A long while ago, or at least it seems so now, I pre-ordered Washington’s War from GMT. It’s the first time I’ve ever signed onto something on the P500. Now at the time I ordered it I was loving the Civil War themed For The People. When looking up the designer of FtP, Mark Herman, I came across We The People. I wanted to give it a try, but due to it being OOP and expensive I never picked it up. Someone though pointed me in the direction of Washington’s War which was being worked on so I decided to take the plunge.
A few months later though I got the chance to play Hannibal: Rome Vs Carthage and We The People. I took a dislike to both games because there seemed to be very little going on, other then area control. I didn’t particularly dislike the battlecards, although they did have some problems. But the game themselves tended to be a lot of time placing and flipping control markers and very little war. I was tempted to cancel my order but I decided to hold out.
Today I couldn’t be any happier I did. First off, visually, the components will just blow you away. Its obvious that GMT put a lot of money and work into the game. The map itself is massive, and every section has some useful information on it. The cards are nice, the Rulebook and Playbook were in color which is a first for me.
I broke it out and gave it a play on my table. Although I made some rule mistakes, along with some awful dice rolls for the Americans (of course) it was fun. The first turn was really all about placing PCs, but the rest of the game involved a lot more battles and movement then I was used to with WtP or H:RvC. Battles are decided by DRM (dice roll modification) now. While the British naturally get a +1 for their regulars and another +1 due to the Royal Navy while in port, the Americans have chances to counter that based on colonial control where the battle takes place (+1 to the controller) and the Americans with a Leader can retreat before battle.
Now onto the basics of the game before I get ahead of myself. For the most part there are cards worth 1,2 or 3 operations points. There are also cards for special events but we’ll get to that. With the Operation cards you can either move a leader of an equivalent rating (a 1 can move a 1, a 2 can move a 1 or a 2 and so on) place an equivalent political control marker depending on restrictions or bring in reinforcements. There are also event cards for each side. Since the cards are side specific you can’t play them if they are for the other side. But in the past you had to discard them. Now you can discard them but flip a PC, or you can use them to add to your DRM before a battle. Using them in a battle allows you to draw another card. Discarding does not, but it does allow the other player to discard a card in order to pick up the event.
When you battle you go through a checklist to see where you can gain DRM. It’s rather easy. First off if there are any Generals you roll to see if they get to use their whole rating. A roll of 1-3 cuts that rating in half, a roll of 4-6 allows them to use it. You then add the number of CUs to each sides DRM with the General’s rating. The British can gain +1 for their regulars no matter where they are (but they can lose this +1 during the game). They also gain a +1 if they are in a port and the French Navy isn’t blockading. Either side can gain another +1 if the colony the battle is taking place in is loyal to their side. The Americans can also gain a +1 if it was an intercept. You add up the DRMs, roll a six sided dice and if the Attacker is equal or more then the Defenders, the attacker wins. The Defender must retreat (British in port can retreat via sea anywhere) and you roll for losses. The most the attacking side can lose is one CU. Each American Victory moves the French one spot closer to Alliance. If the Americans cause the British to lose 3 CUs, then the British lose their Regular bonus and the French marker moves 3 spaces.
I took pictures during play, but because of bad lighting half of them came out blurry, so I’m going to just add them to this post as a gallery. They should go in the order I took them so you might get a feel for some of the battle. Basically the Brits just destroyed everything I sent to the South, and Bendict Arnold not being able to move south and re-inforce the small army there decided the game. In short, here’s my view.
Wonderful Production Quality
Much tighter game
More fighting and less positioning
Operations Que means you can save up OPs
New Discard rules allow a lot more flexibility
The Map is massive and full of information
The 50/50 Chance that a General might not live up to his ability.
Lack of flavor to a lot of cards (They just read off 1 Op/2 Op/3 Op)
Low amount of event cards (half a deck out of 2 decks)
Fortified Ports/Winter Quarters have no effect on battles
Trust me though, the Cons are nothing that should keep you away from this great game. I’d recommend it for anyone looking for a grand strategic game of the Revolutionary War.