Puneet Varma (Editor)

Civil War (game)

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Players  2
Setup time  5 minutes
Random chance  Medium
Age range  12+
Playing time  60 to 90 minutes
Skill(s) required  Tactics

Civil War is an early strategic board wargame, produced by Avalon Hill, in 1961. Designed by Wargaming Hall of Fame designer Charles S. Roberts, it was issued to coincide with the 100th anniversary of the American Civil War, along with the tactical games Gettysburg and Chancellorsville.

The game included a heavy cardstock game board, a rules sheet, advertisements for other AH games, and a pamphlet on the historical setting. There were two cardboard trays with sixteen blue plastic pawns, nine red pawns and one six-sided die.

The game board displays the eastern part of the United States from Missouri to Pennsylvania and eastern Texas at the top to northern Florida on the lower half. The map itself is white, with blue rivers, black railroads, brown rough terrain, and various cities and ports.

Six of the blue Union army pawns begin on the board, as well as six of the red Confederate States Army pawns. Reinforcements arrive much faster for the Union, with a total of fifteen pawns eventually in play versus nine for the Confederates.

Each game turn represents a month of time (1861 through 1865). Only one pawn may occupy a square at a time, and all pawns may move 1 or 2 hexes per turn, plus a bonus of 8 hexes if using the railroads.

Union pawns may move 8 hexes via rivers or the sea, while the Confederate pawns may only use rivers (and only get 2 hexes for that movement). All, any or none of the pawns may move each turn.

Combat is resolved using a combat results table found on the gameboard. Certain terrain features double the defensive benefit. The goal is to capture or dispute control of reinforcement centers.

Computer version

Avalon Hill released a computer version of Civil War in 1988. In a 1993 survey of pre 20th-century strategy games Computer Gaming World gave the game zero-plus stars out of five, stating that it "shows how one can take a highly playable boardgame and turn it into an unplayable computer 'product' [with] incomplete rules, incomplete graphics and incomplete programming". The magazine noted that Avalon Hill did not ship a promised update.


Civil War (game) Wikipedia

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