Recommend
8 
 Thumb up
 Hide
23 Posts

1812: The Invasion of Canada» Forums » Strategy

Subject: How To Win at 1812: The Invasion of Canada rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
Alex Drazen
United States
Massachusetts
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
So, after playing a good 10-15 games of this, here is what I think is the general best overall strategy for each side. I will focus only on the major points, and not some of the really basic things like managing your dice or protecting your muster areas.

Keys for the British

(1) When setting up the game, be sure to add a lot of British Regulars to the west and a lot of Native Americans to the east, because there is no really good way to get them there later on. You can only get +4 Redcoats in the west (and +2 come at a cost of 2 Canadian Militia), and NONE in the east, without setting up this way. By the way, this is why the 1813 campaign scenario is a little more balanced.

(2) Be sure that you defend Queenston/Fort Erie heavily. It's a 2 VP area... the only one in the game. The USA will almost have to take this area in order to win; so, don't let them.

(3) Build up in Montreal, then move into Lacolle and Plattsburgh, readying one of your two Warship Movement cards to land next to Albany. Seizing the muster area there will set back the Americans significantly. Your other boat moves should be used on the Great Lakes. The best boat move combo: Native American canoe in the west, then use the "scatter into five areas" card. You'll slow down the USA's western front, and if you hold in the center and attack in the east, that's your strongest play.

(4) Keep your forces mixed to maximize flexibility in movement. You often look stronger than you are, because you won't always be able to move very aggressively. Having just one unit with better movement (such as the Natives) can be a big help when you really need to make longer movements.

Keys for the Americans

(1) Your advantage is in numbers and attrition. The British have more units and more dice, but you muster more units, you get bigger armies (from flees), and over time the war will turn in your favor.

(2) The ideal final round for the USA is for one or both of its factions to go last, play the second truce card, and make a mad dash for VP's. This is best done with 4 of the following 5 event cards: double army movement, victorious army +1 movement, 2x Militia hits, Militia hit selection, and pre-battle attack roll (I forget the card names and numbers off-hand). The USA has significantly better special cards, for the most part. Hitting at the end of a Truce round with a full punch can result in victory.

(3) You only get three water movement to six for the British, which is a significant weakness. But the USA has a killer naval move available, if it can execute it: get a big army in Pittsburgh, move it to the shore of the lake with a 2-space movement card, and then launch into Six Nations (or to its east, to cut off reinforcements to Queenston/Fort Erie). Similarly, a quality Fishing Boat card can seize a haphazardly guarded York; I've done this 3 times to cut off Canadian reinforcements almost entirely in the west. You may need to take an area west of Montreal to prevent the British from mounting a counterattack, but cutting down British muster areas - even if only for a couple turns - is a great way to rampage for massive VP's.

(4) Make judicious use of your Command Decisions. A lot of times, it's better to cede an area rather than let the British roll and wipe out your last 1-2 cube(s); they simply don't flee as much (I swear my American Militia dice are wrong, given how much they seem to flee), and you will need more cubes to beat them. You can also fight in adjacent areas and CD between the battles -- if you're losing one badly and get some CD's, use them to try to win the other one instead.

(5) Destroy the Indians first! Their CD ability is extremely dangerous (a bit OP, if you ask me) and the more green cubes on the board, the tougher your overall task will be: you'll face more dice, get less movement, AND they can harass some of your more weakly defended objective cities. If you can knock them back into Six Nations, though, you'll really slow them down. I actually got my opponent down to literally ONE green cube on the board once by doing this plus #3.
5 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Roger Hobden
Canada
Montreal
Quebec
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Q : How To Win at 1812: The Invasion of Canada ?

A : Play the canadian side.
12 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Glenn Martin
Canada
Ottawa
Ont.
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
Mallet wrote:
Q : How To Win at 1812: The Invasion of Canada ?

A : Play the canadian side.


Obviously the original war was broken.
4 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Peder Bergenwall
Sweden
Örebro
flag msg tools
Avatar
Mallet wrote:
Q : How To Win at 1812: The Invasion of Canada ?

A : Play the canadian side.


True.

Though, I certainly appreciate the OP posting some strategies for both sides. I hate playing a game thinking "if I had only played for the other side" when I could be refining my strategies and make an underdog pull-through and win.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Steve
United States
California
flag msg tools
Mallet wrote:
Q : How To Win at 1812: The Invasion of Canada ?

A : Play the canadian side.


Those yellow cubes are all right, but I'd say play the British side.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Bob Shurig
United States
Springfield
Illinois
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
Alex - Good strategic ideas to develop. Well done - Bob
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Matt
United States
Apex
North Carolina
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Mallet wrote:
Q : How To Win at 1812: The Invasion of Canada ?

A : Play the canadian side.


Hmm... Haven't played yet, but after reading this, I'm concerned the game is imbalanced. Is that the consensus?
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
uwe eickert
United States
Fremont
Ohio
flag msg tools
designer
publisher
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Matt,
At the beginning of a game, each English player gets to place 4 extra units each. Then the Americans get to place 6 each. The American Regular Army always takes the first turn in the game, since America did invade Canada.
Where most American side players make a mistake is that they group all of their units together and begin with a huge invasion. Mostly, this will lose them the game.

They need to spread their units out along the lakes, to keep the indians from spreading easily. Then make a small foray into Canada, maybe even into an empty area or two. This forces the English to react to what the Americans are doing. Then the Americans can begin moving their reinforcements up and grind the Redcoats and Loyalists in the West into the ground!

During play testing, we were afraid that the Americans won too often.

Also, we recommend to players that have difficulty winning with the Americans to add the following during set up: 1 white and 1 blue cube in the area east of Ft Meigs. 1 blue cube in the next area east of this.

Sincerely,
Uwe
14 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Alex Drazen
United States
Massachusetts
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
Quote:
During play testing, we were afraid that the Americans won too often


Were the Canadian players drunk during your play testing?

_ _ _

I don't think the game is terribly unbalanced, but I also think Canada can cause way, way more problems for the Americans overall. By turn 3, reasonably competent Canadians typically have a gigantic steamroller amassed in Montreal, ready to march straight through New York, with the American troops as little more than a speed bump.

Competent British players will add their four Native bonus units to the East, and use the special +1 muster there a lot. The USA will have a hard time countering this, even if they create a large defense.

My standard USA defense is to shore up Buffalo and the Northwest with at least full dice, put a single white cube in the three empty areas leading to Albany, and then make a small strike force to invade Kingston (hopefully successfully), then either send them towards York or Montreal later on. I think I also put one just next to Buffalo so the Natives can't CD and slow down Pittsburgh armies from heading to the center.

The extra dice are the really brutal thing in favor of Canada - perhaps Natives should have been two dice (not three)... 1775 feels much more balanced with only two dice for the Natives.
4 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Steve Duke
United States
Georgetown
Texas
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
alexdrazen wrote:
Quote:
During play testing, we were afraid that the Americans won too often


Were the Canadian players drunk during your play testing?

_ _ _

I don't think the game is terribly unbalanced, but I also think Canada can cause way, way more problems for the Americans overall. By turn 3, reasonably competent Canadians typically have a gigantic steamroller amassed in Montreal, ready to march straight through New York, with the American troops as little more than a speed bump.

Competent British players will add their four Native bonus units to the East, and use the special +1 muster there a lot. The USA will have a hard time countering this, even if they create a large defense.

My standard USA defense is to shore up Buffalo and the Northwest with at least full dice, put a single white cube in the three empty areas leading to Albany, and then make a small strike force to invade Kingston (hopefully successfully), then either send them towards York or Montreal later on. I think I also put one just next to Buffalo so the Natives can't CD and slow down Pittsburgh armies from heading to the center.

The extra dice are the really brutal thing in favor of Canada - perhaps Natives should have been two dice (not three)... 1775 feels much more balanced with only two dice for the Natives.


I don't think the Canadians were drunk but perhaps the American players were better tacticians than many folks who have said the game is unbalanced.

But unlike some other games that have new players saying one side is unbalanced and then with more plays, say the other side is unbalanced, I have not seen that with 1812. It's been pretty much pro Canadian from the start.

So to Uwe's points, are we just playing the American side poorly?
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
uwe eickert
United States
Fremont
Ohio
flag msg tools
designer
publisher
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Steve,
Probably what I mean to say is if the Germans were in control of the US forces in 1812, Canada would be the 51-58 states.
OK, OK.... no further comments, because I can already see how this could get ugly. whistle

But seriously, try reinforcing the lakes and only doing small random forays into eastern Canada in round 1. Things that the English have to react to. Then keep them reacting, while moving up your forces up and whittling down the Redcoats in the west.
8 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Jim Benincasa
Canada
flag msg tools
Ewe,

I have enjoyed our chats at GenCon, but as a Canadian historian, might I point out that the Canadian troops did pretty well in both the first and second world wars fighting on foreign soil against German troops. I think that given Vimy and Passendale you might not want to float your theory too seriously. .

Jim
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
The Baron
Canada
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
However, if General Sir Isaac Brock had not been killed at Queenston Heights...

I think Uwe's recommendations are sound, as general speaking in the games we played so far, we have tended to see the US player focus their efforts early on for a push on one front, which usually means that the British/Canadian/Tecumseh side causes mischief elsewhere.

We did have a theory though about the US militia's dice being inadvertently "loaded" (unbalanced) as a result of the location of the inset symbols (hit and flee symbols) vs blank faces resulting in the dice more likely than not landing on one of its blank faces due to uneven weight distribution. We actually tested this while stuck waiting at the border crossing coming back from GenCon (we rolled all the sets of dice about 30-40 times each), and I recall that the white die did seem to skew towards flee results more than expected while the others seemed closer to expected distribution. I think the same held true for Canadian militia dice - Jim, do you remember?

Of course, we all know that dice are never perfectly randomly distributed in any one game play. Plus, having the militia's fleeing 55% of the time instead of 50% of the time really should not impact game play that much, as they are still pretty unreliable field units. "It is what it is" as they say.

Needless to say, we are big fans of the game, and we still want to playtest our proposed "faction goal variant" ideas...
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
John Lloyd
Canada
Toronto
Ontario
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
My friend Barry and I reasoned out a similar strategy to what Uwe is suggesting, and managed to eke out a 1 VP loss with the Americans - and came close to a tie or 1 VP win should the dice have been a bit luckier.

This was in contrast to the 5-6 previous games where it was a blow-out win for the Canadians in the order of 6-8 VPs each time.

Regardless, our gang really enjoys the game. I'm sure it will continue to see significant time on the gaming table.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Chris Rudram
Canada
Victoria
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
uweeickert wrote:
Matt,
At the beginning of a game, each English player gets to place 4 extra units each. Then the Americans get to place 6 each. The American Regular Army always takes the first turn in the game, since America did invade Canada.


They do? Ooops... blush
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Kevin
United States
Kalamazoo
Michigan
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
What strikes me about this topic is at the heart of the matter there is an issue with the game as far as balance is concerned. Each thing posted here to help the American side have a better chance at winning is all based ln ideal situations. Place cubes here, attack here, use these cards in this sequence, reinforce here, attack all Indians and must win those battles, etc etc. All contrived as ideal or best way (or must do) things to help the American side.
That tells me there is an issue with balance that is inherent in the game. That's OK if you accept it and play the game that way. But frankly, I don't want a game that has to be played in such specific and ideal ways as to be the only way to win with a side. Yes, there are things in many games one should or ought to do, but all these posts tell me is "here's things you can do to fix a somewhat broken game".

It would make sense to actually make some changes and tweak the rules and cards to rebalance the game. Why not take what is obviously a game with merit, improve it and eliminate all the issues of balance? Clearly most people who play this game see there are issues of balance, its not luck or bad play anymore, it is a design issue, one that is solvable.
OK, I'll slink back into my corner now!
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Mike Szarka
Canada
Waterloo
Ontario
flag msg tools
badge
When it is your turn to send a VASSAL move, the wait is excruciating. When it's my turn, well, I've been busy.
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Solution #1: bid victory points for the British side.

Solution #2: give the more experienced players the US.

Voila, "broken" game fixed. (And personally I think the Brits have only a slight advantage, if at all).
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Alex Drazen
United States
Massachusetts
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
I've found Canada to be nigh unstoppable by using the following setup:

Pregame bonus cubes from rules:

2 bonus natives in the east near Montreal. 2 in York.
4 British regulars guarding Six Nations and Queenston/Fort Erie (2 each).
2 Canadian Militia in Six Nations, 1 in Amherstburg, 1 in Queenston/Fort Erie.

On turn 1, have all Canadian factions muster but make minimal movement.
In midgame, canoes to Erie and across the lake toward the east.
Erie canoe scatters to slow down advances from Pittsburgh.
Warship down Hudson River when opportunity to get Albany arises.

Canada will end up with almost all its cubes on the board. USA won't have enough soft targets, and Canada wins.

The 1813 scenario lacks these problems.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
uwe eickert
United States
Fremont
Ohio
flag msg tools
designer
publisher
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Alex,
to counter this, we put single units along the erie coasts and foray into Canada with small contingents of USA troops into 2-3 areas. Then the English need to counter and it almost paralyzes the Redcoats. I smell a game challenge in the air!! I challenge you to a game duel - Ft. Niagara - in 3 hours!
Uwe
4 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Alex Drazen
United States
Massachusetts
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
I'll be at Unity this year and hopefully at WBC as well, but I'd love to take on the big guns one of these days if we end up at the same con.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
uwe eickert
United States
Fremont
Ohio
flag msg tools
designer
publisher
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Done Deal!!
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Noah B
Canada
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
uweeickert wrote:
Alex,
to counter this, we put single units along the erie coasts and foray into Canada with small contingents of USA troops into 2-3 areas. Then the English need to counter and it almost paralyzes the Redcoats. I smell a game challenge in the air!! I challenge you to a game duel - Ft. Niagara - in 3 hours!
Uwe


Curious, did this duel ever take place?
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Alex Drazen
United States
Massachusetts
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
Genoah77 wrote:
uweeickert wrote:
Alex,
to counter this, we put single units along the erie coasts and foray into Canada with small contingents of USA troops into 2-3 areas. Then the English need to counter and it almost paralyzes the Redcoats. I smell a game challenge in the air!! I challenge you to a game duel - Ft. Niagara - in 3 hours!
Uwe


Curious, did this duel ever take place?


No... it would appear we are a few years behind schedule.

1775 and 1812 have not seen too much action on my table in the past couple of years.

There was a game of 1812 where an extremely aggressive USA was able to slow Canada down for a while, but Canada still won -- bigly.

1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.