Old Hickory in Europe
a variant for Napoleon in Europe
NIE comes with a collection of light blue figs. These cause some confusion at first, until one finds buried in the rules in the basic section "II Middle Powers" under "Prussia". It says "(The Prussian player should use the light blue pieces in this scenario)". To which I can only add "huh?" Having not played scenario one, I don't understand the reason for this, but that is not important.
Later on in the standard rules it was revealed that the light blue pieces were to be used as neutral country units that resist attack.
Anyway, what we have is a very useful set of figs and no major power for them to belong to for most of the game. Looking at the dark blue French, I decided then and there to have the Americans come into the game. The key at last was scenario X. This showed me how to incorporate the Americans into the NIE game.
What if the US showed more interest in what was going on in Europe and actually got involved?
First off, the Americans start with the same number of units as the Spanish: 7 infantry, 1 Cavalry, 1 Artillery, and 2 ships. The Americans get the +1 ship modifier like the British navy does in combat, due to the excellent quality of the ships and crews.
The United States is located off board, and until a suitable board is found, it cannot be attacked by the European powers. It has 8 points, just like Spain. These points can supply the American troops or be given away, just like the British can.† American troops can thus be supplied and points given until the War of 1812 card is played. When that happens, all US troops in Europe are cut off, and any rebuilds must be done with annexed territories in Europe itself.† No more off map units, including ships, may be built so long as the 1812 card is active.
American troops initially arrive by ship from off map, either amphibiously invade or landing in an allied nation. From there, they can be used like normal army pieces. Getting across the Atlantic with a hostile fleet opposing can be a problem. US may build ships off map, like the troops. The US has a commitment rating of C:5. I would allow the Americans to build any type of unit, because a commitment to Europe will make to emulate the armies already there. Rommel said the Americans learn fast. Shouldnít they here?
Diplomacy: In any scenario played except maybe scenario ten, France +1, England Ė1. (From Web Grognards)
American Flags for flag bearers (and a few others) (you might find these useful even if you donít use this variant)
Some people donít like the idea of Americans in a Napoleon game, and one guy sniffed that if we did that, why not add Space Aliens too? I wryly suggest he try Napoleon at Chattanooga. It has something like that. But a little tweeking of history can make a game fun and increase replay value. So why not? Give it a try and see what happens. It is, after all, just a game. And if you are a purist, donít play it.