The Battle of the Alamo (February 23 – March 6, 1836) was a pivotal event in the Texas Revolution. Following a 13-day siege, Mexican troops under President General Antonio López de Santa Anna launched an assault on the Alamo Mission near San Antonio de Béxar (modern-day San Antonio, Texas), killing all of the Texian defenders. Santa Anna’s cruelty during the battle inspired many Texians—both Texas settlers and adventurers from the United States—to join the Texian Army. Buoyed by a desire for revenge, the Texians defeated the Mexican Army at the Battle of San Jacinto, on April 21, 1836, ending the revolution.
In the game The Alamo Remembered, players get an opportunity to attempt to reenact the bloody battle at the Alamo. The game is not designed so that history can be changed though. What I mean by this is that the Texians will lose the fort and be overrun by superior numbers no matter what but the severity of that defeat can be mitigated though if they kill enough Mexican soldiers and hold out until the third round.
The game starts with the Texian player having to deploy their 24 units along 6 wall points that have a “breach value” assigned of from between 3-5. The breach values simply mean that in order for the Mexican army to successfully breach the wall and to gain access to the Alamo, they have to meet or exceed that value with strength points from their units after taking fire from Texian cannon, rifleman and heroes. The Texian player can assign no more than 6 units to defend any one wall space and only has 14 of its 24 units that have any power. The 10 dummy units numbered 0 are simply fodder for losses in battle and to be used as a bluff showing strength. These units when assigned are upside down and their strength is hidden from the Mexican player. This is a really cool mechanic and adds some fog of war and subterfuge to the game.
After units are assigned to defend walls, the Mexicans can then place their units in spaces to attack one of the 6 wall spaces but have a limit of no more than 4 units per stack until the reinforcement phase. It is key for them to place their units to be able to survive the initial Texian cannon and rifle attacks to still maintain enough strength points to be able to breach the walls.
The Alamo Remembered is a fast playing (from 10-30 minutes depending upon whether or not the Texians last more than one turn) “filler” wargame that has some interesting mechanics, as well as several variants, and can be played solo or with 2 players.
In our three plays, my Texians never lasted past the first round, as I simply couldn’t stop the Mexicans from reinforcing weak points and breaching the walls each game, which leads to a Last Stand that never goes well. I was able to decrease the Mexican player’s score each time though going from a Mexican Triumph in the first game (which is their highest Victory condition) to merely a Mexican Victory, which is the historical result, in our third play. So I will take this as a moral victory!
In Action Point 2, we will examine the heroic Last Stand Phase and look at some of its more interesting parts, including a check to see if Jim Bowie can gather his strength to join the defense from his sick bed.
Remember the Alamo!