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Subject: Napoleon's Triumph or Maria? Others? rss

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Jon W
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I'm not sure I'm going to get either (I certainly don't need a new game, but who does?), but I'm curious to hear from those who've played both Napoleon's Triumph and Maria. I'm interested in something a bit "different" (innovative?). I've always held off on Friedrich because of the 3+p requirement (I want 2p for sure, more is definitely a plus, so Maria gets a strong nod there). I monkeyed with Bonaparte at Marengo for a bit a few years ago, but it just didn't fit right with my gaming circumstances then. I should note I'm not really into the theme of either; I'm mostly interested because they both seem to have rich mechanisms.

I guess my biggest question is: how well do either of these play "casually" (that is, how hard are they to learn, and how many plays does it take before you can move past the rules and start playing)? For example, I think Paths of Glory fits nicely in this space: I can remember the rules quickly and get up to speed and feel like I'm playing without having to take a deep dive. Other questions: any reasonable shot at playing (schizophrenic) solitaire? How much does spatial reasoning factor in? They both appear to have hidden info and some bluffing, but how much luck is really involved?

And of course, any other games that fit these (very loose) criteria (something wargamey, unique, not too crazy heavy)?
 
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"L'état, c'est moi."
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I think Maria's wins vs. Napoleon's Triumph given your comments. It's probably easier to pick up, and the two player game is pretty straightforward actually.

NT does play very well as a team game though - I played a 3 vs 3 game at BGG.Con and it was a blast.
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Jay Sheely
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I've played NT twice now and I'm just feeling like I can see myself start to "play" this game. I mean, instead of just bumbling around and moving pieces just so we can see how the rules work, I'm making moves based on the situation. It's a tremendous game, but it's one that requires dedication.

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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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I'll unhelpfully say that you should get both. cool
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Read the rulebook, plan for all contingencies, and…read the rulebook again.
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I have Friedrich, which prompted my purchase of Maria. I've played Napoleon's Triumph, but it's a tough one to wrap your head around. (At least it was for me.)

If learning curve is a deciding factor, I'd suggest Maria.
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Neil
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Maria is much easier to learn than NT.

I don't think either game would work well solo for the same reason why you can't play poker solo (as Bowen Simmons once said about NT).

Both are beautiful (you can't find nicer looking games than these!) and extremely rewarding games.


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R Larsen
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I have played both, and think that both are absolutely fantastic games. This especially due to the low level of luck (Maria has some luck, NT actually none, just unknowns).
As has been mentioned, NT can be a bit tricky to understand, but it is in my opinion far simpler than PoG - for one thing, the rulebook is less than half the size. Also, I think all the more tricky points of NT has been discussed and solved quite a lot here on BGG and on ConSimWorld.
My first thought though, was that NT really is a 2-player and Maria really is a 3-player, but I have not tried Maria with 2, so that might also work, even though, to me, it seems a bit odd.
I think your decision should maybe depend on how many players you have to play with. If you have one standard opponent, take NT, of you often have several opponents/players, take Maria. Anyhow, you can hardly go wrong with any of them.

Concerning other similar/related games, I would, as also mentioned above, consider the standard block games (a la Columbia Games). These have some similar mechanisms, with high bluff/poker options and little luck, which is very satisfying. In this genre, I have played Crusader Rex and Hammer of the Scotts, both of which are great. HotS is slightly more tricky but maybe also more rewarding. Still CR is great. Others, and newer, in this category includes the relatively new Richard III: the wars of the roses (also Columbia Games - and I should say CG has very high quality components, just like Simmons and Histogames), and maybe Hellenes from GMT (with possibly lower quality components, but apparently a great game).

Good luck!
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