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Subject: The Brits Try Some Cheese rss

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Cory Jung
British Columbia
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I played what I felt was an interesting game of A Few Acres of Snow not too long ago on that I felt like reporting. The game was played with Martin Wallace's updated rules. I played the British side by random selection and jigmelingpa played the French side.

Before the game started, I had already decided to try the somewhat cheesy strategy of settling Fort Halifax and raiding Quebec. I wanted to try something other than the "Hammer". It didn't quite work out the way I wanted.

If you'd like to follow along with the game, it is here:

On yucata, the turns are recorded as follows:

British - Turn 1
French - Turn 2
British - Turn 3
and so on.

I won't describe every turn, but I'll try to hit all the major points and provide my thoughts (in italics) during the game.

British - Turn 1 - draft Ranger
French - Turn 2 - reserve Regular Infantry
This was probably the first time I'd seen the French reserve the Regular early. I like the move and have done it in other games since.

British - Turn 3 - merchant +6, draft Native American
French - Turn 4 - settle Halifax, draft Coureurs de Bois
British - Turn 5 - merchant +6, settle Fort Halifax
French - Turn 6 - trader +8, draft Siege Artillery
It's now apparent jigmelingpa is going with a military strategy and I'm in trouble if I can't successfully raid Quebec. The Brit side has the advantage when both sides go military, but only if they can get Pemaquid and St. Mary out of their deck.

British - Turn 7 - I raid Quebec twice and am blocked both times. Ugh.
French - Turn 8 - money +1, retrieve Regular from reserve, siege Pemaquid (Regular)
Here we reinforce Pemaquid a bunch until the French wins. My deck is bogged down with too many extraneous cards. I have not helped myself by settling Fort Halifax as it is an extra dead card in a siege. The French can't settle Pemaquid. Fast forward to Turn 16.

Brit deck - Siege Artillery, Fort, Native American
9 gold
French deck - Siege Artillery, Regular, Coureurs
8 gold

French - Turn 16 - trader +4, discard Coureurs
British - Turn 17 - money +3, discard Pemaquid and Fort Halifax
French - Turn 18 - trader +6, draft Regular
British - Turn 19 - reserve Fort, discard Native and Fort Halifax
French - Turn 20 - settle Pemaquid, raid Fort Halifax
Here I think I'm pretty much done. I'm on the defensive so I decide to defend Boston.

British - Turn 21 - draft Governor, discard Pemaquid and St. Mary
French - Turn 22 - reserve Regular, money +1
British - Turn 23 - merchant +6, money +2
French - Turn 24 - money +1, discard Gaspe
British - Turn 25 - retrieve Fort, fortify Boston, merchant +3
French - Turn 26 - siege Boston (Siege Artillery), reinforce (Regular)
British - Turn 27 - reinforce (Siege Artillery, New Haven)
French - Turn 28 - retrieve Regular, reinforce (Regular, Halifax)
British - Turn 29 - reinforce (NY), pass?
I'm not quite sure what I did here. Maybe I did pass. I'm not sure, but it doesn't matter in the grand scheme of things.

French - Turn 30 - reinforce (Louisbourg), ambush (miss)
British - Turn 31 - governor (Pemaquid, Fort Halifax), draft Regular
French - Turn 32 - reinforce (Quebec, Port Royal)
British - Turn 33 - reinforce (Fort), money +3
French - Turn 34 - trader +6, ambush (miss)
British - Turn 35 - reinforce (Siege Artillery, New Haven)
French - Turn 36 - reinforce (Montreal), draft Regular
British - Turn 37 - reinforce (Regular), draft Regular
French - Turn 38 - reinforce (Coureurs), draft Regular
The French misses on some ambushes which buys me some time. When the French commits the Coureurs to the siege, I start looking for my own ambush opportunities.

British - Turn 39 - reinforce (Regular), money +3
French - Turn 40 - trader +8, draft Fortification
No military in hand means the French lose the siege of Boston. French returns Coureurs to Empire deck.

British - Turn 41 - ambush (return Regular), retrieve Governor, Governor St. Mary
I now have a "Hammer" deck, but I am a little behind... Ambush time.

French - Turn 42 - fortify Pemaquid, draft Coureurs
British - Turn 43 - ambush (return Regular), money +3
French - Turn 44 - trader +6, draft Regular
British - Turn 45 - reserve Fortification, discard 2 Regulars
French - Turn 46 - ambush (return Siege Artillery, ouch), money +1
British - Turn 47 - reserve Governor, merchant +6
French - Turn 48 - siege Boston (Regular), reinforce (Regular)
British - Turn 49 - reinforce twice (2 Regulars)
French - Turn 50 - fortify Port Royal, money +1
I win the siege, he returns a Regular.

British - Turn 51 - ambush (return Siege Engine), merchant +6
French - Turn 52 - discard Tadoussac, discard Gaspe
British - Turn 53 - ambush (return Regular), draft Ranger
French - Turn 54 - reserve Trader, draft Regular
British - Turn 55 - merchant +6, draft Regular
French - Turn 56 - money +1, develop Louisbourg
My hand is 3 Regulars, Boston, New Haven, so it's time to counterstrike.

British - Turn 57 - siege Halifax (Regular), reinforce (Regular)
French - Turn 58 - reinforce (Regular), reinforce (Fort)
British - Turn 59 - reinforce Boston twice (Regular, Norfolk)
French - Turn 60 - retrieve Trader, trader +6, ambush (miss)
I win the siege and settle Halifax. He returns a fort. At this point, I believe I have turned the tide. My opponent is now behind in military cards and has a dead location. I work on taking Port Royal now.

British - Turn 61 - ambush (miss), draft Regular
French - Turn 62 - ambush (block), draft Siege Artillery
British - Turn 63 - siege Port Royal (Regular), reinforce (New Haven)
French - Turn 64 - reinforce twice (Montreal, Louisbourg)
British - Turn 65 - reinforce twice (2 Regulars)
French - Turn 66 - reinforce (Regular), discard Halifax
British - Turn 67 - reinforce twice (Regular, Halifax)
French - Turn 68 - trader +6, draft Native American
I win the siege and settle Port Royal. He returns a Regular. He's in a tough spot now as he has a couple dead locations now with no Governor.

Turns 69 to 82 - He tries to build his military back up and tries 3 ambushes and I manage to block all but 1. I start reserving my military as I gear up to siege Port Royal. I ambush successfully.

Turns 83 to 89 - He surprises me by sieging Boston. I have to retrieve my reserve to muster enough military to win the siege.

Turn 90 to 99 - I block a couple more ambushes while reserving my Regulars. He's a little hamstrung having to discard Halifax and Port Royal everytime he goes through his deck. He buys a Fort and I want to now hit Louisbourg before he can fortify it. I ambush successfully and have 4 Regulars in my reserve when I siege Louisbourg.

Turn 100 to 105 - He makes an interesting play by sieging Boston. I reinforce both locations and he decides to give up on Boston and try to win Louisbourg. I pound away with Regulars and settle Louisbourg. I now have 2 cubes and a disc, so I just need to snag 2 more cubes.

Turn 106 to 115 - I build up my hand until I have Loiusbourg, ship, 3 Regulars. He settles Fort Beausejour to try raiding Halifax and Port Royal. I siege Trois Rivieres.

Turn 116 to 119 - I luck out and block a couple raids on Port Royal. I win the siege and settle Trois Rivieres.

Turn 120 to 132 (end) - I try sieging Fort Beausejour and lose because I rush into it. I defend against raids until I can siege Tadoussac and win. Hurrah!

Post Game Comments

1. Early raiding of Quebec didn't work for me this game, but it has worked for me. Against the same opponent even. I ended up starting two games with jigmelingpa with random assignment of sides and ended up as the Brits both times. Success or failure was dependent largely on card draw. It's definitely a risky strategy. When I lost Pemaquid, I ended up with two dead cards (Pemaquid and Fort Halifax) instead of just one.

2. A military strategy for the French is quite strong if the British side isn't prepared for it, but I can't help but think that he forced me into a military strategy. Which is fine for me, but bad for him. After all, if I'm voluntarily using a sub-optimal strategy, why encourage me to use a stronger strategy?

3. I feel that this session also shows just how strong a British military strategy is. I didn't Governor Pemaquid and St. Mary until turn 41 and still managed to pull it off.

4. The game is pretty much over if the British side can take Louisbourg. Even if the French can fortify Quebec, you can hit Trois Rivieres, Gaspe, Tadoussac. It's almost as if you can hit too many locations from Louisbourg.

5. I wonder if I could have shortened the game by going after Louisbourg before Port Royal. I think I was worried about Halifax being raided and wanted to play it safe.

Anyway, if you made it this far, I hope you found this report interesting and possibly instructive. This game further illustrated to me that if either side goes all-out military, the other side is almost forced to do so as well to keep up. Something to think about.

Any transcription errors are mine. It's rather tough trying to figure out each turn what is happening while walking through archived yucata games.
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Shawn Woods
Nova Scotia
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Nice. A detailed report that is easy to understand. Thanks for the effort typing this up.
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Kelly Krieble
United States
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132 turns....that's epic!
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