Kick The Box
Interview with 1750: Britain vs. France Creator, Jason Huffman
Jason Huffman has designed a strategy card game based on the wars and power struggles that took place in the mid 1700’s between Britain and France that is live on Kickstarter as we speak. He was nice enough to sit down with me and answer a few questions that I had tossed his way.
Jason Huffman: Hi Jason things are going great! I’ve been really excited to finally take this step with this project and I’m really thrilled to see that it’s something a lot of people are intrigued by.
KTB: Battle Hardened Games. I love the name. How did you come up with it?
JH: Thanks I think I had just written something like twenty different ideas down and it was the one that seemed to resonate with me the most.
KTB: Fair Enough. Besides 1750: Britain vs. France, What games are you playing these days?
JH: My gaming group has been playing a lot of Dominion over the last year, and Macao by Stefan Feld. I’m still sneaking in some Warhammer here and there too.
KTB: One of the guys in my gaming group just picked Macao up. It looks interesting and can’t wait to try it out. My readers and I are always looking for new podcasts or game news/reviewers. Who has become your ‘go to’ for news and reviews? And anyone new that you really enjoy listening to/watch?
JH: Well I had some really fun interactions with different folks who previewed my game, particularly Rick Perez from Let’s Level Up and Tim Norris of GreyElephant Gaming. For Warhammer news I have always enjoyed Shawn Gately’s channel Blue Table Painting.
KTB:On your Battle Hardened Youtube channel, you did a Top Ten list in June. Any new games that you have discovered that may have fallen or rose out of that top 10 since the video was released in June(2014)? BTW, a huge fan of the Star Wars CCG. Really disappointed that Fantasy Flight changed the gameplay in their LCG release.
JH: Honestly this summer has been so busy between my annual military requirements and preparing for this campaign that I haven’t gotten to play many new games. I did get to play in a Star Wars CCG cube tournament at Gen Con and thoroughly enjoyed that.
KTB: How did you end up doing in the tournament?
JH: After dropping my first game I managed to recover and win the next two. In the first game my hand was stacked and I was up against Uncle Owen and Aunt Beru… so I was thinking to myself, what’s the worst that can happen? So I go down to Tatooine and get completely slaughtered by them… I’m imagining Luke returning back to the farm where his aunt and uncle are standing on top of the bodies of my guys in victory.
KTB: Ugh! That’s a bummer. In your new game, 1750: Britain vs. France, between what years do the events take place? Is 1750 the beginning of the era that the game portrays?
JH: The year “1750” is meant to represent the game’s emphasis which is mid-1700’s colonial warfare between France and Britain. The leaders involved were major characters from the War of the Austrian Succession (which ended in 1748) and The Seven Year’s War / French and Indian War (which started in 1754). So it’s basically smack dab in the middle of this era of persistent conflict between these two powers for worldwide colonial dominance.
KTB: Interesting concept. Thanks for the history lesson! How long has the game been in development?
JH: The game has been in development off and on for about a year. This is really the third major version of the game. I originally started off wanting to do a deck builder, although given the proliferation of that game type I’m definitely ok with it not ending up that way. I scrapped the two prior versions because I wasn’t satisfied with the gameplay.
JH: Yes it is. It did take a long time to match the right imagery with the subject matter / mechanics, and validating that works were in the public domain was also more difficult in some cases than I would have imagined.
KTB:What were some of the difficulties that you encountered?
JH: Some works will mimic the style of a certain era, so you have to double check, and then sometimes it’s just difficult to find the original artist. Now in terms of the matching of imagery and subject matter… sometimes it’s just tough to find that right image. Finding appropriate images for gold and ivory in particular took a long time. There were a couple of ideas for cards that I had to let go because there simply were no appropriate images for them.
KTB: I know it’s still early to look at expansions for the game, but I can see this being a fun 2 vs. 2 team game. Anything under development that you would like to share for backers and potential backers?
JH: It’s something I continue to take a look at. The mechanics were really geared toward a two player experience and I didn’t want to just say that players could be responsible for different phases of a turn and that that would make it a 2 vs. 2 experience. So I’m still trying to devise something interesting for a multiplayer experience, but that may also be something that’s shelved and integrated into the next game.
KTB: I see there is a small amount of resource collection in the game, but after watching a couple of the videos posted on the Kickstarter campaign, I’m not really sure what the value of collecting them are.
JH: The main thing is that you’re trying to get sets of different resources to get more gold, and then you’re using that gold to get more units and historic event cards. There are also some historic event cards that interact with the resources you have.
KTB: Aw. Ok. Thanks for clearing that up. I must have missed it in the videos.
JH: You’re Welcome.
KTB: That’s it for today folks. Thank you Jason Huffman for taking the time to answer a few questions. Wish you the best with your campaign for 1750: Britain vs. France which you can find here on Kickstarter right now for a short period of time.