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Subject: 2006 WBC Game 25 rss

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Rob Olsson
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We the People ended up being a turning point for me at the World Boardgaming Championships in Lancaster, PA this year. It was a 9:00 in the morning game, and after my Web of Power marathon on Thursday, I was a little leary of getting tied into a tournament that would last, essentially, all day. Nevertheless, as Malloc and VuduJoie headed down to give this game a try, I joined them.

Don Chappell was the game master and explained the rules of the game to the group of ten of us who were new to We the People. James Pei, the 2004 Caesar in the BPA tournament points competition, was also on hand to help VuduJoie and I through our first game of We the People.

I don't know what I had been expecting, but a combination of Go and history flash cards was not it. I was immediately captivated and simply drawn in to the Revolutionary War history, the strategy, and the fact that while the armies were an important part of the game, they would not necessarily win the game for you. Don Chappell had been clear that it was not a traditional wargame and that spending moves on battles was not how the game was won. James Pei was very helpful in my deployment of political markers as the American player so as not to give England too many options on the opening turn.

To paraphrase Frank Sinatra: Mistakes, I made a few. VuduJoie and I had the longest running first game as we altered our political controls here and there. I started to see how the game could be played, using generals not to displace other generals, but to help turn the political control marker in certain areas to your advantage. With that in mind, I began working on getting a number of generals out where I could shift the tide of influence in enough colonies to win the game for me. I would not find out until later just how hard it is for the English player to move armies. As the American, my generals could often move with any point card that I drew.

VuduJoie helped to limit the number of political control markers I would put down by making sure my Continental Congress was always on the run. They ended up in North Carolina, where they were able to provide support for southern state PCs. I also had a lot of cards that could change the affiliation of individual PCs, but I was not able to use these to devastating effect.

What won the game for me was the cards. There were two hands that were decisive: one where I received French support to draw three extra cards, and another where I had all cards that I could use but VuduJoie had a hand of cards that he could not use. I would keep waiting for him to march Howe to take out Washington, for example, except he never had the card that he needed to do that in our last turn.

The French remained elusive in this game, but the Americans took it by virtue of having political control in nine colonies.

There is a good chance that I may have been confused at one point about whether the Continental Congress is in play, but I believe VuduJoie was very good at keeping me in check with that.

The turning point for me in this game was not any battle but the game itself: I loved it. The battle cards (matching cards! What an attack/defense device!), the historical events you could play (the Declaration of Independence was very effective in bringing about an American victory), and the dice rolls to change the tide of battle when you did get into a fight. It was all very engaging. I think because of this game, I will be looking at my future WBC events in a different light. Instead of going to play a bunch of Euros that I play all the time anyway, I will try to learn the rules for those games that I am unlikely to play anywhere else. We the People is very difficult to get a hold of, but VuduJoie has a copy and we are working on scheduling our rematch. As it was, I got to advance to the next round in the beginner circle of We the People.

The game was very close, which surprised me in the end. For some reason I thought one or the other of us would run away with it, but neither of us did. I think it was in the beginning when VuduJoie moved Howe to attack one of the nearby generals that it occurred to me that the Americans were at a disadvantage. Later on, I realized that the game seemed to favor the Americans.

 
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Jim Carvin
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Rob,

I was one of the 10 new players there with you. It was indeed a very interesting game that I really enjoyed a lot. I managed to talk my friend Lyle(BGG: fishlikejc) into trying it out with me and we were the last two of the newbies to find a game to use.

All I can say is thank God that there were players around us to answer our questions. While the game was not hard to learn, we did have a lot of little questions or things we were just unsure of. We played VERY slow as a result and most players where well into their second game before we finished our first. Oh well, it was just a learning game anyhow and we opted to not continue playing in the tournament simply due to our speed (or lack thereof). I just have to say that I was EXTREMELY pleased that they ran this as a "C" class event since the wargaming door is just opening up for me. It seemed to work very well as I believe they got more newbies than they expected. Hopefully this will inspire other GMs to go "C" class in the future.

I liked the game enough to make a few bids on ebay but I haven't won a copy yet. In the meantime I decided to purchase For the People to give that a try. Not the same but maybe it will tide me over until either I finally get a copy of WtP or Washington's War comes out.

-Jim
 
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Brad Miller
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WtP is a great game. So simple, mechanics-wise, but so complex in terms of what you are going to do with the hand of cards you are dealt. None of the other CDGs have this same level of simplicity/complexity. While I like many of them a lot, none have the elegence of WtP.
 
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Bruce Monnin
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I just learned this game two years ago because it was a tornment at the BPA's Winter Activation Meeting and I needed something to do between games of Wilderness War.

Turns out I had the game in my collection for years but had not played it. What a shame! It is quite fun, though I don't think I've totally grasped the strategy yet.

Now I have found the BPA runs a PBeM tournament of this. It plays extremely well by email.
 
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Rob Olsson
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I have to agree with you all on the awesome gaming experience. It is hard to believe that this game has not been reissued or re-released. There were some hints about a similar game coming out, but nothing firm. Sigh.
 
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Rob Olsson
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I will have to look into the PBeM when the next tournament starts. Perhaps I can try my luck with the Hammer of the Scots tournament to get the hang of things...
 
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Brad Miller
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jcarvin wrote:


I liked the game enough to make a few bids on ebay but I haven't won a copy yet. In the meantime I decided to purchase For the People to give that a try. Not the same but maybe it will tide me over until either I finally get a copy of WtP or Washington's War comes out.

-Jim


Jim,

For the people is about a million times more complex. And it doesn't have the battle cards. But other than that...

I just picked up the reprint as well, and am looking forward to giving it a whirl.
 
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Rob Olsson
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Jim,

I was glad about the coaching at the event too and feel the same way about this game opening the door to war games for me. I have been looking at Wellington and Wilderness War by GMT and find they have the same general look as We the People.

Perhaps there is hope for me on the war gaming tables yet!

I look forward to seeing you next year at the WBC (and maybe even at the Winter Activation Meeting in January?).
 
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