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Stately Sessions: Liberty or Death, Turns 8-13

Tabletop •

In our effort to speed things up with our ongoing Liberty or Death session report, I’ve managed to somehow combine six (6!!!) turns into one post. Unfortunately, this means I’m already broke my promise to report on at least one non-board game per day by not covering anything yesterday, but I did report on two non-board games Wednesday, so I’m calling it even. Without further ado, let’s see what’s happening in the colonies.

1775, Turn 8

Turn 8 is a special turn, marked by the first appearance of a Winter Quarters card. Each WQ card simulates the end of one year of the Revolutionary War, and heading into spring of the next year. In it, we’ll check for supplies and pay resources where troops aren’t adequately covered, we’ll check for desertions and see how many Tories and Militiamen run back home, and we’ll add resources to each faction based on how things are going on the map. There’s more to it, but that’s the overall gist. As you can tell, it’s quite boring. You can watch the video below to see all the ups and downs of the WQ turn, or you can just know that a few things changed very little, all factions were moved to eligible, and we’re moving on. It’s up to you.

1776, Turn 9

Turn 9 is our first foray into 1776 and it will cover the event that was so unceremoniously displaced by that Winter Quarters card, French Settlers Help. With all factions eligible, we need to follow the order on top of the card which means the French go first.

The French decide to mobilize and end up placing more Patriot Militia in New York. These two militia are added to Massachusetts, the province where there are the most Continental forces. Exciting, eh? That’s not all the French get to do, though. They also get to bring more troop from Unavailable to Available which pushes up French War Prep and gets them closer to entering the war. They move three troops and move the French War Prep from 11 to 14, only two spaces away from being able to join the war.

The Native Americans go next and love, love, LOVE the event which will allow them to place another Village on the map. Using a random roll to determine where to go, the Native Americans build a village in Florida and place three underground war parties there as well.

1776, Turn 10

The French and Native Americans are ineligible after playing last turn, with the event being Frustrated Shawnee Warriors Attack. First up are the British!

The Brits don’t want anything to do with the event and instead are going to do something we haven’t seen before, Garrison. This allows British regulars from anywhere on the board to immediately move to cities. If you’re the Patriots (as I am), it really sucks. We determine that there are six total British Regulars and they storm into all the cities on the board, starting with Philadelphia, gaining control of the city. They also gain control of Norfolk and Savannah, meaning every city on the board is currently under British control. Where are the French when we need them?

Never fear, it’s the Patriots turn! They pass.

Okay, that was a bit anticlimactic, but the upcoming event is much juicier than anything they could currently do on the board, so they pass to remain eligible and also gain a resource in the process. Not bad. Not great, but not bad.

1776, Turn 11

Only the British are ineligible this turn, so let’s take a look at this turn’s event: The Penobscot Expedition. This event was good enough that the Patriots passed last turn just to have a go at it.

The Patriots (me!) will take the event, which allows them to place one Fort and three Militia in Massachusetts. Sure, Massachusetts is already bursting at the seams with Patriot pieces, but any chance I can get to build a free fort and prevent the Native American from building a Village, I’m going to take.

After that quick turn, it’s time for the French to do what the French do before they’ve played the Treaty of Alliance: Mobilize. They will place two more militia into Massachusetts (the province with the most Patriot pieces), and then prepare new troops, bringing 3 more troops from Unavailable to Available. Woohoo! The French War Prep is now at 17, greater than the 16 required to play the Treaty of Alliance. Next turn, the French are entering the war!

1776, Turn 12

I got all excited last turn with the news that the French would be entering the war this turn, only to remember that it isn’t going to happen because the French faction is ineligible. [insert sad trombone here -ed.] Next turn, however, I promise!

Turn 12 sees the British and Native Americans ready to act. The event this turn French in America Want Canada which has saber icons under every faction except the Patriots. What does that mean? It means that those factions, if played by AI, will never choose the event. That makes our tour through the AI flowcharts a little easier because the only faction without a saber are the Patriots, and they’re ineligible.

The Native Americans will go first and will Gather, using the Command to convert groups of 3 war parties into Villages. They only have one resource, so they’ll be able to perform the action twice (the first Gather action is free, as long as it occurs in an Indian Province). They will convert 3 war parties in the Northwest and Southwest into Villages, bringing their total number of Villages on the board to four. Remember, one of the Native American’s victory conditions is having three more Villages than the Patriots have Forts, and they’re almost there.

The British will take advantage of all the new regulars that were moved to Available during Winter Quarters by performing the Muster action. This allows the Brits to add six regulars to any city space or province adjacent to a city, and then add a single Tory in up to four spaces. Because AI players will always do the maximum possible, the Brits will spend four resources and place as many troops on the board as they can, which would be all six regulars and all four Tories.

The Regulars land in New York to seize control back to the British which makes our reign in New York very, very short. A Tory is placed in the cities they acquired back in Turn 10: Norfolk, Savannah, and Philadelphia. The final Tory is placed where there are less than 5 British cubes and no British forts, so they choose New York City. The British Resources are now at 0, but they’ve solidified their control both in the Cities and in the Provinces. Maybe they know the French are coming?

1776, Turn 13

Turn 13 is going to be a simple one. The Patriots and French are eligible and the event is William Pitt…wait! The French trump that event, meaning that it is ignored, and play their Treaty of Alliance card instead! The French have just declared war!

Playing the Treaty of Alliance does a few things mechanically in Liberty or Death. First of all, the West Indies are now in play and can (and will) have combat, the French can now blockade Cities, French Regulars can now come into play on the map, and it frees up the other factions to play their Brilliant Stroke! cards, which allow each faction to trump the current event, preventing it from happening and allowing them to do some special activities as well. The Brilliant Stroke cards were off the table until the Treaty of Alliance card was played.

The Treaty of Alliance means that the French are the only faction that will act this turn. They Muster and place four Regulars in Massachusetts along with Rochambeau. They also move a squadron from the West Indies and put a Blockade on Boston, which means troops cannot leave/enter the city, and the British can no longer perform Commands or Special Activities there. Three French and three British Regulars are placed in the West Indies and, finally, all factions are made eligible for the next turn. Yes, even the French.

Things are going to start getting interesting and we may even start seeing some actual war in our war game in the coming turns. You never know.

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Notable Replies

  1. Serious recognition is due for this, Dave. Apart from the fact it stops me whining in the comments about you doing some COIN coverage, covering a big game like this, essentially taking people through not just how to play, but how to use the bots as well, and leaving yourself open to caustic corrections from Auntie Internet, is worthy of respect.

    If I did this by turn three I’d be screaming “If you’re so clever you fucking do it.” in the comments.

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