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The Halls of Montezuma
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The Halls of Montezuma

The Mexican-American War 1846-1848

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Product Awards:  

Play Time Players
120-180 minutes 1-2

Designer(s): David Fox, Michael Welker

Publisher(s): GMT Games

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Product Description

The names are familiar: Buena Vista, Vera Cruz, Monterrey, Chapultepec. Zachary Taylor, Winfield Scott, Santa Anna, Jefferson Davis, Robert E. Lee. But the war may not be.

The Mexican-American War, 1846-1848, was one of the most important events in American history, giving the United States ownership of what would become New Mexico, Arizona, Colorado, Nevada, and California, opening them up for American settlement but also setting the stage for the American Civil War over the question of whether those new territories would be Free or Slave states. It served as the training ground for many future Civil War generals -- Davis, Lee, Braxton Bragg, Ulysses Grant, and Thomas Jackson, to name just a few. Winfield Scott's landing at Vera Cruz and march on Mexico City was regarded at the time as one of the greatest feats of generalship ever conducted. Yet wargames about the Mexican-American War are very rare, and it's about time we saw a new game on the subject.

The Halls of Montezuma is the new card driven design from David Fox and Michael Welker, bringing a strategic and operational look at the American war with Mexico, tracing the war's history from the opening battles along the Rio Grande to the U.S. invasion of Vera Cruz and the occupation of Mexico City by the future American Civil War leader, Winfield Scott. The Halls of Montezuma (HoM) is a card-driven game that rests on the lower end of the GMT game complexity meter, while still capturing all the tension, uncertainty, and chaos of the conflict.

HoM offers a single campaign scenario playable in two to three hours, given sudden death victory conditions. This makes the game ideal for an evening of friendly play as well as for tournaments and play-by-email. If you enjoy the other CDG's, HoM brings you the Mexican-American War in a format that hearkens to the design elegance and playing time of We The People, the ground-breaking game by Mark Herman. HoM uses mechanics and cards to capture the excitement, tension, and uncertainty of this rarely simulated conflict from American history, the war that was a training ground for so many generals who would become fierce enemies in a later conflict. Can Mexico emerge as a new North American power or will the United States fulfill its Manifest Destiny?

Game Scale:

  • Map: point to point
  • Players: 1-2
  • Units: companies, regiments, squadrons, batteries, individual leaders, guerrilla forces, and varied organizational levels
  • Time: one turn = 3 months

Game Meter:

  • Complexity = 4
  • Solitaire ability = 4

Developer: William Cooper (Europe Engulfed)

Product Awards

Product Information


  • 1 Rules booklet
  • 1 Deck of 80 Strategy cards
  • 1 Deck of 30 Action cards
  • 2 10-sided dice
  • 1 22x34-inch mapsheet
  • 2 player aid cards
  • 1+1/2 5/8-inch counter sheets

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