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Subject: The Definitive Rules Comparison Between the 1975 and 2008 Editions rss

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Crazy Adam
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I recently acquired a Gamma Two Games 1975 edition of 'War of 1812' (also known as the 2nd edition). Some posts here refer to rule differences between the editions, though none of them felt complete (or were comparing to the earlier 1985 edition). I have done my best to note every significant rule chance between the two editions. I have left out any insignificant changes so that this document is not bloated.

I can see a number of the 2008 rules being adopted for the 1975 edition, though there should be caution when doing so. While some rule differences in the 2008 edition appear to give the players more control, it must be pointed out that combat resolution is different enough in the two versions that applying some of the modern rules to the earlier editions might imbalance the game. I do not have enough experience with either edition to reliably give an opinion here. Perhaps some seasoned players can share their thoughts and most likely I will share mine as my experience grows.

Let me know if you see any issues or glaring omissions!


Units

1975: There are 18 blue blocks (Americans), 17 red blocks (British), 1 green block (Indians), and 12 brown blocks (Naval forces for both players).
2008: There are 25 blocks of each colour (blue and red representing the Americans and British, respectively).

2008: Units are given “combat ratings” which indicate the range of value needed to be rolled to make a hit. The 1975 edition has no such combat system (and relies on '6's only to score hits, similar to the earlier Quebec 1759).

2008: Units are given movement ratings to indicate the number of areas it can move in one turn. In the 1975 edition, blocks can only move to an adjacent area.

2008: Distinctions are made between different unit types: Infantry (Regulars and Militia), Dragoons, Artillery, Warships, and Indians. In the 1975 edition, distinctions are made only by the colour of blocks: American units, British units, Indian unit, and Naval units.

2008: Unit types have various rules and restrictions that govern their movement and combat abilities. No such rules exist for the 1975 edition.

1975: Naval units are shared between both players, have no CV markings and lay flat on the board when placed. The 2008 edition has distinct Naval units with printed combat and movement values similar to other units in the game and are "hidden" as normal.


Setup

2008: Each player starts with 3 Warships. In the 1975 edition, Naval units are not placed on the board during setup.


Sequence of Play (non-simultaneous play)

1975: The American player begins the game, followed by the British player, with turns alternating in this manner.
2008: Both players roll two dice at the beginning of each turn. The player with the highest roll decides whether to be the first or second player this turn (re-roll ties).

1975: Each turn begins with an Army phase, followed by a Naval phase.
2008: In this edition, the phases are reversed (first Naval, then Army). Both Naval and Army battles do not occur until after the Army phase.


Naval Phase

1975: Naval units are added to the board in 2 stages: first placing it on the board face-down and then in a later turn turning the unit face-up.
2008: A Naval unit may be added to the board at 1CV or am existing unit may receive 1CV.

1975: One or more Naval units in one lakeside town can move to the lake, or vice-versa.
2008: One or more Naval units in all lakeside towns of one lake can move into the lake, or vice-versa (to one or more lakeside towns).

1975: Naval units can move from one lakeside town to another lakeside town on the same lake if the player controls the lake. In the 2008 edition, this type of movement is not possible.

2008: Rules exist for the potential “capturing” of warships that are docked in an enemy's town and that enemy moves units into it.
1975: Army units moving into a town occupied by their enemy's Naval units immediately destroy the Naval units unless they are forced to retreat or are eliminated by defending units.


Army Phase

1975: Units from one town can move to one adjacent town.
2008: Units from one town can move to one or more adjacent towns. Certain units have the ability to move two towns.

2008: Units can be “force marched” in order to move them one additional town (at the risk of losing CV in the process). There is no “force march” rule in the 1975 edition.


Amphibious Movement

2008: For each ship that is not involved in Amphibious Movement (occurring on the same lake) it can move following normal movement rules. In the 1975 edition, the rule allowing unused ships to move is not present.


Battle Phase

1975: Battles occur immediately when the situation arises. In the 2008 edition, battles occur after all Naval and Army movement has taken place, with the attacker deciding the order of battles.


Naval Battles

1975: For each player's ship present on the lake, the player rolls one die. The player who rolls the highest total wins the battle (re-rolling ties).
2008: Naval battles are resolved similar to Army battles (using the combat and CV values as normal).

1975: The losing player retreats to a lakeside town, damaging (flipping) one Naval unit (which cannot move until repaired on a following turn by flipping it). If the successful player's roll was at least double the losing players roll, he can instead destroy one Naval unit or steal the unit to his side.
2008: After each round of naval combat, the attacker can decide to retreat, followed by the defender. If neither player retreats, combat continues.


Army Battles

1975: Hits are made on the roll of '6' on any of the dice thrown. The targeted player decides which unit(s) take the damage.
2008: Hits are made based on each unit's Fire value (F1 or F2, for example). The unit with the highest CV takes the damage (targeted player deciding which unit takes damage if CV strength is tied).

1975: During retreat, pursuit fire is resolved as if it was a normal attack.
2008: During retreat, each unit rolls as if it had a 'F3' fire value.

1975: Units that retreat are not able to attack on the next turn (but can defend as normal). This rule does not exist in the 2008 edition.


Amphibious Attacks

2008: The defender of an amphibious attack rolls for each unit twice during the first round of battle only. Amphibious retreat is only possible by the player attacking via amphibious movement (after taking double pursuit fire).
1975: No rules exist for Amphibious attacks. As such, they are treated as normal Army attacks.


Reinforcements

2008: If a Reinforcement town is occupied by enemy blocks, reinforcements can only enter in a future Army Phase from the Reinforcement supply (and not during the Winter phase, as normal). This will force a battle if the town is still occupied (except the attacker cannot retreat). Reinforcements that are still off the board during the next Winter Phase are forfeit.
1975: Reinforcements can only enter an occupied town on a later turn if the Reinforcement town is vacated by the opponent. (It does not say they need to be brought in as an Army move, so it may be assumed that they are placed in there automatically once the town is vacated.)


Indians

1975: The Indian unit fights at double strength.
2008: The Indian unit fights normally, but rolls 2 dice at F3 during pursuit fire.

2008: The Indian block does not count as 1 VP when scoring. The 1975 rules do not mention this (though it does say you score for your army's units and strictly speaking the Indian unit is not part of the British player's army).


American Militia

2008: When moving each American Militia unit from America into Canada, the player must roll a die. On a roll of 1-3, the unit will not move. All other ordered units must move if they can.
1975: The same rule as above applies, except the unit will not move on a roll of '6'. The player also has the option of cancelling the entire move order, but does not get another. (Note that 7 out of the 19 American Army units in the 2008 edition are considered 'Militia'. All 18 American units could be potentially considered 'Militia' and are rolled for, which is why the range for cancelled Militia movement is different for each game.)


Victory

1975: 1 VP for each lake a player controls.
2008: 2 VP for each lake a player controls.

2008: Warships cannot be considered “occupying” an enemy territory for its VP. In the 1975 this distinction is not made, though it is probably the case that this is an oversight and the 2008 clarification applies to the 1975 edition as well.


Simo-Move

2008: The highest total in a roll of 2 dice from each player will decide who is the defender in a battle that occurs in a lake that was empty before both players moved into it. There is no such clarification in the 1975 rules.

2008: When two groups of units are about to switch places, a roll of 2 dice from each player will determine who decides where the battle is fought, the Defender being the player who originally occupied that town.
1975: In the above scenario the battle is fought in the town where the weaker group of units was coming from (number of units, not total CV). If tied, each player throws 1 die. Highest roller decides which town the fight will occur in.

2008: If battles are to occur at the same time in two towns, the highest roller of 2 dice decides which battle occurs first.
1975: If two battles are to be resolved at the same time, the defenders of each battle roll at the same time for each separate battle and each separate battle is resolved concurrently.

2008: When a lake battle is to occur on a lake that also has an amphibious move order, the lake battle is resolved first. Losing control of the lake cancels the amphibious move order. If control is retained, the player may decide to continue with the amphibious move or cancel it.
1975: In the above scenario, having one's ship eliminated means that one Army unit that is part of the amphibious move must also be eliminated. It is noted that naval units cannot retreat.

1975: It is noted that both Naval and Army movement is resolved first before battles. In the 2008 edition, this is true for both the optional Simo-move rules and the turn-based rules.

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Mayor Jim
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This is a great set of comparisons...thanks much for the effort!
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Lovely!

Any chance you'd do this for Quebec 1759?
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Crazy Adam
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leroy43 wrote:
Lovely!

Any chance you'd do this for Quebec 1759?


I'd like to! But I only have the latest edition of Quebec 1759. If anyone can scan me a rulebook from the Gamma Two edition, I'd be happy to put one together.
 
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Ronald Hill
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Well done sir, I have the 1985 version and I can see the differences with that version and the other 2 as well. It shows the progression of this game.
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freechinanow wrote:
leroy43 wrote:
Lovely!

Any chance you'd do this for Quebec 1759?


I'd like to! But I only have the latest edition of Quebec 1759. If anyone can scan me a rulebook from the Gamma Two edition, I'd be happy to put one together.

Back from vacation after labour day... whistle
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