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1812: The Invasion of Canada» Forums » General

Subject: 1812 Academy games vs Columbia games version rss

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Jason Kirchin
Canada
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How do they compare to each other in gameplay , visuals, complexity, strategy etc?
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Kevin Duke
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Wynne
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It is hard to express how different they are to sort of be about the same thing.

Columbias version is fun, strictly two player, si-mov, very limited movement,so you think hard about which few things to do, with lots of energy spent "building" fleets for important naval battles which may or may not happen.

Columbias version is interesting and I played it several times (but not in years) and if someone really wanted me to play I'd do it, and would do maybe two times if he really wanted, where Academy's game I'd go out of my way to suggest playing and have been part of playing several times in a row.

Columbias is a more traditional "wargame", tho most who focus on authenticity/simulation would still consider it "light." there is certainly more history depicted there. Both sides really did spend a lot of available time and resources to try and control the water, which isn't even a factor in Academy's version. And this means there is a greater layer of depth in strategy.

Visuals...well, Columbias blocks depict different units, with different abilities. That may be better than blank cubes. On the other hand, they use normal pip die and results are only hit or miss, so points to Academy there.
Gameplay is good in both. I'd say repeat play is a landslide for Academy.
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Mike Szarka
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When it is your turn to send a VASSAL move, the wait is excruciating. When it's my turn, well, I've been busy.
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The academy game is more chaotic and faster moving, and has the advantage of working with 2-5 players. For a strictly two-player affair, both games have their merits. The Columbia game adds the naval game and is generally truer to the history. The Academy game is probably easier to get to the table more often though because of its easy-flowing card-driven nature. Probably more replayability because it is so chaotic.
 
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Jason Kirchin
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Im probably going to pick up the academy games version no matter what im just wondering if its worth getting the columbia one as well the map looks quite nice on it , do the naval battles really add anything? So the ships have any historical significance ex. is there a USS constitution?
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Mike Szarka
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When it is your turn to send a VASSAL move, the wait is excruciating. When it's my turn, well, I've been busy.
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Azrael1983 wrote:
Im probably going to pick up the academy games version no matter what im just wondering if its worth getting the columbia one as well the map looks quite nice on it , do the naval battles really add anything? So the ships have any historical significance ex. is there a USS constitution?


The ships are not named, but they add a fair bit of strategy because you have to decide on which of the three lakes to spend your builds (you can only build on one lake per turn and it takes two turns to complete a fleet point). You also have to decide when to stay in port and when to sail out to contest the lake and risk a battle. Control of each lake not only gives you victory points but creates an invasion threat. In the Academy version you either have the cards for a naval move or you do not, which can be pretty annoying (especially if the ONLY action cards you have are for naval moves and you don't really want to do one). Also a ship like the Constitution would never have made it to the Great Lakes. They were much smaller gunboats and 6th rates etc. They are abstracted as fleet points but the right effect is there.

It does add a lot to the game.
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Jason Kirchin
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Would you say 1 of them is a better 2 player game?
 
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Mike Szarka
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Azrael1983 wrote:
Would you say 1 of them is a better 2 player game?


Hard to say. I like them both (cop out I know). The Academy game is newer so the shine isn't off it yet. The Columbia game is a classic. I think overall the Academy game might appeal to more people so may get played more. But I would be happy to play either. The Columbia game may have more depth in some respects, and might appeal more to the type of gamer who doesn't like the chaos of the cards and random turn sequence, but who prefers more planning and long term strategy.
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Jason Kirchin
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well since the subject is soo compelling to us canadians I will just get both.
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Jason Kirchin
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Do either of them cover washington (burning of washington)? or are they more great lakes early war in scope?
 
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Mike Szarka
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They all basically focus on the Great Lakes theatre. The other stuff was just diversionary raids. Southern Ontario and Quebec and the Northern Great Lakes States were the primary theatre.
 
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Jason Kirchin
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Yes but as canadians our favourite battle is the burning of washington where the white house was burned down though in reality our involvement was minimal in that battle with it being done mostly by british regulars it is a lasting legacy of the war and no different then an american wishing they covered the battle of new orleans.
 
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