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Designers Overview

Numerous rules for the American Civil War reflect a battlefield of perfect command and control.  Such rules allow players to maneuver their forces with parade ground perfection.  American Civil War battles, however, were anything but parade ground exercises.  They were noisy, confusing, and desperate affairs.   Chaos, not order, reigned.


Throughout all this, commanders endeavored to accomplish assigned missions.  They did this in the face of ever-changing problems and opportunities.  Their success dictated whether a battle was won or lost.  The struggle to overcome these challenges is the heart of The Devil to Pay.  Players experience the chaos of the moment and strive to overcome it.


The Devil to Pay is designed with the objectives of excitement, battlefield chaos, continuous player involvement, speed of play and strong historical flavor.  The most important design criteria was generating excitement during game play.  Without excitement, even exceptionally well-crafted rules are not fun to play.  The Devil to Pay generates this excitement through battlefield chaos, continuous involvement, speed of play and Civil War nuance.


Battlefield chaos is created through a carefully balanced and dynamic card system.  The system dictates what action can take place… It does not dictate who can execute the action.  Any and all players (from both sides) may conduct the specified action.  Since the next action is unknown, the system creates a wonderful experience of opportunity and excitement.  Furthermore, since all players can execute an action, no one is left on the sidelines.  This ensures that players are continuously involved throughout the game.


Speed of play is also essential for maintaining player involvement.  The Devil to Pay utilizes highly logical, streamlined mechanisms to ensure fast play.  Simplicity was emphasized in every step of the design.  The rules are designed to allow new players to effectively command brigades after a 20 minute rules briefing.


Strong historical flavor was ensured through the consultation of extensive literature and experts in the field (historians, gamers, re-enactors, and present day servicemen).  Combined with the system’s excitement, this creates a game where players sense the smell of gunpowder and the roar of cannon.



Players act as brigade commanders in charge of two to five infantry and/or cavalry regiments, with artillery attached.  Each brigade is commanded by a single mounted figure, representing the player.  Regiments are allowed to act on their own initiative, but it is the brigade commanders (the players) who determine victory.


The Devil to Pay is designed for figures mounted on 1”, 1.5” (40mm) or 2” wide bases.  The system is not dependent on the number or scale of the miniatures.  This allows armies mounted for such rules as Johnny Reb, Fire and Fury, and Black Powder to be used immediately.   We use 28mm figures and have seen stunning games with 6mm, 15mm and 40mm figures.  One could even play a game with 54mm ‘traditional’ toy soldiers.


We hope you have fun playing these rules!    (We sure do)



Dangerously Exciting Rules for American Civil War Miniatures

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