Tuesday, July 13, 2010

OK, I'm officially impressed with Battles of Napoleon

The physical size of the box is imposing as it hogs shelf space with suitable Napoleonic narcissism.
Yeah, it's a hundred dollar game, but when you open the box you definitely feel like you got a at least a hundred dollars worth of game.

It's probably just as well that Worthington Games beat this one out of the gate. While not bad by wargame standards, WG's Napoleon's War can't hold a candle to Fantasy Flight's Battles of Napoleon. To be fair, they're definitely aimed at a different level of play.

Worthington's game is a light wargame that allows you to refight the entire battle of Waterloo or Ligny in an hour or so. It's a broad brush treatment.

The Battles of Napoleon moves down into the weeds a bit, to create a Napoleonic wargame that's akin to FFG's earlier Tide of Iron in complexity and intricacy, although it's not the same game system at all. Still, Battles of Napoleon focuses the telescope a bit, so the player is cast in the role of Napoleonic corps or division commander, rather than the entire army. For example, there are three scenarios in Battles of Napoleon depicting different episodes from the Battle of Waterloo, whereas the entire battle of Waterloo is a single scenario in Napoleon's War. Similarly, the single Quatre Bras scenario of NW becomes two scenarios in Battles of Napoleon.

As far as the physical presentation goes, all I can say is Oh. My. God.

Inside the huge box are 200 figures, stands for all of them, a large counter sheet of double thickness game markers and terrain hex tiles, two player aid folders, a rule book, a scenario books with 10 scenarios, two decks of glorious full-color cards for leaders, units and actions, four double-sided battlefield maps and an insert to hold it all.

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