The Congress of Erfurt sought to preserve the Russo-French alliance and the leaders had a friendly personal relationship after their first meeting at Tilsit in 1807. However, in June 23 , 1812 , Napoleon went to war with Russia . The French invasion of Russia defeated many Russian cities and villages, but by the time they reached Moscow it was winter. Due to the Russian army's scorched earth tactics, the French found little food for themselves and their horses. Napoleon's army was unable to defeat the Russians. The Russians began to attack. Napoleon and his army had to go back to France. The French suffered greatly in during Napoleon's retreat. Most of his soldiers never returned to France. His army was reduced to 70,000 soldiers and 40,000 stragglers, against more than three times as many Allied troops. Finally at the 1913 Battle of the Nations he was defeated by the Allies: Sweden , Russia , Austria , and Prussia .
Other aspects of the game received a mixed reaction. According to Eurogamer , despite occasionally poor decision-making "the AI will still hold its own," and provides players "with a challenge that suits the difficulty."  Other criticisms focused upon the somewhat linear story-mode campaigns, the duration of naval engagements and the stability of the game's Netcode .  Actiontrip commented that "while still a good strategy game, Napoleon: Total War seems to offer less freedom to players in terms of how they can resolve various battle situations." Tom Chick , in his GameSpy review, gave the game a out of 5, citing "Bad AI" and the game "feel[ing] like a re-skinned Empire" for the score.  Game Revolution felt the same, noting that "the problem Napoleon has is that it’s not just like Empire , it is and only is Empire ...It feels like an expansion at best, yet it’s being sold like it’s a brand new game."
He was moved to the Bureau of Topography of the Committee of Public Safety and sought unsuccessfully to be transferred to Constantinople in order to offer his services to the Sultan .  During this period, he wrote the romantic novella Clisson et Eugénie , about a soldier and his lover, in a clear parallel to Bonaparte's own relationship with Désirée.  On 15 September, Bonaparte was removed from the list of generals in regular service for his refusal to serve in the Vendée campaign. He faced a difficult financial situation and reduced career prospects.