Saturday, December 18, 2010

2010 was a big year for Napoleonic battle games

For some reason 2010 turned out to give us a bumper crop of Napoleonic battle games, with Worthington Games' Napoleon's War, followed by Battles of Napoleon from Fantasy Flight and capped off with the eagerly anticipated Commands & Colors: Napoleonics.

All three games were recieved well in the hobby, and each is different enough that a real buff could be excused owning all three, but I have to say that I think the real winner in the bunch is C&C: Napoleonics. I'll go into more detail in a compative review I'm working on, but the bottom line is that C&C: N is simply a lot of fun to play. The Borg game engine has proven remarkably adaptable. All have proven to be very popular in both sales and generally. On Board Game Geek they rank (among wargames) at No. 5 (C&C: Ancients) No. 34 (Battlelore) No. 36 (Memoir '44) and No. 70 (Battle Cry). I expect CCN to join them all in the top 100 as soon as it gets enough votes, but the intitial ratings are very high and if they hold up it may very well end up above CCA. An expansion is already on the way.

The Worthington Game series that includes Napoleon's War has also proven popular among wargamers, although not a real cross-over success like Borg's designs. Still, it's also an entertaining play. This, too, already has a couple of expansions in print.

The real question mark among the three is Battles of Napoleon. I think it's a very interesting game system and highly rated, but it seems a little too involved for some tastes and I wonder if its sales will support any expansions. While it's not the only history-based wargame in the Fantasy Flight line (which also includes Tide of Iron and Wings of War), I'm not sure that it's a comfortable fit for FFG's usual market. Will it survive?

No comments:

Post a Comment