Revolution Road: From Boston to Concord from Compass Games allows players to simulate the events of April 19, 1775 and the events leading up to the famous “shot heard round the world!”. The British player commanding the forces of Lt. Col. Smith are tasked with reaching Concord and finding illegal arms cache spread throughout the countryside while also seeking to capture the prominent rebel leaders Samuel Adams and John Hancock.
The Patriot player must simply hinder the British from reaching Concord and harass them along their trip by using ambush and sniping to take out their forces. The Patriots will also send out Nightriders to raise the alarm ahead of the advancing British calling to arms area minutemen and militia to form and impede the British in their goal.
The game is card assisted and is played as players draw one card to determine their number of activation points for each round and then go about spending those points to take various actions designed to help each side meet their victory conditions.
In this series of Action Points, I will be taking a look at a few of the actions available to both players. In this post, we will specifically look at two of the Patriot actions, including Call to Arms and Escape.
Call to Arms
The Patriots have various assets to use to go about sowing the seeds of insurrection and opposing the infringement on their liberties by the ruling British. Their major assets are the Nightriders who represent Paul Revere, William Dawes and Samuel Prescott. The main job of these riders is to act as an early warning system and go about the Boston countryside alerting the populace and calling them out to resist the British who are on a mission to destroy their weapons and powder and capture or kill various leaders from the Sons of Liberty, including Samuel Adams and John Hancock.
It costs one activation to use all Nightriders that don’t have a moved marker on them to perform a Call to Arms Action. Prescott, who is located in Lexington at the start of the game, cannot be activated until Lexington is alerted or both Revere and Dawes have been captured. When captured, Nightriders cannot be activated for a Call to Arms Action, but can for an Escape Action (more on this in a moment.)
Once activated, each Nightrider receives 4 activity points. These activity points are used to move the Nightrider from region to region as each region the Nightrider enters costs one activity point and to alert a Gathering Place marker for one activity point. You signify that a Gathering Place marker has been alerted by flipping it from its mug of ale side to its Muster side.
When this Action is taken, the Nightrider must immediately make a capture check to see if they avoid detection and capture by local British sympathizers and Torries. This is done by rolling a six sided die and on a roll of 6 the Nightrider is captured and will have its counter flipped to its light blue side.
Nightriders are prohibited from alerting a Gathering Place marker while there is a healthy British Regular in the region. Nightriders can also leave the top, left and bottom board edges and are then placed in the Nightrider Box on that board edge. When a Call to Arms Action is then taken, a Nightrider that began the turn in this box may remove one Alert marker from that board edge which will reveal a militia unit that can then be moved around the board via the use of Assemble or Move actions.
Alerting a Gathering Place marker doesn’t mean that troops will arrive immediately. On the British player’s activation, they can attempt to place a Hinder Muster marker on an Alerted Gathering Place marker to prevent those troops from arriving for another two turns. This can cause quite a bit of cat and mouse with these Gathering Places but it creates a lot of tension and need for planning for the Patriot player.
In the end, the more Muster markers that are removed, the more unit’s the Patriot player will have to protect key areas and make the British column move slowly as they have to stop on the road when they encounter a Patriot minuteman or militia unit. After finishing their activations, a Moved marker will be placed on all Nightriders that acted that turn and they will be unable to take the Call to Arms Action until the next turn.
If a Nightrider is captured on a Capture roll (believe me it seems to happen to me more than it doesn’t), the British player has the option of moving this captured Nightrider back to Boston where they will gain 2VP at game’s end. But never fear. The Patriot player can make an attempt to escape by taking the Escape Action. This Action cannot be taken on the turn they were captured though.
This is done by selecting one captured Nightrider or Sons of Liberty and rolling one six sided die. On a modified 6 or higher, the captured unit will be set free and can be placed on its uncaptured side in an adjacent region with a Moved marker. The roll can be modified by +1 for each unbroken minuteman or militia unit located in the region with the captured unit.
This can be a very stressful part of the game for the Patriots and you must move your available troops toward any captured Nightriders or Sons of Liberty as soon as you can because you will need as many attempts as possible to try to successfully escape. If you lose your Nightriders, your job will be that much harder to accomplish, as fewer alerted units means less options and resources that are needed to harass and slow the fast moving British. This will also give your opponent easy VP’s and you can’t afford to give these away.
Revolution Road: From Boston to Concord is such a fascinating game and really depicts the two sides very well in this literal David versus Goliath clash. I love how each side is assymetric and can win in very different ways. I look forward to sharing this game with you over the next few weeks as I have at least 4 Action Points I would like to write. In Action Point 2, we will take a look at the Hinder and Search Actions.