I'm going to take a flying leap over pp. 298 - 600 because otherwise I'll never keep up with the blogging! And anyway I'm repeating myself, noting with wonder and admiration so much vivid detail, so much insight into human society and human nature...
What stands out for me is the vividess of Dolokhov, a minor but really extraordinary character who might appear completely evil (cardboard cut-out) but for Tolstoy's twist:
Rostov went on to carry out his errand, and, to his great surprise, discovered that Dolokhov, this rowdy duelist, lived in Moscow with his old mother and hunchbacked sister, and was a most affectionate son and brother.
There are so many characters, all intriguing with and against each other-- far more people and plot than the humble bucket of normal-sized novel could hold-- it feels like a super-charged version of "All My Children." Or rather, if "All My Childen" is a very Big Mac, War and Peace is the chateaubriand with truffles, wheeled up on a silver cart by a maitre d' in a King Kong costume.