Wednesday, November 19, 2008
Napoleon at Waterloo - Review
I recently made up a copy of Napoleon at Waterloo, that is, I made a Print and Play copy of the game.
I actually sourced the components from two different places aiming to get the best of both packages.
I grabbed the original graphics from www.alanemrich.com. This allows you to print out a copy of the original map which I happen to like very much. I actually scaled the image up so that I had larger hexes, all the better to pickup and generally handle the counters.
For the rules and counters I went to a different source. BGG user haruspex has uploaded a nice "complete" package on the games page. This give you the rules tables and a blank hex map that you'll have to fill in yourself ( hence why I went to the other place for the original map ). Most importantly though haruspec has put together some very nice upgraded counters. These are bimple black counters on a white background so you need to print the counters on appropriate coloured paper.
The quick way of mounting the board and counters is to stick the printed paper onto the back of self adhesive floor tiles! You can cut these with scissors so making the counters is easy.
The counters are simple and uncluttered, Attack value, move points, start location and unit type is all there is. Very easy to read and play with.
Setting up the game is straight forward. The map indicates which space should have an French Infantry on it or British Cavalry, and each counter indicates it's type and start hex. So between these two guides you can quickly get the counters onto the board.
Play is in the classic I Go, You Go. Counters exude a Zone Of Control as is usual in hex and counter games.
The combat is very straight forward odds based. You add up the combat points in the attack and figure these against the attack points of the defender to calulate odds. I should also note that terrain effects combat, for instance units in Buildings get a bonus. Then you roll a die and cross reference these against a CRT that spreads the usual array of results from Attacker eliminated to Defender Eliminated.
Movement is very simple. Units have a number of movement points and you spend these to move from hex to hex. Movement is otherwise limited in passing through woods and entering Zones of Control. Very simple.
It's interesting that the two sides have differing goals. The British player needs to inflict 40 points of damage on the French, but the French on the other hand have to inflict 40 point and exit 7 units through the back line of the British side of the board.
So in summary what do I think of it? It is a simple and straight forward hex and counter game. There is really nothing unusual or unexpected in here. It is in fact "the classic" hex and counter game. I was a little disapointed that the movement and interaction of the various units did not feel more Napoleonic. However if you want a solid, small quick(ish) to play game, perhaps to introduce new gamers to wargames then this is your baby!