Home Forums Horse and Musket American Civil War Regimental Rules Recommendations for an ACW Newbie

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  • #127093
    Rod RobertsonRod Robertson
    Participant

    Hello to the wise Magi of the ACW Forum.

    I am thinking about getting into miniature gaming of the ACW period or the Franco-Prussian War Period. Right now I am leaning towards the ACW in 15 mm scale as I game no period where fighting was done in the Americas in any significant way. I envision painting up about four brigades of infantry with three to four regiments of infantry each, a brigade of cavalry and an appropriate amount of supporting artillery for both the Union and the Confederacy each. I am assuming that normal regiments will be about 12-16 figures, likewise for cavalry and that gun batteries will be about three gun and 15-21 crew per battery.

    I have played a few games of Johnny Reb I way back in the day and have played four or five games of Brother Against Brother skirmish games with friends. So with that “impressive” level of experience under my belt I think it’s fair to say I have little idea of what I am doing or how to get to my destination..

    My questions to y’all are what are the best rules for this kind of gaming? I have done some homework and understand that Johnny Reb II is more highly recommended than Johnny Reb III. Fire and Fury Regimental also seems to be a solid option. I am woefully unaware of more modern sets of rules set at the Regimental-Brigade level. The playing table I use is either 7.5 ft. by 10 ft. or 5 ft. by 15 ft. depending on the arrangement of the tables. What are my best rules options for this scale of ACW combat?

    Thank you all in advance for any counsel you can offer me. It will be much appreciated.

    Cheers and good gaming.

    Rod Robertson.

    • This topic was modified 4 months, 2 weeks ago by Rod RobertsonRod Robertson.
    #127104
    vtsaogamesvtsaogames
    Participant

    Pickett’s Charge from TFL Reisswitz Press gets good reviews, aimed at several brigades per side. I have not played them but give them a look. More about command friction than weaponry, I hear.

    https://corlearshookfencibles.blogspot.com/

    #127113
    Nathaniel Weber
    Participant

    Fire & Fury (regt’l is quite similar to their brigade game) is a fun game and easy to grasp. I have actually enjoyed games of Black Powder for ACW. The Black Powder 2nd Edition book has two good ACW scenarios. The rules encourage a certain amount of chaos that work well for the mass citizen armies of the Civil War.

    If you are playing at 15s, with the size of units you describe, you could play at “half scale” for black powder (substiting 6″ for 12″ measurements in that game), and your 7×5 table would be sufficiently large for most anything.

    A nice thing about Black Powder is that you can tweak it easily, so you can add more detail if you like.  I increase the chance of leader casualties, make defensive fire against charges a bit more effective, and add some other chaos and friction rules.

    #127115
    kyotebluekyoteblue
    Participant

    With that number of figures, you could try Rebels and Patriots.

    #127121
    ian pillayian pillay
    Participant

    NT Wargaming an Introduction has some nice ACW rules. Not too crunchy and give a pretty good game. 4 bases to a unit for infantry and cavalry. Armies are predetermined depending on the year. Example 1861 USA army consists of 6 infantry units, 1 cavalry and 2 artillery. This is increased to 8 infantry, 3 cavalry and 3 artillery for 1864-5. One thing I do like about these rules is rolling for the units morale. It can be done at the start of the game or when you first attempt to rally/ test morale.

    Tally-Ho!

    #127125
    Autodidact-O-SaurusAutodidact-O-Saurus
    Participant

    I went through much the same process a few years ago. Ended up going with Longstreet. Not that I’ve played it yet. Still looking forward to it, though. I think it would fit your projected numbers and scale fairly well.

    Self taught, persistently behind the times, never up to date. AKA ~ jeff
    More verbosity: http://petiteguerre.blogspot.com/

    #127136
    Rod RobertsonRod Robertson
    Participant

    Pickett’s Charge from TFL Reisswitz Press gets good reviews, aimed at several brigades per side. I have not played them but give them a look. More about command friction than weaponry, I hear.

    vtsaogames:

    Thank you for the recommendation. Pickett’s Charge is now on my list to be researched as I tend to enjoy rules written on Lard Island. If I buy a copy, then I will report back to you and all about how it plays.

    Cheers and good gaming.

    Rod Robertson.

    #127137
    Rod RobertsonRod Robertson
    Participant

    Nathaniel Weber:

    I gave Black Powder a very cursory look and may have dismissed it too quickly. I will give it another look and see if my biases and laziness got the better of me. Thank you for the recommendation and for the counsel on the table and range modifications too. I’ll have another more thorough look.

    Cheers and good gaming.

    Rod Robertson.

    #127138
    Rod RobertsonRod Robertson
    Participant

    Hey Kyoteblue:

    Rebel and Patriots? Tell me more! Is this the rule set you’ll be using when your figures arrive from Scale a Creep minis? Why do you recommend them? Dish dude and don’t leave me hanging. I’ll do some homework too mind you but anything you can offer in the way of guidance would be most appreciated.

    Cheers and good gaming old man!

    Rod.

    #127139
    Rod RobertsonRod Robertson
    Participant

    Ian pillay:

    Thanks for the recommendation. I’ll give it a look. Odd title mind you! I love games where you don’t really know the strength and reliability of troops until they are committed and tested in battle. I fell in love with the game mechanism playing Panzergruppe Guderian in the late 1970’s/early 80’s and I find it an exhilarating mechanism every time I encounter it. Your suggestion is greatly appreciated.

    Cheers and good gaming.

    Rod Robertson

    #127140
    Rod RobertsonRod Robertson
    Participant

    Autodidact-O-Saurus:

    I’ll give a look for Longstreet and see what’s what. Why have you held off so long before playing the period? Thanks for the recommendation and if I pick up the rules and use them then I’ll get back to you all with feedback.

    Cheers and good gaming.

    Rod Robertson.

    #127141
    kyotebluekyoteblue
    Participant

    Rod, I do use R&P for ACW with the well painted 15 mm figures I got from Scale Creep Miniatures. They are part of the Lion Rampant/Dragon Rampant Pikeman’s Lament game engine. The rules remind me of a cross of DBA and Sword and the Flame with random silliness.

    #127142
    Rod RobertsonRod Robertson
    Participant

    Kyoteblue:

    Okay. I’ll give them a look. Do you play them solo or with friends? Do you like them and if so, why? Thanks KB and don’t forget to mow the lawn. I hope you’re well and keeping busy reading Jack’s battle reports. Stay stong and game on.

    Cheers and good gaming.

    Rod.

    #127143
    kyotebluekyoteblue
    Participant

    It’s kinda winter in Oklahoma so tomorrow it will be 70 the next day 32 with snow. Mowing season is over. I’ve mostly solo gamed R&P as no one local has been bitten by them.  The activation rolls help add friction for solo play in that not all your units get to do something.  It also relies on your officers who can be cowards or heroes based on a table and die roll. That is the silliness I like in a set of rules. Don’t worry I’m reading all Jack’s game reports and rooting for his Marine pilots!!

    #127161
    Steve BurtSteve Burt
    Participant

    Fire & Fury regimental is very good, well written and easy to understand.

    Rebels & Patriots is great if you want to play skirmishes

    Pickett’s Charge is good but quite complex.

    Longstreet is excellent for pickup games; it also works well for historical battles, but only for small-ish ones because of the way the command model works. Very nice set of rules and now I think I should put on another game using these. Not played ACW in ages!

    Black Powder is OK, but I always feel like I’ve played a game of Black Powder rather than fought a historical battle, if you see what I mean.

     

    #127162
    Steve BurtSteve Burt
    Participant

    If you want larger battles, Fire & Fury brigade level is great (but slow for the really big battles, and you need huge numbers of figures)

    There is an ACW version of ‘Blucher’ called Chamberlain which is very good

    And of course Volley & Bayonet, the old Frank Chadwick big battle rules, stand up pretty well

    #127165
    vtsaogamesvtsaogames
    Participant

    For large battles at a good clip, Bloody Big Battles. It has a variable troop scale, with a base representing anywhere from 500-2000 troops. I can play the whole first day of Shiloh at 500 troops/12 guns per base in maybe 3 or 4 hours, not just a part of the battle, the whole thing. Basic units are divisions, also large brigades and small corps.

    https://corlearshookfencibles.blogspot.com/

    #127197
    Chris Pringle
    Participant

    Rod, you’ve told us how much space you have (plenty!) but not how long you want your games to last. Are you looking for a swift 3-hour or so evening game? Or a leisurely all-dayer?

    Vincent has kindly mentioned BBB, which is geared to fitting an entire battle into a 3- or 4-hour club night including set-up and take-down, on a 6’x4′ table. He is too modest to mention that he himself has written several excellent scenarios for ACW actions such as 1st Bull Run, Champion Hill, Stones River etc – all freely available from the BBB files on Groups.io.

    https://groups.io/g/bloodybigbattles/files

    Best of luck with finding the ruleset that suits you.

    Chris

    Bloody Big BATTLES!

    http://bloodybigbattles.blogspot.com/

    #127248
    vtsaogamesvtsaogames
    Participant

    I recently ran a game of Rebels & Patriots using single bases of 15mm figures in place of single larger figures, no other changes to the rules. It gave a short game with a lot of figures on the table, about a brigade per side. It was set in the Seven Years War but no reason it could not be in the ACW. I’d get rid of the shock cavalry and give both sides skirmishers. See here.

    https://corlearshookfencibles.blogspot.com/

    #127355
    Rod RobertsonRod Robertson
    Participant

    Kyoteblue:

    R&P seems to be a skirmish game rather than a regimental level game. Based on some readings and some comments here, I’ll stick to my Brother Against Brother for ACW skirmish battles.

    Steve Burt:

    Thanks for your recommendations, they are much appreciated.

    vtsaogames (Vincent) and Chris Pringle:

    Thank you for recommending BBB. I’ll have a look at it. Cheers and thanks to both you and Vincent for your efforts in the field of ACW gaming. As to game length, I am looking for short and fast as well as crunchy and leisurely (in different rule sets).

    As things stand right now, I think I’ll be ordering Fire & Fury (Regimental) as well as Longstreet for both fast and slow options, but first I will give BBB a much closer look.

    Thanks to all for your input and if anyone has more recommendations, then please chyme in. Good counsel is always appreciated. This will be at least a two-year long project so I will take my time to get rule choices right. Soon I will be pestering you for figure line recommendations in approx. 15mm size.

    Cheers and good gaming.

    Rod Robertson.

     

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