Napoleon in Europe
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Napoleon in Europe is an epic game of grand strategy and tactical battles during the age of Napoleon (1796 - 1815). The players are leaders of the great powers of the era: France, Great Britain, Prussia, Austria, Russia, Spain, and the Ottoman Empire. Using diplomacy and warfare, they attempt to dominate Europe with armies of Infantry, Cavalry, and Artillery. Strategy and tactics used in the game are based on those of the era while remaining fast and playable.
I am 16 and have played this game now for 3 years. Now when you've played this game that long or any game for that matter you get to know the game inside and out. Now this game as i have played it has perfect balance between the countries (beside Spain and the Ottoman Empire) in which the game can be won.
Even after I have played the game for this long I even still have new strategies to play out. And I think that there are still a lot of possibilities as well as new strategies that we haven't tried as of yet. All and all this is a good game for beginner as it was for me. The rules are simple to start with and your strategies unfold to earn you a victory with just enough luck. But as a set of advice now matter how good you are with strategy if your friend can't roll lower than a 10 your not going to win.
... with the advance ruleset, the other I feel are untested, and seta the game to be a little prearrenged, that why i started with the advanced set, its a little dificult but much more rewarding than the other sets, This is only the 5th game i got so i dont think my opinion would worth to much to the hardcore gamers, but its mine...
This game is a amazing -- probably the best all-around game I've played. This is one of those games that you can't just play once.
-Tactical battles are actually that -- tactical. To win combat requires a healthy mixture of strategy, superiority, and luck. This is not the random dice toss of 'Risk'.
-Diplomacy actually means something, and alliances are actually useful. The Political Action Points of the game mean that alliances don't break down as easily as with 'Diplomacy'.
-The map is excellent. Historical accuracy meets playability in one happy marriage that I haven't seen since 'Diplomacy'.
-This game is amazingly fun. Everything just comes together to make it a great time. People may be scared off by the fact that the standard game will take several hours, but you will be so wrapped up in the gameplay that you won't even notice the time go by.
Though it pains me to admit this, there are some points I think don't work out too well.
-History is king in this game, at the expense of manueverability in gameplay. The scenarios are set up to duplicate what actually happened, but that means that your options are limited for what you can actually do.
-Spain, Prussia, Britain, and the Ottomans are too weak, and France and Russia are too powerful. I understand that this is how these nations actually were at the time, but this means that the game always ends up in either a French or a Russian win. The only hope the other nations have is to ally with the two superpowers and hope they can be ignored, which doesn't make the game too fun for them.
-Finally, the advanced rules are impossibly complicated. If you play with them, the battles end up being half-hour long ordeals as everyone scrambles through the rulebook to find out what to do.
Despite the cons, this game is one of the best put together 'empire' games I have ever seen. You will love this game. You will want to play itall the time. You will find it worth every penny you spend getting it.
This purchase was a departure for me as my group are not wargamers. I bought it with an eye to the future for when I retire, as I fully intend to set aside one whole day a week for gaming during this period, thereby enabling us to play the 'long' games to their full potential, with breaks for lunch and tea.
NIE will certainly fall into that category, consisting as it does of 3 levels of rules and a variable number of set-ups and game lengths. The box lid states 1-3+ hours for the Basic game, 2-4+ hours for the Standard game, 2-5+ hours for the Advanced game and a whopping 6-20+ hours for the Full Campaign game!!
For its debut at my normal weekly evening session we were 5 in number and we opted for the Basic game and the 'Limited War' option. Even this comes with a variable number of rounds depending upon the length of game required. We attempted the short game consisting of 12 rounds but only achieved 9 rounds in 2 and a half hours before time beat us. Of course a lot of this time could be put down to reading and understanding of the rules, the abilities of the various pieces, the sequence of resolving battles etc. Towards the end of the evening player's turns were speeding up, so next time the same players would probably finish the 12 rounds in 3 hours.
As Alan How's interview with Glenn Drover indicated Eagle Games are committed to producing games with masses of components on large boards and they have certainly done that. Even with the table extended we were struggling to find room around the edge of the board to put our unused pieces. The 584 plastic pieces are of good quality and certainly look impressive when assembled as a unit. The 80-page rules manual in full colour contains easy-to-follow examples of the resolution of a battle, which enabled us to quickly understand the method. There are 2 double-sided Reference/Tracking cards (large size of course) which are very useful, 180 colourful counters to depict ownership of the territories, 4 dice for battle resolution, a battlefield (for use in the Advanced game) and a pack of 90 cards, which have different uses depending which type of game you are playing. My only criticism of the components is that the cards are quite flimsy and I wonder if they will take repeated use. Given the length of the game it is unlikely that this will be put to the test.
Whilst not wishing to introduce 'grandmothers' and 'eggs' a brief description of the game mechanics might be of use to readers. The following notes relate to the Basic game, playing the Limited war option for 12 rounds and using the Even Steven set up whereby each nation starts with the same number of pieces.
Each player takes the part of one of the 7 nations represented in the game, with any nation not chosen acting as neutral. They set up their pieces in their homeland.
Each piece has a set number of points for movement and attack. A player's turn consists of the following 4 phases:
Movement can take place on land or water, with various limits applying. It will be either offensive or defensive depending upon the situation at the time.
Alliances can be struck with other nations to the mutual benefit of both but these can be broken at the start of a players turn and a battle between the former allies will take place at the end of the players turn!
Cards can be traded by the active player with any other player, but the promises of the contents do not have to be met once cards are actually exchanged, so beware the devious ones.
The game continues in this sequence for the agreed number of rounds. Players then count the number of regions they own, subtract the number of regions they started with and the one who has achieved the largest growth is the winner.
So how did our game play? It took us a couple of rounds to realise that to take control of a region the player must use an infantry piece. These only move 1 region at a time, so expansion is not as rapid as one would hope. Two players then started to use amphibious movement, which, whilst imposing certain limits on the number of pieces that could be moved, did mean that they could move around the board quite swiftly. The Ottomans used this to gain a foothold in North Africa, much to the annoyance of the French who had swept through Spain to Gibraltar with the intention of landing in Morocco and continuing their advance.
The British then invaded France, causing the French to re-think their aggressive strategy in favour of a defensive one. Meanwhile the Prussians built up their empire to threaten the Austrians who traded cards in attempt to bolster their homeland forces.
For the first few turns there were no major battles as players sought to expand their empires in the neutral regions. Therefore each player was receiving just 2 cards at the end of their turn and I suppose you could say that there is a certain amount of luck involved in which cards you draw, as some give you better production opportunities than others. But it still comes down to how and when you choose to play them as there are better production combinations if a player holds on to their cards until later.
So what was the verdict? - to paraphrase a famous advert "4 out of 5 players who expressed a preference" thought it was good and would certainly play it again and would like to play a longer game. The one dissenter was really quite anti from the start and that was reflected in his play, so we might have to schedule any future outings of the game around his absence.
It would certainly fill a day for retirees but I doubt if many readers of Counter fall into that category. So my advice would be to "try before you buy" to see if the game is really for your group, as it's quite expensive. But value for money nevertheless.