Recently I was given the opportunity to check out an upcoming new game. I received a play test copy of the game along with rules for play. This is my thoughts and opinions on the presented materials. Enjoy!
1750: Britain vs. France is a game designed by Jason Huffman, published by Battle Hardened Games. It is for 2 players. In this game, players will take control of either Great Britain or France as they vie for control of their colonial empires. The player that is best able to control the most colonies will be declared the winner.
To begin, all the historic event cards are shuffled. 10 of those cards are randomly chosen and placed face down in a deck. The “Historic Events Start of Turn Draw Deck” card is placed near the deck. The “Historic Events for Purchase” card is placed near the deck with the remaining 50 cards. The Political Objectives mat is placed to the side. Each player is then given a battle deck and player mat for their chosen country with one said taking Britain and one taking France. The tokens are separated into their respective piles. Dice and export cards are placed on the table. 3 Colony cards are drawn and placed in their respective theater. The four theaters are North America, the Caribbean, Africa and India. The High Seas card is placed in the middle of the four theaters. Control of colonies is determined and control markers are placed on the respective cards. Only 3 colonies are chosen at the beginning of the game. Each player is give 3 gold to place in their treasury. They also take 2 starting cards and draw 3 historic events. The game is ready to play.
The player that took control of a colony last gets to be the first player. On their turn, they will take the following steps in order; draw one historic event, leader actions/colony rules, political objective attempt, purchases, movement, battles, place purchases and collect revenue. The first step is to draw one historic even card from the deck. These cards can be played at any time unless the card specifies a specific time.
The second step is leader actions/colony rules. Some colonies will allow you to roll a die to receive a benefit. These die rolls happen once per colony each turn. That’s what this step is all about.
The third step is political objective attempt. A player is allowed one attempt to achieve a political objective on their turn. To do this, the player selects an objective. They will then roll one die. If the die roll along with any modifiers equals or exceeds the difficulty, the political objective is a success. Modifiers can come from historic event cards or by spending gold. This must be done before the roll. The player then places their control marker on the objective and gains whatever benefit the objective gives.
The fourth step is purchases. In this step, a player can spend gold to make purchases. You can purchase any number of battle deck cards or one historic even card may be purchased.
The fifth step is movement. In this step the player can move their units one space per turn. If a player moves their unit to a uncontrolled colony, they may place a control marker on the spot and gain the export from that colony. If the player moves to a opponent controlled colony or to the High Seas when another player is there, a battle takes place. From this point, all other movements are concluded.
This brings us to the sixth step, battles. To fight a battle both sides roll one die per unit and apply any modifiers to their roll. Each unit must be paired against another unit before battling. The highest score between the two sides wins the battle. The losing side will destroy a unit. Destroyed leaders are captured by the opponent and placed in their prison. This keeps them from being available to be repurchased later in the game. Only one round of combat is fought. If there are any opposing units in the same space, they will fight again in the next player’s turn. If the defending player has all their units destroyed, the attacker will take control of the colony and gain it’s export.
The seventh step is to place purchases. Any cards purchased earlier can now be brought into play on a colony that you control or at the High Seas.
The final step is to collect revenue. In this step, the player collects 3 gold plus an additional gold for every set of 3 different exports on their side of the table.
Once all the steps are completed, play is passed to the other player. This continues back and forth until the 10th player turn. The game then ends. The player that has the highest number of colonies at this time wins.
There are a lot of really great components to this game. Let me say that the artwork for everything looks amazing and is very historic looking almost like a painting. Whenever I look at the different pieces, I feel like I’ve been drawn into a history book or a copy of National Geographic. Everything is just so lovely. I’ve seen pictures for the different cards and pieces and they are beautiful. I’m not going to go into a lot of description here as what I received was merely a prototype and not the finished product. What you will get with the game though is a political objectives mat, player mats for each country, lots of cards including some smaller cards for exports, as well as tokens for gold and control markers. Finish that all off with some dice and that’s the game. Like I said, a lot of great pieces.
8 out of 10
Just like the components, the rulebook was a prototype version as well. There are plenty of pictures as well as examples of gameplay. There are even advanced rules for making the game even more challenging. If that wasn’t enough, there are some optional rules including a historically accurate colonies option. Overall for black and white prototype rules, they are fairly good. I expect that the finished product will be even better.
8 out of 10
The game has a great historic feel. It also feels a bit like Risk or something strategic like that. I guess that’s because it’s a card based strategy game. It’s really fun as well as being historic. There is a little bit of luck to the game through the historic event cards as you never really know what you’re gonna get. This is definitely not a euro game as I first thought it to be. It is 100% strategy to the core. The thing is, the game is not a very difficult game to play. Even non gamers should be able to figure this one out relatively simply. I really enjoy any game that allows me to purchase things to help me out later on. This game has lots of great options as well as some mildly euro ideas of using exports to earn more gold. I really love the idea of this game as well as the very simple stream lined play.
9 out of 10
1750: Britain vs. France is a light to medium weight card game of historic battles. It’s not a really long strategic war game like most of these types of games are. This one lasts about an hour. Once you’ve played it a couple of times, it will probably take less time. The artwork is really beautiful and the game looks like the production quality version will be even better. I would definitely recommend this game to fans of strategy games like Risk or any other. I really like both the history and strategy of this game. I would highly recommend this game.
9 out of 10
For more information about this game, please check out Battle Hardened Games at their site.
You can also back the game right now over on Kickstarter.