Home Forums Horse and Musket American Civil War RF&F or Pickett?

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    The end is in sight….or is it the beginning?
    Never mind, after many years it looks as if my little group will start to game the ACW.

    I’ve had two painted armies for years but apart from a single game of Fire & Fury (the Brigade version), they’ve never been used. There’s been too many other fascinating periods taking up our gaming time.

    However, with a new member whose chief interest is the ACW, we (like certain ex-Confederates) are galvanised.

    The only question is which rules. I have long had a copy of the Regimental Fire & Fury & thought this would be our rules of choice as it’s scale & complexity suit our predilections. But the new-ish ‘Pickett’s Charge” are being touted & seem to be equally good.

    Any recommendations one way or the other?


    I can’t offer a recommendation but will watch this thread as I am considering the ACW as my 2018 project (it’s ACW or ‘Nam), but have no idea what rules to consider.

    Those are brave men knocking at our door. Let's go kill them!


    Back 20 plus years ago I played  On To Richmond, Johnny Reb 1 2 and 3 and F&F 1st Ed. No idea about newer rules.

    Note I did get your msg.


    I’ve played RF&F once and thought it felt like BF&F (a good thing!) but with a lot of extra chrome.  The game moved along reasonably well and I never felt “bored” between turns.  I can’t comment on Picket’s Charge as I’ve never played them much less seen them at all in action.


    "Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man's character, give him power."

    --Abraham Lincoln

    Norm S

    Picketts Charge does have the advantage that there are a sister set of rules for napoleonics called Grande A’rmee if that is a consideration for you in terms of rules streamlining.

    John D Salt

    Not my period, but I will put in a word for Ragnar Brothers’ “Whippin’ Bobby Lee”, which gave a very enjoyable game when I used them at a friends’ place a few years ago. They use widely-differing movement rates in and out of contact, which avoids the whole tedious business of having numerous turns of both sides just advancing on each other; you can get into the fighting quite quickly, but there is plenty of scope for pre-commitment maneouvre. Once close to the bad guys, you want to shake out into line, and the system of command points means that there are some nice decisions to be made about when to do this.

    All the best,



    So what attracts you to ‘Regimental Fire & Fury’ and ‘Pickett’s Charge’? When I was looking at ACW a few years ago I first bought ‘Die Fighting II’ because I wanted something pretty generic for multiple periods. Then I swung the other way and purchased ‘Longstreet’ Which really can’t get too much more specific for the US 1861 – 1865. Another year on now and I’ve yet to play either one. So why RFF and PC?

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


    So what attracts you to ‘Regimental Fire & Fury’ and ‘Pickett’s Charge’?  So why RFF and PC?

    A reasonable question.

    There’s a plethora of ACW rules. I can’t read many, much less play them to decide on my preference. Time & money. So, to narrow things down, I read online reviews, forum discussions and such, I ask for & heed recommendations.

    Specifically, RF&F were highly recommended by a friend (now gone) several years ago. I bought a copy in anticipation of using them, read them & was impressed. I do know reading is no substitute for gaming BTW. “There’s many a slip, twixt cup & lip”.

    PC is new, much talked about, and most importantly, by Dave Brown whose earlier work in Napoleonics I admire.

    It seems a logical step to assume one or the other would be a good fit for our ACW gaming needs. I would only look further if both sets were widely rubbished here & (God forbid) I choose one of these rule sets, use it & don’t like it.




    A topic that interests me, so has enough time elapsed for an update on this?


    A topic that interests me, so has enough time elapsed for an update on this?

    We have a problem, Houston.

    Our little group has a fellow whose absolute favourite period is the ACW. He’s travelled to the US for battlefield tours, got a huge (unpainted) collection of figures, every book you can think of etc.

    But he freezes with gaming the period. Everything has got to be perfect. It’s the period he doesn’t want to compromise on. I could be snarky & add he’s an engineer with all that entails.

    One of my other pals & I sneakily painted up a couple of ACW armies  with the idea that we could kickstart gaming. His response was we don’t have the right terrain (we don’t). He likes both rule sets & says we should use both before choosing. I’ve refrained from saying, “When????”

    Said pal is a great guy. He’s fully involved in everything else we do & we game quite a few other periods (Bronze Age, Punics, Dark Ages, SYW, Naps, Colonials etc).

    I guess I could start making metres of snake-fencing & buy some Plantation Houses & the Dunker Church model but I think it would prove another false start. I don’t want to upset him as he is a pal & an asset. I’ll get back to you with our choice of rules but don’t hold your proverbial.






    My goodness, that’s a sad story. Our crew has a fairly different take on stuff: our ACW figures have stood in for Mexican troops at Puebla 1862, my Union figures have a western look about them but that doesn’t stop us from using them for Gettysburg or First Bull Run. We used 1812 Prussians for Crimean War Russians, Gardes Mobiles for 1866 Hanoverians, etc. At least we don’t use WWII figures or Normans and Saxons for our black powder period games.


    As for ACW terrain, we often use a mat with the default terrain being woods and the few clearings painted in. I find that more important than the buildings being correct.

    This too shall pass


    My goodness, that’s a sad story. 


    Yes but mostly no. People are people & if you need to cut a pal some slack, so be it. And it’s not as if all gaming has stalled. We have more games pending than we can fit into busy schedules. A Quatre Bras re-fight will happen in Easter.

    I’m in agreement with you about terrain etc. You can spend time & trouble in the future to bring things up to scratch if you find the game itself is worthwhile.




    How awkward; it would still be great to have an update from people on ACW rules.  Or are board games a better route for ‘grander’ periods? I>E Where the armies have got very big.

    Chris Pringle

    How awkward; it would still be great to have an update from people on ACW rules. Or are board games a better route for ‘grander’ periods? I>E Where the armies have got very big.

    BBB was created to address exactly that challenge, of putting the whole of the major C19 battles on a normal 6’x4′ table and fighting them in a normal club evening. We managed all 3 days of Gettysburg in 4 hours, including set-up and take-down. This was with four players who knew the rules, and a certain measure of urgency and discipline to rattle through the moves, but it can be done. Likewise Solferino, Koniggratz, Plevna, etc etc etc.


    Bloody Big BATTLES!




    I have to say the Corlears Hook Fencibles discovered Bloody Big Battles 3 years ago and it scratches our grand-tactical black powder itch. We have played the Shiloh scenario 6 times, 2 Confederate victories, 1 tie and 3 Union wins. I chalk up one CSA win to the Union player losing a personal morale test. I thought it was still 50/50. No other set of rules I have tried gives us the whole battle in one evening and keeps it a cliff hanger. The other grand tactical Shiloh scenarios I’ve played have the Union player nervous at first but calmed down by noon on the first day.


    Aside from Shiloh we played Gettysburg (once), First Bull Run (3 times), Champion Hill (twice), Chickamauga (twice) and the Wilderness (twice), enjoying them all. Only Gettysburg took us more than one evening. We weren’t disciplined enough to run it in 4 hours.


    If you must have individual regiments and batteries or have different factors for Burnside rifles than Spencers, these rules are not for you. But if you want a full battle in an evening with results that make sense, try them. Basic units in BBB can be brigades or divisions, sometimes two small divisions combined into one unit. Artillery tends to be battalions of 12-24 guns, sometimes even more as the troop scale varies by scenario.

    • This reply was modified 3 years, 6 months ago by vtsaogames.

    This too shall pass


    Regimental Fire and Fury is enjoyable and easy to pick up.

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