This was a solo attempt to learn Washington’s War in the hope that plays of Wilderness War and Unhappy King Charles (which use a similar system) may then get off the ground. I have tried Unhappy King Charles with Nick over Vassal, but it just never really took off, so hopefully going back to the re-implementation of the game which spawned these other two games (which I am quite keen to play) will do the trick. I have also lined up a Vassal game of Wilderness War against Gary of the Sgt Steiner blog http://sgtsteiner.blogspot.co.uk/ which should start soon, so a refresher on the system seemed to be a good idea.
Last (and not least), the play time for Washington’s War is listed as 90 minutes(!), but even if it takes double this we could easily fit it in our 4-5 hour window for face-to-face play. The components of this new edition of “We the People” are really nice – a mounted board and thicker counters as well as a full colour rulebook and playbook make it a lovely game to look at.
I found that, as with “Unhappy King Charles”, the emphasis is just as much on political control as on military victory, and control of the colonies (that’s the track on the right hand side of the photo above) is important to victory. I found that side of the game a bit like “Twilight Struggle” – you can’t just ignore what the other side is doing control-wise as even after a few card-plays you may find yourself too far behind in a colony to catch up. That said, I did play out quite a few battles as I was learning the game.
A surprising thing for me was that you have to roll for each commander at the beginning of each battle to see if you can use their full battle rating. This combined with the battle total being augmented by a single dice roll can lead to unpredictable results – but then a lot of AWI battles didn’t go according to form, so this seems fair enough. It also make you reluctant to participate in a battle unless you have overwhelming odds, as a single defeat can sometimes be catastrophic.
I really enjoyed this run-through, so I think we’ll be playing this game after we have caught up on our figures games. Next up is another Field of Battle Napoleonic at the end of July, then I’ve got plans for games of “Maurice” and “Muskets and Tomahawks” – I’ve also just ordered a copy of “A World Aflame” Spanish Civil War rules from Empress Miniatures, so I’ll be trying to finish painting my Moors before they arrive in August – a challenge to be sure having not lifted a paint brush since February!