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1750: Britain vs. France» Forums » General

Subject: 1750: A preview rss

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Scott Sexton
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Over the Labor Day weekend, my wife's family usually holds a family reunion hidden away in some God forsaken back water burg that just recently bought into the modern convenience of running water. This year however, I was lucky enough to be shipped off to lovely Des Moines, Iowa. During the 5 hour trek it dawned on me that Des Moines was home to Jason Huffman the designer of a recent Kickstarter project that had been on my radar (thanks to a Today in Board Games Podcast interview with Roger Hicks - See Episode 36). I scrambled to reach out to Jason and he was generous in taking an afternoon to demo the game for me.

So what exactly is 1750?

The Elevator Pitch: At its heart 1750 is a light to medium weight card based area control game that draws from and refines some of the ideas introduced in Decipher's Star Wars CCG and the Axis & Allies board game. This may sound like a combination of things that shouldn't go together, but the end result is a compelling and highly thematic 2 player historic war game that focuses on a blend of risk & hand management. Combat and some abilities resolve using a simple die role mechanic where character cards and historic events can heavily modify the die results. For those not familiar with Decipher's SWCCG and/or Axis & Allies, 1750 scratches a SIMILAR itch to Summoner Wars minus the tactical grid movement and in its place a greater emphasis of hand/unit/resource management. Like Summoner Wars, and Mage Wars, this is a miniatures war game with cards instead of minis.

Art & Theme. The designer clearly has an eye for art and has chosen to use art from public domain masterpieces depicting the people and places of the game. The use of these resources rivals Alf Seegart's games, and Robert Burke's Battle for Souls. The theme is not only conveyed perfectly by the art, but also by the mechanisms of the gameplay. The game gives you the feeling of operating a world wide military campaign set against the back drop of the 18th century.

How random is the game? The game has randomness, but not as much as you would think. The game has die rolls a plenty, but you almost always have the ability to mitigate the randomness through die modifiers on the unit cards, location cards, or from Historic Event cards. You can further mitigate randomness by sheer force of numbers. The number of units you use in a given theater or battle makes a HUGE difference on the die outcomes. The bottom line is that strategic planning and tactical flexibility makes a bigger impact on a game then any single "lucky" roll.

The most random element in the game is in the historic event cards. Each turn you add one free historic event card to your hand. Think of these event cards as "tricks up your sleeve". You use these cards to tweak the game at critical moments to shift the flow of the game in your favor. Many of the cards felt quite nicely balanced to me, so there shouldn't be any real risk of being disappointed that you drew a certain card, and if anything, these cards help to gently guide the player into picking strategies that synergize with the cards in your hand. Another interesting element about your "hand" is that you can draw additional historic event cards by paying for them at the start of your turn. This gives a player a delicious decision to make. Do I spend money to get that extra card (not knowing what it may be) or do I save my money to buy extra influence in the courts of Europe, or do I spend it on more military units. The right choice is never obvious and is another fun choice the game offers players.

The final point to make about randomness involves military units. 1750 takes a page from Mage Wars with regards to your military units. All of your units are available turn 1, so you don't have to rely on the luck of the draw like you would in SWCCG, Magic, or Summoner Wars. The unit deck is an open deck of cards where the only limitation on deployment is your money on hand. The choice to go this route with military units is not only thematically sound, but it is mechanically balanced too.

Who is this game for: Ameritreasure fans rejoice! This is a card flipping, dice chucking, thematic work of art. Fans of Decipher's SWCCG and Axis & Allies will find an enjoyable refinement of familiar ideas. This game should also appeal to fans of historic war games and who are looking for a 30-60 minute filler. If you enjoy games like Mage Wars, Summoner Wars, or Hull Breach and want something that feels more like a work of art, this is a game for you. While the game falls into a similar category as Mage Wars & Summoner Wars, it does enough things differently that it is worthy of owning even if you already own those games. If you want a solid 2 player card based combat game, this one is for you.

Who should avoid this game: Fans of refined Euro mechanics should look elsewhere. While there are plenty of euro friendly mechanisms at work here, the card draws, hidden information and the dice rolls will prove too random for the most hard core of eurogamers.
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Lee Troutman
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There is just nothing about this game that I don't like. And I knew nothing about it a few days ago.

I've watched all the video previews, and I just finished reading your excellent write up. I know there's still 27 days to go, but I wish the funding was rising at a faster rate.

From everything I've seen or read, it seems like 1750 has that one thing that I always look for in a game. The rules don't seem overly complex; I won't be looking up case x.y of rule x every turn. However, the choices the player has to make will not always be easy and the game's complexity will come from the in game decisions made by the players.

Also love the period covered, the artwork, the "period feel", the estimated playing time, and the footprint. I just really hope 1750 makes it to my table next spring.
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Phil McDonald
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Don't tell me it's a filler (la la la la la) I'm not a fan of fillers. Also I've traded Mage Wars. I've backed this because I'm a history enthusiast, don't like many euros and DO like Ameristyle games.

As long as it isn't a card game with a history theme pasted on (and it doesn't sound like that) I shall be happy.
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Derry Salewski
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SWCCG and AaA are two of my more favorite games . . .

And this is one of my favorite historical periods . . .

Interesting.
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Scott Sexton
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philmcd wrote:
Don't tell me it's a filler (la la la la la) I'm not a fan of fillers. Also I've traded Mage Wars. I've backed this because I'm a history enthusiast, don't like many euros and DO like Ameristyle games.

As long as it isn't a card game with a history theme pasted on (and it doesn't sound like that) I shall be happy.


It depends on how you define "filler". This is a game that will give you at least 45 to 60 minutes of fun when facing off against a competent opponent. This is not a TI3 sized slug fest.

The comparison to Mage Wars begins and ends with how your units deck is open for deployment throughout the game (you don't have to rely on card draws for your units).

Having spoken to the designer and listened to his interview with Roger Hicks, I know the theme wasn't pasted on. Theme is in the eye of the beholder and from my time with the game I FELT as if I were running a colonial era war effort.
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Phil McDonald
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To me a filler is a game that is over just when it is getting interesting. Much as I enjoy 7 Wonders, it is a game that is the archetypal example of that feeling for me.

My primary gaming tastes are strong thematic experience and reasonably deep gameplay.
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Arthur Cormode
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Thsnks for the preview. I am really excited about this game. ^^
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Dave Turcan
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I love this era! My bud and I have a deep rivalry, especially in this period in history. He's always the French, and I'm always the British. I hope more people see the game and start backing it. Theme aside, it does indeed look like there are interesting mechanics. I hope I get a chance to try the game out!
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