General's War

Contributed by Alex Jensen

General's War is a game for two or four players, based on a roughly similar concept to War, but with squad based fighting, Generals, and victory points.

Two Players:

Setup: Split the deck of 52 cards into black and reds cards; each player picks one of the halves. This ensures that the players both start with equal fighting chances and know what cards they will have available over the course of the game. After the piles have been shuffled thoroughly, the first round begins.

Beginning with the dealer as the attacking player, each player draws 5 cards. Upon reviewing their cards, both players may decide whether or not they wish to reveal any or all aces contained in their hand. In General's War, the Ace is your General, and is essential to the game. If a player chooses to reveal an ace, that player then draws 5 additional cards. If a player recieves a second ace when drawing the 5 cards, they may reveal that ace and draw 5 more cards. After all the generals and extra cards have been drawn, the attacking portion of the round can begin.

In the attacking portion of the round, the Attacking player may place either 1, 2, or 3 cards face down on the table. Then, the defending player may drop 1, 2, or 3 cards face down on the table. Once all cards are down, both players flip over the cards and add up the total power of the cards they played. 2 through 10 have a power of 2 through 10 respectively, Jacks through Kings are powered 11 through 13 respectively, and Aces are worth 1 point of power. The player with the lower powered squad of cards places them in the dead pile next to his or her deck, and the player with the greater powered squad places the cards in the conquest pile on the other side of his or her deck. Then another attack begins, and the round continues with further attacks until one or both players run out of cards. When that happens, any cards still in the players' hands are added to their respective owners' conquest piles. Then the number of cards in each conquest pile is counted, and whoever has a greater number of cards in his or her conquest pile receives a conquest point. Then the round is over: all the cards in both conquest piles are placed on the bottom of their respective owners' decks, and another round begins with the other player as the attacking player.

Winning the Game: The game can be won in two ways. The first is for one player to kill both of the other player's generals. The second is for a player to acquire a certain amount of conquest points, decided upon by both players at the start of the match (7 makes a reasonable target).

Four Players:

When playing with four players instead of two, a few things change. Separate the deck into suits rather than colors and give each player one suit. The round begins with the dealer as the attacking player. The dealer chooses which of the three opponents to attack, and the attack proceeds as normal. The only difference is that the winning player does not receive a conquest point, but rather the losing player receives a defeat point. The turn to attack then passes to the left.

A player who gets a certain number of defeat points (default is 3) or has no general is eliminated from the game, and any cards belonging to the eliminated player that haven't been killed are added to the bottom of the deck of whichever player they were fighting in the battle through which they were eliminated. Note that by eliminating other player by means of defeat points, one may acquire a second or even a third general.

When three players have been eliminated, the last player alive wins.

Last updated: 17th March 2010