Recommend
14 
 Thumb up
 Hide
6 Posts

The '45» Forums » Reviews

Subject: Bonnie Prince Charlie and the 45 rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
Sean Chick (Formerly Paul O'Sullivan)
United States
New Orleans
Louisiana
flag msg tools
designer
Fag an bealac! Riam nar druid ar sbarin lann! Cuimhnigidh ar Luimnech agus feall na Sassonach! Erin go Bragh! Remember Limerick! Remember Ireland and Fontenoy!
badge
Well, I'm afraid it'll have to wait. Whatever it was, I'm sure it was better than my plan to get out of this by pretending to be mad. I mean, who would have noticed another madman round here?
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
The Jacobite uprising of 1745 is a watershed moment in Scottish history, representing the last great land battles to be fought on the British Isles and the end of the Highland clans and their almost tribal society. The final tragic battle at Culloden has become a staple of military artwork, and the framework for much literature and even a Doctor Who serial. I hunted around for a game to represent this dramatic moment in British history and took a chance with this title.

Gameplay (22 out of 30): The designer's notes in the rear of the rulebook are enlightening. He states that he sought to make a very accessible game, but in the end he opted for more chrome than originally intended. This both hurts and helps the game, because while it is relatively light on chrome, there are a lot of in game considerations (gaining French/Irish aid, garrisons in the South) so it can be nerve racking.

The main litmus test for someone enjoying this game is the somewhat scripted opening: Jacobites gain Scotland, then invade England. By seizing all of Scotland and then attacking England Bonnie Prince Charlie can gain more French, Irish, and especially local aid. This flows with history; Charlie wanted to gain the throne for his father, not just Scotland. For the Jacobites though the question is how far do you go? The odds of taking London and securing ultimate victory are slim, so at a point the Jacobite player will probably concede defeat in England and try to hold Scotland. Until then though, the game is nerve racking for both players, as battle losses are very high and the English, who are rushing reinforcements to England, must see how far Charlie will plunge south.

Combat is great in this game, as it is so bloody that battle will not always be sought. Much like the period, maneuver is vital to the war effort in order to gain a good position. There were only three major battles fought in 1745 and 1746, and two of them were terrifically bloody. You will probably fight more battles, but not so many as to insult history.

Components (4 out of 10): Decision Games always seems to put out the poorest wargame components, and this is no exception. The pieces are substandard, and the map is poorly laid out, with locations in the Highlands being hard to read. In addition the rules, while not poorly written, are terribly organized.

Originality (4 out of 5): The game is not so much original, as an interesting blend of familiar elements from other games, such as point to point movement and a Columbia block games style of combat. This offsets some of the old school gaming feel provided by the substandard components and the lack popular mechanics like cards or area movement. The use of leaders for combat and moving your forces is a good touch.

Historical Quality (5 out of 5): Right down to the regimental names and the vague possibility that the great French general Maurice of Saxony will aid the Jacobites, The 45 is steeped in history and has a great respect for it. There is even a thin chance the Swedish will aid the Jacobites! Also naval warfare is accurately captured: the English want to blockade the Jacobite ports more that destroy their fleets. Sometimes the game feels too much like a simulation, but as long as you are an innovative player you can make it interesting. Being a fan of the period, it greatly helped my enjoyment, while others might be turned off.

Overall (35 out of 50): If you like the period or the Jacobite uprising interests you, then this game will work for you. Otherwise, I would not purchase it, as this is a wargame made more for history lovers than gamers.
12 
 Thumb up
1.00
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Canada
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I pretty much agree with Gittes...

Using his criteria I would say:

Gameplay (15 out of 30): Not much historic flavor on all the uprising ans moment building, everything is scripted. The historic strategic challenges and options are also missing...

Components (3 out of 10): Map has readability issues (and some conception flaws as well), counters are ugly...

Originality (5 out of 5): The only boxed game on that subject...

Historical Quality (3 out of 5)
: Not too bad on the options of potential foreign support but strangely all the Scottish clans options are scripted and clumsy...

Overall (25 out of 50)
: Overall, an interesting prototype if you like the subject but not very playable/enjoyable...
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Wulf Corbett
Scotland
Shotts
Lanarkshire
flag msg tools
designer
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
gittes wrote:
The game is not so much original, as an interesting blend of familiar elements from other games, such as point to point movement and a Columbia block games style of combat.
This game was the original reason why I bought counter sleds - I was sure I'd be better able to track the combat system with the counters standing up. For those who haven't seen them, many of the counters have their strength marked around the edge, like Columbia-style blocks, but lying down - the orientation indicating the current strength. But the confused rules and lack of any great inspiration means I've never actually tried this game!

Maybe now I will...
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Freddy Dekker
Netherlands
Friesland
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
just learned of it's existence today.
and it's a must have for if only because of the topic.
mind you after so many years I give myself little chance.

maybe it's time someone did a game on the 45 again.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Darrell Pavitt
United Kingdom
Unspecified
Unspecified
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Freddy, you could try Charlie's Year Redux
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
G. H.
United Kingdom
London
Greater London
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
sagitar wrote:
just learned of it's existence today.
and it's a must have for if only because of the topic.
mind you after so many years I give myself little chance.

maybe it's time someone did a game on the 45 again.


Hi Freddy, I agree with Darrell. I finally finished mounting all the board & pieces for Charlie's Year Redux... quite an effort but two of us tried out the first scenario (Heather on Fire) and I think the Lace Wars series rules are interesting, albeit a bit confusing in areas.
 
 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.