51 - "Almost a Miracle!"
When asked about it, years after it ended, George Washington said that the American Victory was "little short of a standing miracle."
"Almost a Miracle!" uses our successful "Tarleton's Quarter!" as a game engine starting point to bring the Northern "half" of the American Revolution into play. Will the British be able to impose "the King's Peace" on the northern colonies or will the revolution survive to birth a new nation?
"Almost a Miracle!" can be mated with "Tarleton's Quarter!" to create a complete look at the war, but offers plenty of choices standing alone. The map and victory conditions show players why battles took place in key areas but also lets players explore those seemingly odd tertiary campaigns, like Halifax, Fort Pitt, and Quebec.
Designer David Jones forces both sides to deal with their own challenges. The British consistently failed to "live off the land" and had to buy or ship food to sustain their armies, while the Continentals struggled with purchasing power and transportation.
The game handles battles in both large and small scale, as both were critical to the War's outcome, with a system that models 18th Century combat and how it differed from later times, where morale, readiness, leadership, and mere chance all could be "the" critical factor at one time or another, and disease and desertion could be an army's biggest killer.
Special rules cover the short enlistments of the Continentals, the uncertainty of French support and entry, prisoner exchanges, and the variable support of Loyalists and Native Americans. Both sides faced challenges they did not expect, and both sides contributed nearly as much to their own failures as they achieved in victory. The game will provide insights into how narrowly the Americans succeeded and how close the British came to their own victory.
"Almost a Miracle!" and issue #51 of ATO:
Map - One full color 22" x 34" mapsheet.
Counters - 280 full color die-cut pieces
Rules length - 12 pages
Charts and tables - 2 pages
Complexity - Medium
Solitaire suitability - Average
Playing time - Up to 8 hours
Design - David Jones
Development - Lembit Tohver
Graphic Design - Mark Mahaffey
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Confederate Rails, designed by Richard H. Berg, is a unique type of railroad game. Players operate the historical railways of the Confederate States of America during one of the "hottest wars" of the 19th Century – the American Civil War - which ends up turning it into a kind of an "anti-railroad" game. Not only do players have to deliver goods, supplies and military loads during a difficult time, but they have to adjust to the painful reality of a dwindling rail network.
Yes, paradoxically each player's rolling stock and rail net are at their absolute finest on the first turn. From there on in the players (representing the South's various railroad companies) battle Union military advances, each other, Confederate government decrees (and neglects), the rapidly inflating and worthless money, plus wear and tear on irreplaceable equipment.
The system also contains far more “outside events” than most rail games...thanks to the war. As the tagline on the cover suggests, it becomes an increasingly against the odds situation to stave off hunger and defeat among the South's armies.
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