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"Best introductory Napoleonic for new players?" Topic

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Action Log

05 Jan 2013 7:29 p.m. PST
by Editor in Chief Bill

  • Removed from Napoleonic Discussion board

7,861 hits since 5 Jan 2013
©1994-2018 Bill Armintrout
Comments or corrections?

Eatloaf Inactive Member05 Jan 2013 7:17 p.m. PST

a. Song of Drums and Shakos
b. Drums and Shakos Large Battles
c. Field of Glory: Napoleonic
d. Lasalle
e. Napoleon at War
f. Grand Armee
g. Napoleon's Battles
h. Volley & Bayonet
i. Field of Battle
j. Black Powder
k. Sharp Practice
l. Grand Armee Fast Play Rules

z. Other?

Please justify your selection. What quality does your pick have that makes it stand out? Is it the easiest to teach? The quickest to play? The most fun? The cheapest to try out? Requires the least preparation? Etc.

warwell05 Jan 2013 7:30 p.m. PST

I haven't played it myself but I think Command and Colors Napoleonic may be a good choice.

I have played the other C&C series games. The rules are very intuitive so it is easy to teach and and quick to learn. Yet they require a lot of decisions on a player's part. Plus, scenarios are typically short so you can play multiple in one evening.

Jeigheff Supporting Member of TMP05 Jan 2013 8:12 p.m. PST

z. other: DBN

DBN is a lot like DBA. A game can be played relatively quickly in a small area, with a flexible scale (an element, or stand, can represent a battalion, brigade, division, or a certain amount of troops of a particular type.) Miniature armies can be acquired relatively inexpensively (about 12 elements minimum per army, although more elements/stands are needed for bigger battles), and they can be painted fairly quickly.

Some folks might not like the bathtub approach that these rules seem to offer. I understand that. But for someone who'd like to put a couple of miniature armies together quickly and do some gaming, and not be overwhelmed in doing so, then DBN is a good choice.

I also second warwell's recommendation of the board game "Command and Colors: Napoleonics."

Personal logo Saber6 Supporting Member of TMP Fezian05 Jan 2013 8:28 p.m. PST

Any of the above (and adding Age of Eagles)

Best is to have someone teach you (convention game).

Question: Are these players new to Wargames or just Napoleonics?

Eatloaf Inactive Member05 Jan 2013 8:40 p.m. PST

Question: Are these players new to Wargames or just Napoleonics?

The ones I'm thinking of are new to both, although I'd be interested in hearing answers for both types.

Eatloaf Inactive Member05 Jan 2013 8:42 p.m. PST

Best is to have someone teach you (convention game).

In my case, we're all new to it. I'm going to have to read the rules , prepare proxy units or buy a couple of armies, and then convince others that they want to try it and guarantee that their first experience is a good one.

Toaster05 Jan 2013 10:20 p.m. PST

If by intro you are including figures cost then SDS is the cheapest option as you only need a handful of figures per side. One box of Victix early french infantry can have half the figures painted as spanish to give you an instant 2 forces (for perfectionists trim the points off the front of the waistcoats).

SDS is a lot of fun, easy to learn and is great for the sort of small actions that populate the sharpe novels.


Fredloan05 Jan 2013 10:47 p.m. PST

Shako2 is also a great game with fairly easy mechanics and a great feel for the period.

cherrypicker06 Jan 2013 3:55 a.m. PST

Warhammer Waterloo :-)

Combat Colours Supporting Member of TMP06 Jan 2013 4:54 a.m. PST

I'd second Command & Colors; I have a friend who turned it into a 15mm game.
Easy for anyone to pick-up on the rules and play the game.

LeadLair76 Inactive Member06 Jan 2013 5:23 a.m. PST

I will third Command and Colors for beginners. It will come with all the "miniatures" you need to get started. Obviously they are just wooden blocks but it really keeps cost and setup time down (though you will spend hours putting stickers on blocks).

The downside to all of the command and colors games though are that I don't feel they give a very good feel to warfare during the time and are much more gamey than a lot of other games. I do think they are great for beginners though because it is a really fun set of rules. The randomness of using the card deck though isn't for everyone. At the price well worth picking up.

Lonkka1Actual06 Jan 2013 6:25 a.m. PST

h. Volley & Bayonet was rather easy and quick when we played a couple of games years ago.

z. General de Brigade works mighty fine. No nonsense rules and you don't have to be and expert of the era to understand how the mechanics work, any layman should do well.

z. Shako was also quick and easy. haven't tried Shako 2 though.

z. My gaming group has used quite a lot March Attack recently. Just one nappy game under the belt so far but quite a few games where the system was modified for ACW. Good stuff!

Big Ian Inactive Member06 Jan 2013 8:03 a.m. PST

I got into Nap because i picked up a copy of SDS. Small unit actions very typical of Sharpe novels as Toaster mentioned. Really easy to pick up and didn't require lots for figures or space to play. Well worth a look.

Nasty Canasta Inactive Member06 Jan 2013 8:29 a.m. PST

z. other…

"BB Gun and Sandpit (Beginners Set)"

Easy to learn rules and you can fire at anything as fast as you want. And it is much more fun when you use someone else's figures and they don't know it.

It's also the quickest way to break a square that I've ever seen.

Jcfrog Supporting Member of TMP06 Jan 2013 9:53 a.m. PST

What kind of new players?

Wargamers new to napys?
New to wargaming in general?
How much time and space do you have?
Do they have a knowledge of the period and some tactics? a.k.a.some history buff)
if they already are players (including ahem SF/ fantasy etc. what kind of games?)

Remember they have to like the game, the setting, the aspect (not nec. all) and more often than not at the beginning…to ..err…win.
believe me it helps.

spontoon06 Jan 2013 10:23 a.m. PST

V & B.

Princeps Inactive Member06 Jan 2013 1:05 p.m. PST

Le petit empereur by Chipco.

Eatloaf Inactive Member06 Jan 2013 2:43 p.m. PST

What kind of new players?

I think that's part of the discussion. Is there a specific answer for different backgrounds? Personally, I've got friends that range the gamut but most have some boardgame experience and some tabletop experience.

Would your recommendation be different for someone that's played a lot of Risk vs Puerto Rico vs WH40k?

Barks1 Inactive Member07 Jan 2013 12:05 a.m. PST

Commands & Colors.

Jcfrog Supporting Member of TMP07 Jan 2013 4:49 a.m. PST

I don't know all the rules or their last version.

1st what appeals to your friends? the period the dress etc. do they wish to redo Eylau (as a board-gamer would) or have a more "tactical" flavour of the period; for example as to compare with other games? quicky or deep long…ask them.

If they are really looking into napys with an historical mind (which contrary to many gamers belief should not be adverse to as much accuracy as possible; it has nothing to do one is tactics and use, the other is mechanics)
I would avoid the "general store" rules like V&B (which can put a grand show, but just is a simple board-game with rectangles that happen to have Napoleonic figures on them or 1877 or…)but it is very easy.

You could also put in your list:
"Le feu sacré" by the 2fatlardies: as usual a good compromise between a great game (with cards etc which may appeal to your chaps) and good research. (and not to be nasty might not apply to some titles you named, TMHO) After all it has a French name too ,albeit slightly weird (would apply to Neanderthal games).

Uesugi Kenshin Supporting Member of TMP08 Jan 2013 12:37 p.m. PST

1) Black Powder
then Volley & Bayonet.

John Thomas826 Jan 2013 10:57 p.m. PST

I'll second La Feu Sacre.

spontoon27 Jan 2013 3:38 p.m. PST

No one favours Empire?

Dexter Ward28 Jan 2013 4:32 a.m. PST

Empire as an introductory game? That's crazy talk!
I like LFS, but I'd not recommend it as an introductory game, as it is quite complex.
Lasalle would fit the bill; simple, clear rule mechanisms and very well explained.
Shako is another good set which is straightforward and easy to understand (although the orders are likely to confuse new players).

MarescialloDiCampo28 Jan 2013 1:25 p.m. PST

Shako is my choice

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