For those not familiar with any Borg game, I suggest you read the reviews for Command & Colors: Ancients on Boardgame Geek. Otherwise this review might not make much sense.I played my first game of Command & Colors: Napoleonics (CCN) and I must say I am pretty pleased with the new game. It is sufficiently different from Command & Colors: Ancients (CCA), Memoir '44, Battlelore, and Clash for a Continent (by Worthington Games, and now called Hold the Line) that I don't feel like I am playing the same game, just with different blocks and scenarios.
The primary change from all other Ricard Borg games is that the combat dice are reduced as you lose blocks. Also, all units are not created equally, by any means. The British are tough in ranged combat, the French in melee. (The Portuguese Light Infantry doesn't hold a candle to the French Light Infantry, much less the British.) It will be interesting to see what they do with the other major powers. For now, though, we pretty much have to deal with the Peninsular battles, and the British battles in the Waterloo campaign.
Many times you won't play a complete battle, but a portion of it. That is also a little different from other Borg games. I can see that when they get around to Borodino, you will probably play it over three or four different scenarios. Kind of like playing Stalingrad in Memoir '44, you don't do it in one bite.
Cavalry has it tough, unlike in Battlelore. Terrain has more of an impact on it than it does with infantry or artillery. Also, terrain has more impact than in CCA, but less so that M44. One part that seems wrong is the tendency for Line infantry to hide in forests. Lights, no problem, but Line should be affected in ranged combat.
I like going back to Flags only causing 1-hex retreats (except for Militia, which retreat three hexes). Leaders have less of an impact on combat than in CCA. That is probably accurate, but creates more differences, which will make switching between these rules all that much harder.
I haven't really done an assessment of the scenarios. That will come over time, as I play them. (Hell, I have not even played all of the M44 scenarios yet.) But the first one (Rolica) was very tense and a close game (the British pulled it out in the end 5-4).
So, I am looking forward to the next CCN expansion, even if it is the Spanish!