Wednesday, 25 November 2009

More Thoughts on 'Napoleon'

Now I've had some time to read and re-read the rules I thought I'd post a few comments. It's not a full review - have a look at this for what I feel is a pretty fair view of them.

Basically there seems to be a good game in there, but a few things really need to be resolved / clarified.

1) If the rules had been given a final proof read by someone with an eye for these things then a number of annoying typos could have been corrected and some confusing text could have been clarified - both of which would result in a more polished product.
2) More playtesting with 'new' players (i.e. outside the original group) so as to find the areas of the rules that require better explanation. For example, when do units become 'unattached'? Or, can units that fail to implement an order card still volley fire later in the turn?
3) Some of the army lists are missing key pieces of info, e.g. how many skirmishers are used for different troops. This is irritating as presumably the the playtesters must have spent some time getting the balance right.
4) It would benefit from some extra rationale for some of the rules - perhaps playing a few games would help me understand why some of the rules exist.

None of these issues are insurmountable by anyone who has some experience of gaming, but I would really have expected Wargames Foundry to have produced a more mature product. Perhaps it was rushed in to print in order to get ahead of Warlord's Blackpowder? I would like to find a discussion forum so as to get some wider views on what needs to be improved or how certain rules should work in practice.

In conclusion, I like the rules and they have certainly given me the spur to collect more Naps for larger battles rather than just skirmishing, but it would have been even better if that 10% extra effort had been put in. The 'eye-candy' aspect is splendid and seems to be an essential part of any successful new ruleset these days. I'm sure I can add the necessary extras to the lists and figure out the confusing bits in the rules without too much difficulty, thus ending up with a satisfying game but I really shouldn't have to. Perhaps Wargames Foundry would be kind enough to publish an errata sheet? After all, how many rulesets do not require such things?

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