I'm often in conversations with my military friends who also happen to be wargamers (most of these friends are more and more retired guys, fewer and fewer active duty types, which is sad--but that's another blog). We waxed nostalgic about Avalon Hill's 1776 game and expressed our impressions of Mark Herman's latest by GMT, WASHINGTON'S WAR. If you were a fan of Mark's original game on the American War For Independence, WE THE PEOPLE, you simply love this redesign of the very first Card Driven Wargame. But, if you were/are a 1776 grognard, you still have that hungry feeling in the pit of your stomach.
There still is a hankering for detailed insurgency/counterinsurgency games and what better conflict to model than the American War For Independence? There's been a number of efforts even beyond these two games--there's Columbia's block game, LIBERTY. There were a couple of old SPI titles as well from way back when. But among all the games on the topic, only 1776 can lay the claim to being a monstergame. Gee, how old is this title? Came out in 1974? Holy cow--it's 36 years old!
It's no surprise that we have a good number of meaty monstergames on World War II--Europe and Pacific. There's even a few on World War I, the Napoleonic Wars, and the American Civil War. Vietnam boasts of one monstergame and the Korean War has a couple. But we don't have anything more than 1776 for the War for American Independence. Was the design that good that it's still considered definitive after all these years? If Clash of Arms Games can do a monster on the Peloponnesian War, might we reasonably expect someone to tackle the American Revolutionary War on such a scale?
While 1776 detailed the military aspects of Revolutionary War campaigning to a loving degree of detail, today's monstergame on this conflict has to do far more than that. Political and Economic aspects must be more explicitly covered. The larger conflict between England and France has to be put into context as well as the internecine struggles within the British parlaiment with regard to the colonies, to say nothing of the frictions within the germinating American government.
Of course, for game companies, such a game would have to have some marketing/selling potential. Given the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan, there would seem to be no better time to tackle such a topic than the present. Who's ready to take this on? Herman? Miranda? Miklos? Others? We dream of turning the world upside down once again--or returning these recalcitrant scoundrels back within the fold of the British Crown....