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A Few Acres of Snow» Forums » Sessions

Subject: Giving the Halifax Hammer a Swing rss

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Malcolm Campbell
United States
Grand Rapids
Michigan
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The game did not go well for France. This particular French layer usually goes for a colonization strategy. This time, Britain wanted to try an aggressively militaristic strategy and utilized a first-turn settlement in Halifax.

Now, usually the French would ply their Louisbourg piracy to frustrating effect so I endeavored to keep my on-hand cash as minimal as possible. As soon as it got high enough to purchase troops, I did so. If it didn't look like I'd be able to purchase regulars within a turn or two, I bought militia. Militia would be useful in soaking up French ambushes anyway.

The mistake France made was not noticing the military build up until it was too late and the British were knocking on the doors of Port Royale. France belatedly began assembling a force as the British poured in. Fortifications and naval reinforcements delayed the inevitable but eventually France withdrew and the British moved in and settled at Port Royale.

Now, I think France could have gone in two ways. I didn't have an overwhelming force at this time. Hell, I didn't even have artillery. France was sitting on 15 money units. They could have started building a force while I waited for mine to cycle back through on the way to Louisburg. They could also have hit overdrive on settling and tried to get discs down before I got to Quebec.

France tried to do both and suffered for it. A few turns later the Redcoats sailed in to Louisburg. A battle over several turns ensued but eventually the French were forced to withdraw.
France began creeping down toward the Great Lakes, getting to Fort Presque Isle. They acquired their own artillery.

Unfortunately, they kept drifting down toward Fort Detroit as British ships arrived at Taddoussac. The Taddoussac battle was the shortest yet with the British capturing and holding the fort in 3 turns.

A few turns later, Britain besieged Quebec. The battle was hard fought. Quebec's natural defenses made it a hard fight. But, France's military was not up to the job and the walls fell. However, Britain did not have any settlers to play to colonize it.

The French player panicked. They had only 3 discs left but had not invested in any settlers. The British were knocking on Quebec's door with hungry settlers ready to colonize. France bought time by successfully raiding Louisbourg. As Britain had, a turn ago, governor'd out the Taddoussac card, it left Britain without a means to get to Quebec.

It was all for naught, however. Without Quebec, France couldn't get discs down. Eventually, Britain resettled Louisburg and then sailed in to Quebec with settlers a few turns later winning the conflict and driving France from North America.

Retrospective: Not a true Halifax Hammer since I didn't hop from Halifax-Louisburg-Quebec. But I can see how this is broken. Once the engine gets started, France is screwed. It just can't keep up once it gets behind militarily.

In this particular instance, France had a few other faults: They didn't get their governor card early enough so their deck was clogged with settlements that weren't helping them. Additionally they did aggressively court natives. France could have done a number on Britain's modest armor through ambushes but most of the natives fell in to British hands and France did not seek them.

Though perhaps countering the strategy is nearly impossible. I find that whoever dictates the momentum in aFAoS tends to win. It's difficult to get any headway if you're constantly switching gears responding to an opponent's strategy. Or maybe I'm a total novice.
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Niko
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Calgary
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Nice write up!
One rules mistake though: you don't have to settle Quebec, only win the siege there to win the game. Settling there is only required if you raided it to the ground.

It also sounded like the French player had plenty chances to get back in the game, but, instead of focusing on military, chose to keep settling and diluting the deck.
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N S.
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I think settling Halifax immediately is a mistake for Brits. It was part of the HH strategy under 1st edition rules, but with 2nd edition rules you become vulnerable to raids.
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Malcolm Campbell
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I did not know that. I misread the rules regarding that.

As for settling immediately.. yeah. It should have gotten burnt to the ground quickly but France didn't go for Indians as stringently as they should have.
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