I recently purchased Birth of America and think it’s a brilliant game that succeeds almost perfectly in recreating the atmosphere of colonial warfare in the Age of Reason.
However, the more I play it the less I like the way militia units are handled in the game. I think it’s far too random. Now it’s of course true that historically North American militia units behaved erratically, often going home and leaving the regular troops in trouble when they would have needed every man to save the day, but I find it strange that my American militia units often don’t bother doing anything (ie. not even mobilize) to those pesky Indians and Loyalists who are wreaking havoc in my rear areas. When facing only Loyalists and Indians and not the dreaded ”lobsterbacks”, Rebel militias tended to do very well in battle and spontaneously mobilized in large numbers to beat back their hated enemies.
Another thing I’d like to see improved about the militia is giving players the ability to actually call them to arms. Continental commanders did so many, many times during the war, with varying results (sometimes many militiamen answered the call, sometimes only few bothered to come). George Washington was especially good at getting support from the militia by calling them through the state governors - in this way he was able to amass a large militia force to oppose the army under General William Howe that invaded New York in the summer of 1776. (I recommend Mark V. Kwasny’s excellent study ”Washington’s Partisan War 1775–1783” for further reading about the American militia in the revolution.)
Who knows, maybe we’ll see such things in BoA gold. In any case, I think BoA is already a wonderful game.
"But here we are in a chamber pot, about to be ****ted upon."
-French General Auguste Ducrot before the Battle of Sedan, September 1870