Got in a playing of the Braveheart scenario today.
I was the English.
1297 was spent moving English infantry north through Dunbar and Lothian. Wallace headed north to fight Angus, and Mar. Edward and the infantry ended in Mentieth where they helped Atholl hold off Moray and the turncoat Angus along with some infantry.
1297 ended with Wallace wintering in the far north at Buchan and Edward returning to England.
1298 saw Wallace continue his campaign in the north beating Mar on the last card while Edward directed his efforts against Bruce and Galloway in the south. Edward beat Bruce but Galloway got away and survived the year but Wallace was forced to winter in Selkirk Forest due to Mar switching sides.
This was to be the turning point of the game.
Wallace was down to 2 strength and he regained them in Selkirk but it was to be a short lived respite.
1299 began with Edward leading heavy infantry into the areas surrounding Selkirk. Wallace attempted to break out to the north through Lanark but when he was killed by Steward it was a devastating blow to the Scots.
Bruce was an English ally as was Comyn. English were solidly in Fife and the Scots had to react quickly to get a King crowned or they would be faced with severe problems.
Without Wallace however the Scots couldn't get the noble needed to crown a new King and the promise of French aid was just that ... a promise never filled.
1300-1302 saw Edward raid into the Far north using sea movement and crushing attacks against the disjointed Scots. During this period the English established a line through Argyll - Lennox - Mentieth - Fife that was impregnable to any Scottish attempts to move south.
1303-1305 saw the English push the Scots to the north and on the last card of the game the last Scottish noble fell.
The Scots never recovered from the early loss of Wallace. Though it must be said there were several even battles that I won throughout the game that helped me maintain my position in the north.
Also a big part of my victory came from the fact that I only didn't get Edward on 3 turns. Getting the 2 sea movement cards in 1301 and 1302 allowed me to get Edward and heavy infantry to fight the Scots when they were trying to rebuild after the Wallace Northern Campaign of 1297-1298. The attack in 1301 secured Comyn a home castle and the attack in 1302 gave the English Angus as a base of operations on the other coast.
An excellent game that turned on one move early on and caused the Scots to have to try to Crown a King rather than raid and annoy. the Scottish almost had the 8 nobles it requires to bring the french in but Comyn held out and he was the one that they needed to crown a King or get the french.
If you haven't played this game give it a try. It's one of the most interesting games I've seen in the last couple of years. It has the feeling of a classic. High replayability and a lot of variables.
I was asked which was the best game I bought at WBC Hammer or The napoleonic Wars. I have to say it's a tie. Both are going to be looked at as great games.