Article By: Kristen McCarty
Before the Declaration of Independence, there was unrest in the 13 colonies. Taxes and other restrictions were creating a divide between the British and their colonies. Militias were organized, arms were stockpiled, and people were beginning to choose with whom their loyalty lied.
Then the Rebellion began with the shot heard round the world. Militia and the British clashed and 273 British soldiers were killed before they made it back to Boston. Soon the Rebellion would lead to a Revolution and the Revolution to a new country.
Players control the major factions that participated in the American Revolution. The British side has the British Regulars, Loyalist Militia, and German Hessian Mercenaries. The American side comprises of the Continental Army, Patriot Militia, and French Regulars. The Native Americans are also available to be allied with either side.
Players for each side will be discuss and coordinate their campaigns to control the colonies on the map. Players may then place reinforcements into any City Area(s) within the colonies their side controls. The game ends when a truce is called and the side controlling the most colonies wins the game.
There is a lot of care and thought put into the design and components of 1775. The board is absolutely beautiful and one of the highest quality boards that I have seen. It’s cut so that it lays flat and so little of a gap that it’s difficult to see the folds when it is on the table. The map shows the original 13 colonies plus Maine, Quebec and Nova Scotia.
The game also comes with 205 Unit cubes. 35 red cubes represent the British Regulars, 45 yellow cubes the Loyalist Militia, 40 blue the Continental Army, and 45 white the Patriot Militia. The allies colors are 12 orange for the German Hessians, 10 purple for the French Regulars, and 18 green Native Americans.
There are 16 Battle Dice. These battle dice have different sides and colors depending on the group they represent. The target represents a hit, the man a flee, and a blank stand for a Command Decision. There are two red dice for the British Regulars, three yellow for the Loyalist Militia, 2 orange for the Hessian Mercenaries, 2 blue for the Continental Army, 3 white for the Patriot Militia, two purple for the French Regulars, and 2 green for the Native Americans.
There are also four blank turn markers that look like the Battle Dice. There is one for each faction color and a draw bag that is used to determine turn order.
There is one wooden round marker pawn and 16 double sided control flags. One side of the flag show the British flag and the other shows the American flag.
The last component is the Cards. There are 54 cards. The quality of the cards is outstanding. There are 15 red British cards, 13 yellow Loyalist Milita, 14 Continental Army, and 12 white Patriot Militia cards.
The box insert is also worth noting. It is designed to either be kept as is in the box to hold all the factions components and draw bags separately or it can be broken apart by the perforations to be given to the faction players as a holder during the game. It’s a great insert and just another example of the time and effort that went into the game.
The first thing players need to do is to choose a scenario. The game comes with three: The 1775 campaign, and Introductory Scenario with a shorter playing time, and The Siege of Quebec.
I will explain the set-up for the 1775 Campaign Scenario set-up, the rule book will detail the other two scenarios.
After deciding on the scenario players should choose a faction to play. They then take the corresponding units, Battle Dice, and cards of that factions color. If there fewer than four one or more players will control multiple factions on one side of the conflict. All factions must be played.
Colonies – The map shows the 13 original colonies, Maine, and the provinces of Nova Scotia and Quebec. For game purposes they will all be referred to as colonies. Each colony is color coded and divided into areas, some of which contain cities.
Placing Starting Units – Some areas on the map are marked with colored squares, which represent the starting placements for the 1775 Campaign Scenario. Populate the map areas with the corresponding colored units.
Place Additional Units – Randomly draw a turn marker. Each faction of the side drawn places four additional units of its color in areas hat already contain its side’s units. Then, each faction of the other side places 4 additional units of its color in areas that already contain its side’s units.
Create Reinforcement Stockpile – With the remaining units, players should create a reinforcement stockpile. These units will be placed on the map as Reinforcements at the beginning of a faction’s future turns or as called for by Event Cards.
Place Control Flags – control flags are placed on the colonies that each side controls. So there should be British flags in Delaware, Quebec, and Nova Scotia. There are also American flags in Connecticut and Rhode Island.
Create Player Decks, Draw Cards – Each of the four factions prepares a draw deck from the cards numbered 01-12 in its respective color. The cards above 12 are used in “The Siege of Quebec” Scenario only. Card numbers are located on the bottom right corner of each card. Shuffle the cards for your faction draw three.
Each faction’s desk consists of twelve customized cards, eight of which are Movement Cards and four that are Event Cards, If a player draws only Event Cards,indicated by the word “Event” on the card, they should show the other players, reshuffles them into his draw deck and draw three new cards.
Players from the same side may show each other their cards in order to coordinate their future actions.
Place Round Marker Pawn – Place the Round Marker Pawn on space 1 of the round track located on the bottom right side of the map.