SGS Rules

Cauldron of generals

Carl Nebel - Bombardment of Vera Cruz
Carl Nebel – Bombardment of Vera Cruz. American-mexican war.


During the Mexican-American War, Major General Scott was appointed by President James K. Polk to lead an army of Regular army and volunteer units to the Rio Grande for a quick campaign. Tensions between Scott and Polk developed, and Polk gave the command to Zachary Taylor. Polk wanted to appoint a fellow Democrat to command the expedition against central Mexico, and not a Whig, as if it succeeded the commander would be a strong candidate for President.

The two ranking Democratic officers in the army were William O. Butler and Robert Patterson. Butler’s capacity as an army commander was unknown, and Patterson was Irish-born, and not eligible to be President. Scott was a Whig, but he had the approval of members of Polk’s cabinet and was given the command.

One player represents the United States of America’s land and naval forces, the other has Mexico’s land and Naval forces. The Mexican forces are outnumbered at the start of the game, and have lower morale.

  • The Mexicans must hold desperately against the onslaught and superior morale of their enemy, hoping to gain enough time for America’s internal politics to disrupt and eventually end the war.
  • The USA must advance and eventually conquer Mexico City before the Whig opposition to the war forces a negotiated peace. This anti-war sentiment is represented by the ‘Tension Index’ in the game.

Be careful of the supply lines for the both sides, as early success can outrun your supply!

The games Cards and Events allow full replay ability thanks to the numerous various situations that they create on the environmental, diplomatic, military, political or economic fields.


Flag Icon USADuration: 3h00
Favored Side: USA
Most Difficult Side to Play: Mexico

The Cauildrons of Generals 1847 campaign lasts 22 turns, each representing 15 days, between March 1847 and March 1848. There are objectives only the main map.

Flag Icon MexicoThe USA player always plays first.

The American forces include the US Navy, US Regular Army and State Militia forces.
The Mexican forces include Regular Army units and assorted Militia forces. The Mexican Navy is almost non-existant and consists solely of Blockade Runners.


SGS Halls of Montezuma

The playable portion of the map is limited to the regions near Vera Cruz and Mexico City.

Additionally, New Orleans is accessible to the US Navy, and Campeche and Acapulco are available as “runner ports” for the Mexican Ships

Note: Many cities, towns and villages have strong fortress values. These are representing the difficulty of bringing the population there into a pacified state.



The American player wins if he controls Mexico City in supply.
The Mexican player wins if the Tension Index reaches a preset level.
(A warning message will appear when the Mexican Victory level is approaching).

Otherwise, the player with the most Victory Points at the end of the scenario wins the game.

SGS Structure Icon StarBONUS VP

Many regions and structures give VP when captured, and may cause loss of VP if lost. All of those are shown by the VP stars on map and in the region navigator.

The Political Climate in the USA [Tension Index – see next section] increases with US incursions into Mexico and capture of Mexican cities and towns.

The Mexican player gains 1 VP for each US Regular Army Unit destroyed, and the American player also loses 1 VP in these instances.


Mexico has none scheduled. Reinforcement (and replacement, see next) come only via Card play.

Mexico has none scheduled. Reinforcement (and replacement, see next) come only via Card play.


The Mexican 11th and 12th Infantry are immobile until released by Card play.

Each side receives 1 replacement every turn. Additional replacements and constructions are handled by cards.

There are two cards drawn each turn in this game, and players may keep up to 10 of them in hands.

Sources display the supply icon on map.

USA units: New Orlean and Vera Cruz.
Mexican units: Mexico City and Vera Cruz.

Both sides benefit from a partial fog of war, i.e. the player cannot see what an enemy stack could contain (only a flag is displayed on those).

In this game, no breakthrough are possible.

Antiwar Sentiment IconUS POLITICAL CLIMATE
Also called Tension Index or Antiwar Sentiment, this is a numerical index that varies during the course of the game, mostly with the play of some key political cards and via the capture or loss of important locations.

When the Index value approaches or reaches 20, Mexico wins the game, as domestic politics in the USA heavily favor peace and their will demands in the Congress to end the war via negotiated peace.


For the PDF version, use the links below :

SGS Halls of Montezuma – (PDF) : Grand campaign Mexico 1846Opening moves.
Scenarios : Cauldron of Generals 1847Tejas Return.

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