Reviews from the Past 4 – Hammer of the Scots (1st edition)

Jerry Taylor and Tom Dalgliesh
Columbia Games
SKU 3215
$49.98

This goal of this strategic level simulation of the Scots Wars of Independence, best known through the historically illiterate film Braveheart, is to control the majority of Scots nobles by the end of the game. The map is divided into the home fiefdoms of the nobles, each with a differing ability to raise and sustain troops and nobles will change sides either through defeat in battle or because their fiefdom winters under enemy occupation so be wary of sacrificing units and land.

MapThe mechanics of the game are simple and elegant, command and control is handled by movement cards that limit how many army groups can be moved in any turn, fog of war by not allowing your opponents to see the value of your troops until combat is joined and end of year bookkeeping is handled in a simple book-keeping turn. Combat means rolling a die for a chance to reduce the enemy’s strength, differing speeds of troops allow faster but numerically inferior troops to defeat a superior enemy.

This game is fun and easy to play with intriguing strategy. The level of historical accuracy is good, though some geographical liberties have been taken with the fiefdoms for the sake of game balance and the field of the arms of the Bruce family is incorrect. The components are colourful and well made with wooden block playing pieces, a card mounted mapboard, dice and a mixture of movement and event cards, although no year marker. The rules are mostly clear, and the website has clarifications and errata.

Rating A-


From what I can tell, the Third Edition (3161 Hammer of the Scots $64.98) has slightly changed rules and map

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