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Subject: Battles of the American Revolution rss

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Bob
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As many of you know, my wargaming interests have generally been focused on Ancient & WWII times. Recently I've been thinking about adding a third period to my gaming and that brought my attention to the Battles of the American Revolution.


Per the site reference, The Battles of the American Revolution Series are portrayals of specific American Revolutionary War battles. The series is designed by Mark Miklos and is published by GMT Games.

Before I invest any funds into these games, I'm looking to hear from my fellow wargamers about the pros and cons of these games?

Thanks in advance for your comments and suggestions!

meeple

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I agree with Pete, Miklos' series is very good, but I prefer the BAR series. Depends on my mood though. GMT's series makes for an excellent introduction, although you might want to avoid Savannah because the system doesn't lend itself very well to siege battles (as opposed to field battles.) GMT has Monmouth and Brandywine on sale currently. Clash of Arms' offerings are more complex, but in my opinion also more rewarding. The system does have the advantage, also, that once you want to try a new topic you can switch to the 7 Years War without much hassle.
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Michael Lavoie
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If you're looking for the last word in BAR battle tactics, then these games are not for you. If what you want are solid, quick-playing games with good historical feel and that are fairly easy to learn and play, then by all means jump right in! I own Saratoga, Brandywine, Guilford, and Monmouth and would heartily recommend all of them. Guilford (with the small scenario Eutaw Springs included) might be the best place to start, but all have virtues and are well worth playing.
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Bob
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Thanks all. Please keep the comments coming!

My preference with Ancients and WWII games run from light to heavy. At the moment (in terms of the American Revolution), I'm leaning towards light to medium until I see how much we enjoy them. What would you recommend for the last word in BAR?
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Chester
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Brandywine is the best of the lot. I enjoy Saratoga, and it would be a good one for getting a taste of the system.

Some people dislike the battle chits. At first blush they seem to introduce a chaotic luck element. But if you spend a little time looking at the chart, you realize that you can reduce the chances of getting a big negative. The decision to withdraw and avoid battle....or to choose a weaker formation which prevents a withdrawal by your enemy (and may forfeit some drm) becomes pretty interesting. Its much more than a rock/paper/scissors thing that some have suggested.

The game does have some big swings of luck....on par with something like Combat Commander. Getting momentum chits feels a little overpowered to me sometimes, when things start to snowball against you in a bad way, losing a battle badly and ALSO seeing your opponent get a momentum chit can be demoralizing.

However, one of the genius things about the system is that there are multiple victory conditions. There are VPs. There is demoralization victory. There are often geographic objectives (depending on the scenario). So, its possible to adapt your strategy as the game goes on.

I really like the system a lot. Low counter density. Short consise rules. Beautiful maps. But most of all the history of this time period is of particular interest to me.
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Steve Herron
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I like the series for it's simplisity and quick play. The maps they have are some nicest I have seen. I am looking foward to seeing a King's Mountain one.
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Hunga Dunga
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I'll cast another vote for the BAR series: Monmouth, Brandywine and Germantown. Looking forward to Cowpens one day!

At the other extreme of the spectrum, I'd also recommend Avalon Hill's 1776. It's easy to find a resonably priced copy on eBay, and also easy to find the upgrade.
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Hungadunga wrote:
I'll cast another vote for the BAR series: Monmouth, Brandywine and Germantown. Looking forward to Cowpens one day!

At the other extreme of the spectrum, I'd also recommend Avalon Hill's 1776. It's easy to find a resonably priced copy on eBay, and also easy to find the upgrade.

I've said that many times myself. This system is MADE for Cowpens!
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Bob
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Peso Pete wrote:
Well, that depends on if you are speaking of all of the games in the BAR system or just the American Revolution games. For the American Revolution, there are two games in the system - Brandywine & Germantown and The Battle of Monmouth. I don't think I could recommend either one to someone new to the system since all three battles are pretty big affairs.

If you are willing to try a Seven Years War battle to get your feet wet first, many people have recommended Lobositz: First Battle of the Seven Years War. I'm not sure I agree with that recommendation since there are no beginner scenarios in that game and it has quite a few specific rules for that particular battle. The one I would recommend is Zorndorf since it has two introductory scenarios to help you learn the game - the first is an infantry-only scenario and the second one adds cavalry to the mix.


Sticking within the American Revolution (AR) is preferable. When we get more familiar with AR games, BAR would seem a logical progression. I don't see their length of game times listed?

They appear to have the makings of a monster game like Case Blue.

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Ashitaka wrote:
They appear to have the makings of a monster game like Case Blue.

Lobositz is a one-mapper, but unfortunately not an ARW battle. I hope Clash has a one-mapper planned one day!
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Ashitaka wrote:
Sticking within the American Revolution (AR) is preferable. When we get more familiar with AR games, BAR would seem a logical progression. I don't see their length of game times listed?

That's because if you worry about game length you should not be playing the BAR series.
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Bob
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Simon Mueller wrote:
That's because if you worry about game length you should not be playing the BAR series.


Never said I was concerned about game length. I asked because it appears to have the makings of a monster game like Case Blue which is something I like...
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How does BAR compare in complexity with La Bataille?
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nickcia wrote:
How does BAR compare in complexity with La Bataille?

BAR is easier, imho.
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Was George Orwell an Optimist?
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I'm curious how you settled on the American Revolution, Bob. If you hadn't yet settled on a focus for a new era to game, I would have pointed you a quarter century forward. The Napoleonic era is a treasure trove, far richer and more diverse than the American Revolution in terms of gaming goodness available.
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Bob
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Sphere wrote:
I'm curious how you settled on the American Revolution, Bob. If you hadn't yet settled on a focus for a new era to game, I would have pointed you a quarter century forward. The Napoleonic era is a treasure trove, far richer and more diverse than the American Revolution in terms of gaming goodness available.


Good question, thanks for asking!

I selected the American Revolution for a couple of reasons. One, I've had the opportunity to visit several battle locations during my military travels, which always seemed to intrigue me. Two, I studied the American Revolution in school and found it to be a very interesting period of our history. I've dabbled a bit on the Napoleonic side, but other than Age of Sail conflicts, it didn't seem to scratch the same itch. At least not as strongly as Ancients and WWII do...

meeple
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Ashitaka wrote:
As many of you know, my wargaming interests have generally been focused on Ancient & WWII times. Recently I've been thinking about adding a third period to my gaming and that brought my attention to the Battles of the American Revolution.


Per the site reference, The Battles of the American Revolution Series are portrayals of specific American Revolutionary War battles. The series is designed by Mark Miklos and is published by GMT Games.

Before I invest any funds into these games, I'm looking to hear from my fellow wargamers about the pros and cons of these games?

Thanks in advance for your comments and suggestions!



The American Revolution is my gaming passion. I LOVE this series.

I started with Saratoga, and I had to play it a couple of times and I went back and forth to the rulebook a lot, because I found the system a bit unconventional compared to my old Avalon Hill hex-and-counter games. Also, it takes a couple of plays before the combat system becomes intuitive. As an on old AH gamer, odds were everything. In this series, the die roll modifiers are more important than the odds.

The COOL thing is that when it clicks, you are ready to go. You can pick up any game in the series, and you already know about 85-90% of the game. The games have 2 rulebooks: a common one that explains the rules that are the foundation for all of the games, then a small exclusive rulebook explaining the specifics for that game. For instance, in Brandywine, there are rules for the Brandywine river (retreat, fording, etc). And it's not a case of all of the games being the same. Even though the mechanics are the same, each battle has its own flavor.

Here are a few links that may be helpful:

My Geeklist for My American Revolution Games.

My recent review of Germantown, the most recent addition to this series.
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Steve Carey
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No disrespect to fans of COA's BAR, but I greatly prefer GMT's AmRev series because of how accessible it is, how playable it is, and how reasonable (in playing time) it is.

Each series take a different graphical approach, but they both look great on the table.

By now, both series are probably considered classics.

I own the entire GMT AmRev series and have very fond recollections of multiple memorable ftf contests (Brandywine, Monmouth, and Saratoga in particular) - just a fantastic series IMHO.


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airjudden wrote:
The COOL thing is that when it clicks, you are ready to go. You can pick up any game in the series, and you already know about 85-90% of the game. The games have 2 rulebooks: a common one that explains the rules that are the foundation for all of the games, then a small exclusive rulebook explaining the specifics for that game. For instance, in Brandywine, there are rules for the Brandywine river (retreat, fording, etc). And it's not a case of all of the games being the same. Even though the mechanics are the same, each battle has its own flavor.

To be fair though, that's how almost every wargame series works, except for games like ASL where every box introduces heaps of new rules.
 
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Article on the Battles of the American Revolution in Dutch here

I hope there is a translate button on your browser.
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Bob
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anemaat wrote:
Article on the Battles of the American Revolution in Dutch here

I hope there is a translate button on your browser.


Sadly no on the translator. Will keep looking for a way though...
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Enrico Viglino
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Ashitaka wrote:
anemaat wrote:
Article on the Battles of the American Revolution in Dutch here

I hope there is a translate button on your browser.


Sadly no on the translator. Will keep looking for a way though... :D



Try google translate: http://translate.google.com

You just select the languages (dutch to english) and enter the URL into the text box.
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Bob
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calandale wrote:
Try google translate: http://translate.google.com

You just select the languages (dutch to english) and enter the URL into the text box.


WOW, that's awesome! Thanks for sharing this neat application!!! thumbsup
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Enrico Viglino
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It has trouble with fancy features,
but is pretty good with most pages.
 
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Jim O'Neill (Established 1949)
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Ashitaka wrote:
As many of you know, my wargaming interests have generally been focused on Ancient & WWII times. Recently I've been thinking about adding a third period to my gaming and that brought my attention to the Battles of the American Revolution.

Bob,

Have you considered the War of 1812 and then you get the benefit of Napoleonic era troops and, of course, old Packenhan getting his head kicked in by Andy Jackson down in New Orleans?

Man, would I just love to get you along to one of our Napoleonic weekenders: about 20 guys and 4,500 wee 28mm sodjers on three or four 12' x 6' tables.

I'd have you converted to the Dark Side in minutes! devil


Jim
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