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For the People
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For the People

AKA For the People II, 2006 reprint

List Price: $55.00
Your Price: $43.95
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(Worth 4,395 Funagain Points!)

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Designer(s): Mark Herman

Manufacturer(s): GMT Games

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Product Description

For the People is a grand strategy game of the American Civil War covering the conflict from Texas to Pennsylvania, from the firing on Fort Sumter to the end at Appomattox Court House. For the People includes a deck of strategy cards for conducting campaigns and incorporating the many events and personalities of the war. The Confederate player can build ironclads, naval mines (torpedoes), submarines, conduct overseas purchases, and work towards foreign intervention. The Union player can build up his naval blockade, his ironclad fleet, fight draft riots, secure the Border States, and issue the Emancipation Proclamation.

Contains Five scenarios, including the campaign game, 1861, 1862, 1863 and 1864. Game is Medium Complexity, with Medium Solitaire Suitability. Includes 420 full-color two-sided counters, One 22x34" full-color mapsheet, One 6-sided die, RuleBook, and 110 Strategy Cards. Play specifics: 4 months per turn, point-to-point map, 6000 men per strength point, one to two players.

Product Information

  • Designer(s): Mark Herman

  • Manufacturer(s): GMT Games

  • Artist(s): Rodger B MacGowan, Mark Simonitch

  • Year: 2006

  • Players: 1 - 2

  • Weight: 853 grams

  • Language Requirements: Game components are printed in English. Manufacturer's rules are printed in English. This is a domestic item.


  • 420 full-color, die-cut counters
  • One 22x34" full-color mapsheet
  • One 6-sided die
  • 40-page Rule and Scenario Book
  • 110 Strategy Cards

Product Reviews


Average Rating: 4.5 in 4 reviews

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Fun to play -- great suspense
October 26, 2001

I really like the point-to-point, movement-card-driven play system (We The People, Hannibal, Paths of Glory, etc.) that is used in For the People. It makes for a fast moving, fun, and *very* suspenseful game.

FtP is one of the best games built on this system (Paths of Glory being the other). It *doesn't* use the stupid rock-paper-scissors (WtP and Hannibal) combat cards but has a CRT instead--this is a vast improvement.

The component quality is fantastic--just like all the GMT games I've ever seen.

If you like strategic-level games, this one is definitely for you. It is relatively easy to learn with only a few subtle/confusing rules, and you can find lots of opponents on the net.

You should definitely add this game to your collection.

Sweeping Civil War Simulation
September 21, 2001

I've played For the People seven times now, and each game has been a thrill a minute. I know of no other title that so manageably captures the sweeping scope of the entire American Civil War like this design.

As the Union player, you will defend Washington, launch a campaign to capture the Mississippi, carefully select naval landings, increase the blockade, struggle for the control of border states, and ultimately cut a swath through through the Deep South late in the conflict thus reducing the Rebel Will to continue the war.

Playing the Confederate side, you will want to raid Northern lands, put legendary commanders (Lee, Longstreet, Jackson, etc.) to best use, judiciously allocate limited manpower, build strategically placed forts, and harm the Federal Will to wage war so that Lincoln is defeated in the election of 1864.

Once the rules are grasped, the card deck drives the game in a smooth and effortless fashion. Players can concentrate on strategy and fun, two commodities that are abundant in this title.

Amongst the hundreds of games that I own, For the People is definitely one of my all-time favorites. It's a brilliant design (by Mark Herman), and despite being labeled as a wargame, all types of players who don't mind a long afternoon of gaming can enjoy this one.

A richly rewarding and very satisying experience.

Big improvement over the 1st edition.
October 05, 2000

The 2nd edition is a little more complex and has a few more pices of chrome (and little rules to remember) but its still not complex by wargame standards. I find it a big improvement over the 1st edition.

I still despise the idiotic and fallacious leader loss rules, but the game now plays more like the ACW.

I will list several of the important changes.

  1. Units may not cross a river to enter a space with a fort. This makes it easier for the south to hold the west. But Manasas can no longer attack Washington, instead the South must take Frederick to attack Washington. In practice this makes it almost impossible for the south to take DC other than by oversight.
  2. Generals have offensive and defensive ratings. This gives McCellan a +2 DRM and means a fortified Army of the Potomac defends with a +4 or greater DRM. On the large table the south can lose 6 SP by attacking such a force, and that could be enough to lose Virginia.
  3. The South gets 6 forts instead of 5.
  4. There are new cards--concentration cards (Shiloh) that allow the South a surprise attack by calling in scattered forces.
  5. Prior to 1863 a force can not place PC markers unless in supply. This prevents a northern corps with 6 SP from penetrating the interior and dropping 1 SP in 6 spaces, burning many resource centers and causing huge damage.
  6. Unlimited playing of campaign cards, not just 1 per turn.
  7. the Shenandoa valley my supply a southern force, and counts as 6 spaces in VA insted of 3.
  8. Southern supply is more difficult, a supply center must trace to another. This means an isolated Richmond will fall.
  9. McClellan has some special abilities, as do some of the cavalry leaders.

Solid reissue, a big improvement over the original
October 01, 2000

For the People was originally published by Avalon Hill 2 years ago, and I found it to be rather disappointing. Despite the obvious potential, several rules sections were totally dysfunctional (the river rules, General casualties, and unrevealed Generals), and the game reeked of a lack of playtesting, being simply not done.

Fortuantely, Mr. Herman started a web site and continued to support his game over the next two years, producing several upgrades to the rules and a number of options to fix the couple of egregious problems. This new version is a culmination of all these updates, plus a few more--a massive rethinking of many of the general's tactical (McClellan goes from 0 to 2--but only on the defense) and political ratings, a number of new and important cards, and a significant improvement to the river rules and aesthetics. In short, most--but not quite all--of the problems with the original have been fixed (the sole remaining problems still have to do with Generals; mainly the casualty rates, which remain oddly linked to several seemingly unrelated factors--having large force ratios and defending behind fortifications still hugely increase the odds of one your General dying).

Anyway, the game is Hannibal: Rome vs. Carthage on steroids. The card deck and basic mechanics are essentially unchanged--you've got a deck of cards valued 1-3, which have events for one side or the other, Generals, SPs, and a point-to-point map. Generals are activated using their initiative and intercept and fight for political control in much the same way as will be familiar.

But, there is a lot of additional stuff added in. There are multiple levels formations, from Divisions to Armies based on size, all with somewhat different properties; there is the Strategic Will, which functions similarly to your PC reserve in Hannibal (when you run out, you lose); the *still* ever-confusing river rules; amphibious assaults; the blockade; and a somewhat involved mechanism for determining state control.

There is quite a lot to like here for the fairly serious gamer, but the game has certainly progressed way beyond We the People or even Hannibal; We the People had some 6 pages of rules, Hannibal somewhere around 12, and now For the People has about 22 pages. I don't think it's really quite as complex as the pure page count might indicate, but people I know who like and enjoy Hannibal have certainly balked at the complexity of For the People.

Still, if you liked Hannibal and are not deterred by a bit of extra complexity, you should definitely check this one out.

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