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1812: The Invasion of Canada» Forums » General

Subject: First Impressions - Sublime! rss

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A.T. Selvaggio
United States
Webster
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Just finished the full campaign 1812 scenario with my wife. Here are my first impressions:

1. The game is beautiful - great components, great map, great rules. Functional and asthetically pleasing.

2. Great flavor text giving you historical information. Educational.

3. Streamlined and elegant play - a chit pull mechanism for activation (love this mechanic), interesting card play choices and potential combos, intuitive combat system with color coded dice.

4. Fun and Realistic Factions - although there is no differention in units (i.e. no artillery, cavalry, infantry, etc.), there are differences in the 5 factions, their cards and the probabilities on their dice. So American militia are more likely to flee. Native Americans are more agile in movement and can ambush.

5. Tight game - my wife won 2 to 0 on the last turn of the round (and game) by playing her last truce card and taking two territories. The game went back and forth and was always close. This added drama and no one felt crushed or over confident.

6. I love the combat system. Simple yes, but you get a lot out of it because you have troops that will flee or the enemy may withdraw. No charts, no ratios - just look at the pictures! There were plenty of stand up die roll moments.

This game is really a gem. It is rules light, but there is depth and strategy. It looks like a Euro, but can satisfy a wargamer. It does not overstay its welcome and has a built in game ending mechanism. It can be played cooperatively or head to head. Most of all, it is a wargame my wife will play with me!
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Dan Poole
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Goldsboro
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Totally agree. I just got this game last week and have played it thrice already. I played my first 4 player game last night and it was a lot of fun. Very dynamic and interactive
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A.T. Selvaggio
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Webster
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voynix wrote:
Totally agree. I just got this game last week and have played it thrice already. I played my first 4 player game last night and it was a lot of fun. Very dynamic and interactive


Interesting. So you have played 2 player and multi player? I was wondering how it would play with mutliple players. The dynamics and the downtime, etc. My experience is only two player. Sounds like you enjoyed it too!
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Kevin Duke
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Wynne
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Hello, AT. We run into each other at the coolest games!

I have only played it multi but feel like it's more fun that way. One overall commander has it easy deciding "who takes the hit?"
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Van Willis
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Thanks for the quick impressions! Sounds like the game is succeeding where it is meant to.

One question for you folks with a copy- From your limited experience does replayability seem to be an issue?
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Kevin Duke
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Well, give me another 12-15 games to see (with pleasure).

Since there is a fixed setup for the start of the game, you might think this could be a question, but the variable turn order draw and the mix of cards mean there are enormous variables.
There is only one constant-- the blue start.
I'm sure someone might try to analyze the "best US regs opening" figuring an average # of armies to move, but I'll avoid that article if it happens. And since you have no idea what color block comes out next...

Bet of all, with a short play time, you can try a couple games in one session
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Lee a.k.a. "Loyal Lee"
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Bowie
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I am called Huginn..., or is it Muninn..., I forget...
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kduke wrote:
Since there is a fixed setup for the start of the game...

But not a totally fixed setup...

1.3 Place Additional Units - If playing the Full 1812
Campaign, after the initial on-board units are placed, the
British Regulars, Canadian Militia, and Native American
players each place 4 additional units on any British
homeland area. Next, the American Militia and American
Regular players each place 6 additional units on any
American homeland area. A player’s units may be placed on
one or more areas, including empty areas.


That leaves you some lattitude. Apart from the on-board units, do you reinforce all fronts? Just some? Or do you load up for a hammer blow in one area?

But this game plays so smoothly (and quickly) that you'll be able to try out any variation you can come up with. Just a fantastic game!

(and beautiful components)
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A.T. Selvaggio
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Webster
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kduke wrote:
Hello, AT. We run into each other at the coolest games!

I have only played it multi but feel like it's more fun that way. One overall commander has it easy deciding "who takes the hit?"


Mr. Duke, fancy meeting you here! Great minds think alike! So do you find in multiplayer games factions play for self-preservation or self-sacrifice? Plenty of negotiation going on?
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Steve Duke
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Georgetown
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I'll answer that one, AT, from another Duke with 5 games of 5 player so far, and counting...

Depends entirely on your table personalities!

We ended up figuring up that you should limit table talk somewhat to general strategy. In one game, a player was literally pointing to specific areas and telling the other player 'move this unit here, move that unit there.'

I outlawed that kind of talk after that as I think it goes far beyond both the spirit of the game and the communications capability of the period.

In the 5 games with a different mix of players in each game except me, some games were clearly 'we are the team' and some others had 'why do you want ME to take the hit?' Good stuff!

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James
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Only had a chance to play the basic scenario that last just two turns.

The game looks great when you got all the armies spread over the beautiful looking Map. Also the dice are great and everything is easy enough my 7 year old daughter could play. Although haven't tried the campaign and using the truce cards.


One thing I wondered about, the different factions. Other then having different types of units I am not sure how having different people controlling each faction can make much of a difference then the two player game. I mean if someone is the Indian player they can only win if the British win, so really they have to act together they can not go out on their own and seek a separate victory? Same with the Militias. Again I only played the basic scenario so I might be missing something on this
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Tom Myers
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Warwick
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I just played my first game and loved it. Its just one of those games that just feels right in representing the period and is great fun.
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Blair
Canada
Winnipeg
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I've read all the threads regarding rule questions and reviews of this game on this forum. I have to give praise where it's due as it seems that every question regarding the rules is swiftly answered by just playing the game as the rules are written. To me that means that they are definitely well-written and seem simple to understand. Well done!

Hope I get this game in February.
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James Palmer
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Ayr
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Blair46 wrote:
I've read all the threads regarding rule questions and reviews of this game on this forum. I have to give praise where it's due as it seems that every question regarding the rules is swiftly answered by just playing the game as the rules are written. To me that means that they are definitely well-written and seem simple to understand. Well done!

Hope I get this game in February.


Yes, the rules are pretty simple and elegant for this game. Although there are a dozen or so pages in the rulebook, many are dedicated to a historical write-up and to scenario set up instructions. For actual gameplay, there are only about 4 pages of rules, and that is with lots of pictures and examples given. This is certainly the easiest-to-teach wargame I've played and is easier to teach than most of all the other games I have too.

What's great about this game is that, with only a couple of exceptions involving the Native Americans, the game makes each faction have a very unique feel without having any special rules for them - the different dice and different cards give them each their own flavour without having a bunch of additional rules to remember.
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Bob Barnetson
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Played my first two-player game last night and am looking forward to trying with five players at the club. The dice and cards are quite nice mechanics. I was a bit skeptical of the dice until I played and saw the difficult choices they force upon us.

I won (barely) with the British despite losing Montreal (ack!). Due to when the last truce card came up in the round, there was a fair bit of territory grabbing at the last minute by the remaining factions, but the outcome was fascinating: Americans in Montreal, British on the south shore of Lake Ontario, stalemate at Niagara and a British (well, Indian) win around the west side of Erie (next stop the Ohio Valley!).

A bit more grit than Columbia Games War of 1812 title. All told, I'm very happy with the purchase. This is a very tight game. One question we had was whether some of the eastern US spaces might be impassable (the Catskills) but eventually decided the abstraction works just fine.
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