I was very disapointed about Empire, tho it came out back in 2009 I think, I had not studied the 18th century that much, Except for AWI. But I knew enough to be very disapointed. The game starts in 1700. But all the uniforms are bad compies of British 1768 Warrent uniforms, just diffrent colors, Yellow spanish, white French, blue Prussians. Atleast the 1768 looks kinda like prussian 7YW uniforms, if you squint alot. But does not look like the uniforms of the WSS.
That pluss the game was just horrible, horrible ai, bad battles, boring battles, boring campaign map ect.
When Napoleon came out, it was even worse, yes gameplay wise it was some what imporved. But they had managed to get every single uniform wrong in the game, They kinda look like what they are supose to look like, the russian kinda look like russians(if you ignore the post 1812 uniform in 1805) But it's like the uniforms are copyrighted, and so they could not make them just right, had to make some altertations so they would not get sued by Napoleon and Alexander. I don't see any other reason, I mean even for free most of the uniform of the period is easly avalable. And if you spend say 500 dollars(out of budget of 30 million) on uniform plates there should be no reason for these close but not the close uniforms and models.
Add to that I have a big problem with Napoleonic battles with 1500 menn fighting. The historical battle of borodino in the game had 1500 men, in real live some 320 000.
So I played it because I had to but it was stupid, sloppy shit. I do try it now and then normaly when painting Napoleonics, there aren't that many games for this period(atleast not that has battles)
So now I saw that the Mod Napoleonic total war version 5 is out. It does fix some things, but can not fix a broken game. The kinda improved the uniforms, but not really, the landwehr looks right, but prussian musketeers still look close but no sigar, and the reserve infantry don't look like it at all.
The french units in singleplayer is a mix of 1804 uniforms and all the way to 1815. Some walk around in bicornes, some in 1815 shakoes but with the prebardin uniforms ect. Some of the french infantry looks like revolutionary period. But lets ignore that.(oh and prussians still use 1813 uniforms and not 1805-1807) even tho the game starts in 1805.
But they have improved some stuff. the ai is kinda better,(but they are very bad on certain maps(they bunch like 5 units into one big blob of man flesh, it only happens in maps with towns in them and only when ai is defending) The size of units are bigger, so you'll have 3500 in a full army instead of 1200-1800. They have added new uniforms and units, but still they are kinda off.
So in this battle, I was prussian, with my landwehr in 1806. I had lost this town the last turn and wanted it back, the frech had reenforced the army.
This is the start of the battle, i'ts dominated by the woods, on both flanks, there are gorges that can not be passed that limit the width of forces that can pass on the side of woods.
I made two "divisions" One of landwhers, one hussar and one small howitzer battery, It's a suport division, meant for flanking and simply making the enemy uncertain where I will strike.
My main force is a mix of reguglar infantry, a bigger regular battery, some fusilisers and 3 cav units.
I mangaged to get most of my forces through the bottle neck unmolested. The enemy sent cav at me, But with a 1000+ muskets fireing on each of the cav units, it didin't go well. The dragoons attacking though the woods were "guard dragoons" and the forest slowed them down alot, making them perfect targets.
It's heating up, On my left flank the infantry is outnumberd, luckely most of the french units in that action were "armed citizens" they are big units of some 300 "soldiers" but very bad moral, accuracy ect. Also no bayonets, so I soften them up with musketfire and sent in my cav on their flank.
The franch colapse in on them self on all fronts except in the woods, the woods make musket fire extremly ineffective. And even tho some units were running low on ammo, few had actualy been killed on either side.
I keep pushing the french into a small ball, and my howizer is doing damage to that tight packed formation. I also detach some landwehr from the right flank, and start to take the french in the woods. The french in the woods are regular line infantry and so quite hard to get running.
Some scenes from the firefights in the woods.
Even at close range like this, the muskets do not do a huge amount of damage to units.
The woods were filled with heavy smoke and lingering haze fore sevral thousand muskes fireing for some 40 minutes. Looked quite pretty.
It was a decent battle, I lost some 600 against their 2500. While I did have to control quite a lot, and I had to work for the victory, it became clear early on, that I would win, those "armed citizens" just are no good. I had them when the French took the town a few months earlier.
On a "lighter" note, Soults got a pistol ball in the face from one of my hussars and died.
In my first battle of the game, I managed to Kill Bernadotte, which I did like as he is one of my least favorite historic persons.