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Napoleonic Boardgames

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  • #61
    War gaming

    As a gamedesigner myself, I feel that the 'art' is to make games more logical instead of complex. I personally despise games where they offer alot of 'reality' at a cost of alot of 'complexity'. This is the reason why I'm not a wargamer. It is not worth it. I like to read the rulebook once and then get on with the game. Not read it sixteen times before being able to play it from start to finish for the first time. Usually that 'in between' reality vs complexity is the right way to go IMO.
    Earlier someone mentioned that chess was a no-brainer game, but this I don't understand: chess IMO is a game where alot of brainwork is needed - and I enjoy playing it. I like playing Stratego (I made mine more interesting!) especially with my sons. RISK is just plain awful . It prompted me to create my own game 'Victory & Defeat' back in 1997.

    I assume you are a 'die hard' wargamer El Cid?
    Give me some suggestions on some good wargames...I'm still looking for a good one with a good balance between complexity-reality.
    Well, yes I am a die hard. I just do not get the opportunity to play anymore. Family takes priority and the wife. I agree, there have been many war games that just get to carried away with details. The most important thing is to ask yourself is why do you want to play this type of game?
    I started with Chess, but I wanted more. Chess is the best strategic level game. Maybe Diplomacy is also. No luck and all skill. But then there is no terrain affects, the pieces are too generic. Rooks, bishops, queen, armies and navies meant little.
    At the same time, I love history, and nothing is more fasinating then military history. So to study history, to see how events happened the way they did, wargames is a great tool. Depending on the level, the wargame is your best way to study a period of time or a specific event. And the wargame gives you the chance to see why and how a particular strategy or tactic was used. In a multi-player game, you can compare your skills against others.
    Good wargames that keep the complexity low, but still retain historical value and reality are not many. You can have simple with high playability, but these usually do not give you reality nor much more challenge then Stratego. It also depends on the period of time you are interested and the scale.
    Diplomacy/Machievelli - simple grand strategy to strategic level multi-player games. I do not like either as a single bad move by any player close to you can have devastating effects on your outcome. No luck and all skill. These are kind of like a survivor game. You need to be a great communicator, all the while sticking it to them, and having them say thank you.
    Napoleon's Last Battles - Operational level to tactical. Yes the Waterloo campaign. The campaign game is one of my favorites. Not too many rules. The key is the command and control. You get the value of why Napoleon was at his level, and other were not even close. Even though there are 3 types of units, infantry, cavalry (fast moving infantry), and artillery (long range infantry), one still gets the idea of combined arms tactics.
    If you are interested in ancient times, Roman or preRoman, I can not really tell you very much. I had an old grand strategic game called Imperium Romanum. But I think maybe it is a little more complex then you are looking.
    Maybe one of the most fun 2 player wargame that I remember was a game called Kriegspiel. A generic red against blue, on a generic hexigonal map. It was a modern warfare conflict, strategic level. Simplified and good. Maybe a little more complex then you want, but a good game to see the complexity of a modern conflict.
    I digress, this is the Napoleonic boardgaming thread. Honestly, the Napoleonic period represents a huge change in tactics and strategy from previous periods. Complexity greatly changed and any decent Napoleonic game will reflect this increase in complexity. Not only to the tactical level, but also to the Operational and the Strategic levels too.
    I would tell you that what you are seeking is not in a wargame because warfare in any period of time was a complex affair. Either coordinating the activities of land, sea, and air of a modern conflict, or co-ordinating the activities of forces on a battlefield or on a front is still complicated. Any wargame that does not give you some amount of complexity is not worth the price you pay.
    Stick to Stratego, Chess, Axis and Allies (Advanced risk) or one of the generic alternatives (Shogun, etc). You get neat little toy soldiers with which to play.
    Just curious, why is a non wargamer, chatting on this wargame site (the Napoleonic period was a period of warfare and anything else is a joke), and more specifically on a Napoleonic boardgame. Feel free to email me personally if you want suggestions on old games. I was had a huge collection and with our club, we had several hundred.

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    • #62
      War gaming

      So Paul, I take it you do not wargame at all anymore? I also started with the Airfix figures, but after painting for awhile and playing, the paint would chip. I moved to the lead figures but the scales were wrong. Airfix was about 20mm (1/72 or 1/76 scale) and the lead were 15 or 25mm. I started building more and more with lead.
      I used 2 rule sets, "Fire and Steel", then "Empires". I picked the Napoleonic period because of the colors, I was in awe of the time. The flags, the uniforms, it was overwhelming I think. I also think that if you are going to get into the time period to do miniature battles, you need to understand the complexity of the tactics and how a battle was fought.
      As for guides to painting, the men-at-arms series were excellent. I also had a reference book with illustrations by Knotel (black and white) and detailed descriptions of uniforms. And a 2 book set which was more of a generic guide then anything specific.
      Doing a miniature Napoleonic battle is about as detailed into grand tactics as you can get. From skirmish lines to horse artillery vs foot artillery.
      It has been 20+ years since I stopped painting and playing grand tactical miniatures, but I still have my 5000+ miniatures. French, Prussian, and British troops. Maybe the Prussians, and minor German principalities are my favorites because they took so much more time to research their uniforms.
      I made a "allied" French Corps by painting a few battalions of Danes, Wurtemburgers, Bavarians, Hannoverians, Saxons, Rhinish, etc. Lots of different colors of flags. It was fun to deploy just to get the look from opponents trying to figure out who were these?
      I still remember the best thing to do, setting them all out, just to see the colors!

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      • #63
        Originally posted by El.Cid View Post
        So Paul, I take it you do not wargame at all anymore? I also started with the Airfix figures, but after painting for awhile and playing, the paint would chip. I moved to the lead figures but the scales were wrong. Airfix was about 20mm (1/72 or 1/76 scale) and the lead were 15 or 25mm. I started building more and more with lead.
        I used 2 rule sets, "Fire and Steel", then "Empires". I picked the Napoleonic period because of the colors, I was in awe of the time. The flags, the uniforms, it was overwhelming I think. I also think that if you are going to get into the time period to do miniature battles, you need to understand the complexity of the tactics and how a battle was fought.
        As for guides to painting, the men-at-arms series were excellent. I also had a reference book with illustrations by Knotel (black and white) and detailed descriptions of uniforms. And a 2 book set which was more of a generic guide then anything specific.
        Doing a miniature Napoleonic battle is about as detailed into grand tactics as you can get. From skirmish lines to horse artillery vs foot artillery.
        It has been 20+ years since I stopped painting and playing grand tactical miniatures, but I still have my 5000+ miniatures. French, Prussian, and British troops. Maybe the Prussians, and minor German principalities are my favorites because they took so much more time to research their uniforms.
        I made a "allied" French Corps by painting a few battalions of Danes, Wurtemburgers, Bavarians, Hannoverians, Saxons, Rhinish, etc. Lots of different colors of flags. It was fun to deploy just to get the look from opponents trying to figure out who were these?
        I still remember the best thing to do, setting them all out, just to see the colors!
        My Airfix armies were separate from my white metal ones; they were my first armies and I started by solo wargaming with them.

        The tip I used for painting soft plastic figures was to first coat them in a thin mix of PVA, then undercoat, next detail colours and 'finally' a couple of coats of thinned Gloss Polyurethane varnish followed by a thin Matt or Silk varnish. Though some detail was lost, it was better than flaky paintwork and all that hard work turning to 'battlefield dandruff'.

        Availability (especially the French artillery set with their marching pose) converting and pinning was (I see your wargamer is spoilt for choice these days) another bane of Airfix figures. Oh! and the wastage as well, as most of the poses were useless.

        I will say nothing more on this subject and get in some real leisure time!

        Paul
        ‘Tis said his form is tiny, yet
        All human ills he can subdue,
        Or with a bauble or medal
        Can win mans heart for you;
        And many a blessing know to stew
        To make a megloamaniac bright;
        Give honour to the dainty Corse,
        The Pixie is a little shite.

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        • #64
          Oh dear, too much work. I was only a teenager when I started with the airfix. I found that chopping off heads from one figure to glue on the body of another increased the units that I could represent. So my French army namely the cavalry could be a lot more representative then just cuirassiers. The only problem was the gluing. yes, these days the choices of plastic is very good. I think the painting though is still a problem, but at least you can get masses out.
          Going over to metal made so much more sense. Fortunately, I had a job to support my efforts of building my armies.
          I need to make some shelves to put them out. Too much work and effort to just let them sit in containers.
          hehe, real leisure time? Just depends on what you consider leisure time. Everyone is different.

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          • #65
            Originally posted by El.Cid View Post
            Oh dear, too much work. I was only a teenager when I started with the airfix. I found that chopping off heads from one figure to glue on the body of another increased the units that I could represent. So my French army namely the cavalry could be a lot more representative then just cuirassiers. The only problem was the gluing. yes, these days the choices of plastic is very good. I think the painting though is still a problem, but at least you can get masses out.
            Going over to metal made so much more sense. Fortunately, I had a job to support my efforts of building my armies.
            I need to make some shelves to put them out. Too much work and effort to just let them sit in containers.
            hehe, real leisure time? Just depends on what you consider leisure time. Everyone is different.
            What you should have done was to pin the heads, and torsos together and pin rider to horse, as their was no glue on gods earth that would stick polystyrene plasic together.

            God knows how many figures I converted this way but it was all part of the tedium that I still wince at when I think back to those times, even as I type this post.

            Paul
            ‘Tis said his form is tiny, yet
            All human ills he can subdue,
            Or with a bauble or medal
            Can win mans heart for you;
            And many a blessing know to stew
            To make a megloamaniac bright;
            Give honour to the dainty Corse,
            The Pixie is a little shite.

            Comment


            • #66
              Now Now Paul. Think on the bright side. You have something that you can pass on to your next generation. I legacy so to speak. Something that can be remembered. I was thinking of making a mock battle, then lend to a museum for an exhibit.
              I agree, the long hours, making my own tools to apply paints, but the output was worth the effort. It kept my out of trouble and doing something foolish with my money, like investing in Apple stock.

              Comment


              • #67
                Originally posted by El.Cid View Post
                Now Now Paul. Think on the bright side. You have something that you can pass on to your next generation. I legacy so to speak. Something that can be remembered. I was thinking of making a mock battle, then lend to a museum for an exhibit.
                I agree, the long hours, making my own tools to apply paints, but the output was worth the effort. It kept my out of trouble and doing something foolish with my money, like investing in Apple stock.
                I am 52 years old and I parted with my armies years ago. Anyway, I have two grown up daughters and a son of 22, who was and is only interested in Chelsea and his girlfriend.

                Paul
                ‘Tis said his form is tiny, yet
                All human ills he can subdue,
                Or with a bauble or medal
                Can win mans heart for you;
                And many a blessing know to stew
                To make a megloamaniac bright;
                Give honour to the dainty Corse,
                The Pixie is a little shite.

                Comment


                • #68
                  Over the years

                  Well Paul.... I too am 52 and have two grown daughters, 19 and 15, just had a son 5 months ago. I still have my armies, sometimes nice to look at them and see my work. My girls are not interested in anything military and the new little guy is only interested in what he can fit into his month. So 15mm figures are well out of his reach.
                  My goal will to try and teach him the value of work. These are not just toy soldiers. Chelsea? As in Chelsea Clinton? What a dog she is! Ok ok, just kidding. My boy will be bound for the baseball diamond if I ever return to the US. I would rather watch him put on figure skates and learn a real man's game then to watch soccer

                  Comment


                  • #69
                    Slavkov - Austerlitz

                    It used to be produced in the Czech Republic this strategic tactical game with a very catchy gameplay







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                    • #70
                      Looks....different. What I consider to be the deciding factor in the difference of the armies is the command control. I think the best games try to bring out this point. That was what made the Napoleonic period.

                      Comment


                      • #71
                        Over at Operational Studies Group (OSG), Kevin Zucker has a new game series in print and development- over 70 battles from 1796-1815- all of which are based on the "Napoleon's Last Battles" system. The system has been extensively upgraded and is both highly detailed AND playable. The maps are exquisite and the counters are simply gorgeous. Three games are currently available. "The Coming Storm" is a quad game covering Jena-Auerstadt, Pultusk-Golymin, Eylau, and Friedland. "The Last Success" covers Abensburg, Eckmuhl, Aspern-Essling, and Wagram. "Four Lost Battles" covers Grossbeeren, Katzbach, Kulm and Dennewitz. The standard unit is the brigade; map scale is 525 yards per hex; turns are one hour; stacking is generally two per hex- occasionally three. More in the system are on the way. It's truly something worth checking out.

                        Comment


                        • #72
                          Originally posted by Sgt. Saunders View Post
                          Over at Operational Studies Group (OSG), Kevin Zucker has a new game series in print and development- over 70 battles from 1796-1815- all of which are based on the "Napoleon's Last Battles" system. The system has been extensively upgraded and is both highly detailed AND playable. The maps are exquisite and the counters are simply gorgeous. Three games are currently available. "The Coming Storm" is a quad game covering Jena-Auerstadt, Pultusk-Golymin, Eylau, and Friedland. "The Last Success" covers Abensburg, Eckmuhl, Aspern-Essling, and Wagram. "Four Lost Battles" covers Grossbeeren, Katzbach, Kulm and Dennewitz. The standard unit is the brigade; map scale is 525 yards per hex; turns are one hour; stacking is generally two per hex- occasionally three. More in the system are on the way. It's truly something worth checking out.
                          Well it is about time. I would like to see his take on the issue. I was trying to make my own version for Austerlitz. Glad to see it being done. Thanks!

                          Comment


                          • #73
                            OMG!!! Wow it HAS been a long time since I bought a game, but 90 bucks is the price these days? Did not know they have become so expensive. Where are those good old days of SPI 10 dollar games

                            Comment


                            • #74
                              Empires in Arms

                              The ultimate strategic Napoleonic game now has unofficial map extensions. I have downloaded the North American extension to include an American player. But now I have seen that the middle east (Persia and up to India) are created and the east.
                              I have not seen the maps yet, but I read that they include China, Japan, Siam and I guess the southeast.

                              Nice to add the maps, but as for play, I am not sure how that would work. Does the Russian army now double or triple in size and what about commanders? How does one portray the armies in China? Even though massive, not very capable of combat in a Napoleonic way. Artillery was no where as close and infantry weapons were not of the grade used in Europe.
                              Were chinese armies armed with flintlock muskets or still using sword, arrow and pike for the most part. Were musketeer units armed with match or wheel lock weapons? I would think there was something more modern but am not sure.

                              Comment


                              • #75
                                Originally posted by El.Cid View Post
                                OMG!!! Wow it HAS been a long time since I bought a game, but 90 bucks is the price these days? Did not know they have become so expensive. Where are those good old days of SPI 10 dollar games
                                Hello El Cid,
                                They can be quite an investment. So I invest in the product. I like to carefully trim the counters, and then place they in trays; I laminate the maps and cut away the spine to the rulebook- then place the pages in sheet protectors that go into a notebook. End result is that the game can easily last twenty years in great condition.

                                By the way- what did you think of "The Coming Storm"?
                                Sgt.

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