Wow, so this is what you get for 100 pieces of gold.
This was Jean’s first time, my second game, while Don and Ken had played at least 4 or 5 games. As luck would have it, I got paired with Jean. I was the English, Jean was the Loyalists, Ken was the American Regulars, while Don was the American Militia.
I had to place 4 cubes on first, and I spread out the English in Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia since I figured it was difficult to get troops in there as reinforcements later in the game as the Americans have numerical superiority there. The English in Savannah, Gerogia are especially vulnerable since they can’t command away as they are completely surrounded.
Jean’s first move was to attack out of South Carolina into Wilmington, North Carolina, and he took all his troops out of South Carolina, and he lost the battle, giving a flag to the opponents when they didn’t even make a move! Jean is a wargamer, so I didn’t say anything, I figured he would catch on quick. I should have told him to leave a unit behind in South Carolina, but perhaps he had some idea in mind.
We lost Boston, but took Maine. We slowly lost Georgia, North Carolina and South Carolina despite my initial efforts to reinforce .
I get the Hessians in play on turn 3, but they remain there the whole game, as I could not get a warship card into my hand. By contrast, Don and Ken had a massive force in the west and slowly moved eastward with it.
Don applied the hammer with his truce card, and the card that allows an extra army move, so it was 8-1, with both the American truce cards played in round 5. I had finally drew a warship card, and Jean only had 1 army move in his hand, so all we could do was take over one spot to make the game 6-3 in favour of the Americans.
Jean and I (English) lose 6-3 to Ken and Don (Americans).
Game 2: I was the American regulars, while Jean was the American militia. Don was English, and Ken was the loyalists. We decided to play with a “no talk” rule between allies to speed things up. Jean got caught in his initial draw with his truce card and 2 event cards, so he had to play his truce card.
In contrast to the English position last game, Don got a warship card, and shipped 7 English from Halifax into Charles Town, South Carolina. He also had reinforced 1 each in those western provinces like I did in game 1. So this time, the English were ruling supreme in the provinces that are traditionally under American rule.
Things were okay, until turn 3, where I drew my truce card and had 2 event cards with it, so I was forced to play my truce card as well ending the game. Problem was, I was third in the turn order, with Don to go behind me, so all I could do was try and take obvious places. But going last, it was easy for Don to pick off easy targets and the English win 6-4 in turn 3.
Ken and Don as the British win 6-4 over Jean and I as the Americans, as I am forced to play my truce card in turn 3.
Game 3: Ken was undefeated in this game, while I was winless, so it was only natural I was paired up with Ken. I was the American regulars, while Ken was the militia. Jean was the English, Don was the Loyalists.
On my first turn, I had a four army move 1 space each, and I was able to pick off some small targets. I think in Georgia and South Carolina to get 2 flags for our side. On turn 2, I was able to get the French into Rhode Island to kick out the English invasion there. This time Don had played his truce card early in turn 2.
On turn 3, I sort of figured Jean had his truce card in his hand, since he had done 2 warship moves in his first 2 moves. But I decided to use my warship card to 2 different places, taking over Halifax and Quebec in one foul swoop. So I thought we were in great ship. Jean played his truce card, which meant the game was ending. Unfortunately, Ken had to go next, and he had 4 moves; he missed one move to get a flag in North Carolina (one of his moves was to attack in Montreal, but a command decision by the English left Quebec split). So Don going last gets to move 3 armies and reverses 2 flags, and the game ends in a 4-4 tie!
It was fun, and it was a real close game.
Impressively, the Americans take Nova Scotia and Quebec, but the game is tied 4-4.
I'm slowly getting better at this game, so I think I can be competitive the next time.
IT is the fact that games can be so different that makes this extra good for replay.
We find ourselves going "let's play again" as soon as we finish. We'll usually redraw the sides and go right at it.
The 'cousin' 1812 is similar. I once watched a group at a convention play 1812 for about 7 hours, all games with 5 people. One or two would leave, someone would slip into their spot, and the games would go on. (I played in about 5 of them myself).
Can't say that about many games.