The Tao of Gaming

Boardgames and lesser pursuits

Quebec 1759

The first “block” game I played was Quebec 1759, a little morsel of a game I played once then never played again, but had fond memories of. So I kept an eye out for a copy and eventually got one in a trade towards the end of last year. And how did my memory compare to reality?

Unlike many of the later block games, Quebec is short, sweet and really takes advantages of the fog of war. The board has ten areas, and you can move by road or river. Each side has 25 blocks, but a rather large number of decoys (blanks). The game is 16 simultaneous turns, with each side writing a single diplomacy style move. (“4 Units from I’lle de Orleans to Montmercy via River move”). And, at the end of the game, the British have to control one city AND have enough combat value left. There aren’t many rules … just moving and fighting; but there are a few simple rules to cover the flavor of the campaign. As the British take over areas the Quebec militia will (slowly) abandon the French, there’s the possibility of cutting french supply (for a small drip of step losses), and some Indians to raid the British Regulars with impunity (unless the American Rangers or Light Infantry are there).

But, in the whole, it’s a game of Bluff. The British have the troops, but they’ll have to make an Amphibious Assault somewhere. You can also carefully use your decoys. That order of 4 Units to Montmercy could be 4 Regulars (16 combat value) or just 3 decoys and some rangers. Battles also involve bluff, since you set up in columns but get a bonus for not having an opposite column. Additionally, when you retreat only (unrevealed) reserves get to fire, but they get triple shots. Is that a decoy in reserve?

Is Quebec a great game? No. There’s no best move in a situation, the game will often come down to … is the British going to move to A, B or C? If the French guess right, they’ll probably win (by reinforcing prior to invasion). If they back everything on the wrong guess, they’ll lose. If they play it safe, they’ll probably lose but the dice will have their say.

But it is a fun game, and fast. Maybe 45 minutes, with little downtime. It even looks nice (although I unexpectedly got a copy of the Gamma Two Games edition, it still looks pretty nice. That one damaged block is annoying, though).

It certainly makes for a nice opener/closer after your War of the Ring game. In any case, it’s not a must have game by any means, but it’s one of those simple wargames that people like.


Written by taogaming

February 6, 2011 at 10:47 am

Posted in Reviews

3 Responses

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  1. I also like Quebec 1759, but I think it’s a little too simple, strategy-wise. Other than the guessing aspect, there are really only two strategies that the British can employ and so most playings feel pretty similar. I’d recommended it only to casual gamers.

    War of 1812, on the other hand, is not that much more complex, but offers far greater opportunity for strategic thought. It’s an excellent introductory wargame, but one with far greater replayability than Quebec, 1759.

    Greg Aleknevicus

    February 6, 2011 at 10:37 pm

    • I actually tried War of 1812. I don’t remember much about it, but I thought it was diluted. It may have more strategic depth, but honestly I’m probably not playing either game often, so that doesn’t bother me.


      February 8, 2011 at 5:11 pm

  2. I think Quebec 1759 is a great wargame. Back in the 1970’s SPI published a book about wargame design. In the back they listed the games they thought would make a good wargame library. Quebec 1759 is on that list. Another good game from the same company that published Quebec 1759 is Napoleon. My favorite wargame is Diplomacy out of a collection of 204 wargames.

    Steve Van Helten

    February 11, 2011 at 8:30 pm

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