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A Few Acres of Snow

sean johnson
United States
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A Few Acres of Snow is a recent game addition for us. One of my Christmas Presents in 2011 was getting to participate in the Wargamer Secret Santa. One of the games that I got out of that was this one by Martin Wallace. In the past three weeks or so we have now played it three times, so we are starting to get familiar with the game. The question is will we want to keep playing it?

Game Overview
A Few Acres of Snow is a bit of a difficult game to explain. It is about Britain and France struggling for control of the Canadian Frontier. This means it is an area control game, but it also happens to use deck building as a major mechanic. Player's decks consist of location cards and Empire cards. location cards are gained when a new location is settled or conquered. These cards provide access to more location and provide resources that can be used for different actions. Empire cards must be bought and provide various abilities. Each turn players get to take two actions, and have a huge amount of possible actions to choose from. If Quebec is taken by the British then they win. If Boston or New York is taken by the French they win. If this does not happen then there are a couple of end game conditions that can trigger and who ever scores the most points will win.

The Game We Played
For this most recent play, I played British for the first time while my wife played the French. I began by immediately settling at Halifax. One the next turn, I besieged Louisbourg. This turned out to be a mistake because I had not built up my forces enough and after several turns of back and forth I had to many cards committed to the siege that I could not generate money to buy more soldiers, and I had to retreat. Right after I retreated, my wife then besieged Halifax, and after a few turns she had dislodged the British. After the "Halifax disaster" I switched my strategy. I immediately fortified Pemaquid and Albany. From there I focused on raiding, upgrading the southern settlements to colonies, and settling my way West to Detroit.

My wife's original plan was to continue her military strategy, she loaded up the soldiers in the reserve. However, she could never seem to get money at the same time she had the cards to mount an assault. She then started trying to upgrade to colonies to not fall to far behind me, and she stated recruiting militias to block raids. Having to always keep a card to block a raid in her hand severely limited her and she stalled. The game ended by the last colony disc being placed. The final score was French 59 to British 63.

Our Thoughts
My Rating: 4.5 (like it)
My Thoughts: I like the amount of choices this game presents. I do not know much about the actual history of this period, but this game feels like it has a real historical weight to it. This is a game I really want to explore the depth of.

Her Rating: 3 (it's OK)
Her Thoughts: I am not sure if I am feeling it, but I will play it.

Combined Rating: 7.5

This game not have grabbed both of us enough to become one of our absolute favorite games. However, this is a "wargame" that my wife will actually play so we will be keeping it for sure!
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