criss_mcs3
Rating: 10
Very enjoyable light operational card-less block wargame with a wonderful map. Fast, playable, tough decisions, interesting naval rules. Neither player has the forces to be strong everywhere so good planning is required to winning. It is quite luck dependent and the combat can turn into a dicefest. Playing with the Brits seems to be tougher, they must defend well.
Excellent Rules summary can be found at BGG.
It can be played as well, using the optional simultaneous movement rules. The recommended written orders rule makes for a lot more tension and surprise.
Relearning: fast
da pyrate
Rating: 10
This is a great introductory game for new gamers. The rules are simple, the choices interestting and skill will ususally win. The games moves fast and allows players many options.

The game is particularly well balanced in terms of victory conditions. There is also a balance in the style of play - neither player has the forces to be strong everywhere so decisions must be made regarding where to be on the defensive and where and when to be on the offensive.

See my review for more details: http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/338356
edarden
Rating: 9.5
A study in potential energy. Every move is a mistake, but not moving would be worse.
agripa
Rating: 9.5
The most Beautiful Map of wargame ever! Lots of decisions, strategies and tensions. Always Play with Simo Move. A Classic in its Own!
agripa
Rating: 9
The map and the components of this classic are spectacular. The map is one of the most beautiful in a wargame.

The dimension of fun provided by this game is multiplied if you use the simo-move system.
Each player indicates (secretly) on a sheet of paper where he want to activate his naval and ground units.
Then - simultaneously - they move their Units/Fleets to their locations on the map.

The fact that there is a low density of units makes this game a more enjoyable and visual experience that other more recent titles from the same company.

Time flies with this one: Around two hours per session.
burke3gd
Rating: 9
A great game!
da pyrate
Rating: 9
This is a great introductory game for new gamers. The rules are simple, the choices interestting and skill will ususally win. The games moves fast and allows players many options.

The game is particularly well balanced in terms of victory conditions. There is also a balance in the style of play - neither player has the forces to be strong everywhere so decisions must be made regarding where to be on the defensive and where and when to be on the offensive.

See my review for more details: http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/338356
criss_mcs3
Rating: 9
Very enjoyable light operational card-less block wargame with a wonderful map. Fast, playable, tough decisions, interesting naval rules. Neither player has the forces to be strong everywhere so good planning is required to winning. It is quite luck dependent and the combat can turn into a dicefest. Playing with the Brits seems to be tougher, they must defend well.
Excellent Rules summary can be found at BGG.
It can be played as well, using the optional simultaneous movement rules. The recommended written orders rule makes for a lot more tension and surprise.
Brien Martin
Rating: 9
A great, introductory game. I found it to play differently each time, as my opponent (my daughter) and I are always trying new strategies each game. I think it's on the "must-buy" list for every new player in the hobby.
agripa
Rating: 9
The map and the components of this classic are spectacular. The map is one of the most beautiful in a wargame.
The dimension of fun provided by this game is multiplied if you use the simo-move system.
Each player indicates (secretly) on a sheet of paper where he want to activate his naval and ground units.
Then - simultaneously - they move their Units/Fleets to their locations on the map.
The fact that there is a low density of units makes this game a more enjoyable and visual experience that other more recent titles from the same company.
Time flies with this one: Around two hours per session.
agripa
Rating: 9
The map and the components of this classic are spectacular. The map is one of the most beautiful in a wargame.

The dimension of fun provided by this game is multiplied if you use the simo-move system.
Each player indicates (secretly) on a sheet of paper where he want to activate his naval and ground units.
Then - simultaneously - They move their Units/Fleets to their locations on the map.

The fact that there is a low density of units makes this game a more enjoyable and visual experience that other more recent titles from the same company.
Brian Sinclair
Rating: 8.5
Own the 3rd Edition. Enjoyable game that really needs some learning to do well with the British.
Brian Sinclair
Rating: 8.5
Played the second edition. Enjoyable light war game that allows for some tough decisions. I will likely get the 3rd Edition.
gametweaker
Rating: 8.5
Excellent block game. Offers some strategic depth, yet still plays fast. Game is very replayable ... two games in a row never seem to play anything alike.
daveo1234
Rating: 8
Wow! After one play, I'm hooked on this one. My buddy and I started getting into the block games just recently. We enjoyed Quebec 1759 quite a bit, but this one took it to the next level. It kept things pretty simple for us newbie wargamers but there still was a lot to think about and there were a handful of extremely tense situations. I feel like my rating might go up even further after a few more plays.
Darth Solo
Rating: 8
Classic block game this holds up over time.
cptantilles
Rating: 8
Great early block game, fast playing and fun!
andrewhodkinson
Rating: 8
Block War
Cthulhu1
Rating: 8
This was the first wargame I ever played. My Dad bought this when it came out in '73. I was too young then to play with him, but as I got older we played many times. Now I have our copy, and I am introducing it to a new generations of players.
dale larson
Rating: 8
Too much to do and not enough actions. Can be a nail biter to play. Great introductory war game.
Eldard
Rating: 8
block game
acook1956
Rating: 8
Challenging choices to make, as you just can't do everything you feel you need to do. Simple, clever wargame, with the block bluffing and 'fog of war' of block games keeping you on your toes.
BlinkyJOH
Rating: 8
Did you take the map you found in the library?

if not..guestimate how good your memory is out of 20.
then roll below that on a d20.

if you fail, go to Race for the Galaxy: The Gathering Storm

if you have the map,you can try to read its features at Dominion
gittes
Rating: 8
I don't think this is as good a game as Liberty or Hammer of the Scots, but it stands as among the best titles from Columbia Games. While it lacks thematic touches and it doesn't really give one a feel for the strengths and weaknesses of each side it is filled with nail biting tension. In fact I'd say this is the most tense of all block games because setup is not rigid so you really don't know how strong the enemy is on the other side. It also helps that it is easy to play and makes for a great introduction to the system. There is one big flaw: a single defeat can spell your doom because losses are permanent! Be careful where and how you fight!
GaryP
Rating: 8
This is a great introductory blockgame, but has enough variation between plays to keep my interest. It isn't my favorite, but it plays quickly and is always exciting.
buseyhead
Rating: 8
Great easy intro into block war games. I don't know about historical simulation but I do know that it was fun
Foxman
Rating: 8
one of my favorite block games; simple and light with lots of strategy and tough decisions
faqtotum
Rating: 8
One of the better block game titles. Excellent balance and strategy.
cbrown
Rating: 8
This might be the best introductory game to serious wargaming.
chrisinengland
Rating: 8
Quite light on the rules but fun to play. I just wish Colombia had made the box more sturdy. as mine was crushed under a weight of Avalon hill games!!
Drewcooter
Rating: 8
This is the game that introduced me to the Columbia games "Block System". After playing it I was hooked and subequently purchased several of their games. If you do not own a Columbia game, acquire one you will not regret it.
dr glaze et al
Rating: 8
Where to begin? This game is older than I am, and yet it feels tense, fresh, and fun after all of these years. The fact it plays in 90 minutes flat probably helps a lot to make it feel so current. Maybe in the heyday of wargaming this was considered a kiddie game because of its short rules, elegant design, and lack of CRT. Thankfully these are again in vogue.

This is a low-density game over a wide, wide front with no depth. You can't possibly cover all all the holes, and too often you'll be bluffing. Control over the Great Lakes and the defense of Detroit are both key... but really everywhere is important!

If you've honestly never played a single wargame in your entire life, then start with this. If you've tried something along the way, go straight for Hammer of the Scots and see what block games can really do.
Coffeebike
Rating: 8
4 plays (simultaneous movement each time) - I like the high-impact, difficult strategic choices both face. The game moves along quite fast. Wild and woolly. Lots of tough decisions about deployment. I really like the victory point system, including the possibility of stalemate. Of course one must respect the sincere rulings of the gods of dice. And one does what a mortal can to implore these entities, such as a fancier method of spinning the bones. Simultaneous movement works fabulously... And it's fun to see the strain developing in the increasingly shaky handwriting of orders as the war goes on and plans go awry! Turn five is institutionalized as the turn requiring the most essential decision - open another bottle of wine?

http://ina.tamu.edu/images/Lake%20Champlain/War%20of%201812/slide%2012.JPG
Azrael1983
Rating: 7.75
Fun quick and easy to play the only thing holding this back is the board quality is flimsy and im not sure there is a whole lot of strategy or replayability. Including a washington city would have been nice for the burning of washington.
brandysta
Rating: 7.6
Another block game that really works, with it hard to win with either side. Players constantly feel like they're losing!
BlinkyJOH
Rating: 7.5
Did you take the map you found in the library?

if not..guestimate how good your memory is out of 20.
then roll below that on a d20.

if you fail, go to Race for the Galaxy: The Gathering Storm

if you have the map,you can try to read its features at Dominion
BlinkyJOH
Rating: 7.5
Did you take the map you found in the library?

if not..guestimate how good your memory is out of 20.
then roll below that on a d20.

if you fail, go to Julius Caesar.

if you have the map,you can try to read its features at Dominion
dmann
Rating: 7.5
British forces repel the American invaders using semi-hidden movement via wooden blocks. Step reduction combat. From Columbia Games.
deinstein
Rating: 7.5
Played once now and looking extremely promising... a complete blowout on the first game, but the strategic imperatives became much clearer. Very quick, so the blowout didn't result in a lot of wasted time.
funktard
Rating: 7.5
A terrific game. Very fun and fast. The only reason it isn't rated higher is because it is expensive and the map is not very high quality.
cgneal
Rating: 7.5
This was a fun game. My friend and I used to engineer the game to make sure Tecumseh entered the war. I found that the American had to work hard to gain momentum before all the Napoleonic veterans started showing up in 1815. Also some bad dice rolls would make it hard for the American to get his forces across the border.
Bondservant
Rating: 7.4
Plays a bit like stratego. Accessible fun.
GlennG
Rating: 7
Another good and light Columbia game.
airjudden
Rating: 7
An easy block game. Not a simulation but a lot of fun, but I really like block games. The rules are a lot like [thing=85][/thing], but there are no feigning attacks and dummy blocks, but you manage 3 fronts. The Americans really have to play smartly on the first turn and if not, they'd better brace themselves for the British juggernaut on the 3rd turn.
birdbrain
Rating: 7
Simple to play without a lot of complex rules to remember. Makes for a straightforward block-style war game.
bjhenderson
Rating: 7
War of 1812 is a simple and fast playing wargame with a great theme. Maybe a little too simple for my taste.
Blindsun
Rating: 7
A light, smooth intro to wood-block-wargaming.
blockhead
Rating: 7
Somewhat abstract. A good quick, yet not simplistic, game of a rather obscure topic. Excellent for a quick session or bringing people along into harder games.
dougadamsau
Rating: 7
Block wargame depicting the war between the United States and Great Britain. Slightly more complex than Quebec 1759, but by no means a difficult game.
crackedlcd81
Rating: 7
A great way to introduce block gaming to folks- in other words, a great way to train potential Rommel in the Desert opponents. Some nice historical notes and super-easy (but strategically rich) play make this a winner. It's a good, smashmouth wargame with some pretty serious drama in the big battles. Throwing dice is fun, too bad all the El Grande fans made it such a crime!
davedanger
Rating: 7
Needs leadership ratings & an OOB;
not random units drawn from a pool.
David Ells
Rating: 7
Gamma Two long box
David Ells
Rating: 7
Gamma Two short box
Dieroll Honker
Rating: 7
Another easy, fast, fun, Columbia block game with a dollop of history and enough differences from the others to keep it fresh.
dun166
Rating: 7
Nice and easy
eduart
Rating: 7
Light block game, but some nice tactics. The 'only hit on a 1' makes it hard to win a battle and sort of a dice fest, but there are enough tactical moves to be made. The board is not optimal, it's hard to see the lines that connect the cities.
ericmwalters
Rating: 7
One of the better, faster-playing and tension-filled block games out there. Has aged very gracefully and still terrific to play. Despite the plethora of 1812 games that have come out in the bicentennial of the conflict, this is still worth playing.
falsedan
Rating: 7
Chaotic and fast. Your initial deployment and plan will determine your success or failure (British should swamp Detroit ASAP).
fatso
Rating: 7
First impression rating. It felt very simple and the two sides didn't seem all that different from each other. There are other block games I'd play before this one. I like the look of the map.
fendwick
Rating: 7
Still a nice little game, but suffers in comparison to its more modern brethren
Ghaerdon
Rating: 7
I like the basic mechanics of this and Quebec 1759. Both classic Fog of War games. I would rank these as real gems to be considered up there with pivotal game paradigm shifters.
a2greg
Rating: 7
A fine Columbia block game on a subject that has not been covered all that much. Beautiful map and block setup.
gunnarbr
Rating: 7
A fun and light war game easily accessible for a Eurogamer.
bbhalla
Rating: 7
Initial Impression: This is the simplest of the Columbia block games. The map is wonderful bright and colorful. The blocks are of a high quality. This is a game that I would use to introduce a budding wargamer to the concept of block wargames. However, I'm not sure that there are few strategic decisions and almost no tactical decisions. After a play or two I would graduate the beginner to something a bit deeper. Still, an enjoyable game. Surprisingly short playing time.
Eric Brosius
Rating: 7
Simple and plenty of decision. Luck does play a significant role, so if you don't like that, beware.
bbhalla
Rating: 7
Initial Impression: This is the simplest of the Columbia block games. The map is wonderfully bright and colorful. The blocks are of a high quality. This is a game that I would use to introduce a budding wargamer to the concept of block wargames. However, I'm not sure that there are many strategic decisions and almost no tactical decisions. After a play or two I would graduate the beginner to something a bit deeper. Still, an enjoyable game with a surprisingly short playing time.
bjhenderson
Rating: 7
War of 1812 is a simple and fast playing wargame with a great theme. Maybe a little too simple for my taste.

I'm looking forward to introducing this to my kids once they are old enough.
BlinkyJOH
Rating: 7
Did you take the map you found in the library?

if not..guestimate how good your memory is out of 20.
then roll below that on a d20.

if you fail, go to Julius Caesar.

if you have the map,you can try to read its features at Dominion
freechinanow
Rating: 7
A very nice Columbia block wargame, the merges ease of play, history, and a healthy dose of dice-chucking-luck. It actually feels a little more open and interesting strategically than Quebec 1759 (which I also enjoy, even in spite of my additional intrigue into 1812). I have the original Gamma Two edition, which doesn't have different unit types. Everything is the same and everything hits on '6's and rolls dice for its CV. Very straightforward and I can see the new edition adding a bit more in terms of depth, but the original approach to the game in 1973 doesn't leave me feeling wanting for more. It plays in about an hour and has some interesting areas to go. A great game for those who thought Risk was the only game that exists where you can dice-chuck a war. 1812 has sense and sensibility and still gives us a game that isn't overblown with rules or numbing through rampant chaos and randomness. There are some component issues with the original edition, but when you're playing a piece of history about history, I'm willing to overlook this stuff.
GreenBear
Rating: 6.7
My favorite block game...ok, maybe second favorite...but still a good one!
dietevil
Rating: 6.5
Simple mechanically, we tied our first game. This game is as old as I am... wow!
altohorn
Rating: 6.5
Simple block game on a rarely gamed topic.
anemaat
Rating: 6.5
Very interesting geostrategic situations. Very beautiful map. One of the lesser Columbia Games though.

Hits are mainly done on a one (1) on a six-sided die. This means a large standard deviation and so a greater luck factor. It means also a lot of dice rolling.

I wished Columbia Games redesigned this game to modern standards.
charlescab
Rating: 6.5
Love the era. Easy to play. Fog of War. Naval and land attacks make it interesting
Freitag
Rating: 6.5
A simple block game, though I usually get crushed.
cannoneer
Rating: 6
Fun but susceptible to one 6-filled battle swinging the entire game. Also, felt like chasing your tail around a tree: one side would advance in the West, and have to retreat in the East, because you can't be strong everywhere, or even hold in one area while you attack in another. For a simple block game, Quebec 1759 is far superior, most notably because it includes the tactical battle element.
David Vander Ark
Rating: 6
I like this one but it seems hard to catch up if you have a tough start
colonelbart
Rating: 6
colombia games wood blocks.hidden movement. i used to loose
regularly to the' Queens own Sunparlor Rifles',elite gamer unit from windsor ont. s. of detroit. they regularly managed
mdg michicon on saturdays.imagine a battle whose front lines
were in lake erie.and complete with red coats, colonials, and indian units to terrorize the border noncombatants.
cannoneer
Rating: 6
Fun but susceptible to one 6-filled battle swinging the entire game. Also, felt like chasing your tail around a tree: one side would advance in the West, and have to retreat in the East, because you can't be strong everywhere, or even hold in one area while you attack in another. For a simple block game, Quebec 1759 is far superior, most notably because it includes the simultaneous orders and tactical battle element.
djberg96
Rating: 6
Easy, fun, can be finished in about an hour. Tough for Americans.
danweasel
Rating: 6
Enjoyed this as an introduction to block games. Easy to learn, although combat can be frustrating, and once one side gains an edge, I'm not sure how much the other can do about it.
claudio212
Rating: 6
Played the old edition with the very basic blocks (no initiative). This is quite a nice introduction to the world of block games. Battles are VERY luck dependent. But this makes success very much an issue of maneuver. You need to occupy lakes and enemy towns to win. But you need blocks to hold the towns. But to hold many, you need to spread. And if you do, you can get steamrolled - and each army block is a VP. Still, I prefer the more chromed out block games.
drontnet
Rating: 6
"EastFront Light". Probably won't turn it down if someone suggests it, since it's fairly quick and not very complicated.
adebisi
Rating: 6
Looks nice and plays fast. I really like the feel of blocks. However, doesn't have what it takes to hit the table on a regular basis.
bigwhipper
Rating: 6
good intro wargame
edosan
Rating: 6
Good intro wargame, think of it as Stratego with a few extras. We are using it to learn more about wargaming -- not sure if this has long-term replayability though.
Buzz
Rating: 6
As game qua game this one is fun...my highest rating for these block games. As history, however, to misquote Henry Ford, it is bunk.
alexisW
Rating: 6
The simplest block wargame than could be completed in 2 hours or less.

Very enjoyable and quick game with Fog of War accounted for. Excellent introductory wargame
BradyLS
Rating: 6
Fantastic introduction to block games features the war of manuever and control around the lower Great Lakes during the years 1812-14. The Americans must hit hard and fast, capturing as many towns as they can before the Brits can bring their heavy reinforcments in the final year. Lots of tough decisions and sharp battles will keep beginner and grognard alike interested for a long time.
Bobby Tweaks
Rating: 6
Update 3/21/10: Under 3.0 rules I don't need to roll a 6!
But, I still can't roll a 1 or 2 in this game.


Nice quick 2 player with some strategy. My only problem with this one is my inability to roll a 6!! Good intro in the block system for war gamers.
coyotelaughs
Rating: 6
uninspired and derivitive.
Dommy_Hui
Rating: 5.9
Very simple, fast, and easy to learn game. The Eastern side of Lake Ontario is always the core of the war. Dragoon and artillery are very important units and pre-mature casualty will give the player a hard time.
amacleod
Rating: 5.5
A fun, but certainly not a very deep game: avoid like the plague if you hate luck. I've only played once, but I suspect there is a limit to the number of strategic options one has, on either side. Having said that, with luck being such a strong factor ("SIX!! I NEED A SIX!!!"), it seems that even with limited strategic options, each game will play quite differently than the last. I like it, but am definitely not in love with it.
Deeevorce
Rating: 5.5
Very easy blockgame. Plays quick, lots of dice and a bit of strategy. Probably a decent intro wargame, but for more experienced wargamers War of 1812 is not that interesting. Problems:
- initial draw of units can be very decisive
- with all units hitting on a "6" and no terrain features, the amount of strategy is very limited.
Bankler
Rating: 5
I'd rather play Quebec 1759 ... I don't think the extra complexity adds anything, and loses some elegance.
denverarch
Rating: 5
hunting for sixes, exciting :(
Antares Rangers
Rating: 5
Good if I am in the right mood
Gryfon
Rating: 5
good intro game, decent strategy for 4 pages of rules
Deeevorce
Rating: 5
Very easy blockgame. Plays quick, lots of dice and a bit of strategy. Probably a decent intro wargame, but for more experienced wargamers War of 1812 is not that interesting. Problems:
- initial draw of units can be very decisive
- with all units hitting on a "6" and no terrain features, the amount of strategy is very limited.
astroglide
Rating: 4
simple rules, and i was looking forward to trying it. especially the simultaneous option. well i did, and i was really unimpressed. maybe i wasn't in the right mood, but it was all just kinda bland to me. maybe i need too much chrome with my blocks. on the upside this does seem like a decent starter block game, and it's got the best-looking map i've ever seen from columbia. i'd rather give the apparently similar quebec simultaneous movement block game a shot.
f_campeau
Rating: 4
A lot of dice throwing, too little strategy... It would be better with cards (like Hammer of the Scots!). Who wants it?
Duglis
Rating: -
Home-made version 3.0
CG Block Wargame.
EndersGame
Rating: -
[gameid=1645] (weight 2.3) or [gameid=85] (weight 2.2) are perhaps the easiest of the Columbia block games, and most suitable for newbies (comparison thread here and here).

Status: traded
Eric Engelmann
Rating: -
B2
ExcitingJeff
Rating: -
Interest: high
BanjosAreLoud
Rating: -
Lightweight block wargame.
fiatkid55
Rating: -
1973 original and Columbia Games 'reprint'
callidusx3
Rating: -
OT
Includes a second set of blocks with updated labels from recent re-release.
frosty_7
Rating: -
I want it
Bolga
Rating: -
Looking for the 2008 Columbia Games edition.
GeneSteeler
Rating: -
Acquired June 09 -
donlyn
Rating: -
Gamma Two became Columbia Games
bentlarsen
Rating: -
This one rocks for playability but, "tanks" for realism. Easy to learn, never plays exactly the same way twice. The "10" is for how much my students have enjoyed it during lunch recess. It is not the kind of game to play in order to teach the challenges both sides faced during the War of 1812, other than perhaps the choice of attacking on one side of the Great Lakes, or the other, or trying both sides. The map design is probably the worst I have ever seen in a Columbia Game. It reminds me of those maps of college/university towns that colourfully show where all the beer joints are located, along with other "fun" spots for the young at heart. Sigh. Good Times.
Bastian Bux
Rating: -
not played
axeme
Rating: -
Out of production. eBay, etc.
Daedelus
Rating: -
Back up for trade Sept 12, 2015
davebliz
Rating: -
The 1973 edition with 24 blocks on each side
Constantinople
Rating: -
1973 Columbia Games
AslanFrodo
Rating: -
Gold box edition, mid/late 70's.
armadaman
Rating: -
new, still in original shrinkwrap.
Second Edition
DKahnt
Rating: -
Yet to play.

Gone from my collection, never got to the table.
cln777
Rating: -
f73