The year is 1836 and the Texians near San Antonio have come to the end of their tolerance for the policies of Mexican President General Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna. The Texians have taken residence in the Alamo near the Mexican town of San Antonio (de Bexar).
Players take the role of either Santa Anna or the Texian leader James Bowie at the pivotal point in history. The outcome, though, is up to the luck and strategy of the gamers. Re-write the books! Players on either side of the conflict can choose to be an aggressor or take a defensive role and outlast a siege.
Board Description / Basic Strategy
The standard odds on this SimulGear map tend to favor the defender, and bonus armies are limited. Wonton aggression can leave you crippled. On the other hand, an aggressive player can activate their hospital and receive a relatively healthy bonus with the caveat that their Siege Timer starts counting down. Once a player has enabled their Hospital, they have 13 turns to eliminate the other player or take the other player's capital (flag) or they, themselves lose!
There are several types of special territories on this map. They include:
The standard hex can stand alone or be part of a group of hexes that make up a single, compound territory. Players may attack to any adjacent territory from a standard hex with a 60% chance of killing a defending army. When attacking adjacently, the beligerant can expect to lose to the defending forces at a rate of 75%.
The Standard Hex can also employ an artillery attack at a range of 2 hexes* with significantly improved odds. The beligerant in such an attack can expect to kill with a success rate of 75% while the defenders chance of successful return fire is reduced to 60%.
The standard hex has a maximum capacity of 5 units.
*When determining the range of the artillery attack for a standard hex, a player can count from any hex within a compound territory to any hex adjacent to the immediately adjacent hex. The second hex may also be part of a compound territory that spans outside the stated range of the artillery attack. This may give the perception of gunfire at much longer range than just 2 hexes, but the simplest description is that the attack range is across exactly 2 borders.
If a compound territory includes any hex that is immediately adjacent to another compound territory, it is to be considered immediately adjacent and so cannot be attacked with the range bonus, even if the defending compound territory also includes a hex 2 steps away from the attacking territory. Again, the range attack bonus for the standard hex only applies across exactly 2 borders.
Strategy: If you are trying to gain ground against your opponent, you may find more success by performing a ranged attack from behind the front lines preceding your adjacent attack attempting to claim the defending territory.
The artillery space is represented by a cannon, and shares most characteristics with the standard hex. It also has a maximum capacity of 5, and attacks adjacent territories with the same, basic odds (60% attack success / 75% defender success).
However, it can artillery attack at a range of up to 4 hexes (see standard hex heading for an explanation of counting the range). The artillery attack has an attacking success rate of 90%! The defender's success rate is also modified to be 100%, representing that the attacking player has spent their ammunition for each defender.
Strategy: The artillery are important spaces for both offense and an aggressive defense. Reinforced attacks and pumping are OFF on this map, so make sure you load your cannons during the placement phase.
The stars represent the crossover points that take the battle from a high-level view of San Antonio to a more detailed look at The Alamo.
On the San Antonio portion of the map, there are three large stars overlapping adjacent standard hex spaces. Any of the overlapped standard hex territories can attack to or be attacked from any of the three territories on the Alamo map that contain a star the same color as the large star in San Antonio.
!! No artillery attacks work across the "Star Borders" from either standard hex or the artillery cannons in either direction.
Each player starts with a capital territory represented by a flag at the center of their starting area. The capital starts the game with 13 units that cannot be replenished by either placement or transfer. Once a player loses all of the units on their capital either due to losses in battle, transferring away, or as a result of their seige timer*, the game is over and that player has lost.
*See the Hospital heading for an explanation of the siege timer.
The hospital space is represented by a square cross. Each player has a hospital in their starting area, and each hospital starts neutral.
If a player takes control of their hospital, they receive a relatively large bonus of 13 units per turn.
Taking control of a hospital also starts a negative factory bonus of -1 on the nearby capital. This negative bonus is referred to in the rules as a Siege Timer and represents the 13 day siege of the Alamo the preceded the famous battle.
Strategy: The 13 unit bonus can be overwhelming early in the game, but make sure you're within striking distance of taking your opponents capital, or you might give away the victory. If you have breached your opponents defenses, taking control of their hospital can be a good way to speed the destruction of their capital, as the -1 bonus will still apply to that territory.
Walls and streams are represented on the map with a purple line. Adjacent attacks accross these purple borders are hindered with a reduction to attacker succes of -15% (resulting in a 45% attacking success rate). The defender receives no adjustments.
Strategy: Artillery attacks are not affected by these physical barriers, making cannons and small arms fire even more important for a breach.
The black outlines of the Alamo and the San Antonio streets are strictly aesthetic. They have no bearing on gameplay other than giving the player an observable reference of the battlefield.
Each player may save units in reserve, and the Mexican forces start with 10 that they can place at any time.
Bonuses, Limits and Dice