I decided to break the curse using Liberty, an easy to play block game by Columbia Games.
1775 - Not much happened the first year. Both sides built up forces. The British did try to attack Baltimore, but were repulsed by General Arnold and his forces.
|The War Begins|
|An Early Attack on Baltimore|
1776 - Both sides built up and reinforced.
1777 - The war begins to heat up as the British take Philadelphia in a decisive battle. Meanwhile, Gates attacks Carleton at Ticonderoga and takes a beating, leaving the fort in British hands. Arnold tries to retake Philly but fails. Essential the British were taking a two prong approach: attack from the North and take the Middle Colonies. I really did not bother much with New England or the Northeast. My goal was to divide the American forces between north and south and then start cutting supply.
|The British Push for the Middle Colonies|
1778 - The British were real close to winning and gave a grand push to try to wrap things up before the French entered the war. As it was, with the French out of the war, the British were able to leave the West Indies open. In the opening move, the British attacked Baltimore, Yorktown, and New Brunswick while the Americans attacked Ticonderoga. All four attacks succeeded, leaving Britain in control of the middle colonies, and the Americans in control of Ticonderoga and the North. At this point, the British had enough points to win, but the Americans countered by retaking New Brunswick and then taking St. John's. In an interesting twist, Washington ended up in the North while Gates ended up in New Jersey. The turn ended with the British having 26 VPs and no French entry.
|Washington Moves North|
1780 - This was definitely an exciting year. The Americans took Quebec and shored up the south in an effort to prevent the British from winning. They then attacked NYC and Boston, taking Boston, but losing to the British at the battle of NYC. The British took Springfield, setting them up for a gaming winning push against Hartford and Boston. They managed to retake Boston, but lost at Hartford. The war would continue another year, and without the French. (Really? Six rolls and I can't get an 8 or higher?)
1781-83 - With only three years left in the war, both sides shifted gears. Previously, the British had been attacked high-value targets while the Americans were doing the opposite. At this point in the war, the British started picking up a number of smaller VP targets, effectively using their heretofore unused Indian allies. The Americans, on the other hand, in an attempt to concentrate their forces and prevent the British from winning, started attacking higher-value targets like NYC. They also made a move in the South to prevent the British from winning a southern strategy. The French never would enter the war and the British flirted with 30 VPs the entire last three turns. At the end of 1782 I realized they could have won had they taken Ft. Pitt with the Shawnee. The British managed to get just 30 VPs at the end of 1783 to win the game.
|The British Closing in on the Americans for the Win|
1) I played the cards randomly.
2) I often forgot to roll for weather effects. I'm sure that would have impacted the game.
3) French intervention is CRITICAL. While it's possible for the Americans to win without the French (as they almost did this game), it is very difficult. Same with the British, I don't see how they can win if the French intercede. The British have to hit hard and hit early. I would actually like to see some modified French roll based on the year...the longer the game goes, the easier it would be to bring them in and vice-versa. It would reflect real-life where the French waiting for a while...or maybe base it on British/American VPs?
4) I think too often I would fight until the end--all three rounds or until one side was eliminated. In hindsight, knowing now how hard it is to replace units, I would have fought more limited engagements.
5) The British need to make use of their Indian forces. I kept them in stasis most of the game, but they made a difference in the end.
Was the curse broken? Only time will tell. I have won two games of Power Grid since then, but that game doesn't involve dice.
It's a fun game and I'm looking forward to playing this again--maybe even with a real person.
Happy Gaming! Roll well and live!