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There just are not many Civil War board games that you can sit down and play from beginning to end within a couple of hours. I think what I’m looking for is a level above Risk, but sharing some similarities. So, I’ve been toying with the idea of making my own.

Here’s what I have so far:

Confederate_Railroad_MapUsing a map of the United States, somehow graying out states that didn’t exist at the time, I’d draw in beginning boundaries and railroads as they existed in that day.

Here are some preliminary rules I’ve come up with:


  • A turn is defined as complete game play by the Federal & Confederate player
  • A turn is a quarter of a year
  • Control of the Mississippi River by the Federals, negates reinforcements from the trans-Mississippi area
  • Morale is on a scale from 1 to 5, five being high
    • morale that drops below 3 negates troop movement and lasts for one turn
    • morale increase one notch per turn under normal circumstances

Cards [draw one from each stack (see below) each turn,] maximum of ____ in hand:

  1. Grant Advantage—Grant takes over, add one to the highest die rolled, whether in attack or defense—cannot be played until 1864.
  2. Lee Advantage—Lee takes over, add one to the highest die rolled, whether in attack or defense; effective until…
    1. “Stonewall” Jackson dies card is played
  3. McClellan – only roll two dice in attack
  4. European intervention – add one army to each Confederate territory; renews every turn until…
    1. Emancipation Proclamation card is played
  5. Northern rail advantage – troops may be moved from any Federal territory to any other Federal territory; one turn only
  6. Great locomotive chase – troop movement in Confederate territories are curtailed for one turn.
  7. Blockcade – negates “European Intervention” card until
    1. C.C.S. Alabama card is played
  8. Draft riots—Federal reinforcements are curtailed for one turn
  9. Leonodias Polk invades Kentucky, violating it’s neutrality & Kentucky moves over into the Federal column
  10. The lost order is recovered by the Confederates & the Federals are restricted to one attack die in their next turn.
  11. The lost order is recovered by the Federals & the Lee Advantage card is nullified (turned face down) for one turn
  12. Raid to kidnap Jefferson Davis succeeds – Confederate morale declines 2 points for two turns
  13. Raid to kidnap Abraham Lincoln succeeds – Federal morale declines 2 points for two turns
  14. Native Americans join the fray and Confederate troops west of the Mississippi gain one on their attack die roll unless Federals control all the hexes of the Mississippi River.

Rather than one stack of cards, I envision a Federal Stack, a Confederate stack, and a reinforcement stack, sort of like Risk.

I envision three types of units: cavalry, infantry and artillery, but I’m not sure how they factor in just yet. Maybe something like, artillery + infantry = one added to highest die roll? Or maybe, cavalry equals on less die being rolled in defense, since cavalry scouted out their positions?

The map would need to be overlaid with some sort of hexagonal grid (in other words, one can’t capture a whole state at a time.)

I would love to hear ideas and thoughts in your comments! Thanks!