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Subject: Amateurs to Arms! Example of Play rss

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Kevin McPartland
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The following is an Example of Play that will be included in the game. I've submitted it to the CoA art department for the addition of graphics to go along with the narrative. Enjoy!

Beginning with the opening set-up, start of the game.

Turn 1: May/June 1812.
Players receive 4 cards each (not the cards listed on the Turn Track); British play first (first turn).

British play “New England Thriftiness” (card #48) for the event, draw two cards, added to the British player’s hand, then play one card.
British play “Really Bad Weather” (card #75) for 3 ops points to activate McDouall (2 Initiative rating) and Expedition E; attempt Wilderness move to Ft. Mackinac. Modifiers: +2 MacDouall’s Tactical rating; +2 Great Lake Wilderness trail; +1 Voyageurs present; -1 entering enemy location. Total modifier: +4. Die roll: 3 + 4 = 7: success. No combat, since the location is not occupied by American troops. Place a British flag control marker in Ft. Mackinac.

Americans play “David Parish” (card #39) for the event. Place the card in its place on the map, with the +1 marker on the card. Place four markers in their designated areas on the map (along the US/ Canadian border).

British play “Cavalry!” (card #112) for the event. Place one cavalry unit with the other units in Expedition A. Note that the American player does not know which Expediton the cavalry was placed in- the Expedition Charts are hidden.

Americans play “Indian Raids” (card #32) for 4 ops points (they can not play this British event for the event). Activates Presque Isle for 3 points (place Activated Port marker on its place on the Port Chart) and begins construction of a Brig there for 1 point (place the Brig counter face-down on the first box- the British player does not yet know if this is a Schooner or a Brig under construction).

British play “Militia Fear of Indians” (card #38) for 1 ops point. This was a difficult decision, since this could be a useful event now. Build 2 Indian strength points in Amhurstburg; place in Expedition A units box. (This brings the troop strength of Expedition A up to the 6-10 column.) Raising Indians is allowed now that Ft. Mackinac is British controlled. Place a Troops Raised marker (on its British side) in Amhurstburg. The American player does not know what was added to Expedition A, but it must be 1 Ranger, 1 Voyageurs, or 2 Indians- the only things the British can raise in a Frontier Town.

Americans save a card- “Secret Frigate Building Program” (card #117). It will take the Americans a while to set up the conditions to play this card. The British do not know what card has been saved.

British play “Those are Regulars, by God!” (card 118) for 1 ops point, to activate Brock (1 Initiative rating) and Expedition A; moves to Detroit (1 movement point). Crossing international boundary, roll for Militia: die roll of 3 = 1/2 of Militia remain. But there is only 1 militia and no Fencibles in Expedition A, and 1/2 of 1 rounded up is 1, so it crosses the border anyway. No Local Militia appear in Frontier Towns.
Combat. British player announces “I have 6 through 10 units, on the 3 leadership column” for the 7 units and a leader (actually two of them!) with a tactical rating of 3. The American player announces “I have 1 through 5 on the 1” for the 4 units and a leader with a tactical rating of 1. The British roll a 4, +2 for control of Lake Erie = 6, which is a result of 4**. The Americans roll a 5, -1 because at least half of his units are Militia = 4, which is a result of 1. The British remove 1 Militia. The American level 1 fort absorbs 1 loss and 1 asterisk; 3 losses are taken (the 1 Regular must be removed, and 2 Militia) and must retreat to the Ft. Meigs area. The fort is then removed. Place a British flag control marker in Detroit; British Expedition A remains in the area.
Note that if the level 1 fort had not been there to absorb 1 loss and 1 asterisk, things would have been very different. The American Expedition would have been destroyed with 4 losses, and there would have been three asterisks- including one generated by the British cavalry unit in a area without a fort. These outcomes would have generated two Peace Track moves: one for the eliminated Expedition, and one for the Decisive Victory.

Americans play “Opponent's Orders are Lost in the Mail” (card #146) for 2 ops points, to activate the 2 Militia in Cincinnati for movement. Move to Urbana (1 m.p.- river), to Ft. Defiance (2 m.p.) and then to Ft. Meigs (1 m.p.- river) for a total of 4 movement points. The 2 Militia are place in the Expedition A units box on the American Expedition Chart.

British save a card- “Ripe for the Taking” (card #70). They were tempted to use this card to activate Brock and finish off Hull, but this card is especially useful when there are few ships on the lakes- and the American are building something on Lake Erie. Hull’s Expedition A isn’t going anywhere any time soon; we’ll get him next turn.

Turn 2: July/August 1812.
Americans draw 9 cards: 8 + 1 for David Parish. British draw 6 cards. Both players pick up their card saved from the previous turn. The Troops Raised marker is removed from Amhurstburg. Americans play first.

We end our example of play here, but let’s take a look at the cards that the players have drawn, and see what their plans will be for these cards.

American cards:
“Secret Frigate Building Program” (card #117): saved from last turn; will try to use this card this turn.
Two “Major Campaigns” (card #1 and #7) and one “Minor Campaign” (card #8): these represent a lot of ops points, and would likely be used to build a Brig (and convert it to a Frigate with the saved card), protect Presque Isle, and raise lots of troops. One might be used to activate a difficult leader; perhaps to attack Queenston with Van Rensalaer, or bring up newly raised troops with Dearborn (in Albany).
“Leader Killed” (card #82): a bullet with Brock’s or Tecumseh's name on it!
“Napoleon Suffers a Setback” (card #79): the American player must play this for the event, but can also spend the 4 ops points.
“Council of your Fears” (card #72): always a useful card; it will stall the British attacks around Lake Erie.
“William Clark” (card #144): likely to be played for the event, it will create a force for the British to worry about in the northwest, especially if “Indian Nation” comes into play.
“We Have Met the Enemy and They are Ours” (card #115): maybe spent for ops, maybe saved for the event, depending on how the turn goes.
“Unsure of Victory” (card #104): likely to be played for ops points; it’s difficult to use this card against the generally good British leaders.

British Cards:
“Ripe for the Taking” (card #70): saved from last turn.
“Borders Mean Nothing to Farmers” (card #49): played first for the event, and see what new cards are drawn; then play card #145 if no better option is drawn.
“Opponent’s Orders are Lost in the Mail” (card #145): played for the ops points to activate Brock and finish off Hull.
“Congreve’s Rockets” (card #71): played for the event before the attack on Hull is rolled, it will cause 2 Militia to be removed (the reinforcements from Cincinnati!) and practically guarantee victory over Hull’s small Expedition.
“George Cockburn” (card #88): played for the event, gets the British coastal raids started earlier than they did historically.
“Sally Onto the Lake” (card #106): used for the event when a pressing reason to get Yeo onto Lake Ontario presents itself.
“Captain Decatur Captures a Frigate” (card #143): an American event, it must be used for its ops points.
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Kevin McPartland
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By the way guys, Amateurs to Arms! is now available for pre-order at the Clash of Arms web page:

http://www.clashofarms.com/AmateurstoArms.html

If you're planning on getting the game, please consider pre-ordering it. CoA will not charge your card until a couple of weeks before the games ship. If we get enough pre-orders we can go to publication this month; but the pre-orders have been slow. I know, it's a pricy game; but I think there's a lot of value for the money here. Of course, I'm rather biased. blush

If anybody has any questions about the Example of Play above, don't be shy about posting here. I know that the rules haven't been posted yet, so you might want to know about how some of the mechanics work or how some of the cards mentioned work.

Kevin
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Kevin McPartland
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Thanks for the great questions, and sorry about the late response!

Most of the map is divided into areas. Typically, wilderness areas are impassible (mostly small patches along the Appalachian Mountains). But in the northwest wilderness, there is a network of wilderness trails connecting important locations there. Only Light Units can move along these trails (they are round counters, instead of square). Movement through the wilderness is never certain, although there are several modifiers that can make the journey a little more certain.

There are two types of Indians in the game. Tecumseh and the Indian tribes of the Northwest are indicated as troops that can by raised by the British player- but only if he has impressed them by capturing Ft. Mackinac. Then they can be raised in Frontier Towns for Ops Points. They are Light troops, and so can go into the wilderness.

The other Indians are the "Civilized Tribes" of the south. Historically, the Creeks had a rebellion during the war, that was put down by Andrew Jackson. In the game, any of the Civilized Tribes might rebel. The Americans can ignore them, but this will cost dearly at the Ghent peace negotiations. A better approach is to send in an Expedition or two, from Tennessee and/or Georgia, to defeat the rebellious Indian Tribe.

Finally, the few Indians who supported the Americans are represented by a single card: Red Jacket and his Seneca warriors might help the Americans in a battle or two.

I've talked to Tim Schleif, the graphic artist for CoA, about posting some of his work here on BGG. It's really up to him, but he has posted a lot of other stuff on the game in the past.

The price of the game is rather high, but there is going to be a lot in the box. A triple-sized deck of cards (150 of them!) is a big cost item, but there are also wood bits along with the more usual war-game stuff like two sheets of counters, map, rulebook, designers notes, etc. And yes, we have done our best to keep the rules succinct: most of the complexities are in the cards, while the basic framework for the game is kept simple.

Kevin
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Marco Arnaudo
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pre-ordered!
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Mike Szarka
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Bit the bullet and pre-ordered. 1812 is one of my favourite topics (as I live so close to the key battlegrounds) and this will clearly be a very different treatment from Mr. Madison's War: The Incredible War of 1812 which I also have on pre-order.
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Kevin McPartland
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Thanks for the support, guys! I'm very much looking forward to a Marco review, as well.

Mike, you are correct about how different these two games are. I am one of only a handful of folks who have played both games- Gilbert and I arranged to meet at WBC last summer, and we each played the other's game. His game (MrMW) is different from AtA in more ways than just the obvious scale and scope difference. AtA is much less "scripted" than MrMW, which has separate decks for each year of the conflict.

The individual cards are very different in style, too. For example, MrMW has a "Death of Brock" card in the 1812 deck, which the American player can use if conditions are right during that year. AtA has two "Leader Killed" cards, which either player might use after a battle. Of course, you get the most use out of the card by playing it against a strong leader- like Brock. So the American player might save the card until a opportunity to take out Brock shows up. But then the British have other leaders almost as strong as Brock to use the card on! Meanwhile, the British player might be tempted to use the card for its Operations points. There aren't that many good American leaders (at least, not at first). Killing some American leaders might actually be doing the American player a favor!

Gilbert and I have had a lot of enjoyable discussions about the War of 1812 in general, and our games in particular. We have often said how remarkably different our games are! We will look at the same historical event in the war, and present it very differently in the game. Another example: both games have the option of burning a city after it's captured, as happened at York (Toronto) and Washington. But his game sees this as a good thing- boosting morale of the troops and back home. But we see it as a bad thing- the international notoriety, and outrage by the enemy stiffening their resolve. Two games, two takes on the history.

I've got MrMW on pre-order, too.

Kevin
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Freddy Dekker
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I've just popped in from the Madisons {not a clue asto whom he is} war thread.

Or now, I was on the Accademy Games 1812 thread originally, that someone decided I didn't spend enough money so I was lured in to check out Madison and from than on the canadian conspiracy got hold on me and look and behold.. here I am.

I will admit that after this great video the designer did on Madison, which totaly sold that game to me, I am underwhelmed by the information on your game.

Yes, I was hoping for another explanatory video, but shall have to be satisfied looking at the pictures for now.

Not sure yet if this one will go on my to by list, but sure wish you'l succeed in getting this published.
You can never have enough games {allthough my wife tends to disaggreesoblue}

How does this compare to Madison, assuming that you can actually compare two not yet published games.

 
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Rob Doane
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Quote:
but sure wish you'l succeed in getting this published


He did! Amateurs to Arms is already published and available for sale from Clash of Arms.
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Freddy Dekker
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As I than found out after having written that.

So.... what's keeping the experts from creating a video.

Assuming you've allready got this on your table.
How are the components?

Please tell me it's not a paper board, I know they are cheaper and just as funtional, but I'm not a fan.

 
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Kevin McPartland
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I've never done a video, but maybe it's time that I learned how. My daughter has a camera, and I like to talk... that's everything you need, right?

sagitar wrote:
How are the components? Please tell me it's not a paper board...

The components are fantastic! I think I'm allowed to say that, because I'm not the artist. Tim Schleif did a fantastic job with the counters, cards, charts, stickers, and especially the map.

But it is paper (a high-quality, textured finish paper, but still paper). Apparently, there is a much higher cost to printing and shipping boards- the smaller print runs of wargames can't handle it.

But my opinion is this: boards are for abstract games like chess. Maps are for simulations, with a realistic depiction of the battle ground. And maps are always made of paper, right?

sagitar wrote:
How does this compare to Madison, assuming that you can actually compare two not yet published games.

This has been discussed extensively between Gilbert (the designer of MrMW) and myself. Much of the discussion was publicly held over at ConsimWorld. But the two biggest differences are these:

1. Scale. As you can see from the maps posted here on BGG, MrMW covers only the Canadian frontier along the Great Lakes. AtA covers every front of the war, including the old Northwest frontier, the US east coast (everything from Maine to Baltimore to Florida), the area of the Creek War, and New Orleans.

2. Scripting. MrMW is a more "scripted" game. The card decks are divided into three years, so that things occur in a more predictable sequence. The events tend to be very specific and tightly controlled. AtA is less scripted- there is only one deck, and events are more open-ended. Players are more open to explore what could have happened (within the limits of what was historically possible) instead of just what did happen.

Hope this helps!

Kevin
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Freddy Dekker
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Thanks,

I must admit that at this point what really draws me to the other game is the fact that all units have their own identity.
 
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Kevin McPartland
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sagitar wrote:
I must admit that at this point what really draws me to the other game is the fact that all units have their own identity.

If you really want to know exactly where the 57th regiment was on July 4th, 1812, then you're right, this is not the game for you. If you really want to know what the options were for the leaders at that time, and the strategic decisions they had to make, then AtA is for you.

The grand scale of AtA made it impractical to name specific units and ships. You'd need rules for breaking down and re-combining units as they moved though civilized and wilderness areas. Anyway, as the game progressed, the units would have little resemblance to their historic counterparts.

Instead, AtA focuses on leadership. The game has 78 (yes, I counted them!) named leader counters in the game. Whether you were facing General Winfield Scott or General William Winder had a far greater impact on the situation than whether you were facing the 57th regiment or the 58th regiment.

Kevin
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Freddy Dekker
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Thanks for explaining.

It is something I really like in historical games.
Having identifiabel units makes it more...[what's the word?] live like ?
to me.
It's not just another red counter, no it's the men of such and such regiment.
Yeah I know, I'm probably weird.

So what you're saying is, your game is more realistic and allows players to fight the war independent from what historically happened i.e. do it your way..
 
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Kevin McPartland
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sagitar wrote:
your game is more realistic

Well, that depends on your perspective!

sagitar wrote:
and allows players to fight the war independent from what historically happened i.e. do it your way..

Yes, we think so. You are not alone in your preference for named units- other gamers do, too. But we thought that an emphasis on leadership and an "un-scripted" framework created a more realistic simulation.

Kevin
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Mike Szarka
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I pre-ordered both games. As a Southern Ontario resident I will look forward to Gil's game which emphasizes this theatre where the major battles took place. On the other hand AtA allows a view of 1812 as a continental conflict, notwithstanding all the other differences in command deck design and so on.

Look how many games there are on WW2. Why should gamers only want one view of 1812?
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Freddy Dekker
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Oh don't start on WW2 games.
There are sooooooooooo many...
And new ones keep being created.

I applaud any effort trying to educate people on lesser known wars.

I've allready got the Accademy 1812 game and there is great temptation to go get both of these.

I've had a closer look at the counters in Kevin's game, and allthough there's no unit names on them, I must say that on closer investigation I find the way the different unit types are portrayed on them very attractive.

Well done, that artist.
Makes me less bothered about no names...
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Arthur Switalski
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Marco, is a review forthcoming soon!? (let me apologize in advance as I'm sure you get this all the time).

Best,
Arthur S.
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