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Rating: 6.7 Good
Players: 2-2 players
Playing time: 120-128 minutes

Created by: Martin Wallace, Peter Dennis

Published by:, Maldito Games, PHALANX


Lincoln is a fast-paced, light, two-player, card-driven strategy wargame set in the American Civil War that allows you to re-fight the entire American Civil War at a strategic level in under two hours.

Game play uses point-to-point movement and area control, hidden army strengths, and decks of cards providing the command choices and luck; there are no dice. 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 they have 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, becoming stronger as the game progresses, where as the Confederate player adds lower quality cards, becoming 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.

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  • Game Board
  • 69 Union cards
  • 50 Confederate cards
  • 2 round wooden markers
  • 18 control tiles,
  • 45 unit tiles,
  • 4 Fort tiles
  • Rulebook


Players select which side they will play - Union or Confederate. Place the board so that players are closest to the side they have chosen.

Each player takes a set of cards and counters. Place the black markers on the start spaces of the Blockade and Eu- rope tracks (marked with an 'S').

Each player removes the cards numbered 'I' or 'II' from their deck. These cards are separated into two piles, one of 'Is' the other of 'IIs', and placed to one side. They will be added to your deck when you shuffle your discard pile, as explained later. …

  • Blockade Runner/draft

    This is a free action, so does not count towards your limit of two actions.

    Draw three cards from your deck. Note that if you have more cards than your hand size at the end of your turn then you retain all of your cards. You are not forced to discard any.

  • Cavalry Raid

    Play as an action. The other player must randomly discard two cards from their hand.

    The effect of this card can be negated if your opponent immediately plays a Cavalry Raid card in reply, effectively as an interrupt. If he does so, he immediately draws a replacement card. …

The following notes and queries from our generals on the front line are intended to guide new recruits through the finer points of Lincoln.

Question: Are cards permanently removed only if they are used for the action at the top of the card?

If a card is used for any other function (to 'pay' for the action at the top of a card, to use one of the icons lower down, or if using the card's text), is that card merely discarded? …

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