UPDATED 3-20-99

This list is intended to help clarify some of the terms central to Blue vs Gray game play. It is quite long, but worth the wait. The terms are spelled the same way they are used in the Rules Cards. You can download a copy of this definition list on our FREE DOWNLOADS page. 
A - E
2 moves
~ A ~
Atlantic Coast ports
attach (join)
~ B ~
~ C ~
card number
cavalry raids
chain of command
combat resolution
combat units
~ D ~
dead pile
Destroy 1(or 2) enemy supply
detach (split)
discard pile
Do Not Play
Dotted red line
~ E ~
 F - S
~ F ~
for free
free cavalry
free ride
free transfer
full blockade
~ G ~
Generals' Battles
Gulf Coast ports
~ H ~
high-level commander
~ I ~
in play
independent command
~ J ~
Join (attach)
~ K ~
killed, wounded, sacked
~ L ~
low-level commander
~ M ~
Map Cards
modified die roll
~ N ~
Native Cities
Naval Squadron
Neutral Cities
~ O ~
~ P ~
Paired cavalry
partial blockade
Political Disfavor
R - Z
~ R ~
rail movement
rail network/railnet
Rules Card
~ S ~
Sacked, killed, wounded
Soldiers' Battles
special rule
split initiatives
supply base
supply line
supply point
~ T ~
trace supply
~ U ~
USA Railnet
~ W ~
wimp out
wipes out
wounded, sacked, killed
~ X ~
~ Y ~
your hand
• 2 moves
A COMMANDER with an INITIATIVE of 2 may ATTACK a target which is two cities, or moves, beyond a CITY connected to his SUPPLY LINE
~ A ~
• absorb
UNITS who are taken in to another's COMMAND have been absorbed.

• active
 1.  UNITS that are ELIGIBLE to participate in a game TURN or action. 
 2.  ENIGMA cards which have an ongoing effect (until nullified or cancelled.) 


• adding
Increasing the number of RESERVES involved in a battle.

• assign
To assign UNITS, or sub-commanders, place them under the leadership of a COMMANDER.  They must fit into the CHAIN OF COMMAND.

Any cards marked in the lower left hand corner with the words: AT START should be taken out from the deck by players before the game begins.


• Atlantic Coast ports
The Atlantic Coast ports are:  Savannah, Charleston/Ft. Sumter, Wilmington, New Berne, Norfolk and Ft. Monroe and Baltimore.

• attach (join)
When a unit is added to an existing CHAIN OF COMMAND it has been attached, or joined.

• attack
A type of combat where a player attempts to forcibly capture an ENEMY-HELD or NEUTRAL city. The player announces the attack by naming an eligible COMMAND, as well as the target. Attacks take place during STEP 3: Combat.  (For example, the attacker would declare the attack by saying “Grant attacks Richmond.  Are you defending?”)

~ B ~

• battle
When one player chooses to ATTACK a specific ENEMY-HELD city, and the other player chooses to DEFEND that city, a battle takes place and combat must be resolved. 

• board
The playing area, typically a table top, where cards are laid out and the game takes place.  “Play cards to the board” means to take cards from your hand and place them on the playing surface.

~ C ~

• cadre
We call our discard pile, “cadre”, to reflect the military term which refers to UNITS with severe losses but intact command structures. (After a unit is mangled in combat, it goes to the rear (i.e., cadre) where it gets reinforcements and can return to the field.) This is different from the DEAD PILE, from which there is no return. But you can just call it the discard pile, if you want.


• capacity
Each leader has a specified number of units and/or sub-commanders they can lead.  This number appears in the flag icon.  Some leaders lead fewer UNITS when they are subordinates;  in this case, the number in the flag at the bottom of the card may be less than in the flag in the upper left. 

• card number
Each card is numbered, but the numbers only matter in the HISTORICAL SCENARIOS, which are played with the deck in numerical order. RULES cards are numbered beginning with an R (#R1, #R2, #R3, etc.). 

• casualties
The white die of the combat die roll determines casualties, or losses due to battle.  A 1,2 or 3 results in Light casualties; 4 or 5 results in Normal casualties; a 6 results in Heavy casualties.  Look on the Casualties Table at the bottom of the Combat Card (R31) to determine the actual # of UNITS lost.  The # refers to how many STEPS of losses are taken. 


• cavalry
A UNIT of mounted troops who have the exclusive ability to conduct Supply Raids and defend against Supply Raids.  (Exception:  XVI Corps USA #49.) Cavalry units may pair up with another cavalry unit, or be assigned as a normal unit to a leader, or take a “Free Ride.”

• cavalry raids
An action undertaken during STEP 3: Combat when a player with unattached CAVALRY chooses to "raid" his opponent's unspent supply. It does not cost any supply to conduct a Cavalry Raid, which is not considered either an attack or combat. 

• chain of command
The structure by which UNITS and commanders may be organized into a single fighting force. 


• city
The term city includes cities, PORTS, FORTS, and PESTHOLES unless otherwise specified.

• combat resolution
Every battle is resolved by rolling 2 dice (one red, one white) and using the Combat Resolution Tables on #R31-32 to determine the outcome.

• combat units
INFANTRY and CAVALRY which participate in battles. NAVAL SQUADRONS, commanders and Enigma cards are not considered combat units.


• Commander(s)
Any card which is leading a COMMAND.  This could be any of the following:  NAVAL SQUADRON leading an invasion, a CAVALRY unit leading another cavalry UNIT (or itself), or any Leader card leading a command.  A subordinate leader is not considered a commander.

• command
All of the UNITS under a leader.  A command could conceivably include a leader leading other units.  Also, lone units are their own commands.

• connected
In order to be connected, a CITY must be one move away from another friendly city along either river (blue lines) or rail (red lines). 


• corps
USA INFANTRY unit, designated with an XXX.

~ D ~

• dead
Out of the game.  A leader (only) is removed from the game in one of two ways:
1. A roll of 1 or 2 on the Leader Losses Table (#R31).
2. A DISFAVORED Leader who is sacked or routed is also removed from the game. 

• dead pile
The pile where you put any cards permanently removed from the game, including dead leaders, used-up ENIGMA cards, and replaced MAP CARDS. We suggest placing the pile to the player’s right, and placing cards in such a way that the opposing player can tell which cards are in the pile.


• defeated
Specifically, a die roll of 2 or 5 (after modification if any) on the red die.  A 2 means the attacker is defeated, or fails to capture the area.  A 5 means the defender is defeated, or loses control of the area.  If a player loses the GENERALS' or SOLDIERS' Battle, they are also defeated.  A stalemate is not a defeat.  A ROUT is a disastrous defeat.

• defend
If an opponent attacks a CITY, (“Grant attacks Richmond. Do you defend?”) a player may attempt to stop him by choosing an eligible command and declaring, for example, “Lee will defend Richmond.” 

• depleted
As a result of casualties, an INFANTRY unit may become depleted. USA Corps and CSA Divisions each have two STEPS; if they lose one step, they are considered depleted. (If they lose 2 steps, they are discarded into cadre.) A depleted USA infantry defends with a strength of 2; a depleted CSA infantry with a regular strength of 2 or more defends with 1; a depleted CSA infantry with a regular strength of 1 defends with 0 but can still fight.


• Destroy 1(or 2) enemy supply
If a CAVALRY RAID meets the requirements it automatically results in a reduction of the enemy’s SUPPLY level by 1 or 2.

• detach (split)
When a UNIT is removed from a CHAIN OF COMMAND it has been detached, or split.

• directive
Special directions on specific cards. Directives on a card supercede general rules.


• discard pile
Also “cadre.”  WOUNDED, SACKED OR REPLACED leaders and UNITS that have lost all their STEPS go into the CADRE/DISCARD pile and may be drawn later.

• disgraced
If a leader with political disfavor is SACKED, ROUTED or left with no units under his command, he is disgraced and is permanently removed from the game, and goes to the DEAD PILE.

• division
CSA INFANTRY unit, designated with an XX.


• Do Not Play
Copies of the two opposing AT START map cards are included in each deck. They are marked “Do Not Play” as they are for strategy formulation, not actual game play.

• Dotted red line
Treated like RAILS for game purposes. (In actuality, they represent roads.)

~ E ~

• East
The Eastern Theater, consisting of all land east of the Appalachians, down to the Georgia/South Carolina border (defined by a black line on the map, including the Shenandoah, Savannah, and the Atlantic Ocean.


• eligible
An eligible UNIT/COMMAND is one which does not violate any leadership rules and is in the appropriate theater. (For example, a command in the WESTERN THEATER is ineligible to ATTACK/DEFEND Washington.) Within a command, there can be eligible and ineligible units; the ineligible units may not fight.  Ineligible units within a command are turned face down. 

• eliminated
Removed from play entirely and placed in the DEAD PILE.

• enemy-held
A CITY which has been captured by one’s opponent and is marked with their control marker, or which began as an opponent’s NATIVE city and is printed in their color. 


• Enigma
A type of card which represents unique political, social, and technological events of the War.

~ F ~

• face-down
1.  If a leader card is placed face down in CADRE due to being WOUNDED, SACKED OR REPLACED, it must be turned face-up next turn, and may be drawn on the turn after that. 
2.  If a card is face down in play, it means it is INACTIVE or INELIGIBLE.

• for free
Without costing any supply points, or counting against any other restrictions.


• forts
CITIES and PORTS which are fortified are noted with an X through their symbol on the map cards. When ATTACKING a fort, subtract 1 from the red die roll.

• free cavalry
CAVALRY which is in play (on the board) and functioning independently of a Commander. Only free cavalry may RAID or defend against CAVALRY RAIDS.

• free ride
When a single CAVALRY unit is attached to a commander it does NOT count against that commander’s CAPACITY.


• free transfer
Even though the rules say a UNIT or subcommand may not detach and reattach in the same turn, every player gets one “free transfer” per turn, where he may violate this rule.

• friendly-held
A city that a player has captured and marked with their control marker, or which began as a player’s NATIVE city and is printed in their color. 

• full blockade
If the USA has two naval squadrons in the EAST, or one squadron in the East and occupies all Atlantic coast or Gulf Coast ports, a full blockade is in effect.  The CSA does not receive an additional card/SUPPLY, nor do they receive an additional STEP in that instance.

~ G ~

• Generals' Battles
A combat result that reflects the leadership quality of the armies involved. If the combat result is a Generals’ Battle, then the army with the highest initiative wins the battle. If neither side has a higher initiative, the battle is considered a stalemate. (Note:  Only the initiative of the commander counts, not the initiative of a subcommander.)

• Gulf Coast ports
New Orleans, Ft. Pickens, Pensacola, Ft. Morgan and Mobile are all Gulf Coast Ports. NOTE: Port Hudson is NOT a Gulf Coast Port.

~ H ~

• high-level commander
High-level commanders can lead INFANTRY, CAVALRY, NAVAL SQUADRONS and LOW-LEVEL COMMANDERS (or other high-level commanders that are willing to subordinate) in battle.
~ I ~
• in play
A card that has been placed on the board is considered in play. (Exception: cards in the CADRE/DISCARD pile and cards in the dead pile are not “in play.”)

• inactive
Any card which does not participate in the current action or event, whether because it was withdrawn from combat or was otherwise INELIGIBLE. Inactive UNITS are turned face down.

• independent command
A COMMAND with one or no leader cards.


• ineligible
An ineligible COMMAND is one which violates leadership rules or is in the wrong theater. (For example, a command in the WESTERN THEATER isn’t eligible to ATTACK/DEFEND Washington.) Within a command, there can be eligible and ineligible units; the ineligible UNITS may not fight.

• Infantry
Footsoldiers, organized in Divisions in the South and Corps in the North.

• initiative
Each commander has an initiative value, in the upper left hand corner surrounded by gold wreath. Used to determine the outcome in GENERALS' BATTLES, and the range from a friendly or native city that a commander's forces may reach to ATTACK.


• Invasion
A special ATTACK on a PORT consisting of at least one NAVAL SQUADRONS (which may act as a leader if no commander is involved) and either one unled INFANTRY corps or a commander and up to two infantry corps.

• isolated
Not connected to supply line by river or rail (or by sea if USA.)

~ J ~

• Join (attach)
When a UNIT is added to an existing chain of command it has been attached, or joined.
~ K ~
• killed, wounded, sacked
When the combat die roll is either a 7 or doubles and each side has a leader in combat, the appropriate leader in question is considered a casualty. If he’s killed, he goes to the DEAD PILE.  Wounded or sacked go FACE DOWN to CADRE/DISCARD pile. (Exception:  disfavored leaders who are sacked are permanently removed to the dead pile.)
~ L ~
• Late-War
The final phase of the game. Cards marked Late-War are only playable once that player's Late-War phase begins, which may occur on a different turn for each player.

• leaders
Leaders are of two types: LOW-LEVEL and HIGH-LEVEL. The term Commanders may be substituted. USA leaders are Army Group Commander (high level) and Army Commander (low level.)  CSA leaders are Army Commander (high level) and Corps Commander (low level.)


• low-level commander
Low-level commanders can lead INFANTRY, CAVALRY, and NAVAL SQUADRONS in battle. They may not lead other low-level commanders.

~ M ~

• Map Cards
Cards A-K (both USA and CSA) provide the battleground on which the game is played. On the map cards, CITIES in blue are USA, brown are CSA, and black are NEUTRAL. Place your tokens on enemy cities you capture and Neutral cities you control.

• modified die roll
A variety of factors may modify the die roll, from playing an Enigma card like Old Abe or Rebel Yell to ATTACKING/DEFENDING a FORT

~ N ~

• Native Cities
CITIES which allied themselves with the USA or the CSA at the beginning of the Civil War are considered to be "native" to that side, until they are later occupied by the other side. Native cities are designated by blue lettering on the map cards for the USA, and brown lettering for the CSA. 

• Naval Squadron
A UNIT which operates independently but can cooperate with another command. They add their strength to invasions, as well as ATTACKS on ports and cities along a river.

• Neutral Cities
CITIES which are not allied with either the North or the South. Neutral Cities are designated by black lettering, outlined in white, on the map cards. 

~ O ~

• occupied
An ENEMY city which is controlled by the other player is considered occupied and is designated by placing a token on the appropriate map card location. 
~ P ~
• Paired cavalry
Two cavalry UNITS functioning together in a single command, independent of a commander.

• partial blockade
When there is only one USA NAVAL SQUADRONS in the EASTERN THEATER, a partial blockade is in effect. In that situation, the CSA Player does NOT receive a free SUPPLY POINT each turn (but he does get to repair a free STEP.) A partial blockade is also in effect if the USA player occupies all Atlantic or Gulf ports but does not have a Naval Squadron in the East. 


• pestholes
Defensive locations under Southern control, typically thickly wooded or swampy areas (or just plain unfriendly) which give the CSA a 5 point strength bonus when under Northern ATTACK. Pestholes are designated by a small circle within the white dot that marks their location on the map cards. (For example, the Shenandoah Valley.)

• Political Disfavor
COMMANDER who are politically disfavored are permanently removed from the game if they are sacked or ROUTED. (See OPTIONAL RULE 6.)

• ports
Ports are the only CITIES that can be invaded.  They are designated by white squares on the map cards along the Atlantic and Gulf coasts.


• production
The means by which supply is generated (i.e., how many cards/supply you draw each turn.) CSA production is divided into three categories: Food, Industry, and Contraband. USA supply is only affected by its railnet.

~ R ~

• raid (or “cavalry raid”)
An action undertaken when a player with unattached CAVALRY, during STEP 3: Combat, chooses to "attack" his or her opponent's unspent supply. Unlike combat, a CAVALRY RAID does not cost a supply point. 

• rail movement
You can move all of or part of one COMMAND from one theater to another via rail movement. These card(s) arrive immediately but may not ATTACK this turn. 


• rail network/railnet
An unbroken line of FRIENDLY-HELD or NATIVECITIES, all connected by rails (solid and dotted red lines on the map cards) and rivers (blue lines).

• reassign
UNITS within a single command may be freely moved up or down (not both) the chain of command between leaders during STEP 2: Deployment and Movement.

• Reject
Leaders who have been replaced (they go to CADRE, FACE DOWN).


• replace
1. You can replace any leader with another if you conform with Leadership Rules. Reject leaders go to CADRE (FACE DOWN).
2. If you draw a map card that has already been played, you may place it in the DEAD PILE and replace it with another card from your deck. 

• Reserves
UNITS added to a battle before the dice are rolled and combat is resolved.

• Restore
During STEP 2: Deployment and Movement and STEP 5: Regroup, a player may restore UNITS to full strength at a cost of one SUPPLY per three STEPS restored (left over steps are lost).


• retreat
When a battle is lost, the commanders and UNITS that survive are considered to have retreated, provided the CITY was not surrounded.

• river
Blue lines on map cards are rivers. SUPPLY may be traced along rivers. 

• rout
A rout is a devastating loss. When the Red Die outcome in a combat resolution is 6 or 1, a rout has taken place. The winner of a rout has a choice: either they take one fewer step of casualties or they make the loser take 1 extra step of casualties. 


• Rules Card
Cards #R1 through #R33 outline the rules of the game in both decks.

~ S ~

• Sacked, killed, wounded
When the combat die roll is either a 7 or doubles and each side has a leader in combat, the appropriate leader in question is considered a casualty. If he’s killed, he goes to the DEAD PILE.  Wounded or sacked go FACE DOWN to CADRE/DISCARD pile. (Exception:  disfavored leaders who are sacked are permanently removed to the dead pile.)

• Soldiers' Battles
A combat result that reflects the size of the armies involved. If one of the armies involved is 5 or more points stronger than the other army, and the combat result is a Soldiers’ Battle, the larger army wins. If neither side is 5 points stronger than the other, the battle is considered a stalemate.


• special rule
A unique rule printed directly on a card which dictates an action that conflicts with a general rule. The card's special rule always takes precedence.

• spend
When a player makes an ATTACK, declares a reorganization, restores three depleted UNITS, removes a card from CADRE, or chooses to draw a card from his deck, he must spend one SUPPLY POINT to do so. 

• split initiatives
When a leader card lists two initiative numbers, the one above is used when ATTACKING and the one below when DEFENDING


• steps
INFANTRY and CAVALRY casualties are taken in steps. Unless otherwise noted, infantry UNITS have two steps and cavalry units have one (leaders do not have steps). A two step unit with one lost step is considered DEPLETED, and a unit with no remaining steps goes to CADRE.

• strength
INFANTRY, cavalry, naval squadrons and leaders have a strength value, listed in the upper left-hand corner of the card in the minié ball icon. This strength value is adjusted when a unit is depleted. A depleted USA UNIT defends with a strength of 2; a depleted CSA unit with a regular strength of 2 or more defends with 1; a depleted CSA unit with a regular strength of 1 defends with 0 but can still fight. The combined strength value of all units actively involved in a battle is used to determine possible modifiers and SOLDIERS' BATTLE

• subordinate
A leader who is under the command of a HIGH-LEVEL commander. Same as “subcommander.”


• supply
Supply points may be referred to simply as supply.

• supply base
A USA supply base is any FRIENDLY-HELD native CITY (except Ft. Pickens, Pensacola, and New Berne) and a CSA supply base is any friendly-held NATIVE city connected by river (blue lines) or rail (red lines) to any other friendly city. You may ATTACK from any friendly-held city connected to a supply base by a supply line. The USA can also supply by sea.

• supply line
An unbroken chain of FRIENDLY-HELD cities that connect to a supply base by river or rail. The USA can also supply by sea.


• supply point
A player's supply level is calculated in points, and kept track of on Rules Card #R33 by the use of a token. When a player makes an ATTACK, declares a reorganization, restores depleted UNITS, removes a card from Cadre, or chooses to draw a card from his deck, he must spend one supply point to do so.

• support
A naval action which provides added strength points to ATTACKS and DEFENSE.

• surrounded
When a FRIENDLY-HELD city cannot trace a SUPPLY LINE to a supply base, it is surrounded. A NATIVE city, which is itself a supply base, can only be surrounded if all cities within one move are ENEMY-HELD or NEUTRAL. If a player defends a surrounded CITY and loses, all defeated/routed defending UNITS go to cadre (including any withdrawn units); leaders are sacked.  (Exception: CSA defending PESTHOLE.)

~ T ~

• theater
The game is divided into two theaters: EAST and WEST. A UNIT or commander deployed into one theater must be RAIL TRANSFERRED to the other theater before they can operate there. (See R23 for attacks across theater boundaries.)

• tokens
The cardboard markers, 3-CSA and 12-USA, included in each deck which function as supply tokens, control tokens, and special markers during the game. A normal game requires two sets of tokens (6 for the CSA and 24 for the USA). 

• trace supply
To follow an unbroken line of FRIENDLY-HELD cities, connected by river (blue lines) or rail (red lines), from a particular location. (If the USA has a Naval Squadron in the WEST, the CSA cannot trace supply by river anywhere.)  If you can not trace supply to a CITY, you can not ATTACK from it.


• troops

• turn
Each player's turn consists of the following segments: STEP 1: Draw and Replace Cards and Supplies, STEP 2: Deployment and Movement, STEP 3: Combat, STEP 4: Reorganization, STEP 5: Regroup. 

~ U ~

• unit
A single card of any of the following types: CAVALRY, INFANTRY Division or INFANTRY Corps.


• USA Railnet
The USA NATIVE cities which are connected by rail (red lines on the map cards).  They are: Cairo, Centralia, Indianapolis, Cincinnati, Columbus, Toledo, Cleveland, Pittsburgh, Harrisburg, Harper’s Ferry, Baltimore and Washington.

• used-up
Enigma cards that have been played and are no longer active. 

~ W ~

• West
The Western Theater, consisting of all land west of the Appalachians, south of the Georgia/South Carolina border (defined by a black line on the map, including the Gulf of Mexico. For the USA player that will be their right side, for the CSA player it will be their left.


• wimp out
When a defender chooses not to (or can’t) oppose an ATTACK on a FRIENDLY-HELD city. The attacker still spends a supply, but captures the CITY without incident.

• wins
The victorious party according to a combat resolution die roll. 

• wipes out
Completely eliminates enemy units in a combat.  Leaders go to CADRE.


• withdrawn
During STEP 3: Combat, in the RESERVES phase, UNITS which are removed from a battle before the dice are rolled are considered to be withdrawn, and play no part in the battle in question. 

• wounded, sacked, killed
When the combat die roll is either a 7 or doubles and each side has a leader in combat, the appropriate leader in question is considered a casualty. If he’s killed, he goes to the DEAD PILE.  Wounded or sacked go FACE DOWN to CADRE/DISCARD pile. (Exception:  disfavored leaders who are sacked are permanently removed to the dead pile.)

~ X ~

• xx
The military shorthand symbol for a DIVISION.


• xxx
The military shorthand symbol for a CORPS.

• xxxx
The military shorthand symbol for an army.

~ Y ~

• your hand
All playable cards which are not currently in CADRE, the dead pile, the EASTERN THEATER, or the WESTERN THEATER are held in your hand.

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Copyright 1999 Q.E.D. Games, Inc. All rights reserved.  BLUE vs GRAY: THE CIVIL WAR CARD GAME and the term ENIGMA are TM Evan Jones.