A random series of articles on war gaming in 40K, FOW and other systems. The headings are, WiP; Conversions and models in various states of assembly. PiP; Paint works on various models. Mission Critical; scenarios or missions to bring a bit of a twist to a normal game. MiA; rules for units and characters that could/should/might appear in a game. Dig In; How to guides on making various types of terrain for different game systems. Sit Rep; Battle reports and after action reports on games played

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Let's play: Wilderness war

A walk in the Wilderness (war)

My interest in French and Indian wars goes strategic as I picked up a copy of Wilderness War by GMT games.  Something designed by an CIA analyst might be interesting. In effect I move from being a captain or low level officer to the governor general controlling the fate the British or French forces in the struggle for the new world.  

The game ticks a couple of boxes. As a setting the French Indian war has a lot going for it. At Operation (board game) level fast but fragile french forces are engaging ponderous but tough British forces. Plus external factors can influence the game, some like french sending raiding parties in enemy territory to throw the British off guard the players can influences. While others like when reinforcements arrive the players have less influence. It means there is a lot going and players have the option of playing the long game, building up resources for something nasty later in the game.

hmm, what to do activate units or damage your opponent
A plus point for me is it features X dimension card based mechanics*.  A bit like Bolt Action and Musket and Tomahawks where players play a card or pluck a dice to activate a unit. With X dimension cards the activation(card pulled) can trigger one of several events the challenge is which options do you take and how do you build your hand into a coherent strategy to overcome your opponent.  Case in point during our first run of the game I pulled a smallpox event card. I could activate up to three low level units or a single high level unit or play the event to damage a concentration of enemy units.  Cackling like an evil genius my first card of my first game was a smallpox event which decimated the french force staging at Montreal.  Feeling satisfying smug I relax to ponder my next move. The only hiccup in an otherwise flawless play was that the card was the only card my hand that allowed me to activate the high level units.  The rest of the turn was spent trying to plug gaps with low level units while the big hitters sat twiddling their fingers. Suffice to say with hindsight I should have played it differently.
British and French force begins to concentrate around Ticonderoga 

Another interest for me is way back when (2010, in the issue 21 of battlegames magazine) Bob Barnetson and Bruce MacFarlane wrote an article on how to convert boardgames into wargames campaign. One of the games they reference belongs in the same family as wilderness war so it should be possible to leverage their article to run a campaign.  At the time I mentally filed it under the cool but impractical. It did not fit in with what I thought were the requirements for a successful wargames campaign at the time. But now it may be worth re-visiting. Use Muskets and tomahawks for raids and some big battle rulebook (Blackpowder or Maurice) for the larger engagements.  I am looking to getting in a few more games to se how the games works in more depth.

That is all for now thanks for stopping by

*trademark pending

1 comment:

Frank O'Donnell said...

That seems a fun game mate & I think would match in with your other games for doing a campaign.

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