Napoleon: Partial War

Demo! Demo! Demo! Demo of a strategy game! Being a gentleman who tends towards robots and explosions in his real-time strategy games and turn-based in his historical strategy games, I remain a little unclear as to whether Napoleon: Total War is a brand new game, or a cleverly-marketed standalone expansion. Or both. All I know is that Quinns quite liked it. There’s a demo out now via Steam, which means you can ascertain for yourself whether it’s a new age or a repeat of Empire. The AI’s much better, I hear. And it’s important to always mention the AI in any discussion of recent Total War games, apparently. Oh- the demo contains a tutorial and the France vs Prussia Battle of Ligny scenario. Fight!


  1. heartlessgamer says:

    I don’t know what it is, but I tried the Total War series at the same time I tried the Civ series. Civ was just a more satisfying experience and the only part that Total War has on it is the battles, which get boring after the first few. Civ games feel fresh every time I play.

  2. 1stGear says:

    Ooh, this is exactly what I was hoping for. I’m always confused when games don’t release demos.

  3. strangelingo says:

    England vs Prussia? Huh?

  4. Scundoo says:

    NTW is a good game.
    It requires modding though.
    The stats are unbalanced (obscene howitzers/rockets, lights overpowered, accuracy too great)
    Modding is even worse than in ETW
    Not only does it not come with a map editor
    If you try to add a Map, the game is designed to crash
    Apparently CA wants to come out with a 10$ a pop Map pack DLC

    • Tim Ward says:

      Seriously, what’s with CA’s rocket obsession?

    • Real Horrorshow says:

      The game doesn’t crash if you try to add a map. People add ETW custom maps and it crashes. And since they released half a dozen maps for ETW for free in a patch, your claim that they’ll sell us maps is dubious. They may have released unit packs for ETW but there are mods that add dozens of new units to the game, so they’re not locking that out either.

      There already tons of gameplay mods out for NTW too btw.

      I’ve had NTW for a week and I have to say that it’s superior to ETW in every way except the absence of the American and Indian theaters. I didn’t miss them at first but after a bit of campaigning I do. Still though, NTW’s campaign maps are much large (in terms of actual space for you to play on) and much more detailed.

    • Scundoo says:

      The game doesn’t crash if you try to add a map. People add ETW custom maps and it crashes.

      You do realize you contradict yourself in the very same post?
      Nobody is trying to “steal” maps from ETW and add them to NTW
      and that includes of course player-made maps.

    • Real Horrorshow says:

      You do realized you totally missed the word “custom,” don’t you? And that I never used the word “steal?” Read more carefully, champ.

      Maps are crashing because the tools the community created to make ETW maps don’t work in NTW. They need to make new tools. Pretty simple.

      That doesn’t mean it’s some grand conspiracy by CA to lock out custom maps in order to force people to buy DLC. After all, as I pointed out, there are plenty of custom units created by the community that theoretically “compete” with CA’s DLC unit packs, and they haven’t tried to lock that out either.

      The thing people don’t seem to realize is that the TW mod community has always been left to it’s own devices. Except for a map creator in the really early games, there have never been official tools released. The only thing that’s changed is TW moving to a new engine and file system which has to go through some growing pains before modders can really exercise their creativity. Nothing’s been “locked out.” When ETW came out people thought modding was dead. Now there are packs with 60 units in them and gig-sized uber mods like Darth.

      Don’t be an angry internet man, be a realist.

    • Scundoo says:

      ETW and NTW are the same engine.
      The tools were updated, and the process of adding maps is the same
      There is a hardcoded limit in the amount of maps that NTW will accept
      If that isn’t locking out modding, then I don’t know what is

      Your lack of realism is evident in your calling Darth’s mod “uber”
      compare that with any other mod for Rome or Medieval 2, and you’ll see how ridiculous that claim is.

    • Real Horrorshow says:

      Same base engine but updated in many respects. Not exactly the same. Again, it’s very simple.

      The modders will find a way as they have with almost everything else. People were just as dire about the apparent lack of ability to add new units to ETW when it was just two weeks old, now I can play American Civil War battles with authentic uniforms or invade France with my pickelhaube’d Prussians. Give it some time. You’re jumping to very harsh conclusions very early on.

      If it turns out to be as impossible to add new maps, I’ll join in with you, but it’s too early.

    • Vinraith says:


      Disappointing, but unsurprising. After the EMpire debacle, I’m entirely happy to skip this one.

      I think I’ll go buy Rise of Prussia instead.

  5. Diogo Ribeiro says:

    I think the game’s pretty snazzy though I’d prefer to have open play scenarios rather than a huge campaign that unfolds. It works in some games, not so much in others, but if I’d want to jump right into a famous battle or event, I have to play others I may not be as interested in first.

    Also, AI’s broken right from the tutorial, where my monsieurs ran up behind a blockade and then were looking and moving around suspiciously, as if they felt they were being watched, while – hey, they were being watched by a much smaller group of chaps shooting at them. Thankfully, the guys behind the cannons were less blinded and killed them off.

    Also from the tutorial, and I think its representative of future scenarios, ship battles are still a bit uneventful. In the sense they’re more plodding and less exciting than ground fare. That’s one thing I really enjoyed in Sid Meier’s remake of Pirates – those battles had cruch to them.

    Along the SP the narrator and tutorial overlord are the same guy, with the same accent, so it feels like you’re hearing a guy with split personality. “Where would Napoleon’s journeys take him? To move, select the GIANT NAPOLEON ON YOUR MAP and click on a nearby city”. And then violins (?) play.

  6. A-Scale says:

    Didn’t the Eurogamer review specifically state that the AI was still rubbish? That’s what’s keeping me from playing it.

    • Real Horrorshow says:

      Whether or not it’s at a level that would satisfy you, I can confirm from my own personal experiences and the consensus of the community that it is, at least, a marked improvement over ETW in both campaign and battle AI.

    • Bluebreaker says:

      which means little, because its still bad.

      Tactical AI: make a single line with all units, if thinks can win will send the line to attack without much concert. Also will rotate the line, to match your deployment, but leaving guns behind.
      Strategic AI: defend only the city in the capital of nation, attack with anything that is not in capital.

      Difficulties, the hardest levels only change how much the IA cheats, “free” units and buildings in strategic difficulty, and massive bonuses for their units (militia units can win line units on very hard on 1on1) on tactical

    • Oak says:

      Whether or not it’s at a level that would satisfy you, I can confirm from my own personal experiences and the consensus of the community that it is, at least, a marked improvement over ETW in both campaign and battle AI.

      Steam must have given me a bad copy, because I’ve been seeing a lot of the same behavior that could make Empire such a heartbreaking experience. Expeditionary forces waiting at the enemy coast without ever disembarking, huge merchant fleets sitting still in the open sea, armies pacing back and forth on the same route every turn, Russia defending the Siberian frontier, etc. In more than one battle, enemy units have stood motionless under fire from several of mine. I should never have to order a bayonet charge out of pity.

  7. malkav11 says:

    As far as I can tell Napoleon is a standalone expansion released at full game price.

    • Diogo Ribeiro says:

      What full game price? It’s about half the price of a standard game release. At least it’s half in Europe. Hey! Napoleon, Europe, short prices… I’m sensing a theme.

      Really, lists it at 17£ whereas most other releases I see (like Bad Company 2) are around the 27£ or more.

    • Real Horrorshow says:

      Well for one, the super duper limited edition is $10 cheaper than the normal version of ETW (note: Steam pricing fail, again. Look at online retailers or go to the store.) Second, except for some music, there’s no reused content. It’s up to how you define “standalone expansion.” It is very, very close to ETW’s time period and the tactics and unit types are the similar (the same could be said of any sequel to a WW2 game), but the game is composed entirely of new content.

    • Lemon scented apocalypse says:

      Real Horrorshow….CA employee? *troll-coshed*

    • Real Horrorshow says:

      I gotta be a CA employee to point out obvious inaccuracies and misconceptions in people’s posts?

      When I read things that are obviously false, I’m going to point it out, regardless if whining about every aspect of TW games is the cool thing to do.

    • Lemon scented apocalypse says:

      Sorry, couldn’t resist.
      In all fairness though, I find it hard to be supportive of the current CA spawn. A tragedy of wasted opportunity and a developer that doesent listen to its consumers. (Or perhaps it does….and if this is the case….. Good god. There’s your tragedy) Thereby dooming to mediorcity a series that could genuinely be sublime.

    • Reiver says:

      It’s £18 for the regular edition which is about on par with about 50% of the games i buy new. However i really don’t care too much about that. My bugbear with this “expandalone” remains that, unlike an expansion pack i’m not gaining any improvement for the original game. ETW remains for me a hollow experience that i still don’t feel i’ve had satisfaction from and to see the improvements in NTW and not benefit from them in the original game leaves me very bitter.

  8. Ronnie76er says:

    Funniest title ever.

  9. GRIMDARK says:

    After the bugs and other bullshit that I had to deal with in E:TW, I will never support another TW title.

  10. Jimmy says:

    There are always going to be AI shortcomings in a game of this size. It’s not “broken”, it’s just not “perfect”. It is incredibly difficult to create a system that can analyse an almost unlimited range of possibilities across multiple stages of war. AOE, on the other hand, is one battle at a time. Chess AI is even simpler.

    I have just finished one M2TW long campaign (took me a while to buy it) and its great, but takes ~100 hours to complete if you are a control freak like me. What I like about N:TW is that it is focussed on shorter tighter campaigns suited to the amount of time I can invest.

    The modding community for TW is great. But this is added value from the community, and CA is not expected to support it financially through investment in modding tools. ‘Nough bitchin’ already.

  11. Yontan says:

    I’ve just bought NTW and I played it for a couple hours last night. I really enjoyed the simple improvement of shortening the turn time to 2 weeks. Also increasing the amount of deplomacy that can be negociated, such as trage embargos is a much needed addition. I’m still hugely disapointed with a huge backward step that the series has taken in terms of sieges though. Capturing or defending a fort isn’t nearly as rewarding an experience as a city or castle in medieval and rome versions. It almost put me off buying the game, but i gave in because ultimately i’ve been waiting for a Napoleon Total war game since I started playing. The Napoleonic Total war Mod was a good stop-gap but seeing the thin red line destroying the masses is very satisfying whe they fire by rank.

  12. DazzeL says:

    I have a question about Napoleon….

    I’ve owned and loved every Total War game ever release but I’ve never bothered with an expansion pack. For me, I’ve just never needed one. I’m a Grand Campaign man and can’t be bothered with the smaller, story-led campaigns that tend to turn into a sequence of battles and nothing more.

    However.. Napoleon appeals because many of the reviews have used the term “improved multiplayer”. These same reviews have also managed to neglect what exactly the improvements are. I’m interested and intrigued, can any of you answer? I would love a better ranked ladder, the simple ratings from Empire were ok but needed more visibility.

  13. hansg says:

    has anyone played the demo yet?
    i cant get it to work.. it just wont start… -_-

  14. Dr.Danger says:

    Empire = Total Failure; Napoleon = ses Magnifique. It restored my faith in Total War games, Empire was too big for me, took too much time and in general was a lumbering dinosaur. In NTW, great campaign, better interface and very good AI improvements. Enjoying every minute and recommend to everyone who was disappointed with Empire, this is like a different game. Enough said.

  15. Grey Cap says:

    Interesting, I actually miss the size of Empire. Or, rather, I miss India (a beautiful continent to conquer).

  16. Heliocentric says:

    So… Mod support? Didn’t think so.