American Revolution #1, 1st Edition
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SARATOGA is one of those rare designs that combines everything that I look for in a wargame: smooth play, balance, historical detail, great graphics, well-developed rules, tense action, and a reasonable playing time.
Thanks to the outstanding efforts of the designer and GMT's staff, SARATOGA is an easy game to get into. It also will keep veterans or newbies coming back again-and-again. Counter density is low, and once familiar with the mechanics, a wide variety of strategy and tactics will open up to you.
I really like the Tactical Chit method where players mentally maneuver to gain battle advantages (i.e., die roll modifiers) over each other. Say you're being attacked at 2-1; should you Withdraw and try to avoid combat? Or perhaps Stand Fast and hope for the best? But what if your opponent engages in a Turn Flank or Frontal Assault tactic? Choose wisely, and the chances of prevailing increase. Choose poorly, and disaster looms.
Plenty of chrome is included like Morgan's Rifles, Leaders, Momentum, Artillery fire, American Garrison requirements, and so much more.
SARATOGA is a deceptive game--its relatively small size, simplicity, and few units only hint at the tremendous gaming experience that awaits you. I've played it ftf 5 times now, and each contest has been thoroughly enjoyable.
Easily one of the best wargames of the past few years, SARATOGA is a Top Ten favorite. Check out the next title (BRANDYWINE) in this series for some more wide-open American Revolution fun. Highly recommended for the historical gamer.