ESR Napoleonics for solo play
Hi, I am kind of new to napoleonic miniatures wargaming. I have played napoleonic wargames on PC for years but my desire is really now to just do it sans computer - with rules and miniatures, be they paper or plastic ones and I am looking for ideal rules that one could adapt to solo play, which is what my preference is.
I dont know anything about ESR so would like to know if this system can be adapted to solo well or not. I am really wanting something that can combine battles and operational level activities that i could delve into and yes i know the limitations of solo play but it satisfies me as even just purely simulation and attempted recreations.
There are just so many rulesets I cant work out what is best, though i am attracted to having some physical book of rules. I dont like reading pdfs from my computer screen,
Why not ? The emphasis is less tactical so you would not have turns composed of little more than die rolling. As an orders based system, by definition this means you can't just adjust for one side based on what you know the other is doing. i think that makes a better solitaire game. Also - IMO many scenarios reward patience, which can make for a sort of mid-game stall in the action that solo play simplifies if you condense "attacker isn't doing anything until x arrives, and defender waits"
i've solitaired this in a few scenarios just to learn the game - and because Covid put the kibosh on my live gaming groups. it worked out fine and also allowed exploration of more daring approaches one might not be able to play with live opponents.
in short - the rules are stupid cheap right now. buy em and try em.
thank you for your reply - yes the pre-order for the 3rd edition is cheap, though sadly as i am in australia, the price for the shipping is horrendously high - over $60usd
@agathosdaimon - well look at it this way: its $ 80us to have 'em in your hands. how does that compare for price with anything you might be able to go to a shop and pick up or find in a used aftermarket on line domestically ? If $ 80 is steep relative to those alternatives... take a lower priced flier on something you find that way.
One economic disadvantage of this (and many other rule systems) is: if you like historical scenarios where the map and forces and everything is all laid out for you (which is me, btw don't really like fictional pickup "OB" games) then you also need one or more of the campaign guides,"doubling" your economic quandary.
Two solutions... first - there's tutorials on this website that show you how to play the game. second, there are "reviews" by outside groups posted or at least findable through this website showing play of the game. View them, and decide if the rules fit your idea of a good solitaire game, and better yet - a good representation of warfare in the age. Thirdly and finally, though it is a quite large battle... The Smolensk scenario from the 1812 book is posted on this website as a free download.
Pull it up, save it, come back to look at it when you have time. These things ought to be far more instructive than commentary from knuckleheads like me who have obviously become fans and thus advocates of the rule set. If you don't like the rules, probably it will be that: you want more blood and guts tactical. line, square, etc. OR you dislike the restrictions on your actions that the orders based system imposes. I get the former but got past it. I LOVE that command and control are the essence of this game. Absent obvious mismatches of size or capability (and sometimes with them) this factor is THE differentiator from Alexander though this very day.
But in ANY case... Orders makes a better solo game because even though YOU know what both sides are doing, the rules mechanics don't allow you to adjust each side to the other's activities as if you have ULTRA or sattelite recon and comms.
thanks i do very very much like the concepts regarding command and control that you have described and i have read some battle reports too that all sounded good to me. Though i came upon a criticism here and there that the simulation of orders not being received at times seemed unrealistic ,however that was a playtest of a pre-release 1st edition, so have the rules been more perfected since the first edition?
So is it possible to fully utilise this games system with just the rules? as the campaign guides look great but are expensive and ones i have seen online elsewhere dont seem available to purchase
I think i would be willing to buy this one in any case.
I have gotten some other cheaper rules in the past, like Napoleon at War but it just didnt appeal to me and the rulebook itself seemed to be lacking details, and certainly has no operational component. Also the emphasis of the 1815 period does not interest me as much as the whole 1806-1813 span of campaigning