Three years into our first ever game of Volko Ruhnke’s Wilderness War, by GMT, and things are really starting to ramp up in terms of strategic moves. One of my favourite things about this game is that from the very first hand of the very first turn it feels, at least for the British, that you have enough forces to start marching around the board. It becomes pretty readily apparent just how tight knit the board is with how quickly you seem to be on top of each other.
I marched Shirley along with a force of provincials northward and after some initial successful forays was able to force the ever cowardly Rigaud back to Niagra. Unfortunately even with a superior force Shirley was unable to decisively assault the fort [after three attempts] and he was bogged down there, too stubborn to retreat. The siege rolls in this game had a similar feel to the dice rolls in Labyrinth: War on Terror 2001-? that is to say: tough. If you roll poorly it’s easy to get caught up in a bad situation and you’ll have wasted cards and time to do so. Not that that’s a bad thing, it feels like you’re committing a lot of resources to taking a fort, which is thematically great.
The middle of the board became somewhat of a stalemate as Johnson and Montcalm faced off in adjacent forts with significantly sized stacks. This freed up the western and eastern flanks somewhat and Monkton, heading a force of regulars, was able to storm Louisburg and wrest control from the French. Meanwhile Forbes marched some Highlanders eastward and took Ohio Forks and using an event was able to expel the native tribes from the region.
The unfortunate part of all this is that the French were able to sneak a force southward and snatch Albany and are currently laying siege to New York, a significant tactical blunder on part of the British.
All in all the game is fantastic in spite of the rule book, The board is clean and the leader boxes mean that the board doesn’t fill up to bursting with chits which get lost into the wrong spaces etc.
Other great parts of the game is how small the deck feels which means events come up again and again, and you can’t really play an enemy card and forget about it, because it’ll probably be back on deck in just a few hands time. Can’t wait to pick up where Grant and I left off and finish up the campaign.