Thursday, April 6, 2017

DON'T CALL ME SHIRLEY

     Okay, well that was boring as hell. You can see by the pic below that turn 12 or 13 (or whatever it was) looks a lot like turn 1.

Wake me when this thing starts...
     From an historical perspective, I appreciate the inaction. But even the historically-minded can only take so much. The strategic thrust of the scenario (King George's War, if you remember) is really quite simple. As the British, do nothing until your fleet arrives (no sooner than turn 7), then use it to invade Louisburg. Once that is taken (it's guaranteed), use your provincial infantry to take Crown Point by turn 27, garrison it with a regular unit, and it's game over.
     Unfortunately for me Gov Shirley missed Initiative roll after Initiative roll, meaning no amphibious invasion of Louisburg. When he did succeed, he rolled a 1 in combat and had to skedaddle back to Boston. 
     It's a learning scenario, a sort of "value-added" thing, according to the game's designer. Game designers need to be careful about these value-added deals. I made that mistake way back when with my computer game Combat Command. It came with a butt-load of scenarios. Just because I could, I threw in a little throw-away that took place around Heraklion in Crete. If I recall, it was virtually impossible for the Germans to win. But what the hell? The game came with some massive and varied scenarios covering Sicily, Italy, the Ardennes, D-Day etc etc. Little did I know that this little throw-away became the focal point of whatever AAR's players posted, probably just because it was a small learning scenario. Long story short, it didn't really highlight the strength of the game. I never dreamed anybody would actually, you know, play it.
     Such is the sad case of the King George's War scenario (and the War of Jenkins' Ear scenario, too, for that matter). New players are likely to try it first due to it's relatively small size -- and it leaves a bad taste in one's mouth.
     I've had similar misgivings about miniatures rules that don't include decent scenarios, or scenarios at all. If you like historical battles, you have to design them yourself. Every game then becomes a discouraging playtest session that doesn't exactly highlight the strengths of the game in question.
     In the End of Empire Designer's Notes, the designer says his favorite scenario is the Main French and Indian War scenario. So I've set that up. No more messing around. I'm going straight to the best now.
F&I War, using only the north map. Note all the reinforcements on the TRT. Hopefully, this scenario is a little more exciting than the KGW.

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