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Subject: Paying tribute but with some concerns rss

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Steven R
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After 5 plays with 5 different scenarios, I would say the game plays well and is perhaps the best of Napoleonics that can be played in 2 hours or less consistently. However, I do have some concerns. I am accustomed to the Command Cards, Section Cards concept as I have played Battle Cry, Memoir 44' and C&C Ancients in the past.

So here's the issue...the tactics cards distribution.

The last 3 games I never received a single copy of a 'Rally' or 'First Strike' card. I did however get multiples of 'Bombardment' and 'Stand and Fire'. Tactics cards are situational and some are better overall than others. As the British, I have superior firepower to the French, so I take up a good defensive position with field of view and attempt to funnel the ranks of French toward me while protecting flanks. I only have one Artillery Unit and it's not much of a factor at range. French shrewdly stay 3 hexes away which is outside of my Infantry firing range. Boom! Here comes the 'Bayonet Charge' Card and the French move 4 units of infantry on me in melee in which they have the advantage. Now my British Infantry cannot use ranged combated at all.
I ask you, even over open ground, how could a column of infantry just charge up on you without any defensive fire at all? How can this be avoided? Well, you would need a 'First Strike' card, which as I said I didn't get in 3 games.

I think the 'Tactics Cards' really shape the game and it's still very tense and enjoyable. However, when you see your well laid plans over several turns of positioning destroyed by a 'First Strike' Card...it's very disappointing and I'm not sure how historically fitting. In addition, there are cards that add suprising distance to cavalry and infantry attacks, but not artillery or infantry firing range.

I've debated this as an older wargamer with friends and fellow gamers for years...how do you address the issue of someone just walking up to you on their turn and killing you without the ability for the defender to react prudently. C&C Napoleonics does handle some of these issues fairly well (i.e. Cavalry Bounce, Battle Back, etc.) but I think it could and should evolve into something even better in subsequent editions.

I believe playability is still the most important factor in wanting to play a game. I've played Napoleonic miniatures for years and some rules systems are so long and contrived that it kills any enjoyment, but some are really good, but still take the better part of a day to play. I think C&C Napoleonics is just a few tweeks away from being a truly great game. I initially gave it a 10 after 2 plays, then downgraded to a 9.25 after 4 plays. I'm now giving it a judicious 8.5 rating due to the above mentioned issues, plus losing a few points for poorly organized charts, game box needs to be just a little bit deeper to hold the contents adequately, and just an OK rulebook- I would have prefered a glossy, full color rulebook with more period feel and artwork.
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Carl Paradis
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There is only ONE "Rally" card in the deck. So no wonder you did not see it often in your hand!!!

I ordered a few extra card decks from GMT ($10 each) and am in the process of testing a customizing of the deck(s), developping house rules that will allow players to somehow "control" a bit what cards are used: each player will have it's own custom deck of cards.

At the very least, if you feel like it, you can order a few more decks and add/remove the cards you think are too numerous or too few.

Say, how do you find the loss rate in the game? Too high, too low, or just right?
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George Husted
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Here is an idea that may offer some relief...

House rule it such that every time the rally card or first strike card is played, it gets immediately shuffled back into the draw pile.

I know that isn't a great solution, but it is quick, easy, cheap, and does improve things a bit.

Just a thought.meeple
 
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Steven R
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licinius wrote:
There is only ONE "Rally" card in the deck. So no wonder you did not see it often in your hand!!!

I ordered a few extra card decks from GMT ($10 each) and am in the process of testing a customizing of the deck(s), developping house rules that will allow players to somehow "control" a bit what cards are used: each player will have it's own custom deck of cards.

At the very least, if you feel like it, you can order a few more decks and add/remove the cards you think are too numerous or too few.

Say, how do you find the loss rate in the game? Too high, too low, or just right?


Understanding it is a game, I accept some randomness...even warfare has those moments - it's not science.

I think the loss rate is acceptible given that it's a battle condensed down to 90 minutes or so. I do think the melee system is a bit odd after playing years of miniature games or hex and counter board games where melee is simoulataneous. I think it seems a little crazy for the attacker to roll all dice for melee, defender loses and/or retreats and then battles back. I would prefer to see melee simoultaneous where the attacker gets full strength and the defender rolls one die less or half rounded...fire damage could be reduced a bit then to even things out.
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Carl Paradis
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swr66 wrote:
I think it seems a little crazy for the attacker to roll all dice for melee, defender loses and/or retreats and then battles back.


Yes, all the Command & Colors games are like this. And this is the comment I hear more often when introducing gamers to the system. Sometimes it can be really devastating, sometimes not. Normally you'll be able to use long-range fire as the defender in a previous turn. But the "Bayonet attack" card can be very strong!

To lower this effect I have allowed most blocks to absorb two losses in my house rule.
 
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Carl Paradis
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Coldwarrior1984 wrote:
Here is an idea that may offer some relief...

House rule it such that every time the rally card or first strike card is played, it gets immediately shuffled back into the draw pile.

I know that isn't a great solution, but it is quick, easy, cheap, and does improve things a bit.

Just a thought.meeple


Oh this is a nice idea! Would you treat it as a "reshuffle the deck and discard together"?
 
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Guillaume Gleize
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Steven,

You finded in Carl an fan of changes and home rules.

I would not critisize this because I'm a fan of freedom and I was this way in the first time I played CCN.

But for the first time in my life and even as a game creator and professional game organiser (Poker) myself ... I DECIDED TO BUY EVERYTHING FROM THIS MARVELOUS GAME AND TO CHANGE ABSOLUTLY NOTHING FROM THE ORIGINAL RULES!

Why?

Because as you said: no game is perfect and this one is so close to the perfect balance playability / realism!

So why not just change the very few criticised rules?

Not to confuse the STILL FEW AND VERY NEW PLAYERS STARTING TO MEET ONLINE!

For the first time in y life I wanna stick to the official rules to stay with the majority of this great game!

About the CHARTS and some equipment I agree to change and that's what I did (photo under).

Don't judge the game on the bad run you lived in 5 sessions. Sorry but 5 Sessions IS NOTHING!

Remember: the cards create CHANCE because it is the only solution to avoid for exemple OBVIOUS ENGLISH FIREPOWER SUPERIORITY or OBVIOUS FRENCH CHARGE SUPERIORITY depending on the rigid rules you would imagine to eliminate the CHANCE!

I don't wan't to play chess anymore ... give me some few chance ... as there were some hazards in the real battlefields!



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Carl Paradis
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GGleize wrote:

You finded in Carl an fan of changes and home rules.



Indeed. Guilty as charged.

Games I Love I often make house rules for!

GGleize wrote:

For the first time in y life I wanna stick to the official rules to stay with the majority of this great game!


Agreed. I do play the game "as is" with the official rules, too. It's also excellent.

AND I agree about Chess, too. In C&C:Napoleonics You have to deal with the luck on the battlefield, and the "friction of War", many games give players way too much control over events. Not so with this wonderful game system. devil

Now, if the leaders could just be more meaningful in the game... whistle
 
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Steven R
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Two house rules I'm planning to impose that will not change the game radically, and it's always debatable whether it can be said to be Historically accurate, but I've been studying the Napoleonic Period for over 30 years, written college papers on the subject, etc...when I was 12 I read 'A Whiff of Grapeshot' and have been hooked ever since.

rule 1: One Leader and it's attached units may always be activated on a players turn. Discard a card from hand and order that Leader. I call it Leader Initiative (similar to scouting, but you don't get to draw 2 cards).

rule 2: Melee: Infantry Melee attacks are all simoultaneous (squares and calary melee attacks will be left as is)...one round of melee only, no more battling back, the Attacker receives full dice and the Defender receives half dice (light, rifle, militia units rounded down...All line and guard units rounded up...defending units, including single blocks always roll a minimum of 1 die). Surviving units on both sides retreat as required.

May change the Cavalry part as well, but not sure yet.
 
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Steven R
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I had a ton of fun playing...not bitter about rules and I've had my share of wins. Just want to point out one real inconsistency - a moving infantry unit has it's firepower diminished (makes sense), but a defending infantry unit receiving a melee attack by infantry has no chance of doing any damage (doesn't make sense)...I understand battling back, but a unit that stands and recieves a bayonet charge / melee will potentially inflict some damage...I mean hey, if I can bayonet you, you can bayonet me...let alone the fact that as the defender I had no opportunity fire while you the attacker were advancing.

 
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Carl Paradis
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swr66 wrote:
.one round of melee only, no more battling back, the Attacker receives full dice and the Defender receives half dice


Well... In some cases this might mean that the defender might have less dice to attack than in the regular rules (if the attacker was unlucky in its roll)!

Why not full dice for the defender? They are not moving, while the attacker is.

If you want to go that way, here is a easier to implement Suggestion:

Simultaneous, but only the attacker hits on "Crossed Sword" dice.
 
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Guillaume Gleize
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You two guys will go your way ... I wish you lots of fun ... but I won't (I think I won't be alone this way) and I don't agree.

I DON'T WANT ANY SINGLE NEW RULE TO THIS ALLREADY BIG BOOK.

We start to be a nice community playing with the official rules ...
TSSS TSSS VADE RETRO YOU REALIST WARGAMERS!

devil

You have the traditionnal symptoms of the wargamers: obsessed by the realism.

Good luck anyway (I'm sincere) and have fun!

I will play the official rules.

GG
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Steven R
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GGleize wrote:
You two guys will go your way ... I wish you lots of fun ... but I won't (I think I won't be alone this way) and I don't agree.

I DON'T WANT ANY SINGLE NEW RULE TO THIS ALLREADY BIG BOOK.

We start to be a nice community playing with the official rules ...
TSSS TSSS VADE RETRO YOU REALIST WARGAMERS!

devil

You have the traditionnal symptoms of the wargamers: obsessed by the realism.

Good luck anyway (I'm sincere) and have fun!

I will play the official rules.

GG


That works as well... it's more difficult to stand against a bayonet attack unless you are in a defensible position or terrain...attacker has the impetus.
 
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Guillaume Gleize
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And also the problem of the home rule is that: WE ALL DREAM OF DIFFERENT HOME RULES!

I mean if you oblige me to create 3 home rules, my dream home rules will be different from yours.

So the home rule could divide the players again ... I mean even between the home rule fans!

For exemple (and if forced to do it) my 3 home rules would be:

1) Leaders make also the adjacent units ignore 1 flag!

2) No more Leader Check 2 dices when unit get a hit!

3) No more Leader escape through enemy units!

The 1 to give slightly more power to the leaders.
The 2 & 3 to cancel some rules more boring than usefull.

You don't agree? That's the point! We start to desagree ... So to stay united ... Join the federal yankee army ... ooops sorry I mean join the regular CCN rules army of players!

You damn johnny rebs ...

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swr66 wrote:
That works as well... it's more difficult to stand against a bayonet attack unless you are in a defensible position or terrain...attacker has the impetus.


But don't the rules-as-written reflect that? The attacker in melee almost always battles first! We see how effective they are and then the defender gets their licks. We imagine the worst when someone else is rolling the dice first. But sometimes, there's more bark than bite.
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Don Smith
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swr66 wrote:

I ask you, even over open ground, how could a column of infantry just charge up on you without any defensive fire at all? How can this be avoided?

I've debated this as an older wargamer with friends and fellow gamers for years...how do you address the issue of someone just walking up to you on their turn and killing you without the ability for the defender to react prudently.


My answer, based on a few hundred C&C Ancients games and a few dozen C&C Napoleonics games is: INTUITION.

This is a game and not a simulation so one must do one's best to intuit WHY your opponent is moving his units the way he is.

In C&C Ancients, you develop a "feel" for when that Double Time, Line Command, Darken the Sky, or Mounted Charge card is in your opponent's hand. Same for C&C: Napoleonics. What card could destroy my perfect line of British Line Infantry? A Bayonet Charge, of course!

Of course, this makes the game a bit like poker and some people won't like this! I love it this way - that's why I love cards in wargames - introduces decision-making under uncertainty.

Next time, move your perfect British line back a hex and see how the French react!

Again, this is a game - a good one as you say - and not a simulation - so as GGleize says, don't fiddle the system - play it!

PS I also love Combat Commander where sometimes the cards allow units to move right by a machine gun nest in open terrain - that drives some gamers absolutely nuts!!!
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Carl Paradis
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BradyLS wrote:
But don't the rules-as-written reflect that? The attacker in melee almost always battles first! We see how effective they are and then the defender gets their licks. We imagine the worst when someone else is rolling the dice first. But sometimes, there's more bark than bite.


Also, since the game does not use simultaneous turns, even if the attacker fire first, this means that then the defender can get two in a row, if activated right after in the next turn:

Attacker's turn: Attacker fire once, defender fires once.
Defender's turn: Defender fires a second time, attackers fires a second time.

So on the long run things should even out. But, granted, the Bayonet charge is very strong.
 
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Carl Paradis
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GGleize wrote:
You two guys will go your way ... I wish you lots of fun ... but I won't (I think I won't be alone this way) and I don't agree.

I DON'T WANT ANY SINGLE NEW RULE TO THIS ALLREADY BIG BOOK.

We start to be a nice community playing with the official rules ...
TSSS TSSS VADE RETRO YOU REALIST WARGAMERS!

devil

You have the traditionnal symptoms of the wargamers: obsessed by the realism.

Good luck anyway (I'm sincere) and have fun!

I will play the official rules.

GG


Right. Realism doe snot mean more complicated rules you know. A good game desing will succeed in doing a realistic game with pretty simple rules.

And about the "Big" rulebook: I do agree, rules always seem to be too long. For C&C:N there is FAR too much rule space that talks about the Leaders: the said leaders have a low impact in the game, yet seem to take far too many space in the rulebook.

And about realism: The new C&C:N combat system is much more complicated than the one in C&C:ancients and Memoir 44 since you have to take into account the units casualties now; surely this is not good! Must be a wargamer ploy that complicated the game system so much!
 
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Steven R
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Wow, I'm seeing alot of haters with any contemplation of rules 'alterations'...that's right 'not additional rules'. I agree that wargamers can get ca%rried away with creating rules and historical simulations, and fun should always be the primary role of gaming.

However, I would like to make clear before going further that it's necessary to understanding of historical tactics and realities when creating games that even use abstractions. For instance, do we really want a Stuart Tank to have the same defensive rating as a Tiger I?

Case in point. How many of you know that during this period -Spanish War of Succession throught the Napoleonic Period...about 100 Years, that the casualty rate caused by Bayonet was approximately 2%? Firearms caused 70%...the rest being cause by other factors such as sabres 10-14%. Melee combat usually decided the issue quickly with fewer casualties as most troops fled on one side or the other. Even the French orders from 1805 were to 'disorder' units then drive them off with bayonet attacks. So the question should be how well the set of rules represents the actual situation...I would say the melee portion between infantry units not so well. Napoleonic battles were a real slugfest with must firepower at close range between units, then if one unit began to waiver, the bayonet charge would finish them. The French favored columns because it allowed them to maneuver more efficently and support morale of troops, but the cost was lower firepower. Nonetheless, they were not able to generally stroll up on formed troops and rout them. Even the winning army took cosiderable casualties. The only time that infantry or cavalry units of this time period really chewed up the opposition in close combat was when they were able to hit them in the flank or rear, which this game does not represent and that's fine. But, I think the ability to move up into close combat (melee) and end fire combat is overpowered somewhat if you look at the historical record.



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Carl, that's right. I've recognized that that is what the attacker risks: when you go in, you must make the attack count. Otherwise, the defender can have a battleback and subsequent activation to battle again. That's an important early lesson for players.
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The abstraction is carried through the game in all things. For example, play of the Bayonet Charge card doesn't mean that is literally what is happening on the field. You are issuing an order to four infantry units that allows them to move two hexes and engage in melee combat, if desired. I've seen it used to simply move a group of troops two hexes into a better position instead.
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Carl Paradis
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BradyLS wrote:
The abstraction is carried through the game in all things. For example, play of the Bayonet Charge card doesn't mean that is literally what is happening on the field. You are issuing an order to four infantry units that allows them to move two hexes and engage in melee combat, if desired. I've seen it used to simply move a group of troops two hexes into a better position instead.


Yes.

In the games I have played, "Bayonet Attack" is still an extremely powerful card, I would even say "decisive". In retrospect, it would have been nice if there was some small downside to it.

As for forming squares, it might sound "weird" that its automatic, but then you are not allowed to form then "in advance" during your turn either. So it balances out. Of course allowing units to form squares while already in contact with enemy infantry units might also sound weird, but if you change this, you will need a lot of extra rules, like a "reaction" roll to form square like in most other Napoleonic games, etc... So yes, you are "loosing" the times where Cavalry caught units not in square/in the flank, but it's probably the best compromise for now.

What I would like to see in future games is a "Cavalry Surprise" card where this could happen in certain conditions.
 
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Steven R
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I would like to add that I really do appreciate the game and plan to purchase all or most of the expansions. I also own other Napoleonic board and miniature games. To say that player / customer feedback isn't important would be accepting that everything is perfect without revision or evolving and if this were the case we would all be playing Chess, Monopoly, or H.G.Well's Little Wars...not too say these are bad, but I like the variety in board gaming Today and support new ideas and revisions for the improvement of the hobby.
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Guillaume Gleize
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Steven,

First sorry for my poor english.

Then I have to say before bad interpretation of our answers that I love the human ideas and that to try to make a game you love more perfect is very interesting.

If by curiosity you check my very very first posts in this forum you will smile: I WANTED TO CHANGE MANY RULES OF THIS GAME AFTER A FEW SESSIONS!

The points are:

1) Yes I know the gaming, I'm 50 and my very first PASSION in this life at 10 (so in 1972) WAS TO CREATE AND CHANGE ALL THE BOARDGAME RULES CROSSING MY WAY!

2) Yes most of the time I was right!

3) Yes CCN as some rules we would like to change!

But ...

Check the forum: MOST OF THE GUY WANTING TO CHANGE THE RULES ARE NEWCOMERS (like I was) ...

I mean: we must understand that the creator(s) of this game KNOW what is a good historical boardgame ... They are VETERANS of the wargaming ... BUT THIS WAS JUST NOT THEIR GOAL!

I think (but do not pretend to speak for them) that the MAGNIFICENT AND VERY CLEVER goal of Richard Borg was to create a serie of games (M44, BCRY, BLORE, CCA, CCN) inside a NO MAN'S LAND OF DAMN BALANCED GAMES BETWEEN PLAYABILITY AND REALISM!

And you know what? He did it perfectly!

I (and so many players with me) was waiting for it from such a long time ... Thank you soooo much.

So more you play the scenarios ... more you discover than all your theories of unbalanced this way or unbalanced that way are ... not only most of the time WRONG but also completly replaced by ... THE FUN!

I'm SORRY NO: THE REALISM NEVER GO IN THE SAME DIRECTION THAN THE PLAYABILITY.

For sure everybody can choose to change rules but:

1) You risk to find yourself very isolated (too bad if online).

1) Please just try to play 20 times the same scenario with a friend or at least 30 differents scenarios trying sincerely to use the maximum of you brain to find each time new solutions: YOU'RE GONNA BE VERY SURPRISED!

IMAO

GG

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Carl Paradis
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GGleize wrote:


I'm SORRY NO: THE REALISM NEVER GO IN THE SAME DIRECTION THAN THE PLAYABILITY.


You mean that the more playable a game is, the more unrealistic, too?

I would tend to disagree. I know of a LOT of very unplayable games that are also very unrealistic (a lot of monster games fall in this category).

A well designed game can sometimes attain this elusive goal: realistic AND playable. Of course "realistic" depends on the point of view of each specific player. At the very least the historical flavour has to be present!

As for playability, we all have different "tolerance levels" for complexity, too.

I like the Command & Colors / Memoir 44 series not because they are very "realistic" (most wargames aren't anyway, truly), but because:

- The components are good and will not scare away Eurogamers.
- The rules are easily taught in about 20 minutes
- Because of the card system even newbies will be able to play decently from the start.
- The games are FUN.

All in all: PERFECT introductory wargames. I ALWAYS bring one with me when I attend a game convention: either you'll find someone who knows how to play, or you can teach it fast. And rare will be the scenario that is not be fun. And it also plays relatively fast. Plus players will always have something to do: no dead times!

Minor quibble: The set-up can be long, because of the multitude of blocks to fish out. But with a decent storage system this can be improved a lot.
 
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