American Revolution is a simulation of global conflict during the American Revolutionary era (1763-1783). Players represent one of the major countries or colonial political factions during this time and attempt to achieve its historical goals.

The players represent a country or a colonial faction. These include Great Britain, American Loyalists, American Patriots, France, and Spain, and their allies. The Loyalist player is not used in the 4-Player Game.

AR is played on a Game Chart which is divided into boxes representing various geographic regions.

Each region has 5 boxes, 2 labeled Pro, meaning proBritain, the other 3 Anti, meaning antiBritain. Players will contest regions by using the boxes directly under their country or faction's name. In the 4-Player Game, there are 3 Anti and 1 Pro boxes.


The class is divided into groups. Each group has a moderator who runs the game and keeps records for that group. Each remaining student chooses a country or faction in any mutually agreeable fashion. If players cannot agree on allocation, then the moderator will assign them to the players.


American Revolution consists of 6 Turns. A Turn proceeds as follows:

First, time is allocated for negotiation among the players.

Each player receives Resource Factors (RFs) in a Turn. The amounts are listed in the Scenario Instructions.

The first player, as specified in the Scenario Instructions, receives RFs and then puts them in any regional boxes on the Game Chart.

The remaining players deploy their RFs, following the order given in the Scenario Instructions's Order of Play. That completes one Turn.

On Turn 2, the first player again receives and deploys RFs, and then the remaining players do the same in order.

This continues until 6 Turns are completed.


At the end of the game, total the number of RFs in each region box to see if the Pro or Anti side won the region. Players then check these totals against their objectives to see how many points they have won. Record points won in the game on the Scoresheet.

The player with the most points wins.


Resource Factors (RFs) represent a faction's leadership, ideas, finances, economy, army, navy, and its willingness to use these. RFs are similar to the pieces in Risk and checkers.

Your goal is to win regions by working with your allies. You do this by deploying RFs. Each Turn you will receive RFs. You then put RFs in any region whenever it is your turn. You may divide RFs as desired.

To deploy RFs, tell the moderator where you want to put them. The moderator will then record your deployments in a region box on the Game Chart according to your instructions. You deploy RFs in the column directly under your country or faction's name.

You must deploy all RFs received in a Turn during that Turn. You cannot move RFs after deployment, save them for another Turn, or give them to another player.


Each player has objectives in the game. Essentially, you want to win regions. To contest a region, place your RFs in a box under your faction's or country's name. This box will be in either the Pro or Anti side for that region on the Game Chart. You get points at the end of the game if your side wins that region (has more RFs in its boxes than the other side has in its boxes). If the Pro and Anti sides are tied, no one gets any points for that region.

For example, take the Deep South boxes in the 5-Player Game. At the end of the game, total the RFs in the British and Loyalist boxes. This gives you the Pro total. Next, total the RFs in the Spanish, French and Patriot boxes. This gives you the Anti total. Compare the two numbers. If the Pro total is higher (i.e. if it has the most RFs in it), then the Loyalists get 7 Points, and the British player receives 3. Spain, France and the Patriots get zero points for that region.

If the Anti boxes have more RFs in them, then Spain receives no points, France gets 3, and the Patriots earn 6. The Loyalists and British receive none. If the Pro and Anti totals are equal, then no one gets any points.

You get points for winning a region even if you have no RFs in that region.

Always check your objectives each Turn so you can deploy your RFs wisely.


You cannot win American Revolution unless you negotiate with the other players. Some players will share your objectives so have them do your work for you. Others will oppose your objectives so cooperate with others to stop them.

Whoever makes the best deals usually wins. However, trust no one! Lies, betrayals, threats, broken deals, and bluffs are all allowed and encouraged. Always remember: your allies may not have your best interests in mind. If you have any bad qualities as a human being, this would be a good time to use them.


A game of American Revolution lasts 6 Turns. After the last Turn, cross off points not earned in the game on the Scoresheet, then total the rest. The player with the most points at the end of the game wins.


The players in the game represent countries, political factions, and their allies. Points earned represent the importance of that region to your country.

Great Britain
The British Empire grew quickly in the early 1700s and thus became a target for the rest of the world during George III's reign. This player also represents Hanover, the East India Company, Bengal, Carnatic, and Oudh, and German mercenaries from Anhalt-Zerbst, Anspach-Bayreuth, Brunswick-Lunenburg, Hesse-Cassel, Hesse-Hanau, and Waldeck.

Britain's goals were, in order, protecting the home islands, retaining her Caribbean colonies, holding at least some of the American colonies, and taking advantage of any opportunity to expand her empire.

American Loyalists
As the name implies, they remained loyal to their king and country. This group includes their supporters in Parliament, and the Cherokee, Delaware, Iroquois, Shawnee and Wyandot tribes. About 80,000 Loyalists left after the revolution ended, moving mostly to Canada.

American Patriots
They led the American Revolution and won, so they went down in history as the Founding Fathers, Patriots, etc. Had they lost, history would have categorized them as traitors. This player also represents English factions sympathetic to the revolt, Irish nationalists, and the Oneida and Stockbridge tribes who supported the Patriots during the revolution.

Britain's enemy since the 1100s, and nothing had changed in 1763. This player also represents antiBritish Indian states (Hyderabad, the Maratha Confederacy, and Mysore). After the war, France acquired Tobago, the St. Louis slave post, land in India, and more fishing rights in Canadian waters. In return, France ran up her debt, helping cause the French Revolution and ending Louis XVI's reign and life.

Allied to France since 1702, this player also represents the Netherlands. Spain feared a successful revolution inspiring her own colonies but also had designs on the Trans Appalachian region. Charles III declared war on Britain in 1778, but did not recognize the US until after the Treaty of Paris.

The Dutch were among the war's big losers with major commercial and financial losses.


The Age of Exploration sent Europeans all over the globe, and they were kind enough to bring their national rivalries with them. Thus, simple disputes once restricted to Europe became world wars.

Canada: Britain conquered it in the French and Indian War (the Seven Years War) and kept it loyal through lenient treatment. France still had designs on Hudson's Bay and Newfoundland.

New England: The revolution's hotbed. Britain thought about letting this region go in order to keep the other colonies.

MidAtlantic: New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania. It drew intense British interest since it held the American capital. It was also the strongest Loyalist region with many of them holding economic and political power after the war.

Upper South: Delaware, Maryland, Virginia. The Loyalists were strong here.

Deep South: The Carolinas and Georgia. Strong Loyalist forces here embroiled the region in a civil war during the later part of the revolution.

Northwest: The area covered by the Northwest Ordinance of 1787 went to America thanks to George Rogers Clark and some timely Spanish help.

Southwest: A prime target for Spain, this was the area south of the Ohio River and east of the Mississippi River, excluding the Gulf Coast. Indians here supported Britain.

Florida: Spain lost East and West Florida during the Seven Years War. She wanted them back and succeeded, thanks to Galvez.

Caribbean: This includes Central America. Everyone wanted the sugar islands. Spain wanted Britain out of Campeche, Honduras, and the Mosquito Coast (Nicaragua), and was partially successful.

Atlantic: Much of the naval war involved British and American commerce raiding. Spain's main concern was protecting the treasure fleet. France needed to weaken the Royal Navy before invading the British Isles.

Great Britain: This area represents the political struggle in England among the colonial factions and their supporters, and King George III's attempts to keep control of the British government.

Europe: This includes the surrounding Atlantic and Mediterranean waters. France needed to clear the Channel of British ships. Spain wanted to regain Gibraltar and Minorca, even offering Puerto Rico and neutrality for the former. She did get the latter. Britain had a different view of these ambitions.

Holland planned to join the League of Armed Neutrality, but Britain declared war on her first. The Dutch attracted English ire by holding half of the British public debt, and by helping the Patriots commercially and financially, normally through St. Eustatius.

The LAN included Austria, Denmark, some German cities, Portugal, Prussia, Russia, Savoy, Sweden and the Two Sicilies. It wanted everyone to leave them alone, although Catherine the Great offered to help England in exchange for Minorca. Austria and Prussia spent most of this period jousting over Germany, while Russia moved against the Ottomans.

Africa: The war here was mostly fought over control of the slave stations in the west, but Britain also had designs on the Dutch Cape Colony. Spain eyed North Africa.

India: Britain's ascendancy scared several rulers who sought aid from France. France in turn wanted to restore her position in India and worked to subvert British interests even before the war. Britain eyed the French and Dutch colonies in southern India and Ceylon.

Asia and the Pacific: Britain desired the Dutch East Indies and the Philippines. This box also represents Anglo-Spanish clashes over the Pacific treasure fleet, Cook's explorations, and Spanish expeditions to western Canada and Alaska.


American Revolution is designed by Peter L. de Rosa. It is based on We Shall Overcome, a simulation of 1960s politics. It can be found in Academic Gaming Review 5.3 here.

American Revolution is Copyright, 2004 by Peter L. de Rosa. All rights reserved. Reproduction allowed for nonprofit educational use as long as this copyright notice is included

5-Player Scenario: Instructions, Chart, Scoresheet
4-Player Scenario: Instructions, Chart, Scoresheet




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