I just came back home after having seen a small preview of what NTW will look like, roughly one hour and a half. I know many of you have read the detailed previews of Dionysius and some other guys, but maybe there are still things pretty unclear, so here is my presentation. We were introduced to the game with what appears to be a custom battle against AI but was in fact Battle of Lodi (Victory of Bonaparte, check here for more historical information : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Lodi
). To those wishing to know whether it was a scripted AI battle or not, i will reply no, it wasn't, according to CA staff (i only remember Garett name
), the AI reacts following what the player does. Indeed, after French cavalry charged the Austrian rear guard (they didn't form square to counter the attack though) and French infantry took care of two Austrian infantry units (once the first infantry routed, the second one garrisoned in one building, smart move but the French artillery took it down), almost all Austrian army moved back to the center of the city, close to the famous bridge of Lovi. After some skirmiches in streets, the AI routed an artillery unit, which allowed the staff to show how a general (Bonaparte in this case) can rally troops. It worked well and the artillery came back to target the main building, resulted in heavy losses for Austria. While the French infantry was busy fighting the rest of Austrian army, a couple of Austrian infantry units tried flanking French units, pleasantly surprised to see that.
However, there was still the bridge battle, guarded on the left and on the right by two artillery units, and right on the middle, the rest of Austrian army (infantry units). When the first French cavalry charged them, boom, canister shot from artillery and bullets from infantry. Despite a helpful artillery placed close to the bridge, the French army was defeated and almost all units were routing.
Then, there was a small overview on Italy campaign map, no battle this time but just an explaination about the details of the map and what was the situation of French army when starting the campaign (also there is small cinematic movie before every campaign), looks fine, not so much to say on it.
After that, a small naval battle, not so many things differ from Empire except two features not so many reviewers noticed : the ships have a little flag above the usual faction flag, i think it is linked to the morale system, but not sure about this, AND a really nice feature some of us really enjoy watching, a small pop-up window appears when something important happens in the battle. Clicking on it moves you directly to the unit. In this battle, one of the ships got dismated and eventually routed after that. You'll also be able to view it in land battle, maybe when general or elite troops take too many casualties, who knows, but it's definitly a plus for me.
Then, there was small presentation of all factions in Campaigns of the Coalition mode, i've seen there was a historical mode in campaign options for every faction, ie Austria has to conquer the regions it had at that time.
Fortifications : No fortifications during early period but you will see them in main campaign (both Campaigns of the Coalition and Napoleon campaign), hopefully NTW AI can manage attack and defense on forts better than Empire one.
Reinforcements : Still automatic reinforcements, but reinforcement units sent first will be chosen according to their experience, supply centers
Moddable or not : the question has been asked, yes, some elements will be moddable and it is confirmed that the uniform editor will be freely downloadable.
Stability : More stable, the game was pretty fluid, that's true, fan base requets have been understood.
From what i've seen, there are some great things added, i've read of course every single review from different players trying it, but it's good to have its own opinion about it.