Spotlight on Games > Military Games > Rules
Rules Rewrite

Lords of the Sierra Madre
See also
sequence of play
sequence chart
action summary
smelter summary
cards list
Rules to the board game by Phil Eklund. Rules rewrite by Rick Heli.

Table of Contents

  1. Introduction
  2. Background
  3. Components
  4. Setting Up the Game
  5. Goal of the Game
  6. Sequence of Play
  1. Playing the Game
  2. Optional Rules
  3. Scenarios
  4. Glossary
  5. Bibliography
  6. Credits
  1. Introduction: see original rules

    Re-writer's Notes:
    I have taken a few liberties in terms of rules interpretation which I believe should be of no serious consequence. These include:

    • Always starting players with 2 rather than 0 gold.
    • Adding explicit phases for rifle purchase and recapitalization.
    • Imposing stricter rules on turn order during common card auctions.
    • Relocated bank income to Reveal Card Phase (no real effect).
    • Addition of a balancing variant of my own devising.
    • Re-naming of the phases.

  2. Background: see original rules
  3. Components: see original rules


    Shown are two nations, the United States and Mexico. The United States portion shows parts of four territories, from left to right, California, Arizona, New Mexico and Texas. In Mexico, there are Baja, Sonora and Chihuahua. Three of the territories have capital cities marked with a star: Tucson in Arizona, Hermosillo in Sonora and Ciudad Chihuahua (Chihuahua).

    Territories are divided into districts defined by a black border, an international/territorial boundary (in red) or a river. Districts are typically prairie, but there are also desert (shown in speckled white) and montane (mountains, shown in brown and green).

    Cities (shown by colored dots) often lie within a square. This square is called a police block. Police blocks, or simply blocks, count as areas separate from districts for movement and combat purposes. A counter is either within a block or outside it in the district.

    Crisscrossing the map are railroad lines marked with a hatch pattern. A line is connected to another line if terminated with an arrow. They connect if the lines cross or if both end in the same block. At the start of the game, only the colored lines (Railroads 1, 2, and 3) are functioning. Railroads are linked to a map feature, e.g. a hacienda or mine, if the map feature is depicted on the card.

    The thirteen lettered squares in the western part of the map are coastal blocks. They may contain land or naval counters. They are treated by land units exactly as if they were police blocks.

    There are six bridges, indicated by bridge icons, which are important for land movement over rivers. Also important are mountain passes, which are designated by gaps in the pattern of triangular mountain symbols surrounding a montane district.

    Special Notes:

    • A store (gun icon) is depicted in Nogales, Sonora. The card for this store is not in the game so this store should be ignored.
    • Douglas, Arizona and Janos, Chihuahua are adjacent (there is a gap in the mountains).
    • The montane district in the northeast corner is adjacent to Otero County.


    Cards come in three main types:

    Quarterly cards - black lettering on back
    Common cards - green lettering on back
    Starting hacendadoes - green lettering on back, cards numbered C1 ... C9

    Card codes:

    White: leaders, mercenaries, weapons, equipment
    Blue: US troops
    Orange: Mexican troops
    Red: Rebels, Indians, Bandits
    Mordida: Bribes
    Construction: Enterprise
    RailRoad: Railroads
    Event: Events

    Special Notes:

    • The Helvetica mine should be deleted from the RR9 card.
    • There is an error on the RR18 card. Its capitalization, the number in the upper right, should be [8] rather than [9].
    • The Commonwealth Mine requires 10 quarters rather than 8 and is located in Cochise County rather than Tombstone.
    • The nationality of a Railroad is determined by location of its map block.

    Player Calendars

    The player calendars contain eight boxes at the top showing the seasons of two years. This is the Seasonal Track. Eight more boxes at the bottom show the Profit Track.


    • Hacendadoes: This counter reads "HACENDADO" and represents a player's identity in the game. The counter also gives the hacendado's leadership, a number from 0 to 4.
    • Blue: These counters represent the military forces of the United States and each is named to correspond to one of the cards in the game.
    • Orange: These counters represent the military forces of Mexico and each is named to correspond to one of the cards in the game.
    • Orange Police: These orange counters read "Policia". One Police counter and one rifle counter are implicitly placed in each police block of Mexico. In cities and capital police blocks of Mexico, there are two police counters and two rifles. However, the counters are only actually placed on the map if these units are activated.
    • Red: These represent various outlaw and rebellious forces.
    • White: These represent various neutral mercenaries, weapons (including rifles) and transportation which tend to take on the color of the other counters with which they stack.
    • Ownership Markers: These markers come in eight different colors and numbers and are used to denote player ownership of map properties. The icons on these counters are for purposes of flavor only. On the reverse side of these counters are red striker symbols used to indicate operations which have gone on strike.

    Note that the number of counters is not meant to be a countermix limitation. If players run out of any counter, tokens or spare counters should be used as substitutes.

  4. Setting Up the Game
  5. Set up the game as follows:
    1. Each player chooses one of the nine hacendado cards at random.
    2. Each player takes a hacendado "Leadership 0" counter.
    3. Each player takes a set of ownership markers.
    4. The hacendado names a hacienda that the player owns at the start of the game. The player places his hacendado counter and an ownership marker on the hacienda's location on the map.
    5. Each player takes a calendar.
    6. Each player places his hacendado card on the bottom track of the calendar, on the "1" box. (This location indicates that the associated hacienda is currently earning a profit of 1.) Henceforth, this card is treated as a hacienda card (or slave plantation card if it is such).
    7. Each player receives 2 gold as spending money which is placed on the hacendado card.
    8. Each player places an unused counter in the "Winter" box of the top left corner of the calendar. (This is a turn marker.)
    9. Shuffle the quarterly cards and place four face down on each year of the the mapsheet track.
    10. Sort the common cards into three categories -- railroads, US forces, Mexican forces -- and place them face up, by category, near the map.
    If any players arrive late, they may join the game under the following rules:
    1. Draw an unused hacendado card and set up map and calendar as usual.
    2. Place this card at a profit level equal to the number of elapsed years in the game so far.
    3. This player receives gold equal to this number plus 1.
    4. This gold may be used to buy any cards in the discard pile (except M cards) for 1 gold each.

  6. Goal of the Game
  7. Player scores are determined by adding up the following quantities for each one. The player with the highest total wins.
    • gold at the hacendado's location
    • gold at banks
    • each C and RR card on the calendar (regardless of whether or not it is mature)
    • negative value of any IOU's on the calendar

  8. Sequence of Play
  9. Perform the following sequence of activities each turn:
    1. Reveal Quarterly Card and Resolve Event.
    2. Receive Profits.
    3. Capitalize.
    4. Auction Quarterly Card.
    5. Auction Common Cards.
    6. Purchase Rifles from Stores.
    7. Recapitalize Destroyed C cards.
    8. Mature Completed Cards.
    9. Play Mordida Cards.
    10. Tactical Rounds.
    11. Rebase, Refurbishment, Money Transfers, Enlistment, Game End Check.

  10. Playing the Game
    1. Reveal Quarterly Card and Resolve Event.
      1. Turn over the next quarterly card on the mapsheet.
      2. If the card is an Event (labeled with an "E" in the upper left, resolve its effects immediately.
        • If an Event increases profit levels, mines never go above 6.
        • If an Event decreases profit levels, C cards going to zero have their counters removed from the map. Mine cards which go to zero are removed from the game.
        • The Halley's Comet Event automatically ends any current Rebellion.
        • Troops which go up for rebidding due to Halley's Comet are removed from the map if no one bids for them, the cards discarded if quarterly cards, returned to the common cards area otherwise.
        • Any town destroyed by earthquake may be rebuilt by spending 4 gold during refurbishment (8 for cities and capitals).
        • Should a player lose all of his properties, he may purchase for 1 gold any face-up unclaimed hacienda, plantation or hacendado card as a new home base, including cards in the discard pile.
        • Any card reading "Veto" may be cancelled by the president of the nation whose flag is shown.
      3. If the card has 1 or 2 gold bars depicted, the players receive investment capital in gold, on the C card corresponding to their current location, equal to the number of bars shown, except that:
        • Investment capital is not received if there is an ongoing revolution, boycott or stock crash.
        • Investment capital is not received by anyone if there are any police counters which are depleted or eliminated. This includes any towns or cities burned or destroyed by earthquake.
        • Hacendadoes not at one of his own C cards receive nothing, unless they are kidnapped, at war or have no existing C card and are living in a capital. Hacendadoes serving as governor/president in a capital are considered to be at a C card.
        • Hacendadoes who in the past 4 quarters have defaulted on an enterprise (i.e. given up capitalization before the project matured) or could not pay off a loan receive no investment capital.
      4. Banks owned by players earn investment capital also. The amount that each bank receives, gold being placed on the bank card, depends on the total number of banks that the player owns and is shown by the table below:
        Number of Bars Showing on Card
        Number of Banks Owned1 Gold2 Gold
    2. Receive Profits.
      1. C Cards: For each C card on the profit track of their calendar, players receive gold on the card with the following exceptions:
        • Banks receive profits in the previous phase instead.
        • Haciendas/Plantations only receive profits during the Summer quarter.
        • A player may choose to forego all profits on a Hacienda/Plantation. In that case, the Hacienda is instead immediately moved one box higher on the Profit Track.
        • Smelters receive (from the game) gold equal to the number of mines which choose to link to them on that quarter (maximum six).
        • If a player chooses to shut down an enterprise because it is not profitable or too heavily taxed, the card is turned face-down. If a railroad is shut down, it is not usable by anyone. This card may be forced into rebid -- see Auction Common Cards.
      2. Lumber Railroads: For each "Lumber Railroad" card on the profit track of their calendar, players receive 1 gold from the game per mine that is connected to it (but mine owners are free to choose just one lumber railroad when multiple connected ones exist).
      3. All Railroads: For each Railroad card on the profit track of their calendar, players receive 1 gold on the card from the card of an operating mine, hacienda or slave plantation that took at least 1 in profits that quarter and used that railroad as part of one of the following kinds of links:
        • Hacienda/Plantation to City: when a Hacienda/Plantation first has a rail link connecting it to a city (immediately if the link already exists when the card is played), the owner raises its profit level by two. Note that for the San Germán and La Europa plantations, if the Steamboat Ferry (RR12) is built and not depleted or destroyed, these plantations are considered connected.
        • Mine to City: if there is no working smelter on the map, when a mine first has a rail link connecting it to a city (immediately if the link already exists when the card is played), the owner raises its profit level by two (note: maximum 6). In the case of multiple linked cities, the mine owner chooses which city and railroads to use.
        • Mine to Smelter: if there is a working smelter on the map, mines must link to a smelter instead of a city if the necessary railroads exist. This raises the profit level of the mine by two (if not already raised by a link to a city). In the case of multiple linked smelters, the mine owner chooses which smelter and railroads to use.
        Note that when one of these cards uses a rail link that is not owned by any player, payment goes to the bank.
    3. Capitalize.
      Note: Capitalization is a big word which sounds like a difficult game concept. Actually all it really means is that the player pays one gold per turn for a fixed number of turns for each purchased enterprise before it begins to produce profits.
      1. Each player pays 1 gold to the game (if a W card, to an operating Store if any exists) for each card on the seasonal track of his calendar. If unable to pay:
      2. Each player pays 1 gold for each IOU marker in the box of the current turn. (This money appears at the bank location from where it can be picked up and transferred to the owner.) If the borrower is unable to pay, he loses the associated card. If the loaning bank was a player, that player takes the card and may either keep it or auction it. If the loan was taken from the game, the card is placed in the common cards area where it may be auctioned. (Both types of auctions occur during the Auction Common Cards phase).
      3. All governors may subsidize one RR card within their territory to be paid for by the game. (They must still bid for cards using their own money.)
      4. All presidents may subsidize any enterprises within their territory to be paid for by the game. (They must still bid for the card using their own money.)
    4. Auction Quarterly Card.
      • The revealed card is auctioned to the players. Players allocate gold from the C card at their current location. The high bidder wins the card and pays the gold to the game If there is a tie for highest bid, roll two dice with the highest roller winning. Losing bidders get their gold back.
      • The purchased card is placed on the seasonal track if it requires capitalization (i.e. has a number greater than 0 in the upper right). If this number is 8 or greater, the card is placed face down. If the number is 0, the card is placed on the 0 box of the profits track if it is an enterprise. If it is a troop card, it is placed on the profits track box corresponding to the card's leadership and the corresponding counter is placed on the map (police do not have counters). [Rewriter's note: as the profits track may become too crowded, players are advised to place troop cards off the track, but next to the corresponding box].
      • Bids may be combined between players in a cooperative bid. Players may freely buy, sell, loan, exhange or donate their cards or money to other players. Loans however must be paid off by the end of the quarter. Players may also pay capitalization costs for others. However, a card may only be held by one player who in the final analysis controls it and is not bound by the game to honor any agreements made.
      • If the purchased card is a W (weapon) card, payment goes instead to any operating store not owned by that player, if there is one, otherwise to the game. In addition, the purchased counter appears at that store. If there is no owned store, the counter appears on any store icon on the map.
      • If the card is an Orange or Blue troops card and the governor or president for the card's jurisdiction is controlled by a player in the game, the card automatically goes to that player without auction. (Presidents have precedence over governors.)
      • If the card is a Gubernatorial Election or Appointment, any player may propose his hacendado or any other personality card with at least 1 gold on it as a candidate. Personalities in jail cannot run. This auction differs from others in that all money spent by winners and losers is returned to the game. After all bidding is completed, each participating bidder also rolls dice equal to the candidate's leadership and adds this total to the value of his bid (the money coming from the game). Players must also roll for the incumbent, who wins in case of a tie in which he is involved. If not involved, resolve the tie randomly. Any card having a US flag may not run for Governor in Mexico. Any card without any flag may not run for Governor in the United States. The winner of the auction:
        • Governors raise their leadership by 1 (maximum 4).
        • Immediately move hacendado counter to the capital (even if not a hacendado). The capitals of Texas and Mexico are offmap. The governor may enter and leave the map during Tactical Rounds via any district in the respective state.
        • Governors lose their office card to rebidding if they start a turn outside their capital.
        • Mexican governors immediately collect all Orange cards for their territory except for Rurales, including any quarterly cards that turn up.
        • American governors get a Rangers counter. They also control police in their territory, though not the card. Arizona's governor gets the B3 card.
    5. Auction Common Cards.
      • This phase begins with the player who has the most money with his hacendado. When all players have consecutively passed, the phase is ended.
      • Players take turns in clockwise order putting common cards (railroads, troops, police, smelters, subornation and newspapers) up for auction using the above auction and purchase process.
      • Only one card may be auctioned at a time.
      • Should a player have lost all of his properties, he may purchase for 1 gold any face-up unclaimed hacienda, plantation or hacendado card as a new home base, including cards in the discard pile.
      • If there are any owned and profitable enterprises whose cards are face-down on a profits track because of being shut down and that card would otherwise have earned money for another player, the wronged player may demand that the card be relinquished. This card is placed in the common card area may be auctioned on the next turn.
      • If the card is a Presidental Election, any hacendado or other personality card with at least leadership 3 and at least 1 gold on it may be a candidate. Personalities in jail cannot run. This auction differs from others in that all money spent by winners and losers is returned to the game. After all bidding is completed, each participating bidder also rolls dice equal to the candidate's leadership and adds this total to the value of his bid (the money coming from the game). Players must also roll for the incumbent, who wins in case of a tie in which he is involved. If not involved, resolve the tie randomly.
        • Mexico
          • Candidates who are troop leaders or governors are considered red criminals.
          • The winner of the auction for Mexico must capitalize the card.
          • In addition, the card holder must control 1 city in Sonora and 1 in Chihuahua to become president although it is okay to purchase the card before this. Cities may be controlled by having the corresponding Policia cards or by destroying the Policia and occupying the city.
        • United States
          • The card may only be contested in the Winter of election year (1900, 1904, 1908, etc.)
          • In 1900 the incumbent receives 4 dice, in other years, 5. In 1912 there is an additional non-player candidate (Teddy Roosevelt) who has 4 dice.
          • If the incumbent is a player card, there is an automatic contender who has 5 dice.
          • Any card without any flag may not run in the United States.
        Effects of being elected president:
        • Increases leadership by 2 (maximum 5).
        • Immediately move hacendado counter offmap.
        • Collects all troop cards (except any red flaggers) for their nation including discards and any quarterly cards that turn up.
    6. Purchase Rifles from Stores.
      • This phase begins with the player who has the most cards on his calendar, whether mature or immature. Radio and spy cards count 10.
      • Players in clockwise order each have one chance to purchase rifles from operating stores, which is where they appear. Rifles cost 2 gold which is paid to the store owner.
      • Rifles may not be purchased by a hacendado from his own store, but may be purchased by one of his puppets, i.e. a troop card, assuming the troop card has money on it. These rifles become exclusive property of the troop card. [Rewriter's note: although who knows when they might be dropped and who might "just happen" to be around to pick them up if you get my drift, señor.]
      • If no store exists, they are purchased from the game. The rifles appear on any store icon on the map. They may be moved during Tactical Rounds.
      • Another way to "buy" rifles is to have US forces drop their rifles near the border and have a hacendado pick them up. The troops can restore their rifles during Refurbishment. [Historically this was known as "surplusing".]
    7. Recapitalize Destroyed C cards.
      • Any previously-existing hacienda, plantation, store, casino, store or smelter which was forced below zero profit due to Event or Burning must be rebuilt. The card must be re-capitalized. The player pays 1 to start this process. The card is placed on the seasonal track to correspond to a number of turns in the future that capitalization on the card requires. (When mature it will be placed at the profit level printed on the card.)
      • If a C card is at zero at the present time, the owner spends 1 gold to bring it up to profit level 1.
      • If a player has a smelter with reduced profit level, he may spend 2 gold to raise the level by 1.
      • If the player declines to recapitalize, the card is moved to the common cards area and may be put up for auction by any player during the next Auction Common Cards phase.
    8. Mature Completed Cards.
      1. Place any face up cards which are under the turn marker onto the profits track according to its profit rating in the lower left hand corner of the card.
        • Smelters are not placed on their profit level, but on their maximum profit level (initially 6, but can be reduced in case of fires). A smelter's actual profits always vary depending on the number of mines linked to it.
        • When placing a mine, roll two dice on the Mine Assay Table to determine profit level.
        • Invert the mine card if it is a copper mine.
        • If a mine is linked to a city or smelter, the mine's profit level is increased by two (to a maximum of 6).
        • If a hacienda/plantation is linked to a city, its profit level is increased by two (to a maximum of 7).
        • Dams are always placed at profit level 2.
      2. Place either the corresponding counter if it has one, or one of the player's markers on its corresponding location on the map.
        • Counters may be either inside or outside a police block.
        • For railroads, the marker is placed over the square that indicates the railroad's number.
      3. Any immature cards affected by Strike are moved one further turn away from completion.
      4. Any face up cards on the seasonal track under the turn marker are now flipped face up.
    9. Play Mordida Cards and Official Actions.
      M cards and Strikes (R cards which are treated like M cards) are played during this phase and then discarded from the game unless labeled "can be re-used." Card reading "Veto" may be cancelled by the president of the nation whose flag is shown. Cards come in several varieties:
      • Spy: Spy cards may be used to nullify the play of any other Mordida card. A re-usable Mordida card is only suppressed for one quarter however. Alternatively, they may be used to assassinate a president. Roll 1 die. A result of "1" kills the president causing an immediate presidential election (see Auction Common Cards Phase) with an incumbent of one less stature than usual.
      • Strike:
        • This card is played against any C or RR card owned by another player. The ownership marker is flipped over to reveal a striker counter. Within some limitations (see Combat below), this counter is treated like any other red tactical counter and may be attacked as such. A C or RR card under strike does not produce profits. Railroads hit by strike are unavailable for transport. The strike is only stopped when either the strikers are destroyed or they are voluntarily disbanded by the player who triggered the strike.
        • When Strikers survive an attack, they may on the next round commence burning their enterprise or if a railroad, any bridge it may have. Alternatively, their controlling player may disband them by flipping the ownership marker back to its original side so as to avoid counterattack and live to strike another day.
        • Once the strike is ended, if the enterprise has not been burned back to zero, flip the ownership marker back to its original side -- it resumes normal operations. Otherwise the counter is simply removed from the map.
        • Strikes may also hit immature projects. In this case, the enterprise is moved one further turn away from completion during the Mature Completed Cards Phase.
      • Newspaper: Upon discarding a newspaper, the player may raise the leadership of any counter other than a hacendado's for the rest of the quarter. Other than enlisting, this is one of the only ways to increase leadership from 0 to 1.
      • Subornation: The M4 card places another player's owned puppet (usually a troop card) in the common cards area where it may be auctioned with other common cards. Note that this card may only be played against a puppet whose leadership is greater than that of the owning hacendado. After use, M4 is returned to the common cards area where it may be purchased again and later used.
      • Lawsuit: This card is played against any C or RR card owned by another player. The target is put up for immediate auction. This auction differs from others in that all money spent by winners and losers is returned to the game. After all bidding is completed, each participating bidder also rolls two dice and adds his hacendado's leadership to the value of his bid (the money coming from the game). The player of the lawsuit card may use the leadership of the card instead of his personal leadership if he prefers. The winner of the auction seizes the card and property.
      • Rebellion:
        • Declarable by Governor of Sonora, Governor of Chihuahua or anyone who holds a Red Flag card.
        • Replace all orange Federales and Policia counters in the territory with red flag counters which are controlled by the declarer. Being red, these counters may act without many of the usual restrictions.
        • The Governor has Criminal status for the rest of the quarter.
        • The rebellion continues until the declarer calls it at an end or Halley's Comet occurs.
        • Alternatively, it ends when the declaring Governor is dead or arrested or away from the capital at the end of Tactical rounds. In this case an election is held for a new governor on the next turn's Auction Common Cards phase.
        • When the revolution ends, the red flag counters are replaced by Orange.
      • Official Actions:
        • A president may appoint new governors for each of his territories. The leadership ratings of these governors remain unchanged. The president also distributes the troop cards for these territories to the governors except for Rurales and Cavalry which are retained.
        • All Presidents/Governors may nullify lawsuits and warrants in their territory. They may also pardon anyone in jail, setting them free. He may issue warrants for arrest of any white or red counter in his territory.
        • Presidents may declare a Boycott against the following products from the other country. This means there is no investor's capital in the game and also has the effect of lowering the profits of the related enterprises by 1:
          • copper (copper mines)
          • gold/silver (gold/silver mines)
          • beef (haciendas)
          • lumber (lumber railroads)
          • store goods (stores)
        • A president may Declare War:
          • Presidents must remain in their capitals during war.
          • If the Mexican presidency is held by an American, it must be relinquished to the common cards area. While war continues, it may be bid on only by Mexicans or Europeans.
          • All Blue cards not controlled by governors/president are relinquished and redistributed randomly among American hacendados. If there are no such hacendadoes, the cards are given to the player with the most mature enterprises in the United States. This player must not be a governor or president in Mexico -- if he is, the cards go to the next best-qualified player.
          • All Orange cards not controlled by governors/president are relinquished and redistributed randomly among Mexican, German and British hacendadoes. If there are no such hacendadoes, the cards are given to the player with the most mature enterprises in Mexico. This player must not be a governor or president in the United States -- if he is, the cards go to the next best-qualified player.
          • During war, counters may move anywhere they wish and attack anything they wish (except their own color). Everyone, including strikers, may burn things freely.
          • Command of counters of the same color in the same district goes to the counter with the highest leadership. If there is a tie, the highest leadership printed on a card takes precedence. If it is still tied, decide randomly (dice roll). Subordinate commanders may not tax, burn, arrest or leave the stack without permission or presidential order or warrant.
          • Towns that have their police destroyed may be annexed if a player pays 2 gold to put a police of the victorious color there during Refurbishment. Such a town may be made into a fort/HQ if it has a rail line going back to a friendly city (not town). If a fort is established in an enemy capital, enemy troops (except red) there surrender and the territory is annexed. The police change color, although the card is not affected.
          • Any card whose counters failed to interdict or counterattack enemy troops in the same district when given the opportunity is moved to the common cards area for rebidding.
          • Ending the war is up to players holding the highest leadership cards of American forces and Mexican forces respectively. If they agree to end it, they may also redraw international boundaries.
    10. Tactical Rounds.
      This phase is skipped during Winter turns. The player order is determined by counting cards on each player's calendar, mature and immature. Radio and Spy cards count 10. Highest is first, second highest second, etc. Roll dice if tied. The start player moves his counters, then has combat or other activities with any of these counters. Then the second most cards player moves, combats and has activities, etc. When all players have had a chance, one round is complete. Tactical rounds continue until 45 rounds have passed or an entire round passes with no player doing anything.
      1. Movement:
        During movement, all of the players counters may move, except that police, strikers and jailed/enslaved counters never move.
        • Walk: Counters may walk up to two districts per round. Hacendadoes may carry either 1 rifle or 2 gold. Other counters may carry gold equal to their leadership. Artillery and machine gun counters never carry rifles.
        • Double Walk: Counters may walk up to four districts per round, but this depletes the counters, including rifles. Leaders and trucks may double walk without being depleted. Artillery, aeroplanes and boats may not double walk.
        • Rail:
          • If traveling solely by interconnected rail lines, counters may move 6 districts carrying unlimited rifles and gold.
          • The counters must pay the owner of the rail 1 gold per quarter for unlimited use of the rail.
          • If the rail owner refuses passage, the railroad is shut down, placed in the common cards area and not usable by anyone until re-purchased.
          • If a hacendado of leadership greater than zero is traveling alone with only gold, he is transported free on all railroads.
        • Trucks: May carry 4 counters plus a hacendado and unlimited gold.
        • Aeroplanes: May move three districts, but may not enter montane unless traveling as rail freight.
        • Purchased Rifles at a store may be transported in two different ways:
          • Rifles are transported by friendly troop counters or hacendadoes. The rifles are considered to have the same color as the counters carrying them. But Rifles picked up and transported anywhere in Mexico turn red and remain so for the rest of the quarter. For this reason, under normal circumstances orange troop counters in Mexico may not pick up and transport rifles.
          • Rifles may be carried over rail lines.
          • Whenever rifles pass through a block or a district containing troops -- including rail lines which pass through police blocks -- they must stop for search by these troops. Search succeeds if a "1" or "2" is rolled on one die. In this case, the rifles are seized by the searching card up to their carrying capacity. Surplus rifles are discarded. The hacendado moving the rifles is considered red for the rest of the turn. If the search is unsuccessful, the rifles may continue moving. Troops are allowed to "look the other way" and not search, but this puts the card up for auction during the next Common Cards auction. If no one owns the police, they automatically search.
          • Rifles cannot be carried by an artillery or machine guns counter.
        • Sea: A ship can move from one coastal block to an adjacent one at a rate of 4 blocks per turn. May carry unlimited gold and 6 combat/rifle counters. If the ship is sunk (depleted twice), all aboard are destroyed. If the RR12 Steam Ferry is sunk, the "railroad" must be recapitalized.
        • Blocks: If there is a block in a district, a counter may be either in the district or in the block. It costs zero movement points to move from one to the other.
        • Montane: May not be entered except through passes or via rail. Artillery may only enter via rail. Note that if a lumber railroad passing through the montane is built, a pass is considered to exist along the path of the railroad.
        • Rivers: May only be crossed at bridges or by boats. May not move from Texas to Doña Ana Country except via bridge.
        • Desert: Combat counters, including rifles, that walk in are depleted (invert counters). If already depleted, are destroyed. Aeroplanes, gunboats/ferries and leaders are unaffected. If trucks are in the stack, there is no depletion.
        • Command: A hacendado may only lead troops if his leadership is at least equal to that of the leader on the troop cards.
        • Troops may only spend 1 round outside their home territory.
        • Red Indian counters can only go into their starting territory or those adjacent to it unless led by a leader of leadership 2 or higher. (An exception is made for Indians escaping jail.)
        • Stacking: No limit except that all counters must be same color (white matches any color).
        • Interdiction:
          • If counters enter a district or block with counters of another color, the latter may specify interdiction and stop them.
          • Aeroplanes/gunboats may not interdict or be interdicted.
          • If the police are unowned, they automatically interdict and counterattack any criminals that enter a block.
          • Owned police may interdict any other color, but only attack red. They may also try to seize rifles/gold from red counters at the moment the counters enter the block. This succeeds if a "1" or "2" is rolled on one die. If it succeeds, the rifles/gold are out of the game. Otherwise, the red counters may continue moving if they wish. If the red counters remain and commit any crime, the police may try to seize rifles again.
          • If police do not try to attack or arrest red counters in a block, the police card is returned to the common area and may be auctioned on the next turn.
      2. Combat and Other Activities: Combat is always optional. A counter may only perform one combat activity per round, one of (a) Combat, (b) Night Raid, (c) Taxation or (d) Burning. Note that if counters perform one of the latter three activities in a police block, the police may take the chance to simultaneously counterattack.
        1. Combat:
          • Who:
            • Counters always attack counters of a different color except that red may attack red. Orange may not attack Blue and vice versa unless war is declared.
            • All counters of a stack must be the same color. If a player has more than one color present, they operate separately. White counters have the color that they are stacked with, or if alone, the color of their choice.
            • A player may attack his own counters, but in this case the defenders do not counter-attack and instead go up for an immediate auction. The counters are removed from the map if no one bids for them, the cards discarded if quarterly cards, returned to the common cards area otherwise.
            • White counters that attack government troops are considered permanently red until destroyed and subsequently owned by a different player.
            • Gunboats are immune from attack except from other Gunboats, Artillery or Aeroplanes in the same block.
            • Strikers may never be fired on by Artillery, Gunboats or Aeroplanes.
          • Where: Attacks occur in the same district or from block to surrounding district or vice-versa. Except: police and strikers in a block are immune to attacks from outside the block.
          • How: To fight, each attacking troop counter, including rifles but not hacendadoes, rolls a die. The defender also rolls dice in the same way, simultaneously. Artillery may not fire into a block not of its country except in war.
          • Bonuses:
            • Defending in Police Block: If the defender is in a police block, he subtracts 1 from each of his rolls.
            • Defending a Pass/Bridge: If all of the Attackers came over a pass or bridge this turn, the defender subtracts 1 from each of his rolls.
            • Defenders Dug-In: If none of the defenders have moved or attacked yet this quarter and are neither police nor striker, they subtract 1 from their rolls.
            • Artillery: Attacking artillery counters get to roll two dice rather than just one.
            • Machine Guns: Defending machine gun counters get to roll two dice rather than just one.
          • Hits: Each roll equal to or less than the highest leadership in the stack is a hit. Each hit causes a depletion which are allocated by the recipient of the attack. Depletions are shown by flipping a counter over. A counter which is twice depleted is eliminated.
          • Losses:
            • All rifles/guns must be eliminated before any troops are eliminated.
            • Trucks never attack or defend, but may be used to take losses.
            • If all the counters of a card are destroyed, the card is discarded if a quarterly card, put in the common cards area otherwise. Place the destroyed counters on the common card. A new owner must pay to refurbish these counters if he wishes to use them.
          • Surrenders:
            • Defenders who in a round take at least one hit and have no remaining rifles or gunboats automatically surrender to the authority of the attacker (not the player) if the attackers are Blue or Orange.
            • Police and strikers never surrender.
            • Counters never surrender voluntarily, i.e. without the above being met.
            • Counters never surrender to aeroplanes.
            • Surrendering troop counters will be jailed during Rebase.
            • Surrendering artillery, trucks, aeroplanes and machine guns become the property of the Attacking card.
            • The victorious player takes the card.
            • The victorious leader gains one in stature. If a hacendado, replace his counter with one of a higher level. If a card, move the card up one box on the profits track. (The leadership maximum in the game is always 4.)
          • Executions:
            • If Orange counters wish, they may execute surrendered counters. However, if they do this, there are never any more surrenders in this territory.
            • Blue counters may execute only if directed to do so by the Governor/President.
          • Leader Loss: If all of the troops with a hacendado are eliminated, roll 1 die: 1 - leader escapes and gets an immediate rebase, 2-4 - leader captured (placed in jail during Rebase), 5-6 - leader killed. Captured hacendadoes may be executed if the captors are red.
        2. Night Raids (Robbery, Arrests, Rescue):
          All Night Raids succeed if a "1" or "2" is rolled on one die. The Raid is performed by the entire stack. When units commit a successful Night Raid, they increase by 1 in leadership (shown by sliding the card up by 1 on the profits track to a maximum of 4). A successful Raid is considered a crime and the raiders considered red. If the police in a block where a crime is committed do not attack the criminals, the card is placed in the common cards area and available for auction on the next turn. Aeroplanes may not Night Raid.
          • Robbery:
            • Counters may try to rob any C enterprise on the map of its gold/rifles up to carrying capacity of the counters.
            • Each store is assumed to have 1 implicit rifle counter which may be stolen.
            • After a robbery attempt, a player may declare his gold/rifles at that location "buried". They are unavailable until the Tactical Rounds segment of the next turn. (Place the gold and rifles under a token on the map to indicate this.)
            • Bandits may store their gold in montane districts. It may be robbed there unless buried.
          • Arrests:
            • Troops may arrest the following if they are not escorted by friendly troops:
              • (M) leaders
              • hacendadoes
            • But Orange and Blue counters may only try to arrest if at least one of the following applies:
              • leader committed a crime this quarter
              • leader is red
              • troops have a warrant card
              • at the order of their Governor/President
              • wartime
          • Confiscations:
            • Counters may try to capture the following if they are not escorted by friendly troops:
              • illegal rifles (all rifles in Mexico are illegal)
              • illegal gold (i.e. obtained via Robbery)
              • artillery
              • trucks
              • aeroplanes
              Items not on this list, e.g. the legitimate gold a hacendado is carrying when you arrest him or his next turn profits, may not be confiscated.
            • Recovered stolen property is returned to the original owner if recovered on the same turn as stolen, otherwise the recovering troop card itself holds onto it.
            • Presidential forces may seize any enterprise within his country. Each time he does so, the game must pay 10 gold to the deprived player or else one die is rolled and on a "1" the president has been assassinated. Seized enterprises belong to the nation, not to the player.
          • Rescue:
            • Counters may try to free any prisoners of jails or slave plantations in the same block.
        3. Taxation:
          • Orange counters may move onto any C counter in their territory and demand 1 gold.
          • They may only do this once per quarter and a counter may only be taxed once per quarter.
          • If there is another Orange counter on the C counter, it may block taxation.
          • Troops may not block police taxing within a block.
          • Gold collected by troop counters is placed on its card. This money is not available to the player unless the hacendado has a leadership rating at least as good as the card's and the hacendado is actually present during the taxation. The card use the money only for its own purposes:
            • Hospital fees.
            • Rail transport fees.
            • Buying itself rifles.
            • Bidding on W cards for itself.
            • Bidding on electing itself.
          • Orange cards controlled by a governor or president may tax for more than 1 gold, limited only by their carrying capacity. The taxes are split by the governor/president (who need not be present for the taxation) and the taxing card, any extra going to the card.
        4. Burning:
          Burning is a crime and causes white counters to be considered red and criminal.
          • Red counters may burn the following:
            • C counters apart from Banks, Dams and Railroads (but their bridges may be) - they lose profit levels
            • Bridges - makes rivers untraversable
            • Police Blocks - only if all police in the block are destroyed
          • Orange and blue may only burn during wartime.
          • Strikers may burn the enterprise they are striking if they have been once attacked.
          • The enterprise is lowered one profit level for each round of burning.
          • If reduced below zero, the counter is removed and the card pulled from the calendar. If the card was a mine, it is removed from the game.
          • Burned smelters do not lose profit level; instead they lose maximum profit level.
        5. Recovery:
          • If on a previous turn a player buried gold or rifles to protect them from Robbery Night Raid, the player may spend a combat phase recovering them.
    11. Rebase, Refurbishment, Money Transfers, Enlistment, Game End Check.
      1. Rebase:
        • Orange and blue counters are placed on a fort of HQ in the district of their choice in their home territory. Blue cavalry are permitted to split up to different locations.
        • Any Yaqui or Mayo Indians which surrendered may be moved to a slave plantation in Sonora. This increases the profits of the plantation by 1 (maximum 7).
        • Any forces which surrendered are moved to a jail of the captor's choice. Jails are located in Yuma, Hermosillo and Ciudad Chihuahua. Once in jail, counters cannot move or fight unless sprung by Night Raid or pardoned by the Governor/President. If these counters are depleted, the original owner must pay to refubish them or the card is discarded if a quarterly card or goes to the common cards area otherwise.
        • Hacendadoes move to the enterprise marker of their choice.
        • Gold may now automatically be transferred between a player's enterprises. (Usually players will want to transfer all gold to the hacendado's location.)
      2. Refurbishment:
        • Depleted troop counters may be restored to full strength by paying 1 gold.
          • This gold may come from the card if it has any.
          • Payment goes to the hospital if held, otherwise back to the game. If the owner of the hospital refuses to undeplete at the 1 gold rate, he loses the card to the common cards area and it may be auctioned during the next Auction Common Cards phase.
        • Depleted rifles, trucks, machine guns, artillery and aeroplanes are restored by paying 1 gold to a store owner.
          • The counter appears on the store if the payer is a red/white counter or at the HQ/fort if a blue/orange counter.
          • Mexican forces always use a Mexican store if available and American troops an American one.
        • Eliminated troop counters from a card a player still holds are restored by paying 2 gold to the store if equipment or to the hospital if troops. The hospital owner is allowed to set the price at will.
        • Burned bridges are repaired by paying 1 gold to a store owner. Store owners may not pay their own store.
        • Burned towns are rebuilt by replacing the police counter and its rifle, i.e. 2 gold per counter. Burned cities and capital cost 8 gold total.
        • Destroyed or depleted Gunboats may not be refurbished.
        • A Store which was robbed of rifles must have 1 gold paid to refurbish it. If the robber was an Orange or Blue card, this is paid by the card or its hacendado to the store. If it was a red card, the store owner must pay the game.
        • Any eliminated and discarded troop cards may be brought back free by their governor or president if this office is controlled. The governor/president must pay for the refurbishment of the counters however.
        • Refusal to completely refurbish means that any other player may demand that the card is immediately auctioned. The purchasing player must still pay for the refurbishment. Hacendado governors/presidents are exempt however.
      3. Money Transfers to/from New York:
        • A hacendado may transfer gold to or from New York for safekeeping by simply announcing the fact. This gold should be kept segregated from cash on hand.
        • Cash in New York is unavailable until transferred back.
      4. Enlistment:
        • Event cards E6, E9 and E19 are foreign wars. If a hacendado wants to fight in the war, the counter is removed from the map now and placed on the war card, which is placed on the calendar four quarters in the future.
        • The hacendado may take his money with him. (It could also have been deposited in New York in the previous phase.)
        • The hacendado may not bid on cards during this time.
        • After four quarters, the hacendado returns by rolling a die. On a "1", that hacendado is killed. A killed player may leave the game and stand on his current score, in which case all of his W, C, R and RR cards put up for immediate auctions. Any gold earned from them is added to the player's final score. Blue and Orange cards are put in the common cards area.
        • Alternatively, a killed player may return to the game as an heir, beginning with leadership 0, the family gold, C and RR cards. All other cards are discarded. IOU's are maintained.
        • If the hacendado survives, he is placed on whichever one of his enterprises he prefers and his leadership is increased by 2.
      5. Ending the Game:
        • Beginning with the first quarter of 1907, roll two dice at the end of every Rebase and Refurbishment Phase to see whether there has been a general revolution in Mexico.
        • If any of the cards E1, E2, E4, E10 or E12 (they are labeled to indicate this) have appeared in the game, one is added to the roll for each.
        • The game ends if the result is "13" or more.

  11. Optional Rules
  12. Scenarios
  13. Glossary: see original rules
  14. Bibliography see original rules
  15. Credits: see original rules


Note that the instructions you are currently reading are intended for use with the Decision Games edition. Purchasers of this edition may also, with proof of purchase, receive a revised version of rules by Phil Eklund from Decision Games.
Copyright 2003 Richard M. Heli