Red Flag Over Paris (designed by Fred Serval), the spiritual successor to Mark Herman’s Fort Sumter, is a short, yet challenging, two-player card-driven game depicting the two months of intense confrontation between the Communards and the government in Versailles during the 1871 Paris Commune. You will play as one of these factions and fight for control over Paris. But, you will also need to win the hearts and minds of the French population, as the board is divided into two areas–military and political–themselves divided into several dimensions (Political Institutions, Public Opinion, Paris neighbourhoods, and the forts on the outskirts of the city). The game forces players to make tough decisions like when to focus on political influence or military dominance and how to optimize limited resources.
On top of controlling the military and political spaces and fulfilling your objectives to score Victory Points, you will have to manage your momentum. Versailles needs to collaborate with the Prussian invader to build up an army that will restore order in the Capital. On the other hand, the Commune needs to build a robust revolutionary momentum to ensure that the population stays mobilized after months of siege and food shortages.
Each card represents either a critical personality or a significant event of the Paris commune. You may use a card for its event, for its operational value (which allows you to place or remove influence cubes in any given area), to buy an event discarded by your opponent, or build your momentum. After up to three rounds, Red Flag Over Paris culminates in a Final Crisis where each player will have to play all the cards they left aside earlier in the game as the last opportunity to place influence before determining the winner.