From: Lochan nan balgair-dudh
I wanted to hear from players around here on what they think.
Its very in-depth (though mostly pretty logical once you see how it slots together), the whole colonial element is a game in itself and very well modelled - development, rebellion, wars all feel right. Equally colonial warfare is very different than waging war in Europe (due to the different types of troops involved). The diplomatic strand is inspired and the 'crisis' system captures a key part of 19C diplomacy.
The Grand Campaign does take time and the best mindset, esp at the start, is to keep reminding yourself its a marathon not a sprint. You win by 'prestige', you gain prestige from colonies, industrialisation, occupying your objectives and winning battles. So all those elements are tools to an end - so you may end up with factories built for status rather than economics (up to a point).
If you've never played an AGE game before, then play the shorter scenarios. At the least that will get you used to army movement and issues such as stances/commitment/mutual support which are key. Equally you'll start to appreciate the value of artillery as a force multiplier in otherwise even numbered battles. The Boer War scenario (that comes with the game) is invaluable to learn the difficulties a European style army has with an enemy who does not want to fight in serried ranks on a defined battlefield.
For time played per £/$ spent, its probably been the best purchase I've ever made.
You may also want to check out the AARs on theh AGEOD forum - may give you a feel for how the game plays.
On the other hand, its not perfect. The game systems all work, some show real design genius, but some of the key event chains tend to break down. So some willingness to amend themm to fit your game will help your enjoyment - there is an active discussion on the AGEOD forum about this and people will help if you have problems. Hopefully with the new arrangements, a patch will appear that picks up on some of the bits that need more attention.
WiTW: Once Upon a Time (somewhere)in the West; Fischia il vento; (oh) For a few Panzers More; XXX Corps Diary; Infamy, Infamy!
Others at AGEOD
PoN: A clear bright sun