Having now played Napoleonic Library of Battles, Jours de Glorie and NBS from the Gamers….I’m stuck. Below in the video is what I thought I would find in Kevin Zuckers series.
Most of you have seen the video already, but I wanted to add a few words about Zuckers games and COA since I’ve had a few questions via YT and email.
The opinions from the video are really no surprise given the rules are an almost direct cut and paste. Command is tweaked, the addition of charges and a bit of arty does a little for the enhancement of flavor, it does not however much aid the destruction or demoralization of your enemies.
So it is also no surprise that my expectation of missing the mark was met.
Which is a darn shame.
Good looking counters (when not flipped over to be ‘hidden’ ) on gorgeous maps, had so much potential.
Frank Davis and his admirable effort on Wellingtons Victory from SPI back in the day took the time to careful attempt to craft a system that more accurately reflects Napoleonic combat, than this system which clearly has it roots back in Zuckers old SPI first efforts. Its literally as if a clock has stopped.
So it is a bit of a paradox I face. While I enjoy very much the OSG titles in the Days series, I find the NLB stuff to be massively out of touch with modern game design in the first instance and how what I have read and what I ‘understand’ to be historically true absent in the second instance.
Which leaves me headed down a slippery slope to test out Clash of Arms. NO! Too detailed….
The Marie Louise rules system has the appearance of ASL or TCS to me. This has a richness to it that will be rewarding IF I am prepared to invest the time. I fear I may not be wanting to do that.
The duration of a turn is a curious thing in Napoleonic tactical games. I often wonder why no one chose 1/2 hour turns. Why 20 minutes OR an hour? Why are those two time spans used almost exclusively by designers?
That said the NLB game is fun enough to play. It is fine. It works well enough.
You retreat – I advance, I retreat you advance. Such was life some of the time.
BUT, it is not presenting much of the story or the depth of the situation. It seems to me that it could be so much more. When I look at titles and series such as GBoH, or Musket and Pike and the level of effort they go to to capture the essence of command, combat, morale and weapon systems I expect that from this system.
Instead we receive a wonderful package, with lots of historical notes and a fairly weak gaming system laid upon all of that.
But hell I’m no expert on Napoleonic era combat. I’ve barely begun. I think that if more titles in the Days series come out I shall be first in line to Pre Order.
I will however wait to play this game NLB series opposed (face to face, since there are no VASSAL modules) at the tactical level before I discard the titles. You know just in case I’m horribly wrong.
Update August…ahh, screw it I sold the lot of Zucker NLB titles.