$30.00
Clayton Capra
United States
Prior Lake
Minnesota
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Mr. Madison’s War: The Incredible War of 1812.
Published by GMT Games
Designed by Gilbert Collins

A game like this is a great way to get into and learn about history. I knew almost nothing about America’s first war as a nation until I played this game. You get to learn about some of the historical figures and events that took place and while learning the rules I was inspired to seek out a history podcast about the war.

It uses a card driven system that first appeared by Mark Herman in his game We the People. This game fits into a nice category along with We the People’s remake Washington’s War covering the American Revolution and Wilderness War covering the French & Indian War. If you enjoy other card driven games around the same time period in history you will like Mr. Madison’s War.

The Strategy cards can be played to a activate leaders and units to move and battle or for a historical event to take place. Not knowing if an event will happen or not adds to the dramatic tension of the game. Game play features some tough decisions as some of the strategy cards can be played directly for victory points but at the opportunity cost of not being able to use the card to activate leaders and units.

Units being in supply is huge factor in this game and a prominent strategy for both sides is where you attempt to cut off the supply line of your enemy. Lots of the action takes place along a front that is also the British supply line traced back to Quebec. Out of supply units are very vulnerable as they have their combat factors halved and cannot be restored.

Naval battles also take place for control of the Great Lakes. Control of a lake is worth 2 victory points and can impact supply as you can trace your supply through a lake as long as the enemy player does not control it.

Something unique to this game is a prewar sequence that lets you move your units to get in position before the war starts. Historically one side’s commander knew that war had been declared before the other. Not knowing exactly when the war starts can create some interesting surprises that mimics what happened historically. I also like the variable way the game ends. The Treaty of Ghent is an event card that allows a player who has enough of a lead to end the game early. That’s a nice touch and you never know if your opponent has the ability to end the game because it’s possible the Treaty of Ghent card isn’t in your particular game.

The rules need improvement and the living rules should be updated. Free Naval Return is in the wrong place in the sequence of play. When attacking across a major invasion route or a forested space only one of the two Combat Modifiers for terrain applies but this is not clear in the rulebook. Lots of war games have errata which seems par for the course but an error in the sequence of play. (Come on get better)

Overall I like the game and I am very happy with my purchase. I’m looking forward to Gilbert’s take on the American Revolution in an upcoming game.

If you like reading about games then check out my blog
https://www.facebook.com/Clay-Capra-Passionate-Gamer-9410718...
Clay Capra Passionate Gamer


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Roger Hobden
Canada
Montreal
Quebec
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Thanks for the review.

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Dundy O
United States
Milwaukee
Wisconsin
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"Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me."
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Is Gibert Collins designing a game about the American Revolution? My heart is palpitating, so don't play with my emotions.

I haven't seen anything....

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Gilbert Collins
Canada
Ottawa
Ontario
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Thanks for the kind words Clayton. Errata, yeah....Grrrrr.....Nearly every copy of the rules submitted did not have that error except the final one. Fortunately it is easy to figure out.

Yes, I'm working on a game on the American Revolution. Actually, we will begin to play test within the month, if all goes well.

At the appropriate time I will open up a folder on Consim and if I can, here to on the Geek.

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Mayor Jim
United States
Fort Wright
Kentucky
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Online rules errata would be a plus...overall, this game is a good sim and fun to play...even if it's from a Canadian Looking forward to the American Revolution one as well...
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