The game includes a lovely full-colour board depicting the key locations of the war, decks of cards for both sides (119 cards), and card counters for armies, forts and area control flags (66 counters plus 2 blockade and European influence trackers). We commissioned renowned military artist Peter Dennis to create artwork for the cards and counters, and he’s done us proud.
Lincoln is a fast-paced, two player, card-driven strategy wargame set in the American Civil War – allowing you to refight the entire American Civil War at a strategic level in under two hours!
Game play uses area movement, area control, and decks of cards to provide your command choices and luck – there are no dice in Lincoln! The Union and Confederate players each have their own card decks, reflecting the relative strengths and weaknesses of both sides.
The Union player must do all the running to win the game by the time he or she has cycled through the Union card deck for the third time, having accumulated the required amount of victory points by capturing Confederate-controlled areas, as well as squeezing the Confederate player with a naval blockade. The Confederate player must hold on and thwart the North’s victory ambitions to win!
Each time the decks are cycled, the Union player adds some better quality cards and so becomes stronger as the game progresses, where as the Confederate player adds lower quality cards and so becomes weaker. The underlying game mechanism is one of ‘deck destruction’ rather than the more normal deck building. Cards have multiple uses and can be recycled if used one way but during the course of the game you have to decide which cards are going to be permanently sacrificed from your deck cycle to allow you to build units.
For the Confederate player, building too many units can lead to problems with movement and combat, simulating the problems the Southern States had as the war dragged on – for example, they had to ‘eat’ their rail network to provide iron for munitions. But building too few units will allow the Union to roll your forces over too easily, capture victory point areas and win the game – there are difficult and careful command decisions to be made!