CVW -THE CIVIL WAR
- TITLE: The Civil War
- PUBLISHER: Victory Games, The Avalon Hill Game Company
- SCOPE: The American Civil War, Operational Level.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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An unpublished WGA 2nd edition (2003), reformatted rules set, which includes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
- NUMBER OF PLAYERS: 2, also suited for Team Play
- WGA COMPLEXITY SCALE (1-10): 7
- TYPICAL PLAYING TIME (HOURS): From 2 hours for a short
scenario to 20 hours for the campaign.
- MAP SCALE: Hex is 25 miles
- UNIT SCALE: Strength points represent 5000 men, Naval strength
point represents 1-3 ironclads/escorts; each Indian counter represents 1000
- TIME SCALE PER TURN: An unpredictable number of pulses
in a turn which represents one season (3 months).
- 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.
- ARTICLE LISTING: Click here
- 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.
- 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.
- PBEM TOOLS:
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.
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.
VARIANTS: An alternate and less predictable leader promotion
table published in the French Magazine VOLUNTEER is recommend for a less predictable
WARGAME ACADEMY GAME TOOLS:
- 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.
- 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
- A Wargame Academy
revised and amplified CVW rulebook; v091118;is available and will be
used for WGA organized play (3.7MB; pdf).
- 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).
Please send comments and corrections via to Wargame
Go to the Wargame
Academy main page