Saturday, 8 April 2017

Napoleon's Triumph and repeat play

I bought Napoleon's Triumph several years ago when it was cheap and life was easy. I found it pretty hardcore and only pulled it off the shelf once every six months so I sold it to some dude from Sheffield. Since then I've moved to Sheffield and that dude (James) is one of my main game opponents. Recently (relatively) we've been playing Napoleon's Triumph.

Image by Mitte_70, borrowed from BGG.
I think my initial feels about this game have been validated. If you play it regularly there is some thing really unique and excellent here. With single sporadic games you have to relearn the un-intuitive rules and live through the same mistakes. It becomes a game of who makes biggest blunder first.

In our most recent game James took me by surprise by effectively using his cavalry to screen. I know that this is the primary role of cavalry in most warfare but this was the first game I have seen it done effectively in. It tied down my best infantry corps more or less taking it out of the game. In the centre we pushed around, I avoided Jame's trap and even took the upper hand for me to lose it all in one large and badly thought through push. Things then went to pot pretty fast with the allied centre collapsing a few turns later.

We've played Rachel's other more recent game, Guns of Gettysburg, a couple of times too. Until this game of Napoleon's Triumph I felt that Guns was actually the better title, now I'm not so sure. Napoleon's Triumph is actually a little short for what it is. Normally brevity if a good thing in a game but with NT I feel that the room for mistakes is so great an extra hour of run time and a little more forgiveness may benefit it. Guns on the other hand is a little longer.

My main point in write in this post is this, only get one of Rachel's games if you have a regular opponent and you both want to invest in really learning the game. As dedicated games these are great, as one off experiences they are a frustration.

Found this in Vienna, nice holiday surprise after the boredom of Baroque


  1. I like the look of it from the photos - has the feel of the original Kriegsspiel about it.

    I think that there is a bit of a conundrum in gaming that the best games you enjoy the most require a level of time investment that you can't put it often leading you to try simpler and often less rewarding games that can cause you to loose your enthusiasm.

    I do think though my lack of napoleonic knowledge would hinder me in this. That said its modelling of cavalry is refreshing.



    1. Its a very pretty game, the designers others are too, but it feels rather like an abstract until you really get into it. The cannon rules still make zero sense to me from a thematic point of view. Its an area map and you declare attack feints to draw off enemy blocks before hitting at a point they cannot defend. Its very original but can be rather confusing at first.

    2. I'd agree that this needs regular attention. I prefer Gettysburg but I know it a lot better than NT at this stage, as well as just preferring ACW to Nap.

      I think Simmons best game is yet to come.

      - J