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1775: Rebellion; Simple Rules and Tactical Depth

 

1775: Rebellion is a game that is far more than the sum of its parts. Genuinely. I remember the first time reading the rules quite some time ago and wondering why this was a well liked game. The rules were simple and mostly came down to rolling dice and moving armies. That's it.


And yet not really. The devil as they say, is in the details. 1775 is a game that works. Through a small series of tweaks that make every move so impactful. The game simulates the war between America and Britain, and was the 2nd game in the line, coming after 1812 and since succeeded by 1754 and 878: Vikings....basically a whole lot of dates as board games. Where these games shine, is an incredibly simple rule set with extreme tactical depth.


The game starts with certain predefined setups, and every round thereafter you randomly determine turn order, allocating reinforcements to any cities in colonies you control, and then move your forces, positioning yourself for success. The random turn order and never knowing who's going next ensures that you can never take advantage of it, but rather have to plan for the worst or sometimes...risk it all on a lucky sequence. 


From there the depth escalates as you figure out which battles will be triggered this round, are you setting yourself up with a larger army? Moving in for the kill? Taking or eliminating someone's control of a territory? Dozens of small yet meaningful decisions will arise each round, forcing you to constantly reevaluate what your priorities need to be. Never have I felt more like one of those generals commanding my units with one of those little sticks on a map in a tent somewhere (likely drenched in rain), then I have when playing 1775.


1775 shines at delivering a simple and accessible game, one that you can teach in 5 minutes, play in 2 hours, and every game will be a fresh exercise in "how do I beat what she did last time". It can be played 2 player head to hear, or 4 players with teams, speaking for myself...I like the team play in which I get to not so subtly announce out loud what I think we should do while actually doing the other stuff instead.


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