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1812: The Invasion of Canada» Forums » Reviews

Subject: A light operational level wargame with a Canadian perspective rss

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Moshe Callen
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1. Introduction

This review is presented in the fresh enthusiasm of a new game. I have played each scenario once and concede that the possibility exists that I may well misunderstand aspects of the game. Yet I remain confident that I have not made any fundamental errors. I am still working on a deep strategic perspective on gameplay but I feel that the rules are simple enough that I already have the idea of the basic principles, even if I cannot claim to have mastered their application.

I received the game from a kind BGG user (who I'll not name lest I embarrass him) who felt he had offended badly enough to wish to send me a peace offering, and he seemed offended when I tried to demur. So, my thanks again to that user. The game arrived just prior to the beginning of the holiday of Sukkot which is currently ongoing. The new game added to the joy of the holiday season.

My initial impression of the game was mild disappointment but I find that the more I play the game the more I begin to like it. First, I played the introductory scenario, and then the full 1812 scenario. Finally I played the 1813 scenario. For two games I was sitting on the American side of the board, and for the last the Canadian or British side.

The game, especially its portrayal of relevant history, must be admitted to be presented markedly from the Canadian perspective-- as opposed to the American. The designers are after all Canadian. While I do not consider North America "home", I did attend US schools as a boy. The attempted invasion of Canada in the War of 1812 was hardly ignored, and was indeed portrayed as a ill-fated attempt (based on an unrealistic perspective) to rally Canadians against British overlordship. One may think of this then contemporary American view as similar to that in which the armies of Napoleon at first were seen as bringing the freedom and equality of the French revolution (seen as a good thing) to the rest of Europe. Yet, unequivocally the British were portrayed as the aggressors (albeit not militarily yet in every other way) and as treating the young United States as essentially renegade provinces so that its sovereign rights were wantonly and routinely ignored. Reference to the War of 1812 as a "second War of Independence" stems from this characterization of its causes. Yet, while the term is mentioned in the historical discussion of the rules booklet, the history as portrayed on the game's cards and in the summary of the relevant history, sole blame is placed on US expansionism. Cards mentioning legendary deeds of locals are entirely on the British/Canadian side. Indeed, the game title 1812: The Invasion of Canada should serve as a clue that this game does not attempt an unbiased or neutral presentation of the hitory, and that the bias is markedly pro-Canadian. By no means should this aspect of the game put anyone off buying it; indeed for those unfamiliar with the Canadian view of the history, the presentation of the conflict should act as an impetus to get the game if anything. Still, being so inured to the nearly ubiquitous pro-US slant of most wargames in which the US is portrayed, the different take at first threw me for a loop.

As I try to describe my initial reaction of mild disappointment in the game, I find specifying what led to that reaction difficult. Perhaps I was simply expected a richer deeper game whose strategic intricacies would take more time to fathom than this light game. Yet after three plays, I wonder if I am not giving short-shrift to the depth of this game. That being said, I would suggest the lightness of this game should not put off die-hard wargamers. Whereas some games take many plays until one feels one "gets" what's going on, this game comes across as one where one immediately knows what one needs to do albeit not necessarily the best notion of exactly how to proceed. That impression appears not to be entirely incorrect, but at the same time each player has so many options on a turn that the game ought not be dismissed as simple. Its complexity nevertheless lies in tactics and overall strategy, not in the rules.

One should note that, not unexpectedly for a Canadian oriented game, this one is available in both French and English editions.

2. Rules and components overview

The point here is not to detail all the rules, but rather to present just enough to understand the discussion of gameplay.


The board portrays the area of North America surrounding Lakes Ontario and Erie (plus a piece of Lake Huron) eastward as far as Montreal and southward to a bit of Pennsylvania and upper New York. A compass rose decorates one corner of the board and show that the north-south axis crosses the board at a marked angle. An equally decorative logo depicts the American eagle and Canadian lion holding a shield emblazoned with the legend "The War of 1812"; if the image is not traditional (as I assume it is although I do not recognize it), it certainly pretends well to be. The other two areas of the board other than the map itself are purely functional: one is for storing units which flee in battle and the other for marking turn order and game rounds. The board is designed for American player(s) to sit on one side of the board and British/Canadian player(s) to sit on the opposite side. Both players or sets of players see the information on their home territories as right-side up. In reality, this feature makes no difference in gameplay as not all territories are named in any case and golden stars mark objectives. Yet, I find this aspect of the board annoying because my eye automatically expects all names to be either right-side up or upside down. Instead, neither player or set of players gets a consistent perspective on the board.

The game comes with three scenarios. The main 1812 scenario and introductory scenarios use starting units marked on the board, although the latter also adds a number of units. The placement of units for the third (1813) scenario are solely in the rules booklet. Perhaps because the little squares (depicting the wooden cubes used for units) are drawn small, I find myself having to hunt the board relentlessly to see if I miss any units at the start of each game.While the idea is great, in practice it seems unfriendly to those of us with poor vision. On that note, this game is not friendly to those who are color-blind because all units are marked with painted wooden cubes either red, green, yellow, white or blue. Depending on the type of colorblindness, a player may not be able to distinguish units on the board which is critical for playing the game.

The object in all scenarios is to control more enemy home objectives at the end of the game. Those objectives are marked with double-sided control markers.

The game has two sides but five factions, and in principle each faction can be played by a different person. This need for cooperation is a fundamental part of the game. If players on the same side do not work together, they will almost certainly lose the game. Each faction has its own set of units, battle dice and set of 12 cards which reflect that faction's strengths and weaknesses.


In principle the card backs and dice are the same color as the units used, but the yellow cards seem to me more a hideous share of yellowish brown than properly brown. Again, this ought make no difference to gameplay.

The number of units and dice differs with each faction. Both sides have regular army and militia factions and a Native American faction supports the British. Here again, the Canadian perspective shows through clearly, not just in the use on the cards of the purely Canadian term "First Nations" (which seems to have various political associations in Canada) but in the fact that by implication all non-neutral Native Americans are portrayed as pro-British. This is simply not the case, albeit more Native American peoples sided with the British, the divisions on which side if either to support were marked and deep.

Battle dice have three possible results, and the ratio of these results varies with the faction. Hits obviously remove enemy units from the board and return them to the player's stock. "Flee" causes one of one's own units to be temporarily removed from the board although it does not return to the stock. Blanks sides represent "command decisions" by which is meant the decision to withdraw a unit or not. Who rolls battle dice first is determined by whose home territory the battle occurs in, and the number and type of dice used reflects the actual units on the board. Combat is not simultaneous.

The cards come in two types, "movement" cards and "special" cards. Truce cards are movement cards which play a special role in the game. Movement cards depict how many armies (all units in a given territory which move together regardless of faction) can be moved on a turn and how far.

Some movement cards allow armies to move by water as well. (Another quibble about the game is that the boundaries of sections of water are not so easy to see, especially for those of us with poor vision.)

The "special" cards give a faction a special ability on a turn and the cards depict history of the era.

The American regular army faction's special cards are "war hawks", "publication ban", "forced march" (with notable aggression) and "William Harrison" (whose ability reflects an aggressive general). The British regular army faction's special cards portray a Canadian hero who valiantly died in battle and the discipline of the British troops-- the only faction which never flees in battle.

Turn order is random by the draw of a blank colored die from a bag. The player whose faction color is drawn takes a turn before any other die is drawn. The sole exception is that in the main 1812 scenario the American regular army faction starts the first round.

At the start of a turn, each faction places units in either one or two recruitment centers marked on the board. Here again this can be annoying. For example, at first I missed the second Canadian militia recruitment center but only found it after searching the board many times. At these centers a certain number of recruited units plus any units which previously fled in battle are placed at the start of a turn.

The game finishes at the end of the round whenever all factions on a given side or both sides have played their truce card. This card is each faction's strongest movement card but one must be circumspect using it.

3. Gameplay

I was frankly astonished to see the discussions in the forums contending a lack of balance in the game. My own opinion is that the designers handled the problem of unequal numbers of factions and amount of territory remarkably well. Everything is based on lowest common denominators mathematically. For example, at the opening of the main scenario, first the three British factions each add four units at their discretion and then the two American factions each add six. The Americans recruit more units and have more units per faction in stock (slightly) but have farther to go to get to enemy territory and more home objectives to protect. The American also move farther per card typically but again not overwhelmingly so. The total movement per side, not per faction, tends to be roughly even. Canadian recruitment occurs essentially at the area of conflict whereas American recruitment occurs well behind the lines. Canadian territory consists largely of a single chain of areas across the top of the board, but American home territory has several layers. Thus, the American player(s) need more units for defense.

The ability of Native American units to "withdraw" into any unoccupied adjacent territory lets them exit a battle to any nearby territory the American player(s) have foolishly left empty; in other words, they can take over empty territory behind enemy lines. Similarly movement by water implies that all coastal territories are always vulnerable.

Key to being able to move an army is having units of any given faction in that army. Each player can only move an army of a turn if at least one unit of his or her faction is in the army. Thus, as mentioned above, players on a given side must cooperate. Losses need to be distributed or a surviving army may find its movement severely limited.

When considering where to move an army, one should recall that the number of home objectives controlled by the enemy does not matter so long as one's own side controls more enemy home objectives. Of course, depriving the enemy of previously taken territories is an excellent way of gaining numerical superiority once one does actually have objectives taken across the border. This tactic is all the easier since each side rolls battle dice first in its own home territory.

Finally the geography creates roughly three sections of the board because land borders occur roughly at either end and in the middle of the board. The temptation to depopulate areas on the water becomes all too real as units are stretched thin. Doing so can lead to nasty consequences.

The result is a game that does not strike me as requiring too much deep or heavy thinking but which can be quite fun. If one is looking for a heavy wargame, this one will not fit the bill, but at the same time the depth is more than either Risk and even Axis & Allies (both of which I like).
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Mike Szarka
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Nice review. One comment on your synopsis of the history: the American expectation that the populace would rise up was not as fanciful as it may seem. A very large fraction of the inhabitants of Upper Canada were born American, and only moved to Canada based on enticements of cheap land. As it happens, some did flock to the American cause; but as in so many other conflicts, the brutality and property theft of invading forces alienated the locals, and in the end made them far more "Canadian" than they were before the war.

The idea that this was a "second war of independence" is based on the American irritation with the British naval blockade against continental Europe and the impressment of British deserters from American ships (admitting that the British definition of "deserters" was pretty loose). The thing is, this would have mostly affected the New England states, and these remained steadfastly opposed to the war throughout its course. The infamous "war hawks" were largely from the west. So different motivations were involved.
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Ernest S
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Great review!

I enjoy this game a lot. I like the "light" rules but "deeper" tactical approach taken by the designers. I've always had a lot of fun playing this game.

I also find the actual war itself intriguing: the motivations; the timings involved in both the initiation and the cessation of the war; the various allegiances taken by the ‘common’ folks & the native/first peoples. I also think the cards and dice in the game do a reasonable job of displaying some of these factors. Example: the militia runs away far more quickly than the regulars… and the British never run away; or the cards that allow some armies to change allegiance before a battle – it’s all quite thematic.


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"Indeed, the game title 1812: The Invasion of Canada should serve as a clue that this game does not attempt an unbiased or neutral presentation of the hitory, and that the bias is markedly pro-Canadian."

Or, maybe the title accurately reflects the exclusion of other areas of operation.
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Moshe Callen
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mcszarka wrote:
Nice review. One comment on your synopsis of the history: the American expectation that the populace would rise up was not as fanciful as it may seem. A very large fraction of the inhabitants of Upper Canada were born American, and only moved to Canada based on enticements of cheap land. As it happens, some did flock to the American cause; but as in so many other conflicts, the brutality and property theft of invading forces alienated the locals, and in the end made them far more "Canadian" than they were before the war.

The idea that this was a "second war of independence" is based on the American irritation with the British naval blockade against continental Europe and the impressment of British deserters from American ships (admitting that the British definition of "deserters" was pretty loose). The thing is, this would have mostly affected the New England states, and these remained steadfastly opposed to the war throughout its course. The infamous "war hawks" were largely from the west. So different motivations were involved.
Yes, about a third (very roughly) of the population was US-born but the US perception of the British was in my mind unrealistic. The Declaration of Independence for example entirely blames the mad king George III and painted him a tyrant. Yes in reality all real power rested with Parliament at whose sufferance kings sat since the restoration after the Cromwells. True, a monarch could influence Parliament via personal prestige but that was the extent of royal power. The US War of Independence had been no Revolution for democracy but a simple tax revolt-- with the important exception that the American colonists had felt they deserved the same rights as citizens back in Britain-- hence the slogan "No taxation without representation." That sentiment was by no means universal. British subjects in Canada did not feel they had less rights than subjects in England, Scotland or Wales just because they did not have direct official representatives sitting in Parliament. Thus, in Canada there was no widespread resentment toward the British to be drawn upon.

To make an analogy, my wife is Irish in that she was born and raised in Dublin; my mother in law still lives there. Now the popular portrayal of Irish history in the US was that the oppressive British brutally conquered and ruthlessly suppressed the Irish until they valiantly forced their independence. Yet to my Irish wife that view is an extremist Republican view. On the other hand, the extremist Unionist view is that Ireland had be so well integrated into the United Kingdom that the Irish War of Independence is best regarded as a British civil war. The truth then is somewhere in the middle.

The point of the analogy is that both the Canadian and the American (or US more precisely) view have large elements of truth in them.
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Moshe Callen
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Sunray11 wrote:
"Indeed, the game title 1812: The Invasion of Canada should serve as a clue that this game does not attempt an unbiased or neutral presentation of the hitory, and that the bias is markedly pro-Canadian."

Or, maybe the title accurately reflects the exclusion of other areas of operation.
Can it not do both?
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Dennis Ku
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This quickly became my favourite game. I find it to be quite deep, actually. Simple rules, yet I find that the combination of dice (adding some randomness) and the multitude of attack points makes it endlessly replayable.

Of course, I've never played a heavy wargame, so those looking for that kind of game will definitely be disappointed.
 
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Mike Szarka
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futhee wrote:
This quickly became my favourite game. I find it to be quite deep, actually. Simple rules, yet I find that the combination of dice (adding some randomness) and the multitude of attack points makes it endlessly replayable.

Of course, I've never played a heavy wargame, so those looking for that kind of game will definitely be disappointed.

Not necessarily; even us grognards need some lighter games in our collection, and there aren't many that are fast-moving and compatible for more than two players.

PS awesomely cute kitty.
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Mark Kwasny
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whac3 wrote:

Yes, about a third (very roughly) of the population was US-born but the US perception of the British was in my mind unrealistic.

Many families in Canada, especially the area of modern Ontario, were families that fled the US during the Revolutionary War. They saw the War of 1812 a chance at some revenge against the hated US!

whac3 wrote:
The Declaration of Independence for example entirely blames the mad king George III and painted him a tyrant. Yes in reality all real power rested with Parliament at whose sufferance kings sat since the restoration after the Cromwells. True, a monarch could influence Parliament via personal prestige but that was the extent of royal power.

This is not entirely true. George III had a lot of power - they had not reached the stage of the 20th century where monarchs became figureheads for the most part. They made many appointments, handed out titles, and had to accept every law created by Parliament. It was more of a shared power than it had been before the Glorious Revolution (which was the real game changer), but the king was still a driving force behind policy, especially the young George.

whac3 wrote:
The US War of Independence had been no Revolution for democracy but a simple tax revolt-- with the important exception that the American colonists had felt they deserved the same rights as citizens back in Britain-- hence the slogan "No taxation without representation."

That is not an entirely accurate depiction of the American Revolution. The American people genuinely wanted a more direct voice and control over their government than they had with a hereditary king and a Palriament that contained no colonists and allowed no colonial voting, and half of which were hereditary peers and church clergy. The rights and fears of the colonists made for a long list of ideals and principles that many colonists fought and died to achieve. Money was never the issue.

whac3 wrote:
That sentiment was by no means universal. British subjects in Canada did not feel they had less rights than subjects in England, Scotland or Wales just because they did not have direct official representatives sitting in Parliament. Thus, in Canada there was no widespread resentment toward the British to be drawn upon.

There were not that many English subjects in Canada in 1775. The European population still contained a strong contingent of French. But it is true, the European colonists in Canada wanted very little to do with the revolt from the lower 13 colonies.

The War of 1812 was seen as a second war of independence since the British government had pursued a policy since 1783 of undermining US sovereignty at every turn - in trade, impressment, occupying forts in US terriroty (though they had relinquished them back in 1795), flooding US markets to weaken efforts to develop US manufacturing, impeding US expansion by supporting Native efforts to resist, and generally doing everything they could to help the US government fail. By 1812, there was a rising groundswell of popular sentiment in the South and West of the US that a war was necessary to protect US sovereignty and pride. New Englanders on the other hand saw the economic advantages of being pro-British (continuing the former Federalist policies especially of Hamilton).
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Barton Campbell
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whac3 wrote:
The US War of Independence had been no Revolution for democracy but a simple tax revolt-- with the important exception that the American colonists had felt they deserved the same rights as citizens back in Britain-- hence the slogan "No taxation without representation."
mvkwasny wrote:

That is not an entirely accurate depiction of the American Revolution. The American people genuinely wanted a more direct voice and control over their government than they had with a hereditary king and a Parliament that contained no colonists and allowed no colonial voting, and half of which were hereditary peers and church clergy. The rights and fears of the colonists made for a long list of ideals and principles that many colonists fought and died to achieve. Money was never the issue.

Moshe, Excellent review. Mark, Very good points. However, I must take issue with one point, the American Revolution was neither "merely" a tax revolt (but what "tax revolt" ever is), nor was it just an idealistic fight for democracy. The nod to John Locke's "Life, Liberty and Property" in the young Republic's slogan, "Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness" is unmistakable. At that time wealth was considered by the educated American to be synonymous with freedom. If the state could seize your wealth how could you agitate against that seizure without funds? And if you had no wealth, like paupers and slaves, you didn't even have a free will. And if you had no free will, what was the point in giving you the vote? Vermont was the only state that instituted universal male suffrage after the revolution. In the other states, the poor and middle class were considered unfit to govern. The Stamp Tax, in turn, inadvertently targeted what should have been regarded as the Crown's most natural supporter's, lawyers and the Press. They didn't like it and they soon woke up to the realization that it was they who controlled the actual levers of public opinion and administration; the courts, government and the mass media of the day, newspapers. Yes, the revolution was a revolution over pride. As late as the 1960's we regularly called each other, "sir", as if we were English Knight's. But it was also a revolution over penny as well. In fact, there were two mutinies in the Continental Army over pay arrears. And numerous desertions by militia/minute men who had other things to do during harvest or when it got cold. To say that money was never an issue is going a bit too far. Rather, money was not the only issue, however, it was a constant issue during the entire revolution.whistle
 
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whac3 wrote:
The Declaration of Independence for example entirely blames the mad king George III and painted him a tyrant. Yes in reality all real power rested with Parliament at whose sufferance kings sat since the restoration after the Cromwells. True, a monarch could influence Parliament via personal prestige but that was the extent of royal power.
mvkwasny wrote:

This is not entirely true. George III had a lot of power - they had not reached the stage of the 20th century where monarchs became figureheads for the most part. They made many appointments, handed out titles, and had to accept every law created by Parliament. It was more of a shared power than it had been before the Glorious Revolution (which was the real game changer), but the king was still a driving force behind policy, especially the young George.
The issue over King George III is more complex. King George I, installed after the Glorious Revolution, never learned English and was an absentee monarch in every sense of the word, always more interested in his German possessions than the UK. King George III, his grandson, was the first king from his line that could speak English. He played the role of trying to regain authority in a society that had definitively shifted power to the Parliament. Yes, he had no power in the UK, however, somewhat inadvertently he did have far more power in the North American colonies, because he had the right to appoint the governor's to the Crown colonies. And he used this power to appoint some of the most incompetent court favorites you could imagine. So no, King George had no real power. However, yes, in the colonies he inadvertently did have power.
 
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bartman347 wrote:
However, I must take issue with one point, the American Revolution was neither "merely" a tax revolt (but what "tax revolt" ever is), nor was it just an idealistic fight for democracy.

Not a fight for democracy, I agree. But a fight for democratic government. THe US is not a democracy even today, but it is democratic. It was not just the wealthy who revolted - the poor also joined in the rebellion, because what little property they had was also threatened by a government in which they had no voice.

It comes down to how we want to define 'money issues.' Yes they were very concerned for their property and sources of income, because they did reflect Locke and the idea that government was instituted to protect both. But they took up arms to resist a government that claimed arbitrary and complete power over them and their property. So I would argue it was a rebellion for rights and self-determination and liberty as they saw it - the liberty to live their lives and earn their income and keep their property without undo interference from a government, and a right to have a say in how that government worked.

Now, who were the 'they'? Politics did reflect the very old idea that only land owners could vote responsibly. But even without a vote in state or national government, many lower levels of society had a say in local politics and in daily life, especially since those state and federal governments did very little to interfere with the daily lives of American citizens.

So to me, it was not an even balance between money and rights - it was almost wholeheartedly about rights and liberty and self-determination for most white colonists - and the opening of the debate at least of the idea of rights or at least freedom for African Americans.
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Dennis Ku
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mcszarka wrote:


PS awesomely cute kitty.

Why, thank you, Mike!
 
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bartman347 wrote:
So no, King George had no real power. However, yes, in the colonies he inadvertently did have power.

Agreed in part. But I think the above sentence goes too far - George III had quite a lot of power even in Great Britain. He chose the ministry and appointed what today would be called the Prime Minister. And those Ministers did a good job through the entire period of 1763-1783 of maintaining a majority in the Parliament to ensure that the king's policies were implemented. George III was neither mad nor a tyrant - he was a hands-on manager who saw the need to tighten the imperial policy and single-mindedly set about doing so. That improved efficiency in the imperial government would lead to such a violent reaction by the colonists never crossed their minds. But I would say George III had a strong guiding hand in the policies of those 20 years.
 
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mvkwasny wrote:
bartman347 wrote:
So no, King George had no real power. However, yes, in the colonies he inadvertently did have power.

Agreed in part. But I think the above sentence goes too far - George III had quite a lot of power even in Great Britain. He chose the ministry and appointed what today would be called the Prime Minister. And those Ministers did a good job through the entire period of 1763-1783 of maintaining a majority in the Parliament to ensure that the king's policies were implemented. George III was neither mad nor a tyrant - he was a hands-on manager who saw the need to tighten the imperial policy and single-mindedly set about doing so. That improved efficiency in the imperial government would lead to such a violent reaction by the colonists never crossed their minds. But I would say George III had a strong guiding hand in the policies of those 20 years.
He was indeed mad which was why the Regency Act was eventually passed. Look at the work of Barbara Tuchman and others. He had an illness which made him subjet to fits. They got worse over time. His ministers handled it for years but when he got uncontrollable, Parliament put him in his place.

As such my point that the real power was Parliament stands.
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Mark Kwasny
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His mental illness progressed, but was not a problem in the first couple decades. Yes, the last decade of his 60 year reign saw severe mental illness. But during the American crisis, he maintained a firm hand on policy and ministers.
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Moshe Callen
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mvkwasny wrote:
His mental illness progressed, but was not a problem in the first couple decades. Yes, the last decade of his 60 year reign saw severe mental illness. But during the American crisis, he maintained a firm hand on policy and ministers.
Like I say, some historians-- notably Tuchman-- argue otherwise. See her book The March of Folly.
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Mark Kwasny
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I've read it. The book was not one of her better effotrs, in fact it came off somewhat disjointed and contradictory. For the American War, I prefer more reliable sources - mostly the participants themselves.
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Barton Campbell
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bartman347 wrote:
However, I must take issue with one point, the American Revolution was neither "merely" a tax revolt (but what "tax revolt" ever is), nor was it just an idealistic fight for democracy.

mvkwasny wrote:
Not a fight for democracy, I agree.
Actually, I didn't write, "not a fight for democracy." I wrote, "not just. . . [a] fight for democracy." Big difference.
 
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Barton Campbell
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mvkwasny wrote:
bartman347 wrote:
So no, King George had no real power. However, yes, in the colonies he inadvertently did have power.

Agreed in part. But I think the above sentence goes too far - George III had quite a lot of power even in Great Britain. He chose the ministry and appointed what today would be called the Prime Minister.
So does Queen Elizabeth II today. Conclusion, no real power.
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Mark Kwasny
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bartman347 wrote:
mvkwasny wrote:
Agreed in part. But I think the above sentence goes too far - George III had quite a lot of power even in Great Britain. He chose the ministry and appointed what today would be called the Prime Minister.
So does Queen Elizabeth II today. Conclusion, no real power.

No she does not. Parties are elected, and the party with the most seats chooses the Prime Minister, though she may have a ceremonial role in that still. Parties did not choose the ministers back then - the king did. That was real power.

He could order his ministers to deny a man his seat in Parliament (Wilkes) and the minister would actually try (and at times) succeed. Elizabeth II would never dream of doing that. George III had a lot of real power still.
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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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There is still some power within a constitutional monarchy. A few years ago, when the current Canadian government was behaving in what was considered by the opposition to be a particularly arrogant and contemptuous fashion, despite only being in a minority government position, the opposition parties began talking publicly about forming a coalition to overthrow them. The Prime Minister asked the Governor General to prorogue (dissolve) the current session of parliament, purely so that they could have a chance to backtrack and recover their political position (which they did by mounting a spin campaign aimed at making Canadians believe that such a coalition would be undemocratic, which of course it would not have been).

In any event, there was real fear within the government that the G-G would not grant the request, which would have forced a vote on a money bill which the government would have lost, and the coalition could have come to power (admittedly with a very unpopular and uncharismatic leader). As it goes she did not do so, but the nature of the private conversation between the Prime Minister and the GG is still a topic of speculation and deep fascination to constitutional scholars and political watchers.
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Moshe Callen
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Yes, our president here serves the same function. The vast majority of time he's purely ceremonial but once is a great while he gets a real decision within limited parameters.
 
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Sadly, that is not how the president here works - though Constitutionally that is probably what the document intends.
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Dennis Ku
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Can we just get back to the fact that this game is super fun?



I just bought the Pierre Berton book 1812 for some background info. I'm appalled at how little I actually know about the war despite growing up in Canada.
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