1805 campaign, middle setting what ever that was called (no bonus to player AI or player).
The game seems like a nice simple game, but I'm not totally sure whether I would want to play again as despite a lot of nice things it just felt it was lacking in terms of being a napoleonic strategy game.
A few of the things that I think don't work, admittedly from one single playthrough that went very well.
1. Russia just felt totally irrelevant. In 1805 I took Vienna and the attempted relief included a few Russian units. I never made any attempt to engage Russia afterwards (as they got shifted back to Russia), and was at war with them until late in the game with no real consequence. Even with 2 wars vs Prussia and another 2 or 3 wars with Austria I never had to fight any Russian units again until late 1813 or early 1814 (can't remember now), when the liberation card (or whatever it was) caused everyone to go to war with me. I only fought them then due to spending one turn taking out Austria then another couple of turns to get to Berlin next, which gave the Russians time to get across and make an attempt at retaking Berlin. At that point I was finally able to play Tilsit on them. So 8 or 9 years of war with Russia saw only 1 battle which they lost badly.
2. Spain was largely irrelevant. I ignored them. About 1812ish I thought I ought to actually check the manual for the victory conditions in case I was missing anything and that confused me. There is a section somewhere saying you have to play the Kingdom of Spain to win, but the Victory conditions make no reference to that, so I went with continuing to ignore them and crossed my fingers! It appears that you don't need to take them out in the end. They did go to war with me when the liberation card was played (sort of surprising?), and joined up with some Brits to advance on Paris as a 30 unit army where they were whopped on by an army made up of 8 * 0 point militia and 12 other units under a 7 point leader. They were I think at that point the only Army still with weak 1 point Inf.
3. The strategy that seemed to work to easily, and to some extent the game forced was to sit with a 20 point army + some reserves with Napoleon in Saxony or another state next to it, await Prussia or Austria going to war and then stomp on them. You will know which one is next as the UK will be take a few turns getting them to war, so you can be next to the capital ready. They will fall before Russia can arrive to help. Not having read the manual The liberation card caught me out, but again I was in the perfect place to immediately stomp on one and then move to the other. With Russia and Spain being irrelevant there was no need to do anything else, and at no point in the game did I go any further east then Berlin/Saxony/Vienna.
4. Movement is just too slow. This exacerbates the above issues. I never felt like I was playing a Napoleonic game, but rather the wars of the Sun King where armies spend a year in the same region sparring over fortifications. This really struck me mid game when a sizable British force landed in Denmark and my armies for dealing with it were around Saxony. That is not a huge distance in Napoleonic terms, but in game is some 6 months across mainly fully controlled territory. Getting replacements from Paris to Saxony would take 8 months. Whilst there are cards to boost movement they are rare and not always available. It is this lack of mobility that hugely encourages you to simply sit next to Berlin/Vienna as there was no way you could engage in a major operation against Russia/Spain and react to other stuff.
5. The battle AI seems way to predictable, I can't remember now whether I ever saw an exception, but it always seemed to be that if you attacked them then they never moved off their line, and if they attacked you they always advanced across all their line. It could do with being more adaptive to what they face in each section. Pursuit seemed very erratic, there were a few times the enemy retreated after heavy losses but not quite being broken and had way less cavalry, but then inflicted pursuit losses on me which seemed to fall heavily on my heavy cav.
Annoyingly I never got the Berthier card, so was stuck all game with Napoleon at 20 unit armies. That did make some of the later battles amusing and fraught, I understood that they would get 25 unit armies mid game, but I was a bit taken aback when they suddenly started forming 30 units armies later on and I was on 20 units still!
The biggest thing I would ask for is that the Strategic movement card is another card that you always have. The ability to move an army across your controlled regions at some pace each turn I think would go some way to making it feel less Sun King and more Napoleonic, and therefore make strategies based around Spain/Russia look more viable. They would still be tough calls as you don't have that many troops and there are large distances/attrition cards for those countries, but at least knowing that you might be able to have an army or 2 in France/Central Europe react to other stuff better would not make you feel that you should just sit next to each hot spot ready with an army.
< Message edited by storeylf -- 3/22/2016 9:09:28 PM >