Unlike the elegantly explained and terrific solitaire gem that is Thunderbolt Apache Leader, the rulebook of Field Commander: Napoleon is loaded with typos and lacking a LOT of important information, even though both are from the same talented (and prolific) designer, Dan Verssen. After I did a number of online reconnaissance missions to fill in the clerical blanks, I determined that FC:N was indeed a pretty good game.
I very much like the two differently scaled maps (though I did not love that the combat map looked like a football field). The way the campaigns have both a macro (geographic map) and micro (battle map) focus is really nice. Although interesting conceptually, the Battle Plan assignment phase seems to complicate and slow down things more than I’d like, especially with all of the unclear abbreviations and forced non-assignments that may occur.
I played Field Commander: Napoleon in full three times, and I had an ‘Inferior Victory’ the third time, but the lack of fluidity with the combat sections (even after many hours of play) and the quantity of modifiers that are scattered throughout the rule book, but listed nowhere else made it too clunky and procedural to flow.
So it’s a pretty good game that underperforms when compared to complete DVG successes like Thunderbolt Apache Leader (which gets my highest recommendation as both a war game and a solitaire game) and Warfighter WWII, which I am currently playing for a fourth time and relishing.