Field Commander: Napoleon is a solo war game from Dan Verssen Games. I traded an earlier copy of it away, thinking it wouldn’t be tactical enough for me to enjoy. But I ended up regretting the exchange and traded for another. I’m glad I did. The game simulates both strategy and tactics during the age of Napoleon… which, oddly enough, has never especially interested me. It’s ancient history that I truly enjoy. Yet this game is an awful lot of fun.
There are a lot of adventure novels out there with complex battle scenes that aren’t very well described,or thought out (or simply devolve to a siege — although I should say that there also are some great novels about sieges). I’ve spent a lot of time over the years reading about ancient campaigns, but reading is one thing. Actually testing out the strategies and moving armies and units around in a system that simulates a battle or a campaign is a pretty nifty way to get an even better grasp of what a story might require, or how a general might marshal troops.
I still mean to write some thoughts about the Dickens novels I read; and soon I’ll probably go into more detail about why, in particular, I enjoy this game. For the next few evenings, though, I”m likely to be busy playing the game rather than writing about it.