Monday's mail brought me a copy of the new game 1812: The Invasion of Canada by Academy Games. The game is a Risk-style area control game with card-driven activation and dice reminiscent of Borg designs. I took it out to Bruce's for our usual "off-Tuesday" games and we managed to learn the rules and fight the game to conclusion in 68 minutes.
Here you can see the opening moves and the British have punched south through the Niagara Penisula. This was mostly to spoil an expected American attack and gain some victory points quickly. The game can end any time after the third round of play, depending on how the cards shake out and what the players do so an early lead can be helpful.
In retrospect, this may have been overly aggressive as the Americans punch back by mid game. It did, however, focus the American attention on the Niagara frontier and meant there were few troops to be spared for adventures in Michigan.
There was quite a fight on the south side of the St. Lawrence and the Americans eventually managed to capture Montreal (ack!). In the meantime, the British looped around the far side of Lake Erie and drove south. I think we were both quite aggressive in the game and the final outcome was a narrow British victory. You have to watch that Bruce because he is cagey!
Overall, an interesting game. One level more granular than Columbia Games' War of 1812. The dice mechanics are fascinating, forcing very difficult and often counter-intuitive choices about casualties. The cards work well. We both thought that this might be one of the few games that actually works better with five players (so there is some intra-team bargaining) than with two players. But the dice mechanics are very tight and compelling.
Up next: I've finished replanting my trees and they are drying. And I have some 1/600 ships ready to prime. I'll be a bit quiet this next bit as I attend to a couple of other engagements.