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mommy gamer
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To see this review with pictures, go to

1812: The Invasion of Canada

In 1812 Napoleon was invading all over Europe. America kept getting their ships captured by the British. GRRRRRR! So what did America decide to do? Attack! So now they have declared war on Great Britain. ……….WAIT……. Don’t worry this is not going to turn into a history lesson this is actually a fun game so keep reading and have fun.

Mfg. Age:10+

Our Age: 10+

Players: 2-5

Length: 45-60 min.

Ok so first off yes, this is a war game. For those of you that don’t like war games you might want to hold off judgement on this one. It is a lot lighter than the other war games and I have to admit I myself am not a fan of war games but this one isn’t nearly as long as others and is quite fun.

Game Play:

The board is set up with the Canadian territories in red and the American in blue. Each side is split into different factions (armies).The British has the British Redcoats(red), Canadian Militia(yellow), and Native Americans(green). The American side is comprised of the American Regulars(white) and the American Militia(blue). These are represented by the cubes on the board.

This is after we had been playing for a while but you get the idea with different factions in different areas.

This game actually has 3 different ways to set up. Each version a little harder than the first. I like this for the fact that I can choose if I want to play a longer or shorter game. The instructions tell you where to place each sides factions.

Each player takes on the role of one of the factions. We only had two people so I was the American side and Derrald was Canadian (so he controlled all of the Canadian factions).

The game starts with a marker being drawn out of the bag and placed on the board. This determines who goes first. So in this round red went first. The brown marker starts on round one. We were currently on round 3 when I took the picture.

The yellow and red blocks with the numbers below them state how many of each unit you can place but only in this area.

Each turn begins with mustering. This means that in certain areas on the map you are allowed to put a set number of units in your mustering area. ie. Red gets to put 3 red armies in Montreal at the beginning of his turn.

This is the fled area where all “fled” units go until the beginning of your next turn.

If in any previous turn some of your units fled you can take all of them out and place them in a mustering area as well.

The player then draws 3 cards from his deck. There are two types of cards, movement and events. You must play a movement card every turn but can choose whether or not you want to play an event or not.

For instance this is a water movement card that allows 5 Native Americans to be moved across a body of water. Event cards just add different abilities -like moving twice the number of armies- or similar things. After all the movements are done any territory that contains both sides now have to battle!

Each faction has a set of dice. Each dice has three different symbols 1. a blank side-this allows you to retreat if you choose, 2. runner- this means one of your units flee the fight(this really stinks because you need them there to help you win.),3.Hit- you have killed one enemy unit that must be removed immediately.

The players take turns rolling dice until all of one side is defeated. If the enemy won then they place a flag now declaring that they have control of that area.

The game ends when all of the truce cards are played from one side. The side controlling the most enemy territories wins!

My thoughts:

Like I said war games are not my favorite but this one was actually fun. Army strategy is definitely not one of my strengths. Both times that Derrald and I played I lost. To my credit though I was America both times. America has a few different disadvantages. First their mustering areas are at the bottom of the map. So it is really hard to get all of your new armies up to the boarder in order to invade. Second, Canada has 3 armies, therefore 3 turns every round when America only has two.

I was able to hold my own for a while but in the end Derrald pulled through. GRRRR ! I learned a lot as I went so someone that has more experience in this type of game would do a lot better than I did.

This game is the first in a 3 game series that Academy Games is going to release. They are targeting these actually towards children and using them to help educate them. The back half of the instruction booklet has a lot of the history from the war. The event cards are also based around actual events that happened during the war. I really love history and the idea of giving kids a real feel of history.

I would highly recommend this for children 10+. I really think they would enjoy it. For now Derrald and I are already gearing up for a rematch.

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Phil Miller
United States
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It can be tough to win as the Americans for a new player. Although Uwe insists that the game is balanced, for new players he suggested adding 3 cubes to the American starting forces:

In another post the designer suggests an American hand size of 4 cards rather than 3:

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mommy gamer
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We just might have to try that until we get better at it. Thanks for the suggestion.
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