|1807, Friedland by Ernest Meissonier (Source)|
For years I avoided buying stuff online, I'll admit it, I'm old school. I like to walk into an emporium where the merchandise is on display and you can eyeball it and make an assessment of its worth. Easier to determine if said merchandise is worthy of one's hard-earned pay as well.
But as things improved, reputations were established and recommendations were received from folks who had "been there, done that," I began making forays into the online shopping world.
Well, for books that's fairly easy. A buddy recommends a book, you check it out, read some excerpts, hit a couple of keys and "bingo," a few days later you have the book in hand. Now I'm not a big fan of having to "wait for it." Usually a quick check of the local Barnes & Noble and I can have the book in hand nearly immediately. But there are a great many books which aren't stocked in a normal book store. So it's off to Amazon I go. (The military history section in most book stores leaves something to be desired for a Napoleonic buff.)
Computer games are a whole different thing though, I mean they're computer programs right? Which can have their bits and bytes sent over the Web of World Wideness dontcha know?
I personally use Steam, select the software (computer wargame, usually), and a few keystrokes later you're downloading the game. Many companies provide online support and also provide updates to the game. (Software is always buggy to a certain extent.) There are also lots of online reviews where you can see what other folks think of the game. (Preferably before you lay down your simoleons for it.)
Which is how I wound up with this one...
Alright, it's not the most historically accurate simulation of the Napoleonic Wars. Mostly because the designers' intent was not to provide a simulation, but a game. Something that is fun. Victory & Glory certainly is that. Fun. Lots of fun. It's what we called a "beer and pretzels" game back in the days of board gaming. You didn't need a degree from the War College nor be a military expert in order to play the thing.
A few rules to learn then you could kick back with your mates, drink beer and munch snacks all while having a great time. Though with a computer game it's normally just you and the machine. You can still eat pretzels and drink beer, upside is you don't have to share. Downside is spillage. Keep the crumbs and the slopped over ale away from the equipment and you'll be fine.
A game I've had for a while is Scourge of War, Waterloo and I've broken that out recently. While Victory & Glory is most certainly fun, sometimes you feel the need for more realism. Here are some screen shots, you be the judge...
|View from the Duke of Wellington's position. The farm of La Haye Sainte is just down the slope.|
|Bull's Battery, Royal Horse Artillery firing in support of the troops garrisoning Hougoumont.|
|Quiot's division of d'Erlon's I Corps awaiting the order to advance.|
|Light infantrymen of the 1st Légère (Bauduin's Brigade) attacking the south wall of Hougoumont. Their casualties are mounting!|
|Oh my! Aren't those men of the 3rd Foot Guards? Why are they retreating?|
I would write more but as you can see, Hougoumont is in danger of falling. I must rally those troops and get them back on the line.
I certainly hope the Duke hasn't noticed!
Oh yeah, there's also a Scourge of War, Gettysburg (with add-ons for Antietam and Chancellorsville, yes I have those). Also most excellent! This also keeps me away from the depressing reality of the 24-hour news cycle. Wargaming is my version of "going sinker."
(Yes, yes, busy, busy, no time for blogging. I'll be back as soon as I settle this mess.)