wrote:
Get Napoleon at Leipzig, it's very similar, but much easier to get your hands on.


That looks interesting. I'll look into it in more detail.

I should mention that I am well aware of how a company was the functional equivalent of the fire team and so forth changing the nature of just what level is "tactical" as opposed to operational. I could, easily enough, find a copy of Command magazine #11 for Hougoumont and have ASL ala 1815. However, I'd rather somehthing a bit "more" than that which is what caught my eye about Napoleon's Last Battles - and I note that the Leipzig game is based on that same system. I've also noted the Four Lost Battles as well.

Thanks all, I appreciate all ideas.

William


Four Lost Battles kind of builds on Napoleon at Leipzig, and adds cards that determine your forces' movement allowance and also random events. While the cards (and battles) are really cool, I think the basic NLB or NAL system would be a better place to start. Napoleon At Leipzig has the advantage over the other two of still being in print.



Yes, 4LB is a NLB based system. NLB is considerd "Grand Tactical", so it may in fact give you what you need.

As to the cards and movement, well actually the cards tend to limit movement based on a condition/event that is related to the card itself. What happened was that OSG printed 4/6 on cards all that did not restrict movement as a reminder of "Standard" movement; however this gives the impression that cards actually drive it and this is not the case. In retrospect, only the movement that was less than normal should have been printed on the cards. In any event, if you see 4/6 on the cards, just use what it printed on the counters.


-Jason
 
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Rick Goudeau
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I'll second the recommendations for Napoleon's Last Battles and Napoleon at Leipzig a fine system.

I've enjoyed the Napoleonic_Brigade_Series# However, it doesn't get much love as its progenitor the Civil War Brigade Series.
The system does capture some of the interplay between infantry, artillery and cavalry. It also models the use of skirmishers explicitly. Talavera is it most recent edition, I haven't tried it yet. I've played the older ones, but I do use the most recent rules with them and particularly enjoyed Marengo
 
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You may be interested in Battles of Napoleon: The Eagle and the Lion which I think fits the requirements.
 
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Steven Bucey
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You might also consider the Triumph & Glory: Battles of the Napoleonic Wars 1796-1809 and Borodino: Battle of the Moskova, 1812 games published by GMT.


 
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Dan Owsen
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edarden wrote:
I think you are seeking the La Bataille experience. Regiments on occasion, but usually batallions, with companies for units that were most effective at that level. La Bataille des Quatre Bras seems to be the most popular title, though it is one big meeting engagement and I find the learning curve to be steepest for meeting engagements.

La Bataille d'Orthez has enough scenarios and variety to be a good intro to the system. It also has the advantage for beginners that there is enough cavalry to get a feel for that arm, but not enough to dominate the game (terrain also limits cavalry's role). Once you climb the first learning curve to learn the system, the next steep climb comes when you try to learn to use cavalry effectively.



I'd second this recommendation. I like the same kind of tactical games the OOP does (ASL, Panzer Grenadier, etc), and I think La Bataille gets as tactical as you can in Napoleonics. I also think La Bataille des Quatre Bras is one of the best because you do have maneuver possibilities. The new rule set, which I playtested a bit of, has a smoother Melee system and makes the game play a little quicker. Not sure when that will be available though.
 
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Eric Feifer
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You could try Napoleon at Waterloo. That's a free print-n-play game that is similar to NLB.

http://www.alanemrich.com/PGD/Week_03/PGD_NAW_rules.htm
 
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Barry Kendall
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If it's a tactical experience you want, but you're new to Napoleonics, consider "The Eagle and the Lion" which will be coming in 2009.

There is also a rumor from a reliable source that a Napoleonic version of Richard Borg's "Commands & Colors" system will appear in 2009.

Available now, and not mentioned in this thread, is "Napoleon's Triumph" from Simmons Games.

"Manoeuvre" from GMT offers a fairly tactical look at Napoleonic warfare with national-army characteristics on generic terrain and is an entertaining game.

"Vive l'Empereur" if you can find a copy gives a tactical "feel" to Napoleonic battles, particularly with the rules update available via the BGG entry link.

Keep in mind that there is a fundamental difference between "tactical" fighting in the 20th century and in the Napoleonic era. Individual squads maneuver much more in modern-era fighting than they did in the Napoleonic period, where breaking a battalion down greatly increased the risk of dissolution in action.

Companies of a Napoleonic line battalion were almost always held together. In some armies the Grenadier company was at times detached to form converged "Grenadier Battalions" with Grenadier companies from other battalions; armies with battalion Light Companies might do the same, but generally used the battalion light company as skirmishers to the front of their own battalion (the Grenadier company was often held in reserve as a skirmish or battalion reserve).

Cavalry in battle, as opposed to performing screening, scouting or foraging operations, was held together in squadrons (usually two to four to a cavalry regiment). These squadrons were committed in a manner similar to the commitment of infantry battalions and generally maneuvered, fought and reformed as a group.

The interesting problem in Napoleonics at the battle level is orchestrating Infantry, Cavalry and Artillery to employ each arm optimally--very much a rock/scissors/paper balancing act, as each arm has specific strengths and vulnerabilities. Add in Command, terrain, and national-army characteristics and you have a gaming challenge that's rather unique to this era.

It's possible that Napoleonic miniatures will "scratch your itch" better than a boardgame. Bear in mind that you don't need miniatures to play miniatures rules. Buy some picture framing matting in national colors (different shades for Light or Heavy Cavalry, for instance) and cut them to the base sizes prescribed in a given set of miniatures rules, put some shapes on them with a Sharpie to represent troops, and you've got miniatures-rules armies to play with.

Lots to think about.

The "Clash of Arms Games" "La Battaille" series has very detailed Napoleonic boardgame rules which may or may not suit your desired level of complexity--can't really tell from your original question. If you're curious about this series, take a look at "La Battaile d'Espagnol-Talavera" or "Albuera" before trying to tackle their larger Napoleonic games such as "Ligny."

Even these games depict units at the battalion/battery/regiment level with some representation of elite companies, but they feel quite "tactical."

Another one to consider is the new "Spanish Eagles" from Compass Games which includes detailed area-topographical maps and the battles of Talavera and Albuera, but the unit scale is larger--mostly regiments and (infantry) divisions with arty batteries. Even so there's still a considerable tactical "feel."
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William Barnett-Lewis
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Thanks for the ideas folks. I have a funny feeling that Nobleknight is going to be sending some of you "thank you" cards...

I don't really have any interest in lead pushing but aside from that I'm thinking that, depending on my budget I'll print out Montebello while looking for copies of La Bataille des Quatre Bras and Napoleon's Last Battles.

I appreciate the thought put into the answers to my question. Thank you again.

Now to find a good history book or three on the era & then re-read the Sharpe searies again devil

William
 
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William Barnett-Lewis
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Although you might have mentioned the need to kill a tree to print out everything needed for that "free" copy of Montebello surprise

More seriously, looks to be a decent game & the rules seem reasonably well written. Then again, I enjoy reading the ASL rule book devil

Thanks again,

William
 
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William Barnett-Lewis
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I've been reading the NBS 3 rule and so far, I really like what I'm reading. I like their orders idea while remaining at a small enough scale to be concerned with formations, skirmishers and the like. The fact that I like the idea of covering the less well known Peninsular War battles and that Talavera is really quite cheap doesn't hurt, either. Seems to have a good deal of web support too which is a huge plus to me. OTOH, much is OOP & knowing MMP (see ASL above yuk ) that is a pretty big minus.

In my copious amounts of free time before the end of the year, I'll get the bits for Montebello set up and see if it plays as well as it reads.

 
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D T P
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I would go with Napoleons Last Battles. It is a good game. Good leader rules make it well suited for solitare play. It sets up and plays fast. And you won't have any trouble finding it since it is still being sold by Decision Games.
 
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William Barnett-Lewis
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It's still got my attention, though I've been chomping happily away at the PnP Montebello game. I've got a bad vibe (well, at least as far as my wallet is concerned devil ) that I'm going to be buying copies of both Napoleon's Last Battles and Talavera.

 
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