Sunday, February 14, 2010

I have purchased Republic to Empire (RtE) and read through it now 2 times. I think all the information that I will need to play is present, but I find that the author and I don't mesh well when it comes to organization. I can find absolutely no fault with the book or contents itself. I find the structure and content is helpfully comprehensive....I just guess that I could never guess what was coming next. Often times when you read rules, you have a good idea with what is due for explanation next. I found in this case that the book and I just didn't click. The way this game seems to be developed and refined probably has a bit of a learning curve and perhaps this is why I don't quite follow along quickly. I have found myself wishing to do the rewrite so that things are more intuitively useful for me.
I reread the above paragraph and find that I too am also a bit guilty of writing with a bit of a ramble also.
Lets just say that I read the rules, found alot of good insight and useful rules mechanisms, but felt like there are a bit of conventions that were assumed that I followed and which didn't need to be explained. I would just get lost.
As I read futher along, I did find the section at the end where the writer saves himself. Just like so many instances as I have done, the writer assumes that we will all just put some figs on the table and go at it, sorting out things as they come. In this case, he basically gives you a narrative account of a scenario, implementing the rules, explaining the die rolls etc, all in an effective After Action Report. Basically a written out version of our afternoon rules exploration games. I found that this helps to tie things together nicely; although a bit of better organizational writing may have done it earlier and made the section less necessary.
Please don't misunderstand, the book is written better then I would be able to write a rules book. I think it may well be the game that I use for Napoleonics. I just find again that I have to wait for and or tease out the small bits and pieces that don't appear until a bit later in the writing.
My concern is that finding the applicable rules during a game might take a bit longer due to my perceived organizational issues.
I have not played a game where PiPs are used, nor have I played where I don't count individual soldiers for firing purposes (in a Napoleonic game). I like both concepts. I am aware that Clarence Harrison will be running a game at Historicon. Perhaps I can get up there to play.
As a post script, I had problems with the mail delivering my rules, and I received prompt and effective response by both Barry Hilton and Clarence.


  1. I read your entry when you first wrote it and I have to say I agree with you 100%. I have read through the book 3-4 times now and still can not get a sense of what to do. The AAR does help, but I still unclear on the flow. Their website has little info, there appears to be few people on the forum and their are few questions suggesting that everyone there knows the rule well. Compare it to the Lasalle site. Anyway the rules do appear interesting, so I am going to push on.

    Best wishes,


  2. ANY TIME you guys have questions, you can find us at the LoA site and I check in with Clash of Empires every day as well (as JAM knows). You can also reach me at if for some reason questions to public forums go unanswered!

    Shaman, there's a mini-scenario on my blog that JAM is currently running through... put some figures on the table and give the rules a try. The learning curve is actually smaller than it may appear. Most of our play testers had the basics down in three or four turns and after a couple of games, you can play using only the QRS for most things.

    Again, I will be happy to answer any questions that come up and there are actually half a dozen guys on the LoA forum who probably have a better grasp of the rules than I do!