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Le Grand Empire» Forums » Reviews

Subject: Fabulous game, Poor rulebook rss

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Edgar Gallego
Spain
Sarriguren
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I'm not going to write now about the sequence of play, and explain how it's played. What I'd like to do is leave here my impressions on the game.

After a first game (2 players) some years ago with the introductory scenario (Marengo) and another try solo (1806) I decided to try it multiplayer. Although I liked it a lot and was eager to play it with more people, it was difficult because it's a long game and because not all my friends like to read in english. 2 years later these barriers were broken: I translated the rules, and found a cyberboard module made by Karoly Szigetvari
Karoly Szigetvari
Belgium
Nossegem
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Now we are playing a 5 players grand campaign by e-mail, and...

What I like
- Scale: Strategic Napoleonic Wars, with the main actors being Corps, Armies and Leaders. Turns of 3 months, but having a initiative chit mechanic that allows Igo-Ugo with some twists (better leaders have more probabilities to move when they want, and turn can end at any moment if it's not Summer)

- Operations: There are few counters on map, but there is space for maneuverability. Attrition if you move out of supply, or too much. Engineers, Depots, Sieges and detailed battles. Also troops can be demoralized.

- Events: It's not a card driven game, but it has some cards to represent events. There are cards that must be played, public, being these events like foreign wars, revolts, economics, and some secret to be played at discretion (maneuver, diplomacy).

- Diplomacy and personal goals: You can try to get the alliance of some minor countries by diplomacy, and you can try to get them by war. Wars are fought to reform Europe, being all the minors the price (they give VPs, resources, troops), and for wining by supremacy. Also each power has its own goals if they want to go for autovictory. Peace can be attained by ngotiations or conquering the other power, and it gives you the possibility to acquire provinces, money, forced alliances, more peace time, continental blockade, etc.

What I dislike:
- Rulebook: It's not the best of the world... it leans towards one of the worst. Great rules, poor organization, lot of holes that needs a big q&a. At first it seems it's ok (only 35 pages), but when you start to play you are always refering to it looking for answers, some of them sometimes can't be answered, even when reading it 10 times.

Conclusion:
Well, I don't dislike anything more. Moreover, I really like this game, a lot. It's a great game, but it needs a fine rulebook, player oriented, with no holes or ambiguities, clear. I prefer it to have 50 pages, reading once or twice and having to consult it only few times than 35 pages with all the trouble they are giving me (hell).

Try the game, it's worth the time. And hope the new game (Nations in Arms: Valmy to Waterloo) have a better rulebook.
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Donald Katz
United States
Dade City
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Hi Edgar,

I like your review and agree with you regarding the game, including its warts . Much like Rossiya 1917 anything that did happen is here. The sweep of the game is amazing. Hopefully, the third time is the charm for the rules although Nations in Arms may be somewhat slimmed down, what I've seen suggests that not much has changed. One thing for sure, although he can take a bit to get back to you ( I've noted your growing lsit of questions on CSW), Stan will answer these questions within a reasonable amount of time.

Don Katz
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Edgar Gallego
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Hi Don,

the translation from French is fine. I'm not sure if it was you the one involved, but if it was, congratulations. It was soo good that the same questions arise from both editions (well, in English there are 2 rules that disappeared, but they have been catched).

My concern is that the Nations rulebook inherits the Le Grand Empire rulebook, with all his faults. Hope the new won't have so many questions.

And about the growing number of questions, I've refrained from posting more.
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Donald Katz
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Hi Edgar,

Thanks for the compliments. I did help with the 2nd and 3rd edition translation proofing. What I understand is that Nations in Arms has been somewhat simplified and developed further to tighten up the rules. We will see once the rules are available. I have preordered expecting a slightly tighter rules set. Regarding your questions sometimes Stan can be reached by e-mailing him. He is only on CSW sporadically , so you may get a faster response via e-mail.
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