1775: Rebellion Review

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1775: Rebellion is a game by Beau Beckett and Jeph Stahl, published by Academy Games. It is for 2-6 players. In this game, players will take control of the major military forces during the American Revolution. Players will be attempting to control colonies through the use of military units. When the truce is signed signifying the end of the war, the player that controls the most colonies will be declared the winner.

To begin, players choose a scenario from the three presented in the rule book. They then choose a faction to play and take the corresponding unit cubes, dice and cards of their faction’s color. If playing with less than 4 players, one or more players will be required to control an extra faction. Each player will place their starting units as dictated by the board when playing the 1175 campaign or from the rule book when playing the other scenarios. The turn markers are placed inside the bag and one is randomly chosen. That faction then places 4 additional units of their color in areas that already have it’s units present. The other side then places 4 additional units of their color as well. Reinforcement Stockpiles are created with each faction’s remaining units. Control flags are then placed on the colonies that each side controls. Players prepare their decks with the appropriate numbered cards in their respective side’s color based on the scenario chosen. The cards are then shuffled and 3 cards are drawn for the faction. If a player draws only event cards, they are shown to the other players and reshuffled into the deck. Three new cards are then drawn. The round marker pawn is placed on space 1 of the round track on the board. Play now begins.

The game is played over several rounds. During each round, each of the 4 factions will take a turn in random order. This is done by placing all 4 turn markers into the draw bag. Turn markers are then drawn randomly and placed onto the turn track in the order in which they were drawn. Once each faction has had it’s turn, the round ends and the round pawn advances to the next round space on the track. Each faction takes their turn and performs the following phases in order: reinforcements, movement, battle and draw cards.

The first phase is the reinforcements phase. In this phase the player will pull 4 units from their stockpile and place them into any city areas that their side controls. The player may also place any of their fled units from the fled units space on the board the same way. For a particular side to control a colony, the colony must have only units and/or it’s allies occupying the space. The space is then marked with the appropriate flag token.

The next phase is the movement phase. In this phase, the player will be able to play one movement card and up to two event cards. When moving units, the player is able to form armies from their faction and ally units in the same area. The player then checks the card played. The number of soldiers on the card indicate how many armies the player is able to move. The arrow tells how many areas each army may move. If an army enters an area that is occupied by an enemy unit or Native American unit not allied with them, they must stop. Land movement cards allow a player to move units from one land area to another while Water movement cards allow the player’s units to move over water. Truce cards and event cards are also playable during the movement phase. Truce cards when played are placed to the side of the board face up. Once round 3 is over or at the end of any subsequent rounds, if a truce card has been played by all factions of a side, the game is over. Event cards when played allow players to do lots of different things from adding extra units, modifying movement or affecting combat.

The next phase is the battle phase. In this phase, any areas that contain opposing armies will battle for control of the area. The player chooses which order the battles are resolved. The side that moved into the area is the attacker while the other side is the defender and gains initiative first. This means that the defensive player rolls their battle dice first equal to the number of units they control in the present battle up to the factions dice limit. If a hit is rolled, the opponent chooses which unit to remove from the board and place back in their stockpile. If a flee result is rolled, the player removes one of their own unit and places it in the fled units space. If a blank space is rolled, the player may move one of their own units to an adjacent area that is not occupied by only the enemy. Once the defender has applied all their roll results, the attacker is able to roll their battle dice. If units of both sides remain afterwards, the battle continues back and forth until only one side remains.

The last phase is the new cards phase. Once all the battles are finished from the last phase, the player then draws up to their hand size of 3 cards. If they did not draw any movement cards, they must show their hand and then reshuffle their hand into the deck. Three new cards are then drawn. Play passes to the next player whose turn marker was drawn from the bag. Once all players have taken a turn, the round is over and the game end conditions are checked. The game ends if truce cards for all factions of one or both sides have been played. The game can not end before the end of the third round. The side that controls the most colonies at the end of the game is the winner. The game can also end in a tie. In this case, America becomes a southern province of French Canada.

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COMPONENTS
Much like other games from Academy Games, this game is really beautiful with lots of history woven into it. The board is a beautiful map of the early colonies. There are tons of brightly colored wooden cubes in lots of different colors. The cards are all really high quality with lots of great period style artwork on them. I’m simply blown away at how beautiful each one looks. The battle dice are also brightly colored and match the different units. They are quite sturdy and look really cool. The turn markers are basically just big blank dice of the 4 faction colors. They are a really neat way of determining initiative each round. There’s also a really nice wooden round marker pawn for keeping track of the number of rounds. The game also comes with double sided tokens depicting the Americans on one side and the British on the other. I love how great everything looks and feels. The theme really draws you into the game quite well and the components convey that theme excellently.
10 out of 10

RULEBOOK
The rulebook for this game is just as beautiful as the game itself. There are lots of great pictures on each and every page. There are lots of examples of game play as well. Everything is explained really well and there is absolutely nothing hard to understand at all. The rules flow easily from one thought to another. I really like the extra section devoted to all the different cards where each one is explained in great detail with examples. The rulebook contains 3 different scenarios with all the detailed information for each from set up and starting cards to game end and victory conditions. The final pages of the book contain a historical overview of the American Revolution with beautiful pictures. Overall the design and look of the rule book is beautiful and has tons of information in it. For me, this is a job well done.
10 out of 10

GAMEPLAY
Much like Freedom: The Underground Railroad, I absolutely love this game. It may be a war game but it doesn’t have that boring and drawn out feel that is prevalent for me in many of those types of games. The game is really quite simple. If you can play Risk, then you can play this game without any trouble. The game has a lot of strategic decisions that must be made each turn. Knowing when and where to move your units, which cards to play and when is the best time to play each card. Of course there is a bit of luck involved at least in combat thanks to the die based mechanic. You might not know what the die will give you but at least you do have the ability to make the best decisions for your faction based on that die roll. In that respect, luck isn’t that big of a factor. Theme for me plays a major factor in this game. I felt like I was making major decisions as I tried to influence the outcome of the war. I love the historical aspects of the game and love the different scenarios that change up the game just a bit each time. For me, this game is a beautiful game with a great design that gives me a non-boring war game with a manageable playing time. I love it.
10 out of 10

OVERALL
1775: Rebellion is a medium weight war game that allows players the opportunity to take part in the historic battles of the founding of our nation. The game lasts any where from an hour to 2 hours, depending on the scenario and how quickly players want to end it through the use of their truce cards. The artwork and theme for this game are simply gorgeous and is brimming with history. I love that Benedict Arnold is included on a card for both sides. That just says historic accuracy to me. The game is rich with subtle elements like this that will really draw you into the game itself. There is quite a bit of strategy to the game. You will really find yourself thinking and rethinking your movement and card plays. This is a game that war gamers should love and is one that even us non war gamers can enjoy as well. Fans of historic games will eat this one up. The different scenarios provide for plenty or replayability. Each time you play it things will change so that no two games will play the same. This is a game that I’ve really enjoyed. I highly recommend it. You will enjoy it immensely.
10 out of 10

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For more information about this and other great games, please check out Academy Games at their site.

http://academygames.com/

 

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About Gaming Bits - Jonathan Nelson

I'm a happily married man with 2 wonderful kids. I love my family very much. I'm a big fan of board, card and RPG games and have been playing for over 20 years. As a board and card game reviewer, I'm hoping that this blog will inform, educate and entertain you. If you like it, please tell your friends and have them join in on the conversations. Thanks and GAME ON!!
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