War games have long been a popular genre in terms of boardgames.
The genre ranges from the simplest representation of two sides at war, to a game so thick in atmosphere and real-life-reflecting detail that they are only for the most dedicated wargamer.
Quebec 1759 falls somewhere in between, probably leaning toward the simpler of wargames to play, although in this case it makes the game no less fun to play.
For Canadians this game holds special interest since it is based on one of the most significant events in the early creation of this country,
Quebec 1759 covers the conflict between the British and the French in Canada during the Seven Years War.
Most of us will recall the conflict from history class in school.
The Battle of the Plains of Abraham, also known as the Battle of Quebec, was a pivotal battle in the Seven Years' War. The battle began on Sept. 13, 1759, and was fought between the British Army and Navy, and the French Army, on a plateau just outside the walls of Quebec City, on land that was originally owned by a farmer named Abraham Martin, from which the name is derived.
The culmination of a three-month siege by the British, the battle lasted about 15 minutes. British troops commanded by General James Wolfe successfully resisted the column advance of French troops and Canadian military under Louis-Joseph, Marquis de Montcalm, solidifying the names of Wolfe and Montcalm in Canada's history.
This board game focuses on the historic conflict.
The game comes with a beautiful map reflective of the period.
Troop movement is conducted via a point-to-point system following the roads and towns in the area around Quebec.
The game comes with handfuls of blocks to represent the British and French units.
It is the block system, familiar to many Columbia Games, which make this relatively simple approach to a wargame both interesting and re-playable. Rather than using traditional counters to represent units on the map the game uses wooden blocks that stand upright with unit details only shown on one side.
The result is basically secret troop deployment which is reflective of the reality on a battlefield. Not knowing what the opponent is doing strategically gives this game a feel of realism using a rather simple mechanic.
The blocks can also be rotated a block so the current strength is the top number. Most war games have some type of mechanism which tracks troop unit strength, but blocks with four sides do allow some added detail potential.
Simply put Columbia's block system adds depth to a game such as Quebec 1759 without a lot of bookkeeping keeping game time manageable.
The fact the blocks are wood is aesthetically pleasing, and the stickers apply easily.
The rule set is well laid out, and you can be re-enacting the famed battle quickly.
When you add factors such as component quality, the excellent block mechanic, and relatively short game time (about an hour), and then add in its Canadian connection and the 1972 released Quebec 1759 is a great addition to a gaming shelf.
The ability to try and change the outcome of the famous battle is just too much fun to pass up.
Check it out at www.columbiagames.com
-- Review appeared in Yorkton This Week newspaper July 20, 2011 - Yorkton, SK. Canada