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Subject: Real wargame? rss

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Ondřej Vašíček
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A definition of a real wargame is not an easy one. For me, it is a game with an atmosphere that puts you into a chair of an army commander of some unit (the size of a unit depends of scale of the game). Wargame should provide similar decision-making as made corresponding leader in simulated period. Wargame rules should only be the mechanism, which resolves the results of your decisions in most historically accurate way. To be honest, Napoleons triumph, being a good game, is not a wargame for me, but chess-like game settled into Austerlitz background, but without “feel” of 18./19. century warfare. Here are some of my opinions and feels why:

1) Units
The game provides 3 types of generic units: infantry, cavalry and artillery with some chrome added for special units – Guard infantry, Heavy cavalry and French static artillery. Units are completely generic, so every infantry is the same and you even do not know who is Austrian, who is Russian (not talking about names of regiments and/or battalions), no special rules for French light troops or Austrian Grenzers, no difference between better and worse battalions; you do not know which cavalry is Hussars or which is Dragoons. Even those “special” heavy cavalry and guards – after they suffer step lose, they become regular generic two-step cavalry or infantry. All pieces are generic something... If I play a wargame I would like to know what units I lead and watch their fate, in NT I play with generic wooden pieces.

In battle, there is almost no difference between cavalry and infantry – both have strength equal to its number of steps, so 2-step cavalry (=Hussar, Dragoon, Uhlan or Horse Jaeger unit?) is same as fresh infantry unit in square (=2-step infantry) and have same chances to win the battle. Not much of early 18. century feel.

In comparison, for example in Prussia’s Defiant Stand, which is grand strategy (i.e. you are fighting in whole central Europe) and more abstraction would be expected, units differs a lot – cavalry acts completely different (it has one strong charge, after which is stuck in melee, where is much weaker), some units rolls on 4+, some on 5+, some must roll 6 to hit; some units are 3-step, some are 4-step. Austrian Grenzer Jaegers have some special rules etc. And all units have their names, so you can trace the fate of concrete unit (for example Zieten’s Hussars).
In GMT’s Prussia’s Glory (btw. great game) or Avalanche Press’s Austerlitz (which is more wargame, but worse game), every piece has its name and unique stats (battle strength and morale) and also: use of cavalry differs from use of infantry.

2) Leaders
NT provides leader markers with names of real leaders, who led troops near Austerlitz in 1805, but the game system forces you to use “real” leaders non-historically. In setup at the beginning of the game, every player can place whatever units he wants under whatever leader he wants. Because of fog of war (units are under fog of war, leaders not – their names are visible to both players), you must place under leaders units, which were led by another leaders in 1805 (or you enemy would know secret information of your unit’s location). For example: Murat or Liechtentstein can (and in some games will) lead strong (or weak – your choice) infantry force, Bagration can led weak forces, while Prebyshevsky and Dochturov will win a battle with strong units, Guards included, against Vandamme’s cavalry-only corps.

I would prefer generic leaders instead of “real” names in that nonhistorical roles (Murat as an infantry commander; Bagration as a cavalry commander – whatever you imagination can handle). For me, this way used names of leaders do not add atmosphere, but destroy the feel of Austerlitz.

Not mentioned, that leader names means nothing – no special rules, no special abilities, advantages or disadvantages depending on real leader skills. All leader markers are same for game purposes.

3) Combat
The combat mechanics are complex, but too abstract and generic. Mostly you nominate leading unit(s) and compare its strength with enemy unit(s). More steps wins or, in case of a tie, strict tiebreakers will decide. Uncertainty is provided by fog of war – you usually do not know which unit will your opponent nominate as leading unit, but in some cases (relatively often) you exactly know (or at least suspect) what enemy unit will be the leading unit, because you successfully attacked the stack before and you know its composition (and if enemy has 3 two-step units, he will certainly use one of them...), so sometimes you can plan your attack knowing the result before battle occurs.

But main problem are not core battle mechanics, but the things around: feints, one-step unit attacks, surrounds, etc. – these rules and mechanics makes the game chess-like. For example: one-step unit cannot be named as a leading unit in attack or in some cases in defend, but you can make a feint attack with one-step unit forcing defending enemy to put one of its units to approach (=it cannot defend attack from another side). If you settle good chess-like trap, you can flawlessly surround and destroy three full-strength units (Guards included) with 4 one-step units... Yes, this is extreme situation, but the winner of the game is the one, who settle more (or more devastating) similar chess-like traps.

In other wargames you are also settling traps, but it works and “feels” different. Traps are more war-like, have more of the real warfare feel. For example when you surround units in Prussia’s Glory, you have huge modificatior to die roll, so your enemy would suffer badly, but stronger enemy could give you some damage and/or survive and battle out of the surround.

The other problem of battle system is, that it is not intuitive and is complicated, while not adding realism. For example one-step units. In most cases they cannot attack or even defend, but sometimes they can be used as key attacking unit and win... In most wargames demoralized (or broken) unit cannot attack, they defend badly and must retreat – relatively clear and intuitive.

In most wargames, you can play the game and have fun without knowing the rules into detail (if your opponent, charts or condensated rules leads you sometimes) – you may not know exact procedure of retreat with broken units or memorize all modificators and rules for attack rolls etc. In NT you must know every rule into detail and use it.

4) Fog of war
I like block games because of fog of war, because players are rarely certain what units has opponent and cannot count the odds. This leads to surprising combats (attack with weaker forces against stronger or fearing enemy with damaged remnants of troops), which is fun and adds uncertainty of battlefield (=atmosphere). This is also a + in NT, but here, the FOW is much more important than in regular block wargame (fog of war in NT also substitutes dice), so it leads to gamey behaviour – the player with better memory and attention will win easier. In NT is very important to count, memorize and trace moves of known units, especially the important ones (3-step units and artillery). Because you have complete information of enemy setup forces, after a while, you will know where he has all artillery units, how many 3step units are left, to where he moved his (already discovered) cavalry force etc.

This is a problem of all block games, but in NT it is more severe, because knowing enemy units is much more important.

5) Territory victory points
NT uses territory VPs, so if you capture some important areas, while preventing enemy to capture other important areas, before your morale drops to 0, you win. This is the way of 20. century warfare, but not early 19. century. The battle between Allies and France in December 1805 was fought near Austerlitz because the armies somehow manoeuvred, not because there was some continuous front. The city of Austerlitz has zero importance, the Pratze berg or Goldbach stream were important in 2.12.1805 as a tactical natural advantage, but they meant nothing in November 1805 or in January 1806. In 18.-19. century warfare, territory did not mean anything (not talking about fortresses, capital cities etc. – it is not the case of Austerlitz or village of Pratze) in strategical scale, destroying, capture or rout enemy army was important, not capturing a village (holding Austerlitz or Pratze Berg 3.12.1805 would mean nothing for Napoleon if Allied army was untouched). This is well simulated in Prussia’s Glory, where main goal is to demoralize enemy army and destroy enemy units with as little loses as possible.
But to be honest – this issue is not only in NT, but in many wargames from this period.

Conclusion
NT is good game with complex system, nice components (look at pictures – map is awesome, iron leader markers are great, solid wooden blocks are good). But for me, it is not wargame, because I expect the feel of battle from wargames. NT provides different type of entertainment. For me, NT is good chess-like logical game without random settled in Austerlitz background. In real wargame, you can play intuitively like you are commanding real units. Here you must play the rules, you must remember all of them to detail and use every rule against your opponent.
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Mark Buetow
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You are certainly entitled to your view, but I would suggest you read the designer's Design Diary on his website to understand the abstractions he's chosen and why for making a game out of this battle.

http://www.simmonsgames.com/products/Austerlitz/Diary.html

A few comments:

Cavalry and infantry are entirely different. Cavalry doesn't take losses when retreating from reserve. They don't suffer the inherent -1 penalty across a blocked approach.

There are victory conditions, not victory points. But the point of that rule was to help balance the game in terms of the way the historical battle played out. Again, if you read the design diary of the designer, you'll see how making the players seek territory objectives is part of the design philosophy.

Historically, Napoleonic warfare wasn't head to head smashing. Flanking was an important tactic. This is entirely reflected in the way in which units can be drawn off and then a locale taken. Lesson? Don't let it happen! Defend your flanks!

I do want to address this one particular statement:
Quote:
In most wargames, you can play the game and have fun without knowing the rules into detail (if your opponent, charts or condensated rules leads you sometimes) – you may not know exact procedure of retreat with broken units or memorize all modificators and rules for attack rolls etc. In NT you must know every rule into detail and use it.
Now, I will readily agree that if you make some rules mistakes in a wargame, you can still enjoy it. Having said that, I don't know of any wargame designer who writes a rule that isn't intended to be used! You're saying a problem of NT is that you have to know the rules? I'll tell you what: If an opponent loses because he doesn't know the rules, that's not your fault or the opponent's fault (assuming you taught him). I'm sorry, but this statement just seems somewhat ridiculous. Rules were written to be played. Otherwise why write them?

It is typical when a game is criticized that its fans "fight back." I don't want to do that because you are certainly entitled to your opinion. If it feels like Chess to you, well, I guess it feels like Chess to you. I just want to point out what I think are some factually inaccurate statements in your review.

For me, NT is all wargame. Makes me feel like the commander standing over the map and running the battle!
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Michael B. Hansen
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Bivoj wrote:
In real wargame, you can play intuitively like you are commanding real units. Here you must play the rules, you must remember all of them to detail and use every rule against your opponent.
Nice review, with some good and well referenced points.

But the quoted sentences above will probably confuse a lot of people, myself included.

Wargames are often perceived as being extremely rules heavy, not to say dependent on the correct interpretation of these rules.
The fact that NT relies on these features, only places it more firmly in the Wargame genre... at least that is the case for me.
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Interesting perspective on a wargame I love. I think NT is a real wargame, albeit unique. It does have a poker crossed with chess feel which is not how I imagine battle commanders of the time felt when leading a battle. However, as much as I love and respect Paths of Glory I don't think the card management aspects of that game, or factor counting, give me the WWII commander of large armies feel. An important aspect of NT, unlike most wargames I play, is the grand battle strategy. Do you play the French just for defense or bring on the reinforcements and counterattack? As the Austrians do you press the left flank with real strength or is it just a diversion? Between experienced players the game is usually won by the player with the best grand strategy plan. I've played many games and have all over the beautiful map and every battle has been memorable and different. Most other wargames feel more or less programmed to me with only a few strategies available with most of the decisions being tactical. NT does have aspects that don't seem particularly historical but most other wargames do too. It is true that NT has a learning curve because every rule is critical. The game doesn't really shine until both players know the rules well. I find in most traditional wargames at some point in the game I screwed myself because I overlooked some "chromey" rule.
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A big battle will soon start between people accustomed to standard wargames and those who like Bowen's innovative designs...

...and I will have to side with the second group here.

Ad. 1
Tactical details on who is better at handling his sword or has better armor are not well suited on that level that NT tries to simulate. Each block represents the same number of men (2000), but of various quality. The worst 1 step, the standard 2 step and the elite 3 step (plus very elite guards). This is not a miniature wargame with weapon skills, strength or saving throw of each soldier. Surely a lot of chrome is lost with lack of historical names or formations, but they are not necessary to experience the heat of the battle. If you will use your imagination more, you will see them where just red and blue blocks are.

Ad. 2
As in the first point, names are here as they are better than generic numbers or letters and they serve their function of representing the ability to command units in a cohesive way. Sure, I don't like Soult (Marshal of Austerlitz) is not here, because he had big corps comparing to other commanders thus got replaced by his three divisional commanders. But NT is not for reviewing historical OOB.

Ad. 3
Situations which you describe, although possible per rules never happen in normal games. The rules are good at simulating increasing command and control problems where more and more units detach and corps loose cohesion during battle, which makes them vulnerable to attack by fresh, not disorganized forces.

My major gripe about standard hex & counter wargames was that they never promoted holding a reserve force to counterattack in critical moments of the battle. Usually it was better to throw every single counter you could move at the enemy to overwhelm him in first clash. The best thing about NT is that it really promotes opposite behavior. Corps on the front lines, especially spread out to defend some larger area are vulnerable after their initial lines are broken here and there and only a strong force that can quickly move (using less commands) is something that can save them (or if you are on the opposite side, can ravage your opponent's rear). Also, you really can't squeeze as much men as possible into short lines thus quality of the troops used and organization (the ability to counterattack in combat) rather than pure number of men decide fights.

I agree that you can't start the game without reading rules as with many other "standard" wargames, because NT is so different and requires the player to know the rules and is not intuitive - in the sense we are used to play such and such games and this one doesn't follow the classic themes.

Ad. 4
As much FOW as possible is better, computer games rule here, but NT tries to have as much FOW as possible. Of course it's not possible to have different forces each game, as the blocks provided with the game are the limit, so players know how many 3-strong blocks each one have. Non-historical deployment allows at least to move them around the battlefield and surprise your enemy in the first few engagements after which of course his knowledge on the composition of your force rises. I think it's still better than in games with tons of counters of which hundreds are the same and there is not much difference whether you fight 100 green counters with strength 3 or 80 red counters with strength 4. In a 40+ block environment with strength between 1-3 it really matters if your enemy will be able to hit your wing where there are only 2-strong blocks with his elite corps of 3-strong guards.

Ad. 5
You are right here, but the stars in NT doesn't really represent the geographical features, rather they represent rear area of both armies where the wounded are, ambulances, supply wagons, artillery caissons, officers moving with orders.I f you get to capture that area - you win. Of course if the armies move, those stars should move as well a little but in NT both armies usually remain close to the edge they started the game and it's enough to have the stars where they are. Just don't think about them as simple terrain features, they represent more.

Conclusion
For me NT is a wargame in the sense that I feel the weight of being a commander of a force engaged in a bloody battle, with the task to hold on where the enemy wants to break my force, while being able to respond and threaten his force where he is unprepared, as well as having to deal with most important moment of each battle - when and where to commit my reserve force. I didn't have that feeling in any other game. One last thing - playing time of NT is great, as I don't have days to spend playing games with 600+ counters anymore, while I can feel real battle evolve before my eyes in just 3 hours.

NT is not good for those who like to see complete historical OOB on the battlefield, with every regiment colors and every officer from marchal to colonel (or even lower) with his own face printed on a ton of counters. NT is good for those who wish to feel the weight of command on the highest level, without seeing the exact details of the battle, which you have to imagine in your head.

Actually NT is a wargame for me, because as you say "it is a game with an atmosphere that puts me into a chair of an army commander and provide similar decision-making as made corresponding leader in simulated period while the rules are only the mechanism, which resolves the results of my decisions in most historically accurate way".

Just remember that "accurate" doesn't mean "detailed". I don't need to know whether, for example, grenadier company of the 1st Bn of the 72nd Line Regiment routed before capturing village X, I just need to know whether the village X held or was captured, and if my corps was crippled while doing that or not.

Of course "de gustibus non est disputandum" so I don't want to convince you, I have just presented why I like NT comparing that what you don't like is what I like in NT

Sun Tzu would play NT and love it!
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Stephen Foulk
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I've very recently bought this game and my usual games are miniature wargaming - I must have 20+ Napoleonic sets covering just about every level of complexity and 'command height' (from commanding a single brigade to Grand Tactical)

I bought Napoleon's Triumph because it looks like a Kriegspiel game (and I like that aesthetic) and because of the reviews it's been getting.

So far (one playing - solo) and I'm very impressed. To me it does feel like a grand tactical wargame. Sure there is a very high level of abstraction (higher than a lot of boardgames) but I was left feeling very satisfied that I'd fought a napoleonic battle... I didn't get the 'chess' vibe at all.

I'm not having a go at the original poster either but as a long-term wargamer I felt I wanted to also give my (initial) view in case any Grognards were put off.

If you're a 'conflakes' gamer where you need to know unit names and be able to change formation you're not going to get any of that - but if you want to see a battle ebb and flow... and then be able to time the attack of your guards to win the day it could be for you.

Very satisfying purchase... and I wish I'd picked up the first game (Marengo) while I could.

p.s. Waterloo please! cool
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Ondřej Vašíček
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Quote:
In most wargames, you can play the game and have fun without knowing the rules into detail (if your opponent, charts or condensated rules leads you sometimes) – you may not know exact procedure of retreat with broken units or memorize all modificators and rules for attack rolls etc. In NT you must know every rule into detail and use it.
This sentence may be confusig, agree (sorry, since I am not native speaker, it is harder for me to explain my thoughts).

Rules are written to be played, agree. But let me show an example with Prussia's Glory:

1) Retreat procedure is somehow tricky, but has little impact on decision making: you know, that broken units cannot attack and they defend poorly and somehow run towards your edge of the map. When "Move with broken units phase" occurs, you move your broken units, looking to rules/charts/player aids/asking opponent how.
2) Combat resolution is tricky also (all those strange numbers and letters in charts, many modificators), but you, in global, know, that strong unit beats weak one. 2-1 odds are better than 3-2 or 1-1. You also know, that being in village gives bonus to infantry, but not cavalry (intuitive for that period), attacking uphill is worse than attack downhill etc. After you settle an attack (and it can be halfintuitive/halfrulesknowing), you look to charts/player aids/rules, rolls a die and looks for a result.

In NT, you must know every rule in detail all time (no charts, no intuitive attacking), because even one-step unit can beat fresh corps if the situation is settled well (or bad - depends on angle of view).

I agree, that two players, who both know rules very well, plays more "grand strategy" than rule-using, rule-overlooking ("ahh, I forgot, that this poor unit there can do a feint attack!").

But all and all - NT is a good game, but not a wargame for me. And the main point is not complicated rules, but big portion of strange abstraction used in battles, generic leaders with real names, generic units (yes, cavalry differs a little, but not enough for me), etc.
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Ondřej Vašíček
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Dominik,
I respect your opinion and I understand why many people like NT. I just tried to give another point of view. Anyway, thanks for replay.

But one thing I completely disagree:
Quote:
Tactical details on who is better at handling his sword or has better armor are not well suited on that level that NT tries to simulate. Each block represents the same number of men (2000), but of various quality. The worst 1 step, the standard 2 step and the elite 3 step (plus very elite guards).
After a few battles you have many 2-step units, which were originally 3-step or even Guards; you have many 1-step units, that were originally 2-step or 3-step and you absolutely do not know who is "1500 men of Guards", "1500 men of veteran infantry" and who is "2000 men of fresh regular infantry" or even worse - one step allied cavalry can be:
2000 cossacks (worst 1 step)
1000 hussars, dragoons, uhlans or horse jaegers (reduced standard 2 step)
700 cuirassier or guards cavalry (reduced elite 3 step)

This is more abstraction, than I like.
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Dominik Derwiński
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Ondřej, thanks for starting interesting thread.

Strength and quality from standard games is mixed in NT and visible only as simple 1-2-3 points of "strength" and you won't know if you throw guard cuirassiers who already have been in combat or just regular but fresh cavalry. But it doesn't matter on that level, it's only important if you throw weak, normal or strong unit at the enemy. By strength meaning both the number of troops left and their status (fresh or disorganized, broken before or just tired and bloodied, veteran or green).

Of course you could create a set of blocks with identifiers or names on them (plus a complete set of replacement blocks for those units) - so your [/][/][/] Gd.C. unit would become [/][/] Gd.C. and [/] Gd.C. (Guard Cuirassiers) and help you to imagine what is where - but it would not change the outcome of the game at all... You see, it doesn't have impact on the game but provides only historical sugar for the player...

At first I also lacked those history-things, starting from the mentioned Soult to unit names, but NT is such great wargame that I got rid of my hex-and-counter habits to enjoy it
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I've played one game of NT, and while I'm not sure about it being or not being a 'wargame,' I think I understand what Ondrej about the rules, how important the rules are, which is to a degree different from other wargames.

As one random example: if you successfully defend from the reserve area of a location, you have to leave at least one unit in the blocking position of that location after the battle. I'd say this is not particularly intuitive (its not counterintuitive-its merely one step of a complicated process one has to follow during battles, which makes sense, and may very well be realistic, but is nevertheless easily overlooked). Yet that one seemingly minor step has tremendous consequences in terms of the condition of the remaining units in the location: a Corps in reserve with a weak unit in a blocking position is dramatically different than a Corps with no unit in a blocking position (or, with a strong unit in a blocking position). And this is a very small step in a very long, convoluted battle resolution process. The battle resolution has I think 11 steps in it, and each step has many many conditions and modifiers (i.e. Declare Lead Attacking Units is one step, but declaring from a blocking position, from a reserve position, by cavalry using road movement, the different ways artillery can and can't be used, a narrow vs wide front, the circumstances in which you would actually declare 0 lead units even though you have 1 or more available, etc etc etc). Each one of those particular conditions in each one of those 11 steps has a dramatic impact on the endstate of a particular battle.

Compare that to many other wargames, where you might have retreats, and might have skirmish lines, but they tend to be intuitive, and individual decisions aren't as critical. I may forget a terrain factor when calculating retreat losses (I'm just making this up), but that forgotten calculation will probably not alter the state of entire Corps-maybe it will result in a +1 to a die roll rather than a +2. And so on.

In other words, NT is extremely procedural, and that procedure is critical to the results of the game, where in many games, you can make mistakes (whether in procedure or in forgetting certain things), but those mistakes will impact the game in small but not game-changing ways.

In these terms, this game reminds me of Totaler Krieg, which is a fascinating game, and has fascinating mechanisms for moving Corps vs moving Armies, and those mechanisms really reflect Soviet vs. German doctrine and so on. But it too is extremely procedural (so much so, in fact, that I played an entire campaign and at the end still didn't get the procedure enough to play a turn without looking it up on a cheat sheet-ultimately, the complicated procedure was unattractive enough for me to lose interest in the game). I've also heard that Fire in the East is an interesting and different game of the war in the Pacific that is difficult to 'get,' simply because of the turn process (this is entirely second hand-I've never seen or played the game).

This ultimately worries me a bit. I am fascinated by the game, but I'm worried that the procedure of each battle is so complex that I'll either never 'get' it, or will only play it a few times-once its on the shelf, I'm worried it will be too complicated to pull of the shelf in 6 months or a year.

P.
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Colin Hunter
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I like NT, a lot, but I think the core questions that the OP raise particularly about the feel of the game is a legitimate one and an important thing to ask.
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Paraguay, you are right, but again it's a good thing in NT that every step is critical. Sure you have to spend not a small amount of time to learn the procedure, but I think it's better to spend time on the game where each decision matters, and not on a game when you have to count tiny little factors which offer as little as +2 instead of +1 for such and such die roll, which as you say doesn't change the situation in the game if forgotten. So why were they put into game in the first place? To have the player spend time counting factors which if omitted will not change the outcome of the game? What's their purpose then?
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Whatever NT is, I'm glad for what it is. There's a reason I rate it a 10 here on BGG, well above my ratings for any other more traditional wargame. If it were the same as other wargames, it would be less great than it is.
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Dominik Derwiński
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Yes, NT has less but is more.

Sorry for OT but it's the first time I have earned geek gold on BGG Hurray!

edit: sorry, it's the second time, but first I noticed
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R Larsen
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I love this game, but also perfectly well understand the reviewer.

I think the NT rules are not easy to read. I understand that Bowen tried to not exceed a certain number of pages in the rulebook (I think 12 pages), which in a way is admirable. On the other hand, I think it would have helped many players tremendously if Bowen had added maybe just a single page with an example of a complex battle including one or more corps. There are several fine examples in the rulebook, but surprisingly none which included corps, which are obviously very important in this game.

So, even if I do love NT, and will play it any time, I think I understand the points of the reviewer - I also feel that the specific, compact wording that is so important due to the limited pages numbers, at times gives a maybe too abstract feeling of the game, again making it difficult to 'understand' and thus, remember specific rules.

Thanks for an interesting thread.
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Fabian Mainzer
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foulksy wrote:
I've very recently bought this game and my usual games are miniature wargaming - I must have 20+ Napoleonic sets covering just about every level of complexity and 'command height' (from commanding a single brigade to Grand Tactical)

I bought Napoleon's Triumph because it looks like a Kriegspiel game (and I like that aesthetic) and because of the reviews it's been getting.

So far (one playing - solo) and I'm very impressed. To me it does feel like a grand tactical wargame. Sure there is a very high level of abstraction (higher than a lot of boardgames) but I was left feeling very satisfied that I'd fought a napoleonic battle... I didn't get the 'chess' vibe at all.

I'm not having a go at the original poster either but as a long-term wargamer I felt I wanted to also give my (initial) view in case any Grognards were put off.

If you're a 'conflakes' gamer where you need to know unit names and be able to change formation you're not going to get any of that - but if you want to see a battle ebb and flow... and then be able to time the attack of your guards to win the day it could be for you.

Very satisfying purchase... and I wish I'd picked up the first game (Marengo) while I could.

p.s. Waterloo please! cool
Just FYI, you can download the gorgeous BaM map done by M. Romana (http://www.boardgamegeek.com/image/152056) and print it out. You have all the pieces you need from NT. As BaM is out of print, this way is also endorsed by the designer.
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Stephen Foulk
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Just FYI, you can download the gorgeous BaM map done by M. Romana ([url wrote:
http://www.boardgamegeek.com/image/152056[/url]) and print it out. You have all the pieces you need from NT. As BaM is out of print, this way is also endorsed by the designer.
Thanks for the info and it's a truely beautiful map... just have to say though I found a *new* copy on ebay for 40 quid so I snapped it up.
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Les Marshall
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Again?! Really?!

Just because something isn't your cup of tea, it isn't a wargame? What then is a wargame?

The traditional definition is a conflict simulation involving military officers. So, really, there are no wargames on BGG.

Perhaps you desire more of a simulation. That, of course requires a nearly identical order of battle, deployment, conditions and command style. Of course, the desired end is the achieve the same outcome as was obtained historically.

How about we relax things a bit and simply allow that a wargame, as generally discussed here is a GAME in which the subject is military conflict and where the players deploy and/or maneuver military assets to achieve military objectves including but, not limited to the control of locations or assets and/or the destruction or displacement of enmey military assets.

Napoleans Triumph? It's a battlefield. We place and maneuver military units. We seek to control key spaces and drive off or eliminate enemy units. Walla! Wargame!

Is it the greatest thing since sliced bread? Is it the most accurate simulation of unit capability and tactical doctrine? Can you smell the cordite in the air (or the cavalry leavings)? Maybe not, but, there isn't much simulation to a couple of guys sitting around a table pushing cardboard chits and drinking sodas with virtually perfect information at hand.

Lets have a big tent for wargames.
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RLarsen wrote:
I also feel that the specific, compact wording that is so important due to the limited pages numbers, at times gives a maybe too abstract feeling of the game, again making it difficult to 'understand' and thus, remember specific rules.
I think the number of pages is a consequence of the rules length, rather than the other way around. Having worked with him as a playtester, I can assure you that his goal is to write accurate and unambiguous rules, not to reduce word count.

I'm not disputing that more examples wouldn't be helpful. (He's done a bit of that already in his design diaries for The Guns of Gettysburg, and I hope he does more.) But I can't agree with the suggestion that he would put out a shorter rulebook than he deems optimal due to a self-imposed page limit. His games have first class components; he wouldn't leave out extra pages if he felt they were needed.
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Chris Guzy
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Bivoj wrote:
A definition of a real wargame is not an easy one.
Wargame:

Question 1. Is it a game?

Answer: yes

Question 2. Is it about war?

Answer: yes

If it is a game and it is about war.......
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Ondřej Vašíček
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Rulesjd wrote:

Just because something isn't your cup of tea, it isn't a wargame? What then is a wargame?
You completely miss the point. I wrote (not once), that NT is a good game and I will probably play it. I know many wargames, that are better simulations, more wargame-like, but are worse games and I won't play them (Avalanche Press's Austerlitz, Devil's Cauldron, Storm Over Stalingrad, Striking the Anvil: Operation Anvil Dragoon, ...).

But yes, I prefer more "simulation" and I wanted to share my opinion.
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Ondřej Vašíček
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guzzoid wrote:
Bivoj wrote:
A definition of a real wargame is not an easy one.
Wargame:

Question 1. Is it a game?

Answer: yes

Question 2. Is it about war?

Answer: yes

If it is a game and it is about war.......
What about this one?
http://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/171
It is about war and it is a game...

Or this one:
http://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/1917
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Abstract -------------------------------------------------- Simulation

Everything falls on a spectrum.
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One vital assessment from this ALL of which I've gathered, yet that I don't fully understand (or perhaps it had been DONE already?), and that is to where anybody with this "Game" (or any others for that matter), while also possessing the wherewithal shall go about on manufacturing some extensive "Examples of PLAY" shown as a page, so that this could then be printed out for inclusion with these by whomever required just such as that! It doesn't mean ONLY one person had to be rendering those upon everything, so why don't ALL of you with that decide to choose (1) "aspect" and cover their situation as much that you're capable for and about? You WANT an "example" on HOW that is conducted or performed? Check this out HERE: "Fog of War" VARIANT
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For those who have trouble seeing what it is the rules are actually allowing you to do, this in perhaps one of Bowen's best and most helpful posts (imho):
http://www.geekdo.com/article/3676049#3676049
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