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Subject: A Great Entry Level Wargame rss

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Gregory Bay
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Quebec 1759 is one of the best entry level wargames that I have ever purchased and one of my personal favorites that gets pulled out when I am looking to spend no more than two hours with a game. I first purchased the game with an order from Columbia Games, my first order from them and my first wargame order over three years ago now and I have been wonderfully satisfied by their games. I am budding wargamer that has only in the last couple years jumped in from a history of many different Euro and Avalon Hill games and am thoroughly enjoying the enviroment and content of the wargame community.

Quebec 1759 provides a quick, less than 2 hours, game full of tense decisions covering the battle for the capital of Quebec between the British and French. The game is easy to learn as an entry level wargame and will provide many wonderful moments covering an area of history I am not as well aquainted with.

COMPONENTS:

THE COLUMBIA GAME BOX is a bi-fold box with a sleve that goes over the generic Columbia Game box to provide the info and art of the game. Medium grade quality here but the bi-fold box provides a very simple system for storing the games in.

Inside the box players fill find the game board/map along with blue and red blocks, stickers, and rulebook.

The map is the quality of a cereal box in thickness, and is the only weak area in the components of this wonderful game. The map is folded in half to store itself in the box but after many times of unpacking, playing, and repacking the map the wear along the crease is really starting to show. I have been tempted to laminate the map but then you cannot store it back in the box. Regardless I have been thinking of a way to preserved the map.

One thing to say about the map is that it is very functional. Columbia Games artwork is not a," WOW!" artwork but a "Good." Which for me is just fine. Functionality is the impression here and functionality is what I want in a game.

Second component, the blocks, are a favorite of mine. Nothing to punch out here. Yes you will have to take the sticker sheets and stick all the pictures onto their respective blocks, BUT this beets punching out a few hundred cardboard coutners. Wooden blocks, unlike their cardboard cousins, are nicer to handle and durable. The two colors red and blue are very distinct and easy to see, and as the company advertises blocks really add a special element of "fog of war" effect to a game. Very true.

A bag is provided to store the blocks in between playing sessions.

The components are good and functional. The map is not draub and provides a good playing surface to wage war upon. Blocks are a wonderful component in a game and are the heart of this game because as will be discussed in the gameplay section deception and intrigue are the heart of this game. Only downside is the quality of the board and this is the downside of many war games. I have not gotten past this one frustration yet of how to keep paper and cardboard maps intact through much use. I would love a mounted board.

The rule book will be covered in the next section.

RULEBOOK AND THE ABILITY TO LEARN/TEACH THE GAME:

Columbia games does a good job with their rule books and they have a very active community and design base that is constantly updating the rules of many of their games. This game came out in 1972 and there is still support for it on here as well as on the companies website.

Learning this game is very straightforward and in my first play I was walking through the game after spending 20 minutes in the rule book. As you read through the rule book main points to remember/consider are placed in a side column of each page where the rule is mentioned. ALL WARGAMES need to do this! Such a help to noobies into the hobby which I was when I picked up this game. Explanations of odd/specific rules are given on a side column of each page.

The rulebook walks you through explaining how the blocks work in the game, specific rules for this map/game (movement, terrain, battle, and special restrictions), and strategy and design discussion on how the game works and how each side can play (the historical design if you will).

The rule book gives the reader the history behind the battle and how the game focuses on this in gameplay. A nice touch in a war game because many of the games I am attracted are periods of history that I am interestend in but probably have not read much about.

Once a player learns the main block system of Columbia games it will be very easy to pick up another of their games, read the map specific rules
(movement, terrain, battle, and special restrictions), and jump right in and play.

A great and very accessible rule book to learn and teach with!

GAMEPLAY:

My favorite aspect of the wargame hobby is the immersion into a period of history represented by the game. The game is all about theme. In 1759 warfare, communications, and the struggles of commanders came in different forms that it does today and in other time periods. When you sit to play Quebec of 1759 you are going to face the struggle of each side. Sure sit down to win, but ultimately sit down to immerse yourself in the struggles of the two opposing empires.

The French have the Bonus of being on the defense which was always plus to the army defending. While having the plus of defending they lack numbers and maneuverability that the British posses in this battle. For the French to win the have to preserve Quebec City and for the British to achieve their victory they have to control the city.

Quebec 1759 is a game of deception. On each players turn your orders are posted on a piece of paper and are simeultaneously carried out, and once an order is given there is no calling it back. This game is about outthinking your opponent. The Brits have the numbers but time is against them, and because of their naval power in this game they have the ability to attack from different directions but moving takes time and the Brits do not have much time to spare.

Each side, especially the French, have dummy pieces. Blank blocks that can be used to fool the opponent. The strenght of the French lies in their deception, fooling the British against making an attack in one sector, or fearing an attack from another.

Eventually the Brits have to cross the "pond" and fight an amphibeus assault, negative modifiers to the attack rolls, and try and land themselves on the French side of the board. Once done the game usually pretty quickly winds down with the French playing a prolonged retreat wearing out the clock to win.

Combat is again about deception and planning. Each side seperated their blocks into three columns with a reserve to plug in, if a player so chooses, in a time of need. Reserves do not fight until inserted though so you run the risk of fighting weak if the opposing player presents a strong front. All guesses as to what your opponent will do. You can make a flank(s), or center stronger with more troops. Your choice, but as soon as a flank or center is emptied of troops the battle is lost. Damage combat is resolved with dice and the system employed here is simple and works well.

FINAL THOUGHTS:

I enjoy this game. After many plays Quebec 1759 will get boring. There are only so many options on the board for each side and eventually the British, unless completely without luck, will cross the river and present a strong front to the numerically inferior French. Once this happen the game turns into a prolonged retreat trying to preserve the city until the game clock runs out.

A great intro game into the Columbia/block games and into wargaming as a whole. I still go back to the game from time to time because it is fun and does not take more than 2 hours to play, usually less.

For me this was the flood gate that gave me simple understanding of war game thought, mechanics, and strategies to where now I am buying more and more in depth games.

Where will this game fit in your game time? If you have been looking, or someone in your group, to branch out from the standard Euro game into wargaming I think you cannot go wrong starting with Quebec 1759. My wife enjoys playing this game and feels very accomplished that she has every ability to carry a win or at the least a great game. The only reason I say this is because she is not a wargamer.

A wonderful game from a good company.

Thank you for reading this review!
Gregory

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Robert
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Nice review. I agree it is a very approachable entry-level wargame that offers a surprising number of strategic possibilities.

It is timely, too, as the 250th anniversary of the Battle of Quebec that the game simulates is this coming Sept. 13. I hope to get a couple plays in over the next few weeks for that reason alone...
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Gregory Bay
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jouslare wrote:
Nice review. I agree it is a very approachable entry-level wargame that offers a surprising number of strategic possibilities.

It is timely, too, as the 250th anniversary of the Battle of Quebec that the game simulates is this coming Sept. 13. I hope to get a couple plays in over the next few weeks for that reason alone...


Thank you for your comments!

Yeah I have my copy sitting on my dining room table right now...opened and ready to see some action.
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Peter Mal
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baymonkey wrote:
Only downside is the quality of the board and this is the downside of many war games. I have not gotten past this one frustration yet of how to keep paper and cardboard maps intact through much use. I would love a mounted board.


Get plexiglass or a posterframe. I found a large glass picture frame in our garage that I use for Manouvre and Combat Commander. Not only is it good for keeping the map / map sections intact, but it makes sliding around counters / pieces easier.

I've been looking at this game as my first Columbia game. Cheers!
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Gregory Bay
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petermal wrote:
baymonkey wrote:
Only downside is the quality of the board and this is the downside of many war games. I have not gotten past this one frustration yet of how to keep paper and cardboard maps intact through much use. I would love a mounted board.


Get plexiglass or a posterframe. I found a large glass picture frame in our garage that I use for Manouvre and Combat Commander. Not only is it good for keeping the map / map sections intact, but it makes sliding around counters / pieces easier.

I've been looking at this game as my first Columbia game. Cheers!


I need to and it is on my list to get next time I go to the hardware store.

You will enjoy this game and find yourself jumping into other games in the Columbia line up.

Thanks!
 
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Bob
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Nice review! thumbsup

We could use even more enjoyable BLOCK WARGAMES

cool
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Kim Meints
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Yes Quebec 1759 is a good game. I've had it since it was first released under the Gamma Two Games logo back in the mid 70's in the long flat box.That and War of 1812 and Napoleon back then

It and the other two have stood the test of time for a wargames and still being played.

Kim Meints
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Was George Orwell an Optimist?
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jackiesavon wrote:
Yes Quebec 1759 is a good game. I've had it since it was first released under the Gamma Two Games logo back in the mid 70's in the long flat box.That and War of 1812 and Napoleon back then

It and the other two have stood the test of time for a wargames and still being played.


Same goes for me, all of it.
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Gregory Bay
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The game always gets table time. Even again this evening my wife and I, yes I said my wife and I, sat down and played this guy.

Easy, fun, and always a thought provoker...


Thanks for the comments!
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Gregory Bay
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Ashitaka wrote:


We could use even more enjoyable BLOCK WARGAMES

cool


Yes we could.

Seems Columbia, outside of a couple of GMT titles is the only one holding the ropes here, unless there are games that I am not seeing if so let me know!

I have always been surprised by this.
 
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Tanks Alot
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Worthington games has some nice ones..

Victoria Cross
The Blood of Noble Men
Prussias Defiant Stand
Forged in Fire
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Steven Hall
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Thanks compadre Gregory Bay I just ordered this game from Columbia due to your excellent review. I love Hammer of the Scots and Quebec looks even better to hook new players into block games. OBTW with all the new tech around it is easy to have a map blown up to larger size, or printed on calfskin, or pretty much whatever you want.
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Gregory Bay
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I have often thought this map would be cool on cloth - weathered cloth. Thank you for your thoughts. Enjoy!
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