First Impressions

Commander – Napoleon at War is the second in a series of high level turn based strategy games. It spans the Napoleonic Wars from 1805 to 1815, allowing players to control France or the Coalitions against it through the entire period or in shorter scenarios. Easy to learn, with fun and addictive gameplay, this is a Napoleonic wargame in the style of the old "Panzer General".
Johnus
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First Impressions

Post by Johnus »

Should be easy to learn. Period map and unit icons lend to atmosphere. So far, strategic/grand tactical "merger" of scales seems to work without undue distortion. Units move in a broad operational sense and then converge at the battle site. As long as the map is big enough, and it appears to be, the fact that the battle takes up much more of the map than it should, doesn't hurt the feel. Most important, play is interesting and fun.

The music is boring after about 2 minutes. I'm using my own napoleonic playlist to add to the atmosphere.

If you liked the original Panzer General (my vote for the best wargame of all time) the original Strategic Command; and Commander Europe at War, you will also like this.
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Bossy573
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RE: First Impressions

Post by Bossy573 »

Does this play exactly like CEAW? I liked that game a lot but am having a hard time picturing a Napoleonic era game working well with that engine. I noticed in one of the screen shots a French unit advancing into Spain and the borders changing with the units advance. Are we talking about Blitz like advances cutting units off, etc?
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Toby42
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RE: First Impressions

Post by Toby42 »

I have yet to see a "Strong" endorsement of this game? Maybe it needs to be out longer...
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Uncle_Joe
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RE: First Impressions

Post by Uncle_Joe »

So far its interesting. It seems a little bland, but I'm having fun with it. The lack of being able to try and influence neutrals (particulary 'pro-friendly' neutrals) hurts the game quite a bit IMO. I would like to be able to commit PP to trying get other nations to enter on my side. Also the naval aspect seems to be a bit lacking as well. Without being able to hide in ports, the French navy seems to be all be evaporated in the first few turns and it does not seem worth the expense and bother to ever try and rebuild it (since it will die piecemeal as its built). Convoys also seem to be pretty few and far between (so far) so again, that is an area that just seems a bit underdeveloped.
 
All in all I'm not unhappy with it, but I feel like its missing things that could have made it a VERY good game. I would very much like a game at about this level that was true multiplayer (ie, allowed for individual players for each nation). EiA is far too slow and complex and I felt that Crown of Glory was a bit to clunky as well. CNaW plays very cleanly for what is there, but it seems like its missing a number of things that made the Napoleonic Era so fascinating (and fun to game).
 
I guess that isnt a 'strong' endorsement either, but hey...I calls 'em as I sees 'em! ;)
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Matto
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RE: First Impressions

Post by Matto »

I'm little bit disappointed by AI. Playing huge campaign like Coalition. Last offensive action of France leaded by AI was attack on Austria. From this time Grand Armee is located in France and relaxing ... Austria revolts ... nothing, Prussia entered a war ... nothing ... England invade Batavia ... nothing. Russia captured Bavaria ... nothing ?!?!?

Excuse my English ... I hope is better then Your Czech ... :o)
My MatrixGames: WitP, WitP AE, WPO, JTCS, P&S, CoGEE, ATG, GoA, B.Academy, C-GW, OoB all DLCs, all SC, FoG2/E, most AGEOD games ...

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Smirfy
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RE: First Impressions

Post by Smirfy »

Enjoyed CEaW very much, but have to echo above sentiments, combat is fun the graphics and interface are pretty good but the lack of diplomacy and failure to make nation individually playable makes the game slightly bland. The AI so far has not been great, it lacks aggression. Not sure when a country surrenders your previously allied units should be allowed to remain on their territory until they revolt with such a lathargic AI.

Like I say loved CEaW and am impressed with the thought that has gone into CNaW but it needs a bit more work to make it as good a game
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Adam Parker
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RE: First Impressions

Post by Adam Parker »

ORIGINAL: Matto

I'm little bit disappointed by AI... nothing ?!?!?

I had my credit card out waiting for something positive. Some better marketing to explain things. Anything, that said for a second title in a series, this was worth buying.

But this has killed it for me I'm sad to say.

The lack of AI is not a criticism at the developers - all parties involved (the lack of marketing and info is). It just doesn't surprise me. AI is a misnomer in PC gaming we should know by now. I've rarely seen one with any "intelligence".

Developers - stop making games with AI's. Make them solitaire playable by both sides like we used to do (and still do with boardgames). You'll sell much more, cut your costs and be able to put the time saved in clever UI and graphics.
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GShock
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RE: First Impressions

Post by GShock »

Adam, don't be so negative. Issues are always there with any 1.0. [:)]
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sterckxe
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RE: First Impressions

Post by sterckxe »

ORIGINAL: Adam Parker
Developers - stop making games with AI's. Make them solitaire playable by both sides like we used to do (and still do with boardgames). You'll sell much more, cut your costs and be able to put the time saved in clever UI and graphics.

The upcoming War in Europe II will take this approach : no AI, but geared towards Pbem.

http://members.iinet.net.au/%7Enosacred99/cwie/

We'll have to wait and see how the buying public reacts to this - it's a gamble in my eyes - less development costs, but also inevitable less sales as there are definitely also people out there who just can't do without an AI

Greetz,

Eddy Sterckx
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GShock
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RE: First Impressions

Post by GShock »

I think it's the future instead. That's what every game should be. 
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RE: First Impressions

Post by Arsan »

Hi!
About the AI yes/no issue...
I don't have the exact numbers here,as the AGEOD games are down for the moment [:(], but…
There was an interesting poll there about who plays only AI, mostly AI, both, mostly PBEM or only PBEM.
The results (I think there was more that 300 answers last time I looked at it) was that something like 80% people plays only/mostly against the AI.
And this was a poll made on a forum, between forum members that can be considered the more dedicated, grognard and as a consequence, pro PBEM players.
If you should count all the casual game buyers/players that never know of or visit the forums (hey! their money is as good as ours![;)]) I bet the numbers would still be higher for the pro AI camp.
So, I agree most of the AI games are disappointing (some much more than others [:'(]) but thinking that a wargame with no AI capability will have better sales than one that offers all play modes is ludicrous. Really… [8|]

Just the 2 cents of an AI only player[:)]

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Adam Parker
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RE: First Impressions

Post by Adam Parker »

ORIGINAL: GShock

Adam, don't be so negative. Issues are always there with any 1.0. [:)]

Thanks [:)] I'm not really meaning to be negative, just really disappointed and unfortunately this game is bearing the brunt becuase of what I really see as totally stupid marketing in posting its "media release".

I have 4 peeves when it comes to this (PC Wargamig) hobby:

1. Games that offer graphics of a quality circa 1990. I remember a huge rant of mine regarding an Ancient Naval game some solo-guy posted as a future wargame title he expected the public to pay for. It reeked amatuerism. If we today, can take a board game and faithfully recreate its glorious art with Vassal, it's time developers got serious with their graphics and started offering similar quality art on the PC.

2. Useless public announcements that offer limited insights into the games developers are asking us to pay for. I really, really hate the "media release" type of hype. After so many diappointments, developers should know by now - just get to the point, tell us what you have or we're closing our wallets.

3. UI's that require 50 pages of rules and a wrist brace for excessive clicking or Advil for mind-numbing on-screen routines.

4. Promises of competent AI's: 2008 PC's still cannot cope with the math and unless a designer makes an AI opponent cheat, it will be worthless to play as an adversary. SSG's "Battles In Normandy" and Avalon Hill's "Flight Leader" are 2 exceptions I've personally seen.

Eddy, your info is really interesting.

My theory on this is simple. If you cut the dev time in making an AI you can design more scens and have more resources for the things on screen. And even - (we pray) allow for simple DYO, just like cardboard provides.


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Adam Parker
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RE: First Impressions

Post by Adam Parker »

ORIGINAL: Arsan

So, I agree most of the AI games are disappointing (some much more than others [:'(]) but thinking that a wargame with no AI capability will have better sales than one that offers all play modes is ludicrous. Really… [8|]

Oh I totally agree with you Arsan - I trully believe that most wargamers play solitaire. My .02 too [;)] But just about everyone has done it once!

(Remember the Avalon Hill debate about putting solitaire ratings on their boxes? The refused and refused. And then they caved in! People wanted it and today still do).

So, what I really want is a game that a solitaire player, can play comfortably either hotseating both sides - or along the lines of a true solitaire game - ie: no AI but a routine that creates an Smart Artificial Opponent (SAO*).

*copyright Adam Parker [;)] [8|]
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RE: First Impressions

Post by Arsan »

Hi

In my times of board gaming i also played solitaire 90% of the times. [:(]
And it can be nice to have that option on PC war games, but I think many of them already do, at least turn base ones.
But that cannot substitute an AI in terms of game sales.
Adding another game mode for the minority of solitary players seems like a good idea, specially as it should be pretty easy to do.
But removing the play mode that use 80% of the buyers (against the AI) is not a good marketing idea, I think.

No doubt making games with reasonably good AI is no easy task. But there are some encouraging examples around (Panther games, SSG games, Stardocks GalCiv2, even and oldie like TOAW in some scenarios).
If they could (even small companies) why should we not expect the same from the rest?
I’m not asking for genius AI. Just competent AI that makes for a reasonable and enjoyable opponent.
Surely even a not so good AI should give me more surprises than myself playing solitaire. [;)]

Regards
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Erik Rutins
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RE: First Impressions

Post by Erik Rutins »

ORIGINAL: Adam Parker
Thanks [:)] I'm not really meaning to be negative, just really disappointed and unfortunately this game is bearing the brunt becuase of what I really see as totally stupid marketing in posting its "media release".

What are we missing that you would have liked to see Adam? The main thing I would have liked to have for this release that we didn't have was an AAR. Other than that, I think the info provided between the game/store page and the press release does a good job of listing the features, explaining the gameplay style and showing off the graphics.

Regards,

- Erik
Erik Rutins
CEO, Matrix Games LLC


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Kipper
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RE: First Impressions

Post by Kipper »

Arsan - agree 100%.  Something that isn't obviously crazy and you can suspend disbelief for a couple of hours of playing.  Unfortunately my lifestyle does not allow the regular, chunks of gaming time required for PBEM.
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RE: First Impressions

Post by Johnus »

Funny, I thought my post (first one in this thread) was a relatively "strong" endorsement.

Why do I get the impression that people have been lying in wait to dump on this game and/or this developer ??

Maybe I am imagining this, but check the thread on this game over at the Wargamer forums.
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Uncle_Joe
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RE: First Impressions

Post by Uncle_Joe »

I have no agenda or malice towards the game or the developer. I think its a fairly good game, but I wish it had been developed a little more. I'm not noticing a whole lot of bugs or anything, but it seems like it could have benefited from enhancing some of the aspects of the game.
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PunkReaper
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RE: First Impressions

Post by PunkReaper »

I got the game on Monday and have been able to spend a little time on it. It plays a lot like CEAW but in the Napoleonic Period. There are some enhancements such as support from artillery and cavalry but mostly its CEAW. I dont think that this is a negative since as Erik says:
If you didn't like CEAW at all, you probably won't like this. The gameplay is similar, it's of a similar scale and detail, but it covers the Napoleonic Wars rather than WWII. If you think the subject matter was the issue with CEAW, then you may enjoy this. It also has a somewhat more combined arms feel with the artillery and cavalry support, but overall liking/not liking CEAW is a fair barometer.

A lot of people did enjoy CEAW a whole lot and for them I think this is the ideal game for fighting out the Napoleonic wars. It's fundamentally a "Beer and Pretzels" kind of wargame, easy to learn, fun to play.

I don't like to play monster games such as EiA or WitP all the time and sometimes its nice to have a pick up and play game. The game does what i expected it to do....entertain without much brain power involved. [;)]
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Kipper
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RE: First Impressions

Post by Kipper »

Why do I get the impression that people have by lying in wait to dump on this game and/or this developer ??

I picked that up too. Lordz exiles???
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