Selecting Countries for Playing the Napoleonic Wars OnLine
In the Napoleonic Wars OnLine (NWOL), players can choose to play from a
broad range of
states: six major powers, five minor powers, and a number of fragmented
states in Germany
and Italy which can change as game play develops. The experience you
will have in the game
depends on which type of state you play for, and you are more likely to
enjoy NWOL if
you select a state which matches your interests in the game. This
document goes over
the differences between the types of states and offers some suggestions
one may match your desires best.
There are four important differences between the types of states:
citizens, degree of involvement in campaigns, access to different
degree of national freedom to set policy. Different states offer
combinations of game opportunities and you should consider those
as you select your choices of state. In particular, minor powers are
likely to be neutral, or at least not actively involved in operations,
the game than major powers and fragmented states. In major states, the
number of citizens may make it possible for citizens to briefly reduce
activity in the game, whereas a fragmented state represents somewhat
an individual commitment.
- Number of citizens
Playing for a state with many citizens (as many as 8 or 10 or 12) is
different from playing
for a state with only one or two citizens. In a state with many
citizens, you are more
likely to be able to specialize in one module (land war, naval war,
diplomacy) or in one
area of operations. On the other hand, if you do so, you may find that
you are not aware
of the details of things that other citizens of the state are doing. In
a smaller state, you
are likely to need to play in multiple modules in a variety of roles.
Also, you are likely
to need to serve in one or more ministerial positions, whereas in a
large state you may
be able to avoid doing so. In a small state, each individual citizen
has more influence
over the policies of the state than in a large one; but each citizen
will bear greater
responsibility for making policy as well.
France will usually have the most citizens; in past NWOLs she averaged
8 to 10. Other major nations usually had 5 to 8 players. Minor nations
tended to have between 3 and 5 players depending on size. Fragmented
states almost always had 1 or 2. The number
of players in NWOL 3 may be more or less depending on how many players
but the proportion of players in each state is expected to be about the
- Involvement in campaigns
Different states are likely to be involved at different levels,
depending on where they are
on the game map and how powerful they are. States that are located in
of the map are likely to find other nations wishing to move through
their territory to
fight others. It is hard for these nations to stay uninvolved in the
conflicts of their
neighbors. Nations on the edges of the map are less likely to be in the
operations and thus more likely to be able to stay neutral in conflicts
they are not
directly part of.
The major powers are generally fairly centrally located - Britain and
less so, but their navies tend to give them mobility, as they did in
the real wars. The
minor powers, with the exception of Holland, are located on the edges
of the map.
They have better options for staying out of wars and may have
becoming involved when they want to be. They are more likely to be
long periods of time. The fragmented states are in the center of the
map and will
almost always be involved in operations; it is very difficult for them
uninvolved in the conflicts of their large neighbors.
- Access to different modules
Different states have different abilities to participate in the
modules of NWOL. The most obvious one is that only states with ports
sufficient financial resources can participate in the naval module.
and Prussia have limited port access; most German and some Italian
states may have none. States with more financial resources may have
options in the economic module as well.
- National freedom to set policy
Larger states have more diplomatic leverage, and are more likely to be
choose the policies they follow. This gives them flexibility but also
can lead to
long discussions about options and difficulties in choosing among them.
states are likely to come under the influence of larger neighboring
find themselves with little or no choice about what policies to do.
This is particularly true of small and centrally located states whose
actions are important
to the major powers.
The larger powers tend to have the most choice about what to do,
although in all
cases they are subject to the actions of other large powers; for
example, a state
which is attacked must defend itself. This is somewhat less true for
of its particular status in the victory conditions. Smaller powers are
more likely to
find themselves facing demands from other powers they must accede to.
diplomatic play is likely to be more intense in the smaller states. In
states, state survival depends as much, or more, on diplomatic play
In general, in choosing between powers, one makes a choice between
with citizens of one's own state, and citizens of other states. Larger
more discussion among themselves but are less constrained in diplomacy;
of smaller states have more say in their state's choice of policy, but
are likely to
find that other nations reduce the number of choices they have. In
the past some players have been interested in playing fragmented states
belief that they would be free to do whatever they wanted. This belief
out to be false because of the influence of major powers on the
Players should not register for fragmented states unless they are
willing to accept
the risk that their nation will become in whole or in part subjugated
to (or overrun
by) another nation.