From: London, UK
If I may, I'd like to give a few hints on how to finish a game.
First: Form a game with people whom you have gotten to know, like, respect and trust. This game is more about personalities than countries or Napoleon etc. If you form a group of reasonable people with thick skins, who are reliable (timely), flexible, and who are rather easy with the various set backs that one WILL incur, then you are on the right path. And be ready to take on new/replacement players as we all have changes in you lives. A positive attitude is everything! I had a great group of fellows to play with: Dave Whitworth (France), Mitch Ledford (resurgent Russia), Ron Berg (Great Britain), Fabrizio Viannello (poor little Prussia), George Meyer (who took over a disembowled Austria), and Steve Williams (the Spaniard, to whom I owe 30$; check is in the mail). Kudos to all of them!!!
Second, Establish house rules rules up front, but after the first pitch ("bowl"), stick to the rules. If someone wants to change a rule mid-way or introduce a house rule, this should be permissible only if all agree/don't object to the new rule. A democracy does not work once the game has started. Before countries have been assigned, yes; After, majority votes are mob rule. The rule of law must be upheld.
Third, unless you are playtesting, use only official patches and even then be ready for some bugs.
Fourth, requisition a fellow like Dave(DC)Whitworth who can fix or workaround just about any bug. You NEED a fellow of such skill or you are in an very big hole.
Good Luck all,
"Crisis is the rallying cry of the tyrant" -- James Madison
"Yes, you will win most battles, but if you loose to me you will loose oh so badly that it causes me pain (chortle) just to think of it" - P. Khan