A Few Acres of Snow

Summary
Game Author: 
Game Publisher: 
Game Subject: 
Game Level: 
Min Players: 
2
Max Players: 
2
Time: 
60

Description

In A Few Acres of Snow, the prolific (and masterful) Martin Wallace takes on the French and Indian War with a deck building twist on a traditional war game. The two players in the game represent the British and the French in the North American front of the Seven Years' War.
Gameplay is steeped in geography; most of the cards are based on locations with the card's power coming from the attributes and connections for the location. For example, the card for Philadelphia allows players to attack by ship to New York, New Haven, St. Mary's, or Baltimore. Or the card can be played to facilitate land travel, to add a settler, or for three money. By gaining control of different locations, players can then add that card to their deck. This results in a progressive spreading as unlocking new locations provides cards that grant access to locations further away.
Despite the strong Geography in A Few Acres of Snow, the history is not as developed as it could have been. Major elements of history are there; the colonial progression, the interactions with Native Americans, the importance of the fur trade. What is lacking are the small touches that place a game within the actual context of history. For example, the cards include a generic "Military Leader" as opposed to a card named for a specific person in history.
A Few Acres of Snow is, at its heart, a gamers game. Martin Wallace did a great job of embedding the deck building mechanic into a richly thematic game about the French and Indian War. To make this successful in a learning situation, you will have to provide additional historical context. You will need to supply names to the nameless cards. What the game does supply is plenty of strategic thinking with enough chance-based card drawing to somewhat even things out between players of different levels of skill. It also provides great insight into the French and Indian War, an often overlooked part of American history that had an enormous impact on the development of our country.