“I was born on the prairies where the wind blew free and there was no thing to break the light of the sun.I was born where there were no enclosures.” – Geronimo
Their names are virtually synonymous with the long conflicts with the native indigenes of the Americans West. Cochise, Victoria, Chato, Geronimo. These great war band leaders all come from the various tribes of the Apache, and the Apache Wars dominated the attention of the US government in its westward development for the critical 25 years from the American Civil War to the final capitulation of the natives of the area.
ONCE WE MOVED LIKE THE WIND covers these central conflicts of the American South West. The game is played as a series of turns, each of which follows a sequence of play that begins with determining how bad a provocation results in conflict for the turn. The provocation level determines the forces each player will have for the turn and their general placement on the map. Next the Apache player moves the Apache forces and then the Army Player moves the US and Mexican forces. Combat may then occur between opposing player forces that share a location. After any combat is resolved, victory points are counted up and the player with the most for the turn earns one increase in victory level on the Victory Track. Play then repeats for the next turn to the end of the game when the player with the higher level on the Victory track is the winner.
Central to the game is that the playing pieces are all wooden blocks with the information about each particular piece only on one side and hence hidden during play from the opposing player until action occurs which must reveal particular blocks. And not all of these blocks are actually opposing forces. For the Apache player in particular, many playing pieces each turn will represent rumors of Apache actions and forces which the Army player must chase down to determine if they are real or false. Similarly, for the Apache player, not knowing which Army pieces represent which forces means not knowing if an opposing group is small enough to attack and win, or is in reality a force big enough to hand out a devastating defeat.
• Complexity: 3 out of 10
• Solitaire Suitability: 5 out of 10
• Time Scale: 3-4 years per turn
• Map Scale: Areas covering parts of Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Sonora and Chihuahua
• Unit Scale: A wooden block represents an Army Troop or Apache War Band
• Players: Two
• Playing Time: 1-2 hours
What You Get:
• 1 Mounted Map – 22” x 23”
• 1 Color rules book - 16 pages
• 1 Sheet of stickers (for blocks)
• 80 Wooden blocks in various colors
• 4 Player mats/aids
• 2 Six-sided dice
• 1 Box and Lid set
What Makes This Game Special:
One of the problems with outright war oriented games is that they only look at conflict. Not only do not all people want to deal only with actual combat, in real life and in the history of events, though fighting is certainly a big part, its not everything. Even in wars, circumstances surround and channel fighting. I wanted to try designing a game that accounted for both sides of this equation, and thus open up the possible audience to players whose interests were wider than just about the shooting. To do this but to also appeal to those players that did want a war oriented game, what was needed was a topic that at its core was interspersed conflict and circumstance. The Apache Wars seemed to me perfect for this kind of synthesis.
Another really big problem with war games is that, in general, they are pretty complicated. There are often dozens of pages of rules needed to reflect in an historically accurate manner a military situation. Large numbers of playing pieces with a lot of data on them are common and playing times for these games tends to be long. These things are major impediments to lots of potential players. But several decades ago a small company called Gamma Two Games came up with a way to address these problems to some degree, using wooden blocks with hidden information sides, simple area movement concepts, and low complexity step reduction combat structures. These ideas led to a sub group of conflict games generally called ‘block games’ and over the years they have developed a good following. It seemed to me that combining the ideas behind an Apache Wars game with those of a block game could produce an ideal result that lacked complication, but could still be a deep, interesting, and colourful historical game and have wide appeal. That was back in 2008. ONCE WE MOVED LIKE THE WIND is the many years later result of these ideas, a lot of research, and a ton of play testing.
Notes From The Designer:
The Apache wars were a series of conflicts involving many different groups of Apaches over a period of nearly 40 years. In general, each flare up of the wars happened as a result of some sort of provocation. Sometimes the Apaches did something. Other times settlers or the US Army did something. Then both sides would get their backs up and a wider conflict would break out. Both sides were constantly primed to be testing each other for various internal reasons and both sides regularly considered many actions by the other as provocative and in need of response. To reflect this, the game uses a Provocation system and that system takes into consideration previous events to determine what kind of levels of forces take to the field to settle their differences.
Most armed conflicts between indigenous peoples and regular military forces tend toward being, by their nature, asymmetrical. In this regard, the Apache Wars were the very definition of insurgency warfare. The Apaches were outgunned and outmanned, but had intimate knowledge of the terrain and a long-practiced hit and run combat form. The Army needed to defend terrain and respond to events for political reasons while the natives could move about fairly freely except for the tether of their non-combatants. The US and Mexican regular forces needed to pay attention to orders from above and national borders. The Apaches basically did not acknowledge the existence of either of these restrictions. This is reflected in the game by the play sequencing, the fog of war of undisclosed forces, and the inability of the national armies to tell real opponents from rumors of them except by actually taking the field and investigating. And, of course, an investigation with insufficient force would simply be easy pickings if it turned out the opponent was real and in the mood for a fight. The core of the design of ONCE WE MOVED LIIKE THE WIND is set up to reflect these on the ground realities.
ONCE WE MOVED LIKE THE WIND is unlike any other existing game dealing with the conflicts between the expanding settlement of the continental United States and its native population. It plays quickly and easily, but has the strategic depth that will bring you back to it again and again to try out just one more new tactic that you thought of and figure might work. I greatly enjoyed designing and developing it, and I hope you will enjoy playing it.
Risks and challenges
Compass Games has been producing and publishing games since 2005. In that time we have produced more than 90 high quality products. Once We Moved Like The Wind will be subject to the same level of passion with which we approach all of our products, to ensure you receive the best quality game possible.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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