Liberty

Another: Review of Liberty in Finnish.

Liberty is a Columbia Games block war game about the American indepence war. With the help of French, the Americans try to fight the British for their freedom. The shot heard around the world and all that, you know.

The mechanics of the game are similar to other Columbia block games, particularly the quite popular Hammer of the Scots. The blocks represent troops and allow for fog of war. The combat system is the same. However, the scenario is quite different, and involves a wider array of different units. One particular difference is the inclusion of fleets.

The map, which is a curious long strip, depicts most of the eastern coast of North-America. That’s where the fighting happens. There are basically two fronts: south has few cities far apart, while north has all the biggest cities quite close together (and then the Canadian wilderness).

The two armies have similar goals (conquer and hold cities), but very different means and strategies. The English start with a decisive material advantage. However, when the French enter the war (that’s decided by a random die roll), the situation becomes more balanced. In the few games I’ve played, Americans have won every time, but it hasn’t been easy. My feeling is that Americans might be slightly easier, butthe game seems fairly balanced.

Once again, I really like the combat system. Each unit has a combat rating that gives its speed (A, B or C) and power (1-4, you need to roll that or under on d6 to score a hit) and strength from one to four, which tells you how many dice to roll. It’s clean, simple and allows for all sorts of different units.

Liberty is an interesting game of a quite interesting war. I consider the American Civil War very boring topic for a game, but the independence war is less familiar and thus more interesting. Those who like Hammer of the Scots might want to check out Liberty as well, as the two games are definitely different enough, while the same mechanics mean you don’t have to learn another set of rules.

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