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Subject: A close game right until the end. AAR of two newbies. rss

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Daniel Val
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My friend Phil and I met once again for our weekly wargame night and this time we were both willing to try Quebec 1759 (Columbia Games), by now a block wargame classic. None of us had played before and only I had read the rules.
It took me about 15 minutes to explain the game, a little more than I thought it would take, and we finally chose sides. Phil wanted to command the british, so I let him. Plus, I usually like playing the side that historically lost… So we were both happy.

I set up 4 militia units (MIL) + 2 decoys (DEC) in Levi, 1Regular (REG) + 4 MIL in Montmorency, 2 REG + 2MIL + 1Indian (IND) in St Charles, and the rest of the French units in Beauport. I thought placing them there would allow me to keep the british uncertain of where to land on that side of the river

Turn 1
British 4 Ile D’Orleans-Montmorency
French 3 Beaumont-Montmorency

I was pretty lucky with this first move, for I had guessed Phil’s intentions of landing on that side of the river. Knowing that I’d be waiting for him heavily armed, he decided to assault with 3DEC and 1 Light Infantry, which was lost in the first round of combat. I did not realize he had landed with those guys, otherwise I would have let him take back his move and bring the Louisbourg squadron. Light Infantry is a good defense against the Indians!

Turn 2
British 4 Ile D’orleans-Levis
French 2 Montmorency-Beaumont

A little battle took place in Levis while I rebalanced the north shore of the Bason. The outcome of the battle was me being routed and retreating to Etchemin. I managed to cause some casualties, though.

Turn 3
British 4 Ile D’Orleans-Levis
French IND raid Ile D’Orleans

While the british reinforced their beachhead I managed to cause a couple of casualties in their main camp with an Indian raid, and get away untouched, for the Rangers did not make a single hit. So far, lots of british casualties… Things were looking good!

Turn 4
British 4 Ile D’Orleans-Montmorency
French 3 Etchemin-Silley

I must admit this move caught me by surprise. I did not expect a second landing apart from the one in Levis, and especially when Montmorency still had a pretty decent defense. Anyway, the battle that followed was a complete disaster for the French. I think I rolled twenty dice and did not score a single hit in the first round of the battle. I did manage to inflict a total of four hits through the whole battle, though. The 4 british REG, on the contrary, were pretty accurate and soon routed my deployed units. Thankfully the pursuit fire was not heavy on me.
So far 2 new areas occupied by the british which meant 2 Quebec MIL were gone. Little by little French forces were facing the hard conditions of war, too!

Turn 5
British 3 Montmorency-Levis
French IND raid Levi

Again an unexpected move (or so I saw it) Unfortunately my Indians were not effective this time, and in fact they faced a casualty after the raid, inflicted by the American rangers.

Turn 6
British 2 ships upriver
French 3 Beauport-St. Charles

Fearing an amphibious assault on St Charles that would cut my forces in Beauport from Abraham, I decided to reinforce St Charles. Meanwhile, the British prepared their crossing the river.

Turn 7
British 2 Ile D’Orleans-Levis
French IND raid Ile D’Orleans

Three blocks were left at Ile D’Orleans when the Indians arrived, but they were all decoys! One lost opportunity of raiding… That was not good. On the other hand, all british forces were now in Levis, ready to begin their approach to the north side of the river.

Turn 8
British 13 Levis-Etchemin
French IND raid Levis

Once again, a lost opportunity for a raid… I was hoping the british would be moving their ships upriver this time, but Phil was outsmarting me with his moves.
One more new land area occupied by the british also meant one less Quebec MIL unit. Things were not working for the French now…

Turn 9
British 2 Etchemin-Cap Rouge
French 6 Beauport-St Charles

With less to fear coming from the Bason, the French gathered the bulk of their forces at St Charles. On a surprise coup, the british took Cap Rouge in order to see more French units leave the main army. One Montreal MIL and one Quebec MIL go… Things were not looking great for the French.

Turn 10
British 2 Ships upriver
French 14 St Charles-Abraham

The british got everything ready for their landing on the north shore while the French prepared for a final assault on Abraham.

Turn 11
British 4 Etchemin-Silley
French 2 Silley-Cap Rouge

The british establish a beachhead while two Montreal MIL tried to take Cap Rouge away from the british. The squirmish was a success for the French, who eliminate the Louisbourg Squadron and the DEC that was with them.
Optimal play for the French would have been moving everything or a big force to Silley were it was presumably where the british were going to be landing, although the presence of british in cap rouge made that a more attractive landing site. In the end, as the French, I took a more conservative option, hoping that with the casualties inflicted until now plus whatever I managed to do on the defensive in Abraham, would be enough to bring the british under 20 CV by turn 16.

Turn 12
British 4 Etchemin-Silley
French IND raid Etchemin

I knew I had to do more attrition in order to have a shot at winning… and what better way to use my allies, the Indians, in order to cause casualties among my enemy than raiding! They managed to cause a loss and retreated undamaged.
The British, on the other hand, were gathering their own forces at Silley.

Turn 13
British 8 Silley-Abraham
French IND raid Silley

Another unexpected move from the british. With still three turns to go, I really thought the british would gather all forces before launching the final assault for Abraham. And so the decisive battle for Quebec began.
Once again, out of almost 20 dice rolled on the first defensive French fire, not a single hit was scored! That was pretty unlucky and I sure felt that the game was lost right there. However, the battle progressed and it took several volleys from both sides before, eventually, my left flank disbanded and had me facing pursuit fire. Thanks to the Indians in the reserve, I only took one hit and retreated to Ste. Foy.

Turn 14
British 2 Etchemin-Abraham
French Indians raid Abraham

While the british furthered reinforced their position in Abraham, I knew that they had suffered enough casualties for the French to still have a shot at winning. I launched the Indians to cause further attrition, and managed to score one hit. Little by little…

Turn 15
British No move
French Indians raid Abraham

Same line of thought than on the previous turn ensued. However, the Indians, despite rolling six dice did not manage to roll a single six.
Final winner was still pending, and there was some (minor) tension in the air.

Turn 16
British No move
French Indians raid Abraham

I doubted if to go for a final assault until the end, but my chances, at least from a mathematical point of view, were better releasing the Indians once again and hoping for a couple of hits. Once again, no hits among the six dice rolled.
Phil finally breathed comfortably and revealed that he had exactly 20 CV among the whole british remaining force, and so him and his british rightfully claimed victory…. It was a pretty close one, too!

We both thought the game was pretty good, tense, fast and we’re willing to play again, possibly next week, this time switching sides. I like block wargames in general and this one seems particularly convenient for beginners. It has enough subtleties among its rules to make it interesting and yet it is pretty simple. I’m not sure it does a great job at simulating the actual battle for Quebec during the French and Indian War, but the game is fun to play and it does, partially thanks to the artwork and the blocks in red and blue, provide a certain atmosphere vaguely related to the era.

All in all a good gaming session which was followed by a long conversation about sci-fi movies, games, history… and planing for our next gaming session, which maybe (only maybe), will end up posted here again.


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Thanks, Dan, for the very nice session report. Quebec 1759 is one of the few wargames I have played (among other block games, I have also tried War of 1812 and Crusader Rex) and I remember I liked it. It has very simple rules. Furthermore, I think it makes the best use of the potential for hidden information inherent in block games because of its decoy units. As far as I know, no other Columbia block game has them, and I always thought that was a shame.
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Jacques Grenier ou bedon Grognard
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Yes, very nice session report, Dan. But the Brits "cheated" you on turn 7 and may be that's why you lost the game. The rules ( 10.0 Decoys ) state that decoys ( 10.1 ) may NEVER be moved by themselves, or left by themselves in any zone. shake

So, if the British player is an honorable gentleman, he must gave you a rematch.

SPCCBN / Jacques ( I live in Québec city and work on the plains of Abraham by the way ) cool
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Sisyphean Gamestacker
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Two comments on the comments:

Amy, I agree with you about the fog of war in Quebec. It's the game the system was designed for, after all. The other Columbia game I have played is Wizard Kings, and even though the fog of war is there, it's not nearly as meaningful. You can't see blocks, but because different units travel across hexes and hexsides differently, I find that you often reveal a lot of information about your troops just by moving.

Jacques: I noticed the same bit about turn 7. I did notice, though, that the decoys were only left behind on that turn, so it didn't make too much difference in terms of what the Indians encountered. They had to raid according to orders, no matter what.

Here are my questions for you about how you play. 1) Do you specify Indian actions (i.e. raiding or scouting) in your orders, or just your destination? In the past, I've always specified actions, but discussions here and on CSW have led me to believe that you may not really have to. Just pick a destination and decide on your action when you get there.

2) The rules say that decoys can not be left alone (section 10.1); assuming that the British player had two real units and three decoys on the Ile at the beginning of turn 7, is the only valid order to ship out one real unit and one decoy and leave the last unit pinned with the decoys until a third ship comes back (so that the decoys are not left alone), or can you just ship out the two valid units and then abandon (reveal) your decoys? The first version is a literal interpretation of the rules; the second one was my common sense answer to the issue until I went back and reread section 10. I ask because if you subscribe to the second view, then the British player's error of not revealing the decoys made no difference. The space would have been occupied when the French order was issued but "empty" when the Indian raiding party arrived, anyway.

I hope question 2 made sense; it did drone on and on.

Tim
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Rod Bauer
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Great session report Dan! I have given you a "thumbs up."
Quote:
However, the Indians, despite rolling six dice did not manage to roll a single six.

Double CV means that die rolls of "5" and "6" are hits. NOT double the number of dice. The Indians should not have rolled 6 dice as you stated above. If their CV level was at 3 they should have rolled three dice with 5's and 6's being hits. Your chances of hits is much better with Double CV (5&6) rather than double the dice. The "double CV" in the river crossing works the same way. Phil's British units might have gotten away with fewer casualties than should have been inflicted on him.
Jacques has already pointed out the "decoy situation (Rule 10), but as has had been stated it would not have made a difference in your particular game anway. But could in the future. Again, thanks for the great session report. I look forward to your future reports.
Rod
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Daniel Val
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Wow!
Thanks to everyone for your comments! Whenever I write a session I usually do it for the fun of it, never really expecting there will be any readers... So I'm even more surprised to see some positive feedback!

Dan
 
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Daniel Val
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Sexy Amy wrote:
Thanks, Dan, for the very nice session report. Quebec 1759 is one of the few wargames I have played (among other block games, I have also tried War of 1812 and Crusader Rex) and I remember I liked it. It has very simple rules. Furthermore, I think it makes the best use of the potential for hidden information inherent in block games because of its decoy units. As far as I know, no other Columbia block game has them, and I always thought that was a shame.


Thanks Amy!

Probably my favorite block wargame is Pacific Victory, also by Columbia Games. It has a lot more rules than Quebec or War of 1812, but still manages to have a lot less than say, Pacific War or other WWII games on the Pacific theatre of operations. The Fog of war effect is, if possible, more pronounced than in Quebec 1759. A block in the middle of the ocean can be a submarine, a plane, a ground unit... Sometimes it can even be a bit unrealistic but it's still a fun game to play. I cannot remember if there were also decoy units...

[Edit] I just checked... No decoy units in PV.

 
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Daniel Val
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spccbn wrote:
Yes, very nice session report, Dan. But the Brits "cheated" you on turn 7 and may be that's way you lost the game. The rules ( 10.0 Decoys ) state that decoys ( 10.1 ) may NEVER be moved by themselves, or left by themselves in any zone. shake

So, if the British player is an honorable gentleman, he must gave you a rematch.

SPCCBN / Jacques ( I live in Québec city and work on the plains of Abraham by the way ) cool


Thanks Jacques! Or should I say "merci beaucoup"!

I hadn't noticed that little detail. Well it was our first game, so it's normal. It's unbelievable how hard it is to play games right the first time even games with few rules, like this one!

Phil is a real nice guy, and we were going to have a rematch anyway so I'll let you know how that goes

Au revoire! Quand je suis a Quebec, peut etre Il faut jouer un match avec vous??? (Je suis allez a Toulouse, France pendant un mois il y a quelques ans et j'ai apris un petit de langue francaise)

Sorry for the million mistakes I probably just wrote!!
 
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Daniel Val
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Thanks for the comments Tim!

atimrogers wrote:

Here are my questions for you about how you play. 1) Do you specify Indian actions (i.e. raiding or scouting) in your orders, or just your destination? In the past, I've always specified actions, but discussions here and on CSW have led me to believe that you may not really have to. Just pick a destination and decide on your action when you get there.


You're probably right. Maybe you only specify destination. I did, however write Indians raided, but I'll change that from now on.

atimrogers wrote:
2) The rules say that decoys can not be left alone (section 10.1); assuming that the British player had two real units and three decoys on the Ile at the beginning of turn 7, is the only valid order to ship out one real unit and one decoy and leave the last unit pinned with the decoys until a third ship comes back (so that the decoys are not left alone), or can you just ship out the two valid units and then abandon (reveal) your decoys? The first version is a literal interpretation of the rules; the second one was my common sense answer to the issue until I went back and reread section 10. I ask because if you subscribe to the second view, then the British player's error of not revealing the decoys made no difference. The space would have been occupied when the French order was issued but "empty" when the Indian raiding party arrived, anyway.


I like interpretation 2 better. It would seem too artificial to me that an army is delayed because of decoy units... but well, this game has been played enough by now, and there's probably wiser players out there who can see a rationale for this...
 
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Daniel Val
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rod3556lhs wrote:
Great session report Dan! I have given you a "thumbs up."
Quote:
However, the Indians, despite rolling six dice did not manage to roll a single six.

Double CV means that die rolls of "5" and "6" are hits. NOT double the number of dice. The Indians should not have rolled 6 dice as you stated above. If their CV level was at 3 they should have rolled three dice with 5's and 6's being hits. Your chances of hits is much better with Double CV (5&6) rather than double the dice. The "double CV" in the river crossing works the same way. Phil's British units might have gotten away with fewer casualties than should have been inflicted on him.
Jacques has already pointed out the "decoy situation (Rule 10), but as has had been stated it would not have made a difference in your particular game anway. But could in the future. Again, thanks for the great session report. I look forward to your future reports.
Rod


Is that right!!??

That would be a big change!! I don't have the rules here with me (I'm in a "work" meeting right now), but I'll get back to you if I don't see this clearly stated in the rules.

Thanks for the tip!
 
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Tom Volpe
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The rules that came in the box specify "Double CV" to be double the number of dice while the rules I downloaded from Columbia's web site specify "Double CV" as 5s and 6s are hits.
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Rod Bauer
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Cosmid wrote:
The rules that came in the box specify "Double CV" to be double the number of dice while the rules I downloaded from Columbia's web site specify "Double CV" as 5s and 6s are hits.


There may have been several revisions to this rule through the years. In the rule book that came with my game (copyright 1985) RULE 17.1 defines "Double CV" as 5 and 6 as hits. However from an article in PANZERFAUST magazine (Sept/Oct 1975) it seems to indicate that you double the dice, and then only 6 are hits. I also have an original game from Gamma Two publishers (1972) that doesn't even mention "double CV". There are no special combat defense rules for river crossings, nor is there any bonus for Indian raids. Of course the 1972 version seems to be different in a lot of ways. For example 5 British naval units rather than 4, and two Indian units each with a CV strength of 2 rather one Inian unit with a strength of 4. There is also a difference in battle resolution. If, for example, "Player A" has one of his columns eliminated, instead of a route occuring, "Player B" can now "outflank" his opponent and fire his extra column into one of the two remaining columns of "Player A." So obviously this game has evolved over the years.
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Tom Volpe
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I should have also mentioned that we play with the rule that 5s or 6s hit for Double CV. Slightly different odds but so much easier than rolling all those dice.
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rod3556lhs wrote:
There may have been several revisions to this rule through the years. In the rule book that came with my game (copyright 1985) RULE 17.1 defines "Double CV" as 5 and 6 as hits. However from an article in PANZERFAUST magazine (Sept/Oct 1975) it seems to indicate that you double the dice, and then only 6 are hits.


My sense is that the rules have been revised so that double CV always means double dice, now. In the current version of the rules, CV itself refers to the number of steps currently on the top edge of the block (see rules 2.2 and 2.4 of the .pdf on the Columbia website), thus CV specifically refers to how many dice you roll. In this respect, double CV=double dice makes sense.

I haven't seen older rules, but Rod's comments, along with conversations here and on CSW, make it pretty clear that in past versions, the double CV did sometimes mean rolling a 5 or 6 instead of double dice. I think the change in the system brings it more in line with later Columbia games. On the other hand, in Wizard Kings, both kinds of benefits can happen: terrain benefits add one to your hit number (that is, a Swamp critter becomes a B4 instead of a B3 if fighting in a swamp), but other kinds of benefits increase the number of dice you roll (many spells give your forces a +1, but this lets you roll an extra die rather than improving your "to hit" numbers).

Per Rod's discussion of routs: the current version is a bear. It's often pretty easy to get routed, and when you do . . .

Tim


**Edit: My comments above refer to .pdf of rules version 1.2 from the Columbia website. In this .pdf and in the copy that came with my game earlier this year, the phrase "double CV" always appears thusly: "double CV (double the number of dice)." In the .pdf, the parenthetical comment is also in red to draw attention to it, and perhaps to show that it is a revision or new inclusion.**
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Rod Bauer
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Hi Tim,
Quote:
Tim said: "My sense is that the rules have been revised so that double CV always means double dice, now."

Thanks Tim. You are correct. I went to the Columbia site and the latest version of the rules(version 1.2) does say clearly that "double CV" means "double the dice." As you say it is printed in red. That usually means a revision. Since the most recent copyright on the pdf file is 2006 this is the most up to date version.

My apologies also to Dan and Phil. You guys played it correctly after all. And I thank everyone who posted comments. Now I am at least updated on the new rules.

Rod
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Daniel Val
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rod3556lhs wrote:

My apologies also to Dan and Phil. You guys played it correctly after all. And I thank everyone who posted comments. Now I am at least updated on the new rules.

Rod


No apologies needed, Rod!!! It was nice to follow the discussion and seeing how some of the rules have evolved overtime.

Dan
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I was schooled in the despair of double CV (double the number of dice) today. Played the French. The British landed at my weak spot (4 units & 2 blanks), and I only scored two 6s on my double CV amphibious defense roll. They routed me on the first attack, and I headed into Abraham with my tail between my legs while the Brits established and held onto a beachhead that separated my two main bodies of troops.

Later in the game, I had gotten about 2/3 of my remaining forces into Abraham (19CV) when the British came across the river. I rolled 38 dice for the amphibious attack and scored exactly 3 sixes. Took it on the chin, and retreated into Sillery for the rest of the game, trying to whittle away at Wolfe's forces with my Indians and militia for the rest of the game. I scored a couple of token victories, but pretty much had my behind handed to mesoblue. Alas.
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Jacques Grenier ou bedon Grognard
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monkeyrobot wrote:
spccbn wrote:
Yes, very nice session report, Dan. But the Brits "cheated" you on turn 7 and may be that's way you lost the game. The rules ( 10.0 Decoys ) state that decoys ( 10.1 ) may NEVER be moved by themselves, or left by themselves in any zone. shake

So, if the British player is an honorable gentleman, he must gave you a rematch.

SPCCBN / Jacques ( I live in Québec city and work on the plains of Abraham by the way ) cool


Thanks Jacques! Or should I say "merci beaucoup"!

I hadn't noticed that little detail. Well it was our first game, so it's normal. It's unbelievable how hard it is to play games right the first time even games with few rules, like this one!

Phil is a real nice guy, and we were going to have a rematch anyway so I'll let you know how that goes

Au revoire! Quand je suis a Quebec, peut etre Il faut jouer un match avec vous??? (Je suis allez a Toulouse, France pendant un mois il y a quelques ans et j'ai apris un petit de langue francaise)

Sorry for the million mistakes I probably just wrote!!




Hi Dan,

C'est bon. Your french is pretty good. As for a match, sure will.

J. cool
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