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Subject: A Review of the Disappointing Washington’s War rss

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Dan Moore
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Wholly shooting from the hip, not played WW or studied Very much revolutionary history - the Southern Strategy was, would have been, the best path to victory for the Brits. So that's not so ahistoric.

Otherwise disappointed to learn these things. Hannibal has a very good Political Consequences mechanic, sorry there's nothing comparable in WW
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Aaron Cappocchi
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Quote:
things such as the pointless operations queue rule


Pointless?? This makes me think you didn't understand it all, as it is the only thing that allows the Brits some flexibility on those turns they are stuck with a hand full of 1-OPS cards.

An ideal situation to be in that year? Surely not. But a rule that gives them some options instead of none, and works around their greatest weakness of non-maneuverability? Yep.
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Steve
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You're going to get some crap for the review, most likely, but I did not enjoy For the People for similar reasons. I found the British position incredibly boring and confining. I don't necessarily think there's a balance problem or anything, just an entertainment problem.
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Michael Parchen
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Good, honest and brutal review.

Please note one way for the British to seize control of a situation and to 'move' quickly is a seaborne landing, of which only the British are capable of performing. I find this CAN be a devasting move by the British, in they can quickly invade the Northeast and try to acquire colonies.
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Brandon Ketchum
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Wow. You've simply not figured out how to win as the British. I liken the British to Rome in H:RvC. Sure, players will tend to wish to choose the Americans and Carthaginians, but in no way does this mean the British in WW are hamstrung. The British lack mobility and flexibility, but have main force on their side. The Americans lack strength and staying power with their armies, but have flexibility and mobility. The Brits definitely have as good a shot of winning the war as the Americans, but they have to go about it much more methodically than the Americans. The fact that you think the southern strategy is the easiest path to victory suggests strongly to me that you don't, indeed, have the British strategy figured out at all.
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Simon Webster
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stout_rugger wrote:
Wow. You've simply not figured out how to win as the British. I liken the British to Rome in H:RvC. Sure, players will tend to wish to choose the Americans and Carthaginians, but in no way does this mean the British in WW are hamstrung. The British lack mobility and flexibility, but have main force on their side. The Americans lack strength and staying power with their armies, but have flexibility and mobility. The Brits definitely have as good a shot of winning the war as the Americans, but they have to go about it much more methodically than the Americans. The fact that you think the southern strategy is the easiest path to victory suggests strongly to me that you don't, indeed, have the British strategy figured out at all.


Quite.

Not to mention the campaign cards.

A campaign allow the Brits to activate multiple generals regardless of strategy values. And also to perform landings where they can auto take any port on the board and be in the Americans face straight away.

I'm surprised by the tone of the review. I'm of the opinion that the British have actually have a (slight) advantage in Washington's War.
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Mark Herman
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I am always appreciative of anyone who is willing to take the time and play one of my designs and then write a thoughtful review. It is always difficult to respond to a negative review, but as it is the opinion of the writer, I just respect that. My response is focused only on the aspects of the review that move from personal experience to a broad brush conclusion that impacts the opinions of others when left in isolation.

The points made around balance and strategy could use some additional data. There was a Washington's War tournament held over on Consimworld. You can access the tournament page and results over there to validate my numbers.

There were 185 games played over 6 rounds. The overall box score was British 84, American 101. However, the fourth round saw most of the top finishers with the Americans, so if you remove that round the box score was British 76, American 80. Of the top seven finishers the combined box score was British 17, Americans 19, but more telling was the box score for how places 2-7 lost their one match. The box score for top finisher (places 2-7) losses was British 3, American 3.

A further analysis of the games showed a wide array of British winning strategies to include the Southern Strategy mentioned, but there were Northern strategies, mid-Atlantic strategies, and combined strategies. This is not to invalidate in anyway the review or its perspective, but to offer an alternative view on its strategy conclusions based on my ongoing tournament data base.

All the best,

Mark
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Judd Vance
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(Thanks to airjudden of boardgamegeek for developing and refining this strategy as well as providing some pointers for the Americans to counter it.)


You're welcome, but I find this strategy is not the most effective. I can beat this strategy fairly regularly as the Americans unless the Brits get consistently wicked draws every turn. Granted, I can get 5 colonies every time as the Brits, but that 6th one is "A colony (bridge) too far."

As the Americans, you keep bringing Arnold into Falmouth and then you can take Quebec and prevent the Brits from getting that colony. It's too hard to move Carelton (as the Americans, I am all about making the Brits burn up those precious 3 OPS cards). If he does, then you retreat to Falmounth, while some stooge like Lincoln stands ready to sweep in and take Montreal. It becomes a vicious game of wac-a-mole. The Brits can try to build up extra reinforcements to hold both places, but that ends up using those precious CUs up North, when they really need them down South.

Meanwhile, Howe is parked on Rhode Island and Clinton is parked on Delaware. Fine. Let them have it. Meanwhile, Greene, Gates, and Washington position themselves in Virginia (non-winter quarters) and see to it that the Burgoyne and Cornwallis can't keep control of North Carolina, the all-too difficult to take 6th colony.

The best strategy I have seen is based on Mark Herman's New England strategy (once again, the Jedi Master teaches the Patawon). I haven't seen the entire strategy (it's in a C3i article that I haven't read), but I believe it's based on taking Canada, VT, Mass, CT, RI, and New York. You focus all 5 British generals up there and build a wall of PCs that the Americans cannot penetrate.

The opening move is based on your hand. Ideally, you bring Burgoyne into Montreal, have him sweep over to Detroit and grab the CU and then park him within striking distance of Philly for turn 2. That requires a 1 OPS and a pair of 2 OPS to pull off.

You are right about Congress: if you can't take it by turn 2, let it go. But if you can hit it on the first move of turn 2, it can really hurt. If you were lucky enough to get Penn/NJ Mutiny on turn 1 as well, the Americans are seriously hurting.

Although you have to worry about winter quarters when defending New York, I believe this strategy is more forgiving of your cards that you draw.

A few things I do like about this game over Hannibal are:

1) Flipping PCs you end the turn on vs. taking attrition. I think if you have an army parked out in your city, you will not openly remain supportive of the enemy, at least in America, where there was a lot of loyalist support to begin with.

2) Discarding events to remove PCs.

3) Re-drawing battle cards. Losing initiative for an extra battle card sucks.

4) Events are more historical. That is no fault of Hannibal's. We just had better recorded history of what happened during the American Revolution.

You could try a historical approach to this game. You could easily take Philly/Charleston/Newport/New York/Savannah. Problem is, you will lose, just like the British did. They never really understood that it was about winning the hearts and minds, and while that is difficult to model, I like that this one does, and hence, you can try different approaches to doing so.

But to each his own.
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eryn roston
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Will W wrote:

My problems with Washington's War are lack of strategic options and historical accuracy, not imbalance.


Will W wrote:

The upshot is that the British will not only lose but lose badly if they try anything approaching the historical strategy of trying to hunt down Washington and control major cities such as New York and Philadelphia. Washington is far too agile for there to be any hope of catching and eliminating him unless the American player makes a mistake.


Im no expert but I was always under the impression that

A) Washington was never caught and hunted down.

B) The British lost the war by following their historical strategy.


*shrug*
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Gilbert Collins
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Wow! The British can't win in 'Washington's War'??? I beg to disagree. Actually from a strict 'historical' point of view "Washington's War" has about the easiest British victory conditions that I have ever seen. That is in respect to other games on the same subject.

In the old Avalon Hill game '1776' in order for the British to win they had to occupy I think it was about 95% of all strategic towns on the board.

The old SPI "American Revolution" also had victory conditions that were extremely difficult for the British. In essence nearly every single colony had to be suppressed, the militia destroyed and the country occupied.

The fact that the British only have to occupy 'six' areas in 'Washington's War', is quite remarkable when you think about it. Very liberal actually. Historically speaking, who is to say the revolution would have ended had the British indeed controlled six colonies. And one of those colonies is Canada, which the British already control. Personally, I don't think they would have won the war given those 'easy' conditions either. I think the colonists were going to see it to the end no matter what.

But overall, I think the game is balanced. I think the British are more 'fragile' than the Americans and can be paralyzed more with a weaker hand but the British certainly can win the game.


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Randall Shaw
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"The fact that the British only have to occupy 'six' areas in 'Washington's War', is quite remarkable when you think about it."

Add to the above, the British can win by default if neither side wins or if both sides win..? Even more remarkable...cool
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Mark Herman
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xlegion wrote:


The fact that the British only have to occupy 'six' areas in 'Washington's War', is quite remarkable when you think about it. Very liberal actually. Historically speaking, who is to say the revolution would have ended had the British indeed controlled six colonies. And one of those colonies is Canada, which the British already control. Personally, I don't think they would have won the war given those 'easy' conditions either. I think the colonists were going to see it to the end no matter what.




Gilbert, for the record the victory conditions are based on the British Strategy review that occurred after Saratoga. This review is embodied in a series of memorandums that still exist and were the basis for the inauguration of the Southern Strategy. The British wanted to secure the South and portions of the Mid-Atlantic States to isolate New England from the West. The idea was for this American enclave to be a captive trading partner with no western access. So, the reason I picked six colonies was it was how the British more or less were defining victory.

Mark

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stout_rugger wrote:
Wow. You've simply not figured out how to win as the British.


I would agree here wholeheartedly. I tend to give new players the British as the British seem more intuitive for the beginner.

Funny how these observations arise.

Must get another F2F game of this soon...it's been too long.
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Brad Miller
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As someone who considers WtP as his 2nd favorite wargame, (just behind the awesome Up Front), and who misses the battle cards, but thinks Washington's War did a lot of good things to WtP, I have to disagree. The southern strategy has been much less effective than others. The New England strategy mentioned above can be brutal on the Americans. If you get some decent cards to support it, (or the Americans get a bad hand or two), it almost feels broken for the British...
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airjudden wrote:
Quote:
(Thanks to airjudden of boardgamegeek for developing and refining this strategy as well as providing some pointers for the Americans to counter it.)


You're welcome, but I find this strategy is not the most effective. I can beat this strategy fairly regularly as the Americans unless the Brits get consistently wicked draws every turn. Granted, I can get 5 colonies every time as the Brits, but that 6th one is "A colony (bridge) too far."

As the Americans, you keep bringing Arnold into Falmouth and then you can take Quebec and prevent the Brits from getting that colony. It's too hard to move Carelton (as the Americans, I am all about making the Brits burn up those precious 3 OPS cards). If he does, then you retreat to Falmounth, while some stooge like Lincoln stands ready to sweep in and take Montreal. It becomes a vicious game of wac-a-mole. The Brits can try to build up extra reinforcements to hold both places, but that ends up using those precious CUs up North, when they really need them down South.

Meanwhile, Howe is parked on Rhode Island and Clinton is parked on Delaware. Fine. Let them have it. Meanwhile, Greene, Gates, and Washington position themselves in Virginia (non-winter quarters) and see to it that the Burgoyne and Cornwallis can't keep control of North Carolina, the all-too difficult to take 6th colony.

The best strategy I have seen is based on Mark Herman's New England strategy (once again, the Jedi Master teaches the Patawon). I haven't seen the entire strategy (it's in a C3i article that I haven't read), but I believe it's based on taking Canada, VT, Mass, CT, RI, and New York. You focus all 5 British generals up there and build a wall of PCs that the Americans cannot penetrate.

The opening move is based on your hand. Ideally, you bring Burgoyne into Montreal, have him sweep over to Detroit and grab the CU and then park him within striking distance of Philly for turn 2. That requires a 1 OPS and a pair of 2 OPS to pull off.

You are right about Congress: if you can't take it by turn 2, let it go. But if you can hit it on the first move of turn 2, it can really hurt. If you were lucky enough to get Penn/NJ Mutiny on turn 1 as well, the Americans are seriously hurting.

Although you have to worry about winter quarters when defending New York, I believe this strategy is more forgiving of your cards that you draw.

A few things I do like about this game over Hannibal are:

1) Flipping PCs you end the turn on vs. taking attrition. I think if you have an army parked out in your city, you will not openly remain supportive of the enemy, at least in America, where there was a lot of loyalist support to begin with.

2) Discarding events to remove PCs.

3) Re-drawing battle cards. Losing initiative for an extra battle card sucks.

4) Events are more historical. That is no fault of Hannibal's. We just had better recorded history of what happened during the American Revolution.

You could try a historical approach to this game. You could easily take Philly/Charleston/Newport/New York/Savannah. Problem is, you will lose, just like the British did. They never really understood that it was about winning the hearts and minds, and while that is difficult to model, I like that this one does, and hence, you can try different approaches to doing so.

But to each his own.


I've played a number of CDG's, but not this one yet (I'd like to). I've found reading this thread very interesting. This post in specific has caused me to think a bit more about this game, and wargames in general.

Let's take a look at the paragraph below in particular, because it makes me think about the limitations of wargames, or perhaps, put differently, the things that are difficult for wargames to simulate:

You could try a historical approach to this game. You could easily take Philly/Charleston/Newport/New York/Savannah. Problem is, you will lose, just like the British did. They never really understood that it was about winning the hearts and minds , and while that is difficult to model, I like that this one does, and hence, you can try different approaches to doing so.

Consider the italicized text.

They never really understood that it was about winning the hearts and minds

If that statement is true, then how does a wargame (not just this one) model the mindset of the historical actors? How does the game simulate the motivations of the British of 1776? If this statement is true, then we are saying that the British were suffering from, among other things, a limited ability to perceive what it was they were even trying to accomplish when fighting the war. How can a designer recreate the same limitation on the boardgame player?

It would seem in this game that the British player is guided both by knowledge of the history of the war, as well as the victory conditions as presented, to pursue an optimum strategy which can lead to victory in the game. Further, if we assume that the game is a relatively accurate model of the real world situation, the structure of the game and its victory conditions suggests that this optimum game strategy would have perhaps been the proper strategy for the real life British to have pursued during the actual war. In a sense, again, if Air's statement is true, the game strips away the historical blinders that encumbered the historical British commanders' ability to properly assess the war they were fighting and formulate a successful strategy to prosecute that war. If this is all true, then I may question the simulation value of such a game.

In my mind, a wargame should present the players with as accurate a simulation or model as possible of both the conditions on the ground, and the mindsets (and attendant limitations regarding possible approaches) of the opposing commanders. In other words, shouldn't there be a mechanism to prevent the British player in this game from having so much better clarity of thought than his real world historical counterpart that he does not even bother to consider the historical British strategy? Is there such a mechanism in the game, and if not, should there be? Put another way, does the game provide the British player with some motivation for pursuing the historical British strategy? After all, the historical British obviously thought there was some merit to pursuing the strategy they chose, as they did in fact follow that strategy, regardless of its eventual failure to achieve their desired outcome.

I realize these questions could be asked of most wargames, not just WW. I also realize that in the end, we are talking about 'games', and sometimes a game just needs to be a fun intellectual contest, not necessarily an accurate simulation of a particular historical event. It's just that for most wargamers, myself included, we like to think that wargames are more than just 'games', and that real insights into the wars being protrayed can be gleaned from their playing.
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Will W wrote:
airjudden wrote:
Quote:
(Thanks to airjudden of boardgamegeek for developing and refining this strategy as well as providing some pointers for the Americans to counter it.)


You're welcome, but I find this strategy is not the most effective.

The best strategy I have seen is based on Mark Herman's New England strategy (once again, the Jedi Master teaches the Patawon). I haven't seen the entire strategy (it's in a C3i article that I haven't read), but I believe it's based on taking Canada, VT, Mass, CT, RI, and New York. You focus all 5 British generals up there and build a wall of PCs that the Americans cannot penetrate.

The opening move is based on your hand. Ideally, you bring Burgoyne into Montreal, have him sweep over to Detroit and grab the CU and then park him within striking distance of Philly for turn 2. That requires a 1 OPS and a pair of 2 OPS to pull off.


Airjudden, very interesting. I was under the impression that an all-Northern strategy was not viable given the limitations of the British military, but this has made me reconsider. Still, I have a few doubts:

-VT is not a colony in Washington's War. Did you mean NH?
-Burgoyne with a less than full army in the wilderness is not going to end well for Burgoyne.
-In general, the ability of the Americans to pop 1-CU armies up in neutral, non-winter quarter spaces should be very useful to counter this strategy.

I agree that there are a lot of interesting mechanics and events in WW that make it different from Hannibal.


Keep in mind, this isn't Wilderness War. If you are in the wilderness, you can retreat (without a fortification). If you move Burgoyne + 3 CUs from Montreal to Detroit (grab a 4th CU) and end on Ft. Niagra with one move and then down to Pittsburgh, Wyoming Valley, or Baltimore on the next move, you aren't really that screwed. Burgoyne + 4 CUs is more than a match for Greene and his 2 CUs. If Washington wants to spend 2 cards to catch you, there is no guaranteed victory (and if you worry about it too much, bring in Cornwallis). In any case, you should have a path of retreat.

As far as them putting a CU in the way, at the end of the turn, there is a 50% chance that CU leaves.

If Washington is spending 2 cards to go squat on Philly, that's fine. Good to let him waste him time in a defensive position.

If you make the Americans burn up both of their reinforcements in order to bring in a general and CU to block your path (and from Wyoming Valley and Baltimore, you have 2 paths to PHilly). THat is fine.

The trick is to make the Americans panic at having Congress disperse and go first. Every turn you have initiative is a gift because a smart American player won't do it often.

If the Americans don't properly panic, than you disperse Congress and go PC crazy on turn 2.

Either way, you are making them react to you, so that you can build your wall of PCs.

Also, keep a few things in mind:

1) The British execution was a losing proposition:

a) Burgoyne's campaign was good on paper, but when Howe didn't execute it, it was an epic fail. If you re-create that, by having Howe waste a 3 OPS card to sail for Wilmington and another 3 OPS to move into Philly, while spending a few 2 OPS cards to have Burgoyne and 3 CUs move down from Montreal to Ticonderoga, another to move to Saratoga, and a 3rd to move to Albany -- moving across American PCs against a superior force with Gates and the militia on his side, well, not only will you burn up 5 cards, but I promise that I will own you as much as the Brits were owned.

b) Cornwallis chose not to respond to Ferguson's request for help at King's mountain. Fail 1. Tartelton at Cowpens. Fail 2. Cornwallis chased Greene across North Carolina. Fail 3. Cornwallis holed up in Yorktown. Fail 4. That is how you do NOT execute a southern strategy. If you want to be realistic and copy this, you will lose every time.

That is why I am not bothered too much by the lack of simulation. If it were, it wouldn't be too fun. I suppose that's why there are no games covering the battle of Ft. Washington.

What I really like is the history lesson you can receive from the game. If you re-trace every step sequentially, then the Americans automatically get the Declaration of Independence in 1776. Instead, having it variable teaches a lesson that Mark intended the teach: had the Congress sat on its thumbs, the longer they wait, the less effective it was. If you play it in 1776, it's powerful. In 1783, it's pretty worthless.

Also, I did create a Geeklist where I re-created historical battles in this game and We the People. Keep in mind, this is a very high level game, so you can't get the granular level needed to see tactics. If that is your preference, you should check out Mark Miklos' Battles of the American Revolution series along with 1777: The Year of the Hangman.

Otherwise, you really aren't going to find a high-level American Revolution game that simulates it. The others use a system that places victory points on cities, and the cities just had no strategic value. You can't squash a rebellion of ideas by taking strategic objectives. The Brits occupied Philly, NYC, Charleston, Savannah, Newport, and Boston and it did them no good. And to my knowledge only Mark Herman's games have added the political element in it. You cannot create a perfect simulation to model the fickleness and passion of humans, but Mark is the only one to have addressed it.

The link to that geeklist I created is here: http://www.boardgamegeek.com/geeklist/54116/re-creating-hist...
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airjudden wrote:
[Y]ou really aren't going to find a high-level American Revolution game that simulates it. The others use a system that places victory points on cities, and the cities just had no strategic value. You can't squash a rebellion of ideas by taking strategic objectives. The Brits occupied Philly, NYC, Charleston, Savannah, Newport, and Boston and it did them no good. And to my knowledge only Mark Herman's games have added the political element in it. You cannot create a perfect simulation to model the fickleness and passion of humans, but Mark is the only one to have addressed it.

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desertfox2004 wrote:

I've played a number of CDG's, but not this one yet (I'd like to). I've found reading this thread very interesting. This post in specific has caused me to think a bit more about this game, and wargames in general.

Let's take a look at the paragraph below in particular, because it makes me think about the limitations of wargames, or perhaps, put differently, the things that are difficult for wargames to simulate:

You could try a historical approach to this game. You could easily take Philly/Charleston/Newport/New York/Savannah. Problem is, you will lose, just like the British did. They never really understood that it was about winning the hearts and minds , and while that is difficult to model, I like that this one does, and hence, you can try different approaches to doing so.

Consider the italicized text.

They never really understood that it was about winning the hearts and minds

If that statement is true, then how does a wargame (not just this one) model the mindset of the historical actors? How does the game simulate the motivations of the British of 1776? If this statement is true, then we are saying that the British were suffering from, among other things, a limited ability to perceive what it was they were even trying to accomplish when fighting the war. How can a designer recreate the same limitation on the boardgame player?

It would seem in this game that the British player is guided both by knowledge of the history of the war, as well as the victory conditions as presented, to pursue an optimum strategy which can lead to victory in the game. Further, if we assume that the game is a relatively accurate model of the real world situation, the structure of the game and its victory conditions suggests that this optimum game strategy would have perhaps been the proper strategy for the real life British to have pursued during the actual war. In a sense, again, if Air's statement is true, the game strips away the historical blinders that encumbered the historical British commanders' ability to properly assess the war they were fighting and formulate a successful strategy to prosecute that war. If this is all true, then I may question the simulation value of such a game.

In my mind, a wargame should present the players with as accurate a simulation or model as possible of both the conditions on the ground, and the mindsets (and attendant limitations regarding possible approaches) of the opposing commanders. In other words, shouldn't there be a mechanism to prevent the British player in this game from having so much better clarity of thought than his real world historical counterpart that he does not even bother to consider the historical British strategy? Is there such a mechanism in the game, and if not, should there be? Put another way, does the game provide the British player with some motivation for pursuing the historical British strategy? After all, the historical British obviously thought there was some merit to pursuing the strategy they chose, as they did in fact follow that strategy, regardless of its eventual failure to achieve their desired outcome.

I realize these questions could be asked of most wargames, not just WW. I also realize that in the end, we are talking about 'games', and sometimes a game just needs to be a fun intellectual contest, not necessarily an accurate simulation of a particular historical event. It's just that for most wargamers, myself included, we like to think that wargames are more than just 'games', and that real insights into the wars being protrayed can be gleaned from their playing.


I'll try to hit these:

If that statement is true, then how does a wargame (not just this one) model the mindset of the historical actors?
Modeling human behavior is difficult. Consider: The Howes were sympathetic to the Whigs. They didn't want heavy-handed tactics. They believed if they beat back the Continental Army with minimal losses, the colonists would come back. They misguidedly believed that the majority of Americans supported the King and were held back by a small handful of "rebel scum" (to borrow from Darth Vadar and his boys).

Cornwallis had a different approach in the South, as did Clinton.

I believe in some part that this is wrapped up at a very high conceptual level in the rules, such as limitations on the British placing PCs, as well as the many cards favoring the Americans in the South (ex: Gamecock & Swamp Fox vs. Josiah Martin). The Southern cards are one reason why it was so difficult to pull off the Southern strategy. Just like in real life, the Brits thought the South would be a cakewalk and were surprised at just how bitter the fighting was and the Americans superiority in militia leadership.

It would seem in this game that the British player is guided both by knowledge of the history of the war, as well as the victory conditions as presented, to pursue an optimum strategy which can lead to victory in the game.

There also is no optimal strategy. Just like any CDG, you play the cards dealt to you. That is why Mark spoke of the Southern, Northern, and Mid-Atlantic strategies all being used on CSW. All I know for sure is the American strategy: read, anticipate, and react. To me, that's why it's more fun to play the Americans. You take a small overwhelmed army and continually badger them Fabian-style, which is incredibly realistic to what really happened.

On the British side, you aren't bound by the historical sequence. The Brits had a lot of possibilities and tried one. You are free to try it or try any other strategies that were available to them at the time. That's what I like about any game: the "what if" or "could I do it better?" aspect.

shouldn't there be a mechanism to prevent the British player in this game from having so much better clarity of thought than his real world historical counterpart that he does not even bother to consider the historical British strategy?

There are: the cards.

If you were to look at what happened in real life in terms of this game, the Americans had the sweetest card draw you could just about receive. The Brits got Ben Franklin in 1775. The Americans got the Declaration of Independence and Hortalez in 1776. They got Von Stuben in 1777. In 1780, they got the Swamp Fox & the Game Cock and basically the War Ends 1781 card. The Brits didn't draw Benedict Arnold until 1780. It's hard to beat that combo. So what if they didn't get that combo? Could the historical British strategy worked? Anything can happen in a CDG.

I don't think there is a CDG game that doesn't receive complaints about simulation. That's why they are CDGs. They aren't meant to simulate. They are meant to look at the possibilities. Look at Mark's excellent Empire of the Sun (my latest fascination). Washington's War doesn't lack simulation because of it's simplicity because EotS is the most complex CDG out there, but in it, the Japanese could conceivably drive down America's will to fight and force them to the negotiation table early (so as to focus on fighting Hitler). They could knock out Burma, India, China, and Australia (or any combination). The Americans may not receive the nuclear bomb (Nimitz and McArthur certainly would have planned the war differently had they known they were going to have it). The Japanese player has the option to go for the quick kill and drive the Allies to the table, or else they can expand their empire so far, and then hold on and try to make it too painful to force unconditional surrender. Maybe the inter-service rivalry doesn't follow the historical patterns. Maybe it's better or maybe it's worse for one side or the other. It's all based on your cards.

Like Washington's War, it's a brilliant design, but unless the cards and dice work out a certain way, you are not going to EXACTLY re-trace the steps, but most of the concepts are there, and you have the freedom to try to change history while still operating under the constraints (ex: America's industrial power, reinforcement and re-building schedules, and certain events). See, this game isn't like Paths of Glory where reinforcements have to be drawn and your ability to repair and replace are based on using a card to buy points instead of attack. No, in EotS, it's all a fixed schedule that followed history, but the events, the offensives, and the political in-fighting, the stability of China and India are all variable. So even though EotS doesn't swing as wildly as PoG and is orders of magnitude more complex, it still doesn't follow a script. And when you think about it, CDGs that attempt to script too much (World War II: Barbarossa to Berlin) are criticized for doing just that.

In the end, I play historical wargames because I like to look at the possibilities. If I want to relive each step exactly, I read a book. Those who love CDGs are usually of the same mindset (exploring the possibilities) and that is why the genre is so wildly popular.

Most wars have a hex-and-counter game that is heavy on the details for those who seek the simulation. Examples include Victory Games' Vietnam 1965-1975, The Civil War, Pacific War, and The Korean War. If you are looking for that game for this war, you won't find it. Because the American Revolution wasn't that/those kind of war(s), there's not such a game for it, and since it involved a war of ideas, you aren't going to be able to accurately simulate that (if you could, you'd be The Oracle from The Matrix movies). But in my book, this (and We the People) are the only ones that took the most important aspect and incorporated it into the game.

Not sure if that answered your question.
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Andy Daglish
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xlegion wrote:
I think the colonists were going to see it to the end no matter what.


they saw the end of their economy, which is what the British were fighting for, along with the usual moral thing to do something for the minority of loyalists.

A more brutal criticism involves asking which is the better game, and that requires looking at the effects of the differences.

It seems that many can't play the WW British well, some dislike the pulsating ignorance of the combat cards, and some of the other advances have the air of gilding a lily that consequently died.

I don't recall too many worries about We The People, except that it was never going to stand alongside the big CDG successes.
 
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I'm currently reading an interesting book, Sun Tzu at Gettysburg. The premise of the book is an examination of the failure of generals (and nations) to apply the maxims of warfare outlined by Sun Tzu and the resulting consequences. The opening chapter of the book outlines how the British lost the Revolutionary War, because it let the opportunity at Saratoga get way and how it fumbled its Southern Strategy. As
author Bevin Alexander notes, the Brits could only hold the land they currently occupied and it did a poor job in getting the Americans to fight "European" style so as to defeat the Continental armies.
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Palladin wrote:
I'm currently reading an interesting book, Sun Tzu at Gettysburg. The premise of the book is an examination of the failure of generals (and nations) to apply the maxims of warfare outlined by Sun Tzu and the resulting consequences. The opening chapter of the book outlines how the British lost the Revolutionary War, because it let the opportunity at Saratoga get way and how it fumbled its Southern Strategy. As
author Bevin Alexander notes, the Brits could only hold the land they currently occupied and it did a poor job in getting the Americans to fight "European" style so as to defeat the Continental armies.

Interesting. How'd you come across it?
 
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Palladin wrote:
I'm currently reading an interesting book, Sun Tzu at Gettysburg. The premise of the book is an examination of the failure of generals (and nations) to apply the maxims of warfare outlined by Sun Tzu and the resulting consequences. The opening chapter of the book outlines how the British lost the Revolutionary War, because it let the opportunity at Saratoga get way and how it fumbled its Southern Strategy. As
author Bevin Alexander notes, the Brits could only hold the land they currently occupied and it did a poor job in getting the Americans to fight "European" style so as to defeat the Continental armies.


I have not seen the book and your summary surely shrinks an entire chapter down to a sound bite, but I am not sure I buy that argument. Check out "With Zeal and Bayonets Only" which will give you an alternative view.

There is more myth than truth taught on this subject.

Mark
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HuginnGreiling wrote:
Palladin wrote:
I'm currently reading an interesting book, Sun Tzu at Gettysburg. The premise of the book is an examination of the failure of generals (and nations) to apply the maxims of warfare outlined by Sun Tzu and the resulting consequences. The opening chapter of the book outlines how the British lost the Revolutionary War, because it let the opportunity at Saratoga get way and how it fumbled its Southern Strategy. As
author Bevin Alexander notes, the Brits could only hold the land they currently occupied and it did a poor job in getting the Americans to fight "European" style so as to defeat the Continental armies.

Interesting. How'd you come across it?


It was on the new books shelf of my local public library
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MarkHerman wrote:


There were 185 games played over 6 rounds. The overall box score was British 84, American 101. However, the fourth round saw most of the top finishers with the Americans, so if you remove that round the box score was British 76, American 80.

Mark


No offence, however, In statistics you do not just remove data because of certain reasoning. I guess in other rounds there could not be the case that all top players were half British and half American. Even so, how could you define top players? Does top 1 2 3 as British ironically increase the winning rate of being British against top 4 5 6 as American? If these factors are not taken into scrutiny, I suggest that British 84, American 101 is a more scientific and reliable statistical result. Thank you.
 
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kingbird123 wrote:
I suggest that British 84, American 101 is a more scientific and reliable statistical result. Thank you.


This doesn't make sense to me, unless you meant to say "then reliable statistical result, instead of and" otherwise your point is agreeing with the statement on both counts.

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