“We have met the enemy and they are ours.” — Oliver Hazard Perry,
Hey folks and welcome to another Game Time Decision! This week we have up for consideration a game that takes us on a bit of a historical trip. 1812 The Invasion of Canada from Academy Games doesn’t require a degree in Military History to play yet it will leave you feeling like a grizzled field commander ready to take the field again and again.
From the Website: The year is 1812. Great Britain and her allies are battling Napoleon for control of Europe. In response to British seizure of American ships and goods, the young United States declares war on Britain and invades Canada. You and up to 4 other players take command of the armies of the British Redcoats, Canadian Militia, and Native Americans, or of the American Regulars and American Militia to decide the fate of the Americas. The action takes place on a huge historically accurate map that spans the United States and Canada from Detroit to Montreal. Players from each faction cooperate to gain control of key towns and forts.
1812 features fast, intuitive and fun gameplay that involves teamwork and strategic planning in a historic and educational setting. This is THE GAME for people who want an enjoyable and manageable introduction to historic/conflict based games.
From RTHG Staff (Brandon): The thing I love about Academy Game’s Birth of a Nation series of games is that their historical aesthetic is very well done yet the games are not so drenched in minutiae that they take forever to play. Granted, there are certain games or IPs for which I LOVE the most exhausting level of detail possible, I just don’t think it would have served this series very well. Sometimes quick and easy is good!
I’ve played 2 of the 3 games in this series with 1775 being my first and I find that 1812 is my favorite of the two. The deciding factor for me was the inclusion and manner of incorporation of the Native American force in the game which plays as its own, wily entity. It also allows the game to be played by up to 5 players as well with players controlling Regulars and Militia respectively on both the British and American sides plus a player with the Native Americans (fighting alongside the British and Canadians).
The combat is very neat and tidy in that you roll a number of dice based on which types (Regular, Militia or Native) are present at the battle site. The number of dice is limited and not all dice have the same chance of dealing a killing blow (Regulars, for instance, have the best shot at taking out an enemy) which presents several rounds of combat in larger battles. Commanders have to weigh in those onslaughts if they should fall back and regroup or see it out to the bitter end.
The game plays with each faction having a set of cards that provide movement options as well as combat bonuses. Players shuffle then draw 3 cards and plan their course of action accordingly.
1812 lists an hour and a half to play and that’s about right even if it’s your first time. There are a limited number of turns and additionally there are Treaty Cards that which when one side has two on the table it triggers end game. Fun, Fast playing, and Factual, 1812 The Invasion of Canada is one of the best strategic decisions you can make!