1775: Rebellion – Control the Colonies

1775 Rebellion board game

It’s time to fight for the colonies!

This coming weekend is the 4th of July, when we’ll celebrate Independence Day in the US.

So it’s the perfect time to review a board game centered on the American Revolution – 1775: Rebellion.

As you’d expect, 1775: Rebellion is about battling for control of the original British colonies on the American continent.

We seen a lot of history-based games that provide a historical learning experience without delivering any fun. It’s as if their sole purpose is to teach history rather than provide a fun game experience. They’re just lessons masquerading as a game.

But this isn’t the case with 1775: Rebellion.

Because 1775: Rebellion is actually a very fun game!

1775 Rebellion board game

Both sides are ready to begin.

In the game, players control the major factions that participated in the American Revolution. On one side are the British Regulars, Loyalist Militia, and German Hessians while on the other side are the Continental Army, Patriot Militia, and French Regulars. In addition, both sides may ally with the Native Americans.

Just like they did with Freedom: The Underground Railroad, Academy Games has developed a game that ties the mechanics of the game play extremely well with the theme. And in doing so, they deliver a very enjoyable experience.

Check out our video review to see how to play 1775: Rebellion.


Can the whole family enjoy 1775: Rebellion?

1775 Rebellion board game

Which faction do you want to be?

If your family consists of players 10+, then yes, the whole family could enjoy playing 1775: Rebellion. We agree with the recommendation on the box that it’s best enjoyed by those older than 10.

First of all, the theme may not be of much interest to the young tikes in your family. But as they get older and start learning more about history in school, an engaging game may be just the thing to pique their interest.

And secondly, it’s a strategy game that better rewards those with a bit more experience under their belt.

1775 Rebellion board game

Every faction has their unique deck of cards.

That being said, we’d categorize 1775: Rebellion as a light strategy game. Players need to plan well and prepare for shifts in their fortune, but deep strategy isn’t required.

It’s a very approachable game by all.


What I love about the game

First, I must admit that I love the theme. As I’ve grown, I’ve learned to appreciate history much more. In particular I’m fascinated by the events leading up to, through, and after the American Revolution. And not just the events, but with the lives of the individuals that took part in and made those events happen.

1775 Rebellion board game

The Continental Army is ready.

Second, I love that the game plays just as well with 4 as with 2 players. With 4 players, players face-off in teams. While each player controls one faction of their side, they still get to show each other their cards and strategize with one another. They can set each other up for subsequent turns as well as jointly determine which faction’s units are removed in battles when they’re hit.

Whereas with 2 players, it’s a great head-to-head battle with each player controlling 2 factions. Likewise, they can use the turn of one of their factions to strategically position the other faction to continue pressing forward on their next turn.

1775 Rebellion board game

Units that flee will come back into play with reinforcements.

Third, I love how the mechanics of the game relate so well to what transpired during the revolutionary war.

While I described how to play the game in our video review, I’ll mention just a few things here to demonstrate this point.

Dice Results: I appreciate how each faction has a different distribution of battle results on their dice. While that may seem an obvious need in such a game, the possible results are tied well to the historical perspective. For example, the British Regulars don’t have any Flee symbols on their dice. They hit 50% and make command decisions 50%, but they don’t run.

1775 Rebellion board game

You never know which faction will go next until it’s time.

Fled Units: Speaking of dice results, the one I find most interesting is the Flee result. Whereas the British Regulars never run away in battle, the Militia on both sides will turn and run 1/3rd of the time. But what’s really interesting about this die result is that it affects the faction rolling the dice, not the one being rolled at. The one rolling the dice has the risk of their own units deserting.

Variable turn order: Unlike other games where there’s a regular rotation of play order, in 1775: Rebellion you never know which faction will get to go next until you reveal the colored die. That simple mechanic really brings to light the fluid nature of the American Revolution. It delivers a mix of uncertainty that also helps keep the game enjoyable from play to play.

1775 Rebellion board game

These Native Americans have allied with the Continental Army.

Native Americans: As occurred in the actual revolution, in 1775: Rebellion Native Americans will also fight for both sides. They begin the game on the outskirts of the colonies and will ally with whichever side comes to get them. And it’s not just first-come-first-served. During the game, those Native American units can also switch sides.

In addition, a colony can’t be controlled by either side if there are still independent Native Americans in one or more of that colony’s areas. These are very interesting mechanics that add to both the theme and the strategic fun.

And of course, let’s not forget the handy player reference sheet.

1775 Rebellion board game

The handy, dandy reference sheet.

Not only does it provide a summary of the sequence of play, but it also displays the dice result probabilities and a map for strategizing.

All of this makes for a superb game experience.


How does 1775: Rebellion score on our “Let’s Play Again” game meter?

As you might expect, 1775: Rebellion scores high on my “let’s play again” game meter. This is the one time I’ve qualified that statement as “my” game meter rather than the family game meter. And that’s simply because not everyone in our family is interested in it as much as me.

1775: Rebellion board gameIt’s common knowledge that everyone has their own likes and dislikes. We’ve written frequently about the need to match the right game with a person’s interest. And this is no different with 1775: Rebellion.

While the game is approachable for all, it’s one I’m going to play most frequently with others that enjoy it like I do.

I highly recommend the game. But I’m not going to “force” on anyone.

After all, that would kind of be like taxing folks without representation. And we all know where that led…

Thanks Academy Games for an engaging and fun, historical area-control board game!



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