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"New with lots of questions on Empire III" Topic

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HidaSeku17 Apr 2015 7:47 p.m. PST

Okay, so let me start out by saying I'm completely new to Napoleonic wargaming and that I have zero experience in wargaming that era and that my historical knowledge of the period ranges from spotty, at best, to completely ignorant.

I recently purchased the box for Empire III, and I would like to solo play the game. I want to build up two sides, and have big battles replaying the history of the Napoleonic wars. I have several questions that I'm hoping experts on TMP can help with.

1) What scale should I play?

I'm aware this is a loaded question, so perhaps I should clarify what I'm thinking. The rulebook itself mentions 15mm, 20mm, and 25mm. Personally, I'd be okay with 15mm or 1/72 scale plastics, probably HaT. As I'm solo playing, though, I can honestly pick any scale. I've also considered 10mm, 6mm, and 3mm (more on that in the next).

2) What model ratio should I play?

This is highly related question to the first. I notice 60:1, 30:1, and 20:1 all being highly discussed, with the 60:1 being more for 1/72 and 20:1 being more for 10mm. To be insane (which I find tempting), I think it'd also be interesting to try a 1:1 at 3mm. I'm not sure just how much space this would take, or how long it would take to accrue, but the concept of having thousands of models on the table, each actually being a representative of a single soldier is highly appealing. For table space concerns, I have a 4ft by 6ft table currently and I plan on building a 8ft by 6ft or a 10ft by 6ft table when I move into a house next month.

3) Is there a good resource online to learn the system?

I'm not an expert at learning wargaming systems, and this one is supposedly much more complex than some. I've flipped through the book casually, but I think it'd be highly helpful to read some high level "basics" and then delve further and further into the minutiae of the game.

4) Is there any recommended books for learning the era?

I'm currently a couple chapters into Tolstoy's War and Peace and I'm enjoying it thus far (we'll see if that lasts!). Are they any great books you can recommend to me to learn the history behind everything?

5) Any suggestions for two armies?

This one is much more open ended than the rest. Any suggestion to two armies to solo play against each other that can give a variety of both battlefields and "battles that could've happened" with the same kit would be great! I would like to start with two armies, all built, and then try to see how much I enjoy it. I'm always down for less "common" choices. For example, in my adventures in solo gaming WWII in 1/72 scale using Flames of Wars rules, I play Soviets vs Rumanians and have a great time!

Thanks in advance for answering my questions! Hopefully the post is not too lengthy!

Personal logo Saber6 Supporting Member of TMP Fezian17 Apr 2015 8:15 p.m. PST

1} as you are looking to play solo, 1/72 plastics might be a god choice. 15mm was the standard "in the day"

2) How big a table do you plan on using? 1:60 was what most of us used (more units for the number of figures)

3) There might be a Yahoo group, but not aware of any online resources like you asked for

4) Chandler's Campaigns of Napoleon, Gill's Thunder on the Danube or with Eagles to Glory would be a good start

5) France and Austria as they fought in nearly every major war during the period.

If you are looking to play big battles on a 4x8 table Empire III will get you @ 1 Corps per side. I'm moved on to Age of Eagles (which does have a lot of online support)

forwardmarchstudios17 Apr 2015 11:01 p.m. PST

Go with 3mm. It's the best!

I've been doing some stuff on my blog recently for the scale, and I'm about to do another post on it this weekend. It's quite a bit of fun, since you can really experiment, there not being any right or wrong way to do anything in 3mm yet.

1:1 is a lofty goal, even with 3mm, but it's certainly attainable and worthwhile trying out. I have some examples on my blog if you scroll to the bottom:

1:1 is definitely possible, but the really great advantage of it is that you can build up to it pretty easily from 6:1 (which works for a variety of reasons that I can expound upon tomorrow, after I get a good nights rest.). If interested in hearing more about 3mm let me know, and keep an eye out for my next blog post, which'll show how you can put together an easy-enough tactical terrain set-up in 3mm.

razuse Supporting Member of TMP18 Apr 2015 4:55 a.m. PST

forwardmarchstudios, some wonderful ideas…I truly love the tree idea for 3mm…going to use that one!

Personal logo Extra Crispy Sponsoring Member of TMP18 Apr 2015 8:09 a.m. PST

I think first you need to think about what kind of game you want to play. Do you want to lead a brigade or command an entire army?

I am doing units at 2.5:1 (or so) and a single battalion is 18" long. Even a 10' table (mine is 9x6), going across the table, would be pretty full with just 7 or 8 units a side.

I'm also at the other end of the spectrum doing Leipzig. This game uses 30x30mm stands to represent brigades, 1cm=100 yards and even then squeezing the battle on my table will be a challenge.

HidaSeku18 Apr 2015 9:29 a.m. PST

Some great responses thus far!

Saber6, I think doing 1/72 at 1:60 is going to be my default backup plan if I can't figure something out that would be better. I definitely appreciate that list of books! I've saved that list on to my phone (via a photo) and will look for them when I frequent the various discount bookstores in the area!

I think, in the end, a 10ft by 6 ft table sounds like the best amount of "space", so I will be creating this. Fairly simple with 4 folding tables, with something on top so miniatures cannot literally "fall in the cracks"!

forwarmarchstudios, I'm enjoying flipping through your blog! I really enjoy the building ideas and your terrain mat is near perfect! Lots of great eye candy, and I think 3mm might be the way to go, as long as I can accomplish two things: 1) find the appropriate miniatures 2)get the bases to "work" with Empire III. Some more encouragement on doing 3mm would be great! haha also, I'm in Southern California so as a Fresno resident yourself (at least, according to your blog) you'll have some of the same distributors so that would be nice!

Extra Crispy, I have no idea what kind of game I want to play. Perhaps I should ask what level Empire III is geared toward? Saber6 says about a Corps a side is right, but if Empire III is better played a level up or a level down, then I'm all ears! I definitely like the idea of a lower ratio of 2.5:1, but I can see a battalion being 18" being a problem. Just out of curiosity, what scale are you playing in?

Thanks for the help, guys!

One more question: Although there are stats for every reasonable unit, there are no battles with the formations in the box. I'm sure this would be as simple as going to a scenario? Or will this be a fun experiment in researching a particular battle and finding out what units were in it down to a battalion level? I can see this being a bit frustrating, so if someone has done a lot of this, that'd be great! Also, I'm sure a lot of this is down in the Napoleonic Scenarios board and I would just have to look!

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