Unofficial rewrite by Richard Wein

Last updated June 24, 2000
(latest changes marked in red)

Blue vs Gray™ is a two-player division/corps level card game covering the Civil War from start to finish. To win as the USA, you must occupy the vital centers of the South. To win as the CSA you must invade the North or survive the Yankee onslaught. Both sides have a roughly equal chance to win.


Setting Up

Card Types


Board Layout

Turn Sequence

 Step 1: Draw/Replace

 Step 2: Deploy / Move

 Step 3: Combat

 Step 4: Reorganization

Step 5: Regroup

 Supply Lines

  Victory Conditions

Special Rules

Optional Rules

 Historical Scenario

 Strategy Hints


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(Lee's Army of Northern Virginia at Chancellorsville)

  • R.E. LEE [#38]
    • Stuart [#45]
    • McLaws' Div. [#30]
    • R.H. Anderson's Div. [#33]
    • JACKSON [#21]
      • The Stonewall Div. [#9]
      • Ewell's Div. [#10]
      • A.P. Hill's Div. [#34]
      • D.H. Hill's Div. [#22]
  • Army Commander.
    • Cavalry, attached to Lee for free.
    • Attached to Lee in lieu of a corps.
    • Attached to Lee in lieu of a corps.
    • Corps Commander; Lee's subordinate.
      • Attached to Jackson.
      • Attached to Jackson.
      • Attached to Jackson.
      • Attached to Jackson.


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Step 3: COMBAT

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-4 or if Washington is captured.

Immediate CSA Strategic Victory.
Hey, it could happen!

-3 before Emancipation.
The British intervene, break the blockade and threaten to bombard USA ports.

Immediate CSA Diplomatic Victory.
Hail Britannia!

+3 or less by 1864 Elections.
McClellan elected on the platform of "peace on the basis of separation."

CSA Operational Victory.
The army has done its job. Now it's up to the fat cats and ward heelers; God help us all!

+4 or +5 by 1864 Elections.

The war continues.

+6 before 1864 Elections.
Malice towards none and charity towards all.

Immediate USA Operational Victory.
Mine eyes have seen the glory!

+5 or less after the USA has used up its deck and bonus turn.
Excessive losses destroy the USA will to continue. Border States remain in the USA.

CSA Attritional Victory.
Yankee Go Home!

+6 objectives at any point after the 1864 Elections.
Assassination. Occupation. Reconstruction. Jim Crow.

Immediate USA Attritional Victory.
"O Captain! my Captain!"

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    1. Theater Deployment. Strongly recommended. You can only play a unit to its home theater, as indicated by the word EAST or WEST next to the card number. (Units marked EAST-WEST can be played to either theater.) Once played, a unit can move between theaters normally. When taking a card from cadre, you can ignore this rule, providing you play it in the immediately following Deploy/Move Step.
    2. Cumberland Gap. (S) If any city in neutral Kentucky (including Cumberland Gap) is attacked, roll a die. 1-3: USA gains control of Cumberland Gap, 4-6: CSA gains control. On a roll of 4-6, repeat the die roll at the start of the attacker's next turn (do not roll more than twice). Whatever the result, the other cities of Kentucky still join the attacker's opponent. Regardless of how Kentucky enters the war, Cumberland Gap always surrenders immediately if Knoxville and Lexington are both enemy-controlled.
    3. Fort Monroe. (S+) USA can't attack from Ft Monroe unless there are no CSA-controlled cities adjacent to Washington.
    4. Cavalry Losses. (N) Until Late-War, all cavalry units go to cadre face-down. Turn them face-up on your next turn.
    5. Trans-Mississippi. (N+) Control of the Mississippi is worth 2 objectives to the USA, instead of the usual 1, unless the CSA has sent two leaders and one undepleted infantry division to the "Trans-Mississippi Theater" (i.e. removed them from the game permanently). The CSA may only do this in his Deploy/Move Step, and only while the USA does not control the the Mississippi. Both leaders must have an initiative of 2 in both attack and defense, but one of them can be taken from cadre (face-up only). [Historically, the leaders were Price and Kirby Smith.]
    6. Political favor. (N+) Recommended. No leader with political disfavor may have as many cards under him at any time as any leader with political favor in the same theater. For this purpose, count all a leader's subordinate leaders and units (including units under his subordinates), active or inactive. You may never deliberately violate this restriction. Should it be violated by events outside your control (e.g. casualties in battle), then excess cards must be immediately detached from the disfavored leader or his subordinates. [This rule can (and should) complicate Stonewall Jackson's role in the game. Normally, he can attach at leisure to any eligible army, but this rule can prevent Jackson from joining disfavored leaders in many cases.]
    7. Isolation. If the defender in a battle cannot trace a supply line to a supply base in the theater he is defending from, then he can't add any reserves. If the attacker is bypassing an enemy city (using an initiative 2 commander), then he can't add any reserves. In addition, the USA can't add reserves to any battle (attack or defense) that is supplied by sea (including invasions), even during Late-War, and can't defend from his hand. However, in these situations players can still withdraw cards, and can still play those Enigma cards that must be played as reserves.
    8. The Middle Dept. (N) During USA Late-War, USA VIII Corps, if not attached to the Dept of Washington, may add its strength to any command's attack against or defense of the Shenandoah Valley. VIII Corps is attached to the command for the duration of the battle, and counts against a leader's capacity. After the battle, VIII Corps returns to being a lone unit.
    9. Garrisons. (S) USA VII Corps can't attack. It may only defend. USA IV Corps can't attack until USA Late-War. [Use them to defend your ports.]
    10. Political Generals. (N) USA can buy corps out of cadre (for 1 supply point each) during Step 5 of his turn, providing these corps are immediately attached to McClellan or Banks. For this purpose, you can deploy and attach the corps in Step 5, contrary to the usual turn sequence, and can ignore the theater deployment restrictions of Optional Rule 1.
    11. Deathride. If the combat result is Defender Routed and the attacking commander is not sacked, the attacker takes the city, even if the commander is killed or wounded.
    12. The Atlantic "Theater". Forces fighting in a sea-supplied bridgehead cannot be instantly transferred to other parts of the Eastern Theater.

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 USA Eastern Theater

  • DEPT. OF WASH. [#4]
  • McDOWELL [#8]
    • I Corps [#9]
  • PORTER [#5]

 USA Western Theater

  • FOOTE [#7]

 USA Hand

  • Devil's Own Luck [#3]
  • Habeas Corpus [#6]

 USA Supply = 1

 CSA Eastern Theater

    • Pickett's Div [#7]
    • Ewell's Div [#10]
    • J.E. JOHNSTON [#8]
      • The Stonewall Div. [#9]

 CSA Western Theater (None)

 CSA Hand

  • Miracle from God [#3]
  • Tidewater Militia [#4]
  • La Belle Rebelle [#5]

 CSA Supply = 0


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Northern Strategy
You bear the burden of the attack, so here is some friendly advice. If the front lines don't change, you lose. The question is where to attack? Your best bet is usually Winfield Scott's "Anaconda Plan," which drew scorn but in the end proved to be the winning strategy.

For the first several turns, draw lots of cards until you have a considerably bigger army than the Rebels. Then pour on the pressure. Move forward, especially in the West. Drive down the Mississippi to cut Rebel production, then move on Atlanta. Once this is accomplished, cut the Southern railnet. If the Rebels concentrate on one theater, seize the ports in the other. In the East, seize the Shenandoah if you can, to avoid Belle Boyd and protect your railnet. Try to take the Wilderness to cover Washington, and Lynchburg to "fork" Richmond and Petersburg.

Do not get distracted. Concentrate on your objectives and on the clock. Strangle the CSA sea lanes; occupy its ports if the opportunity presents itself. When you gather and organize sufficient might, rend the South asunder and dance on her grave. Vast resources (despite ineffective leadership) give you an even chance of winning, but the pressure of the offensive must continuously dominate your thinking. You've got to push, push, push!

Southern Strategy
On account of the Yankees outnumber you, here's some friendly advice. Time is on your side. You must seize the opportunities the Yankee presents. Counterattack, disrupt his communications, raid his supply lines. Hang in there. Seriously consider invading the North (hint: think "Harrisburg") if at any time your foe is disorganized and weakened. Do not be deceived by the greater number of cards in your deck. The weakest Yankee corps are as strong as your finest divisions. However, you will probably need less supply than he will and that is an advantage. Don't put all your forces in one theater-he'll just seize the empty ports and you can't afford that. Your cutting edge is superior leadership. Your secondary advantage is cavalry. Use it.

Eastern Theater: Dominate the Wilderness if at all possible. Not only is it your route to the Shenandoah (and points north), but the Federals might get behind Richmond. If Richmond does fall, you can afford to trade space for time.

Western Theater: Defend western Tennessee (but don't make a cult of it). Fight him for Grenada and Jackson. Try to hold Chattanooga, at least until the locals turn surly. Then slam shut the true gateways to the South: Vicksburg and Atlanta. Better yet, kill him before he multiplies. Soft Route North: play or seize Kentucky and strike at his soft underbelly, avoiding Cairo.

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Copyright 1999 Q.E.D. Games, Inc. All rights reserved.  BLUE vs GRAY: THE CIVIL WAR CARD GAME and the term ENIGMA are TM Evan Jones.