We had our first grapple with the 'Republic to Empire' rules at the Quorn Wargames Club (http://www.sonsofsimondemontfort.org.uk/) yesterday. I was feeling slightly daunted to begin with, this being my third introduction to a Napoleonic ruleset in just a few weeks - the previous being 'Napoleon' and 'General de Brigade'. I was actually quite surprised how quickly we began to pick it up. The point system for actions which was decided with the rolling of 4 average dice each turn made the system less rigid. So for example you could divide up 14 points with moving, changing formation, issuing new orders etc. Obviously there were still some restrictions (as experienced by Chris who voiced his frustration at not being able to unlimber his British 9lb cannons and fire at the Frenchies rapidly advancing up the hill towards him in the same turn - something only Horse Artillery and 6lb cannons could do). I also liked how swiftly we could make it across the board and begin to engage. Brilliant for a good size game that you could easily complete within 4-5 hours.
Another very good aspect was artillery fire. First shot on a new target was inflicted with a few minus points to the die roll, unlike in other games where you'd get plus points. It was deduced that the former was more realistic in that you'd have to range in the cannons with the first few wild shots, and then later increase your accuracy.
The second photo above shows another example of rash heroics (or "Raglan's Blunder") as the British cavalry decided to charge enemy artillery from the front. Accompanied by the immortal words "well, it might just work..." these chaps unfortunately were forced into a rout back to the medical tent to have the canister shot removed from their posterior.
It was an all round great evening, with lots of fun and a nice ruleset which deserves more testing and exploration in the future.