Recommend
94 
 Thumb up
 Hide
19 Posts

Washington's War» Forums » Reviews

Subject: Updating and improving a classic rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
Judd Vance
United States
Wichita
Kansas
flag msg tools
Every Man a (K-State) Wildcat!
badge
"Just get that sucka to the designated place at the designated time and I will gladly designate his ass...for dismemberment!" - Sho Nuff.
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
In 1994, Avalon Hill released We the People and introduced the world at large to a new way to play war games: the card driven mechanic. During this time, I was out of the board gaming loop and stumbled back into the hobby/obsession back in 2008. During this time, I also discovered BGG and had taken up the American Revolution as a topic of interest/obsession. I found a geeklist on games from this period and was surprised to learn that We the People was ranked in the top 200 and far above its contemporaries. I set out to find this game and after many disappointed failed EBAY bids, I finally won it. It was my first exposure to the card driven mechanic and I went crazy for the game.

Shortly afterward, I learned designer Mark Herman was re-inventing/improving the game under the title Washington’s War. I wondered how he could ever improve a game that I thought was as close to perfection as an AWI (American War for Independence) game could get.


Details:

Washington’s War is a bookshelf/boxed card driven game for 2 players. If you are familiar with the system, it takes about 90 minutes to play. Mark Herman designed it and GMT published it in 2010.


Background:

The game takes place in America (back when it was the united colonies of England) from 1775 and can last anywhere from 1779 to 1783.


Components:

The rulebook is something to behold. The 24 page (8.5" x 11") booklet uses full color illustrations and many examples to demonstrate concepts. It is very well written and clearly explains the concepts. It is the best rulebook for its size and complexity in my collection.



In addition, there is an additional playbook outlining a example of game play. The back page is very useful in that it shows a full color map with the initial set-up (for those who prefer visual explanations).



The enormous 22" x 34" poster-sized map is sturdy and brightly colored. As a point of comparison, We the People had a 16" x 22" map.


(A comparison of the game boards)

The map shows the 13 American colonies from 1775 along with part of Canada. A few improvements have been made to the original We the People map. They include:

• Two additional dotted line paths in western Pennsylvania, similar to the Falmouth, MA to Quebec route. They two represent undeveloped wilderness and have additional movement restrictions.

• The path from Monmouth, NJ to Wilmington, DE has been removed and a path added between York and Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.

• We the People had a note by Charleston, SC noting that the British naval advantage does not apply. In this game, the city has a new symbol around it. In addition, Philadelphia, PA and Quebec have these symbols.

• A dotted line connects Point Pleasant, VA to Basset Town, PA, and from Basset Town to Fort Oswego (which is no longer winter quarters). This represents wilderness (the same as Falmouth, MA to Quebec), except all generals can travel down this path at a higher movement rate.

• A French Alliance track has been added.

• Next to the name of each colony on the map is a number corresponding to the number of spaces in that colony. In addition, each space is color-coated for the state and has the name of the town written below it. This makes it easier to determine control for each colony.

• There is a small schematic displaying the 13 colonies and Canada. A marker goes over each one to determine who has control. This makes it easier to determine how close each player is to achieving victory.


The political control and armies have updated artwork, but functionally, are identical to We the People. The General markers contain updated artwork and ratings, including a new rating for maneuverability. In addition, there are two markers for each general (and the French Navy). One is a regular counter to lay on top of the army and the other is the same as from We the People: mounted on a plastic stand in order to stand vertically. The one drawback is that the stands are looser than those from We the People.



The cards have been updated. The artwork looks better and the cards have more colors on them. They are different cards from We the People with some new events and revised battle cards.




Objective of Play:

The conditions of victory have changed from We the People somewhat. At the end of the game, the American player must control 8 colonies. The British must control at least 6 colonies. Unlike We the People, if neither side or both sides meets their objective, the British player wins, rather than a draw. Also, Canada counts for either side (in WtP, it only counted for the Americans). Control of a colony comes from having more political control markers in it than your opponent, except for Canada, where the controlling player must possess both Montreal and Quebec.



Overview of Play:

Like most card driven games, the heart of the game is through the playing of strategy cards. There are four types of cards in this game:

• Operations Cards - They may be used to bring in reinforcements, move armies, and add (or flip) political control markers. These cards basically remained the same as they were in We the People, however, they may also be used to “buy” discarded event cards.

• Event Cards – These call out specific events regarding the history of the war and usually result in adding or removing political control markers, while a few will add or remove armies. In We the People, if the event did not help your side, you discarded it as a dead card. Having a lot of these cards created a “Dead Hand Syndrome,” caused you to basically lose a turn, and often costs you the game. In Washington’s War, you may either play the event or discard it and use the discard to place, flip, or remove a political control marker. If you discard an event card, your opponent can “buy” it with an operations card, thus keeping your hand size the same, but changing the strategy.

• Special Event Cards – Just like We the People, there are 7 Special Event cards and they cannot be discarded. Five of them specify the year the game ends (1779-1783) and the others are the Declaration of Independence and Benjamin Franklin cards.

• Battle Cards – Battle cards were part of We the People (example: Henry Knox artillery), but you had to play it during the battle and when you did, it made you a card short when it came to playing strategy cards, giving a big advantage to your opponent. In Washington’s War, battle cards give you a die roll modifier and you are able to draw a replacement, keeping your hand size the same. You may also discard a battle card just like any other event card.


Combat

In We the People, you received a number of battle cards (different battle cards than the ones listed above) based upon:

• the size of your army

• Your general’s battle rating

• Controlling the regional militia (by having more political control markers in that colony)

• British naval advantage in coastal towns

• British troops having a limited advantage in training.

• George Washington conducting a winter offensive.

These cards contained different tactics (left flank, right flank, probe, double envelopment, bombardment, and frontal attack). When you played a card, your opponent had to match it with the identical card or lose the battle.

It was a fun system and did teach historical battle tactics. However, it was time consuming and did not achieve realistic results. Most players did not want to play a frontal attack because the winner took casualties, and the proportion of frontal attacks did not match reality. In addition, a really good player could learn to read and bluff his opponents in battle. The trick was to make him think you had or didn’t have cards, giving unfair advantages unrelated to game play.

The new system takes the same factors listed above (size of army, control of militia, etc) and assigns a die roll modifier to these factors. In addition, players may play a battle card for their side or discard an event card for an additional modifier. The discard was a safety valve, much like the Space Race is to Twilight Struggle: it is a way to get rid of a particularly harmful event that would aid your opponent. When an event is discarded in battle, your opponent cannot buy it, but you also do not get to replace it, causing you to lose initiative when playing strategy cards (much like the battle cards in We the People). In addition to these modifiers, a die roll determines if up to all or half of a general’s battle rating is used as an additional modifier. This creates an unpredictable factor when determining your chances of victory. When the die roll modifiers have been determined, each player throws a die and adds it to his modified value. The higher total wins. Ties go to the attacker.

After the battle, each side rolls a die to determine losses. The defender’s chart is the same as We the People. In We the People, the victor used to have their losses defined by the winning battle card (hence, the rarely used frontal attack). Now the die roll is compared to the maneuverability rating of the defeated general on a chart to determine losses.

The result is a much faster battle system that provides odds-based proportional results and provides difficult decisions (do I discard that event to get a +1 modifier and lose initiative or do I take my chances?)

Retreat rules are the same as We the People. A losing army must retreat to a space with a friendly political control marker or no marker, or it has to surrender. If the British lose 3 armies through casualties or surrender, they permanently lose the training advantage (and the Baron Von Stuben card is still in the game and also nullifies this advantage).


Major Differences from We the People:



The most noticeable difference is obviously the combat system. Like I said, it speeds up the game by about 25% and provides more realistic results.

The next big difference is the ability to discard events and end the “Dead Hand Syndrome.” Even if the British player is in a position to not be able to place a political control marker, he can still remove an American marker. It can also be used to remove an opponent’s marker, allowing otherwise isolated markers on your side to suddenly no longer be isolated.

Another big difference involves the American army. In We The People, if an army was north of North Carolina, that army had to be in specially designated areas (called Winter Quarters) at the end of the turn or lose half of the combat units in that army to winter attrition. It was supposed to represent the brutal winter of 1777 in Valley Forge. A smart American player could build up a large fighting force by playing smartly with this principle. In Washington’s War, this rule only applies to the first 5 combat units stacked with George Washington and up to 5 combat units of French troops (not stacked with American troops). On every other location on the board, including the southern states, half of the American armies are removed. Instead of capturing only Valley Forge, this new rule represents the unreliability of the militia. They often deserted through fear, hardship, or farming season. The 5 units with Washington represent the battle-hardened Continental Army that remained through thick and thin. As an American player, you will feel Washington and Nathaniel Greene’s frustration at depending on the undependable troops and you will not be able to maintain a strong fighting force.

One way to “game the system” in We the People was to drop of a single combat unit in strategic locations in order to stop an opposing army. This was a particularly effective strategy at the end of the game. Washington’s War prevents this by creating an “overrun” rule where large army can move through such a force without stopping, so long as the attacking force is sufficiently large and the defending force is sufficiently small and lacks a general.

We the People captured the spirit of deliberate planning of the British generals by making it more difficult for them to move. However, it sometimes crippled the British player because he could not move any generals because of a lack of proper OPS cards. Washington’s War better addresses this issue by two methods. The first involve an “Operations Queue” that allows a player to use multiple low number OPS card played in sequential order to eventually add up to the higher number needed to move. It does not make movement impossible, but it is very difficult and better rewards generals with lower strategy ratings. Also, American generals may move 5 spaces (British still move 4), so long as they do not battle or overrun.

Bringing the French into the game is entirely different. In We the People, it was through an event card. This created too much randomness in the game and it had nothing to do with the American player’s battlefield success. In Washington’s War, there is a track from 0-9. The track moves through a few cards (Benjamin Franklin and Hortelez et Cie Clandestine French Aid ), but also through battlefield success. Each American victory moves the track 1 space and when the British lose the regulars advantage, it moves 2 spaces. The effect of this track is that the American player will seek out winnable battles that have little strategic value, just like Washington did at Trenton. In addition to the track, when the French are actually brought in, the French Navy no longer block a single port (out of 18), but rather one of 7 areas, each blocking multiple ports.

In We the People, the British can win by capturing George Washington. In Washington’s War, this is no longer true. However, losing Washington (he does not come back in the game) causes the French Alliance Marker to move backwards and allows the British player to remove American Political Control markers. It does not mean automatic defeat, but it becomes very difficult to win.

Speaking of Washington, his battle rating, along with that of Greene, Gates, and Arnold changed for the better. Also, the a new “maneuverability” rating has been added which is used for calculating losses in battle and also for intercept and retreat.

These are not the only differences, just some of the major differences.


Results:

This game was never marketed as an exact simulation of the American Revolution. It does not follow the exact steps of the war. Instead, it models the battle and gives you feel of the ebb-and-flow of trying to win a battle unlike any the British had fought at that point. You feel the frustration of each side. The British player has limited means of spreading political influence, executing battle plans, and bringing on reinforcements. However, he will hold the upper hand in battle.

The American player can bring up troops quickly in most places on the board and move around quickly and spread influence. However, he has a weak, limited, and untrained army. He will adopt a Fabian strategy, much like Washington and use tactics that annoy his opponent, much like the Washington and Greene did in their respective North/South theaters.

In We the People, there were American generals that were rarely used. In Washington’s War, you are more likely to use all of them. Most of them will have a single combat unit with them (due to winter attrition) and harass the British in attempts to isolate PCs, stop British movement, or surround escape paths of a British general while the main force attacks and creates a surrender situation.

The basic idea of the game: spreading political control, playing event cards, and moving armies and generals around the board have remained the same, the game play between the two games is very different, and the result is a game whose play more closely resembles the spirit of the American Revolutionary War.


Conclusion:

There are two ways to look at this game. One is to say that We the People is a phenomenal game that deserves to be bought and played by fans of this period in history. Beyond its historical relevance (the first card driven game), it’s a really fun game. However, since it is out of print, if you try to get a copy, you will find yourself shelling out a lot money. Therefore, Washington’s War is necessary to get this great game into the hands of more gamers.

However, that would imply that those who already have We the People don’t need to waste their time. If you look at the game board and the playing pieces, you see so many similarities that it is understandable to think that’s it’s just a minor revision of the existing game. However, while the pieces may look the same, the game play is far from it. The strategy is so different that it plays like an entirely different game. It manages to become more balanced, correct the handful of warts, and implement features to make it more historically accurate, so it is definitely worth your time.

If you want to simulate or understand battles and battlefield tactics from the American Revolution, you should check out Mark Miklos’ Battles of the American Revolution series. However, most battles in the war were lopsided because the Continental army simply couldn’t stand toe-to-toe with the best trained army on earth at the time. For instance, Greene lost every battle and won the south. So if you want to get a grasp of how to lose battles and win a war, if you have ever wanted to simulate Fabian battle tactics, or if you have longed to experience pacifying 14 colonies with a 3,000 mile supply line in the 18th century, this is the game for you.
  • [+] Dice rolls
Craig Stosser
United States
Colorado Springs
Colorado
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Excellent review. Good to see a focus on the geography.
4 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
UA Darth
United States
Boca Raton
FL
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I prefer the low luck version to the dice rolls' "realistic" results, thank you. Stack it in your favor and you are very likely to win in the original. How could trying to psych out your opponent in the first game be "unfair", yet the complete and utter luck of the dice in this game be fair?
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Steve Duke
United States
Georgetown
Texas
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I think you are taking the 'fair' comment out of context.

To each his own. I know people who swear by the battle cards. To me, they added nothing but delay in the game.

It's seldom that a sequel, be it a movie, a book, or a game matches or exceeds the original. IMO, WWr is better than WtP in every regard.
7 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Brad Miller
United States
Seattle
Washington
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
shadow9d9 wrote:
I prefer the low luck version


The Battle Cards? How were those "low luck"?
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Judd Vance
United States
Wichita
Kansas
flag msg tools
Every Man a (K-State) Wildcat!
badge
"Just get that sucka to the designated place at the designated time and I will gladly designate his ass...for dismemberment!" - Sho Nuff.
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
shadow9d9 wrote:
I prefer the low luck version to the dice rolls' "realistic" results, thank you. Stack it in your favor and you are very likely to win in the original. How could trying to psych out your opponent in the first game be "unfair", yet the complete and utter luck of the dice in this game be fair?


You know, I have mentioned on more than one occasion that Battle Cards brought a poker element to the game. (and when I say that, keep in mind that We the People was my favorite of all games UNTIL Washington's War). As Lawrence Fishburne told the kid in "Searching for Bobby Fisher", "You're not playing the board. You're playing the man who's playing the board." Read his face and read his tendencies. Have a good poker face and be completely unpredictable in how you play your cards, and you, too, will win a disproportionate amount of battles, even when you have less cards.

But hey, if you like the cards, why not pull the We the People cards and use them in Washington's War? Deal 1 card for each DRM and then play the battle cards normally according to the WtP rules.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Colin Hunter
New Zealand
Auckland
flag msg tools
badge
Stop the admins removing history from the Wargaming forum.
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
shadow9d9 wrote:
I prefer the low luck version to the dice rolls' "realistic" results, thank you. Stack it in your favor and you are very likely to win in the original. How could trying to psych out your opponent in the first game be "unfair", yet the complete and utter luck of the dice in this game be fair?
I have to admit, that I haven't played We the People, you may be right the cards may have been better than the CRT in that case. However cards are not inherently better than dice in terms of luck. What matters is the effect of luck, for example in Washington's War, while the combat system is silly, it doesn't actually matter all that much, since battles in a sense are not all that important. I would say for example that getting a bad ops hand is far worse than rolling badly in a few battles. So I think it really depends on the situation that stuff occurs in and how the luck interacts with that. It is perfectly possible that cards or some cube draw mechanic could be worse than dice in this respect. Twilight Struggle compared to 1960 is a classic example. Despite all the luck mitigation in 1960, I almost guarantee that luck plays a bigger part in victory in 1960, than in Twilight struggle, because ultimately where and how the luck occurs inn 1960 is far more important than in Twilight Struggle, even though the dice might seem "more random" to a casual observer.


edit: Nice review by the way. How were the battle ratings changed of the commanders?
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Alexei Gartinski
Jordan
Amman
Unspecified
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Ok, I am a fan of battle cards, so I am biased. With battle cards, the more advantageous your position was, the more battle cards you would get, thus increasing your chances to win. You could have still lose to a smaller force on a single card, which made any battle a pretty risky affair.

For me, however, battle cards was not about having more or less "luck" in the game (I love having a lot of it, by the way ), it was about a feeling of fighting almost an actual battle, with the fortunes swinging back an forth, artillery shooting, waves and waves of attackers desperately advancing on the "right flank" and being constantly beaten back, then trying a "skirmish" before finally committing to that last "frontal assault" and... maybe losing on a single card. As a result, many battles became very memorable affairs, adding a lot to the overall excitement of the game...

Now, when I look at the new dice-based combat resolution, I am, well, somewhat less "inspired" I am sure it works well, and it certainly speeds up the game, but it is somehow not the same for me...
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Bartow Riggs
United States
Antelope
California
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
You make a good point in that I think I agree with you there was more an element of the "ebb and flow" of battle with the cards.

Obviously it is a matter of personal preference. For me, the slight increase in "ebb and flow" just isn't worth the increase in playing time.

 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Judd Vance
United States
Wichita
Kansas
flag msg tools
Every Man a (K-State) Wildcat!
badge
"Just get that sucka to the designated place at the designated time and I will gladly designate his ass...for dismemberment!" - Sho Nuff.
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
ibn_ul_khattab wrote:
edit: Nice review by the way. How were the battle ratings changed of the commanders?


In We the People, the best generals (Howe), had a battle rating of 3. Washington, Greene, and Gates had a 1 and Arnold had a 2 (going by memory, here).

In this game, Washington is a 5. Greene is a 4. Arnold is a 3. Gates & Lafayette are a 2. Lincoln and Lee are 1. At the same time, the British got better: Howe is a 6. I think Cornwallis and Clinton are 4s, Carleton is a 3 and Burgoyne is a 2.

Anyway, when you commit to battle (after U.S. player decides on retreat), a die is a rolled. On a 1-3, you use half the battle rating. On 4-6, you use all of the rating. However, the rating cannot exceed the number of CUs (meaning Howe only gets that 6 when he's defending, since he cannot move with more than 5 CUs).

It creates a huge fog of war factor as you go into battle. If you are attacking Lee and 1 CU with Howe and 5 CUs, you are probably going to win, but the strategy modifier differential could be as high as 5 (5 rating for Howe, 0 for Lee) or as low as 2 (3 for Howe, 1 for Lee). Howe already has an advantage of 4 on the combat units, and then there are other modifiers (militia, British navy, interception, battle cards, discarded event cards).

It's one of my favorite elements to the new battle system. I use that caveat when it works to my advantage. When it doesn't, I'm yelling, "Damn you, Mark! Why couldn't you leave well enough alone?"

But like I said in a different post, a player could use the same DRM system and instead of rolling a die and adding it, deal out We the People battle cards (1 card for each DRM) and then play the old school way.
4 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Guillaume Bergeron
Canada
Sherbrooke
Quebec
flag msg tools
badge
Wargaming makes me peaceful!
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
airjudden wrote:
The conditions of victory have changed from We the People somewhat. At the end of the game, the American player must control 8 colonies.

Actually, seven colonies is more than enough to secure an American victory; provided, of course, that Washington's forces manage to keep the British control below six colonies.

3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Richard Pardoe
United States
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
From the last sea wrote:
Actually, seven or more colonies (and keep in mind that Canada is considered a colony for victory purpose) is more than enough to secure an American victory!


Technically, it isn't as the British could control six or seven of the remaining colonies and win by default as they have the tie-break. But you are correct that the Americans need only seven for their victory condition.
5 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Nate Merchant
United States
New York
New York
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Judd, I am replying to your posting on my discussion of WW by posting on yours!

airjudden wrote:


Major Differences from We the People:

The most noticeable difference is obviously the combat system. Like I said, it speeds up the game by about 25% and provides more realistic results.


And with the exception of the General's Ability Roll, I love it!

airjudden wrote:

The next big difference is the ability to discard events and end the “Dead Hand Syndrome.” Even if the British player is in a position to not be able to place a political control marker, he can still remove an American marker. It can also be used to remove an opponent’s marker, allowing otherwise isolated markers on your side to suddenly no longer be isolated.


And this is essential, though I do get confused now when you can play what cards to rip up, place, or re-place PC counters.

airjudden wrote:

Another big difference involves the American army. In We The People, if an army was north of North Carolina, that army had to be in specially designated areas (called Winter Quarters) at the end of the turn or lose half of the combat units in that army to winter attrition. It was supposed to represent the brutal winter of 1777 in Valley Forge. A smart American player could build up a large fighting force by playing smartly with this principle. In Washington’s War, this rule only applies to the first 5 combat units stacked with George Washington and up to 5 combat units of French troops (not stacked with American troops). On every other location on the board, including the southern states, half of the American armies are removed. Instead of capturing only Valley Forge, this new rule represents the unreliability of the militia. They often deserted through fear, hardship, or farming season. The 5 units with Washington represent the battle-hardened Continental Army that remained through thick and thin. As an American player, you will feel Washington and Nathaniel Greene’s frustration at depending on the undependable troops and you will not be able to maintain a strong fighting force.


I agree with having some militia units disband, but I diskike how that allows the American player not have to worry about winter at all.

airjudden wrote:

One way to “game the system” in We the People was to drop of a single combat unit in strategic locations in order to stop an opposing army. This was a particularly effective strategy at the end of the game. Washington’s War prevents this by creating an “overrun” rule where large army can move through such a force without stopping, so long as the attacking force is sufficiently large and the defending force is sufficiently small and lacks a general.


Love it.

airjudden wrote:

We the People captured the spirit of deliberate planning of the British generals by making it more difficult for them to move. However, it sometimes crippled the British player because he could not move any generals because of a lack of proper OPS cards. Washington’s War better addresses this issue by two methods. The first involve an “Operations Queue” that allows a player to use multiple low number OPS card played in sequential order to eventually add up to the higher number needed to move. It does not make movement impossible, but it is very difficult and better rewards generals with lower strategy ratings. Also, American generals may move 5 spaces (British still move 4), so long as they do not battle or overrun.


It's still hella hard to move British generals, and it seems to me that battles do less damage overall than in WtP, so it seems especially onerous for the British.

airjudden wrote:

Bringing the French into the game is entirely different. In We the People, it was through an event card. This created too much randomness in the game and it had nothing to do with the American player’s battlefield success. In Washington’s War, there is a track from 0-9. The track moves through a few cards (Benjamin Franklin and Hortelez et Cie Clandestine French Aid ), but also through battlefield success. Each American victory moves the track 1 space and when the British lose the regulars advantage, it moves 2 spaces. The effect of this track is that the American player will seek out winnable battles that have little strategic value, just like Washington did at Trenton. In addition to the track, when the French are actually brought in, the French Navy no longer block a single port (out of 18), but rather one of 7 areas, each blocking multiple ports.


My only slight niggle here is that the Franklin card seems to be very powerful and entirely independent of conditions on the board. Otherwise, the improvements are great.

airjudden wrote:

In We the People, the British can win by capturing George Washington. In Washington’s War, this is no longer true. However, losing Washington (he does not come back in the game) causes the French Alliance Marker to move backwards and allows the British player to remove American Political Control markers. It does not mean automatic defeat, but it becomes very difficult to win.

Speaking of Washington, his battle rating, along with that of Greene, Gates, and Arnold changed for the better. Also, the a new “maneuverability” rating has been added which is used for calculating losses in battle and also for intercept and retreat.


All great, I concur. Yet the new version, as you know, raised some other points which complicate my admiration, as I listed in my article:

1. Too many cards in the deck and too many must-play events. This could have been solved by Ops and Events being combined a la HIS.

2. Recruitment felt odd, in that the Americans basically have to pay MORE for their troops, or so it seems.

3. The General's Battle rating roll. I just seem not to get why that's necessary, and maybe that's just silly old me.

Great review and compare/contrast!






.


6 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Jon
Canada
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mb
Superb point/counterpoint post be Judd and Nate.

One of Nate's items caught my eye in particular:

Quote:
2. Recruitment felt odd, in that the Americans basically have to pay MORE for their troops, or so it seems.


One little "niggle" that I felt when playing the game for the first time dealt with American recruitment. Sadly, every once in a while the old grognard in me seeps out and questions the historical possibility of something in a game. I refer to this as "sad" since it more often than naught something irrelevant, based on my poor layman's understanding of events and also outside of the design intent of the game, but there you go. A niggle is a niggle.

As mentioned, my issue dealt with American recruitment. I was questioning the ability of the US player to spring an army of between one and three CUs seemingly out of the middle of the countryside which would have the same hitting power of an equal number of British CUs.

Now, I am no Anglophile per se and this is not meant as a slight to the American troops from the AWI, but we are comparing trained British infantry to seemingly quickly raised American units and yet they have the same ability given equal CUs. Hmmm....I know, I know...there is the British Regular +1 combat bonus that exists until they lose 3 CUs in one battle else through card play. Also, a "battle" in game terms may not represent a single event a la the European battlefield, but rather more of a brief guerilla campaign whereby training may not matter as much. Despite all that, it still left me feeling slightly icky.

I first attempted to justify it by thinking that one British army CU represented less men so perhaps that allowed for equalization.

However, Nate's point is one that I had not thought of and it helps me with my issue. The US player recruits at the cost of one OP per CU whereas the British player recruits at one OP per any number of available CUs. It is indeed more costly for the US player to field that recruited CU. Perhaps it could be justified that the higher cost represents more effort (ie resources, time, etc) towards training? This would mean that the American and British units are at or near parity regarding training, which means that one US CU is indeed the equivalent of one British CU and my issue melts away.

Ahhhhh....

Sorry for being rambly. I am sort of thinking this through "out loud" as it were.
5 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Judd Vance
United States
Wichita
Kansas
flag msg tools
Every Man a (K-State) Wildcat!
badge
"Just get that sucka to the designated place at the designated time and I will gladly designate his ass...for dismemberment!" - Sho Nuff.
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
You hit there at the end, also ... that "army" melts away at the end of turn.

On turn 2, the British spend 1 OPS card in order to get 8 CUs on the board and a top-notch general.

As the Americans, you spend a pair of 3 OPS cards in order to get 6 CUs (probably with a +1 disadvantage) and 2 ham-and-eggers (because Arnold has probably been put out on the board in the first turn).

If both players did this at on the final card play(s) of the turn, at the start of 1777, the British still have 8 CUs and the General. The Americans have lost 1/3 of those troops.

The quality of troops you are getting are lower and costs more. It's asymmetrical.

And why can't the Brits play more than 1 card per turn? That multi-thousand mile supply line that they have to manage, and it costs more to train and ship one of their units. Meanwhile, the Americans can recruit local yokels from the countryside and bring them in quickly, like they did at Saratoga, or throughout the south, to quickly rise up, grab their hunting rifle, and help fight.

It's not an exact simulation, but it captures the general concepts nicely.
6 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Nate Merchant
United States
New York
New York
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Yeah, the recruitment isn't that big of a deal, it just feels "off" to me. I forget how it was handled in WtP. It just seems that the formula should be that the Americans pay less but get unreliable, not very good troops who melt away in winter. The Brits pay more but get experienced, formed infantry. In fact, I have no issues with how the Americans recruit, especially twice and anywhere, it's really just the British, which, as I said, feels off.

None of these niggles stop it from being a good game, mind, except they tend to burrow under the skin...angry
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Judd Vance
United States
Wichita
Kansas
flag msg tools
Every Man a (K-State) Wildcat!
badge
"Just get that sucka to the designated place at the designated time and I will gladly designate his ass...for dismemberment!" - Sho Nuff.
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
FYI, We the People used the exact same method for recruiting. (The Brits could play 1 reinforcement per turn (any OPS card) and bring in up to 1 general and up to all of the CUs in the reinforcement box, while the Americans can bring in CUs equal to the OPS value, along with 1 general, and do it twice). The difference was that the Americans only lost troops due in winter attrition by the same rules the Brits did.

In theory, it didn't matter, because historically, Washington did not find good winter quarters (Morristown, NJ and Valley Forge, PA), but you could "game" the system, by getting everybody in quarters, and by bringing in 6 CUs per turn, you would overwhelm the Brits with numbers, and in reality, that NEVER came close to happening.

Even after the Brits lost the regulars advantage (Von Stuben in the winter of 1777-78), if the Americans lined up near equivalent troops as the British, their troops were inferior (Guilford Courthouse).

Also, in We the People, you could get reckless with Rochambeu. If he lost troops, you just added American CUs. Now, if you mix them, attrition hits the French.

So to answer your question, the same thing that bothers you now would have bothered you then. To me, Washington's War is superior in every way to We the People (unless one of Mr. Herman's new rules costs me the game -- and then I moan and groan ) What I have seen, those who disagree only disagree on the combat system -- they preferred the battle cards. I haven't seen a lot of folks saying any of these statements:

I really miss those attrition rules
I don't like the Operations Queue because I prefer my British generals to be stuck for the entire turn
I liked having the French come in with the play of a single card, rather than having to earn it (since getting Hortalez 3 times and Franklin is highly unlikely). Something was just wrong with them coming in on 1775.
7 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Len K
United States
Westford
Massachusetts
flag msg tools
badge
It was 50 years ago today.
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Fantastic review. I wish more reviews were like this. Have some GG!

I played WTP back in the day and just picked up a copy of WW to play with my wife, this was really helpful.
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Severus Snape
Canada
flag msg tools
Pascal said, "The eternal silence of these infinite spaces terrifies me."
badge
"The heart has its reasons which reason knows nothing of."--Pascal
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Sho Nuff, don't get me started! I am thumbing this because you wrote it and its well written, not because of the wasted space that is WW. gulp shake gulp yuk

goo

1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.