Recommend
20 
 Thumb up
 Hide
18 Posts

Liberty or Death: The American Insurrection» Forums » Sessions

Subject: Initial solitaire effort rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
Doug Robelen
United States
Glen Allen
Virginia
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmb
I just finished my initial play through - the long campaign, playing all four sides (I need to learn the Bot rules for this and FITL). I didn't keep track of the details of how the game went, but I have just a few observations.

1) In my game, I struggled to do much of anything with the Indian faction. I think this was largely attributable to the challenge of managing four different factions, but they seem to be the most challenging faction in terms of figuring out what to do with them, other than build villages. As I played this faction, they were of little use to the British and less than an irritant to the Patriots. I will be curious to play a game with an Indian Bot to see what this faction can do.

2) The most import thing I learned: Beware the double move! After the French entered the war, I had a sizable Franco-American force in NJ (11 French regulars, 3-4 Continentals and some militia), with Washington and Rochambeau present. In NY was Gage with 9 British regulars and 3 Tories (no fort). I played the French brilliant stroke card and moved the Rebellion force into NY and attacked. The first battle was a draw, with each side losing 5 pieces, but this left the the Rebellion force with more than 9 Regulars + Continentals, and the British with 6 Regulars and 1 Tory. The French were first on the next card and, since all factions are eligible after a brilliant stroke is played, attacked again. This time, the British were devastated, losing all but 1 Regular. The Washington effect was dramatic, pushing the Rebellion forces over the top at the next Winter Quarters card in terms of support v. opposition). Had I been playing more competitively for each side, I would have definitely played the Indian BS card to counter the French one (but I was more interested in having a big battle).

3) One of the other posts questioned whether the leaders might have too much influence of the game. As seen in (2) above, the Washington/Rochambeau combination can be deadly, especially when playing a BS card. In my game, through 4 Winter Quarters cards, there was only one leadership change (Brant to Cornplanter). The Indian leaders had no impact on the game (although this was probably largely attributable to my inept handling of that faction). I certainly wouldn't accuse Gage of having an undue influence on the game. Leaders certainly add a nice flavor this game, and I will be interested in seeing, over time, whether they seem to have too much power.

4) I'm curious as to others' opinions on the timing of French entry into the war. I was trying to reason out during my game whether there was any reason to delay French entry beyond the moment that faction is eligible to enter the war. The French can continue to Preparer la Guerre after they enter the war. Is an early entry risky because a smaller French army is at risk of being crushed my a larger British one?

5) It seems that the British are at a disadvantage in managing support v. opposition. If opposition starts to get widespread, there doesn't seem much the British can do to reign things in, other than wait for winter - or win the day in battles (which can be tricky if the Patriots run away).

6) I don't know if Harold will read this post, but I was curious about the desertion rules, specifically why the Militia and Continental desertion rates are the same. In my limited reading about this conflict, it would seem the militia were a more "fragile" force, and that they would desert at higher rates than the Continentals. Anyone have any thoughts on this issue? I'm not asserting the rule is "wrong" - I'm more interested in the thought that went behind it (and whether any other players had the same thought).

6) This is not FITL on a different map. I was curious/concerned about this when I ordered Liberty or Death. The intra-alliance dynamics in these two games seem markedly different. Part of what I consider the brilliance of FITL is the friction between allies occasioned by what are often incompatible victory conditions. While I have enjoyed playing it solo (without Bots - I really NEED to learn those rules), it seems a more natural 4-person game. Liberty or Death seems to be more conducive to a 2-person game, as especially the French and American interests seem much more intertwined. I don't make this point as a criticism.

6a) It seems to me to be more a factor of the different nature of these two different conflicts. It also seems that FITL seems more event card driven, or should I say that it seems easier to be lured into taking event cards in FITL than in LoD. There seemed to be many more instances when I was taking an action instead of playing an event card.

I just realized that my session report seems to be morphing more and more into a review, so I'll stop here. I will say that my introduction to this game has been a very positive experience, and I am looking forward to playing again . . . right now, actually.

- Doug
26 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Oerjan Ariander
Sweden
HUDDINGE
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmb
Scooter65 wrote:
1) In my game, I struggled to do much of anything with the Indian faction. I think this was largely attributable to the challenge of managing four different factions, but they seem to be the most challenging faction in terms of figuring out what to do with them, other than build villages. As I played this faction, they were of little use to the British and less than an irritant to the Patriots. I will be curious to play a game with an Indian Bot to see what this faction can do.

Raid, and - if the British co-locate one of their armies with Indian War Parties - Scout. Keep in mind that the Support-Opposition difference is just as important to the Indians as it is for any of the white man Factions; they need to actively use the tools they have available to shift that difference in favour of themselves and their British allies.

Quote:
2) The most import thing I learned: Beware the double move!

Yep. The Indian Scout Command give the Royalists a similar capability - with the added advantage that the Scout move Activates all Militia in the target space regardless of the size and composition of the Scouting force, so the Rebels won't get the +1 Loss Level for having Underground pieces present when the British follow up the Scout Command with a Battle.

Quote:
5) It seems that the British are at a disadvantage in managing support v. opposition. If opposition starts to get widespread, there doesn't seem much the British can do to reign things in, other than wait for winter - or win the day in battles (which can be tricky if the Patriots run away).

While this is mostly true, the British have an allied Faction which is quite capable of doing something about excessive Opposition levels: the Indians, with their Raid Command. If the Indians are well supplied with War Parties and Resources, a single Raid Command can wipe out up to 6 Opposition points... and the only thing the Rebellion can really do to prevent that is to destroy or at least Activate any Indian War Parties within Raiding distance of the Colonies.

Also, note that while Rabble-Rousing and Raid Commands are limited to shifting each space a single step at a time, and Winter Quarters Reward Loyalty (and Committees of Correspondence) are limited to 2 shifts per space, Reward Loyalty during a Muster Command can shift the space all the way from Active Opposition to Active Support in one go - provided, of course, that the British can pay for it and that they manage to get Tories into the space somehow.

Regards,
Oerjan
15 
 Thumb up
0.01
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Steve
United States
Flagstaff
Arizona
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Great post!
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Doug Robelen
United States
Glen Allen
Virginia
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmb
Thanks!
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Jim F
United Kingdom
Birmingham
West Midlands
flag msg tools
Who knew trench warfare could be such fun?
badge
Ashwin in front of Tiger 131
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb

I played the Southern Campaign solo and was at a loss about what to do with the Indian faction. On my second play through I am much clearer what options they can offer, although I still feel there is a lot more under the bonnet.

What I have enjoyed about LoD, which is really my first COIN game I have tried to learn inside out, is how to maximise the impact of each card/command/special ability and their relationships with each other. So many variables, it makes my head spin - but in a good way.
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Peter
msg tools
badge
mbmb
I'm in the third year of a solo-Indian six year game. I have a much better idea of what they can and cannot achieve playing that side exclusively, since I do not having to worry about decisions for the other factions. I will say it is taking time to really set up my power base, as resources are scarce, but thinking about where I want to build up is pretty interesting.
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Doug Robelen
United States
Glen Allen
Virginia
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmb
I just finished playing the Southern campaign myself (I started as the British with 3 Bots, but was quickly overwhelmed by all the details for managing Bots, gave up, and played all 4 factions). I was more assertive with the Indians this time, and they actually "controlled" Georgia and South Carolina, with the villages between the two provinces, and no Patriots in sight. Unfortunately for the Indians, the Patriots had 5 forts on the map at game's end, so they lost . . . as did the Patriots.

Another lesson learned: Beware the French! The trap that a war gamer can fall into (if you're playing the Patriots) is to hammer away at the British militarily. Such a strategy may be satisfying if you like seeing a lot of blue on the map, but if the French and the Patriots are hammering at the British at every opportunity, the CBC can not only far outstrip the CRC, but also the difference between Patriot forts and Indian villages.

As the Patriot player, once you realize this, smashing the Brits isn't as attractive as it seemingly should be. I'm not sure how much I like this, but it certainly adds some real complexity to the game in terms of the Franco-American relationship. Certainly Washington was focused on defeating the British militarily, but perhaps the historical rationale for these victory conditions is that if the British had suffered a debilitating military defeat, we would be speaking French instead of English.

Another lesson learned: Don't let FNI get out of control. Having several cities blockaded sucks, and constantly having to use a special activity to reduce FNI means you can't skirmish.

What does this all add up to? A COIN game is not just a game. It's like a work of art: each time you take a look, you see some new and interesting detail.
7 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Michael Draper
United States
Arlington
Virginia
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
Oerjan wrote:
Scooter65 wrote:
]2) The most import thing I learned: Beware the double move!

Yep. The Indian Scout Command give the Royalists a similar capability - with the added advantage that the Scout move Activates all Militia in the target space regardless of the size and composition of the Scouting force, so the Rebels won't get the +1 Loss Level for having Underground pieces present when the British follow up the Scout Command with a Battle.


Or, potentially, if CRC is getting out of hand and you need to close the gap a little to keep the Brits from winning, Scouting a weak British force into the line of fire of a Rebellion force coming up first on the next card.
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Harold Buchanan
United States
RSF
California
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Scooter65 wrote:
I just finished my initial play through - the long campaign, playing all four sides (I need to learn the Bot rules for this and FITL). I didn't keep track of the details of how the game went, but I have just a few observations.

1) In my game, I struggled to do much of anything with the Indian faction. I think this was largely attributable to the challenge of managing four different factions, but they seem to be the most challenging faction in terms of figuring out what to do with them, other than build villages. As I played this faction, they were of little use to the British and less than an irritant to the Patriots. I will be curious to play a game with an Indian Bot to see what this faction can do.

2) The most import thing I learned: Beware the double move! After the French entered the war, I had a sizable Franco-American force in NJ (11 French regulars, 3-4 Continentals and some militia), with Washington and Rochambeau present. In NY was Gage with 9 British regulars and 3 Tories (no fort). I played the French brilliant stroke card and moved the Rebellion force into NY and attacked. The first battle was a draw, with each side losing 5 pieces, but this left the the Rebellion force with more than 9 Regulars + Continentals, and the British with 6 Regulars and 1 Tory. The French were first on the next card and, since all factions are eligible after a brilliant stroke is played, attacked again. This time, the British were devastated, losing all but 1 Regular. The Washington effect was dramatic, pushing the Rebellion forces over the top at the next Winter Quarters card in terms of support v. opposition). Had I been playing more competitively for each side, I would have definitely played the Indian BS card to counter the French one (but I was more interested in having a big battle).

3) One of the other posts questioned whether the leaders might have too much influence of the game. As seen in (2) above, the Washington/Rochambeau combination can be deadly, especially when playing a BS card. In my game, through 4 Winter Quarters cards, there was only one leadership change (Brant to Cornplanter). The Indian leaders had no impact on the game (although this was probably largely attributable to my inept handling of that faction). I certainly wouldn't accuse Gage of having an undue influence on the game. Leaders certainly add a nice flavor this game, and I will be interested in seeing, over time, whether they seem to have too much power.

4) I'm curious as to others' opinions on the timing of French entry into the war. I was trying to reason out during my game whether there was any reason to delay French entry beyond the moment that faction is eligible to enter the war. The French can continue to Preparer la Guerre after they enter the war. Is an early entry risky because a smaller French army is at risk of being crushed my a larger British one?

5) It seems that the British are at a disadvantage in managing support v. opposition. If opposition starts to get widespread, there doesn't seem much the British can do to reign things in, other than wait for winter - or win the day in battles (which can be tricky if the Patriots run away).

6) I don't know if Harold will read this post, but I was curious about the desertion rules, specifically why the Militia and Continental desertion rates are the same. In my limited reading about this conflict, it would seem the militia were a more "fragile" force, and that they would desert at higher rates than the Continentals. Anyone have any thoughts on this issue? I'm not asserting the rule is "wrong" - I'm more interested in the thought that went behind it (and whether any other players had the same thought).

6) This is not FITL on a different map. I was curious/concerned about this when I ordered Liberty or Death. The intra-alliance dynamics in these two games seem markedly different. Part of what I consider the brilliance of FITL is the friction between allies occasioned by what are often incompatible victory conditions. While I have enjoyed playing it solo (without Bots - I really NEED to learn those rules), it seems a more natural 4-person game. Liberty or Death seems to be more conducive to a 2-person game, as especially the French and American interests seem much more intertwined. I don't make this point as a criticism.

6a) It seems to me to be more a factor of the different nature of these two different conflicts. It also seems that FITL seems more event card driven, or should I say that it seems easier to be lured into taking event cards in FITL than in LoD. There seemed to be many more instances when I was taking an action instead of playing an event card.

I just realized that my session report seems to be morphing more and more into a review, so I'll stop here. I will say that my introduction to this game has been a very positive experience, and I am looking forward to playing again . . . right now, actually.

- Doug


Hey Doug

Thanks for sharing. A lot of observations and questions here so I will address a few. If I miss something important - hit me again!

On the issue of desertion, Wargames are all about abstractions and LoD with its cubes and cylinders is no exception. Militia and Tories represent abstract amalgams of military units, political groups, leaders and other organizations. They do many more things than fire muskets at one another. I agree with your point on Militia but would argue that the key difference is the impact of their losses. The British paid less for the lack of a dependable peoples army (They had the greatest army in the world) - the Patriots paid greatly as it was all they had. In game terms you will see it when executing the desertions and the Patriot cuss the Indians for talking that critical Militia or Continental! Most of the time the British will cuss the French for a thousand other things but just grumble during desertion. 1 in 5 is an abstraction in that context - my measure of success of that sub system is Patriot player pain....

The Indian faction may be the simplest yet toughest Faction to execute on. It is critical that the Indians organize well with the British. The best chance for an Indian victory is late game. Their coordination with the British on Scout and Raid Commands will be the difference in a close game. And executing on Indian fund raising / extortion is one of my favorite sub games.

The double move is critical to Battle and a key game function. It occurs many different ways. There are cards that allow March then Battle. The Brilliant Stroke cards allow for March then Battle. But most importantly are the coordinated one two punch by Command. French pulling the Patriot Continentals along on March to have the Patriots Battle immediately after (or vice versa). The Indians can also do it with great impact by using Scout and the British following with Battle.

And lastly, god help the British player that attacks a dug in Washington with Patriot Forts.....
5 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Ernie Blofeld
United States
Ocean View
Delaware
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
mld0806 wrote:
Oerjan wrote:
Scooter65 wrote:
]2) The most import thing I learned: Beware the double move!

Yep. The Indian Scout Command give the Royalists a similar capability - with the added advantage that the Scout move Activates all Militia in the target space regardless of the size and composition of the Scouting force, so the Rebels won't get the +1 Loss Level for having Underground pieces present when the British follow up the Scout Command with a Battle.


Or, potentially, if CRC is getting out of hand and you need to close the gap a little to keep the Brits from winning, Scouting a weak British force into the line of fire of a Rebellion force coming up first on the next card.


That is absolutely Machiavellian! That tactic never would have occurred to me. Game-wise you could justify it by saying not all tribes were united behind the British.

Until recently I'd been playing the two sides more or less as teams solitaire. But as time marches on and victory conditions become second nature I find myself looking out more and more for the individual factions, which is a real tribute to the depth of this game.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Volko Ruhnke
United States
Virginia
flag msg tools
designer
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Quote:
... Game-wise you could justify it by saying not all tribes were united behind the British.

Or that even staunchly pro-British tribes would not much care how many redcoats died, as long as the King still reigned over the Colonies.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Paul Dobbins
United States
Herndon
Virginia
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
In the detailed BGG AAR Art and I are playing in a parallel universe, we have reached a place where the Brits and the French are counting casualties very closely, while the Patriots and Indians are seesawing over villages and forts. The Indians are really closing in on a win, so the Brits may have to time the opposition/support dynamic very closely as well. All is very exciting with a number of turns to go.

https://boardgamegeek.com/thread/1470815/1776-medium-duratio...
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Oerjan Ariander
Sweden
HUDDINGE
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmb
Noiseman wrote:
mld0806 wrote:
Oerjan wrote:
Scooter65 wrote:
]2) The most import thing I learned: Beware the double move!

Yep. The Indian Scout Command give the Royalists a similar capability - with the added advantage that the Scout move Activates all Militia in the target space regardless of the size and composition of the Scouting force, so the Rebels won't get the +1 Loss Level for having Underground pieces present when the British follow up the Scout Command with a Battle.


Or, potentially, if CRC is getting out of hand and you need to close the gap a little to keep the Brits from winning, Scouting a weak British force into the line of fire of a Rebellion force coming up first on the next card.


That is absolutely Machiavellian! That tactic never would have occurred to me. Game-wise you could justify it by saying not all tribes were united behind the British.

I prefer to think of it as leading the British forces to protect threatened Indian Villages from ravaging Patriots...

Of course, the British can return the favour by using Common Cause to pull War Parties away from Villages so the Patriots can attack them. Not recommended unless Support is well above Opposition, mind you - Common Cause will Activate those War Parties, so they become useless for Raids...

/Oerjan
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Harold Buchanan
United States
RSF
California
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Noiseman wrote:
Until recently I'd been playing the two sides more or less as teams solitaire. But as time marches on and victory conditions become second nature I find myself looking out more and more for the individual factions, which is a real tribute to the depth of this game.


In my mind - when the two Factions are working together Scout Operations can have a significant impact. When the two Factions are not working together they can be catastrophic!

2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Michael Draper
United States
Arlington
Virginia
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
Noiseman wrote:
mld0806 wrote:
Oerjan wrote:
Scooter65 wrote:
]2) The most import thing I learned: Beware the double move!

Yep. The Indian Scout Command give the Royalists a similar capability - with the added advantage that the Scout move Activates all Militia in the target space regardless of the size and composition of the Scouting force, so the Rebels won't get the +1 Loss Level for having Underground pieces present when the British follow up the Scout Command with a Battle.


Or, potentially, if CRC is getting out of hand and you need to close the gap a little to keep the Brits from winning, Scouting a weak British force into the line of fire of a Rebellion force coming up first on the next card.


That is absolutely Machiavellian! That tactic never would have occurred to me. Game-wise you could justify it by saying not all tribes were united behind the British.

Until recently I'd been playing the two sides more or less as teams solitaire. But as time marches on and victory conditions become second nature I find myself looking out more and more for the individual factions, which is a real tribute to the depth of this game.


One of the things I love about the COIN games I've played (especially this and FitL) is that one of the best lessons you learn is that, while you may have allies, you never have friends.
6 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Doug Robelen
United States
Glen Allen
Virginia
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmb
Well said, Michael.

And thanks for your comments, Harold. I admit to having made the mistake on more than one occasion of taking on Washington in a province with a fort. I'll think twice before doing that again.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Thomas Moon
United States
Pennsylvania
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Thanks. Loved the report.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Scott D
United States
Virginia
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Volko wrote:
Quote:
... Game-wise you could justify it by saying not all tribes were united behind the British.

Or that even staunchly pro-British tribes would not much care how many redcoats died, as long as the King still reigned over the Colonies.


I would also think that pro-British tribes still might worry about the British military defeating the rebellion too decisively. After all, a local British government with a military at nearly full strength might decide that they want the Indian territory or that the Indians pose a potential future threat. Ideally, then, the British government would maintain control of the colonies but be too banged up from fighting the rebellion to be a threat to the Indians afterward!
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.