Updated 190412
  1. TITLE: The Civil War
  2. PUBLISHER: Victory Games, The Avalon Hill Game Company (TAHGC)
  3. SCOPE: The American Civil War, Operational Level.
  4. TAHGC CATALOG DESCRIPTION: A dynamic portrait of this immense struggle, from its infancy to its final grasp depicting the nation and its leaders on a strategic level. You'll maneuver armies on accurate detailed maps according to the carefully drawn abilities of over 60 commanders. While you're fighting land battles, naval units struggle for control of critical waterways. Can be played as a campaign or in year-long scenarios.
  5. GAME BOX DESCRIPTION: From the epic campaigns of the East, to the ceaseless skirmishing in Texas and the Western Territories, - and throughout the vast lands in between- the American Civil War was a conflict memorable above all for its staggering scope and for its legendary leaders. A dynamic portrait of this immense struggle, from its infancy to its finals gasp, THE CIVIL WAR depicts the nation and its leader as no game has done before. Players re-create history on a map stretching from the Eastern shores through the untamed lands of New Mexico, maneuvering and engaging their armies according to the carefully drawn abilities of over 60 individually represented commanders, as ocean going and river naval units battle for control of critical waterways.
  6. YEAR PUBLISHED (EDITIONS): 1983. Official errata 11/83 is pulled from Web Grognards. An unconfirmed designer errata is also listed in addition to a number of player variants. An unpublished WGA 2nd edition (2003), reformatted rules set, which includes the alternate leader promotion variant, additional optional rules, two multi-player formats; one using and independent GM (MSword file), one using a player-GM (MSword file) is nearly complete. The original rule book is perplexing because the needed rule isn't found in the logical place. A Wargame Academy revised and amplified CVW rulebook; version April 27, 2011 (110427) is available and will be used for WGA organized play (3.5MB; pdf). The WGA effort continues on the rulebook as additional well versed players became involved in regular play (Dave Turansky, James Cohen, Peter Walsh and others; Dave Turansky leads the maintenance effort for WGA).
    • Design and Development: Eric Lee Smith
    • Graphics: Ted Koller
    • Rules Editing: Bob Ryer
    • Playtesting: John Butterfield, Mark Herman, Ted Koller, Gerry Klug, Bob Ryer, Clayton Smith
    • Blindtesting: Jamie Adams, Paul Dobbins, Richard A. Edwards, Dan Goure, C. Trevor Nolte, William Spitz
    • Production: Ted Koller, Eric Lee Smith, Bob Ryer,Colonial Composition, Monarch Services, Inc.
    • Cover Art: Painting courtesy of West Point Museum Collection, United States Military Academy
    • Project Oversight: W. Bill
  8. NUMBER OF PLAYERS: 2, also suited for Team Play
  10. TYPICAL PLAYING TIME (HOURS): From 2 hours for a short scenario to 20 hours for the campaign.
  11. MAP SCALE: Hex is 25 miles
  12. UNIT SCALE: Strength points represent 5000 men, Naval strength point represents 1-3 ironclads/escorts; each Indian counter represents 1000 braves.
  13. TIME SCALE PER TURN: An unpredictable number of pulses in a turn which represents one season (3 months).
  14. NUMBER OF GAME TURNS: SCENARIOS: 1861-65 Campaign with several defined victory assessment checks during campaign; 1861, 1862, 1863, 1864 Scenarios; five game turns per year.
  15. ARTICLE LISTING: Click here
  16. GAME INVENTORY: 520 1/2" Counters; Two 22"x32" Mapsheets; Rules Booklet; Four six-sided dice; Two identical 11"x 16" Player Aide Cards; One Counter Storage Tray.
  17. WBC & AVALONCON HISTORY: Although not appearing in 2003, CVW was played for 4+ years. The tournament ALWAYS used a 1861 scenario with the Union player starting with a +7 initiative. Players bid for sides. The GM would not disclose any bid history and was focused on winning the tournament, serving as a GM in a secondary role. Encouraging interest enjoyment of new participants was notably lacking. This may explain why the event is now orphaned.
    • A Civil War module for the Java application VASSAL has been upgraded by WGA enabling both stepped turn based PBEM play and real time internet play via inherent server. The CVW module is currently being play tested and upgraded by members of WGA.
    • Pending version history for CVW module 1.7
    • Although VASSAL play is preferred, it was proceeded by a full Play by Graphics toolset using Claris Draw exists in the WGA archives to PBEM using a multilayer graphics file. Claris Draw installers exist for both Macintosh OS9 and Windows. Claris Draw is an orphaned application. Three multi-player games have been concluded by Jerome Discours (Paris, France) acting as the GM.
    • A Wargame Academy revised and amplified CVW rulebook; v091118;is available and will be used for WGA organized play (3.7MB; pdf).
  19. PBEM OPPORTUNITES: Contact Wargame Academy if interested. A Boardgamer Player Association PBEM tournament will be organized by WGA pending suitable interest. A smaller field would at least warrant a WGA tournament.
  20. WARGAME ACADEMY COMMENTS: CVW uses a relative unique system with an unknown number of pulse driven turns since adopted by other later designs such as Turning Point Stalingrad and Breakout Normandy. Leaders are essential to move bodies of troops but the number of actions for any particular unit is zero or one per pulse. The difference in single die rolled by each player limits the number of 'command points' a player can spend that pulse, better leaders with lower 'initiative rating' have greater opportunity to execute actions. Sustaining momentum is thus hindered due to the need of executing actions in the three fronts. A fourth front, The Far West is optional to include action on the Indian frontier. WGA considers The Civil War a step up in complexity from A HOUSE DIVIDED and a precursor to FOR THE PEOPLE.
  21. VARIANTS: An alternate and less predictable leader promotion table published in the French Magazine VOLUNTEER is recommend for a less predictable game.
    • Softcopy rulebook, charts, map, counters
    • Unofficial 2nd edition rulebook in progress with reorganization of the rules in a more organized presentation.
    • Experience in multiple GM multi-player games (6+players).

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