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1864: Year of Decision
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1864: Year of Decision

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Designer(s): Don W. Alexander

Manufacturer(s): Omega

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Product Description

1864 was truly the year of decision in the War of Secession. While the North needed only one more year to break the South's back and end the rebellion, at the time the military situation did not appear to be so promising. After three years of war the Union had not subdued much of the rebellious South. The Union held enclaves along the coast, all of Tennessee and some other scattered holdings, and it controlled the Mississippi River. However, the bulk of Southern territory, especially the deep South, was untouched. The principal Southern armies in Georgia and Virginia were as strong as ever. The South had shown its ability to wage war in spite of military reverses and blockade.

1864: Year of Decision is a board game simulation of the decisive campaigns that brought the American Civil War to its violent conclusion. Players assume the roles of Abraham Lincoln or Jefferson Davis and their senior military advisors. Players operate armies, corps and divisions in military regions that reflect the maneuver limitations experienced by the belligerents. The combat units are rated for troop quality, leaders' tactical abilities, leaders' initiative and command span. The game compels players to focus on the interrelationship between military operations and their political consequences. Victory is determined by political points resulting from military successes and failures.

Each game turn of 1864: Year of Decision represents five days of the campaign. Move your playing pieces representing Union and Confederate corps and headquarters from region to region accurately recreating maneuver during the Civil War. Each region consists of two districts. Assign missions to your forces by placing the units in the Attack or Defend box in each district. Units which Defend in a district can improve their defensive positions. Send your cavalry forces on raids against enemy targets. Attack to defeat your opponent's forces and capture key objectives. Headquarters can lead attacks or individual corps can attempt to attack on their own. A die roll determines if each unit succeeds in at-tacking. Resolve combat based on the sizes of the attacking and defending forces, the quality of the troops involved, the tactical rating of the commanders, supply and morale conditions, defensive positions and weather. Battle will yield casualties and prisoner losses on each side and may force a withdrawal by the loser.

Trace supply for your forces along rail lines to supply depots or, for the Union, to an occupied port. Units can operate away from their supply lines for short periods, but need to re-establish supply after combat. Break rail lines or devastate regions on the map to cut enemy supply. Both sides also face monthly losses due to attrition. Several optional rules allow players to increase the game's realism. Five scenarios allow players to recreate the struggle in either theater from two different starting points or to play the entire campaign.

Product Information

  • Designer(s): Don W. Alexander

  • Manufacturer(s): Omega

  • Year: 2001

  • Players: 2

  • Est. time to learn: 30+ minutes

  • Weight: 576 grams

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


  • 1 Rules of Play Booklet
  • 1 Player Reference Booklet
  • 280 Die-Cut Playing Pieces
  • 2 Mapsheets featuring the Eastern and Western Theaters
  • 2 Small Mapsheets covering the approaches to Savannah and Mobile
  • 11 Color Play Aid Cards
  • 1 Die

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