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Subject: Is this game good for me? rss

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Wolfgang Birner
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I know, I am the one who could answer this best. Anyway I have to ask those of you who know the game.

If a game gets my interest I start reading reviews and I look at all those videos. If I'm still interested I download and read the rules.

This is the crucial point with this game. Although I am really blown away of the components, the look, the fog of war gameplay I surrendered with the rules.

I hardly have any idea how to play this game after heaving read the rules twice. And many comments state that this game has easy rules cry

I have to admit that I do not own that many wargames.
Maybe I'm just not "ready" for a real wargame experience but is it really that easy to get into this game without anyone teaching it?

Thanks in advance!!!
 
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Brad Miller
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No. It's hard. The rules are concise and accurate. However, having the rules laid out gives you no real insight into how a battle transpires. Nothing to do but set it up and start pushing wood, (and metal).
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Was George Orwell an Optimist?
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Gaanger wrote:
I hardly have any idea how to play this game after heaving read the rules twice. And many comments state that this game has easy rules cry

I have to admit that I do not own that many wargames.
Maybe I'm just not "ready" for a real wargame experience but is it really that easy to get into this game without anyone teaching it?

I'm one of NT's biggest fans, but I don't think the rules should be described as easy. They are reasonably short, and not terribly complex, but those are different concepts. Assimilating the rules so that you understand how they work in concert, and can move on to thinking about strategy rather than rules, can be a very awkward process.

I think your best bet is to read the rules a time or two, then step through some of the more detailed session reports to get a feel for what is actually happening. Your best bet, of course, would be to learn with somebody who already plays. I think there is a pretty strong contingent of German NT players. If you could hook up with them, it would be worth your trouble to do so.
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Paul Leigh
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Do what Sphere says.

I can't imagine reading the rules for this without being able to test play them at the same time. That would be very difficult.

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Kåre Dyvik
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Sphere gives good advice, as usual.
There are some videos posted on this site, with good examples of how some of the rules work. Check them out as you read the rules.
Start playing regularly with a friend. You can learn the game in parallel; there are two copies of the rulebook provided!
You could also hook up with an experienced player with Vassal. Play through some sample attacks first, and maybe a whole game later.
I played 4-5 times before I felt I played without violating the rules (with some exceptions). And gradually, focus shifted from learning rules to thinking strategy.
A very rewarding process! Go for it!
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Eugene
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It's rough. I spent about 2 hours last night teaching just the attack rules to my girlfriend. And not because she's new at this or anything -- we play wargames together frequently.
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craig dias
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Out here in Hawaii, I'm not sure if we have a large wargame crowd. Nonetheless I was intrigued with this game. I read reviews and comments that promised this was THE game for me (based on my tastes). After doing that, I read the rules once and understood nothing. I then tried to look at some of the sample attacks in the video section and was still lost. I read the rules a few more times and it started to sink in somewhat. At this point, I took the plunge and bought the game, despite not having a firm base for how to learn/play the game.

Fast forward a bit, by now I've read the rules like 8 times. I feel pretty confident in how they work and how they will work in the game. I call up a friend and I try my best to explain the rules. During explanation, I keep the blocks face up so that no one has to worry about the bluffing element. After some sample attacks, we dive into a game. After 3 hours and some serious blunders on my part (committing corps blindly), I finish my first game of Napoleon's Triumph with a loss as the Allies. We of course made lots of rules mistakes. But next time will be a much smoother experience that will also adhere to most/all of the rules.

I guess my point is that you CAN learn it by yourself. It will take some perseverance, but you can do it! My second point is that if you think this is the game for you based on the gist of the reviews, then get it. For me, it has lived up to everything promised. I am absolutely enamored with it.

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Stig Morten
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This game has been worth the trouble for me. Knowing the rules are one thing. That is the easy part. Being good at playing it is a totally different matter. There are a lot to think about when playing.

I have played this game a couple of times against nappeto which posted above me, and I have lost every time, but still had a fun and rewarding experience.
I hope to win our scheduled game next monday.
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David Boeren
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I doubt anyone could get a good grasp of how the game plays just by reading the rules. You really need to see some battles in action to understand what the rules actually MEAN in terms of affecting the outcome of the battles.

Our first game went OK, but the first few times we clashed it was very non-intuitive. What? Having more armies than the other guy is a *BAD* thing? That's stupid! Then as the game went on we started to catch on to how the game thinks of things working and some of it started making more sense. We're still bad players, but we're gradually catching on to what we're "supposed" to be doing to play the game properly. I imagine it will take about 2 more games before we really have a handle on things.
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Brian Evans
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The rules are concise and not complicated but the game just works differently then many other wargames. So there are fewer points in common with your prior experiences to give you a head start. There are several videos and detailed session reports on the site that can help you there. But really, nothing beats having the game laid out in front of you and just going for it.


As I was first learning the game I found this file on BGG to be really helpful. As Sphere alluded to, the rules tell you exactly how to do everything in the game but they don't really tell you what rules to combine to get the effect you are going for. These annotated rules add that layer in. I found them to be very helpful.


Here's an excerpt that I found useful:

Quote:
Break-through assault. A break-through assault is an attack you expect to win and force all the enemy blocks in the locale to retreat, hopefully with heavy losses. Because the defender has the capability to counter-attack in the attack procedure, a break-through assault generally requires that this counter-attack potential be eliminated before attempting the break-through assault. The can be done by bombardments, by attritonal assaults, and by feints.



Quote:
Attritional Assault. An attritional assault is an attack made with some units (almost never with an entire corps) where you don't expect to win The purpose of the attack is to inflict losses to an enemy position such that a later break-through assault can succeed.



If you put those two together you now have a plan for how to take out a defended position on the board. You first launch a series of attritional assaults (via independent or Corps Detach Moves) and then once you've softened the defenders up you eventually throw a big punch with a Break-through assault (with a full Corps Move). This is actually one of the core principles of the game yet this process isn't ever mentioned in the rulebook (I think).

Obviously that's just a small excerpt from the annotated attack rules but I hope it gives you the feel of what it's about. Namely, adding a layer of strategy and direction to the rulebook which by itself uses more of a toolbox approach. Go download the Annotated rules. Thank me later.

NT Attack Rules Annotated with Strategic and Tactical implications



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Scipio O.
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Gaanger wrote:
I know, I am the one who could answer this best. Anyway I have to ask those of you who know the game.

If a game gets my interest I start reading reviews and I look at all those videos. If I'm still interested I download and read the rules.

This is the crucial point with this game. Although I am really blown away of the components, the look, the fog of war gameplay I surrendered with the rules.

I hardly have any idea how to play this game after heaving read the rules twice. And many comments state that this game has easy rules cry

I have to admit that I do not own that many wargames.
Maybe I'm just not "ready" for a real wargame experience but is it really that easy to get into this game without anyone teaching it?

Thanks in advance!!!


Based on your game ratings, I'd say it's hard to know for sure but it seems like it could be a good fit. This game is different, looks great, is very interesting, and highly replayable. It really helps to have an experienced player to get your feet wet. Don't buy it if you mostly solitaire - you can play through it solo only to get a feel. The games take around 4 hours, and it's very tense the whole time.
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Wolfgang Birner
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Wow - thanks alot for so many replies and suggestions!
I think I take a closer look at the session reports now.

I'm also relieved to hear that those rules are not easy to comprehend. I already doubted my understanding of rules

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Chad DeShon
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I actually think NT is easier to learn if you haven't played war games before because the rules run counter to many other war games.
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Stefan K.
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NT was one of my first "wargames" and with almost not knowing other mechanics and systems the rules weren't that hard to understand for me blush
Just play the solitaire-variant-mini-game a few times to learn the attack sequence and its consequences.

And don't miss the 3rd German Napoleon's Triumph weekend on June 30th and July 1st at Freising, Bavaria.
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The game has simple mechanism. I think the problem lies with the concise and simple style the rules are written. Had it been wordier or more elabortae, the rules would be easier to learn. I am an obssessive minimalist and I think the rules are too clean.
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stanfink wrote:
NT was one of my first "wargames" and with almost not knowing other mechanics and systems the rules weren't that hard to understand for me blush


Non-wargamers have the edge in learning this game: they are not knee deep in the genre's proud traditions and pretensions. No ZOC, no LOS, no CRT.

Wolfgang, you best bet is to attend the game meet. Or you can play solitaire with Cyberboard or Vassal first. And always ask questions. If you are not flooding the boards with questions you aren't trying hard enough!
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Tobias Fromme
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stanfink wrote:
And don't miss the 3rd German Napoleon's Triumph weekend on June 30th and July 1st at Freising, Bavaria.


I would like to most fervently second that!
You are highly welcome, just write me an email.

EDIT: Just saw you are from Bayreuth... let me reformulate: you are obliged to attend
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Wolfgang Birner
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Ok I'm totally convinced now. I just neet to get sure I don't have to work this weekend !!!
Thanks for the invite - I'm going to email you soon
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Mark Buetow
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This post is essential reading for some good examples of WHAT the rules allow you to do, making it a bit more concrete in terms of actual tactics in the game and what you're trying to accomplish.
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My apologies for beating a dying horse. But this just came up to me:

A reason the rules are not easily understood is that game tactics are woven tightly into the combat sequence. I'm not talking about grand tactics -- that is up to you the player and is very open-ended. I'm talking about basic tactics such as flanking, diversionary attacks, and decoys.

There's no card in the game that says *FLANK!!!* -- your calvary launches a surprise attack upon the enemies' undefended flank. But that doesn't mean you can't pull one out -- all taken cared of by the rules.

The rules will not make sense unless their tactical implications are explained along the way. I've found that providing tactical examples as you teach the rules that invoke them will make the learning much easier.

Wolfgang:

The attack sequence is a poker game. Players raises their stakes to make the showdown possible. If one chickens out (or wises up), the battle is off. Look at it as a series of stake raising, bluffing, poker-facing, mind-reading, and folds. (I also like to verbally harrass my opponent, "What could it be? My heavy horse? My palace guard? Or my puny squire boy?")

Ideally not all of them has to end with a bang. Feints, diversions, and undefendable attacks are preferred.

1. The attacker announces his intention to attack a locale, he has to declare the direction he is coming from but not the force he intends to use, in fact, he does not have to decide now so long as there is at least one candidate.

2. The defender follows suit by naming the defending pieces. He folds by vacating the locale, in which case the attacker must enter locale; end of combat.

3. Had the defender followed suit, the attacker may fold. If so he names the attacking pieces and may move up to the approach. The defender must move at least one of the defending units up the approach unless its already there.

4. Had the attacker decided not to fold, the defender must name his "first line of defense" (or defense lead) out of the defending pieces.

5... Etc, etc, etc.
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Eugene
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WalterLai wrote:
The rules will not make sense unless their tactical implications are explained along the way. I've found that providing tactical examples as you teach the rules that invoke them will make the learning much easier.

My impression is that that Simmons explicitly did not want to provide these tactical examples in the NT rules. I wonder though: when those who are experienced with the game teach someone fresh, do they follow the same bag-over-head kidnap style of teaching?
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I am talking about bare essential tips, not exactly tactics. For example, right after I talked about "cavalry must feint" and get that strange look, I'll explain that you don't have to if the defender had no one to defend, and how, if you had all your pieces engaged in the approach, a cavalry could waltz in and force a retreat.

The bag will always be over the head somehow, no matter how hard I try. But I have learned that if I use this method the newbie will master the rules really fast, like in the first or second game!
 
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Wolfgang Birner
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Ok, thank you very much again for all those helpful replies. After having read the rules for several times and browsing through all of those outstanding session reports I accepted the challenge. I really want to get into this game now.

I just ordered a copy and can't wait to get it on my table

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