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Bloody Forks of the Ohio

Bloody Forks of the Ohio is a self-contained scenario in the style of Lady Blackbird. It deals with the war between the French and British in Ohio along with their respective Native American allies.

The conflict is famous for creating the war debt that ultimately led to the American Revolution and also because George Washington, who fought on the British side, was famously alienated during the conflict.

The scenario allows you to take the part of either the French or the British with Native Americans appearing on both sides of the conflict. We decided to give the French a go, with a kind of "let's kill George Washington" mindset.

System-wise it is identical to The Shadow of Yesterday or Solar System except with a more generous (compared to the averaging Fate dice) d6-based dice mechanic for checks. There is an interesting dice pool building system that keeps you favouring your core abilities and trying to work situations to match your biggest pools.

The application of Conditions to the forts and garrisions that lie along the river system is interesting and helps abstract out the wargame aspect of the campaign. However in general the military manoeuvring and geopolitics seem to sit uneasily with the essentially soap opera drama of relationships and ambitions that the scenario seems to want to create.

In my playthrough I found the position of the natives fascinating and that of the Europeans less so. The natives are aggressive, warring and with centuries of feuding between the various tribes and clans that takes precedence over the mere decades of grudges they have with the settlers. Even as the tribes are marginalised and bullied in their own lands their powerful sense of history prevents them from taking decisive action to expell the more dangerous intruders.

If that sense of history, risk and danger could be brought to the European characters in their fierce competition and rivalry for foreign territory you could have a great scenario here.

A military campaign between rival powers limits interactions across the border and I felt there could have been a more interesting situation in the period before the outbreak of war that could have allowed for more interaction.

It feels as through the attempt to meld geopolitics and history to the adventure drama of Lady Blackbird fails. Instead each character in the game should really be a reflection of the powers and forces within the historical situation and each player really should be enacting the forces that drove the conflict.

I'd be willing to give a revision a go but in its current state it is not quite working as well as it should.

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