A House Divided (board game)

A House Divided (board game)

"A House Divided" is a strategic level board wargame about the American Civil War for two players, featuring point-to-point movement, low-complexity rules, and relatively few counters to maneuver. It was designed by Frank Chadwick and released in 1981 by Game Designers Workshop. "A House Divided" won the Charles S. Roberts/Origins Awards for "Best Pre-20th Century Boardgame of 1981" [cite web| url=http://www.originsgamefair.com/awards/1981/list-of-winners| title=Origins/Charles S. Roberts Award Winners (1981)| publisher=Academy of Adventure Gaming Arts & Design| accessdate=2007-10-16] and "Best Pre-20th Century Boardgame of 1989". [cite web| url=http://www.originsgamefair.com/awards/1989/list-of-winners| title=Origins Award Winners (1989)| publisher=Academy of Adventure Gaming Arts & Design| accessdate=2007-10-16]


The name of the game refers to Lincoln's "A House Divided" speech, where Lincoln said:

“A house divided against itself cannot stand.
I believe this government cannot endure permanently half slave and half free.
I do not expect the Union to be dissolved – I do not expect the house to fall – but I do expect it to cease to be divided.
It will become all one thing, or all the other.
Either the opponents of slavery will arrest the further spread of it, and place it where the public mind shall rest in the belief that it is in the course of ultimate extinction; or its advocates will push it forward, until it shall become alike lawful in all states, old as well as new, North as well as South.”


The game has been released in three versions, the first version in 1981, second version in 1989, and the third version in 2001. The first two versions were published by GDW, while the third edition was released by Mayfair Games, featuring new design, updated rules, and larger playing pieces.

The changes between the first and second versions were little, but important. Most notably, a change of rules, and also the map came as four puzzle-like pieces, instead of as one large, foldable map, which was the case in the first edition. In addition, some pieces were replaced by different pieces. The third edition has adopted a foldable cardboard plate as seen in other games, such as Axis & Allies. The third edition also features a brand new design for the pieces. The rules, however, remain virtually unchanged from the second edition.

The second edition was edited by Alan Emrich. At his [http://www.alanemrich.com/Games_Archive_pages/AHD_pages/ahd.htm website] you can read more about his thoughts on the game, as well as his "living" version of rules edition 3.1, which is based on changes he'd like to see.


A House Divided owes much of its popularity to its relatively simple rules, with more advanced rules for experienced players, and features a playing board covering most of the United States mainland. Play is turnbased, and the players play the Union and Confederacy armies respectively. The game is played over a series of up to 40 game turns, each game turn being divided in two player turns. The Union player has the first player turn every turn. The first game turn is July 1861, and the game culminates in June 1865.

The pieces represent infantry and cavalry units, each unit comprising of from 10,000 to 15,000 infantry or from 7,000 to 10,000 cavalry. Each game turn represents one or two months, depending on the time of year. In all versions, the pieces are represented with three ranks; Militia, Veteran and Crack. All new units are Militia units, and promotions happen at the end of victorious battle, as well as during the promotion phase of a players turn. No unit may be promoted twice in any single player turn, i.e.; if a unit has gotten a battlefield (post-combat) promotion, it may not receive a regular promotion in the same player turn.

The map comprises the eastern United States, and contains boxes for each city, as well as roads, railroads and rivers.

The turns comprise four phases, conducted in this exact order:

There is no stack(ing) limit, and players are free to inspect their opponent's forces at any time. In the advanced game, there is a combat limit in each combat round of 8 units. The original game included a short-game, in addition to the full game, where only the first two rounds are played. In later versions, rules are included for shorter campaigns starting in 1862, 1863 and 1864.


In the long-game, the Union player wins when and if he controls all Confederacy cities with a recruitment value of 2 and 3, these being New Orleans, Charleston, Mobile, Wilmington, Richmond, Atlanta and Memphis. When the last of these cities has been captured, play stops immediately, and the Union player has won. The Confederacy player wins if he does one out of three:
#Captures Washington (immediate victory)
#Captures enough recruitment cities to make the Confederacy Army Maximum greater than the Union Army Maximum (immediate victory)
#Avoids a Union victory (victory at the end of the game)


External links

* [http://www.mayfairgames.com/shop/product/phalanx/pages/pha0180.htm A House Divided (3rd edition) product website]
* [http://www.alanemrich.com/Games_Archive_pages/AHD_pages/ahd.htm Alan Emrich's page on A House Divided]
*bgg|701|"A House Divided"

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • A House Divided — The term comes from President Lincoln s House Divided speech mdash; a reference to the Gospel of Mark chapter 3 verse 25, King James Version: If a house is divided against itself, that house cannot stand. *A House Divided (board game) *A House… …   Wikipedia

  • Dune (board game) — This article is about the 1979 Avalon Hill board game. For the Parker Brothers game, see Dune (1984 board game). Dune is a strategy board game set in Frank Herbert s Dune universe, published by Avalon Hill in 1979. The game was designed by Bill… …   Wikipedia

  • Ludo (board game) — Infobox Game subject name=Ludo image link= image caption= players=2 4 ages=4 and up setup time=< 5 minutes playing time=< 30 min complexity=Low strategy=Low random chance=High skills=Dice rolling footnotes =Ludo (from Latin ludo , I play ) is a… …   Wikipedia

  • Sniper! (board game) — Sniper! was a board wargame originally released in 1973. Some sources refer to Sniper/Patrol as a sort of series of games: a similar game by Simulations Publications Inc. (SPI) was released at the same time as the original Sniper! , called Patrol …   Wikipedia

  • House (TV series) — House Also known as House, M.D. Format Medical drama Mystery Dramedy …   Wikipedia

  • Game Designers' Workshop — Infobox Company company name = Game Designers Workshop company type = Unknown (defunct) industry = Wargame and Role playing game publisher products = Traveller company foundation = June 22 1973 key people = Frank Chadwick, Rich Banner, Marc… …   Wikipedia

  • house — n., adj. /hows/; v. /howz/, n., pl. houses /how ziz/, v., housed, housing, adj. n. 1. a building in which people live; residence for human beings. 2. a household. 3. (often cap.) a family, including ancestors and descendants: the great houses of… …   Universalium

  • Monopoly (game) — Monopoly The Monopoly Logo Designer(s) Elizabeth Magie Louis Fred Thun[1] Charles Darrow Publisher(s) …   Wikipedia

  • Go (game) — This article is about Go, the board game. For other uses, see Go (disambiguation). Goe redirects here. For other uses, see GOE (disambiguation). Go Go is played on a grid of black lines (usually 19×19). The playing pieces, called stones, are… …   Wikipedia

  • List of House characters — This page is a comprehensive listing and detailing of the various characters in the television series House, divided sectionally as appropriate. Contents 1 Main characters 1.1 Senior doctors 1.2 Diagnostic team 1.2.1 …   Wikipedia